I was channeling, but not explicit enough about, the work of Durrell Bishop, and my work about his work – unpacking his brilliantly simple and complex notion that digital products should now embody the systems of our using them, since they no longer have to take the shape of the sum of the mechanical parts they contain. Shh, and think about that for a minute.
Annnyway, we did have guest lectures from Barry Richards of Rockwell Group, the designers of the Imagination Playground, that UNICEF just launched in Haiti; Chelsea Mauldin, my erstwhile Design Trust collaborator and now Director of the Public Policy Lab; Nick Abadzis, comic book artist extraordinaire; and Noel Wilson, intrepid industrial designer with Engineers Without Borders spin-off, Catapult Design out of San Francisco. We also got ourselves properly paranoid reading Andrew Blum’s Tubes, and tiptoeing through Trevor Paglen’s incredible photography of undocumented military and industrial installations, right before Creative Time launched his Last Pictures exhibit. We even had a field trip to IKEA. It was not a boring syllabus.
Then Superstorm Sandy became not only the disruptive force that diverted us from showing up in Week 6, and from starting then completing the deep and wide class blog, but also became the focus of the final projects. Those are summarized by the students here and were critiqued by Ian Spalter of Foursquare, Scott Peterman from Parsons and Tony Moulton from Occupy Sandy.
“That was more the philosophy than the design of systems” said one student in the last class, not unhappily. Anything to make makers think and thinkers make, I say.