Migrants in the City

This studio intensive workshop will deal with the territory of the migrant. How can art and design, operating physically and metaphysically, within the fields of collaborative arts practice, digital communications, wearable media, performance, sound, and architecture, help sustain the viability and presence of the migrant? Essential to this is an understanding of the tools, architecture, time, and theory relating to migrancy. Participants will, through collaboration and individual exploration, be expected to create objects/ devices / spaces that can be utilized by migrants. In the course of the semester, students will explore and discuss both the practical aspects and the theoretical literature on art/design/technology in relation to migrancy. Participants should plan on bringing their own extensive cross-disciplinary experiences and expertise to bear on this topic.

Developed in an atmosphere of extreme politicization of immigrant policies and attitudes, and heightened globalization this course will involve practical and theoretical examination of design as a response to the needs of the migrant.  The aim of this course is not to fetishize or romanticize the notion of the migrant but rather to demystify, assist and understand the migrant through collaborative art and design processes.

Tuesday class meetings will consist of discussions of guest lectures, visiting with various migrant advocacy organizations, reading assignments, and critical evaluations of ongoing student work. Thursday meetings will be mainly devoted to development of student projects.  Readings and discussions will function as necessary critical and theoretical support to the development of original design proposals, working models and environments. This design seminar will maintain and develop contacts with other groups and disciplines including the Social Practices Program, the department of Architecture, and Design faculty.

A wide range of individual student expertise in diverse fields related to the course, such as industrial design and graphic arts, performance, architecture, cultural and media theory, political activism will be invaluable to the success of this workshop.