ITP Camp 2022

The Platonic Forms: Using Lessons in Greek Philosophy to Create More Meaningful Projects

Session Leaders: Zoe Cohen

Tags: #ideating #philosophy #conceptual art #impact #art #workshop #brainstorming #interaction design

Created By: Zoe Cohen

Imagine, if you will, an apple. Easy, right? You could probably identify any apple you see based on your idea of an apple, even though all apples look different. Plato’s Theory of Forms says that no real apple can live up to this idea of an apple, and all apples are just inferior imitations of this perfect, timeless, concept. A good project idea is like a Platonic Form- pure and perfect, with a clear message. But once the idea is executed, the physical creation might have muddied the idea, just like one single green apple would fail to encapsulate all an apple can be. This workshop will first examine tenets in ancient Greek philosophy like the Platonic Forms, because thinking like a philosopher helps you be more intentional and thoughtful. Then, we will use theories from these great Greek thinkers to look more critically at our existing ideas and works in progress and consider how each choice we make might have the greatest impact. How does the medium effect audience interpretation? The colors? The size? We will approach our project ideas like a philosopher so our creations are not simply cheap physical imitations of a great idea, but actually communicate that idea in a tight, intentional way, like a more perfect apple.

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