Since earliest times artists and designers have been major contributors to the Culture of War.
War propaganda commissions, design of s uniforms, armor, weapons, war camouflage, war monuments, war memorials, war shrines is a historical testimony to this fact.
In challenge to such \”professional\” heritage, this studio course will focus on mastering the power of artists, and designers in historically opposite \”Un-War \” direction – in interruptions and critical deconstructions of the workings of Culture of War and in pro-active work toward new Un-War Culture.
In time of continuing regional and civil wars, and continuing proliferation of nuclear weapons and a perspective of war as a global nuclear annihilation, it is imperative for artists and designers to continue and expand their engagement in peace building and un-war projects.
In search of specific design and artistic contribution to such larger ‘cultural disarmament’ and Un-War mission, this studio will focus on projects that can \”disarm\” the existing War Memorials, War Monuments and War Shrines and \”re-arm\” them for their new peace-building role.
Focus on existing, already built War Memorials is important because they are part of a key symbolic armament of Culture of War and Cult of War.
More specifically, the student projects may involve invention, development and practical experimentation with new especially designed, supplemental architectural structures to provide conditions for media installations, interactive displays, immersive environments as well as interventional, performative programs alternative commemorative events and projects: all superimposed, juxtaposed or in side-by-side relation with the iconic and textual narrative, architectural- sculptural symbolism, forms, programs and functions of the existing war Monuments Memorials and Shrines.
Work on projects will be supplemented by discussions, readings and student presentations reviews with guest critics and field trips.
The first half of semester will be devoted to study and design search and conceptual development of spatial and media, structures, interfaces, interactive responsive and display equipment and systems that can successfully engage, effect, transform the meaning of existing historic statues and monuments without physically touching engaging or altering them.
The second half of semester will be devoted to work on selected project(s) by students working in group(s) toward final presentation that will include a display of large scale models and/or full scale prototypes in public space.