2019 Social Design Project

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering
Nohara Kayoko  Hope Tom  Abe Naoya  Sato Yuriko  Shirabe Masashi  Tokimatsu Koji  Nishikizawa Shigeo  Yamaguchi Shinobu 
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Course description and aims

This course aims to simulate and provide experience of social design based on values obtained through discussion. After studying knowledge of basic theory given in lectures, groups will focus on one particular claim derived from group work and create a concrete proposal, supported by a clear vision. The process is learned from conception to presentation of the social design you want to achieve, using practical techniques from multiple disciplines including Design Thinking, Translation Studies and Sociology.

Student learning outcomes

Students will gain skills to design social activities and social transformation using a variety of different viewpoints.
The course aims to nurture the students' flexibility to modify the project as it proceeds, while considering overall constraints imposed by environmental conditions, diversity and changes in values. Finally, you should be aware of how acceptance of your preferred societal design concept is inseparable from the ways in which you present and deal with media issues.


society, design, values, sociology, language, economics, disability

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Classes include lectures to introduce different perspectives, followed by group discussion. Later classes consist of group project work to create a social design and present it.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 1. Lecture: Introduction to the course. What is 'social' and what is 'design'? The social model of disability. 2. Groupwork: Formation of groups and group discussion. Understanding of the requirements of the course, basic understanding of social model of disability and the design process
Class 2 1. Groupwork: fieldwork study on campus to discover some issues. 2. Exercise: Initial social design exercise. Recognition of social aspects to disability by group observation and categorization.
Class 3 1. Exercise: Communicating and designing in English. 2. Lecture: Translation, language and disability. Skills in group communication in English. Understanding of language, communication and disability.
Class 4 1. Groupwork: Translation, disability and social design. 2. Short presentations. Take a case from the earlier lecture, apply it to another country/community and discuss what will be the result.
Class 5 1. Lecture: International comparisons on socio-economic perspectives on disability. 2. Groupwork: Discussion on the implication of commonality and differences on disability policy in each country Discuss international comparisons of the topic from socio-economic perspectives.
Class 6 Guided group project work Define your group's issues and main value to be designed for. Create initial ideas.
Class 7 Guided group project work Create a design and prototype(s). Create a draft presentation of the design.
Class 8 Presentations by groups, discussion and feedback. Present designs and understand problems and potential solutions from class feedback.


Check OCW as the course progresses

Reference books, course materials, etc.

These books are for reference only:
Tom Shakespeare (2006) Disability Rights and Wrongs, London: Routledge.
Kayoko Nohara (2004) Translation Studies in Discussions 『ディスカッションで学ぶ翻訳学』, Sanseido 三省堂.

Assessment criteria and methods

Contribution in discussions and preparation, final output, creativity and originality in presentation.

Related courses

  • TSE.C201 : Introduction to Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Ability to discuss in English

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