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89030 Interaction Studio: Reconfiguring Practice

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 12 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Recommended studies:

Indi Young, Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity

John Kolko, Exposing the magic of design : a practitioner's guide to the methods and theory of synthesis

Christena Nippert-Eng, Watching Closely

Jan Gehl, How to Obvserve Public Life

Daniel MIller and Heather Horst, Digital Anthropology

Description

In this subject students work as part of an interdisciplinary studio using their specialist design skills. They work with real-world constraints on a range of industry briefs with the intent of developing empathy for various stakeholders and the context within which a problem arises. Students gain an understanding of the 'new practices' of design, including the role of digital in improving service delivery, using data to enhance experiences and delivery and innovative design research practices.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the limitations and usefulness of a range of different design research methods
2. To effectively analyse, synthesise and communicate design research
3. Effectively form problem statements and design hypothesises to guide the research process
4. Effectively use different kinds of prototyping techniques and provide a rationale for their role in the research process
5. Demonstrate the understanding of design in the context of broader societal, political, commercial and environmental concerns
6. Demonstrate an ability to supply design decisions with specific and relevant rationales that relate to a broader strategy

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Ability to adapt communication style to context (C.3)
  • Ability to critically appraise, develop or redirect design ideas (I.2)
  • Ability to actively and independently develop new skills, knowledge and understanding (P.1)
  • Possession of craft skills appropriate to the discipline (P.3)
  • Ability to develop well-supported arguments and rationales (R.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This studio encourages student learning directed to develop graduate attributes. The course content, learning strategies and assessment structure is explicitly designed with these attributes in mind.

The term CAPRI is used for the five Design, Architecture and Building faculty graduate attribute categories where:

C = communication and groupwork

A = attitudes and values

P = practical and professional

R = research and critique

I = innovation and creativity

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs) are linked to these categories using codes (e.g. C-!, A-3, P-4, etc).

Teaching and learning strategies

The aim of this studio is to give students an experience in thinking at a strategic level and position work within a wider social, economic and cultural context. Students will learn to adjust to design problems that continually morph as projects develop, negotiate how design can work collaboratively with other disciplines, engage with committed external stakeholders and have confidence in managing projects.

This design studio involves working closely with experienced academics and/or industry professionals. Assessment is typically project focused group work, with continual creative direction from peers and studio leader. You are expected to participate in class design crits as presenters and audience. Your role in providing feedback to your peers, and in opening yourself to feedback on your own project, will help you to develop good judgment in relation to design development, as well as prepare you to work effectively in design teams in professional practice. During the week, between classes, you will need to significantly develop your project for further presentation, drawing upon ongoing research as well as on the feedback provided in class. There is an expectation of approx. 10 hrs of self-directed project development outside class hours each week.

The nature of the assessment tasks and the expectations set by the studio culture mean that it is essential for students to work extensively outside class: organising interviews with relevant stakeholders, undertaking field trips and various group meetings and workshops.

Feedback
Students will have several opportunities to receive feedback during the subject. The feedback provided will vary in form, purpose and in its degree of formality:

Formative feedback will be provided during the learning process, typically provided verbally by the subject's teaching staff. It will address the content of work and a student's approach to learning, both in general and more specific ‘assessment orientated’ terms. It is designed to help students improve their performance in time for the submission of an assessment item. For this to occur students need to respond constructively to the feedback provided. This involves critically reflecting on advice given and in response altering the approach taken to a given assessment. Formative feedback may also, on occasion, be provided by other students. It is delivered informally, either in conversation during a tutorial or in the course of discussion at the scale of the whole class. It is the student’s responsibility to record any feedback given during meetings or studio sessions.

Summative feedback is provided in written form with all assessed work. It is published along with indicative grades online at UTS REVIEW. Summative feedback focuses on assessment outcomes. It is used to indicate how successfully a student has performed in terms of specific assessment criteria.

It is the student’s responsibility to record any feedback given during meetings. This will assist in how iterative development can be accessed and ultimately assessed.

Content (topics)

The aim of this studio is to give students an experience in thinking at a strategic level and position work within a wider social, economic and cultural context. Students will learn to adjust to design problems that continually morph as projects develop, negotiate how design can work collaboratively with other disciplines, engage with committed external stakeholders and have confidence in managing projects.

The studio is structured according to the following principles:

  • design briefs present wicked problems with conflicting considerations;
  • briefs have many points of entry, allowing students to propose their own approach;
  • external briefs and stakeholders make the projects real and provide specialised knowledge; project length, group size and discipline mix defined according to project briefs;
  • educators and external stakeholders provide regular, targeted guidance rather than students following a set methodology.

The nature of the assessment tasks and the expectations set by the studio culture mean that it is essential for students to work extensively outside class: organising interviews with relevant stakeholders, undertaking field trips and various group meetings and workshops.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Design research assessment

Intent:

Depending on the studio focus, you will undertake a specific design brief that either works towards strengthening your portfolio or building skills that are relevant to design practice and industry. Assessment criteria and a detailed explanation of the rationale by which they are informed is also included in the brief.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2 and 6

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.3, P.1 and P.3

Type: Exercises
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Demonstrated understanding of the limitations and usefulness of a range of different design research methods 25 1 P.1
Effective use of storytelling approaches to communicate design research in an surprising, generative, nuanced and instructive manner 25 2 P.3
Demonstrated appreciate of key principles in digital anthropology 25 1 C.3
Demonstrated understanding of challenges associated with group work and how to respond 25 6 C.3
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Final presentation

Intent:

Depending on the studio focus, you will undertake a specific design brief that either works towards strengthening your portfolio or building skills that are relevant to design practice and industry. Assessment criteria and a detailed explanation of the rationale by which they are informed is also included in the brief.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3, 4 and 5

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.3, I.2, P.3 and R.1

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 70%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Appropriateness of design decisions in response to outline problem statement 17 3 I.2
Demonstrated understanding of prototyping for problem definition and solution refinement design outcomes and influences the solution and design choices 17 5 P.3
Design decisions supported by meaningful insights from research 17 5 C.3
Demonstrated capacity to effectively synthesise research 17 4 C.3
Demonstrated understanding of design in the context of broader societal, political, commercial and environmental concerns 17 5 R.1
Compelling communication of design idea and design research 15 2 R.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures and tutorials) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment.