Product Design: Industrial Design

Intended as an in-depth overview of the history and practice of product design, the seminar will investigate questions central to its discipline.The course will follow three threads as its fundamental structure: history, materials, and product types. Spanning the last 150 years it will establish a broad historical framework within which issues of innovation, technology and social value will be further elaborated and questioned. Key case study presentations will punctuate this broader discussion: from Thonet\'s innovation in furniture design and manufacturing, to Piaggio\'s Vespa and postwar Italy, to \”Droog Design\” and today\'s current developments and opportunities. Ultimately it will seek to ask the question of \”interest \” and \”value\” in products and the ideological implication of their design.Visits to product design & development firms and guest lectures will complement the range of issues discussed.The seminar has a lecture and an in-class discussion component as well as student led discussions/presentations. Students will be expected to assume an active role in discussions and debates. Assignments will include case study presentations, and weekly readings and informal product presentations. Mondays 10am- 1pmRoom 510Course limit: 12Course link: www.gsd.harvard.edu/~steinber/2400-01