Best laid plans: an introduction to design (DES2103.01)

Farhad Mirza

The word design is often associated with the standardized, and the mass produced. It might signify tools for what Achille Mbembe calls “the frenzied codification of social life according to…various categories of abstraction that claim to rationalize the world on the basis of corporate logic.” Pier Vittorio Aureli observes the emergence of the English word In the late sixteenth-century to describe “something more general than the graphic aspect of drawing (dessin)” and how the Italian disegno became “an ideological banner of a new class of practitioners eager to distinguish themselves from artisans.” In this introductory course, we will grapple with the changing meaning of the word, and the discipline, through practice. We will contend with the separation of (or impossibility of separating) manual and intellectual work. As we plan, project, and translate ideas into drawings, objects, and other things, we will ask ourselves when the impulse to measure, order, classify, and categorize turns compulsive.

Learning Outcomes:
- Gaining tools to help translate ideas into images
- Using design concepts like order and hierarchy in personal, on non-standardized work
- Learning about (system boundaries and) the design discipline’s entanglements with extraction, material waste, and outsourced labor
- Learning about the standardization of materials, and how to leverage knowledge about this standardization while using these materials.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
Th 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Design , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Visual Arts (VA)