Design & Society Webinar Oct. 16

Join me and Danya Glabau of Implosion Labs, LLC for a free webinar on critical & anthropological approaches to design, from 1-2pm on Tuesday, October 16. Why has design become such an important tool in thinking about technology and society?

Graphic of a 3D wireframe urban block

Design is a dominant paradigm for building and understanding the modern world. The language of design is especially prominent in the digital realm, where its assumptions influence how we interact with the world and with each other.

In this 45-minute webinar, media anthropologist Dr. Jordan Kramer will outline critical perspectives on digital design that will shake up participants’ assumptions about the impact of design on society. Participants will consider questions like: How has design come to matter? Why does it seem like such an important tool in our current moment? What norms and assumptions inform the design of everyday technologies through approaches like UX? And what are the political effects of interface design?

Participants will leave this webinar with an overview of the critical questions that practitioners, users, and observers can ask to ensure that the futures we design will truly be better than the past that designers seek to transcend.

Implosion Labs
Design & Society Webinar

1-2pm EST
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Take Critical Design at The Brooklyn Institute this September!

I’ll be teaching my course on critical and ethnographic approaches to design, especially technology design, this September in Brooklyn:

Critical Design: Interface and Imagination
Jordan Kraemer

The Brooklyn Commons, 388 Atlantic Ave in Boerum Hill

Is design the new core competency? From user experience research to sustainable development, professional labor and productivity is increasingly framed in the language of design, while design fields are growing rapidly in industry and academia alike. This is partly a product of “design thinking,” an alternative approach to interacting with the world through the tools of design. In these contexts, design purports to approach diverse facets of human life in terms of innovative problem-solving, whether it be resource management in the Global South, urban development, home furnishings, or the latest tech gadgets and platforms. But what does it mean to approach the world in terms of design, and who is designing what and for whom? What is at stake in framing labor in terms of design? What norms become encoded in interface design, for example, and how does this shape technology-related practices?

This course takes design, especially interface design, as an object of study through empirical and critical analysis. This is not a course in the subdiscipline of “critical design” per se, but rather a sociological and anthropological study of design and related theories and practices. We will read works by Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Bruno Latour, Gilles Deleuze and other theorists, in conversation with emerging literature in critical studies of design, such as the work of Lucy Suchman, Paul Dourish, Natasha Dow Schüll, Dawn Nafus, and Keith Murphy. In this class, students will not only explore contemporary critical design literature and key theoretical backgrounds, but will also engage critically with the creation, use, and understanding of user experience, interface, and design aesthetics.

Held Thursdays, 6:30-9:30pm
Starts September 8, 2016
Lasts 4 weeks
Costs $315

Enroll at the Brooklyn Institute’s website.