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DI105-15 Visual Practice and Curiosity

Design Studies
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Adela Glyn-Davies
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

In this module students will engage in a diverse array of visual explorations to further their understanding and capabilities in visual communication, research and proposal. As part of this, we will be exploring visual hierarchies and principles in Graphic Design and Interactive Design, engage in explicating and contextualising branding and its purpose as well as explore different methods and techniques in developing cohesive visual explorations and professional standard proposals.
This module is practice-based and student will be engaging in developing their visual language as a response to multiple contextual and industry-driven prompts. The aim of this module is to challenge students' creative visual skillsets and develop them to further their own practices to generate appropriate, professional graphic visualisations for their projects and deliver high quality portfolios and design pitches. This is a studio module and will be delivered in a classic design studio environment, with support from specialist workshops (fabrication, wood, metal, acrylic, print). Students will be learning about and testing diffrent applied methods to visual research and the production of graphic identities.
As part of the delivery, students will be engaging in design crits and learning how to navigate a designerly discourse towards supportive communities of practice. Students will undertake a journey of unlearning and experimentation with the goal of initiating interests i specialist practices in their design methodologies.

Module aims

The aims of the module are to introduce students to visual research and making methods commonly found in Graphic and Interactive design to support their learning journeys towards build a professional and academic design skillset ad mindset. Furthermore, this module aims to develop students' capabilities in visual reasoning, compositing, curating and rendering to support their further practice and prepare them for a specialisation process starting on L5.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Week 1- This week students will be exploring visual design principles and undertaking research into Graphic Design methods to start investigating their design voice, identity and ethos.
Week 2 - This week is a continuation of the previous week and will continue to introduce students to diffrent making practices and their applicability to visual rendering of their emerging design identities. In this workshops students will begin to design their own design system and briefed into their main project - their Design Manifesto.
Week 3 - This week we are undertaking our first progress CRIT and student will be introduces to the key principles of partaking, facilitation and leading a design CRIT. The aim of the session is for students to learn about empathy and compassion in the designerly discourse and how to build on their negotiation and pitching skills.
Week 4 - This week student are undertaking a studio making session where they are visually responding to prompts about their visual identity, brand and ethos. As part of this session student will be discussing paradigms of Dieter Ram's principles of good and poor design to prepare them for their manifesto process.
Week 5-8 - These weeks continues with a studio CRIT sessions, enabling students to analyse their progress to date and undertake student and facilitator- led CRITS. This session presents a stepping stone towards students preparing for the end of module showcase and will cover an introduction to curating.
Week 9 - This week is the provisional pitch and CRIT prior to the showcase, presentation and final submission in the following week.
Week 10 - Showcase, presentation of manifesto and live submission.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • To demonstrate an understanding of visual languages, their processes and use in creative and professional practices.
  • To develop essential skills in Graphic Design and visual compositing.
  • To develop design CRIT skills.
  • To visually articulate design principles and demonstrate curiosity in their exploration.
Indicative reading list

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Research element

Student will be undertaking auto-ethnographic explorations of their personal practice and methodologies which will equip them to write and disseminate their own Design Manifesto.


This is a pluralist and holistic exploration of essential visual communication principles in Graphic and Interactive Design.


Our content is strongly developed with an EDIAB ethos to promote global practitioners, authors and contributors to present a diverse and rich overview of practice and methodologies in visual practices.

Subject specific skills

Visual research methods.
Essentials of Graphic Design and interactive Design Practice (Analogue and Digital).
Essentials of fabrication (wood, metal, 3D printing, laser-cutting, printmaking and printing).
Design ethics and ethos.
Graphic visual identity.
Design CRIT.
Networked leadership.
Professional and creative Pitch.
Visual storytelling.

Transferable skills

Visual research methods.
Design ethics and ethos.
Networked leadership.
Professional and creative pitch.
Visual storytelling.
Empathetic and compassionate feedback.
Co-design and Participatory practice.

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 6 sessions of 1 hour (4%)
Tutorials 8 sessions of 30 minutes (3%)
Practical classes 5 sessions of 30 minutes (1%)
Fieldwork 5 sessions of 30 minutes (1%)
Private study 55 hours (37%)
Assessment 80 hours (53%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Private study is linked with students process development and responses to the design briefs through asynchronous engagement.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A
Weighting Study time
Design Manifesto 40% 30 hours

This Design Manifesto will visually and textually capture and present students ethical considerations and stance on Design practice considering responsive practices and global sustainability goals.

Visual Identity 40% 30 hours

This part of the assessment is going to demonstrate students developed visual identities which resulted as a response to their auto-ethnographies and critical reflections on design ethics, politics and responsibility.

Sketchbook - Archive of Tests 20% 20 hours

This part of the assignments captures the process of students explorative stages and is as part of the assessment used to determine students' development in standardised, prescribed and inventive methods to visual exploration.

Feedback on assessment

Live feedback and written rubric.

There is currently no information about the courses for which this module is core or optional.