Art, Design and the Public Domain Proseminar

This seminar is intended to serve as a theoretical and practical laboratory for the development of student ideas and concepts toward their artistic, design, and research projects. The course will explore artistic and design methodologies that aim at bringing new meaning to public space, contribute to the lives of people in an urban environment, and inspire the democratic process. The course will focus on informed review and discussion of contemporary art and design practices and related larger theoretical and critical discourse enhanced by students’ own project proposals and explorations. The seminar will also be a discussion forum for further development of the GSD’s MDes program in Art, Design, and the Public Domain. 

Student interests and instructor suggestions will become a base for assigned readings, presentations, and projects. Some seminar sessions will include appearances and participation by invited fellows, researchers, artists, and curators, as well as film screenings and field visits. 

In the course of readings, discussions, presentations and in the process of working on their own artistic and design project proposals, the students will explore issues and concepts of public domain, public space, public sphere, public place, the inner public, the political, “Agonistic Democracy,” the event, parrhesia, “Feminine Law”, the avant-garde, urban intervention, spatial practice, memory, memorial and monument, conflict transformation, trauma and recovery, public testimony, the “stranger,” site specificity and audience specificity, relational aesthetics, theater and pedagogy of “the oppressed,” epic theater, psychogeography, nomadology, interrogative design, strategy and tactics, transitional object, “good enough mother,” participation, responsiveness and interactivity, cultural prosthetics, and others.