Design for Living
General Catalog Course Title:
Rhetoric, Culture and Society
Terms Offered:
Summer 2010

We find ourselves in a world we make, and we find that we are made and unmade in the making of it. What are we to make of the abiding artifice that is "the political" in a world of design-objects, of manufactured products, of consumer goods? What are we doing when we are doing design and what do we do when we discern that design has designs on us? Where is the agency in artifice? What are the political possibilities of design? We will take selections from Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, Walter Benjamin, Judith Butler, Donna Haraway as points of departure from which we will go on to read design-objects as texts as construed by Roland Barthes, Kobena Mercer, Carol Adams, Daniel Harris, and others. Finally, we will grapple with the politics of some contemporary design movements -- peer-to-peer coding, Green Design -- that would undertake to remake the world in the image of particular ends, like collaborative democracy or sustainability.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.