Revolution and Progress: Design and Social History

Parsons School of Design: Art and Design History

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Revolution and Progress

Fall 2021

Taught By: Ulrich Lehmann

Section: A

CRN: 12395

Credits: 3

The course integrates the study of material culture and social history. It positions design – as manifest in industrial, applied, and decorative arts – at the interplay between radical rupture and continuous movement across the long, global nineteenth century. The course investigates expressions of revolution and progress in modernity: from the time of the French Revolution to the turn into the twentieth century. Design is understood here both as process and as object. Design provides the link between historical expressions through its materiality and form as much as through its making and use- and exchange value in political economies. Examples are drawn from interplays between the first black political revolution (on Haiti) and the history of slavery, in particular in sugar production; the new medium of wallpaper, revolutionary propaganda, and bourgeois fashion, oral histories and objecthood on the African continent; nationalist craft in Japan and its degradation into a style language across European art and design, or from photography as hegemonic record as well as documentary evidence of public protest. Themes and objects in the emergence of modern design are discussed here across chronologies that simultaneously appear as progressive and linear, radical and diachronous for the development of material culture. Approaches in this course look at writing social history with a focus on the production, representation and consumption of designed objects; they highlight the socio-cultural changes that marked their respective environments. Open to: University undergraduate degree students.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Art and Design History (PLAD)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 20

Add/Drop Deadline: September 13, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 21, 2021 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every five 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: 12:52am 5/15/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 12:10pm - 2:50pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 8/31/2021 - 12/7/2021