Fundamentals of Design

Studio Brief

Max Vanatta

Students have been foundational to the transformative activism that has dominated the past years with social media being used to create movements and classes organizing walkouts for various causes. In this studio, we’ll build upon this desire to improve our world by designing and fabricating interactive devices that can be embedded around the local community that empower us to engage with other people, places and challenges through civic participation and engagement.

Students will research social phenomena at the intersection of politics, social science, data science, society, civics, development and stewardship. Building upon this and the opportunities for skill growth throughout the class, students will design the next generation of products for people to re-shape their community, participate in civic life, and engage in civic dialogue and action.  This is an opportunity for students, having thought civically, to focus in on an issue that they find to be most pressing, concerning, or in need of attention.  The moments of activism may not be massive, global scale events such as those orchestrated by Greta Thunberg, but could relate to a more local, and personal scale of activism, the whole spectrum of scales is available.  

In this studio, students will use the power of digital design (computer aided drafting, 3D modeling) rapid prototyping tools (laser cutters, 3D printers), and microprocessor electronics to create interactive devices and installations.