SEM: The Future by Design

Rhode Island School of Design


This seminar provides a critical introduction to the history and sociology of design futurism and design utopianism. Utopianism and futurism - for better and for worse - have been discourses central to the evolution of modern design and indeed modern society. Through interrogations of critical moments in design history, engagement with debates in contemporary social theory and the use of case studies, this course will seek to explore the diverse roles that futurism and utopia play in contemporary society. We will consider how design utopianism and design futurism has played and continues to play a crucial role in attempts to legitimize and contest consumer capitalism.

Damian White

Rethinking Green Urbanism

Rhode Island School of Design


As over half the world's population has come to live in cities, urbanization has moved to the center of the environmental debate. This course will provide an interdisciplinary reflection on the past, present and future of ecological urbanism. Cotaught between a liberal arts and an architecture professor, (but open to all majors) the course will attempt to interrogate the ways in which green urban design has been conceptualized to date. It will interrogate the limits of present conceptions and it will explore cutting edge contemporary debates around the future of the green urban project.

Damian White

Design Studio

Brown University

ENGN 0903

ENGN 0903 Design Studio is a course open to students interested in learning (and thinking) through making. Working in a studio environment, we will iteratively design, fabricate, and critique projects, as we explore design problems and questions, and develop appropriate strategies for addressing those problems and questions. We will establish a foundation for design practice and creative process as we explore Human Centered Design, creative collaboration, exploratory play, ideation, iteration, woodworking, web design, graphic design, CAD modeling, 3D printing, CNC milling and laser cutting, amongst other fabrication techniques and design strategies – in addition to other strategies that enhance our creative processes - as we establish a technical and conceptual foundation for the design and fabrication of objects and experiences. We will document product and process throughout the semester, resulting in a portfolio of work by the end of the semester.
This course takes place in the Brown Design Workshop

Enrollment limited to 16. Instructor permission required.

DesignStudio Spring 2013
DesignStudio Spring 2014
DesignStudio Spring 2015

Ian Gonsher