Class Design Theory and Criticism

  • Presentation


    During a pandemic, priorities are realigned, and design loses importance. But once there is the realisation that all design is political, its superficiality and powerlessness are reevaluated, as well as the potential of its contributions. This course broadens the designer's ‘starter pack’, the inherently incomplete and contradictory sum of pre-existing material and cultural constraints that play a role on the design, and yet they remain unseen. Within a system designed to establish a hierarchy of subjectivities and enact violent exploitation, the grip of the suffering caused by coloniality might at times seem inescapable. Resistance, however, has always flourished; even in the most difficult circumstances, those living at the margins of the colonial world have learned the skills to continuously create new, more joyful futures.

  • Code


  • Syllabus


    · Design theory, criticism and the development of critical practice
    Theories, methods, movements, key figures, challenges and potential. From the designer-as-author to the designer-as-researcher.
    · Decolonissation and design
    Exploring the relations between capitalism and design, the structures which frame the practice of design and its many political dimensions.
    · Precarity. labour and a shifting culture
    Questioning the infrastructure in which designers work, possible alternative models, visual manifestations and overarching critique of our labour.

  • Objectives


    · Develop an understanding of the theoretical foundations of critical and reflexive practice.
    · Establish connections between the design theory, criticism and wider societal phenomena (social, cultural political).
    · Be able to grasp the transitions between theories in relation to other disciplines (art, literature, music, cinema, cultural studies).
    · Articulate in a coherent manner the multitude of worlds the discipline makes possible but also prevents.

  • Teaching methodologies and assessment

    Teaching methodologies and assessment

    — Multiple lenses used via different researchers in relation to design theory.
    — Curation of the course by a research centre.

  • References


    Anzaldúa, Gloria. ‘Border Arte.’ In Light in the Dark/Luz En Lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality, edited by AnaLouise Keating, Illustrated Edition., 23¿41. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press Books, 2015.
    brown, adrienne maree, ed. ¿Introduction.¿ In Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, Later Printing Edition.
    Bourdieu, P. (1986) The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.) Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (New York, Greenwood), 241-258.
    Brave New Alps and Caterina Giuliani (eds.) Precarity Pilot, 2015
    Churchman, C. West. "Guest Editorial: Wicked Problems." Management Science 14, no. 4 (1967): B141-142. Accessed February 11, 2021.

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