One of the remarkable developments in contemporary culture is the convergence of practices that once unambiguously belonged to either creative design or technological experimentation and empiricism, but that today share methods, means, and concerns, in different mediums.
Coupling an intensive critical and theoretical approach with practical, lab-based projects, the Domain Mediums of the MDes program advances innovative methods for making and understanding form and technologically driven design. Of particular importance are practices that seek to engage with the public and social realm, using advanced technological support for forms of expression that can be both projective and mnemonic. The Mediums Domain seeks creative individuals from all backgrounds and academic disciplines with a keen interest in contemporary urban, aesthetic, political, and technological culture. The Mediums Domain is interlaced with a predilection for intervention, exhibition, and public work, and with an emphasis on sophisticated thinking, advanced fabrication methodologies and techniques, and aesthetic and social engagement. The Domain allows students to pursue a broad spectrum of inquiries, at the intersection of technology, art and the built environment. As such, it is directed towards those for whom advanced study can serve towards careers or preparation for further work in the following areas:
-Interaction Design and Responsive Environments
-Robotics and Digital Fabrication
-Simulation and Computational Design
-Media Art and Design
With a roster of faculty members, each recognized experts in respective specialties, the Mediums Domain offers students full access to courses, labs and initiatives across the GSD and throughout Harvard University.
The proseminar will take a critical look at the current and emerging landscape of technologically driven design. With a focus that ranges from the individual scale to the larger environment, this class will examine new and emerging tools, technologies, and methods to create digitally augmented designs that derive from and respond to contemporary spatial, environmental, and social issues.
The outcome of the course will be group projects which will be shaped by readings, discussions, and case studies supported by the tools and technologies presented in class. Topics of discussion will include the integration of technologies in the built environment, the balance between top-down and bottom-up design approaches, the potentials and limitations of virtual and augmented realms, the notion of technological longevity, and the examination of the intrinsic biases in technology. As such, the proseminar will introduce the students to a solid theoretical framework and the necessary approaches to frame and create projects that will serve as an initial foundation for the different trajectories within the Domain of Mediums.
Allen Sayegh, Associate Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology