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DESMA 10 fall 2005
Professor Erkki Huhtamo

TA Maria Fedorchenko
TA Linda C. Klein




Design Culture

Design has become a powerful force in contemporary culture and society. It surrounds us wherever we go. It has an impact on us, whether we are aware of it or not. It is becoming increasingly difficult to state where design ends and phenomena like art, architecture and popular media begin. It is not easy to provide a definition for all the things the word “design” is supposed to denote. One thing is certain: design is not just about creating “cool” looking things; it is much more than that. Among other things, it is also an ideology that affects our ways of seeing the world. It is a form of communication - by creating or using certain designs we send messages about ourselves to others. Desma 10 provides a broad overview of the phenomena that make up design culture. It demonstrates that design does not only mean the "high design" of famous star designers and design companies. The most efficient design is often invisible - devices like door knobs and traffic lights help us without drawing attention to themselves as design(ed) objects. To understand design culture we must pay attention to both kinds of objects. We also have to explain the motives that guide their planning, their marketing, their reception and their uses. The lectures will discuss the main movements and trends in design as a cultural and social phenomenon. Particular emphasis will be given to the interconnections between design and technology. The relationship between design and art will also be explored in various contexts from the Victorian era to early 20th century modernism; from the 1960s pop culture to Postmodernism. Demonstration material ranging from classical industrial design to recent postmodern design trends will be presented.


    READER: the reader is available at Copy Mat located on Westwood Ave, just south of Le Conte.
Articles of Interest
Erkki Huhtamo: "Slots of Fun, Slots of Trouble: An Archaeology of Arcade Gaming"