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Design essentials free course icon Level

 

Design essentials

The world is full of designed objects, from skyscrapers to products that fit into the palm of your hand. Designers have used their skills to translate ideas and needs into all the objects that you see around you. In this module you will learn about the essential skills and practices that designers use to create detailed design solutions. You will develop your own ability to identify opportunities for design, meet the needs of potential users and create and communicate new design solutions. The knowledge and skills that you will gain are relevant in many design domains as well as a wide range of industries.

OU course
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: ID 138369143 © Seventyfourimages | Dreamstime.com
Can you be the curator? activity icon

History & The Arts 

Can you be the curator?

Put yourself in the shoes of a specialist charged with the V&A's collections. Can you place a range of objects into the correct place in the museum? Try this interactive.

Activity
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: © The Trustees of the British Museum.
Looking at, describing and identifying objects free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Looking at, describing and identifying objects

This free course, Looking at, describing and identifying objects, will enable you to practise and develop your skills of observation and description of objects. It will also enable you to interpret objects and work towards writing your own object life cycle. You will also work with, and understand artefact databases.

Free course
2 hrs
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
Motion under gravity free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology 

Motion under gravity

From the moment that Galileo dropped two cannonballs of different sizes and weights from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa mankind has been fascinated by the impact of gravity. This free course, Motion under gravity, looks at gravity, its impact on objects and how the energy involved in the movement of objects is dispersed or stored.

Free course
4 hrs
Creative commons image Icon Moyan Brenn under Creative-Commons license
An introduction to material culture free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

An introduction to material culture

This free course, An introduction to material culture, introduces the study of material culture. It asks why we should study things and outlines some basic approaches to studying objects.

Free course
2 hrs
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University
Design Essentials: small objects of desire video icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Design Essentials: small objects of desire

When the Apple designers first came to Steve Jobs with the iPod he picked it up, fiddled with it and then dropped it into a fish tank. "Those are air bubbles," he snapped. "That means there's space in there. Make it smaller." A successful designer needs a critical awareness of the design all around us and the factors that produce it. They also need to be able to look at an item and analyse - what it is, what does it do, why is like that, how is it made?

Video
30 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC
OU on the BBC: Seven Ages Of Britain article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Seven Ages Of Britain

David Dimbleby journeys through the nation’s past, from Iron Age pre-history to the present day. This is a history of British society told not through documents and written records, but through the material culture of each age – works of art, craft, and industry.

Article
Creative commons image Icon ntr23 under CC-BY-NC-SA licence under Creative-Commons license
Buttons, keys and wires: The magical powers of everyday things article icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Buttons, keys and wires: The magical powers of everyday things

Everyday objects have a power out of all proportion to their size - and a value far beyond their intended function.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University
Exploring History booklet article icon

History & The Arts 

Exploring History booklet

Take a closer look at some of the astonishing objects David Dimbleby explores in Seven Ages of Britain - and discover their even more amazing stories.

Article
Creative commons image Icon By Mukumbura via Flickr under Creative Commons licence under Creative-Commons license
What's your heritage? Map activity icon

History & The Arts 

What's your heritage? Map

David Dimbleby's tour of the country, Seven Ages Of Britain, shows how objects can reveal unexpected stories about the past. We want to hear about the things that tell your story. Tell us about a place, object or practice that means something to your sense of identity and community

Activity
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Spectacular Flirtations video icon

History & The Arts 

Spectacular Flirtations

Open University Art History professor, Gill Perry takes us through The National Portrait Gallery and explores the relationship between 18th Century art and theatre and the notion of actresses and their portraits as seductive, beguiling objects. Gill also looks at parallels in the ways contemporary female stars use media images to promote themselves as celebrities.

Video
5 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University
OU on the BBC: History Detectives - About The Series article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: History Detectives - About The Series

Introducing the History Detectives series...

Article