School of Art, Media, and Technology

The Pedagogy of Design in the Age of Computation | December 7

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Parsons Communication Design Symposium:
The Pedagogy of Design in the Age of Computation
December 7, 2018, 1–5 PM
Parsons School of Design
63 5th Ave., Rm. UL 102, NYC

Open to Public – Please RSVP

Over the last twenty years, design education has had an evolving but uneasy relationship with code. Graphic and communication design programs in the late 1990s were already struggling with the idea that designers would use computers to design, so the idea that students could be taught to code—or should be taught to code—was deferred indefinitely. In the meantime, dozens of adjacent programs in new media and creative technologies sprung up to fill the gap, with many designers and artists finding their first experiences with code in those programs, while other designers elected to learn on their own, or not at all.

Twenty years later, it’s still an open question how, or whether, the surging number of students studying graphic and communication design should learn to code. Despite the increasing “program or be programmed” urgency in contemporary culture, there are new challenges. Computer interfaces are increasingly opaque, dampening both understanding and curiosity. Students pressured into narrow definitions of “career” struggle to find relevance in learning methods, techniques, and theory that don’t fit neatly into specific job titles, and even the embrace of “digital design” has taken a turn towards prototyping rather than designing digital experiences. As a result, there have been many innovations in teaching code in K-12 environments, or to artists, but learning to code is still seen as alien to the design context, even if it is nothing new.

In this symposium, we bring together designers, programmers, and educators to unpack their approaches and philosophies towards code and pedagogy in design. How did we get here and where do we go from here? What do we owe to the students?

Atıf Akın, Associate Professor in Design at Rutgers University
Taeyoon Choi, Co-founder, School for Poetic Computation
Rik Lomas, Founder and CEO, SuperHi
Mindy Seu, Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for the Internet and Society

Moderated by
Juliette Cezzar, Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Parsons

Student Presenters
Rijk van Zanten, MPS Communication Design
Jack Rieger, BFA Communication Design

Organized by
E Roon Kang, Director, BFA Communication Design
Brendan Griffiths, Director, MPS Communication Design

Poster Design by
Katherine Leisy

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