L&S 25 | Thinking Through Art and Design | @ Berkeley

welcomes Mimi Zeiger

Hartmann Kett and Steinfeld for L&S25, Fall 2019

  • If you're here for L&S 25...
  • ...you're in the right place.
  • If you're here for DESINV 95...
  • ...you're also in the right place.
  • If you're here for Mimi Zeiger...
  • ...you're totally in the right place!
  • Begin by acknowledging that there's a number of reasons why you might be sitting here today, and that there may be people in the room who aren't sure if they're in the right place.
    if you're here for lns25
    if you're here for desinv 95
    if you're here for Mimi Zeiger = M(eh)-mee "fly"-ger (Vimeo)
    What we have on our hands here is an odd confluence of the first day of class and a public lecture.
    Which makes the task of crafting an appropriate introduction a bit challenging.
    I'll begin by introducing myself and my fellow instructors:
        I'm Kyle Steinfeld
        Also here is Bjorn Hartmann and Robert Kett 
    Robert will be up shortly to introduce our first speaker
    But I'd like to begin with a very short overview of the class.

    Powers of Ten
    Charles and Ray Eames 1977

    This course introduces students 
        to key vocabularies, forms, and histories 
    from the many arts and design disciplines 
    represented here at UC Berkeley. 
    It is conceived each year around a central theme 
    that responds to significant works and events on campus, 
    providing an introduction 
    to the many art and design resources 
    available to students locally.
    This semester *we focus on design* 
        and its connection to the arts 
        across a range of disciplinary contexts. 
    We will explore     
        the role of design 
            in framing our experience of "new" media and technology.
        how design intersects with allied creative fields 
            such as theater, exhibition, and public art.
        how design practice allows us to re-imagine the built environment 
            across a range of scales
                including software design, 
                product design, 
                and city planning.
    The central conceit of the course
        one "axis" by which we will organize our time together
    is that these distinct design disciplines 
    may be alternatively understood 
    as a *singular practice* 
        that operates differently at different scales.
    With this in mind, 
    we have roughly organized 
    the scales at which design operates 
    as such:

    design of the built environment operates at a range of scales.

    When people organize the built environment 
    at the scale of nanometers, 
        we call it software design
    When people organize the built environment 
    at the scale of centimeters, 
        we call it product design
    When operating 
    at the scale of meters, 
        we call it architecture
    When working 
    at the scale of kilometers, 
        we call it urban design (or landscape architecture)
    So, this is one "axis" of the course: 
        design across different scales.
    Throughout the course, 
    we will consider how design offers 
        a *toolkit for framing and approaching complex problems*, 
    and how responsible design emerges 
    through new forms of collaboration 
    with a broad field of experts
        including user advocates, artists, engineers, and scientists. 

    design offers a toolkit for addressing some of the most pressing and complex problems in the world

    Moreover, we will consider how creative workers 
        address *key social issues* through their practice.
    Of course, 
    given the nature of these issues, 
        any attempt to comprehensively enumerate them
        or disentangle them from one another
        is bound to fall short.
    Nevertheless, we've given it a whack. 
    There will be opportunity later in the course 
    for an unpacking of the genesis of 
    the four roughly-defined themes shown here, 
        which together represent the second "axis" of this course.


    Combining our two axes, 
        we arrive at a matrix of scales and issues 
        which serves as the framework by which 
            we contextualize the work presented by our invited speakers.
        and the instrument by which 
            we organize the course.
    Our questions and conversations 
        on any given week 
        and surrounding any given speaker 
    may activate some areas of this matrix more than others.
    For example, we might ask...


    How do data-driven systems for decision making 
    affect inclusivity and equality? 
    to help address this question, we'll turn to 
    Yanni Loukissas on Oct 24th.


    How will artificial intelligence 
    shape the future of work 
    and cultural life? 
    for this, we'll hear from
    Refik Anadol on Oct 17th.


    How can designers and their collaborators 
    work together to address issues of climate 
    and sustainability?
    next week in this very room, Sara Dean will speak to this topic.
    (Sara Dean on Sep 5th.)
    And so, our semester unfolds in just this way.
    On Tuesdays, 
        instructors introduce a given intersection in our matrix,
        and lead student discussion 
        of relevant background material and readings. 
    On Thursdays, 
        outside speakers are invited 
        to present to students and the general public. 
        students will engage with speakers 
        during open question-and-answer periods 
        and reflect on the presentations in assignments 
        and in discussion section.
    Today is Thursday!
    Turn over to Robert Kett, who will introduce our first speaker.
    Before I do, a bit of housekeeping:

    Find this course at https://bcourses.berkeley.edu/

    The class is managed through BCourses, 
    be sure to find the course website, where you'll find our syllabus and a bunch of other course material.
    Our first reading assignment has been posted, and is due on Tuesday!
    Since this course is at capacity, I'll mention our waitlist policy.
    If you are on the waitlist:
  • If you're on the waitlist:
  • You're free to attend any Thursday talks.
  • you may attend Tuesday lectures.
  • (only during the add/drop period),
  • You may not attend discussion section.
    * you are free to attend talks on Thursdays, as these are open to the public.
    * during add/drop period (but not after), you may also attend our Tuesday lectures 
    * i'm sorry to say that you may not attend a discussion section unless you are officially enrolled    
    This event has been organized and sponsored by Berkeley Arts + Design as part of Thinking Through Art and Design @Berkeley, and is hosted by BAMPFA.
    As I hand off to Robert,
    This event has been organized and sponsored by Berkeley Arts + Design 
    as part of Thinking Through Art and Design @Berkeley, 
    and is hosted by The Berkeley Art Museum.