• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Design
  • Areas of interest Digital Arts, Digital Humanities, Creative Arts, Design

In this course we examine speculative and critical design methodologies which challenge the narrow assumptions and preconceptions that typically limit the form and function of designed artefacts. These methodologies look beyond a functional instrumentalism to consider how design can be used to incite mindful reflection rather than blind consumption, as well as address society’s “wicked problems”. The processes and practices considered involve designers imagining futures based on current technological and cultural trajectories; but rather than accepting those trajectories, design is used as an instrument to incite change and alter their direction. The course uses design projects as the main vehicle for the exploration of speculative design theories and methodologies. The projects are not confined to any particular medium or discipline but require students to question what they produce and why.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Apply design as a cultural practice with complex agendas and implications for society.
  2. Design and produce artefacts that embody complex critical ideas and values.
  3. Conduct research into design theories, artefacts and processes, and apply findings to creative production.
  4. Substantiate design outcomes with research and rationale.

Indicative Assessment

Participation (10%) Learning Outcomes 1,3,4
Research report, 1200 words (20%) Learning Outcomes 1,3,4
Speculative design project (50%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
Project rationale, 1200 words (20%) Learning Outcomes 1,3,4
Assessment includes periodic critique and review sessions that provide formative feedback on work in progress.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact comprising lectures, tutorials / workshops.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed at least one of the following courses: ARTV1020, ARTV1021, ARTV1022, ARTV1032, ARTV1033, DESA1020, DESA1021, DESA1022, DESN1001 or DESN1002.

Preliminary Reading

Dunne, A., & Raby, F. (n.d.). Speculative everything: Design, fiction, and social dreaming.
Dunne, A. (1999). Hertzian tales: Electronic products, aesthetic experience and critical design. London: RCA CRD Research.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3000
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4560
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4474 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person N/A

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