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Being Human (University of Bristol)

What is the ‘Being Human’ unit about?

Innovation and entrepreneurship are ultimately human centred, placing the person at the centre of the process whether that is as an end user, customer or stakeholder, and understanding their perspectives on a particular challenge or problem is key to creating value and successful enterprises. Students will use participatory design and co-­production to build up the understanding of people/customers/stakeholders and where to create value for them. They will also learn to recognise what skills and resources they have themselves and as a team, as well as the effectiveness and impact of applying those skills and resources to an innovation and entrepreneurial opportunity to create value.

What is a ‘Transdisciplinary Project’?

Transdisciplinary collaboration is one in which disciplines come together to enrich their thinking and understanding, exchanging information, altering discipline­specific approaches, sharing resources and integrating the disciplines to achieve a common goal. The students will work in transdisciplinary groups on a series of short innovation and entrepreneurial projects building an understanding as they work iteratively of the active relationships within the team and with the person they are designing for and with. Through a collaborative and participative approach of the different disciplines coming together the students will also build up an acute awareness of the importance of a common language and understand the needs of different disciplines, as well as how being human can affect what makes an efficient and effective team.

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Weekly Sessions

Week 8 – Museums and innovation

Overview Building on our recent visit to the MShed we will consider innovative approaches to museum curation and exhibit design. We will look at a number of examples and will consider the motivations behind those design in terms of research and innovation. We will also have a presentation from the…

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Week 5 – Education and innovation

Overview In this lecture we will consider the models of learning and use of technology in educational contexts. We will look at the work of Marc Prensky and his notion of Digital Natives, arguments against a techno-determinist approach through the work of Neil Selwyn and then turn to the work…

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Week 4 – Older people and innovation

Overview In the next session we will be looking at models of age and ageing and how this can inform how we design, innovate and work with older people in our work. We then consider the motivations behind innovative designs within the design spaces of  aging populations and society, Learning…

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Week 3 – Disability Culture and Design

Overview In this lecture we will consider the social model of disability. We will look at a number of examples of 'Crip-Arts' and how these works have been developed as a means to confront societal conceptions of disability. We then turn to universal design and the social model of disability…

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Week 2 – Civic Participation

In this session we will be considering the role of innovation and technology in our engagement with politics and the wider civic sphere. We will be using the work of Ethan Zuckerman's on 'Participatory Civic's' as a foundation to look at wider issues and technologies in civic participation. • To…

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Week 1 – Me, Myself and I

In this lecture and workshop we will introduce the unit, consider what students should expect of the teaching staff and conversely what they should expect of us.
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