This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Media, Technology, Society, 15 credits

School of natural science, environmetal studies, and technology , Södertörn University
Web Site
Syllabus, Curriculum, Lecture, Workshop, Course material, Readings
Thematic Area
Factual description
The course runs in the third semester of a bachelor program in media technology. It is a 10-week course that is divided in two parts, first a theoretical part dealing with ethical and sociological dimensions of designing media technology solutions for complex sociotechnical contexts. The second part of the course is a project course where the students work with real world challenges in collaboration with challenge givers from industry and the public sector.
Relevance in complex systems
The course is highly relevant for complex systems as it both deals with problems that have characteristics of complex systems, and as it also provides approaches for how to model and address this type of problem. The course aims to take a holistic approach on design which is mirrored in the course literature: Boehnert, J., 2018. Design, ecology, politics. Towards the Ecocene.

The first, theoretical part of the course contains part that are particularly interesting for complex systems education:
* Actor Network Theory, combined with System ecology mapping and network visualization is introduced in lectures, and further explored in hands-on workshops.
* Transition Design, a design framework where the ethical and ecological effects of particular design solutions are brought to the fore. This framework is introduced in lectures and further explored in workshops.
* Social Power analysis, revealing hidden systemic factors that are not immediately visible in models of the complex system.
Strong points
The main strong point of the course is the combination of theoretical perspectives with real world problems with external challenge givers. The theoretical perspectives are introduced as analytical methods and are put to use in analyses of the given problems.
The real world problems and external problem owners are important as the complexities of the problems can not be abstracted away as easily as in constructed problems.
Transferability potential
Many parts of the course are transferable beyond media technology. In particular the format with real world problems in combination with theoretical concepts. The analytical methods are transferable, in particular those from sociology, but also more design oriented approaches such as Transition design. The course literature, especially the course book (Boehnert, J., 2018. Design, ecology, politics. Towards the Ecocene.) should be interesting in other subjects as well