Design history and design theory
Study plans 2016-2017 - 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
  • Michl, J. (2002). «On seeing design as redesign», Scandinavian Journal of Design History, no. 12, s. 7–23 []
  • Raizman, David (2010). History of modern design: Graphics and products since the industrial revolution. Second edition. London: Laurence King

Additional information

Faget er i kun tilgjengelig for Bachelor i mediedesign og (som valgfag) for Bachelor i teknologidesign. Maksimum 27 studenter.

Aktuelle tidsskrift i HiGs bibliotek:

  • Architectural Review, Arkitektur N, Design and Culture, Design Issues, The Design Journal, Design Management Journal, Design Management Review, Design Studies, FORMakademisk, Journal of Design History, The Journal of Sustainable Product Design, Kunst og kultur, Newdesign, Technology and Culture

Aktuelle klassenummer i HiGs bibliotek:

  • 620.0042, 620.8, 701–, 745–

Aktuell støttelitteratur:

  • Coldevin, Axel (1969). Epoker i Europas stilhistorie. Oslo: Aschehoug
  • Cross, Nigel (2007). Designerly ways of knowing. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag
  • Erlhoff, Michael and Tim Marshall (eds) (2008). Design dictionary: Perspectives on design terminology. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag
  • Fallan, Kjetil (2010). Design history: Understanding theory and method. Oxford and New York: Berg
  • Vihma, Susann (2003). Designhistoria: en introduktion.Stockholm: Raster Förlag
  • Wildhagen, Fredrik (2012). Formgitt i Norge. [2. utgave]. Oslo: Unipub