This module examines the political aspects of design and craft from the perspective of their role in fashioning and being fashioned by specific identities – political, social, religious and gender – in national and international contexts. It presents central themes in field of art and design, and draws on critical debates to examine the historical and contemporary relation between design and craft, mass consumption, nationalism, corporate capitalism and sustainability. It focuses on a set of case studies drawn from global sources to examine the political character of design and craft processes, and their role in constructing, promoting and resisting formations of identity. The content includes the analysis of the design in the context British colonial and post-colonial identity; Eastern European and Asian design; protest and activism; the politics of the handmade; and critical and speculative approaches to design.
Following the submission of the Dissertation, and to support the realisation of studio capstone projects, students will be assisted with the conception and development of an individual Statement that enables self-reflection and locates students within the contemporary contexts of their discipline. Consolidating the research, reflexive and critical skills acquired throughout students' programme of study, the Statement engages and applies learning undertaken within CHS modules to studio practice, supporting students' self-presentation at Degree Show, in future post-graduate study, and/or professional practice in a variety of Art and Design contexts.