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DESMA 10 Fall 2008
Professor Erkki Huhtamo

TA Olga Balema
TA Lisa Boutin

TA Madeleine Gallagher

TA Anne McCaddon
TA Jean Murachanian



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.



Lecture notes posted from Nov 7


Lecture notes posted from Oct 31.

10/30/08:Professor Huhtamo's office hours were corrected on the contact page. His office hours are Thursday from 11:30 - 12:30 pm, Broad Art Center, Room 3251.

10/12/08: Olga's Office hours are now on Friday's after class, listed on syllabus and on Contact Page.

10/12/08 - the TA assigments for 08 is on the contact page with links to send email.

10/11/08 - the assignment page has downloadable materials including the reading for the midterm.

READER: the reader is available at CopyMat, Westwood Village, 925 Westwood Boulevard (cross street Le Conte), tel: 310-824-5276.

TEXT: John Heskett's book is available for purchase at the LuValle bookstore.




Articles of Interest

About alarm clocks: please check the following webpage for examples about annoying alarm clocks. This link was sent to my by student Anand Sharma (thanks!): http://www.uberreview.com/2006/03/top-ten-most-annoying-alarm-clocks.htm

Erkki Huhtamo: "Slots of Fun, Slots of Trouble: An Archaeology of Arcade Gaming"

Erkki Huhtamo: "From Cybernation to Interaction: A Contribution to an Archeology of Interactivity"