Designing Fundamentals

Designing Fundamentals

James Addison
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Design is everywhere. We observe and encounter design during every moment of our daily lives: the objects we interact with, the spaces where we live, work, and play, the landscapes that surround us, the transportation systems that help us move, the communication systems we use, the streets and cities we navigate... Each human-made artifact tells a unique story of why and how it was created. Design is deeply woven into the history of humankind.

The act of designing physical objects and structures to solve specific challenges and as an expression of culture has existed throughout human history. Early humans carved stone tools for hunting and eating, the Mayan civilization wove thatch roofs to protect from rain, the Romans constructed aqueducts to transport water across cities, the Shang dynasty’s cast ritual bronzes for making tools, the Gandhara’s carved the Bamiyan Buddhas as an expression of spirituality, the Anastasi carving a city beneath a cliff to protect from sun. No matter when something was designed, what was made, or who made it, each was created for a specific purpose.

Design is....?

In this studio, we will explore methods and techniques for designing, design analysis, and design theory. Throughout the studio, we will address three key questions through a series of exercises, presentations, readings, and discussions:

  • What is design?
  • How do we design?
  • How does design shape our world?