MDE 504 | Theory 1—Theory in Design Practice
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- Barth, Theodor 
This collection of elements documents an introductory course in theory at KHiO’s MA in design. In this course, the students are required to: 1) develop a reflection logbook with weekly inserts, called a Black Book; 2) a design comment developed in a media chosen by each student, based on an interview that they have done; 3) a presentation of a book, selected by each student, in which the story of the selection, the encounter with the book as an aesthetic object, mining images and text, and reaping a learning outcome is part of the assignment. The book presentations are built on the simile of opening, walking through and closing a door. The 12 flyers (2HEX) included in the upload are developed to phase in the topics programmed for the course in the context developing in the class during the course’s 10 sessions. This flyer-set feature the curriculum described in the study plan, as processed by the course with a new class each year. For this reason these flyers are never twice the same, from year to year. The course is framed by a curriculum of 4 lectures based on 4 books: one featuring a biographic project log, one ethnographic account of maker-spaces, one on AI vs. VR, one on design as programming. The book-authors are: Norman Potter, Sarah Davies, Jaron Lanier and Karl Gerstner. The notes to each lecture and the adjoined slides are included in the present documentation. The name of the course is Theory 1 | Theory in Design Practice (T1). The purpose of the course is to stir up a potential of theoretic reflection—within the practical curriculum of the MA-programme—and wake it as a “sleeping beauty”. The course is a preparation for a similar course module in the spring term called Theory 2 | Theory Development (T-2 in which the practices needed for the student move on from reflecting to developing theory are taught). This closes the theory in MA1. The students receive feedback on their Black Books in T1 (and on essays written in T2). The full cycle is concluded in the third term in the MA byTheory 3—Synthesis, in which the MA students develop their own theories. Here the aim is to hatch a new repertoire within the ideas they are developing for their final projects, based on a theoretical work that rests on its own sets of premises: a) thinking with-; b) dissenting within- and c) thinking for design. This tripartite phasing of the final theory curriculum is referred to Maria Puig de la Bella Casa’s (2017) ideas for a culture of ethics (ethos) developed in Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds. The documentation on KHiODA concludes a 4-year cycle of an MA in review.
2 Flyer-sets (2 HEX), 4 lectures w/notes