Initial Assignments 2023

Here is a list of assignments to get you started this semester.

  1. Start a design notebook. Carry it with you always. Continually doodle in it, sketch details of design that catch your eye, practice shading and rendering etc. We will often have short sketching assignments during class, so please bring it to class. It could be an app (you’ll need a stylus) or a paper pad or notebook.
  2. Read syllabus: Then state that you have read it and agree to the policies by midnight Wednesday January 25 in the Canvas assignment.
  3. We’ll be using Slack for communication this semester, between students and instructors, teams etc. Join the class workspace (AesDes2023) by midnight Friday Jan 27.
  4. Complete your login and upload an image for your profile on the course website,, which will allow you to post to the blogs. Due Friday Jan 27. You’ll get an email invitation for this. Contact Eileen if you have trouble with your login. Posts and critiques are due every week. Your first required blog post is described below. Required: read the posts on Blog and Comments policies, and how to  log in and  post. For your image, consider something that represents you professionally; perhaps your face or your work? Design a logo for yourself?
  5. Complete the CATME survey by midnight January 27. You’ll get an email invitation. This survey will be used to put teams and pods (groups of teams) together. The teams will be used for support and critiques.
  6. Blog Post #1: Explore an aesthetic. We will go over the definition and examples in class, but keep this assignment in mind. For your first blog post, identify an aesthetic, include at least 6 images and/or videos illustrating it, and discuss the context a bit. When was it created? Who were the big players? What influenced it? What has it influenced since then? Be sure to find the original authors of your images and videos, and provide citations for all your information sources. This blog post will be due at midnight Feb 1. Be sure to categorize your post as ‘Student Work>2023>Post 1: Aesthetics Explorations 2023’. Aim for around 500 words in length, and three images or videos.
  7. Critiques on Blog Post #1 will be due Sunday Feb 5 at midnight. Respond to comments on your post by Tuesday Feb 7 midnight. Details: Blog and Comments policies
  8. GRAD STUDENTS ONLY: Students enrolled in the graduate sections are expected to give a 10 minute presentation to the class on a design movement, topic or designer. No repeats please, of other grad student presentations. You can cover one of my lecture topics as long as you do it before me, and designers mentioned at the end of the semester in the schedule are fair game too (I can just edit my lectures). Content from student posts (including yours) is OK too. Use this Sign-up Sheet to save a spot and a designer. Use lots of visuals to define the work, and give plenty of context. What was happening in design before, after and during? If you need inspiration, look at Fiell, Charlotte & Peter. Design of the 20th Century. Taschen America, 2012.  This is an A-Z list of famous designers and schools of design. I have a copy in my office. You might also want to look at winners of recent design competitions to find contemporary examples.
  9. Upcycle Project. This will be your individual warm-up project. Create an artifact that conforms to an aesthetic, either the aesthetic you researched, or one that someone else in class posted about. Upcycle means that your artifact should be constructed of inexpensive or recycled material, something easy to manipulate using additive or subtractive techniques: cardboard (can be laser cut), foam core, drywall, sticks, plastic forks or plates, soda cans/bottles, Legos, bubblewrap or packing peanuts, stir sticks, paper cups, pine cones, cloth, papier Mache, tires, DVDs, PVC, food, plastic bags etc. Try to avoid buying new materials. (A hint: repetition is a common component of many artworks, so for example, if you use rubber bands, use a lot of rubber bands). Here is a post with places you might find materials. You’ll be asked to document your design and construction process, so keep track of where you find inspiration. In particular, if you use an existing design you must document the source, but hopefully you will use this opportunity to create something new. Your artifact should be of moderate size, something between 0.5 and 8 cubic feet; can be small but must be viewable without a microscope, or up to as large as a chair. Plan to video the finished artifact for a short in-class presentation during the week of Feb 20, and a formal report will be due as a blog post 4 on Weds Feb 22. You might want to make one of those time-lapse assembly videos for extra awesomeness.
  10. Main Project. Deciding on your main project has been called the hardest part of this course, so don’t wait. You can get started on it right away. You can make anything you want, as long as it has some sort of dynamic component; a moving part or something that changes with time. You are expected to pay for the materials (cost at least equivalent to a hardcopy textbook, say $150) and the project is yours to keep at the end of the semester. Keep in mind your other constraints; limited access to manufacturing facilities, appropriate workspace, delays in getting orders filled, etc.
Previous Post
Schedule 2023
Next Post
Your first log-in and how to make a post

1 Comment. Leave new

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.