Tu/Th 9:30 am – 10:50 am Bowne 306A: We live our lives surrounded by made objects, spaces and experiences. Historically, humans had a direct hand in the making process that was engaged to produce them. Beginning with the Industrial Revolution and moving forward through the Information Age, we find many Americans moving away from what political theorist Hannah Arendt termed Homo Faber (“human as maker”) and toward what might we might call Homo Consumptor, with obvious repercussions.
This course will engage a series of making processes as a method for fostering conversation and thought about the role that making plays in the 21st Century. We will engage performances and experiences, built spaces, and objects and analyze both the making process and the theoretical repercussions that affect us as consumers. In-class conversations and readings will provide context for field trips to local or regional locations and events.
Though the material in this course will be lensed through design, fabrication, and performative experience, it will be structured to engage students from any background or major.
About Professor Leonard:
Zeke Leonard is an assistant professor in the School of Design. He is a member of the environmental and interior design faculty and coordinator of the School of Design’s first-year experience.
Leonard’s research involves the role of social responsibility and environmental stewardship in contextually relevant design and fabrication practices. He regularly partners with community groups and organizations to find ways to put local resources to better use.
Leonard’s ongoing project, Salt City Found-Object Instrument Works, mobilizes his community-based sustainability efforts through interactive musical objects and installations. This project has run the gamut from client-based instrument building to playing a cigar-box guitar on stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, in partnership with various communities, he has designed and installed structure-sized musical instruments in both indoor and outdoor venues in Syracuse.
Leonard has written about his research-based design practices in the forthcoming book The Interior Architecture Theory Reader (Routledge, Gregory Marinic, Ed.) and has recently presented at the Material Studies conference at the Mackintosh School of Art in Glasgow. His work is part of the collections of the South Street Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut, and the Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton, Ontario. He previously taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and New York University and is a regular visiting instructor at institutions including the Haystack Mountain School of Craft and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Leonard holds an M.F.A. in furniture design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a B.F.A. in set design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.