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Critical Issues in Interior Design: Research and Practice

  • Module code: HA5108
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 5
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module builds on the historical and thematic content introduced at Level 4 and emphasises the theorisation of interior design practice. A series of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, screenings and visits informs and supports your own emerging research interests and the development of independent visual and academic research skills that cross history/theory and design practice. Lectures and seminars will deepen critical and theoretical engagement with contemporary issues in interior design. Seminar tasks and assessments are carefully designed to foreground projects that support the location of interior design as a discipline. Research methodologies are introduced though case studies and practical activities that reflect the issues explored through the module's content.

Aims

  • To engage students with current practices and debates concerning contemporary interior design;
  • To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of key critical and theoretical positions in relation to the production, consumption and mediation of interior design;
  • To enable students to engage and reflect on research methodologies and critical approaches to interior design;
  • To facilitate a greater reflective, critical and creative engagement with the study of interior design through spaces, images and texts;
  • To encourage students to articulate their own experiences and interests as designers and researchers in relation to historical and contemporary concerns, and to create an opportunity for students to identify and develop a chosen area of individual research useful and relevant to their practice.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a depth of knowledge of the current practices and critical debates concerning contemporary interior design;
  • Articulate and apply the ideas of a range of key critical and theoretical positions in relation to the production, consumption and mediation of interior design;
  • Present an informed and creative engagement with the ways interior design research can be approached methodologically;
  • Demonstrate a reflective, critical and creative engagement with interior design through visual, material and textual examples; 
  • Articulate their own experiences as designers and researchers in relation to historical and contemporary concerns, and locate their own research practice and personal interests in a self-directed chosen area and identify personal research objectives and key resources.

Curriculum content

Subjects may include:

  • Non-physical definitions of the interior
  • Installation practice and temporary design
  • Urban interiority
  • Atmosphere and atmospherics
  • Theories of surface and surface effects
  • Domesticity and interiority
  • Spatial questions of collecting and curating
  • Literary evocations of the interior
  • Boundaries and spatial control
  • Environmental control and technologies of life support

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will integrate subject content and research practice, methods and skills through lectures, seminars tutorials, screenings and visits. Hands-on workshop seminars enable the application of research skills to explore a range of current issues affecting research and practice in interior design. As well as formal teaching sessions, the module involves study groups as integral to learning and teaching. These small student-led groups meet regularly, usually on the module teaching day. They offer a peer-group learning environment, enabling students to interact more informally with each other, and aid in each other's developing understanding of and relation to the module. They also allow students to complete specific tasks such as preparing readings, organising a presentation or going on a visit in preparation for in-class activities and assessments. 

The module will make use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Canvas for communication and dissemination of information between students and staff as well as making online learning materials available to all. Students should check this site on a daily basis for module information, timetables, sign-ups, updates and additional information and teaching materials.

All courses based in the Kingston School of Art offer students free access to the online video tutorial platform Lynda.com. This provides a wide range of subjects to choose from, many with downloadable exercise files, including software tutorials covering photography, graphics, web design, audio and music, CAD and Microsoft Office software, as well as courses on Business and Management skills. Some of these are embedded in the curriculum and offer additional self-paced learning, others may be taken at will by students wishing to broaden their employability skills in other areas.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures, seminars, workshops, visits and tutorials Study groups 44 44
Guided independent study 212
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module is by written Essay (2,500 words) responding to a brief but developed in relation to students' individual research area of interest, and Research Portfolio (including some or all of the following: exhibition review, textual and visual analyses, critical writing, and dissertation proposal, as well as lecture notes and independent research).

The Essay responds to themes introduced in lectured content and developed via workshops. Formative feedback will assist students in identifying an area of research to be developed in their Research Portfolio. Formative feedback on a range of tasks in workshops will feed into the development of the final element, a dissertation proposal.

Essay (2,500 words)               50%

Research Portfolio                  50%

BA Art and Design History & Practice students only:

BA Art and Design History and Practice students will submit a 2500 word Essay (50%) and a Research Portfolio (50%).  In the first part of this module students will produce an essay which responds to a set question relating to the issues, debates and themes explored during the course and developed through students' own disciplinary interests. The Research Portfolio is the repository for each student's response to set tasks, exercises and self-initiated research. This will include a range of tasks such as image and object analyses, an exhibition review and a photo essay.

The Research Portfolio will include either a Dissertation Proposal or a Critical Reflection (both approximately 1200 words). Only one of these forms of assessment can be submitted per HA51.. module, and each can only be submitted once across both modules. The Dissertation proposal will serve to identify and locate an area of individual research related to the student's design practice and map out aims, objectives and resources to be investigated in future study at Level 6. The Critical Reflection allows students to reflect on the hybridity of their course, to evaluate the similarities and differences in methods and ideas encountered across the Level 5 modules and to consider the influence that this cross disciplinary learning may have had on their research interests as they prepare to progress to Level 6. 

Incoming Erasmus students only:

Erasmus students studying for 1 year will submit a 2500 word Essay (50%) and a Research Portfolio (50%).  In the first part of this module students will produce an essay which responds to a set question relating to the issues, debates and themes explored during the course and developed through students' own disciplinary interests. The Research Portfolio is the repository for each student's response to set tasks, exercises and self-initiated research. This will include a range of tasks such as image and object analyses, an exhibition review and a photo essay.

Erasmus students studying for one teaching block (TB1 or TB2) will have an option of submitting either the 2500 Essay or the Research Portfolio.  The Research Portfolio will include a range of tasks such as image and object analyses, an exhibition review and photo essay.  This will need to be discussed and agreed with the student's Personal Tutor or Course Leader.

Feedback and feed forward will be provided for elements of the research portfolio, as these are initiated as part of scheduled teaching activities.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Identify, describe and analyse issues affecting the current practice, display and critical framing of contemporary art; Essay (2,500 words) Research Portfolio
2) Articulate and apply the ideas of a range of key critical and theoretical positions in relation to the production, reception, display and interpretation of art; Essay (2,500 words) Research Portfolio
3) Present an informed creative engagement with the ways research into Fine Art can be approached methodologically; Essay (2,500 words) Research Portfolio
4) Demonstrate a reflective, critical and creative engagement with contemporary and historical fine art practices through visual and textual examples; Essay (2,500 words) Research Portfolio
5) Articulate their own experiences as both practitioners and researchers in relation to historical and contemporary concerns; Research Portfolio
6) Locate their own research practice and personal interests in a chosen area and identify key objectives and resources for future study. Research Portfolio

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Essay Coursework 50%
Research Portfolio (including Dissertation Proposal) Coursework 50%
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any element of assessment is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Hensel, M. et. al. (2009) Space Reader: Heterogeneous Space in Architecture, Wiley

Taylor, M. & Preston, J. (2006) INTIMUS: Interior Design Theory Reader, Wiley.

Bibliography recommended reading

Abalos, I. (2001) The Good Life. A Guided Visit to the Houses of Modernity, GG.

Banham, R. (1984) The Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment, Chicago.

Benjamin, W. (1999) The Arcades Project, Harvard.

Blaisse, P. (2007) Inside Outside, NAi.

Carter, P. (2002) Repressed Spaces, Reaktion.

Clement, G. & Rahm, P. Environ(ne)ment, Skira.

Colomina, B (2007) Domesticity at War, MIT.

Colomina, B. (1996) Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media, MIT.

Crowley, J. (2001) The Invention of Comfort, Johns Hopkins.

De Monchaux, N. (2012) Spacesuit, MIT.

Fisher, F. et. al. (2011) Performance, Fashion and the Modern Interior, Berg.

Graham, D (1999). Two-way Mirror Power, MIT.

Marcus, S. (1999) Apartment Stories, California.

O'Doherty, B. (1986) Inside the White Cube, California.

Perec, G. (1997) Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, Penguin.

Perec, G. (1987) Life, A User's Manual, Harvill.

Rice, C. (2007) The Emergence of the Interior: Architecture, Modernity, Domesticity, Routledge.

Riley, T (1999) The Un-private House, MOMA.

Sparke, P. (2008) The Modern Interior, Reaktion.

Sloterdijk, P. (2011) Spheres Vol. 1: Bubbles, Semiotext(e)

Teyssot, G. (2013) A Topology of Everyday Constellations, MIT.

Vidler, A. (2000) Warped Space, MIT.

Vidler, A. (1992) The Architectural Uncanny, MIT.

Wall, A. (2005) Victor Gruen: From Urban Shop to New City, Actar.

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