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Unit information: Past, Present and Futures in 2020/21

Unit name Past, Present and Futures
Unit code INOV20001
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Malé Lujan Escalante
Open unit status Not open




School/department Centre for Innovation
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit will explore key theoretical lenses as a means to consider socio-technological systems, including artefacts, services, and experiences. The unit will explore historical technological transformations as they relate to the intersections of art, society, and science.

The unit aims to:
• Develop knowledge and critical understandings of socio-technological systems, through a consideration of their key conceptual and material underpinnings, using a case-study approach in both teaching and assessment;
• Develop an in-depth understanding of the theoretical contexts of socio-technological systems ranging from: material culture, history of innovation, social studies of science and technology (STS), and future-oriented frameworks;
• Develop students’ abilities to analyse and evaluate competing perceptions of artefacts, services, experiences, systems, and networks as socio-technological systems;

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of key theoretical lenses to consider socio-technological systems;
2. analyse and evaluate competing perceptions of socio-technological systems;
3. develop skills to work constructively and creatively in a group-based case-study;
4. work independently and reach individual/personal judgements within a collaborative context;

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures and practical activities supported by collaborative and self-directed learning.

Assessment Details

1500 group case study report detailing the histories, contemporary uses and future implications of a single technology of their choice. To be presented as a PDF, in the style of an industry-facing report. (50%) ILO 4-6

2000-word individual reflexive account of group project, which draws on key historical and theoretical contexts (50%) ILO 1-3. Assessed using I Level Criteria

Reading and References

Suchman, Lucy. 2007. Human-Machine Reconfigurations. Cambridge
University Press.

Jenkins, Henry. 2008. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media
Collide. NYU Press.

Dunne, A. & Raby, F., 2013. Speculative everything: Design, fiction, and social dreaming,

Forlano, L., & Mathew, A. (2014). From design fiction to design friction: Speculative and participatory design of values-embedded urban technology. Journal of Urban Technology, 21(4), 7-24

Levitas, R. (2013). Utopia as method: The imaginary reconstruction of society. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (2013).