Design and Public History

Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. Aesthetics as “critical reflection on art, culture and nature.”

aesthetically appealing objects were beautiful in and of themselves.

Within these disciplines there is a large requirement upon the following skills:

  • computer aided design (CAD), 3D visualization, and model making skills
  • concept development
  • design process, formal elements of design, color theory
  • presenting ideas as sketches, scale plans, computer-generated visuals and models
  • understanding of visual art techniques, practices and skills
  • understanding of 2D, 3D and 4D media, specifically; typography, photography, page layout/visual composition, video and web design.
  • discussing and development of ideas with clients
  • producing final presentations or comprehensive drawings (comps)
  • understanding the correlations between media, concept, context, audience and message
  • understanding the choices of materials and costs involved
  • incorporating the strengths and awareness of limitations involved with the various methods of production printing
  • knowledge of safety, regulations and applicable standards
  • psychology, sociology, communication, technology, business, history
  • perception

Interpretive Graphics Designer

Explanation and understanding on an emotional, psychological level.

Curator of Exhibitions

Coordinator—reveals new insight or knowledge/understanding by the choices, sequential ordering/grouping, and look of selected bodies of work or provokes further questions and investigations because of those decisions. Frequently involves the development of an underlying theme of some kind with the purpose of creating context, comparison or contrast.

Graphic Designer

Problem solver, visual organizer—Determines a client’s needs to shape a specific message targeted to a specific audience and presented by visual media.

Exhibition Designer

Creates a physical arrangement, sequence, look, and context for greater understanding of visual work.

Public Artist

Knowledge of applicable building and construction codes, public policy, grant writing.

Installation Artist

  • Concept driven
  • Equally skilled in many diverse media
  • Individual works are usually temporary
  • Site-specific work

Gallery Owner/Director

  • Exhibitions are typically shorter in duration
  • Exhibitions tend to reflect the personal tastes of the director

Museum Director

  • Exhibitions are typically longer in duration
  • Exhibitions reflect the overall formal mission of the institution

Exhibition Specialist

  • Time period
  • Geographic region
  • Culture
  • Style


  • Spirit of Time and Place (Relegion, Culture, Geography, Technology, Era)
  • History

Contextual meaning

Surroundings influence the understanding and meaning of any of the component parts. Metaphor is frequently employed as a means of simulating context for clarifying abstract ideas or conceptual directions.

Experiential Learning

Learning/understanding takes place on more than one sensory level (sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, intellectual, emotional, physiological, psychological)

Devised Learning

Brainstorming, Improvisation, Intuition


  • Space Mtn.

Multi-part Design

  • Campaigns
  • Series
  • Visual Identity
  • Comparative Studies
  • Chronological development

Multi-Sensory Experience

  • Map (5 senses)

Emotional + Cognitive Intelligences

  • feeling + understanding

Design For the Common Good

  • AIGA
  • Not-for-Profit

Design Thinking—ARTH 101

  • Design works analyzed formally with reference to their particular cultural, social, political and religious contexts—the Zeitgeist—of the time. How designers have practiced the art of communication by manipulating type, material, image, symbol, color, line and shape to influence and inform a specific audience. We will also see how changing technology has affected these historical innovations. Design Thinking is meant to provide an awareness of style, a close scrutiny of exemplary work, and an appreciation of the long tradition of design innovation. An ability to critically analyze visual material, cultivate informed judgments about their meaning and draw connections between them and business decisions and growth..


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