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

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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.

ID 321 Syllabus for 2012-2013

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The syllabus for the undergraduate course, ID 321 Meaning in Design for the 2012-13 Spring Semester is attached here.

The aim of the course is to help you make sense of the cultural meaning and significance of design today. This will be done in four parts.

Part 1, “Design and designers”, will review the contemporary “field” of design. It will first challenge existing conceptions of what design is and who designers are. Then it will provide a deeper understanding of the design profession as practised within a specific social and economic context.

Part 2, “Consumer culture”, will go into further detail of that context. In this, it will focus on “consumer culture”, to which design largely serves. It will review what consumption is, and how design serves it.

Part 3, “Meaning in objects”, will turn to objects themselves. Specifically, it will study how designed objects become carriers of meaning. Here, you will also learn about “product semantics”.

Part 4, “Issues”, will apply what we learned in the previous parts to three separate topics: gender, sustainability and globalisation. Doing this, it will help you develop a critical attitude towards the various hegemonic discourses and practices of design that you encounter on a daily basis.

Having completed the course, you will have improved your understanding of the social and cultural context and significance of design practice. While we will use images, objects and videos in lectures, critical reading and writing are the primary skills you are going to use and develop in this course. You will encounter a variety of texts and engage in critical writing exercises to this end.

ID 707 Syllabus for 2012-2013: Material Critique

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The topic of this semester’s ID707 Critique of Design I is “Material Critique”.

This course aims to provide you with a flexible theoretical framework and an extensive vocabulary of concepts which will 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 the possibilities of developing creative and powerful critiques of design objects and practices. For this purpose, we will follow a theoretical trajectory from semiotics to cultural studies on to actor-network theory. The theoretical discussion will be complemented by an inventory of ideas, 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.

You can download the syllabus here.