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Design for Social Change

The minor Design for Social Change focuses on social design. You will design solutions for social challenges, focusing on themes such as poverty reduction, equality, clean water, transport, climate or waste.

NOTE: This course will be held in Dutch in semester 1, not in English. In semester 2 it will be held in Engelish.

You work in interdisciplinary teams. You can take on a role as a designer, but also as a project manager, programmer or director. You investigate the theme you have chosen and you explore possible future scenarios. Your joint vision can be expressed in many forms - presentations, text, film, animation, installations or objects.

You will learn to make the results of your project and research (visually) clear to a wide audience. The products have social added value, are concrete, innovative and tell a story. During the project you will experience how you can position yourself in relation to various stakeholders.

The environment of a University of the Arts is inspiring and offers you the necessary facilities, knowledge and contacts to work hands-on with issues that concern everyone. We work with thematic week programmes and challenges.

The focus within this minor is on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include poverty reduction, equality, clean water, transport, climate and waste.

In this minor the Frame Innovation method of Kees Dorst is central. He was appointed in 2018 as an advisor to the UNDP, the UN organisation that has to help achieve the 17 development goals set by the UN. The steps from this model will be followed in blocks of two weeks per theme and always end with a meeting in which results are discussed with problem owners. One of the clients is What Design Can Do.

The bi-weekly themes are:
Archaeology and architecture
Learning to identify paradoxes
Building contexts by de-framing
Field expansion (new players/game changers)
Theme research/ re-framing by means of design-thinking
Developing new frames and rapid prototyping
Game changing: futures, what is needed for transformation and integration in the organisation
Final presentation


Students are able to:
1: in collaboration with fellow students, the field of work and lecturers, to formulate relevant questions and to develop knowledge about them
2: organise an ongoing learning process in cooperation with stakeholders
3: use inspiring design and research methods and critically argue the choices made in this regard
4: to make a design that results from the research process and that is appropriate for the stakeholders
5: to further develop their own professionalism by reflecting on their own actions and the roles within the team


To qualify for this minor, you need:
• to have a first-year diploma;


No literature needs to be purchased.


Three fixed days of lessons (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), the other days self-study.


Tests: Research report (group), Organising knowledge-sharing event (group), Process report (individual)

Instructional mode: Project work, lectures, seminars, coaching.

Competencies: • Creative skills, • Critical reflection, • Cultural and contextual awareness, • Ability to collaborate, • Organisational skills, • Capacity for growth and innovation • Communication and presentation skills. Regi

Aanvullende informatie

Werkvorm: A fixed working pattern is used. During each week you will have regular lectures, receive process supervision and training in research skills, and give presentations.

Beoordelingscriteria: Extent to which stakeholders are involved.
Extent to which networks are understood.
Quality of design-oriented research methodology.
Quality of the realised design process from request to solution.
Level of critical reflection on own professionalism and functioning of the team.

Eindproduct: See assessment method

Aanwezigheids-/inspanningsverplichting: Absence or lack of effort can affect the results. It may lead to a lower grading on one or more assessment criteria. There may also be situations in which the student cannot be assessed at all on one or more of the assessment criteria.

Language semester 1: Dutch

Language semester 2: English

Registration for this minor closes when it is full