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Student work: Olivia Champagne 

Theme: Designing with Care

This semester’s iteration of ARCH 1450 Understanding Design urges students to consider the role of designers as caretakers of the people, places, and resources around them.

It aims to shift their understanding of design from an act of making focused on the creation of new objects to a critical project of unmaking or re-making that takes stock of existing contexts and conditions to imagine radically different futures.

In addition, the course considers the practice of care across scales—from the personal to the collective: from the care of bodies and communities to the maintenance of buildings and environments. Students are exposed to a range of speakers whose work open up conversations around the power of design to express diverse identities, build robust community networks, dismantle oppressive histories, and confront the realities of a rapidly changing climate.

Summary of Speakers

As noted by Assistant Professor Ang Li, the topics and guest lecturers change semester by semester and are shaped by each instructor.

Past speakers have included the department’s own Assistant Teaching Professor Mary Hale, Joyce Hwang from Ants of the Prairie, Ava Roy, Creative Director for We Players, and Michelle Millar Fisher, PhD, Design Curator for the Museum of Fine Arts.