4.110J | Spring 2013 | Undergraduate

Design Across Scales, Disciplines and Problem Contexts


Recommended readings and resources relevant to each of the lectures are presented below. Graduate students taking this course are highly encouraged to complete the readings.

L1 Design Across Scales: Intersections between Design, Science, and Technology

Colomina, Beatriz. “Enclosed by Images: The Eameses’ Multimedia Architecture.” Grey Room 02 (2001): 6-29.

Aldersey-Williams, Hugh, Peter Hall, et al. Design and the Elastic Mind. Edited by Paola Antonelli. Museum of Modern Art, 2008. ISBN: 9780870707322. [Preview with Google Books]

Museum of Modern Art. “Design and the Elastic Mind.” Museum of Modern Art.

Morrison, Philip, and Phylis Morrison. Powers of Ten: About the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero. Scientific American Library, 1982.

Eames, Charles, and Ray Eames. “Powers of Ten.” Eames Office LLC, 1977.

Ruparell, Rajeev. “Powers of Ten—A Rough Sketch (1968).” March 6, 2012. Originally released 1968 by Charles and Ray Eames. Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmHa-meEOkE

L2 Design of Futures: Past Futures, Utopian Visions, and Tomorrows of Today

Jameson, Fredric. Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. Verso, 2005. ISBN: 9781844670338. [Preview with Google Books]

Cook, Peter. Archigram. Princeton Architectural Press, 1999. ISBN: 9781568981949. [Preview with Google Books]

Online Archigram archive of images

Wigley, Mark. Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire. Witte de With, 1999. ISBN: 9789064503436. [Preview with Google Books]

L3 Design of Representation: Notation, Information, and Communication

Daston, Lorraine, and Peter Galison. Objectivity. Zone Books, 2007. ISBN: 9781890951788.

Buy at MIT Press Maeda, John. The Laws of Simplicity. MIT Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780262134729.

McLuhan, Marshall. “The Medium is the Message.” Chapter 1 in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Signet, 1964.

Tufte, Edward. Envisioning Information. Graphics Press, 1990. ISBN: 9780961392116.

L4 Design of Data: Computation, Visualization, and Big Data

Maeda, John. Creative Code: Aesthetics + Computation. Thames & Hudson, 2004. ISBN: 9780500285176.

Buy at MIT Press Reas, Casey, and Ben Fry. Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists. MIT Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780262182621. [Preview with Google Books]

Fry, Ben. Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment. O’Reilly Media, 2008. ISBN: 9780596514556. [Preview with Google Books]

L5 Design of Fabrication: Tools, Techniques, and Technologies

Aranda, Benjamin, and Chris Lasch. Pamphlet Architecture 27: Tooling. Princeton Architectural Press, 2005. ISBN: 9781568985473. [Preview with Google Books]

Giedion, Sigfried. Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History. Oxford University Press, 1948.

Sakamoto, Tomoko, and Albert Ferré. From Control to Design: Parametric/Algorithmic Architecture. Actar, 2008. ISBN: 9788496540798.

L6 Design of Mimicry: Models, Systems, and Processes

Pearce, Peter. Structure in Nature Is a Strategy for Design. MIT Press, 1980. ISBN: 9780262660457. [Preview with Google Books]

Ball, Philip. Branches: Nature’s Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts. Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780199237982. [Preview with Google Books]

L7 Design of Intelligence: From Mind to Machine

Minsky, Marvin L. The Society of Mind. Simon and Schuster, 1988. ISBN: 9780671657130.

Wiener, Norbert. Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. The Technology Press, 1948.

Shannon, Claude E. “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.” (PDF) The Bell System Technical Journal 27 (1948): 379–423, and 623–56.

Simon, Herbert A. The Sciences of the Artificial. MIT Press, 1981. ISBN: 9780262690737.

L8 Design of Play: Games and Constructs

Huizinga, Johan. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play—Element in Culture. Beacon Press, 1971. ISBN: 9780807046814.

Galloway, Alexander R. Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture. University of Minnesota Press, 2006. ISBN : 9780816648511.

Walker, Rob. “An Interview with Kevin Slavin.” Design Observer, October 10, 2011.

L9 Design of Alternative Futures: Utopias and Dystopias in Science Fiction

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. University of Michigan Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780472065219. [Preview with Google Books]

Eisenstein, Sergei. Towards a Theory of Montage. British Film Institute Publishing, 1991.

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. Ace Books, 1986. ISBN: 9780441569595.

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. “Acinema.” In Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader. Columbia University Press, 1986. ISBN: 9780231058810.

L10 Design of Innovation: Concept to Commerce

Brown, Tim. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. Harper Business, 2009. ISBN: 9780061766084. [Preview with Google Books]

Mau, Bruce, and Jennifer Leonard. Massive Change. Phaidon, 2004. ISBN: 9780714844015.

McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. North Point Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780865475878.

L11 Design of Organizational Systems: From Cells to Cities

Thompson, D’Arcy W., and Lancelot L. Whyte. On Growth and Form. Cambridge University Press, 1942.

Ball, Philip. The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature. Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780198502432.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2013
Learning Resource Types
Projects with Examples
Design Assignments with Examples