Telling Practice through Theory or Vice Versa: An Exhibition Review on “The Value of Good Design”



Design Theory, Discourses in Design, Museum of Modern Arts, Theory and Practice, Design Concepts


This paper examines the exhibition of “The Value of Good Design” held by The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The author analyzes the features of this exhibition through design discourses she conducted in the 2019 spring term within the “Discourses in Design” course at The New School. The object of this paper is to reveal the relation between the core texts in the theory of design and objects from this exhibition. Rather than looking at the curation, this paper aims to discuss the relationship between theory and practice of design by using this exhibition as a medium. The exhibition’s concept of good design and its historical narration has the capacity of rethinking our habitat and raising questions towards our material world.
In this paper, it is shown that interpretation of analyzing design objects can be a means of understanding design concepts by adopting inquiry-based learning as one of the pedagogical approaches. As a result, this paper discusses that design will develop as we find the context from our lives and then to apply to the process of learning design theory, or vice versa. It is presented in this paper as a proposal to display this connection in exhibitions by correlating with living spaces.


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