Ideation and Design

Module code: CO1113

The module has three components: a Makerspace; a series of lectures and/or seminars; guided independent study.

The Makerspace is a collaborative work space for exploring and making with a range of accessible technologies. These might include small devices such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino or Makeymakey or larger equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, computer-controlled machine tools, and so on. The Makerspace will introduce you to basic electronics, robotics, and coding, through hands-on learning. The general approach is playful and experimental and is designed to boost self-confidence and encourage creative thinking.

Work will be undertaken both individually and in groups, giving opportunities to learn about collaboration and cooperation as well as developing an individual voice. Student voice is very important in the Makerspace and all will be encouraged to talk about their work. You will also learn how to give and receive criticism or feedback.

The lecture/seminar series complements the makerspace by providing students with a theoretical introduction to creative problem-solving and the design process. Seminars will be led by invited designers and makers. Seminars will address similar topics but more from an experiential than a theoretical perspective. The idea is that the seminars will provide you with working examples of people who engage in ideation and design, who may be interrogated for insights and perspectives.

Topics covered

  • The design process: how to build anything
  • Problem identification and creative problem-solving
  • Creative thinking (including lateral, convergent and divergent thinking)
  • Creative techniques such as visualisation, attribute listing, mind mapping, metaphorical thinking, bisociation, forced relationships, free association, stream of consciousness, idea incubation
  • Serious play
  • Algorithms and algorithmic thinking
  • Constraints and randomness
  • The ‘fuzzy front-end’ of design
  • Rapid prototyping
  • User-centred design

Learning

  • 11 hours of lectures
  • 11 hours of seminars
  • 22 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 106 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Reports (20%)
  • Concept map (40%)
  • Final report (40%)