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Design Studies

OVERVIEW

Design Studies views design as a poetic and pragmatic means of shaping the conditions for pursuing social justice, environmental sustainability, and general well-being and pleasure.  This minor situates design at the intersection of the humanities and social sciences by drawing on fields such as philosophy, anthropology, sociology, literature, and the sciences, encouraging students to see design as both reflecting and shaping social values and policies.

The Design Studies minor requires successful completion of 18 credits across six subject areas, as outlined in the chart below.

Note: Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Some courses may be in development and offered at a later time. Students seeking to pursue alternative coursework to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

A student who has completed this minor should be able to demonstrate:

  • competence in thinking, speaking, and writing clearly and effectively, and communicating with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force.
  • a strong knowledge of the tools and techniques of scholarship. Active research and the writing of analytical and critical essays should continue throughout the program.
  • an understanding of the evolution of changing perspectives on, and theories of, design in the 20th and early 21st century.
  • an understanding of the various research methodologies that are employed in design studies, ranging from direct observation to interviews to literature reviews.
  • ability to competently articulate an understanding of the cultural issues having to do with gender, race, sustainment, and ethics that bear on design studies.
  • an understanding of the relevance of fields related to design studies, i.e., material culture, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology.
  • ability to competently articulate various design disciplines and practices, from object-oriented to system-based to community-driven, that inform current design studies.

    Curriculum

    Subject Area Course Options Requirements
    Design History 3 credits
    Methodology 3 credits
    2000-level
    • Students should select a course or courses from within the PLDS course subject code at the 2000 level.
    3 credits
    3000-level
    • Students should select a course or courses from within the PLDS course subject code at the 3000 level.
    3 credits
    4000-level
    • Students should select a course or courses from within the PLDS course subject code at the 4000 level.
    3 credits
    Studio Practice
    • Students should select a studio course or courses appropriate to their studio skill and experience. Qualifying courses can be found within subject codes beginning PSxx or PUxx.
    3 credits

    ELIGIBILITY

    Minors are available to undergraduate students across The New School except those students at Lang and in the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students who are completing a self-designed BA or BS in Liberal Arts, who are not permitted to declare minors. For students at Lang or in the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students interested in pursuing a deeper study of this subject area, opportunities are available through the self-designed major in Liberal Arts. To explore this, contact an academic advisor or read more information about self-designed options for Lang or the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students.

    For questions regarding this minor’s curriculum, including requests for course substitutions, please contact Rachel Lifter, Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies, at lifterr@newschool.edu or Jilly Traganou, Associate Professor of Spatial Design, at traganog@newschool.edu.