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.
In this proseminar, we will take a critical look at the current and emerging landscape of design technologies and technologically driven design. We will examine new and emerging tools, technologies, and methods that help us augment ourselves and our environments and learn to think critically about their significance in current cultural contexts. Situated in contemporary spatial, environmental, and social problems – students will have opportunities to explore and debate and take a position on the spectrum of technology as a tool and a mediator and technology as an intimate human and social interlocutor.
The readings and discussion will cover topics in Simulation and Representation, Interaction and Cognition, Digital Craft and Creativity, Intelligence and Biases. In addition to the readings and the theoretical framework of the class, the students will have opportunities to create and experiment with new technologies and situate them in the topics of the class discussions. As such, the proseminar will introduce students to a solid theoretical framework and the necessary approaches to frame and create projects and serve as a foundation for the different interests and trajectories within the Domain of Mediums.
Allen Sayegh, Associate Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology
REAL Responsive Environments and Artifacts Lab
Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) Group @ Harvard Graduate School of Design
Center for Green Buildings and Cities