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Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2018/2019
Tipo incarico Dottorato
Insegnamento 053522 - DESIGN RESEARCH CRITIQUE
Docente Sangiorgi Daniela
Cfu 5.00 Tipo insegnamento Monodisciplinare

Corso di Dottorato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Insegnamento

Programma dettagliato e risultati di apprendimento attesi

Design research critique

Teachers: Prof.sa Daniela Sangiorgi, Prof.sa Elena Caratti, Prof.sa Agnese Rebaglio

The course aims to introduce PhD students to the exercise of a "critical habitus" into their design research in order to identify appropriate strategies and best practices.

Inside the course we will reflect on the notion of “criticism” to discuss its meaning and its aims within the design domain; we will focus also on the “act of critiquing” intended as a systematic attitude when positioning, interpreting, conceptualizing, analyzing, contextualizing, synthesizing, evaluating and communicating knowledge and research results at a PhD level.

In synthesis the learning objectives are:

-       Learn and apply critical reflection (intellectual critique) to their own research topic;

-       Position and relate their own theme and research questions within the relevant scientific communities, contemporary debates and critical issues;

-       Elaborate, propose and argument relevant themes for the future of design research;

-       Learn and apply the formats and tools for the organisation of scientific events and conversations;

-       Develop the ability to decline, elaborate and discuss their own research themes within specific communities and for meaningful outcomes.

The course will be articulated in three main parts, following the three years of the PhD study:

  1. Participate (1st year): students will attend an introductory session to the course and a palinsesto of design seminars together with the final PhD Design Festival. They will be supported in starting to critically position their research aim and questions in relation to the relevant scientific communities;
  2. Organise (2nd year): students will attend an introductory session to the formats and modes of scientific dissemination; they will organise a palinsesto of design seminars with invited guests (Italian and foreign) starting from a given theme and list of experts. They will support the elaboration of the yearly Design Research Critique “Quaderno”;
  3. Discuss (3rd year): students will participate as speakers to the PhD Festival declining their own research to the transversal theme and support the organization of the PhD Festival itself.



Participate (1st year)

Introductory session on the course

  • Lecture on the concept of criticism and critique in the research domain.
    Criticality in Communication Design
  • Lecture on positioning and developing research questions for the PhD

Participate to Review sessions

Deliver: positioning map as integration of their first year research plan

Organise (2nd year)

Introduction to the yearly theme and format for seminars

  • Lecture on formats and processes for scientific events and conversations
  • Lecture on the yearly seminars theme

Participate to Review sessions

Deliver: 3 seminars (March - June 2019)

Discuss (3rd year)

Introduction of the PhD Festival format and theme

Support PhD Festival organisation

Decline and discuss the research themes

Participate to Review sessions

Output: Individual presentations to the PhD Design Festival



A.A.V.V., (2009). MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (seventh edition), The Modern Language Association of America.

Bardzell, J., & Bardzell, S. (2013). What is "critical" about critical design? Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI '13. https://doi.org/10.1145/2470654.2466451

Cañas, A. J., Novak, J. D., González, F. M. (2004). Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the First Int. Conference on Concept Mapping, Pamplona, Spain.

Cometa, M., Mignano, V., (2014). Critica/crisi. Una questione degli studi culturali, Quodlibet.

Dunne, A. and Raby, F. (2009). Interpretation, collaboration, and critique: Interview with Dunne and Raby. http://www.dunneandraby.co.uk/content/bydandr/465/0

Gray, C. & Malins, J. (2004). Visualizing Research. A Guide to the Research Process in Art and Design, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited

Hart, C. (1998). Doing a literature review. Releasing the social science Imagination, London: SAGE Publications 

Kompridis, N. (2006). Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future (Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought) (posizioni nel Kindle 3-5). The MIT Press. Edizione Kindle.

Note Sulla Modalità di valutazione

Expected Output 

Positioning Map (first year)

1st year PhD students will have to develop a positioning map of their own research topic and present it back to the class.

3 seminars (second year)

2nd year PhD students will be given a brief and a format to plan and coordinate 3 scientific seminars, to be hosted between March and June 2019. Each seminar will have 2 guest speakers (1 Italian and 1 international) and 1 internal facilitator. 

Individual presentations at the Design Festival (third year)

3rd year students will have to decline their research topic and work to the transversal theme of the PhD Design Festival, participating to the event as speakers.



The final evaluation will be based on the 3-years’ work and will be formalised after the closure of the PhD Design Festival for the students of the last year.

The criteria for the evaluation are the following:

  • Enquiry and use of sources
  • Ability to interpret, synthesise and map the information
  • Critical positioning of research aim and questions
  • Coherent and effective content visualisation
  • Active participation to seminar planning and debate
  • Ability to decline and argument their own research work
  • Quality of oral communication

Intervallo di svolgimento dell'attività didattica
Data inizio
Data termine

Calendario testuale dell'attività didattica

The course is based on intro lectures and reviews as by the following calendar. Classrooms will be comunicated.

21/11/2018 - h 14.15 - 16.15

Course Intro & Launch (1st year and 2nd year students)

22/11/2018- h 14.15 - 16.15

Seminars Intro (2nd year students)

13/12/2018- h 9.30 - 12.30

Review seminars (2nd year students)

17/01/2019- h 9.30 - 12.30

Review seminars (2nd year students)

24/01/2019- h 9.30 - 12.30

Review positioning map (1st year and 2nd year students)

27/02/2019- h 9.30 - 12.30

Review seminars (2nd year students)

13/03/2019- h 9.30 - 12.30

Review positioning map (1st year and 2nd year students)

15/05/2019- h 9.30 - 12.30

Review positioning map (1st year and 2nd year students)


Software utilizzato
Nessun software richiesto

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese

Note Docente
schedaincarico v. 1.6.8 / 1.6.8
Area Servizi ICT