Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FOY18 (AF:431874 AR:236379)
ECTS credits
Degree level
Corso di Formazione (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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The course is particularly suited to the Architecture track, because it explains what design cultures. Students are indeed asked to reason about the relationships between industrial (and graphic) design, visual arts and architecture. Design is thus introduced as a way of thinking, planning and organizing the phases of conception and execution. The course - using many examples coming from Art History and contemporary visual production - is also an introduction to European visual culture.
The students will be able to understand how design works and to orient themselves in the close fields of design, art and architecture. Moreover, they will learn to read images not only in figurative terms (for what they represent) but also considering their composition and visual balance, their material existence and their ways of signifying through the use of colors, shapes and the relations between all elements.
Through the practical assignment, students will be involved in the production of a cultural visual artifact and thus confronted to a collective piece of work.
This course will give the students an overview on the world of design and its theories.
First of all, it will explore what design is, also in relation with art and architecture. With this framework in mind and taking departure from many examples, we will explore and discuss some concepts such as multiplicity/uniqueness; original/copy; object/process. We will deal with the Design Method developed by Bruno Munari to understand what are the steps to take in every design process and reconstructing this process for famous design artifacts.
We will continue giving special attention to visual communication as an attempt to overcome linguistic barriers: we will begin with the laws of perception (Gestalt theory, visual balance, theory of colors) that are supposed to be the same for every culture and society, and explore the attempts of communicating in a universal language: from Isotype statistical language to international signage systems for airports and sport events; from international campaigns to global brands.
In the meanwhile, we will see those attempts through a critical eye, demonstrating how every form of communication has a situated character and depends on the culture in which it is immersed. Finally, we will explore how typography and layout can carry meaning and enforce what is communicated through verbal language.
The theoretical course will be matched with a collective practical design project, to understand practically how a design process works. Also tips about graphic elements such as composition, layout, use of color will be given.
B. Munari, Design as Art.
B. Munari, Da cosa nasce cosa.
R. Falcinelli, Critica Portatile al Visual Design.
M. Vignelli, The Vignelli Canon.
E. Lupton, Graphic Design Thinking.
Two midterm exams: one is a written assignment (after lecture 4); one is a retrieval and reading of a case study (after lecture 6).
The final oral exam will be on all the program.
The final evaluation will depend on: midterm exam 25%; presentation of the reading 25%; discussion of the case study 25%; final exam 25%. Also active participation and presence will be evaluated, as much as the participation and engagement in the collective artifact (the book of self-presentation).
Every lecture will consist in a traditional frontal lecture.
For every lecture, all the students will be asked to read a short article on the topic of the lecture. One of them will have to present it. The others to discuss it.
Students will also be asked to produce a collective work - a book of archival photos, drawings and texts.
This programme is provisional and there could still be changes in its contents.
Last update of the programme: 07/10/2022