TA: Samuel Gaffney

Course Description

In this course, we will examine how design, across various scales, is political. “Design” within the bounds of this course will be defined loosely as organized interventions that mediate interactions between people and their environments. Because of this intervening role, design always has social and political implications. We will learn to examine what some of these implications are, what motivations lie behind them, who gets to design, and how good intentions of designers don’t suffice in delivering inclusive design. We will examine closely case studies of critical designers to learn how they identify sources of injustice in their environments, how they reveal underlying issues, how they collaborate with other stakeholders, and how they eventually intervene.

This course is very hands-on and will be conducted like a virtual studio. On a weekly basis we will check in on progress made on a sequence of projects. Together, we will gain skills to observe, analyze, and evaluate circumstances before making interventions, while also cultivating a practice of giving and receiving constructive feedback.