University of Technology Sydney

85302 Social Media Cultures

6cp; 3hpw (1hr lecture, 2hr studio), on campus


The internet is 30-something years old, and social media, at least as we currently tend to use it, just over 10 years old. Yet these systems have radically changed how most people around the world spend much of their time. The nature of what it means to be present as a person in society has been, for many people, fundamentally changed in the last decade.

This subject introduces you to a range of ways of critically making sense of the internet and social media. By learning to see social media systems and users as ‘constellations of power relations and institutional entanglements, mediated through technologies’ (Levy, 2015) we can develop more effective design interventions. The focus of the subject is, on the one hand, on the interaction designs that empower digital connectivity, and, on the other hand, the way different cultures are responding to those interaction designs. Though the subject will expose you to a number of critical frameworks through which you will interrogate online cultures, your own experiences using these platforms will be essential to how we, together, make sense of ‘social media cultures.’

This subject combines desk research with collaborative design research. This research will take place in part in the very contexts that you are seeking to critically examine, so you will need to develop strongly reflectively ways of working. Submissions for this subject comprise of a range of designed responses that explore the outcomes of this research.

This subject is the fourth and final Design Studies subject for Fashion and Textile Design, and Visual Communication Design.

Detailed subject description.

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