ID707 Critique of Design I Syllabus for 2019-2020

This year we move our focus away from conventional “cultural” analysis toward “material” analysis. In the first module we’ll be interested in actor-network theory, including design researchers’ take on ANT. In the second module, we’ll be interested in “material engagements.” With readings from postphenomenology (Ihde etc.), material engagement theory of Malafouris and ecological anthropology of Ingold.

Here is the syllabus. (Updated 11 November 2019)

ID 707 Critique of Design I Syllabus for 2017-18: Object writing

New syllabus for ID707 Critique of Design I: Object writing helps students think about, talk about and write about objects in a creative and critical manner. The course is divided into three four-week modules, each with three reading weeks and a module assigment: Representation module consists of readings on semiology and affordances, and concludes with an advertising analysis assignment. In Consumption module, students read on material culture, subculture and craft consumption, and conduct a single interview around an object. The final Body module has readings on script theory and Ingold’s skilled practice, and ends with an observation assignment.

Find the syllabus here.

Image above: Pink BMW E30s from Ankara Piston Fest 2017 (www.lastikpark.com)

ID 708 Syllabus for 2014-2015: mapping technology

ID708 14-15 syllabus image

This semester’s theme is “mapping technology”: How can we map our relationship with objects, their techniques and technologies, as bodied, gendered, desiring subjects? Our theoretical discussions will be complemented by films, pieces of music and literature, a large number of artist’s books and other works of art and design, on which you can hone your critical skills, and which you can use as jumping boards for future academic and/or creative work.

As a team of four module leaders, we will be mapping technology from four perspectives:

Mapping the Immappable – Osman Şişman, AÜ ID
-vert- it – Şenöm Yalçın, METU FLE
Gendering of technological objects – Pınar Kaygan, METU ID
Technological imaginations – Harun Kaygan, METU ID

To view the module definitions, reading lists and module assignments, please download the syllabus here.

ID 708 Syllabus for 2013-2014: Cyborg Ethnographies

708 posterIt is no longer a matter of confronting man and machine to estimate possible or impossible correspondences, extensions and substitutions of the one or the other, of ever new relationships of similarity and metaphorical relations between humans and machines, but rather of concatenations, of how man becomes a piece with the machine or with other things in order to constitute a machine. The ‘other things’ may be animals, tools, other people, statements, signs or desires, but they only become machine in a process of exchange, not in the paradigm of substitution.

– Gerald Raunig, A Thousand Machines, 2010

Each semester in Critique of Design II we direct our arrows of critique to another of the favourite buzzwords of design discourse. This semester, it is “interaction”: Decontextualised, severed in theory if not in matter from the folds and flows that characterise our everyday existence, interaction as and for experience reproduces instrumentalist biases by submitting objects to the whims of the individual user/designer. A closer look, on the other hand, reveals that the ontological conditions we are in are highly ambiguous and hybrid: Yes, we all are cyborgs—some of us camera-eyed, others semio-fingered, still others bicycle-bottomed—and we need a new politics of design!

Exploring new materialist and post-structuralist theories in parallel with science-fiction film and literature, we will investigate instances where persons and objects intertwine with “animals, tools, other people, statements, signs or desires”, and we will make projects—preferably videos, but perhaps events or installations.

You can find the poster here.

ID 707 Syllabus for 2013-2014: Design Activism

see PDF syllabus for image details

The topic of this semester’s Critique of Design I is “Design Activism”.

The course offers an extensive vocabulary of theoretical concepts, with which it aims to help you think about, talk about and write about objects in a creative and critical manner.

The emphasis is on critique. Together, we will be exploring possibilities of developing creative and powerful critiques of design objects and practices. For this purpose, we will follow a theoretical trajectory from Barthesian semiotics to poststructuralist frameworks on to new materialist approaches. The theoretical discussion will be complemented by pieces of literature and works of art and design, on which you can hone your critical skills, and which you can use as jumping boards for future academic and/or creative work.

This semester our focus will be on design activism: Where do design, and designed products and spaces, stand with regard to the street politics of the 21st century, from Zuccotti to Tahrir to Gezi? What are the implications for our understanding of and interventions into the material world? We will discuss these and more, trying to situate ourselves and our profession within and with regard to contemporary politics of the city.

You can download the syllabus here.

ID 708 Syllabus for 2012-2013: Limits of Participation

The topic of this semester’s Critique of Design II is “Limits of Participation”. The course is designed and delivered by Harun Kaygan and Osman Şişman of AU, Eskişehir.

Politics of design has come to mean politics of participation and consensus. Instead we’d like to explore conflict, dissensus and resistance in design – and to develop objects, projects, scenarios in this spirit. This is a project-based course with classroom discussions on diverse readings, film screenings, and much thinking and sketching on design, politics and social change.

You can download the syllabus here.