Design Studies Offers Course Examining Spaces of Control and Dissent

Spring 2015 Notable Course Preview

Spatial Studies: Control/Dissent
Instructor: Jilly Traganou
CRN 6563,  PGHT 5604

This spring, Parsons ADHT will offer “Spatial Studies: Control/Dissent” taught by Professor Jilly Traganou. As an elective in the Design Studies Master of Arts program, the course will explore the reciprocity that makes space a social construct and society, a spatial entity.

Students will examine spatial conflict through the texts of authors such as Henri Lefebvre and Michel Foucault, while studying New York City and other specific locations as historical and current spaces for dissent. Selecting and analyzing a site or geographical area in which dissent has physically manifested, students will then advance a proposition, which uses design as a course of action to transform the contention. This proposition will be continuously revised throughout the course’s duration with feedback from peers, guest speakers and reviewers, and community groups. Students will be expected to frequently reflect on their revision processes, ruminating on the ways in which theory and design evolve together. A major aim of the course is to bridge design practice and spatial studies, applying studio methods to theoretical issues in order to present possible solutions.

The class, which was first offered two years ago, draws from Professor Traganou’s research on Olympic design, and how and why anti-Olympic movements used design, from posters to spatial occupation, to express their opposition. “Spatial Studies” seeks to broaden the scope of her project, opening the inquiry up to relevant current issues such as the NY protests in the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, the umbrella revolution in Hong Kong, and the Carry That Weight Campaign at Columbia University. The interdisciplinary course’s wide range of interests will seek to bring vitality to class discussions as well as to the final creation of student-driven podcasts.



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