site
stats

COGNITION & DESIGN

From August to December during my appointment as visiting researcher in the Department of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, I was a teaching assistant, lecturer, and workshop facilitator for a course called Cognition & Design. Here is the course description copied from the department website:

"COGS 205 Cognition and Design, 3 credits. Urbanism is design; architecture is design; of course, the aesthetic shaping of artifacts (such as computers, cars, and coffee machines) is design. Configuring surfaces, volumes, and portions of space in special ways, creating and changing formats for things and places that allow cultural practices to unfold while delimiting them, are essential “designing” endeavors of human civilization and are, necessarily, activities based on the cognitive capacities and constraints of our species. We “cognize” the human world in terms and frames of “designed” surroundings. Design is a basic expressive activity, by which we interact with our artificial and natural surroundings and create “interfaces” between mind and reality, thus upholding an interpretable world. Landscapes and cityscapes, work spaces of all sorts, buildings and parks, exteriors and interiors of homes, factories, institutions, and temples; furniture, artifacts such as machines, tools, weapons, symbolic objects, even the configuration (“building”) of our own bodies, are design. An inquiry into cultural cognition, aiming to understand how humans as socio-cultural beings think and feel, therefore needs to explore this dimension of spatial expressivity and to acknowledge it as a constitutive fact of human meaning production; it needs to study the aesthetic and pragmatic, political and historical, philosophical and religious, and simply everyday practical, semiotic aspects of this basic form of human creativity. This course will focus on spatial expressivity – design – in several primary keys and scales, including design for learning; design for verbal and technical communication, interaction, and commerce; design for expressions of authority and deliberation; and design for emotional display." [course descriptions]