11a  160 Tangible Typography
Fall 2001
Professors Jennifer Steinkamp and Gail Swanlund
TAs  Badr Dahak and Josh Nimoy
Tangible Typography is a graduate/undergraduate  level course combining text, the creation of objects, motion design, sound, interactivity with sensors and theoretical concepts.

This course examines interactive objects, their creation and function in both real and digital space. Within this context, the course takes a fresh look at the playfulness and ingenuity of the surrealists, futurists, dynamism, and the constructivists. We will discuss the design and creation of machines, how they generate meaning, pleasure and desire. Students will also investigate the pure "objectness" of a device, and further, how its formal qualities convey or imply use and position in contemporary society.

The course addresses form and aesthetics through the "objectness" of created devices: What is "beautiful" form or useful form? Can something be both? Of course! But how is that defined in a contemporary design | media arts context and discourse? How does form change according to how the object is utilized? Is it changed when viewed from another perspective or media? How is that significant or  is utility itself the primary goal? Does an object's utility dictate its form (form follows function) or is the job of today's design | media arts practitioner to move form and meaning ahead?

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