History: Poetics of Design
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Constructed Environments
Department: Constructed Environments
Course Number: PSCE 5057
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
"Must sustainability be ugly? Is beauty superficial? Are aesthetics and ethics at opposite poles or two sides of the same coin? This interdisciplinary seminar/studio – reserved for 15 graduate and senior undergraduate students (12 from SCE + 3 from Fashion) – examines poetics at its root, the Greek word poiein (to make). As a poem is breathed to life through performance, so is an artifact brought to life through its use, its inhabitation. From long tradition, material craft and the craft of thought have been mutually influential. More recently, however, the perception that we make our own thoughts from any and all available materials – poems, paintings, cities and dreams – has yielded to a passive view that thoughts are things we simply have. A collection of readings and student-led topical discussions focus on locations and materials of memory and identity. Across the semester, investigations begin in the workings of the mind and conclude in the public realm. The series of design and written exercises, conceived to complement work in core studio and thesis/capstone projects, will produce interlinking/nested vessels for preserving experience. These will be gathered into a final ark containing the semester’s work and an 8-page research paper, which together form a personal manifesto about the design process.