Category Archives: MA Exam

The Art of Post-Its

Never thought I’d use so many post-it notes when studying design….

Master’s Exam in 16 days!!


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An Investigation Begins…

Instead of writing a traditional thesis, I have chosen to prepare for a thesis exam. The exam will consist of an hour long conversation with two professors, Clive Dilnot and Ioanna Theocharopoulou. The conversation will be organized based on a major and minor subject. My major subject will be “Design Theory” and my minor will be “Theory of the Interior Space: 1851-1972”, two subjects that I plan on studying in parallel to modernity. The initial steps in preparing for an exam such as this will be to map out my questions, organize them into topics, and to create a bibliography on both subjects. The discussion is schedule to take place April 28th, 2011. So in the next three months I will be attempting to absorb as much reading on design as I can. Another strategy I am preparing is to configure a timeline that maps historical and cultural events alongside transformations in design. I believe mapping these correlations will be beneficial in developing overarching topics that will compose my thesis discussion. My investigation has thus begun and my first thought in igniting this daunting task was to simply follow my instincts. I freely wrote out the first books that came to mind when I think about what design and modernity mean and could mean when understood together. What follows is the first and very rough draft of a list of books.


Abercrombie, Stanley. A Philosophy of Interior Design
Asendorf, Christoph. Batteries of Life: On History of Things and Their Perception in Modernity
Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space
Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project
Brown, Prewitt Julia. The Bourgeois Interior
Cohen, Deborah. Household Gods
Colomina, Beatriz. Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media
Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle
Gideon, Siegfried. Mechanization Takes Command
Harvard Design Magazine. “What About the Inside?” Fall Winter 2008-09
Huysmans, Joris Karl. Against Nature: A Rebours
Kirkham, Pat. Designing the Modern Interior from Victorians to Today
Le Corbusier. The Decorative Art of Today
Loos, Adolf. Adolf Loos Spoken Into The Void: Collected Essays 1897-1900
Miller, Michael B. The Bon Marche: Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store 1869-1920
Muthesius, Stefan. Poetic Home: Designing the Nineteenth-Century Domestic Interior
Norman, N. Donald. The Design of Everyday Things
Perec, George. Species of Spaces and Other Pieces
Pvesner, Nikolaus. Pioneers of Modern Design: From William Morris to Walter Gropius
Rice, Charles. The Emergence of the Interior: Architecture, Modernity, and Domesticity
Sparke, Penny. The Modern Interior
Zukowski, Karen. Creating the Artful Home: The Aesthetic Movement


Adorno, Theodor. The Culture Industry
Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization
Baudelaire, Charles. The Painter of Modern Life
Badiou, Alain. Being and Event
Baudrillard, Jean. The System of Objects
Bauman, Zygmunt. Liquid Modernity
Beck, Ulrich. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity
Bell, Daniel. The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism
Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
Berman, Marshall. All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity
Bourriaud, Nicolas. The Radicant
Bourriaud, Nicolas. Altermodern
Brown, Tim. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation
Buchanan, Richard. The Design World: Images, Objects, Environments
Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle
Donald, Norman. Living with Complexity
Foster, Hal. The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays and Postmodern Culture
Foster, Hal. The Return of the Real: Art and Theory at the End of the Century
Fry, Tony. Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics, and New Practice
Fry, Tony. Design and Politics
Heller, Steven. Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility
Horkheimer, Max. Dialectic of Enlightenment
Kevin, Kelly. What Technology Wants
Krauss, Rosalind. The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths
Margolin, Victor. The Idea of Design
Papanek, Victor. Design for the Real World
Ranciere, Jacques. The Politics of Aesthetics
Sennett, Richard. The Craftsman
Scarry, Elaine. The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World
Simon, Herbert. Sciences of the Artificial
Thackara, John. In the Bubble

Soon I will begin to post my notes. Happy Reading!

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Filed under Bibliography, Design Theory, Interior, MA Exam, Modernity