1 page synopsis and questions, approx. 200-300 words
• Write a short synopsis and reflection the readings.
• In 1-3 paragraphs summarize the reading's central thesis and purpose. Then list 3 ideas, critiques, or arguments from the reading you found compelling or important.
• Finally, prepare 3 insightful questions you think will spark discussion or that you would like to explore further.
Related Reading Notes From Others:
The sixties brought in new cultures, and realization of the existence of subcultures.The tenets of Modernism defined early post-war design. However, that received a setback with the growth of mass taste and mass culture(recall: populuxe). “good design” which had evolved from elitist Modernist principals, was questioned. What really is good design? What makes a good building, a good logo, a good product?. “from follows function” was criticized. “form follows form- Matthew Nowickit. “Human values naturally lie in the popular and mass arts- the pulp novel, the cinema, advertisements, pop music and the popular end of industrial design. The aesthetics of consumer goods should derive from them…”- Penny Sparke. For the first time, mass media products were critically analyzed( starting with the institute of contemporary arts in London). “The American auto- mobile shows design as popular symbolism”- Reyner Banham(British industry derided these cars). Surface styling and non-functional elements were considered to be the means by which the object symbolized man’s desires and aspirations. Mainly in terms of power and sex. The neo- functionalist aesthetic was seen as incorporating “bareness, simplicity, squareness or roundness, seriousness solidity and impersonality.”- Stephen Soender. In other words, Modernism wasn’t much fun. “Perhaps espresso bars and jazz show that bad taste is nearer to the truest inspiration- which is life- than officialize good taste.”- Stephen Spender. Modernism was accused of being too abstract and too derived from principles of manufacturing, rather than being humanistic.
Design is a powerful force in culture and society. It surrounds us, whatever we do and wherever we go. It has an impact on us, whether we are aware of it or not it is not easy to define all the things the word”design” encompasses. it is even becoming difficult to say where design ends and phenomena like art, architecture and popular media begin. One thing is certain: design is not just about creating “cool-looking” thing- it is much more. whatever form it takes, design affects our understanding of the word. Basically design is a form of communication- by creating and suing designs we send messages about ourselves to others(in other words, it is a semiotic affair).
Design culture- an introduction offers a broad overview of the roles of design in the lives of human beings around the globe. it demonstrates that design does not only mean the “high designs” created by famous designers and fashion companies. The most efficient and successful design is often invisible- devices like door knobs and traffic lights help us without drawing attention to themselves. To understand design culture we must also pay attention to invisible things and study the motives that guide and inform their planning, marketing, reception and uses.
Design culture- an introduction will discuss design from a cultural and social perspective. The interconnections between design and technology will be emphasized. The relationship between design and art will be explored within various contexts, from the Victorian era and early 20th century modernism to the 1960s pop culture and postmodernism. A rich array of demonstration material, ranging from classical industrial design to recent postmodern design trends and alternative radical design currents will be introduced. The goal is to promote design awareness by instructing the students to observe everyday things in new critical ways. Understanding design is important for everybody regardless of discipline and profession. It is a tool for life.