UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts
Desma 10 – Design Culture
Professor Huhtamo
Fall Quarter 2008


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The Midterm is an INDIVIDUAL ESSAY ASSIGNMENT. It must be handed in at Meeting Six (October 31).Late entries will not be accepted.
TOPIC: "Ornamental design - is it a Crime?"
In the early 20th century the designer Adolf Loos wrote polemically about "ornament as a crime". Using this statement as your starting point, write an essay dealing with the idea of ornament and ornamentation in design culture.

For this assignment you should consult:
1. John Heskett, Industrial Design (London: Thames & Hudson, 2001).
2. Adolf Loos, “Ornamental design – is it a crime?” >download as PDF
3. The course reader

Discuss - at least - the following issues:
How does John Heskett deal with this topic in his book Industrial Design? What kind of examples does he give? What kind of additional information / comments can you find from the articles in the course reader? What is your own attitude towards ornamental design? Can you also mention examples of contemporary designs you have found?

1. Give your essay a TITLE.
2. Your essay should be between 1500 words and 2500 words.
3. Instead of trying to cover everything, please focus on a few important cases and analyze them in depth.
4. Whenever you make a direct reference to Heskett’s Industrial Design or to the articles in the course reader, please use a footnote that mentions the author, the name of the book or article, the publisher, the year of the publication and the exact page to which you are referring.
5. Good knowledge of Heskett’s book and the course reader will be considered an asset, as well as intelligent ideas and opinions. Essays that do not discuss Heskett’s book will not be accepted.
6. The language must be good and readable English.
7. Handwritten papers will not be accepted.
8. The midterm must be printed out and submitted in a folder. The cover of the folder must have your name, student I.D., the title of your essay and the words “Desma 10 Midterm Assignment”.
9. If needed, you may add illustrations (photographs, drawings, diagrams, etc.) to support your text.

The final assignment to be handed in for grading in the meeting 10, Friday, December 5! No exceptions or extensions will be accepted. Meeting 10 is a normal lecture, but there is no meeting during Finals Week. You will be informed by e-mail when and how the projects will be returned.

The final assignment is a GROUP WORK, to be realized in groups of minimum three (3) and maximum five (5) people. You must choose your partners yourself – please start looking around immediately! It is a good idea to look for people who have different skills.

Design a TIME CAPSULE meant to preserve the most important achievements of the design culture for the future (how distant, it is up for you to decide). Imagine yourselves as a team of radical professional designers who have been given this task by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.
The project must include – at least - the following elements:

1. The Time Capsule itself. Create a physical model (maximum size: one cubic foot, 12” x 12” x 12”) or explain your design by diagrams and drawings (or do both). The visual form of the Time Capsule is important, but you should not forget the functional issues: investigate and explain, for example, what kind of shapes and materials would be the most appropriate (the most durable, etc.).

2. The contents of the Time Capsule. Choose the most important achievements of design culture(s) to be preserved for future generations. Include minimum seven (7) and maximum ten (10) items. These must exist (or have existed) in the real world (familiar from design history), and not be imaginary fantasy creations. Provide illustrations of all the items and demonstrate through drawings or photography how they will be placed inside the Time Capsule. You much decide whether your Capsule will contain real objects or just their representations.

3. The location of the Time Capsule. Describe, where you want your Time Capsule to be placed, and why. Explain also how the future observers (humans, or perhaps space aliens?) are supposed to be able to find and identify the Time Capsule.

4. Give your Time Capsule a name and explain your choice.

5. Write an essay that will explain the design principles and “philosophy” of your Time Capsule. The text should also introduce the designs placed inside the Time Capsule and explain why exactly these were chosen. The language must be good and readable English. Handwritten papers will not be accepted.

Length: no less than 1250 words, no more than 2500 words. Illustrations (photographs, computer simulations, diagrams, etc.) may be used. The text must be printed out and submitted together with the Time Capsule design(s) (you may want to enclose everything in a folder).

NOTE> The model of the Time Capsule and all the other elements (including the essay) must bear the names and student IDs of all the students in the group!

If in doubt please ask!