Design Theory and Methodology
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Disaini teooria ja metoodika
Course title in English
Design Theory and Methodology
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
David Jose Ribeiro Lamas (inglise keel) tavaline kursus
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
The aim of this course is to introduce different theoretical frameworks and methodologies of the design discipline.
Lectures, discussions and assignments help the students to develop the ability to think critically about the design discourse and design process and thus to improve their own design methodologies.
Brief description of the course
1. 'Defining Design' provides an overview of different approaches to defining and describing design discipline. Historical overview of the development of design theory. Lecture and discussion.
2. 'Design Process, Methods and Tools' looks at the historical development of design methodology. We also address fundamental questions about design methodology: What is the use of methods? What is the value of methods? Lecture and discussion. Analysing exercise. Students' presentations;
3. 'Design Methodologies' introduces the core of different contemporary methodologies like user-centred design, inclusive design, social design, systems oriented design etc. It analyses designing as complex problem solving; requirements of coping with complex problems and limitations of human information processing will be discussed.
4. 'Design management' introduces design in business and public sector. Focusses on leading design projects and composing design briefs. Discusses about design in policies and strategies. Lecture and discussion; students' presentations.
5. 'Design research' focuses on different design research methodologies, incl philosophies, methods and tools.
Independent work
Independent workload:
1. Design methods – description and analyse
2. Blueprint & GIGA-mapping
3. A presentation based on a given theoretical text
4. Written essay
Exact instructions will be given during the course.
Learning outcomes in the course
The student knows / can / is able to:
- outline the history and development of the subject of Design Theory and Methodology.
- discuss Design Theory and Methodology as a framework for analysing, understanding and explaining designing as human activity.
- explain the difference between methodologies, theories, and practice of designing and to think critically about the value of all three.
- reflect consciously and critically on their own personal methods of designing.
Assessment methods
The final grade is determined by Assignment 1 (weight: 15%) + Assignment 2 (weight: 15%) + Assignment 3 (weight: 15%) + written exam (weight: 55%).
Participants are expected to prepare for classes by undertaking the assigned, readings etc. The quality of class participation and group interaction will be used as a supplementary input to the grading process.
Prerequisite for the grade is participation in 75% of classes and concluding required assignments.
David Lamas
Study literature
Will be given during the course.
Additional information
Prerequisite for the grade is participation in 75% of classes and concluding required assignments.
Replacement literature
To be discussed with the teacher. It is not possible to pass the course only on the base of the replacement literature.