Course Overview

DHE52001 Design Practice Theory and Methodology | graduate

Students explore the theories and methodologies that inform contemporary design practice. Through this exploration the course aims to provide students with a theoretical foundation to underpin a more informed understanding of the practice and activity of design. What is design practice? How do designerly ways of knowing, thinking and acting differ from that of the arts and sciences?


Course objectives

  • Gain understanding of some of the key theories and constructs that inform a contemporary understanding of design as a human activity.

  • To critically apply understanding to a course project that clearly articulates and extends a key concept and/or theoretical position.

  • Aquasition of qualitative research methods (instruments, process, data-handeling & ananlysis).


Teaching approach

The course commences by providing students with a theoretical foundation to underpin an investigation of design practice. Previous design research related to understanding the practice of design is explored and critically considered (Aims, theory, methods, outcomes). Students are then introduced to qualitative research methods to provide them with a means to explore their own design practices and/or that of others.

Student outcomes

Through a terminal course report and presentation, students communicate the findings and insights of their course project, with particular reference to relation with existing work (position, scope, implications).

Course Outcomes

Kim, S.*, Jung, S & Self, J (2013) Investigating Design Representation: Implications for an Understanding of Design Practice. In proceedings of iasdr2013, Tokyo, Japan. ARTICLE