115 | CCN: 33736
Technology and Culture
Design as Artifact
Instructor: IK Udekwu
Location: Hearst Mining 310
Date / Time: T, Th 3:30pm-5pm
From houses, to software, to books, to sewing machines, to aircraft and back again… How do the activities and results of building and making, the world of human artifice, relate to the shared meanings among us? What definitions of history, action, knowledge, organism, and humanity emerge when elaborating concepts of “technology” and “culture”?
This course aims to loosen and dislocate our conventional notions of “technology” and “culture” and open them to deeper analysis. We will work through and work over these concepts via a handful of mediating ideas like authorship, invention, synthesis, technique, and architecture. Using films, literature, concrete objects, and theory, we will examine the imaginaries of the past 75 years and, in particular, the valorization and scientization (or pseudo-scientization) of “design.”
What can we say about the more or less durable marks we leave on the various surfaces and depths of this earth? Can these analyses ground consequential shifts in thought and practice? By the end of the term, we hope to sketch, if only provisionally, a reply to such questions.