MTech production log – part-time studies (link)

MTech production log – full-time studies

All your work tasks are announced in these logs. The one below is for full-time studies. Each week there will be specified deliveries for the three activities: design project, reflection and critique. If you click on subscribe below you can direct these messages to your email.

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Interaction Design MTech program

Learning goals and structure

The program focuses on learning interaction design and design-oriented research, resulting in publishable research results. The pedagogical model is based on studio work with design projects, some of them in multi-disciplinary groups, combined with reflecting on results to articulate new knowledge. The program is divided into two phases: Exploration phase, where you extend your design skills and learn basic interaction design by doing a series of design projects in different application areas, and Fruition phase where you set up a design-oriented research project in an area of your choice.


Learning activities

In the exploration phase, which covers terms 1 and 2 in the full-time version of the program, learning activities are structured according to a fixed weekly schedule that incorporates three parallel learning activities: design project, knowledge production and interaction criticism.

Design project

You are expected to put about half of your time each week into the current design project. Design projects may be set up as group projects or individual projects. For each week you set up goals and work tasks in dialogue with your supervisors. In the case of group projects, you distribute tasks within the team.

Knowledge production

You are expected to put about a quarter of your time each week into reflecting on knowledge production of two kinds: knowledge production in projects from the research community, and knowledge production in your own projects.

Knowledge production is a core activity in the program, since your ability to consciously direct the design process to produce knowledge will develop yourself as a designer, and enable you to share valuable knowledge within your employer’s organisation as well as within the research community.

Each week we will read selected academic articles from the interaction design research community and analyze them in terms of academic knowledge delivery. Reading and reflecting on articles has a dual purpose: (1) to extend your academic knowledge in the field; and (2) to develop your understanding of academic knowledge production.

Each week you will also reflect on your design activities and articulate what new knowledge you have gained from those activities in terms of (a) knowledge that may be applied within the project, i.e. fed back into the design process; and (b) knowledge that may be applied beyond the project, i.e. the budding fruits of your academic knowledge production that you may share with other practitioners and researchers (see also the pedagogical model). To keep a log of your knowledge production, you will update a knowledge production diagram each week.

Interaction criticism

You are expected to put about a quarter of your time each week into interaction criticism. Interaction designs are cultural artifacts and, in terms of sharing understanding and knowledge within the field of interaction design, the critic and criticism has an important role of making sense of these cultural artifacts in relation to the world around us. In the words of Jeffrey Bardzell who have written a lot about interaction criticism:

“Critics make sense of cultural artifacts in part by thinking deeply through associations, that is, what a particular interactive artifact can be connected to. ... Critics cultivate these associations in profound, reflective, personal, and intimate ways as a means to develop deep, subjective understandings of phenomena.”

(Bardzell, J. Interaction Criticism: How to Do It.)

In short, analyzing the artifacts produced by interaction design helps us to make sense of their role in society, and no less important, to articulate the properties and qualities that make those artifacts meaningful to people.

Each week we will study and review selected interaction design examples to learn about the properties and qualities that enable users to make sense of our digital artifacts and the experience of using them. We will start on a basic level, with design reviews that focus on features and use qualities, and progress towards the deeper analysis suggested by Bardzell (above).

Weekly schedule

The program runs on a fixed weekly schedule with three sessions per week. All sessions take place in the IxD Factory (second floor in Roeland street).

Full-time program

Monday 12 – 3 pm

  1. -Introduction to readings and design examples for the week.

  2. -Discussion of weekly plans for each design project.

  3. -Supervision of design projects.

Wednesday 12 – 3 pm

  1. -Supervision of design projects.

Friday 12 – 3 pm

  1. -Weekly presentation from each design project, covering goals and results, and knowledge produced.

  2. -Presentation and discussion of weekly design example.

  3. -Presentation and discussion of weekly readings.

Part-time program

Wednesday 4.30 pm – 8 pm

  1. -Design projects: weekly presentation from each design project, covering goals and results, and knowledge produced.

  2. -Design example: presentation and discussion of weekly design example.

  3. -Readings: presentation and discussion of weekly readings.

  4. -Supervision of design projects.

  5. -Planning: Introduction to readings and design examples for next week. Discussion of weekly plans for each design project.

The Faculty of Informatics and Design launched a new master’s program in Interaction Design in February 2011. The program content and structure is adapted from the influential two-year master’s program in interaction design at Malmö University, Sweden that has been running since 1998. Students are recruited across the faculty to form a multi-disciplinary environment for exploring interaction design. A BTech in design or informatics is required to enter the program, which is offered as either full-time or part-time studies.


What is required to enter the program?

A BTech in design or informatics is required to enter and the duration of the program is one year full time or two years half time.

What is the course fee?

The yearly course fee is the same for full-time and part-time students, so part-time studies are double the cost. For 2011, the yearly course fee is R5070.00, and the registration fee is R615.00. If you register after November 30, you will have to pay an additional fee of R200.00.

How do I apply?

Instructions for how to apply are found here.

The yet to be announced master’s student team of 2011

About problem framing../About_problem_framing.html../About_problem_framing.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0
IxD Specification../IxD_Specification__Field_studies.html../IxD_Specification__Field_studies.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0
IxD Thesis Project Themes../IxD_Thesis_Project_Themes.html../IxD_Specification__Field_studies.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0





Masters Thesis Project

Program structure