Princeton University
The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities
HUM 598, M-u-l-t-i-p-l-i-c-i-t-y
Philip Ording & David Reinfurt
Mondays, 1:30–4:20 pm
Spring 2021
In this course, students explore graphic design from the vantage point of topology and topology through the practice of graphic design. We investigate topology at the junctions of surface, network, and set, illustrating the schematic nature of these configurations, as they appear in the context of certain problems in modern and contemporary graphic design. Such as, how to render figures that take multiple forms? Student design work and topological experiments are guided through class prompts, readings, and discussion. No particular experience in design or mathematics required.
Print syllabus / Download readings
February 8, 2021
The problem of multiplicity

Readings
Multiplicity.pdf (Italo Calvino)
The-Garden-of-Forking-Paths.pdf (Jorge Luis Borges)

Resources
Locus Solo (Trisha Brown)
February 15, 2021
The meta problem

Readings
Letter-&-Spirit.pdf (Dexter Sinister)
February 22, 2021
The polyhedron problem

Reading
Proofs-and-Refutations.pdf (Imre Lakatos)
Fluid-Geography.pdf (Buckminster Fuller)

Resources
https://www.bfi.org
Everything I Know (Buckminster Fuller)
March 1, 2021
The inside out problem

Readings
Inside-Out.pdf (Steingart)

Resources
Department of History, Columbia University
grey room

Visitor
Alma Steingart, Department of History, Columbia University
March 8, 2021
The problem of continuity

Readings
Species-of-Spaces.pdf (Georges Perec)
Hypothesis.pdf (Adrian Piper)

Resources
Life-A-Users-Manual (Georges Perec)
Adrian Piper Foundation
March 22, 2021
The knot problem

Reading
Mathematical-Games.pdf (Martin Gardner)

Resources
Braids and Knots (Joan Birman)
String Figures: The Collections of Harry Smith
April 5, 2021
The n-body problem

Readings
Round-and-Round-and-Round.pdf (Philip Ording)
The-Open-Work.pdf (Umberto Eco)

Resources
April 12, 2021
The curve problem

Readings
Mathematical-Artefacts.pdf (Byron Cook)
When-X-is-Not-X.pdf (David Reinfurt)

Resources
https://www.taubaauerbach.com

Visitor
Tauba Auerbach
April 19, 2021
The problem of structure

Reading
Bourbaki.pdf (Maurice Mashaal)

Resources
Sculpture-in-the-Expanded-Field.pdf (Rosalind Krauss)
"Irrational Thoughts Should be Followed Absolutely and Logically" (Mariabruna Fabrizi)
http://adampendleton.net
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