last update: November 17, 2005

DA803: Anti Dogmatic Design

[this webpage is outdated, please go to DAB02]


Prof. Dr. M. Rauterberg and Dr Ben Salem
Faculty Industrial Design, Technical University Eindhoven
Actual time and location will be announced via email to all subscribed students.


This assignment need 40 hrs work in total, number of weeks depends on the actual period length (min 4 weeks).

After following this assignment students should be able to:

  • To liberate your design approach from pre-established design methodologies constrained by existing dogmas (social, religious…) and to investigate novel, different or counter-intuitive design ideas.
  • Attending short introduction presentations with discussions.
  • Surveying, investigating and reviewing some established design methodologies.
  • Identify one or more existing dogma(s) and describe their ‘protecting’ taboos. You will focus on topical and/or contemporary dogmas.
  • Proposing a design idea that breaks free of the existing taboos around the chosen dogma to go beyond standard design solutions.
  • Implementing your design proposal in a product, service or design guidelines.
  • Having developed extensively the Design Research Competency. You will investigate, review and report on a design methodology/principle based on an anti-dogmatic approach that has a very strong influence on design.
  • Intermediate to advanced level (depending on your commitment).

Previous Knowledge

  • At least 2nd years or above only with previous developments of the Design Research or the Ideas & Concepts Competencies. You have to be very open-minded.


Dogma is defined as: An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.( )
Most of all existing dogmas are protected by taboos, and often therefore ‘invisible’ (out of the normal scope of awareness and perception).

To come up with a sustainable design idea (which can last for a long period), anti-dogmatic design can be a possible way to go.

Literature is provided through this web-page (see below). Additional information throughout the assignment will be provided via the assignment emails distribution list DA803 (make sure that your email address is on this list!).

Assignment schedule






Introduction in the basic ideas:


extra presentations:

Ryohei Nakatsu

Brad Bushman

Anthony Dunne about BioLand

Wim Rietdijk: Evil, Sex and the Mechanisms of Power; Machiavelli Now

Nick Epley: Science or Science Fiction?

literature is provided here:

Pike, Albert (1909) Digest Index of Morals and Dogma. ISBN 0766142442.

Joseph Campbell (1990) Transformations of Myth Through Time. ISBN: 0060964634.

Milton, Richard (1996) Alternative Science: Challenging the Myths of the Scientific Establishment. ISBN: 0892816317.


Caillois, Roger (2001) Man and the Sacred. ISBN: 0252070348


Johnson, Phillip E. (2002) The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate. InterVarsity Press.


Brockman, John (2002, ed.) The next fifty years. ISBN 0753817101.


Witham, Larry (2003) By Design: Science and the Search for God. ISBN 1893554643.

2nd meeting

Each 4-student team present the chosen
dogma and explains why.

Presentation of Group-1
Presentation of Group-2
Presentation of Group-3
Presentation of Group-4

3rd meeting

Each 2-student team present the
Portfolio of design sketches.

Presentation of Group-1-2
Presentation of Group-2-1
Presentation of Group-3-1
Presentation of Group-4-1
Presentation of Group-4-2

final meeting

Each individual student present the
Drawings/models plus manual (incl. scenarios of use).



Assignment work

The feedback for this assignment will be determined by the work done on the set of deliverables (see below). Each deliverable will cover a number of steps relevant for planning, applying and conducting a combination of different approaches. Furthermore, they will include discussions about the trade-offs of the decisions taken and the validity of the justification of made decisions. Feedback will be determined based on the rigour with which the work is done, whether relevant concepts discussed in the assignment are embedded in the work and the report, and extra initiative to ensure good quality of work.


Date due

A) Individual written report (part 1: description of the chosen dogma and taboo(s); part 2: description of the reasons why this dogma (and related taboos) exist; part 3: risk analysis (individual and societal level) of breaking the chosen dogma; part 4: conceptual design idea to break this dogma; part 5: design guidelines for a product/service design that could break the dogma; part 6: reflection on your own emotional experiences throughout this design process; list of used references)


B) Portfolio of design sketches


C) Drawings/models plus manual (incl. scenarios of use)

last  meeting

Presentations in electronic form 2nd, 3rd and final meeting

[all deliverables  delivered on a CD per individual student]


Student Feedback

Students will be working in four person teams till 1st  presentation; for the second part of this assignment students will work in two person teams, and after that  till final presentation each student works individually; s/he will be graded based on the quality of the written reports/documents and the presentation given using a 5 point grading scale [A=very good, B=good, C=sufficient, D=insufficient but recoverable, F=failed because unrecoverable] and in constructive written feedback via the assignment feedback form.