Design History and Design Theory
2009-2010 - IMT2342 - 10 ECTS

Expected learning outcomes

The course provides the students with an introduction to design history in general - while emphasising stylistic, technological as well as social aspects of design. The concept of ‘design’ and its contemporary status as activity, product and carrier of meaning is also discussed.


What is design?
Design in the 19th century
Design in the 20th century
Design, invention and innovation
Design and mass production
Form and function in design
Design and national identity
Design and globalisation
Design and consumerism
Problems, solutions and the design process

Teaching Methods


Teaching Methods (additional text)

Writing of two essays with formative-iterative assessment. Excursions to design exhibitions (e.g. in Oslo), if appropriate exhibitions are available during semester time.

Form(s) of Assessment

Written exam, 3 hours

Form(s) of Assessment (additional text)

Essay (counts 60%)
Written Exam, 3 hours (counts 40%)
Summative assessment of two essays after the end of the semester.

Grading Scale

Alphabetical Scale, A(best) – F (fail)

Coursework Requirements


Teaching Materials

- Lawson, Bryan (2004). What designers know . Oxford: Architectural Press
- Petroski, Henry (1992). The evolution of useful things . Random House
- Raizman, David (2003). History of modern design . London: Laurence King

Additional information

Recommended supplementaryr reading:

- Coldevin, Axel (1969). Epoker i Europas stilhistorie . Oslo: Aschehoug
- Vihma, Susann (2003). Designhistoria: en introduktion . Stockholm: Raster Förlag