University of Technology Sydney

87008 Critical Practice: Theorisation

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 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 12 cp

Subject level:

Honours

Result type: Grade and marks

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

Description

In this subject, students explore a range of theoretical contexts that situate visual communication design and image-making as a critical practice. Through this exploration, students gain a theoretical understanding of how visual, formal and material elements create arguments. Students also learn how to apply historical and theoretical knowledge to their own work, developing a holistic understanding of practice-based research and the relationship between making and thinking. The content is oriented towards the written components of the honours degree.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

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

1. Demonstrate capacity for critical reading; analyse, synthesize and draw out insights from both selected literature and precedents
2. Demonstrate capacity for critical writing: through scholarly arguments including the use of verbal, visual and material elements
3. Apply an advanced understanding of academic conventions through the use of an appropriate voice/style, identification of scholarly sources and APA referencing and correct citations of sources
4. Develop appropriate level of self-direction, self reflection, and time management skills

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

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

  • Present critical arguments about how research informs and drives design practice (C.1)
  • Independently employ a range of qualitative and practice-led research approaches that are relevant to professional design practice and/or postgraduate study (R.1)
  • Document and articulate the research process to demonstrate rigour and critical thinking (R.2)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

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-1, A-3, P-4, etc.).

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject consists of weekly seminars, discussions and writing workshops. These activities expand on seminar topics and apply key ideas and approaches to relevant assessment tasks and research projects. Each week students familiarise themselves with a range of different texts and visual examples that relate to the seminar topic. Students must be prepared to ask and answer questions and briefly discuss issues in a group. It is important to prepare for the seminar by reading the material provided. Throughout the session, students will engage in weekly research tasks and discuss their progress with staff and peers. These informal presentations will provide students with opportunities to present their work and reflect on the development of their knowledge and understanding.

This subject is aligned with 87933 Critical Practice: Experimentation. The two subjects have been designed to complement each other.

Content (topics)

  • Aesthetics,
  • Critical design,
  • Critical practice,
  • Critical theory,
  • Digital materiality,
  • Graphesis,
  • Materiality,
  • New materialism,
  • Post humanism,
  • Species design,
  • Speculative design,
  • Transition design,
  • Visual epistemology,
  • Visualisation,
  • Visual inquiry,
  • Practice led research,
  • Practice based research,
  • Research methodologies,
  • Research ethics,
  • Qualitative versus quantitative research,
  • Literature reviews and annotated bibliographies.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Abstract and Research Question

Intent:

Abstract and Research Question (20%)

This assessment task requires you to submit a written Abstract and Research Question relevant to your ongoing Honours research project. During the semester, you will be introduced to the function and formats of research abstracts and questions, and you will have the opportunity to discuss and workshop your submission in class prior to the due date.

Please refer to the assessment task brief for further details.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

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.1, R.1 and R.2

Type: Essay
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Ability to communicate ideas effectively in a variety of ways including oral, written and visual (this criterion focuses on your written communication skills and the overall formatting of your submission) 25 3 C.1
Ability to position work within an extended disciplinary context (this criterion focuses on your ability to connect your research focus with contexts of appropriate scope and scale, depth and breadth) 25 2 R.2
Ability to analyse, synthesise and formulate complex ideas, arguments and rationales and use initiative to explore alternatives (this criterion focuses on your ability to condense complex aspects of your research into concise, coherent and lucid articulations) 25 1 R.2
Ability to reflect and engage in self-critique and critical thinking (this criterion focuses on the reflective and critical insights of your research methodology) 25 4 R.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Methodology

Intent:

Research Methodology (30%)

This assessment task requires you to submit a written Research Methodology that outlines and discusses the methodological approach of your ongoing Honours research project. During the semester, you will be introduced to a range of research methodologies and you will have the opportunity to discuss and workshop your submission in class prior to the due date.

Please refer to the assessment task brief for further details.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

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.1, R.1 and R.2

Type: Essay
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Ability to communicate ideas effectively in a variety of ways including oral, written and visual (this criterion focuses on your written communication skills, overall formatting and includes your use of academic sources and references as appropriate 20 3 C.1
Ability to establish and develop an informed and ethical position toward social and cultural issues (this criterion focuses on your understanding of and approach to research ethics, as appropriate to your research project) 20 2 R.2
Ability to independently select and apply appropriate research methodologies to carry out investigative study (this criterion focuses on the relevance, coherence and lucidity of your research methodology) 20 1 R.2
Ability to reflect and engage in self-critique and critical thinking (this criterion focuses on the reflective and critical insights of your research methodology) 20 4 R.1
Ability to develop innovative approaches (this criterion focuses on the initiative and innovation demonstrated by your research methodology) 20 3 R.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Annotated Bibliography

Intent:

Annotated Bibliography (40%)

This assessment task requires you to submit a written Annotated Bibliography that details the key sources for your ongoing Honours research project. Sources should include both academic (e.g. books, journal articles) and creative work. The number and ratio of academic and creative work is flexible, and will depend on the nature of each project. However, a typical submission would include 5-6 academic and 5-6 creative sources, with 150-200 word synopses for each. During the semester, you will have the opportunity to discuss and workshop your submission in class prior to the due date.

Please refer to the assessment brief for further information.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

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.1, R.1 and R.2

Type: Essay
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

Minimum requirements

The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures, seminars and workshops) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment. Records of seminar and workshop attendance will be kept. Students are also expected to come to class adequately prepared. This means completing the preparatory activities listed in the weekly outline and being ready to discuss them in seminars and workshops. Students who are not adequately prepared will be marked abset. Students must submit all assessments to pass the subject.

Studio and workshop etiquette

Seminars and studio/workshop sessions provide important opportunities for you to move out of social media environments. Mobile phones and lap top use (when not directed) can be distracting to those around you. Unless specified, please do not use devices in class. You will be given explicit information about situations where use of these technologies is appropriate.