Design, Technology and Society Minor

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The Design, Technology and Society (DTS) minor is a design-focused variation of Science, Technology and Society (STS) studies that emphasises critical analysis of the social dimensions of design processes and projects. Grounded in SUTD’s design curriculum, students in the DTS minor will be able to cast the critical eye of the social scientist and the reflective sensitivity of the humanist to inform and augment the generation of creative design outcomes that address pressing contemporary issues in a positive, productive way.

The objective of the DTS minor is to educate future design practitioners who can:

  1. Identify and respond critically, creatively, and constructively to the social, cultural, economic, political, and psychological forces that drive design practice and technology development.
  2. Reflect on, analyse, and anticipate the ways in which their design outcomes will benefit, displace, or otherwise impact the lives of individuals, societies, and the environment.

This minor may appeal to those who are interested in analysing the wider social impacts their design and engineering work will have.

Curriculum Structure

1 Design, Technology and Society Core Subject

  • Interventions in Design, Technology, and Society
    This subject provides students with the theoretical tools and contextual background necessary to critically reflect on the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of technological design.

+ 4 Design, Technology and Society Electives

Three of the four DTS electives must involve an advanced component in which they complete an application paper that is connected to a design project they will work on as part of the normal SUTD curriculum.

List of Possible DTS Electives:

  • Digital Sociology
  • How the Things People Make, Make People: Material Things in Social Life
  • Rice Cultures: Technology, Society, and Environment in Asia
  • The History of International Development in Asia: The Role of Engineers and Designers
  • The Visual Culture of Science and Technology
  • Unnatural Disasters
Year of Study January May September
1 Term 1

Freshmore Core Subject

Term 2

Freshmore Core Subject

2 Term 3


Term 4

DTS Elective 1

3 Term 5

DTS Core Subject

Term 6

DTS Elective 2

4 Term 7

DTS Elective 3

Term 8

DTS Elective 4

Employment Prospects and Industry Support

The DTS minor complements and supplements the students’ technical skills with theoretical, conceptual, and critical frameworks for gauging the impact of their work on wider social, cultural, political, and economic systems.

SUTD students gain practical design skills from their major in either Engineering Product Development, Engineering Systems and Design, Architecture and Sustainable Design, or Information Systems Technology and Design and the DTS minor will round out their mindsets and technical competencies.

Feedback from industry partners:

“Technology has become a critical enabler for economic and social transformation. Hence, it is important for technologists to be keenly aware of the wider sociocultural, political and economic context, and be able to incorporate these dimensions into their design decisions and technological solutions. The introduction of this proposed minor is timely as it will prepare and train SUTD’s engineering and architecture students to develop a much needed well-rounded understanding of the role of technology and design in today’s world.”

“What differentiates this Design, Technology and Society minor is its excellent slate of electives that exposes budding practitioners to broader, more macro and often critical aspects of society that new practitioners often lack exposure in. I believe this set of multi-disciplinary electives is a step in the right direction to groom the next generation of more mindful and socially aware design thinkers and technology tinkerers”