2021: Design as Research, “Thinking with Things”

After a year of depending on digital forms of learning, we are especially looking forward to working with tangible materials in physical space. This is a four-week design research program, focused on “Thinking with Things”—using (deceptively) simple, analogue prototypes to explore abstract ideas. A central project for the summer of 2021 will be to prototype a multidisciplinary workshop space in the Old Laundry Building: to develop conceptual models for the workshop’s physical layout, outline a list of key materials, and also to develop protocols and systems that would support the ongoing use of this kind of shared workshop space.

Students will participate in a series of design methods workshops led by program faculty and visiting guests. They will conduct interviews with students and faculty whose work centers on this kind of multidisciplinary hands-on inquiry. They will do archival research and site research, to explore and map analogous spaces at Vassar. They make (virtual) site visits to similar kinds of spaces on other campuses.

The Creative Arts Across Disciplines Summer Program Fund was made possible by the generous donation of Henry Wendt III and Holly P. Wendt ’57.

Student Stipends: $1,680* for four weeks over the summer. June 7–July 2, 2021

Applications are due April 5, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Selected candidates will be notified in mid-April.

*As this is a stipend for research, should you choose to live on campus, any fees for room and board will come out of this stipend per the appropriate offices and systems. This program may be held totally in-person or virtual, at the program directors’ discretion and in accordance with college recommendations and guidelines.

Please note: this is a full-time program, and students may not hold other college-funded positions during the session. It is expected that participants can be scheduled during normal college business hours (9–5 p.m. EST) without conflict, but with respect to virtual and remote conditions.

Preference may be given to rising seniors; graduates are ineligible to apply.

If you have any questions about the program or application process, please contact Tom Pacio.