This seminar studies the elements of design in their pure form and in context, surveys a history of period styles and theatre, and identifies their causes. Consider Oscar Wilde’s statement from The Decay of Living 1889:

“Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life. This results not merely from Life’s imitative instincts, but from the fact that the self conscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy…”

Do you agree or disagree?

Art and design have frequently shown the inner life of humankind throughout history better than political, intellectual or social history. While a period’s style is seldom defined by the everyday choices of everyday people and is most often recorded in the works of artists, writers and intellectuals we must recognize the “times” as a major motivator for all stylistic choices. Even minor arts reflect major events.

We will study the elements of design as they exist in their pure form; a “tool box” of elements available to artists and practice the principles to which design is bound.
We will survey a history of period styles, period theatre and identify their causes.
We will explore one period’s style as a foundation for the next and dispel the Star Trek premise that future styles will only reflect the future.