Studio Intensive I:
Deconstruction & Reconstruction

1 Credit / 5 Weeks
Course Description

The process of deconstruction and reconstruction is one of the most powerful tools for the designer. Objects and experiences come to us packaged in coherent wholes, but as creative thinkers, we have the opportunity to tenaciously question these wholes in order to evaluate, understand, and ultimately reshape them. Deconstruction is a simple and intuitive way to take apart our present reality to perceive it anew-as a set of abstractions-freeing us to be both critical and appreciative of the way things might otherwise go together. Reconstruction, deconstruction’s natural partner, is about combining the deconstructed parts in new ways to derive innovative, novel solutions. Through this disruptive process, the designer can surface a number of new possibilities, ultimately navigating toward those that make the most sense and provide the most elegant solutions.

Course Objectives

This course introduces a process that encourages designers to quickly abstract the products of design down to their constituent parts; to reinterpret those parts based on a set of criteria (including point of view); and to build them back up to create new instantiations with new design potential. Students are encouraged to think abstractly and with daring, and to question assumptions about design, form, and intent.

Class Experience

This is a studio class where students work in teams and co-create with outside participants from other SVA departments, and/or communities outside of the school. 

Course Deliverables

Students in this course will come away with a set of tools to:

  • Assess and deconstruct a variety of design artifacts and contexts
  • Reconstruct original and unique solutions, systems and realities
  • Learn to make dichotomies co-exist, translating tension into opportunity
  • Explode constraints with deliberate imagination
  • Frame intuition with a thought structure
  • Carry a new logic forward as a repeatable process for future design engagements
Related Reading

Food for Thought: Thought for Food, by Vicent Todoli and Richard Hamilton
The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking, by Roger L. Martin
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson
Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles, by Peter Ferdinand Drucker
The Design of Herman Miller, by Ralph Caplan