AH 351 GD Theory

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I designed this course for the Maryland Institute College of Art as both a design history and theory course. The overarching course goal is for students to understand critical contemporary issues of the profession and to involve themselves in design dialogue.

Throughout the semester students read and discuss primary texts written by influential designers like Herbert Bayer, Katherine McCoy, Jessica Helfand, Lev Manovich and Kenya Hara. Whle reflecting upon these texts, students participate in various exercises that encouraged them to visually explore the material. Ultimately, this course examines the last century of graphic design critical writing and then asks the question, “What now?”

Course Syllabus: Armstrong_GDTsyllabus

See: Graphicdesigntheory.net

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Sample Student Projects
These visual explorations are part of the larger research projects. Although this was not a studio class, students informally explored their topics visually, as well as verbally.

Hastings: Visual Exploration of Jason Munn


Shih: Visual Exploration of Saul Bass


Wolper: Visual Exploration of Joshua Davis



Colson: Visual Exploration of John Bielenberg’s concept of “Thinking Wrong”


Robin: Visual Exploration of David Carson


Ciper: Visual Exploration of collaborative design model


Kostreva: zine exploring moments of personal intersection between design and society