November 27, 2012

Harvard Graduate School of Design: Art and the Public Domain

Harvard University
Phytosensors detecting toxicity released from a flash flood along the Sudbury River. “The Cloud of Unknowing”, a project by Dan Borelli (MDesS ’12), focuses on the impact of climate change and subsequent extreme events on existing contaminated sites such as the Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump in Ashland, MA.

Area Coordinators:
Krzysztof Wodiczko, Professor in Residence of Art and the Public Domain
Sanford Kwinter, Professor of Architectural Theory and Criticism

Seeking to engage with the public and social realm—physical or virtual—with a view to shaping and transforming human action and historical experience, the Art and the Public Domain concentration of the Masters in Design Studies (MDesS) program gathers creative and ambitious individuals from all backgrounds and academic disciplines with a keen interest in contemporary issues of urban, historical, aesthetic, and technological culture, and with a predilection for intervention, exhibition, and public work.

This program also seeks practicing architects, artists, filmmakers, and cultural producers wishing to ‘switch gears’ and develop a practice of creative and imaginative speculation or art-related work with an emphasis on sophisticated thinking, advanced fabrication methodologies and techniques, and temporary projects with a social aesthetic that animate the built realm and bring life to public space.

The program seeks applicants who have demonstrated overall academic and/or professional achievement in the design fields and who have the potential for advanced work in the concentration area. Three semesters of full-time study in residence are required for students entering into the program during the 2012–13 academic year.

Specific course work is customized to each student’s qualifications and academic and professional objectives and is constructed by the individual student in consultation with his or her academic advisor, including courses such as Mixed Reality City, and Interrogative Design: Animating Monuments.


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