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Edinburgh College of Art

Course name : BA (Hons) Product Design / MFA Product Design / MSc MA Design Informatics
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Design is changing. Increasingly accessible technologies and manufacturing systems have challenged product designers to move beyond roles as mediators of production and consumption. Internet-connected devices are extending their influence into realms of data, connectivity and surveillance. Digital fabrication and information technologies are enabling new ways of engaging with materials. Social and environmental concerns are escalated priorities, encouraging reflection on social, cultural, and economic practices ........................... Our Product Design BA (Hons) undergraduates have demonstrated that designers can look critically at the role of artefacts and systems within this complexity. Their projects range from explorations of traditional materials and cultures, to attempts to reimagine applications of technology that challenge our interactions with domestic artefacts, augment visions of the cosmos, and foster new relationships with our bodies. Our Product Design MFA postgraduates have examined our relationships between culture and food; and ways mental health can be supported through sensory engagements using light, smell, and touch, creating new experiences of space and place ........................... Our Design Informatics MSc and MA postgraduates reflected on relationships between data and social and biological systems. From analysis of tweets on Brexit to data gathering on bodily imprints and new interfaces between robotics, fungi and synthetic biology, the work of Design Informatics students combine data science with design thinking in a context of critical enquiry and speculation ........................... With prevalent awareness of the social and natural impact of products in the world, designers are looking for ways to sustain economic growth and create value beyond old capitalist paradigms. The University of Edinburgh graduates show that value can be created by promoting new experiences, reflection, and closer connection with materials. We applaud the 2018 graduates, as a new generation of designers who are ready to contribute their skills to a changing world, for the better.

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