This year draws together our course community through project-based learning and different modes of interaction. The themes are:
- Global/local contexts and interactions
- Collaborative mindsets and skillsets
- Iterative prototyping and design innovation
- Practice engagement and evolution
Together as students and staff we explore the origins and futures of these themes and terms through regular community debate. We interact in 4 ways:
- September - December: The 2 cohorts start year 1 in their base London and Kyoto studios. Interaction takes place in-person locally and online globally
- January - March: Kyoto students travel to the London studio for whole cohort, in-person interaction
- April - May: Kyoto students remain in the London studio, but the London students travel to the Kyoto studio. Interaction takes place in-person locally and online globally
- June - July: Kyoto students return to Japan to re-join London students for whole group in-person interaction
UAL and KIT units are designed to complement one another thematically. They are scheduled to fit alongside one another in the following groupings. Students carry out all units.
Unit Grouping 1
These units establish the community and studio, both locally in London and Kyoto and globally through online interactions. You will work both individually and in teams to explore the fundamentals of human-centred, collaborative and cross-cultural approaches to design.
UAL Unit 1: Global and collaborative
This unit introduces key themes in cross-cultural and collaborative practice. It explores:
- Landscapes - historic and contemporary dialogue and debate
- Mindsets - sensitivity to distances between people
- Mechanisms - methods for bridging these distances
- Networks - wider communities and frameworks
- Stewardship - steering and supporting teams
- Precedents - existing and emerging models of global and collaborative practice
KIT Unit 1: Design for interactions
This unit explores human-centred research processes, fibre science and multi-sensory interactions with products, services, environments and interfaces. It focuses on the use of sustainable materials - natural or synthetic - and physical computing to prototype tools rapidly for interaction that offer alternatives to verbal means of communication.
Unit Grouping 2
These units further explore our experiences and understandings of our studio and how we interact as a community through it. As a combined London-Kyoto cohort we change locations and roles by visiting or hosting each other and exchanging places.
We draw on and develop fundamental understandings from the initial units. This guides design prototyping and innovation models in live user-centred and external-facing projects. Camberwell Unit 2 works together with KIT's 2 smaller units, 2A and 2B.
UAL Unit 2: Design practice
This unit uses design prototyping as an accessible 'meeting point' process for developing ideas and dialogues between design practitioners, project stakeholders and project end-users. It focuses on local, user-centred projects and global-scale mapping of practice models.
KIT Unit 2A: Design for innovation
This unit introduces models of design innovation, identifying how social, technical and design considerations can be managed together. It tests business principles in non-commercial contexts through collaborative group work and role play.
KIT Unit 2B: Design for process and projects
This unit is a live project in collaboration with a public, private or non-profit sector organisation. It is a test space for interdisciplinary teamwork. It will balance ethical, social and sustainable principles with innovation strategies and imperatives.
This year helps you cultivate practice aims and opportunities through a major project which you can undertake as an individual or in a team. This is underpinned by a professional placement, immersive fieldwork and participatory practice. It is supported by a subsequent period of tailored dissemination to strategic contexts and audiences.
The 2 cohorts return to their original base studios in Kyoto and London and work for the entire year from these locations (by default but open to individual negotiation).
Joint Unit 3 - UAL and KIT Unit 3: Final Major Project
This unit is jointly led and assessed by UAL and KIT. It draws on and further activates learning and communal bonds from year 1. The emphasis shifts to you – as individual students and as a cohort – to take the initiative in shaping interactions within and beyond the course through a major project.
This unit asks you to develop and direct an in-depth design project that responds to a defined societal challenge. There are 3 complementary parts:
- A living brief - an evolving project framework document
- A living body of research - immersive fieldwork and participatory dialogues
- A living outcome - a design prototype that shows understanding and respect for the context it responds to
- You can undertake the project as an individual or in a team
Unit Grouping 4
These are the final units. They help you transition between your completed major project and your full shift to independent practice beyond the course.
UAL Unit 4: Disseminate - Solo
This unit helps you define your practice values and disseminate your work. Audiences and contexts may relate to:
- Research and enterprise funding
- Further study
- Competitions and awards
- Contributions to events
- Panels or publication
KIT Unit 4: Disseminate - Cohort
This unit presents the variety of design approaches taken by the London-Kyoto cohort over 2 years. It does so through a collective physical, virtual or hybrid event that engages with external communities, stakeholders and networks at the forefront of collaborative practice.
Note: All year 1 units must be passed for students to progress to year 2.
The award classification will be calculated using the average of both second year UAL units: The Major Project unit (40 UAL credits) and the Dissemination Solo unit (20 UAL credits).
Mode of study
MA Global Collaborative Design Practice is offered in full-time mode and runs for 72 weeks over 2 years. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.