SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHK121222
Module Leader Joyce Fleming
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject SCEBE - School Office
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

M3K121273 Interior Design Project 3

Summary of Content

This module addresses the principle elements of the language of design, design ethics and philosophical aesthetics. An analysis of contemporary Aesthetics and Design will be examined through an understanding of philosophical, technological, political, environmental, cultural and social developments. Moral responsibility and Design ethics will be questioned and explored through the lens of Papenek's: Green Imperative. The visual language used by an interior designer will be examined and the concept of visual literacy reinforced through Lawson's: Language of Space. The role of Design in marketing and especially Graphic Design will be explored and developed. Research methodologies will be investigated.


Contextual analysis of contemporary design directions & theories: Aesthetics- Aesthetics as a branch of philosophy and its relationship to other branches - in particular epistemology and ethics will be examined including: Theories of Aesthetics relating back to Kant's Critique of Judgement. Art and design as Representation, Expression and Imagination. Theories of design - Form follows Function, Imagination, Zeitgeist, timeless principles of beauty. Industrial process versus Art & Craft. Ethics - Order and meaning through past solutions to future possibilities. Responsibility to our clients and profession Moral obligation - to society, and to future generations Production, transport and pollution - the dilemma for the designer as specifier. Profit - a political balance? Fashion in design, and the problem of built-in obsolescence. The Language and Grammar of Interior Design - Behavioural settings - recognition of norms and social patterns Spatial needs - stimulation security and identity The importance of Place making Proxemics - personal space and social distance Hierarchy, Scale, Rhythm, Flow, Depth, Unity, Contrast and Tension as interior design tools Graphic Design and Marketing Visual Literacy Organisation by line, colour, texture, shape and the grid Typography and fonts Semiotics - The meaning of signs and symbols The Brand Research strategies. Methodologies: Basic, Applied, Qualitative and Quantative. Ethics in research Citations and Harvard Referencing

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1.Determine how interior designers can use the grammar of space to accommodate, organise, facilitate, heighten and celebrate human behaviour. 2.Demonstrate an understanding of hierarchy, scale, rhythm, flow, tension and unity within an interior context. (A2, A3, A5, B1, B3, B8, C3, D3, D4)3.Justify the responsibility of the professional designer to contribute towards a better quality of life, and commit to one or more of the philosophical positions studied. (A1, A2, A3, A5, B8, D4, D5)4.Distinguish the issues and developments that affect contemporary design directions. (A1, A2, A3, B3, B7, B8, C3, D3)5.Exhibit understanding of marketing and the use of graphics as a design tool. (A3, B1, B2, B4, B6, C3, C5, D1, D2, D4, D9, D12)6.Demonstrate an understanding of the variable methods of research and analysis within an organisational context. (B3, B5, B7, C5, D3, D4, D6, D7, D8, D10, D14)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Learning and teaching strategies will be developed and implemented, appropriate to students' needs and the context of their self-selected design project, to enable all students to participate fully in the module. A series of illustrated lectures - slides/videos/3D visual aids - will expand on topics outlined in the summary. Thereafter group discussions and debates will be initiated. Research will be through a recommended reading list, and highlighted texts. A design research document outlining the proposed self-selected interior design project that will be implemented in Design Projects 5 and 6 will be produced. It will include research on a contemporary design issue, or one area of design process. A group marketing and design proposal will be presented for the degree show. Design team meetings, with agendas and minutes of progress of work, will be used to facilitate the design process.

Indicative Reading

Bachelard, G. (1992). The Poetics of Space, Boston, Beacon Press. Berger, J. (2008). Ways of Seeing, Penguin Classics Borden, I and Rfcedi, K. (2005). The Dissertation: an Architecture Student's Handbook, Architectural Press, revised edition. * Conran, T. (1996). On Design. London, Conran Octopus. Fletcher, A. (2001). The Art of Looking Sideways, London, Phaidon Press Ltd. Flusser, V. (1999). The Shape of Things, London, Reaktion Books. Fox, W. (2000 ed) Ethics and the Built Environment, London, Routledge Frampton A. (1998), Technology Place and Architecture, New York, Rizzoli Klien, N. (2000). No Logo, London, Harper Collins Lawson, B. (2001). The Language of Space, Oxford, Architectural Press.* Papanek, Victor (1971). Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change, New York, Pantheon Books. Papanek, Victor (1995). The Green Imperative: Ecology and Ethics, New York, Thames and Hudson. * Townsend D. (1997) An Introduction to Aesthetics, London, Blackwell.* ( * = essential)+

Transferrable Skills

-851 D1 An ability to use creative and innovative approaches to problem solving. -851 D2 An ability to self learn, manage, and produce work on time on an individual basis and to work effectively in groups. D3 An ability to undertake independent research and to develop criteria for self assessment. D4 An ability to present ideas, debate, and to be aware of, listen to, and be sensitive to the value of opinions, particularly clients. D5 An understanding of the importance of design endeavour in contributing to the quality of life. D6 The appropriate knowledge and use of general IT skills. D7 Independent working. D8 Planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating own learning and development. D9 Self-marketing marketing/presentation skills. D10 Information retrieval skills. D13 IT Skills (including GCU Certificate in Basic ICT Competency). D14 Communication skills, written, oral and listening

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 120.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Lectures (FT) 20.00
Seminars (FT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework n/a 20.00 n/a Coursework 4 - Pitch, as a group, outline design and marketing proposals for the Degree Show to staff or sponsors.
Coursework n/a 40.00 n/a Coursework 1 - Design Research Document on self-selected interior Design Project (2000 words).
Coursework n/a 30.00 n/a Coursework 2 - Essay on self-selected contextual design topic/s (1500 words).
Coursework n/a 10.00 n/a Coursework 3 - Present, advocate and justify the commitment to a particular philosophy of design, aesthetic discourse or view of technology (500 words).