Tutor: Sophie Gaur

Timetable: Tuesday 2:30pm  – 5:30pm

Location: 051.08.004

The course aims to direct and assist a methodology of understanding objects both in a contemporary and a historical context.

ThingSpeak is a course to get you to think about Objects and ‘things’ in relation to ideas, prejudices, technologies and history. It questions how we look at objects and what they mean to us. It examines the drivers of contemporary design by analysing why and how objects have been made from time immemorial, and it aims to help construct a diverse and in-depth understanding of objects in this information-laden world. It is a course that assists in the development of a unique individual response to objects, from the perspectives of the artist, designer, user and observer.

The course aims to direct and assist a methodology of understanding objects both in a contemporary and a historical context. It encourages one to view objects critically, emphasizing equally on varying aspects such as technology, science, mythology, cultural identity and aesthetics. The course aims to get students to think about the larger world of objects – away from the more ubiquitous desirable objects of today, to develop thoughtful and insightful appreciations.

While tracing back the origins of objects it is evident that most ancient methods of production continue to survive in their most basic forms despite concurrent advancements in technology and society. This is testimony to the continued significance of basic craft and production technologies in today’s world. This tutorial also offers a journey into how and why objects are crafted or made. It attempts to understand old technologies and techniques in their contexts, by analysing crafted objects in detail, with reference to material, technology and culture. Furthermore, it involves the examination of the environment of the product and its extended terms of use. Through the course students will develop an understanding and curiosity about the unique stories of objects and how we respond to them – working from first principles to determine the nature of the materials they use, the functions they perform and the social communities from within which they are born. They will also gain a sympathy and understanding of the history of technological and social and political change as well as get introduced to the non-functional, symbolic lives of objects.