DE5009 - Professional Design Practice

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn to tackle sophisticated and stimulating design projects, further developing your skills and abilities as an aspiring professional designer. You will be encouraged to further develop a flexible and imaginative enquiry-based approach to design projects. You will become an active participant, integrating your design practice with distinguishable practical and intellectual skills.

A framework of design competitions and/or live, industry-facing collaborative projects will provide you with the opportunity to refine your specialist skills, professional qualities, enterprise and entrepreneurial capabilities through real-life scenarios – providing an authentic and professional learning experience. A range of projects will be available in order for you to develop you own specialised practice in the design of products, services and experiences.

You will continue to further develop your design communication and visual thinking skills in the production of a creative process journal, capturing a range of design development work produced in the pursuit of your design projects. The ability to think and explore visually in two-dimensions remains a crucial skill for designers and one that is highly sought-after by employers. Visual thinking and design communication facilitates effective discussion, idea generation and feedback.

You will be given the opportunity to engage and deliver in professional design presentations, developing your verbal and visual communication skill of complex design solutions either individually or as part of a creative group to tutors, peers and, when possible, stakeholders. An essential skill to successfully communicate solutions, ideas or concepts at any level.

How will I learn on this module?

The studio and workshop environment is integral to this process, encouraging individual intellectual freedom and a creative collaborative community. Hands-on participation and the exploration of physical and/or digital skills, materials and processes enables you to display evidence of creative thinking through the exploration and communication of a concept/artefact that has a purposeful outcome. Alongside attendance in the studio, you are likely to receive support and guidance through online platforms.

This type of experiential activity engages you in self-initiated research, encouraging independent judgement and critical self-awareness.
Working as an individual and/or in groups, you learn to be flexible and collaborative, to identify and redefine problems in a creative way and focus on solutions that are both relevant and empathetic. Traditional, new and emerging techniques are used both in the delivery and realisation of outcomes, and you will learn to present your work and ideas to a variety of audiences in different situations.

You will produce a visual design process sketchbook as you work, capturing a range of design development work created in the pursuit of your design projects. This may contain, but not be limited to, some/all of the following; sketches of products, form exploration, design details, construction ideas, research insights, customer journey maps, experience flows, service wireframes and others. Visual thinking and communication facilitates effective discussion, idea generation and feedback.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

All projects begin with a briefing to explain the context, aims and expectations of the work, often with external stakeholders involved to give real-life insights into the project where appropriate/possible. Initial sessions will expand the problem space to identify possible approaches or opportunities for design research and exploration.

You will be encouraged and supported to have the confidence to engage in discussion and constructive critique of your own and others work in a safe environment throughout the project.

Regular contact with tutors and peers, whether in person or via online platforms, will give you formative feedback and advice about your practice. You will be expected to show a greater degree of independence, professionalism and autonomy in the pursuit of your work, both as an individual and when working with others.

Tutors and other staff will be aligned to support specific projects (e.g. product, service or experience) as well as technical resources that are relevant to exploration and realisation of design outcomes. Guidance sessions with specific tutors are scheduled to support and review progress of work on all modules.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
MK5.7 – Demonstrate an understanding of design research methods by selecting and applying appropriate practices to gain a thorough understanding of the issues and opportunities surrounding a set brief.

MK5.8 - Evidence how your project is informed by, and responds to, wider issues such as cultural, aesthetic, technical and commercial contexts.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MI5.7 - Show a process of creative experimentation, iteration and on-going evaluation in order to develop and refine your design propositions.

MI5.8 – Through a process of prototyping, demonstrate proficiency and care in the realisation of design outputs.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MP5.8 - Demonstrate resourcefulness, independence and curiosity to arrive at final outcomes that are well-resolved.

MP5.9 - Using a range of media, show a developing ability to articulate the values, ideas and reasoning that inform your design practice.

How will I be assessed?

Regular contact with tutors will provide formal and informal formative assessment feedback and advice about your work, based upon a schedule of interim reviews.

Formal formative assessment;

Projects undertaken with external stakeholders will normally culminate in the presentation of design proposals in physical and/or digital form. Students may be asked to present their work verbally to an audience of peers, tutors and stakeholders.

Competition projects will be assessed by the review of visual and other material requested in the specific design brief, such projects may not always be presented to others.

A continuing visual development sketchbook will serve as a useful resource for feedback and help you to document your developing design processes.

Summative Assessment;

Students will be given one or more project assignments over the course of the module. For each, assignment, students will be assessed against the module outcomes and criteria set out in the design brief. The aggregate of the marks for the projects (weighted to reflect the duration of the individual projects) will form 80% of the overall mark for this module.


Additionally, you will submit a Creative Process Journal of visual design concept exploration and development capturing your design and development process in relation to all the projects set under this module. This will form 20% of the final marks for the module.

Pre-requisite(s)

Level 4 Modules
Level 5 Modules (DE5006, DE5007, DE5008 or AD5007)

Co-requisite(s)

DE5010 – Professional Design Context

Module abstract

You will learn to tackle sophisticated design projects, further developing your skills and abilities as an aspiring professional designer. You will be encouraged to further develop a flexible and imaginative enquiry-based approach to design projects. You will become an active participant, integrating your design practice with distinguishable practical and intellectual skills.

A range of design competitions and industry-facing collaborative projects will provide you with the opportunity to hone your specialist skills, professional, enterprise and entrepreneurial capabilities through real-life scenarios – providing an authentic learning experience. A range of projects will be available in order for you to develop your own specialised practice in the design of products, services and experiences.

Course info

UCAS Code W240

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021 or September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of online and face to face teaching due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Students will be required to attend campus as far as restrictions allow. Contact time will increase as restrictions ease, or decrease, potentially to a full online offer, should restrictions increase.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

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