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IDSEMUG 1750 - Good Design: Objects, Bodies, Buildings, Cities

Good Design takes as its premise that visual literacy is a vital yet under-examined area of academic discourse. Although we engage the designed environment every day, non-specialists have few ways to make sense of the myriad decisions that come together to form objects and places. This course asks students to analyze existing designs and create new work, while also examining the relationships between these two processes. One central question is whether design principles that operate at a small scale, say the scale of a hand-held object, are also appropriate at a larger scale, such as the scale of human habitation. The course uses scale as a lens through which to engage this question, as readings and projects consider the design of something you can hold (like a tool), the design of something that can embrace the body (clothing or furniture), and something that can be inhabited (a dwelling). Presentations of student-designed work, discussions of assigned readings, and reviews of analytic writing will structure the majority of course meetings. Students will read primary source material from the Museum of Modern Art archives, related to the original Good Design exhibits from the 1950's. Other authors will include: Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.; Paola Antonelli, Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design; ; Pietra Rivoli, The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy; Jay Greene, Design is How It Works; Richard Dyer, White; Louise Harpman and Scott Specht, Coffee Lids; podcasts from John Biewen, Seeing White. Field trips to museums, galleries, design retailers are planned. Class Notes: FULFILLS GALLATIN DEGREE REQUIREMENT: HUMANITIES.
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Fall 2020, Fall 2019, Fall 2018
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