American Pragmatism and Graphic Design: Retrieving the Historical and Philosophical Constitutions of a ?Non-Theoretical? Approach

Julia Moszkowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores the contribution of American pragmatic philosophy to the discipline of graphic James, and the teaching of graphic design at the New Bauhaus and The Institute of Design, in Chicago, in the 1930s. A detailed textual analysis of Dewey?s Experience and Education (1938) is offered in relation to the writing of László Moholy-Nagy, who instituted the curriculum at the New Bauhaus, highlighting their common ground. This close textual reading reveals strong intellectual and conceptual affiliations between the pragmatic movement and the discipline of graphic design. In the process, this textual analysis augments established historical associations with a strong sense of philosophical tradition and intellectual correspondences. This paper identifies parallels in the use of language and concepts between Moholy-Nagy, Dewey and James, and proposes an active reconnection with its underlying philosophical constitutions ? its epistemology, if you will ? in order for the discipline of graphic design to unlock the critical potential of a pragmatic methodology once more.design, setting out to reconnect contemporary practices with their historical and intellectual origins. The paper establishes strong discursive and historical connections between the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey and William
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-338
Number of pages24
JournalDesign Journal
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

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