Helen Armstrong, North Carolina State University
Digital Design Theory
UNIT ONE: SYSTEMS
Themes: Bauhaus basics; Rule-based design methodologies; role of computer in design
methodology; Concrete Art; Bit International; design that bridges art with science; the search
for a computer aesthetic
Read: Ladislav Sutnar, “Visual Design in Action,” Digital Design Theory p.22.
Read: Max Bill, “Structure as Art? Art as Structure?” Digital Design Theory p.39.
Read: Karl Gerstner, “Programme as Computer Graphics,” “Programme as Movement,” “Programme as Squaring the Circle,” Digital Design Theory p.30.
Read: Bruno Munari, “Arte programmata.” (Arte cinetica. Opera moltiplicate. Opera aperta). Digital Design Theory p.28.
Read: Margit Rosen, “The Art of Programming” A Little-Known Story about a Movement, a Magazine, and the Computer’s Arrival in Art: New Tendencies and Bit International, 1961–1973, (Cambridge: MIT, 2011).
Experiment: Design by Tweet
Themes: How tools affect design methodologies; Algorithmic approach to art/design; Serial Art; Emphasis on process rather than finished artifact
Read: “Algorithm” in Fuller, Matthew, Ed, Software Studies\A Lexicon (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2008).
Read: Wim Crouwel, “Type Design for the Computer Age,” Digital Design Theory p.42.
Read: Sol LeWitt, “Doing Wall Drawings,” Digital Design Theory p.48.
Read: Ben Fry and Casey Reas, “Processing . . . ,” Digital Design Theory p.98.
Experiment: Processing Exercise
Themes: Codes as systems for communication; What happens to design when it is expressed
Read: Friedich Kittler, “Code” from Fuller, Matthew, Ed, Software Studies\A Lexicon (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2008).
Read: Charles Petzold, “Chapter One,” “Chapter Two,” “Chapter Three,” “Chapter Nine,”Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, (Microsoft Press, 2001). p.3-31; p.69-85.
Experiment: Coding exercise
UNIT TWO: DEMOCRATIZATION OF TOOLS
Themes: utopia; birth of personal computer; graphic user interface; object-oriented
Read: Ivan E. Sutherland, “The Ultimate Display,” Digital Design Theory p.36.
Watch: Sketchpad demo
Experiment: Code exercise
Themes: birth of hacker culture; politics of programming; tinkering and mass making
Read: “The Hacker Manifesto” by The Mentor (first published in the underground hacker ezine Phrack, 1986).
Read: Turner, Fred, “Introduction,” from Counterculture to Cyberculture: Steward Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Uptopianism, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).
Read: “Whole Earth Catalog Purpose and Function,” Digital Design Theory p.41.
Watch: Keren Elazari: “Hackers: The Internet’s Immune System”
Themes: open source; participatory culture; peer production; social production
Skim: Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric Steven Raymond. p.1-23.
Read: excerpt from Benkler, Yochai, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006).
Read: Henry Jenkins, Mizuko Ito, Danah Boyd, “Chapter One: Defining Participatory Culture,” Participatory Culture in a Networked Era (Polity, 2015).
Themes: privacy; copyright; friendship; politics
Watch: Richard Stallman: “Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software”
Read: Lawrence Lessig, “Introduction,” Free Culture (London: Penguin, 2005).
Watch: Glenn Greenwald: “Why Privacy Matters”
Watch: Edward Snowden: “Here’s how we take back the Internet”
Themes: community building; participation; user-generated content; networked culture
Read: David Gauntlett, “Conclusion,” Making is Connecting (2011).
Read: “What is Participatory Culture? and “Community” in Participate: Designing with User-Generated Content, (Princeton Architectural Press: 2011) p.11-27.
Experiment: Participatory exercise
UNIT THREE: INTERFACE
Themes: interface background; computers and design; code literacy
Read: Alan Kay, “User Interface: A Personal View,” Digital Design Theory p.75.
Read: Muriel Cooper, “Computers and Design,” Digital Design Theory p.64.
Read: April Greiman, “Does It Make Sense?” Digital Design Theory p.62.
Read: P. Scott Makela, “Redefining Display,” Digital Design Theory p.86.
Read: Hugh Dubberly, “Design in the Age of Biology: Shifting from a Mechanical-Object
Ethos to an Organic-Systems Ethos,” Digital Design Theory p.111.
Week Ten: Spring Break
Themes: typography; digital craft
Read: Erik van Blokland and Just van Rossum, “Is Best Really Better,” Digital Design Theory p.82.
Read: Zuzana Licko and Rudy VanderLans, “Ambition/Fear,” Digital Design Theory p.72.
Revisit Wim Crouwel
Themes: Internet of Things; nanotechnology; networks
Read: Brenda Laurel, “Designed Animism,” Digital Design Theory p.122.
Read: Khoi Vinh, “Conversations with the Network,” Digital Design Theory p.126.
Read: Paola Antonelli, “Design and the Elastic Mind,” Digital Design Theory p.106.
Watch: Sebastian Thrun: Google’s Driverless Car
Themes: Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality,
Read: VR is Still Broken
Experiment: VR Prototyping Workshop
Themes: AI; singularity; cyborgs; posthuman design
Read: Harken Faste: “Posthuman-Centered Design “Digital Design Theory p.134.
Watch: Ray Kurzweil: Get Ready for Hybrid Thinking
Watch: Nick Bostrom: What Happens When our Computers Get Smarter Than We Are?