Interdisciplinary Art and Design Practices

The Interdisciplinary Art Practices seminar investigates the exploratory character of art and design work in the interdisciplinary modalities of contemporary culture and the city. In the present context, where artists and designers must respond to challenges of global magnitude and local impacts, engage with cross-cultural, often conflicting conditions, and operate in disparate economic and societal realms, the need for increased engagement and collaboration is paramount. Thus, and frequently, the complexity present in the contexts of action—economic, social, political, cultural, and ecological— requires interdisciplinary approaches accompanied by cross-pollinating knowledge and skillsets.

Examples of such approaches can be found in history, such as DADA, the Situationists, and other avant-garde movements, and in contemporary art and design practices, such as the Silent University, Philadelphia Assembled, or the O.N.E. mile project and the afro-futurism movement in Detroit, which have disseminated interdisciplinary, responsive and engaged art practices that challenge the boundaries of art, design and their environments.

The seminar encourages the experimentation with/in new forms, expressions, time-scales and media as transformative contributions to life in the city, and its public domain. As Marcel Duchamp writes: “All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone.” (“Creative Act,” 1957)

Practice-oriented, the seminar follows a series of workshops dedicated to exploring artistic tools and methods as well as the context in which they performed. We will engage with the city and its communities, with art and design institutions, artists, designers and curators. While an emphasis is placed on the “making” of projects, lectures on media and methods, and discussions will be equally relevant.

Fundamental goals of the seminar are:

  • To expose the student to methods, techniques and positions of various interdisciplinary art and design practices:
  • To explore how art and design practices can engage with the public domain;
  • To creatively explore the potentials of various media in the realization of ideas;
  • To raise relevant questions and to test them through the development of projects;
  • Student evaluation is based on the workshop projects, participation in class, and the final workshop portfolio.

The seminar is required for the MDes track in Art Design and the Public Domain (ADPD). A limited number of additional spaces are available.

Prerequisites: It is required the student have prior experience in the making of art and/or design. The thinking-making relationship and questions on Why/What/How will be addressed systematically.

Priority enrollment is given to MDes ADPD students who must select course first in limited enrollment lottery.

Priority enrollment is given to MDes ADPD students. A limited number of additional seats are available via the limited enrollment course lottery.