This course aims to familiarize graduate and doctoral students with the concept of ‘transition’ and ‘transition theory,’ which can now be found within many fields, disciplines and grassroots movements. It also introduces a new field of design research, study and practice: Transition Design, that proposes design-led transition toward more sustainable futures. Transition Design has now been integrated into coursework and research strands in other institutions around the world, including: The University of Palermo, Argentina; EINA University, Barcelona; Schumacher College/Plymouth University, UK; University of New South Wales, Sydney; RMIT University, Melbourne. More can be found on Transition Design on the transitiondesign.net website.
There are 5 components to this course: 1) readings; 2) topical lectures; 3) in-class discussions; 4) online discussion forum; 5) in-class exercises; 6) three assignments.
Readings, Topical Lectures & In-Class Discussions: This is a seminar class that is based upon extensive readings and topical lectures that inform class discussions. Each class has a list of both required and supplemental reading. Required texts should be read thoroughly and we recommend giving the supplemental texts a quick skim to see if there are subjects that may resonate. Discussion leaders are expected to complete readings for their assigned class a week before.
Online Discussion Forum: this course website has been made public so that our partner universities and other educators can use this syllabus to teach a parallel course and/or integrate Transition Design concepts into curricula. At the conclusion of each class, student discussion leaders will seed a discussion based upon the topics discussed and students are expected to contribute a 300+ word response and participate in the ongoing discussion for that week. Educators, researchers and others will be able to join in the online forum. Initially the forum will reside on the class website, but eventually migrate to Transitiondesign.net.
In-Class Exercises: instructors and discussion leaders will, throughout the semester, develop a range of in-class exercises designed to challenge students to engage more deeply with the topics being discussed.
Three Assignments: instructors will assign three group-based assignments that will require work outside class. 1) Mapping wicked problems; 2) MLP mapping 3) Developing a Transition Design case study. Information about these assignments can be found in the ‘Assignments’ section of the website and on the corresponding class pages.
Lecture vs. Discussion Formats: Because of the large class size, we will employ two different formats: Lectures will include the entire class cohort and meet in MMCH 107. For discussion sessions, the class will be divided into two groups with one instructor, one PhD student and one teaching assistant in each. Each discussion group will have 2-3 student discussion leaders. The teaching assistants will assign people to discussion groups and assign discussion leadership. One group will meet in MMCH 107 and the other in MMCH 215.
More information can be found in the Requirements and Grading section of this website.