Jump to navigation
“So how can design be understood in a meaningful, holistic sense? Beyond all the confusion created by the froth and bubble of advertising and publicity, beyond the visual pyrotechnics of virtuoso designers seeking stardom, beyond the pronouncements of design gurus and the snake-oil salesmen of lifestyles, lies a simple truth. Design is one of the basic characteristics of what it is to be human, and an essential determinant of the quality of human life. It affects everyone in every detail of every aspect of what they do throughout each day. As such, it matters profoundly.”
– John Heskett (2002, p.2)
The aim of this course is to critically and historically engage with the nature of design. The course emphasizes the study of design and its evolution through artifacts, materials, ideas, decisions, values and policies. Here design is envisioned lying in a continuum between art and technology. Thus this course addresses design in terms of its creative constructions, images in popular media along with its growth in terms of the historical, societal and cultural dimensions. The course also supports experiential learning through guided tours and visits to museums to give learners a deeper understanding of artifacts. This course serves as a gateway to a number of other courses on design history as well as courses on critical discussion of design and design theory. Specifically, this course is aimed at a global survey that presents the students with an introduction to various historical trends, viewpoints and perspectives that have shaped the manner in which we comprehend design in its totality.
• The students will be able to apprehend the notion of design historically in terms of its material manifestations, economical values and societal relations.
• The students will be able to articulate the various challenges associated with addressing design and its evolution in society.
• They will be able to evaluate various historical processes, events and trends that shaped design in past eras.
• The main outcome of this course is to help the students to enable them to focus on trying to make sense of the current state of design in terms of its past evolution.