module specification

DN5007 - Making Matters (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Making Matters
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
180 hours Guided independent study
120 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 40%   Research Presentation
Coursework 60%   Research Book
Running in 2018/19

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

Consumers today, demand products with superior ethical and environmental values and will do so increasingly in the future, as our shared environment becomes more stressed. Corporate ethical and environmental requirements mirror this, often in response to governmental legislation. There is a need for intelligent and sustainable exploitation of finite materials and processes. Professional ethics, social enterprise and entrepreneurial strategies produce creative solutions.

This module enables you to bring together your knowledge and experience of material and making to achieve investigation, invention and discovery. Taking material and the processes, techniques, and tools or equipment through which it is manipulated as your starting point, you study how craft, design, science, technology, manufacturing and engineering debate the benefits of traditional, rediscovered, new and emerging material and process technologies in relation to real-world needs. You will research ‘in action’, seeking solutions to the unexpected possibilities and meanings revealed by experimentation.

The module introduces specialist methods, terms and techniques that are used to commission, specify and evaluate making.  It examines how and why regulatory, professional and ethical standards are developed as well as the remit for research and experimentation. The module further expands the knowledge of materials, production, consumer standards and professional requirements, with particular attention given to longevity and sustainability underpinning ethical values and responsibilities relevant to the design of fashion, textiles, jewellery, furniture and/or product. 

During the module, you will practice and develop your understanding of professional dissemination. The moment of submission also provides critical debate and reception, commercial response, and career development. Very often, a designer will have to convince potential clients of the merits of their proposal without the benefit of a market-ready model, making convincing presentation a vital tool to securing the next stage. You will research and develop your discipline’s professional requirements for public/ commercial reception.

Developing skills in the use of image, text, word & object to communicate complex and conceptual/ critical thinking, you will practice codes and conventions of presentation, publication and exhibition relevant to your field. You will be expected to investigate and develop critical and aesthetic working relationships between and across your modules, fuelling your enthusiasm and individual approach to your study.

Prior learning requirements

Pass & Completion of Prior Level

Module aims

This module seeks to enable you to:

  • Establish the process of how to make well considered judgments, on the premise that relationships between making, production and distribution of products can be modeled and evaluated in a different ways.
  • Support the development of sound working practices and acquire knowledge of professional ways of working and standards required in your field, including recognition of relevant ethical, social and economic concerns
  • Identify the commercial and professional context and values through which making can be assessed
  • Research, prepare and execute image/ text/ word/ object presentations in appropriate disciplinary forms
  • Develop your repertoire of practical and conceptual skills – including vocabulary – that can keep pace with your growing knowledge of the subject and help you to realise design projects in terms of consumer/ manufacturing standards.
  • Develop social and professional skills and confidence for presentation, collaboration and decision making in individual and team working contexts


A series of lectures, seminars and workshops will develop knowledge of and a technical analysis of contemporary projects, providing a practical framework through which to evaluate discipline-specific examples.

The syllabus will also typically include initial demonstrations of industry standard methods of production, in University workshops, or hosted at external industrial facilities. The purpose of this is to bring to light opportunities for making and unexpected approaches. Using this, students will research ‘in action’, seeking unexpected possibilities revealed by the outcomes of experimentation.

Students will research and build a database of relevant, especially new and forthcoming, materials, technology and processes that will now or in the future be deployed in the design and manufacture of products.

Taught sessions will normally develop:

• analytical design thinking and subject-specific professional considerations
• methods of research, analysis and professional presentation for ‘real world’ dissemination
• planned and recorded (through detailed diary, workbook or log) research through all stages of analysis, development and proposition
• case and precedent study
• the delivery of a professionally constructed presentation utilising image/ text/ word/ object
• analysis of consumer demands and the market conditions applicable to the subject
• individual and team review of work in progress and outcomes

Learning and teaching

The module will utilise a range of learning opportunities, such as:

  • lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials

  • input from industry professionals

  • research & development field-trips

  • event presentation and preparation

  • teamwork
  • self & peer review, critique and analysis

  • career development and related individual material for personal development planning

  • opportunities for students to experiment and learn through direct experience, achieving practised understanding of discipline and context
  • use of London’s rich cultural heritage as a resource, allowing projects to take place offsite where appropriate

You will have access to regular tutor feedback within sessions and will be encouraged to use blended learning resources to maintain and share progress. Ongoing support, monitoring and guidance in seminar and workshop sessions will be available during projects.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
Employ effective methods in the research and recording of current and emerging material language in the development of a design proposal

Cognitive Intellectual Skills
Develop and apply understanding of the complex and dynamic relationships involved in making, manufacturing, distribution and consumption

Transferable Skills
Discover, acquire and apply professional ways of working in respect of research, information gathering, communication and presentation, evidencing knowledge of discipline-specific standards, ethics and requirements

Subject Specific Practical Skills
Employ effectively different techniques and media to research, debate and communicate complex ethical/ commercial relationships in order to examine, analyse, explain, compare, and evaluate particular solutions to design problems

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed through the submission of your research book and research presentation;

Your Research Book is a collated document demonstrating an organised knowledge and understanding of the core syllabus areas. The Research Book documents each student’s participation in the core lectures and workshops and consists of text, photographs (scanned, labelled and annotated), sketches, diagrams, production drawings and a set of references for all texts consulted.

Your Research Presentation will include a verbal/ visual presentation (which presents and debates your analysis of making and the related ethical/ professional standards) and contribution to an end of year show. This submission will include documentation and evidence of presentational research and testing (within normal professional conventions), exploring poster presentation, event promotional information and exhibition/ trade fair approaches alongside event participation.

The work will be assessed in relation to:

• The quality of production analysis, thinking and development in relation to your discipline
• The graphic quality and clarity of the Research Book submission
• The quality of communication and dissemination methods used within the Research Presentation

You will present a coherent, verbal, visual, object and text-based summary of your research development, process, concepts and findings, together with individual critical evaluation of relative successes and failures, debated with others.

Interim work in progress will be formatively assessed and feedback provided throughout the project. Satisfactory engagement in relevant workshop activities, events and continuing independent practice (and associated health and safety procedures) will also be monitored throughout. Specific module requirements will be detailed in the module guide. Students must attend all timetabled taught studio and/or workshop sessions.


Burden, E (1992) Design Presentation, New York: McGraw-Hill
Charny, D. (2011) Power of Making: The Case for Making and Skills, V&A Publishing, London
Dodge, C et al, (2000) The Crit, London, Architectural Press
Hamilton, C. (2005) Afluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough, Allen and Unwin, London
Peters, T. (2011). Experimental Green Strategies: Redefining Ecological Design Research - Architectural Design. London: John Wiley & Sons.
Solomon M.R. & Rabolt N.J. (2003) Consumer Behaviour: In Fashion, Prentice Hall
Thompson, R. (2007) Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals, Thames and Hudson, New York.
Weidemann J. And Dalcacio R. (2010) Product Design in the Sustainable Era, Taschen, Koln.