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The Major Project

  • Module code: DE7302
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 60
  • Pre-requisites: DE7301
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

The Major Project - the capstone project - consolidates the knowledge gained in earlier modules and is informed and supported by prior learning within both the Design School's postgraduate interdisciplinary framework and course specific specialist study.

The purpose of this module is to enable you to relate the work of the course to a practical solution and to demonstrate skills in defining, analysing and developing a substantial solution to an individually defined design related problem. It will demonstrate both in content and form the your advanced understanding of contemporary design practice.

The research and documentation of the project is an integral part of the submission, reflecting on the process, as well as the critical analysis and methodology of the research itself, the entirety of the project will be summarised visually through the media pack. The research will be conceptually integrated within the practical work. Individual project topics are expected to be wide ranging and provide the opportunity to fully investigate a practical situation, underpinned by a critical report on the work produced. Topics must allow the opportunity to position work politically, socially and culturally and identify and apply appropriate technology as a means of delivery. Project topics must demonstrate the potential necessary to achieve the level appropriate to the learning outcomes.

Three possible forms of Major Project submission are available to you (see below):

1. The Practical Project (outcome supported by research, testing and developmental materials) 70% and The Project Report (3-5,000 words) (25%), a Media Pack, to be submitted digitally, summarising all work (5%)

2. The Thesis (12-15,000 words) 95%. a Media Pack, to be submitted digitally, summarising all work (5%)

3. The Design Management Project Report (10,000 words) 95%, a Media Pack to be submitted digitally, summarising all work (5%)

These three options are available to all students studying on the courses within the Design School Postgraduate Framework. You will be guided and supported in your choice of mode of Major Project by course tutors and this will be informed by individual career and personal development planning undertaken during the preparation of the Major Project Proposal in DE7301 Creative Futures.

The Media Pack will present the main body of study in an easy to read format, which can be used in exhibition, or as marketing material by both the students and presented to the University audience.

Aims

  • To engage in a sustained period of self-directed, critically-informed research and investigation.
  • To consolidate the knowledge gained in earlier modules and to demonstrate students' skills in defining, analysing and developing a substantial research programme and an effective solution to a defined communication design-related problem.
  • To produce a substantial body of self-initiated project work that demonstrates originality, critical analysis, evaluation, and academic rigour.
  • To explore and interrogate an area of design that will develop and support individual career and disciplinary interests.
  • To communicate students' work in an effective and appropriate manner that demonstrates their understanding of the professional design environment.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Evaluate contemporary discourse on design and other subjects, and critically apply theoretical knowledge to design practice
  • Demonstrate the application of design research methods in formulating concepts and ideas.
  • Originate design outcomes through the application of appropriate design ideologies, research principles and methods, materials and technology, and interventions.
  • Engage in the critical reflection of own work and in peer review related to the development and production of the major project, employing skills of evaluation, contextualization and communication.
  • Present the research process and outcomes of the Major Project with appropriate understanding and consideration of an intended audience.

Curriculum content

  • Self-directed investigation and research of Major Project theme/s and field of study, supported by tutorials, group seminars and critique.
  • Self-directed testing and production of visual outcome, supported by tutorials, group seminars and critique.
  • Self-directed study involving the critical reflection of the Major Project development and outcome, supported by tutorials, group seminars and critique.

Teaching and learning strategy

Individual project work supported by tutorials, group seminars and critique. Students will also be required to engage in a sustained period of independent and self-directed study. This will involve developing the research and methodological approach to the project as well as the testing and production of the ideas articulated in the Major Project Proposal during Creative Futures Module (DE7301) in Teaching Block Two of the course.

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 Seminar, Tutorial, Crit. 20
Guided independent study 580
Total (number of credits x 10) 600

Assessment strategy

1.    A body of practical work that fully resolves the design problem identified in the project proposal (DE7301) and that demonstrates a well-informed and advanced final outcome.

AND

       A related critical and reflective Project Report of between 3,000 and 5,000 words.

OR

2.    A Thesis between 12,000 and 15,000 words.

OR

3.    A Design Management Project Report 10,000 words

All options are accompanied by the media pack.

Formative assessment of the media pack will be provided ahead of summative assessment through a tutorial, a template will be issued to support the media pack

Interim and final formative assessment will be offered in a model which is suitable for your choice of submission, this may be by tutorial, presentation, or submission.

The practical work will be assessed against the intentions of the project as negotiated in the project proposal and its engagement with issues of context, appropriate technology and methodology.

For each element of assessment:

1.    The Major Project: Practical (70%)

       Students will be required to produce the following:

  • Final developed visual project
  • Visual Summary to include:
    • Supporting research and developmental materials
    • Evidence of visual testing and materials investigation
    • Evidence of key texts and theories employed in their work
    • The foundations for the practical Major Project
    • The definition of the field of Study
    • The development of a focused approach to the Field of Study
    • The development of a research methodology
    • The testing of ideas, materials and media
    • The relation to a wider cultural, social, technological context
    • The application of ideas and theories related to the practical Major Project
    • Critical reflection
  • AND

           The Major Project Report (25%)

    A report of 3,000 - 5,000 words, with accompanying illustrations; related visual material and annotations, bibliography and sources (Three bound copies of the report must be submitted).

           The report will cover:

    AND

           Media Pack (5%)

    OR

    2.    The Major Project: The Thesis (95%)

    This mode of the Final Major Project is intended to provide the opportunity for a substantial and extended body of writing in Thesis form (12,000- 15,000 words). This work consolidates the knowledge gained in the earlier modules, enabling students to relate the work of the course to a written solution and demonstrate their skills in defining, analysing and developing a substantial research programme and solution to a defined communication design related problem. The Thesis will demonstrate their advanced understanding of contemporary visual practice and critical thinking. Project topics are expected to be wide ranging and are an opportunity to fully investigate and apply the academic work of the course.

    Topics must allow the opportunity to position students' work politically, socially and culturally and identify and apply appropriate theory, debate and discussion - defining the project is very much part of the project itself.

    The Thesis should be exemplified by practical examples. It should set out the intentions of the project, critically reflect on issues of context, technology and methodology, analyse the results, draw conclusions and make recommendations.

    AND

           Media Pack (5%)

    OR

    3.    The Major Project: The Design Management Project Report (95%)

    A 10,000 word design management project report. This is a single body of work, documenting a real-world design research project which involves the design and delivery of a real-world design-led intervention. Projects may involve a design intervention which is ephemeral or location-specific, and as such cannot be submitted or exhibited in the same way as other physical or tangible forms of design outcome.

    AND

           Media Pack (5%)

    Media Pack (5%)

    The Media Pack will communicate the main body of work, the Media Pack can be formatted to fit each of the elements of assessment and should present a visual record of the outcomes, which reflect and summarise the entire project.  The Media Pack is to be submitted digitally. A template will be provided, however the Media Pack should retain and reflect the individual findings and signature of each project.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1. Critically apply theoretical knowledge of design and evaluate contemporary discourse on the subject. Formative: Individual presentation of project development at tutorial, seminar and critique. Summative: Evidenced in Final Project outcome, supporting Visual Summary and Project Report or Design Management Report or Thesis and Media Pack
2. Demonstrate the application of design research methods in formulating concepts and ideas. Formative: Individual presentation of project development at tutorial, seminar and critique. Summative: Evidenced in Final Project outcome, supporting Visual Summary and Project Report or Design Management Report or Thesis and Media Pack
3. Originate design propositions through the application of appropriate design ideologies, research principles, methods, materials and technology, forms, means, actions or interventions. Formative: Individual presentation of project development at tutorial, seminar and critique. Summative: Evidenced in Final Project outcome, supporting Visual Summary and Project Report or Design Management Report or Thesis and Media Pack
4. Engage in the critical reflection of own work and in peer review related to the development and production of the major project, employing skills of evaluation, contextualization and communication. Formative: Individual presentation of project development at tutorial, seminar and critique. Summative: Evidenced in Final Project outcome, supporting Visual Summary and Project Report or Design Management Report or Thesis and Media Pack
5. Disseminate the research process and outcomes of the Major Project with appropriate currency and consideration of audience. Evidenced in Final Project outcome, supporting Visual Summary and Project Report or Design Management Report or Thesis and Media Pack

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
The Major Project: Practical (70%) and The Major Project Report (25%) and a Media Pack (5%) OR Coursework Coursework 95% 5%
The Major Project: The Thesis (95%) and a Media Pack (5%) OR Coursework Coursework 95% 5%
The Major Project: The Design Management Report (95%) and a Media Pack (5%) Coursework Coursework 95% 5%
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

The key texts and reading central to each student's studies during this module will be determined in large part by the themes, field of study and focus of the project proposal and methodological approach to individual work. It is expected that the research and supporting material will demonstrate engagement with, and the application of, contextual reading as well as theoretical texts that provide the basis and a framework to the final submitted work. The related written report is expected to demonstrate the engagement with and application of contextual reading, as well as theoretical texts that provide the basis and a framework for the final submitted work.

Bibliography recommended reading

Schon, PA, (1991). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Aldershon

Frascara J, (1996) User-Centred Graphic Design, Taylor & Francis

Rose G, (2001) Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Material, London: Sage

Emmison M & Smith P, (2000) Researching the Visual: Introducing Qualitative Methods, London: Sage

Harvey C, (1996) Databases in Historical Research: Theory, Methods and Applications, London: Mac­millan

Lupton L & Abbott Miller J, (1996) Design, Writing, Research - Writing on Graphic Design, London: Phaidon

Margolin V & Buchanon R (eds.), (1995) The Idea of Design - A Design Issues Reader, MIT Press

Norman, D. (1998) The Design of Everyday Things, London : MIT Press

Noble I & Bestley R, (2011) Visual Research - an Introduction to Research Methods for Graphic Designers, Wor­thing, AVA Academia

Chick, A. & Micklethwaite, P. (2011) Design for Sus­tainable Change: How design and designers can drive the sustainability agenda. AVA Academia.

Clark, H. & Brody, D. (2009) Design Studies: A reader. Oxford: Berg.

Heskett, J. (2005) Design: A very short introduc­tion. Oxford University Press.

Lees-Maffei, G. (2011) Writing Design: Words and Objects. Berg.

Papanek, V. (1984) Design for the Real World: Human ecology and social change. 2nd edition. London: Thames and Hudson.

Potter, N. (2002) What is a Designer: Things, places, messages. 4th edition. Hyphen.

Thackara, J. (2005) In the Bubble: Designing in a complex world. MIT Press.

van Abel, B., Klaassen, R., Evers, L. & Troxler, P. ed. (2011) Open Design Now: How design can no longer be exclu­sive. Amsterdam: Book Industry Services (BIS).

Whiteley, N. (1993) Design For Society. London: Reaktion.

McDonough, W., Braungart (2002) Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. North Point Press

Fuad-Luke, A. (2005) The Eco-Design Handbook: A Complete Source­book for the Home and Office. Thames and Hudson

Lefteri, C. (2007) Materials for Inspirational Design. Rotovision

Chapman, J. (2005) Emotionally Durable Design: Objects, Experiences and Empathy. Routledge

Papanek, V. (2005) Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change. Academy Chicago Publishers

Cavanagh-Downs, G., Lewis, H., Gertsakis, J., Grant, T. (2001) Design + Environment: A Global Guide to Design­ing Greener Goods. Greenleaf

Morelli, N., Sweatman, A. (2006) Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Cen­tury. Harry N. Abrams

Mau, B. (2004) Massive Change: A Manifesto for the Future Glo­bal Design Culture. Phaidon

Bucher, S. (2011) 344 Questions: The Creative Person's Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment (Voices That Matter) Flexibound

Shea, A. (2012) Designing For Social Change: Strategies for Community-Based Graphic Design. Princetown Architecural Press

Stickdorn, M., Schneider, J.(2011) This is Service Design Thinking: Basics, Tools, Cases. BIS Publishers

Ehn,P., Binder,T., De Michelis,G. Linde,P., Jacucci,G., Wagner,I. (2011) Design Things (Design Thinking, Design Theory). MIT

Hanington, B., Martin, B. (2012) Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions. Rockport

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., Butler, J. (2010) Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design. Rockport

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