Fall 2023
VIS 2484
September 5 - December 6
Wednesday, 3:00 PM - 5:45 PM
Go to course site

Interdisciplinary Art and Design Practices


The Interdisciplinary Art and Design Practices Seminar investigates art and design work in the interdisciplinary modalities of contemporary culture, the city, and the world. As artists and designers respond to challenges of global magnitude and their local impacts, engage with cross-cultural and often conflicting conditions, and operate in disparate economic and societal realms, the need for increased engagement and collaboration is paramount. The complexity present in the context of action—economic, social, political, cultural, and ecological— frequently requires interdisciplinary approaches accompanied by cross-pollinating knowledge and skillsets.Stemming from socially engaged art and design practices, and relational aesthetics, this seminar aims to develop artistic tools and approaches that challenge disciplinary boundaries that crossover and interact with communities, policymakers, institutions, and various experts and help cultivate new forms of interdisciplinary knowledge.As art and design practices move from art in public space to art in the public interest (M. Kwon), their participatory and relational makeup can generate platforms and agencies that question dominant culture, construct new practices, establish new subjectivities, and subvert existing configurations of power (C. Mouffe).This semester, we will explore the theme of survival in times of an endangered and uncertain future. As humans have become dangerous not only to themselves but also to the whole biosphere (H. Jonas), we need to reimagine strategies, pragmatic processes, effective assemblies, and spaces of collective survival that may release us from the “dead hand of the past that clutches us by way of living people who are too frightened to accept change.” (K. S. Robinson, The Ministry for the Future). Throughout the semester, we will engage in a series of conversations with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs while examining nuclear energy sites, including uranium mines, power reactors, testing sites, and all sorts of exclusion zones in various geographies, and their complex multitemporal implications on human, nonhuman life, and the planet.Practice-oriented, this seminar at the intersection of art, design, and activism includes lectures and assignments dedicated to exploring artistic tools and methods and the context in which they perform.

Urban Planning and Design
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Course Level
Interest Area
Design & Architecture
Cross Registration