Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Course Syllabus 2014

CS-500H-01 Designs On Us: The Politics and Anti-Politics of Design

Course Blog: http://designsonus.blogspot.com/
Dale Carrico: dcarrico@sfai.edu; ndaleca@gmail.com

Attendance/Participation, 10%; Precis, 10%; Designer Presentation, 10%; 10+ Comments, 10%; Symposium Presentation, 10%; Final Paper, 50%

The proposal that is the point of departure for our course is that design discourse is a site where at once politics is done and politics is disavowed. Design as a site of "designation" is a gesture of naming as mastery, of reduction as revelation, of problems as provocations to instrumental technique and not stakeholder struggle, a mentalite with its own paradoxical temporality, publicity, linearity, cognition. Design as a site of the "designer label" is an indulgence in fetishism, of the commodity-form, an auratic posture, the psychic compensation of lack and its threat. To elaborate and pressure these propositions, we will spend quite a bit of time in the critique of three design discourses in particular: (one) Green design which would accomplish sustainability without history, (two) social/p2p software design which would accomplish democracy without participation, and (three) eugenic design which would accomplish life-enhancement without lifeway diversity. In your individual presentations I hope we will ramify our attentions to other design sites: comparative constitutions, fashion design, food styling, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape design, "life coaching," and who knows what else?

Week One | August 27 -- Introductions

Added, for those who mentioned during the opening lecture that they might like a little more background on the fetishism of the Designer Label:

Marx on The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof from Capital
Walter Benjamin, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility
Naomi Klein, Taking On the Brand Bullies from No Logo

Week Two | September 3 -- Biomimicry, Cradle to Cradle, Natural Capitalism

Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology
Dale Allen Pfeiffer, Eating Fossil Fuels
Janine Benyus, Echoing Nature
Biomimicry Institute, Velcro
William McDonough & Michael Braungart The NEXT Industrial Revolution
Cradle to Cradle -- Principles
Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, Paul Hawken, A Roadmap for Natural Capitalism
OpenPolitics Critiques of Paul Hawken and Natural Capitalism

Week Three | September 10 -- Permaculture and Viridian Design

Bruce Sterling, When Blobjects Rule the Earth
Bruce Sterling, Manifesto of January 3, 2000
Viridian Design Principles
Bruce Sterling, Last Viridian Note
Wes Jackson and Wendell Berry, A 50-Year Farm Bill
The Land Institute: (a) Issues (b) Solutions (c) Science
Navdanya: About Us
GEN: Global Eco-Village Network: Definitions
Permaculture Design Principles, Online Interactive Presentation

Week Four | September 17 -- "Green Cities" and Geo-Engineering

Mike Davis, Slum Ecology, pp. 121-150 of Planet of Slums
Mike Davis, Sinister Paradise: Does the Road to the Future End at Dubai?
Stewart Brand, How Slums Can Save the Planet
Frank Lloyd Wright, Broadacre City Plan
The Guerrilla Gardening Homepage: Getting Started
East Bay Urban Agriculture Alliance
RUAF Foundation
LEED
Time Magazine on Geoengineering
Scientific American, Has the Time Come to Try Geoengineering?
Naomi Klein, Geo-Engineering: Testing the Waters

Completely Optional, for the curious, my own What Are People Really Talking About When They Are Talking About "Geoengineering"?

Week Five | September 24 -- p2p as Democracy and e2e as Liberty

Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas, Chapter Three: Commons on the Wires
Yochai Benkler, Wealth of Networks, Chapter 12: Conclusion
Michel Bauwens, The Political Economy of Peer Production
Saskia Sassen, Interactions of the Technical and the Social: Digital Formations of the Powerful and the Powerless 
James Boyle, The Second Enclosure Movement and the Construction of the Public Domain
The Folly of Technological Solutionism: An Interview with Evgeny Morozov
Evgeny Morozov, Connecting the Dots, Missing the Story
Frank Pasquale, Social Science in an Era of Corporate Big Data


Week Six | October 1 -- Two Generations of Digital Revolution and Devolution

John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace
Eric Hughes, A Cypherpunk's Manifesto
Tim May, The Cryptoanarchist Manifesto
Bruce Sterling, Maneki Neko
Digby (Heather Parton) The Netroots Revolution
Dan Gillmour, We the Media, Chapter One: From Tom Paine to Blogs and Beyond
Clay Shirky, Blogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing
Aaron Bady, Julian Assange and the Conspiracy to "Destroy the Invisible Government"


Week Seven | October 8 -- Network Notworks Neutworks and Security Theatre

Charles Mann, Homeland Insecurity
David Brin, Three Cheers for the Surveillance Society!
Lawrence Lessig, Insanely Destructive Devices
Net Neutrality, etc. Free Press
Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter, Dawn of the Organised Networks
Geert Lovink Blogging: The Nihilist Impulse.
Geert Lovink, Principle of Notworking
Jodi Dean, Blogging Theory

Completely Optional, my own, p2p Is Either Pay-to-Peer or Peers-to-Precarity

Week Eight | October 15 -- Digital Utopians, Libertopians and Techbros

Katherine Hayles, Liberal Subjectivity Imperiled: Norbert Weiner and Cybernetic Anxiety
Jaron Lanier, One Half of a Manifesto
Jaron Lanier, First Church of Robotics
Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, California Ideology
Astra Taylor, Six Questions on the People's Platform 
David Golumbia, Cyberlibertarians' Digital Deletion of the Left
Jedediah Purdy, God of the Digirati
Vernor Vinge, Technological Singularity
Nathan Pensky, Ray Kurzweil Is Wrong: The Singularity Is Not Near
Marc Steigler, The Gentle Seduction
Dave Schilling and Jules Sulzdaltsev, Reasons Why San Francisco Is the Worst Place Ever

Week Nine | October 22 -- Posthumanisms

Hannah Arendt, Prologue to The Human Condition [Just read pp. 1-6]
C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
Liza Mundy, Everything Conceivable
Slavoj Zizek, Bring Me My Philips Mental Jacket
Annalee Newitz, Breeding the Future [if the url is wonky search google for it, "Breeding the Future Newitz" -- believe me, it's there]
Eskow, RJ Homo Futurus: How Radically Should We Remake Ourselves -- Or Our Children?
Ralph Brave, James Watson Wants to Build a Better Human
Donna Haraway, Manifesto for Cyborgs

Week Ten | October 29 -- Neoliberal Eugenics

Frantz Fanon, The Fact of Blackness
Paul Gilroy, Preface to Postcolonial Melancholia 
Critical Art Ensemble, Eugenics: The Second Wave
Mitchell, Ben C.; Hook, C. Christopher, State-sponsored Liberal Eugenics Has Just Begun
Hari, Johann, Why I Support Liberal Eugenics
Nicholas Lemann, The Bell Curve Flattened
Jean Comaroff, Beyond Bare Life -- Neoliberal Order
Amy Goodman Interview with Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid

Week Eleven | November 5 -- Back to the Future: Design Retrofutures

Hal Foster, Design and Crime
William Gibson, The Gernsback Continuum
Daniel Harris, The Futuristic
Roland Barthes, The Nautilus and the Drunken Boat

Week Twelve | November 12 -- Symposium

Week Thirteen | November 19 -- Symposium

Week Fourteen | Thanksgiving Holiday 

Week Fifteen | December 3 -- Remarks and Recapitulations, Bacchanal