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The University of Southampton

ARTD2118 Creative Futures

Module Overview

In a world immersed in a process of change, facing social and sustainable significant challenges, this module focuses on the capacity of creative practices to set out potential new scenarios and creative futures. It will encourage you to think and discuss critically about democratic forms of innovation through citizen participation (collaborative and environmental practices, activism, social innovation, economic sustainability, etc.). The module will encourage you to reflect on the impact of relevant theories related to contemporary design. This module will also present and study various examples of creative projects providing solutions to the challenges faced by current society (sustainable moving, living, consuming, learning or well-being), innovative projects based upon new ways of living, new ecologies of relationship or new scenarios. This optional core module is designed to broaden your studies and provide you with an interdisciplinary learning experience with peers from a range of art and design subjects. The module will provide you with new perspectives and introduce you to themes and practices that can be critically explored to inform your ongoing development, interests and skills.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• introduce you to critical thinking and debates that underpin a responsible approach to design and the creative industries; • engage with ethical issues and sensitivities associated with democratic forms of innovation; • engage with the broader concept of environmental sustainability.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • theoretical concepts and practices relevant to creative futures;
  • practices that demonstrate an understanding of creative solutions to the social and environmental challenges faced by society;
  • the role of interpersonal skills and approaching issues from multiple perspectives and disciplines.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify central themes and problematics in social and cultural issues in creative arts and design contexts;
  • locate yourself within the debate around environmental design and sustainability, in consideration with wider local and global communities.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • manage your time and meet deadlines;
  • connect and apply key themes and research resources with your programme or professional discipline.


This module presents you to some of the current debates that are central to an ethical understanding of creative practices and their impact on the future world. It will bring you new points of view from which to confront your future projects, tentative actions of design or art setting out potentially new scenarios. Indicative content for the module will normally include: • Local solutions - small projects pushing other changes that must take place at every scale • Connected - small projects in the hyper connected and global world • Open – unfinished, open-ended projects, multiple activities generator • Collaborative – with people, institutions and associations, working with experts in social innovation • Creative – creative communities committed to create value • Bottom up –active involvement of people directly concerned • Into context – developed into and with the social context • Small projects, large changes - transferring knowledge directly to society • Environmental sustainability – for a sustainable society

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • lectures; • workshops; • tutorials. Learning Activities • peer group seminar; • self-directed research and reading; • group tutorial on feedback. Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes You will be introduced to a range of subject material through lectures and seminars. You will have the opportunity to discuss and debate these subjects in seminar groups. You will be encouraged to research and study particular aspects of social responsibility and ethical practices in design, design communication and related practices, with regards to your own subject discipline. You will have the opportunity to critically reflect on your study discipline or your creative practice, and to debate your awareness of ethical issues in the creative arts and design contexts.

Wider reading or practice16
Practical classes and workshops4
Follow-up work16
Completion of assessment task20
Project supervision4
Preparation for scheduled sessions64
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Pelle, E. [et al.] (2014). Making Futures. Marginal Notes on Innovation, Design, and Democracy. 

Sustainable Lifestyles 2050.

Spampinato, F. (2015). Come together: the rise of cooperative art and design. 

Design Other 90.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Circular Economy.

McDonough, W. and Braungart, M. (2013). The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance. 

Scenario Magazine.

De Laure, M. (2017). Culture Jamming. Activism and the Art of Cultural Resistance. 

Greer, B. (2014). The Art of Craft and Activism. 

Textiles Environment Design (TED).

Fletcher, K. (2016). Craft of Use: Post-Growth Fashion. 

Sustainability Design Fashion (Fletcher, K).

CoDesign. International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts. 

Telier, A. [et al.] (2011). Design Things. 

Black, S. (2012). The Sustainable Fashion Handbook. 

Antonelli, P. (2006). Safe. Design Takes On Risk. 

Flood, C., Grindon, G. (2014). Disobedient objects. 

McGuirk, J. Herrero Delicado, G. (2017). Fear and Love. Reactions to a Complex World. 

Weibel, P. (2015). Global activism: art and conflict in the 21st century. 


Black, S. (2011). Eco-Chic: The Fashion Paradox. 

Design Issues. 

Fuad-Luke, A. (2009). Design Activism: Beautiful Strangeness for a Sustainable World. 

Fletcher, K. and Grosse, L. (2012). Fashion & Sustainability, Design for Change. 

Siegle, L. (2011). To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing out the World?. 

Fashion Theory. 

Thackara, J. (2005). In the Bubble Designing in a Complex World. 

Seabrook, J. (2015). The High Price of Cheap Garments, from Blackburn to Bangladesh. 

Design Studies. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Design Research. 

AIGA Design for Good.

Textile Toolbox Facebook group (Earley, R).

Manzini, E. (2015). Design, When Everybody Designs. An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation. 



Illustrated essay


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay 100%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase any additional texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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