Design Theory

Design theory has been approached and interpreted in many ways, from personal statements of design principles, through constructs of the philosophy of design to a search for a design science.
The essay "Ornament and Crime" by Adolf Loos from 1908 is one of the early 'principles' design-theoretical texts. Others include Le Corbusier's Vers une architecture,[1] and Victor Papanek's Design for the real world (1972).
In a 'principles' approach to design theory, the De Stijl movement promoted a geometrical abstract, "ascetic" form of purism that was limited to functionality. This modernist attitude underpinned the Bauhaus movement. Principles were drawn up for design that were applicable to all areas of modern aesthetics.

1 - Introduction and overview
2 - What is design
3 - Arts and Crafts Movement
4 - Function and Form
5 - Monologue ( Ludwig Mies van der Rohe )
6 - Deconstructivism
7 - Monologe ( Zaha Hadid )
8 - Abstraction and Design
9 - Graphics and Print
10 - Post industrial Electronics
11 - Games and Interaction
12 - New Frontiers
13 - Assignment
14 - Review

Avant-Garde Society, Science and Design

This lecture course deals with the new frontiers in science, art, design and cultural studies. It takes a look at what are the embryonic discoveries which are currently below the radar of common understanding. Its aim is to be a primer for areas as yet little understood or explored but will no doubt have lasting and wide spread influence and impact. From cognitive science of quantum consciousness to generative genetics to outsider art and punk rock these lectures aim connect and map the state of the art of human experience in the empirical sciences and the emotions and desires manifest in the humanities.

Lectures -
1 - Social Networks and the Singularity
2 - Fashion, Fetishism and Branding
3 - Literature, Design and New Technologies
4 - Visual Futurism
5 - Paradigm shifts, Code,Complexity and Digital Fabrication
6 - ZooMorphic, BioMorphic, BioMimicry and BioHacking
7 - Ecology and Design
8 - Exuberance, Psychedelics and Psychonauts
9 - Open Source, Sampling and Originality
10 - Clouds and the internet of things ( Documentary )
11 - Abstraction and Design
12 - Production Design and Design for entertainment
13 - Art and the Outsiders
14 - The Usual

At the end of each class there will be a discussion on a current topic.
You will be expected to give your thoughts and opinions. Participation in
class discussion will be part of your grade.

Also every two weeks there will be a mini research assignment, this will be uploaded to your blog and count towards your grade at the end of semester.

Clouds, Networks and the Internet of things

British technologist Kevin Ashton coined the phrase internet of things in 1999 conference at Davos. Since then the concept has gained pace. This is what the behemoth IBM has to say.

The Internet of Things represents an evolution in which objects are capable of interacting with other objects. Hospitals can monitor and regulate pacemakers long distance, factories can automatically address production line issues and hotels can adjust temperature and lighting according to a guest's preferences, to name just a few examples. Furthermore, as the number of devices connected to the Internet continues to grow exponentially, your organization's ability to send, receive, gather, analyze and respond to events from any connected device increases as well.

Art and the Outsiders

Our ideas of what culture is and how it manifests itself is often explored in dynamic ways by modern artists.

Genetics, society, spave and what it means to be human in a modern context can often by highlighted in new and exciting ways by modern media and instalation artists.
Sometimes as a cautionary tale and sometimes as a celebration modern art tends to be at the forefront of many present day questions about society and the relationship of the individual to culture and our feelings of zeiguist.

Literature, Design and New Technologies

This is the tale of how science fiction and fantasy writing has influenced the course of scientific and technological research.

Pleasure and Design for Entertainment

The architecture of the unreal. Production designers set the special and visual tones of game and movies. The sets themselves a character of the ensamble. 

Paradigm shifts, Code,Complexity and Digital Fabrication

Computational space and the new frontier. The reason why aesthetically design has and will change so much is that from now on much of design exploration will not be shackled by 20th century construction and manufacturing techniques and process. A great deal of contemporary architecture and design schools have a digital lab specifically to explore the now aesthetic and visual horizons that rapid prototyping is opening up. As soon RP machines will probably be embedded in each home or office, it is easy to envisage a consumer environment where you would download and print your mobile phone for example. This would mean an end to the retail environment as we now know it. But the real question is “as designers what will this new future look like with all its complexity and flexibility. This is what we will explore here.

There are quantum changes taking place in the fields of manufacturing, Construction, Design, Architecture and the use of integrated computing as a driving force of these paradigm shifts. The seeds of these changes can be seen in embryonic form today in the form of the generative and procedural approach to design and architecture as well as new forms of realization such as rapid prototyping and digital fabrication. The visual form, nature and aesthetic of these new
approaches are experiments in trying to define the new aesthetics for these new territories.

Social Connections and the Technological Singularity

The internet has given rise to many revolutionary changes in the way we interact, learn and even conduct commerce. It seems non has been so dramatic as the virtual social network revolution  This seems like just the beginning of a complex system that will eventually ingratiate itself into the human cognition loop.

As the complexity of the networks evolve it casts a shadow of larger changes to come.
One of which could be the technological singularity.

The technological singularity is the theoretical emergence of superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence may be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the technological singularity is often seen as an occurrence, akin to a singularity, beyond which events cannot be predicted, yet many have made educated guesses about what will follow.

The first use of the term "singularity" in this context was by mathematician John von Neumann. Neumann in the mid-1950s spoke of "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue". The term was popularized by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement, or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity.

Futurist Ray Kurzweil cited von Neumann's use of the term in a foreword to von Neumann's classic The Computer and the Brain.Proponents of the singularity typically postulate an "intelligence explosion",where super intelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, that might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent's cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human.
Kurzweil predicts the singularity to occur around 2045[5] whereas Vinge predicts some time before 2030. At the 2012 Singularity Summit, Stuart Armstrong did a study of artificial generalized intelligence (AGI) predictions by experts and found a wide range of predicted dates, with a median value of 2040. His own prediction on reviewing the data is that there's an 80% probability that the singularity will occur between 2017 and 2112

Exuberance, Psychedelics and Psychonauts

Psychoactive substances have been used by humans for cultural and religious purposes since humans developed the complex relationships and practices collectively called culture.

In the 20th century the scientific method of chemically enhancing and altering human cognitive function through molecular engineered substances has taken on a whole new
significance. The term Psychedelic has come to have two meanings, firstly referring to the substance itself and secondly to the visual art forms it has produced. The arts have plenty of examples of this, from garish abstract graphics to thousands of passages of music, directly resulting from the psychedelic experience.

But it does not stop there. It seems as though there is a connection between certain substances and nobel prizes awarded for new and out of the box thinking.

Francis Crick co inventor of the concept of the DnA spiral, Steve Jobs ex ceo of one of the worlds most prolific technology companies, Bill Gates developer of the worlds most dominant operating systems, Richard Feynman nobel prize winning physicist, and Kary Mullis the chemist responsible for DnA replication techniques which have revolutionised medical science and even forensic police work, all these people have claimed that psychoactive substances have aided their creativity and insight.

These days there is even a name for such people. “Psychonaut” the astronauts of the human mind.

ZooMorphic, BioMorphic, BioMimicry and BioHacking

Zoomorphic presents a startling new trend in architecture - buildings that look like animals. Animal resemblances arise for various reasons. An architect may wish to create a symbol, as architects have always done. Or, there may be a functional explanation for why a building comes to share elements of its design with that of some living creature.

 Biomimicry is the relatively new process of using biological principles found in nature to develop new technologies. The most recent and ubiquitous example of which is OLED a material based on the chromatophoric skin of creatures such as the squid.

A new revolution in human biology is known as biohacking and sometimes referred to as the post human revolution. It is the idea of using monitoring devices, sensors and even chemical and electronic implants to engineer human V2.0.

Visual Futurism

Starting with the futurist movement in the begining of the 20th century and ending with the new wave of digital artists, this lecture charts the rise of the concept artist as a key player in the film and game production pipelines.

Fashion, Fetishism and Branding

The word fetish or fetishism when attributed to African objects is used to describe a wide range of items, contexts and uses. In brief, fetish refers to an object that contains another form of substance(s), widely referred to as medicines or charms. These objects are made for the purpose of spirit guidance and are used to act upon the world whether it is in a natural or supernatural context. They can be used in a positive way, for example, to protect or to effect prosperity or fertility; or they can be used in a negative way, for example, to punish or provoke illness. 

Likewise with the argument that fetish can be seen as a problematic term, this again will be of a general and brief nature compared to its full and complex analysis. 

In a modern Western society the word fetish or fetishism has most probably the same connotations and symbolic meaning for most of its members. The meaning being a fetish is something or someone that an individual has an inner need or desire for in either an emotional, physical or sexual way. It encompasses to us a lot of behaviour that is considered to be outside the norm of society. So in this light it is received in quite a negative way and seems to signify something that people within the norm cannot quite understand.