Contemporary Issues in Design: The Artifacts of Geological Change

Image: Thomas Sopwith, Model VI – Model Showing the Intersection of Mineral Veins, 1841

FAll 2019

Faculty: Joshua Stein (Mitchell Visiting Professor 2019-2020)

AIADO 4954 001 (2199)

Fridays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If the Anthropocene denotes the effects of human development on the earth’s geology, what would it mean to imagine that all mineral forms around us qualified as geology? Our cities, buildings, spaces, and objects—all the artifacts that were once understood to be a part of civilization—could instead be reclassified as part of the geological world. In this case, we might also designate the role of the designer as a “Geological Change Agent.” How might the tools of the design disciplines factor into this new conception of our surroundings? We will develop new representational techniques and produce new artifacts (both two and three-dimensional) that document anew our environment, its architecture, and its objects. To do this, we will study historical and existing modes of geological representation and then attempt to “reverse engineer” the geology of our contemporary artifacts, eroding their initial familiarity by exposing their recent histories of resource extraction and their imminent futures beyond their anticipated functionalities.

Learn more about Mitchell Visiting Professor Joshua Stein here

Prerequisite: Must be a sophomore or above to enroll.