Discourse in Design
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Level: Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
Department: Design Studies
Course Number: PGDS 5005
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Design History, Theory & Criticism
This course introduces the conceptual frameworks that inform design studies as well as essential research methodologies needed to work with, and build upon, those frameworks. We start from the premise that the study of design, in the modern sense, is of relatively recent origin. While we can trace back a lineage of thought about design to the Renaissance and earlier, reflection on design in the modern sense only begins in the middle of the 19th century and does not acquire institutional depth until after 1945. Indeed, many of the various trajectories and lines of research and inquiry opening up today through the increasing global interest in design studies and design research date only from the 1980s. In the context of this seminar, which aims to introduce students to the range and depth of design studies, we concentrate on relatively recent studies, contrasting these, however, with earlier reflections on design seen in the literature on craft, the decorative arts, architecture, and drawing. The overall goal of the class is to provide sufficient context to the fields that make up “design studies” and to the protocols of graduate-level research so that students can begin to position themselves within the professional arena of design research and design thinking.
Course Open to: Majors Only
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: MA Design Studies students only.


Open to Graduate students.


Open to Design Studies students.