Making + Meaning: Design Activism

Parsons School of Design: Art and Design History

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Making + Meaning: Des Activism

Spring 2020

Taught By: Caroline Dionne and Georgia Traganou

Section: A

CRN: 7008

Credits: 3

DHP students take at least one “Making + Meaning” course each year. These courses form the spine of our program. Design practice, broadly defined, will be engaged as a critical methodology. You will be provided instruction that is both skills-driven--in, for example, writing, accessories design, or printmaking--and content driven--for example, the history of the prison industrial complex, or geography studied from the perspective of cultural theory and photographic history. Making+ Meaning 3: HISTORY calls into question our assumptions about time and space that form our concepts of history, in particular design history and cultural theory. We will ask what makes, and distinguishes, facts and values. We will imagine alternative futures and consider what it means to “make” our present. Concepts such as contingency, teleology, and progress will be introduced. The course places particular emphasis on imaginaries of time and space that not only make themselves felt in how history is told, but also affects how we encounter other histories. Students will be encouraged to integrate the knowledge they acquire from their studio and seminar experiences in the Making + Meaning courses. 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? 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, 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.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Art and Design History (PLAD)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 19

Add/Drop Deadline: February 3, 2020 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 12, 2020 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

*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: 4:17am 4/4/2020 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Wednesday

Times: 12:10pm - 2:50pm

Building: 6 East 16th Street

Room: 603

Date Range: 1/22/2020 - 5/6/2020