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Fall 2021 ︎︎︎ SUNY Purchase ︎︎︎ (DES4100) Community Design

What is Community? (pt.1)

This class will primarily be centered on the question, what is community? We’ll examine, through work and discussion, what this question means, to us as individuals and as a class. 

What do communities look like?


  • What communities are you are part of?
  • What works for you about them?
  • How big are those communities?
  • What does “membership” mean in these communities?
  • What other names would they go by? 
  • What aspect of these groups are socially constructed and culturally fed back to you?

Viewings, part 1

We’re going to watch a in preparation for a discussion and related assignment(s). Take notes. Because of the time-sensitive nature of much of the in class works, you’ll have to view these outside of class. I will provide links to services you can watch it on, possible free places to watch it and host screenings/viewing parties for these. I will not put the links here just because I will put the links on “free” sites that may get flagged or what not. I may need to also provide some context for some of these. 

    • Star Trek: Voyager, “Unity” S03, E17 (1997)

      Here’s a super exciting trailer! This is an episode that involves the Borg. You might need some background for what the Borg are. Here is a ~5 minute synopsis. This, maybe, kinda, spoils some of other Star Trek episodes/movies but I’m not expecting you to watch 5/6 hours of “the good stuff” in preparation for this class.You can watch is on Hulu, Paramount+, or Netflix.

    • The Fresh Prince of Belair, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse”  S04, E 24 (1994)

    • This is a pretty famous episode. You can watch this on HBO Max. The Fresh Prince reunion is also pretty worth watching if you are into the show.

While, and after watching think about the following:
    • What are the “communities” involved in each piece of media?
    • How do these communal bonds form? Necessity? Love? Biology?
    • How the people in these groups define their relationships? A family, 
    • How are people who are exiled from a given community or group treated?
    • How and when do they break the bonds of said community? 
    • For what purpose was the community or group originally formed?  Was it voluntary or coincidental?

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