Product and Furniture Design BA(Hons)
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Facts about Product and Furniture Design
|Year of entry||2013|
|Application route||3 years full-time: apply through UCAS (code W260)|
|See the Unistats data for this course|
About this course
Why choose this course?
This course aims to develop the creative professional practice, technological knowledge and theoretical understanding necessary to enter a variety of design careers. Emphasis is placed on acquiring and developing the skills needed to use current and emerging materials and technologies in a creative, intelligent and sustainable way.
Central to your experience will be an appreciation of 'intelligent making'. Practical knowledge will be gathered from direct experience and the use of materials in context within the distinct areas of practice as well as within brands. You will develop a sensitivity towards the qualities of materials as well as their potential sustainable and appropriate application. You will also become aware that designers, through the specification of materials and processes, are responsible for the preservation or abuse of the world's resources.
You will be required to think strategically and demonstrate industry awareness, which will underpin the focus for your projects at all levels. You will interact and engage with the industry throughout your studies.
Student Harry talks about studying the Product & Furniture Design BA(Hons):
Student Ken talks about studying the Product & Furniture Design BA(Hons):
What will you study?
The curriculum covers design and making skills, materials, manufacturing technology, digital skills and business studies for design. Your creative development will be underpinned by a user-based approach to design, while integrated studies in design history and contemporary issues will provide a theoretical and contextual framework to your work.
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.
This module introduces you to the basic two- and three-dimensional design tools you need to communicate ideas and concepts to both yourself and the outside world, including:
- drawing, measuring and rendering techniques;
- various 3D model-making methods; and
- presentation techniques.
The module explores the subjective nature of design through form giving and visual language, and introduces the design process.
Teaching and learning on this module takes place through a combination of practical workshop and studio-based projects, introducing workshop, design, presentation and communication skills.
This module introduces you to the design process - understanding, observation, idea generation, concept development and communication - balanced against a user-centred design philosophy. You will gain a simple understanding of:
- product design practices;
- the relationship between designer and the other traditional design empathies;
- human factors and ergonomics;
- sustainable practices;
- context of use, materials and form giving; and
- creative tools like brainstorming and design workshops (if appropriate).
Fundamentally, the module uses user-focused design techniques to create inspired and pertinent design solutions.
Materials and Manufacturing Technologies
This module introduces you to the major materials, manufacturing processes and technologies employed in the design and manufacture of products and artefacts. It covers:
- the properties and qualities of materials;
- their related production processes;
- the factors that govern and inform the specification of materials and processes in a design context.
This module allows you to appraise your work from the past year. Usually you prepare a portfolio using the work carried out on previous projects and assignments to create an accessible record of your studies.
Themes in the History of Architecture and Design 1
The module provides a historical and critical framework for you to develop personal philosophy and theoretical standpoint in regard to the practice of design.
A series of lectures convey a thematic (and roughly chronological) study of the development of architecture and design from the mid-19th century to the end of the 20th century. A strong focus is placed upon the relationship between the theory and practice of product, furniture, architecture, interior design.
- Themes in the History of Architecture and Design 2
- Language option
This module introduces you to the concept of 'intelligent making' as it relates to materials and manufacturing technologies. It emphasises:
- direct experimentation and investigation of materials and processes; and
- the development of practical design outcomes informed through an understanding of the affecting factors of batch production.
This module explores current and emerging issues related to sustainable design. We encourage you to:
- research and identify sources of information related to the sustainability of materials and resources;
- make informed decisions with regard to the specification of materials and processes in the design of furniture and products; and
- consider other activities associated with the context of design and manufacture, such as distribution, retail, packaging, re-use and recycling.
Projects will be shaped through consultation with a range of industry organisations, such as the Design Council, the Centre for Sustainable Design, ethical co-operatives, advisory boards, sustainability forums and legislative bodies.
- Future Factory
Innovation and Insight
Innovation is the intelligent convergence of materials, technology, user requirements, personal insight and context.For example, when Dyson decided to explore the vacuum cleaner market, the insight was to make a bag-less cleaner. The quest for a solution resulted in borrowing cyclone technology from one market and applying it to another. The exploration embraced many technologies, user requirements, cultural and design issues, but the solution was a marriage of all.
This module supports the investigation and exploration of new and better products for the market, leveraging intelligent design insights and placing the user at the centre of the process. The innovation process may deliver design approaches that foster brand development or open new solutions in new markets.
You will cover:
- personal insight and consumer trends;
- new materials and production;
- multidisciplinary team working;
- strategic exploration; and
- new product opportunity.
- Strategic Portfolio
- Design Research
Contemporary Issues in Research
This module provides a broad introduction and preparation for the dissertation project. It considers:
- the role of research within art and design practice;
- the relationship between primary and secondary material;
- ways of developing and originating research; and
- ways of realising the research in a formal written manner.
The module provides a broad overview of some of the different critical and methodological approaches to researching in art and design culture.
- Design History option
- Language option OR
- Entrepreneurship: Young Enterprise Graduate Student (non-business students)
- Design for Production
Design (Major Project)
This module gives you the chance to personally develop and realise a comprehensive design project. You will:
- develop a holistic approach – balancing creativity, context and commercial reality;
- produce a comprehensive presentation – clearly articulating the design proposal; and
- exhibit high creative and professional standards – driven by independent ambition through self-directed study and planning.
You develop a design portfolio in this module, reflecting your personal achievements throughout the course. It provides a record of your course work in such a way as to support future career opportunities.
You also produce an exhibition presentation for final assessment. This demonstrates your:
- design projects studies; and
- individual creative endeavour, skills and achievements.
- Major Project Reflection
- Design Dissertation