MH: Graphic Des Hist & Theory
This course is designed to introduce students to a range of design research strategies and methodological approaches and to prepare students for Thesis. In addition to weekly seminar meetings, each student will undertake a research project that could form the basis of the Thesis project. Readings will be drawn from the fields of design studies, film studies, media studies, art history, architecture, and anthropology. Not only will students gain an understanding of diverse design research strategies, they will also examine these evolving methodologies within a historical framework, situating them within the history of design and the broader lens of visual culture.
This seminar addresses critical issues in the history and theory of graphic design, with particular attention to the social, political, and economic forces that shape design practice. The course aims to contextualize developments in graphic design within the wider field of visual culture, examining related production in art, industrial design, architecture, and film. Class discussions and readings reflect current theoretical methodologies and debates, offering an introduction to selected concepts derived from semiotics, cultural studies, and anthropology. Our focus will be on developing diverse critical frameworks with which to understand the development of graphic design, while also building awareness of the relevance of design history to contemporary practice. As an upper-level seminar, the class will help prepare students for the thesis semester through the exploration of useful research methodologies and strategies.