DGN5204 - Design for social impact - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Art, Design and Architecture

Organisational Unit

Department of Design

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Jeffrey Janet (Sem 1)
Dr James Oliver (Sem 2)


Mr Jeffrey Janet (Sem 1)
Dr James Oliver (Sem 2)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)
  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


MDC4110 or MDC4120 or MDC4130 or by permission.


In this unit students will collaborate with health and wellbeing organisations or similar on specified design projects. Using design skills, processes and technologies they will be challenged to prototype, visualise and present innovative design solutions that impact positively on society. Students will understand the value of co-creation and partnership as being vital to the outcome of design activities that instigate social change. The interdisciplinary and holistic approach of this unit includes, but is not limited to, spatial design, digital media design, interaction design, communication design, service and product design.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will have the ability to:

  1. Evaluate and communicate the potential of design as an agent for social change;
  2. Propose and present ethical and responsible design concepts;
  3. Understand the significance of collaboration as part of inter-disciplinary teamwork in co-creating complex design solutions for social enterprise or innovation;
  4. Demonstrate ethnographic research approaches as part of the design process for social enterprise or innovation;
  5. Demonstrate skills for visualising and prototyping complex design solutions in the area of social design;
  6. Critically analyse and evaluate the social impact of design solutions;
  7. Understand and apply the rules of occupational health and safety appropriate to the unit.


Ethnographic inquiry (20%)

Social impact project (80%)

Workload requirements

4 contact hours per week plus 8 hours private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information