Foundamentals of Design I

Teaching staff

Jara Rocha

Jara Rocha

Graduate in Humanities from the UC3M and Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, with a Master’s Degree in Humanities, Theory and Critique of Culture also from the UC3M.

Graduate in Humanities from the UC3M and Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, with a Master’s Degree in Humanities, Theory and Critique of Culture also from the UC3M. Cultural mediator and independent curator, she develops projects based on the intersections between digital humanities, free culture and design. Her main areas of research are related to the materialities of current cultures. She started the group “gender and technology” in Medialab-Prado and was in charge of the experimental school 404: School Not Found in Intermadiae/Matadero Madrid. She is involved with programmes focused on learning and thinking like The Darmstadt Delegation and the blog Fuera de Clase ( She is a member of the research groups Learning Spaces (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford) and GREDiTS/Objetologías (BAU).

Blanca Callén

Blanca Callén

PhD in Social Psychology from the UAB. Coordinator of "Objetologías".

 PhD in Social Psychology from the UAB with a thesis on techno-activism and the epistemological and political dimension of free software. She has developed many projects about collective actions and citizenship participation, the production of knowledge, and the social study of science and technology. She completed her postdoctoral project at the Centre for Science Studies at the University of Lancaster, which discussed electronic waste and innovative informal practices. She participates in projects aimed at the management of waste and repair culture like Recyhub and MEND*RS. Her works have been published in several books and academic magazines.

Josep María Marimón

Josep María Marimón

PhD candidate. Coordinator of the Projects Department at the BAU.

Fact sheet

Formal qualifications: Bachelor's Degree in Design

Credits: 6

Course: First

Typology: Required

Code subject: GDB001


The purpose of this course is to understand the role of the contemporary designer as a transformative agent and the new challenges they must face through the different processes of a project.

Thanks to the methodologies that we use in class, students are able to apply different methods of the design process to produce their own projects. Class activities are also aimed at enhancing the students’ creative processes and collaborative capabilities when facing complex challenges.



1. What is design?

  • 1.1 The current role of the designer
  • 1.1.1 The designer as a transformative agent
  • 1.1.2 The designer as a catalyst
  • 1.1.3 The designer a researcher
  • 1.2 The current fields of design
  • 1.2.1 Examples of interdisciplinary projects
  • 1.2.2 Knowledge of the environment

2. Process

  • 2.1 Phases of the project process
  • 2.1.1 Research
  • 2.1.2 Concept
  • 2.1.3 Completion
  • 2.2 Types of work processes
  • 2.2.1 Inductive, deductive, comparative, parametric and generative

3. Introduction to the tools

  • 3.1 Introduction to typography and layout
  • 3.2 Introduction to photography and video
  • 3.3 Introduction to size, scale and 3D
  • 3.4 Methods of communication, dissemination and sharing of ideas
  • 3.5 Bibliographic tools



  • Proper application of different project processes of inductive and comparative design.
  • Documentation and discussion of the proposals based on research and reflection; to make an oral and visual presentation.
  • Research references and their proper citations.
  • Discovery of a personal approach to problems from a perspective that reflects the characteristics of a contemporary designer.
  • Creation of an experimental formal work that is consistent with the concept and the conducted research.
  • Understanding of the language of design.
  • Proper knowledge of the physical and virtual resources of design.
  • Critical analysis and evaluation of the complexity of the design project.
  • Ability to work in groups effectively.


  • SS1. Critical analysis and evaluation of the consequences and implications of proposals raised in design projects, both the student’s own and those of others, and their adjustment to suit the social, economic, political and cultural context.
  • SS2. Integration of knowledge and approaches related to cultural, artistic and historical references in design, to practical design projects in creative and innovative ways.
  • SS8. Mastering the use of aesthetic and symbolic codes of communication, as well as specific design languages, to adapt the communicative intention of any given project to the vision of the user.
  • SS9. Implementation of design projects which provide alternative solutions and propose improvements based on functionality and viability. These solutions and improvements must also be able to respond to problems or changing situations in advance, through the development of a formal production at a professional level.
  • SS10. Effective contribution to cooperation and collaboration structures for the development of action plans with the capacity to adapt to the varied working methods of different creative teams.



  • Observation of participation
  • Monitoring of the work produced
  • Realisation of works or projects
  • Presentation of projects