Technology and Culture
115 001 | CCN: 33736
Design as Artifact
Instructor: IK Udekwu
Date / Time: Tu/Th 3:30pm - 4:59pm
*This remote course will meet synchronously, i.e. “live”, for the Fall 2020 term. Students must be available to observe and participate online during the times listed in the Schedule of Classes. Recordings of class sessions will not be available except for those students with relevant accommodations approved by the Disabled Students Program.*
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.