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COMPLIT 217 - 14 Things (A Secret History of Italian Design) or return to Course Catalog Search

207623 – Section 001   

Faculty of Arts and SciencesComparative LiteratureJeffrey Schnapp
TermDay and TimeLocation
Spring 2018-2019  (show academic calendar)Th   10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.Gund 522 (GSD)
4  (show credit conversion for other schools)
Credit Level

Fourteen Things explores intertwinings between design, science, technology, society, art, and culture by means of the ?excavation? of fifteen objects from different periods in the history of modern Italian design, from the turn of the 20th century to the present. Combining micro- and macro-perspectives, it approaches design history from a broad aesthetic, historical, and socio-anthropological standpoint. The seminar combines readings from contemporary Thing Theory, material culture studies, and design history, with materials from literature, popular culture, and media. It is built around a chronologically ordered sequence of case studies of exemplary things: artifacts designed for purposes of sitting, drinking, lighting, walking, moving about, cooling down, cooking and cleaning, writing and calculating, or media viewing.

Exam Group

Cross Registration
Eligible for cross-registration
With permission of instructor/subject to availability

MIT students please cross register from MIT's Add/Drop application.