Teacher's College

A syllabus is a document. Photocopied, staple-bound, and generally up to a dozen pages, it is often produced by an instructor and includes a course’s most basic information: time and location, schedule, learning objectives, grading, rules for conduct in class, introductory text, reference figures and imagery, and an overview of the course’s readings and assignments.

The goal of this workshop is to produce its own syllabus. Over two days, we will collaborate to assemble a document that outlines a future course about design education, drawing from examples both within design and beyond. On day one, each designer will arrive ready to present for 5-10 minutes on a topic of their choice. Of particular interest are educators like Socrates, Ivan Illich, Maria Montessori, and Norman Potter, educational institutions from the Bauhaus to TED, and prior syllabi like those from David Foster Wallace, Milton Glaser, and others. Following these presentations, designers will be put in teams of two, with each team contributing a single page to the course syllabus – from timelines, annotated reading lists, taxonomies, learning tools, reference aids, and more.

Following a favorite teacher of mine, the syllabus will begin with an image and end with a list, forming points A and B of the document. How these points connect, and how future designers might make use of them, will be our collective concern and ultimate project.

Suggested reading

  • Stuart Bailey, “(Only an attitude of orientation)”
  • Stuart Bailey, “Towards a critical faculty”
  • Thierry de Duve, “Putting transmission in its proper place in the art world”
  • Rob Giampietro, “School days”
  • Rob Roy Kelly, “The early years of graphic design at Yale University”
  • Mark McGurl, “The Program Era”
  • Gunnar Swanson, “Graphic design as a liberal art”
  • Anton Vidokle, “Exhibition as school in a divided city”
  • Lorraine Wild, “Castles made of sand”