PGHT
5798

Making + Meaning: Design Activism

Parsons School of Design: Art/Design Hist & Theory

Liberal Arts
Graduate Course
Degree Students
M + M: Design Activism
Fall 2022
Taught By: Caroline Dionne and Georgia Traganou
Section: A

CRN: 14833

Credits: 3

This course engages with design practice, broadly defined, as a critical methodology that mobilizes a combination of skills and content. Making and Meaning: Design Activism explores the entanglements, in theory and in practice, of design and questions of social justice, with focus on how design and material culture partake in political acts of dissent. We will ask the following questions: Can design bring about political change? Can designers embrace some of the strategies and tactics of activism and contribute to social movements and political debates? What is the role of design in prefigurative politics? Is our aesthetic experiences of “designed things” political? This course explores the role of design in political action, historically, and through the development of a studio project. Design activism is broadly conceived to include a wide variety of artefacts from graphics and ephemeral architecture to community-engaged work. Ranging roughly from May 1968 to the present, we will look at key social movements, their stories, practices, objects and outcomes. We will read theories on social movements and political dissent paying attention to how affect and emotions inspire political affiliation and action (Ahmed, Bennett, DiSalvo, Tilly, Thorpe, Fry, Rancière, Mouffe, Winner). We will study contemporary social movements, collective practices, and their use of design: BlackLivesMatter, Occupy, The Guerrilla Girls, craftivism, and many others. Learning from these, students will identify political issues that are important for them, and will design and prototype courses of actions to advance their cause in creative ways.

Open to: All university graduate degree students.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Art/Design Hist & Theory (PGHT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 6

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: December 18, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 2:12am EST 2/6/2023