DMA 104 - Design Futures / Spring 2019


Syllabus / Assignments



Desma 104 Spring 2019

Fridays 9-11:50am

Dodd Hall 161


Peter Lunenfeld

Design | Media Arts Department

4252 Broad Art Center
lunenfeld +

Personal Website:

Office Hour:
Fri. 12:30-1:30

Teaching Assistant

Miles Peyton

Office Hour:
Weds. 4–5 at Untitled Cafe



April 6
Welcome to Desma104!

The Class:

This course offers a critical examination of design practice and theory, incorporating historical as well as speculative methodologies. We will cover a multitude of disciplines, producing crosscultural and transmedia analyses that concentrate on 21st century experiments and movements. We will be considering how various design practices and techniques related to each other across cultures and media.

The class will be involved in “nowcasting,” a meteorological term that we will appropriate to think about design and society at the start of the 21st century. There are always more data points about the present than there are about the future, and that determining what is happening in the middle of a storm is orders of magnitude more computationally intense than forecasting what the next weather event might be. As we look at design our interest in nowcasting is less meteorological than it is metaphorical. We should be able to develop nowcasting as distinct from but related to everything from cool hunting to surveillance, and use the concept to open new spaces for critical analyses of technology and culture.

We will be producing a series of design research provocations into the emerging AR company Magic Leap. A selection of these provocations will be curated into a collection to be published by Sensate: A Journal for Experiments in Critical Media Practice, which is associated with the Harvard’s Critical Media Practice Program