AHIS 317 - Critical Contexts in Modern + Contemporary Visual Communications Design (LS)

History as Future

Since the remote past, homo sapiens has been designing its future, from the creation of small rock fetishes and immersive cave environments to the design of cities, spaceships and virtual realities. These objects and environments, in turn, have had the effect of designing ourselves, in our consummately malleable species existence. However, in recent decades a great deal of concern has been focused on challenges to human future. The future we have to date designed may, in fact, be the very future that is putting our species at risk. It is time to design otherwise.

In this course, we will use the tools we find in art history—the fecundity of images and evidence of the imagination that produced them—in order to design a proposal for a future with a future.

This course examines design through the analysis of a key theme or topic and contexts drawn from its history. Through the in-depth analysis of a selection of case studies drawn from modern and contemporary advertising, graphic design, illustration, and character design, students will develop an awareness of long-standing and emergent key issues affecting both the field of design and the role of the designer. Such issues might include the relationship between design and popular culture, historical avant-gardes, radical politics, special interests, different design movements and media, the emergence of new technologies, urban subcultures, or other phenomena. Intended to support ACAD studio-based education in Visual Communications Design, this course covers skills relevant to all visual arts disciplines while striving to provide a context and reference for the student's own practice. This seminar course emphasizes the critical engagement of students, and will utilize and welcome a broad range of perspectives.

Course Credits:


Course Prerequisites

AHIS.210 or 217 or equivalent, or consent of the Chair in consultation with the instructor.


A20002Alford, Sarah
9:00am - 11:50am room: 340


A30231Kisil, Gerry
5:00pm - 7:50pm room: ONLINE