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70 132 GK3 Design History 2

Full course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
GK3 Designhistorie 2
Course code: 
70 132
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2019 Autumn
Assessment semester: 
2019 Autumn
Language of instruction: 
Required prerequisite courses: 
70 123 G2 Design history
Required prerequisite knowledge

Completed 70 123 GK2 Design History 1 or the equivalent.

Course content

The course provides broad knowledge of design and art history in relation to the present. Fundamental questions about what design is and has been will be discussed thoroughly. The course starts with an introduction to topics in art and design history, from ancient times until Romanticism. The focus then shifts to a review of important eras, perspectives, movements and episodes in design history, from the Arts and Crafts movement and the emergence of modern design in the late 1800s, to pop design and postmodernism in the 1980s and 1990s, still with an eye on the world of art. The course concludes with a contemporary review of how design history has developed from the turn of the millennium until today, focusing on the media and information revolution. The course will deal in depth with topics such as fair trade and sustainable design. The course does not aim to be exhaustive, but will focus on a complex set of aesthetic, philosophical and political motivations that have shaped art and design from industrialism until today.

Learning outcome


After completing the course, the students are expected to have:

  • Knowledge of the different eras of design history.
  • An overview of important designers and important iconic objects from the history of art and design.
  • Broad insight into key discourses and theoretical perspectives relating to contemporary art and design.

The students shall learn how to:

  • Analyse and give an account of styles and eras, orally and in writing.
  • Place contemporary design in a historical perspective.
  • See themselves, their professional practice and their stance as designers in perspective.
  • Independently raise interesting issues based on design theory or aesthetic topics.
  • Produce adequate visual responses to theoretical or historical challenges.
  • Give an account of and discuss theoretical texts.



  • One of the main goals of the course is to develop students’ understanding of their surroundings, and to raise their awareness of the importance of surroundings and the design of objects. As future producers of images, spaces, objects, visual expressions and social situations, it is important that the students develop an awareness of what they bring to life, not least considering the fact that we live in a visually overstimulated and frenzied consumer culture, which gives grounds for problematising the ever increasing production of materials and visual products. 



Working and learning activities

The course Design History 1 is taught in the form of:

  • Lectures (2–3 hours every Monday morning)
  • Students are also expected to study on their own.
  • Self-study and reading texts are an important part of the course. The course includes a reading list. 
  • At the end of the semester, the students shall submit a physical portfolio in which they have formulated visual ‘responses’ to theoretical issues relating to the different lectures.
Form of assessmentGroupingGrading scaleComment
Portfolio assessment (Vurderingsmappe)IndividualPass / fail • Submit physical portfolio
• Submit a written discussion (essay) on a text from the reading list
Form of assessment:Portfolio assessment (Vurderingsmappe)
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Comment: • Submit physical portfolio
• Submit a written discussion (essay) on a text from the reading list
Workload activityComment
Attendance A 80% attendance at lectures is expected.
Forventet arbeidsinnsats:
Workload activity:Attendance
Comment: A 80% attendance at lectures is expected.