Safety and Security in Design

The seminar will begin on February 9. Starting on February 3rd, pleasefeel free to email me at Paola_Antonelli@moma.org and I will send youthe syllabus and the first reading assignment. Thank you. Paola AntonelliSafety is an instinctive need that has guided human choices throughout history. The protection, reassurance, and comfort that we crave – for our selves and our homes, families, cities, nations, and for the whole world – shape much of our daily activities and indeed the system on which our society operates. Risk, on the other hand, is mankind\'s propelling fuel. We crave discovery, innovation, and inspiration, no matter how dangerous. We need to step into unknown territory in order to expand our universe. Design is the key. Designers – of all types, from architects to way-finding experts–are trained to balance risk-taking with protection, and to mediate between disruptive and progressive change and safety. Designers make revolutions viable, understandable, and accessible for other human beings. Design can intervene to mediate between global and individual needs by drawing safety into its embrace and making it part of its path towards a more inventive, balanced, and harmonious environment.In the course of this seminar we will research, to name just a few topics: -The difference between safety and security-the different notions of safety and security that inform architecture and design projects-the way designers and architects can modulate them in the final project -the fine line that divides function (being safe) from emotion (feeling safe)-what safety means in different parts of the world and what design can do about itWe will examine real objects, some born from innovation, others stemming from tradition. We will consider many categories, from pacemakers to refugee and homeless shelters, baby strollers, active networks for emergency response, and the display of nutritional information, for instance. An extensive reading list will provide the backbone for the research.