Main Project Documentation Specifications

Main ProjectDocumentation Specifications

Aesthetics of Design

Spring 2024

 Due dates:

  • In-person Pod presentation room request due April 17.
  • Your product (artifact, or whatever you have created) must be completed by noon Wednesday April 24
    • You are encouraged to revise and improve them later, but this is the version you must document for critique. If you revise your creation, submit an additional post about it later too.
  • Expo Requirements Survey due Monday April 29. Look for link in your CU email.
  • Two-Part Final Report.
    • Part 1 due on midnight Weds April 24.
    • 2 In-Depth Critiques (i.e. for two people) of Part 1 due as comments midnight Sunday April 28.
    • Part 2, plus video of your Final Report presentation in the post due midnight Weds May 1.
  • Ungrading Statement Weds May 8, 1:30 pm
  • Exit Survey Weds May 8, 1:30 pm
  • AesDes Expo in the Idea Forge Weds May 8, 1:30 pm – 4pm.
  • Required Post 13: Portfolio, due Weds May 8, 1:30.
  • Any final revisions or late work: Weds May 8, 1:30 pm. Submissions after this time will require a grade change.



Main Project Artifact

From the Initial Assignments document.

“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.”

And of course, it must express some aesthetic that you choose and define. That’s what this class is about, right? Your focus should be aesthetics first, function second. It’s OK if your project doesn’t work, but not OK if it looks bad.



Final Report/Blog post, Parts 1 and 2

Length: As long as it needs to be to include the following. This documents your efforts for two thirds of the semester. Don’t scrimp. Each part minimum of 1500 words, plus 5 images or vids.


Your complete report will be due in two parts, as posts in consecutive weeks. Part 1 focuses on the ‘what’ and Part 2 focuses on the ‘how’

  • Don’t forget to set a Featured Image for each part.
  • OK to cut and paste from previous posts about your main project, but be sure to update the content and incorporate into a narrative of how your project developed. Don’t forget to turn future tense into past tense throughout (‘I will do XYZ’ should become ‘I did XY but couldn’t do Z’).


Part 1: What

  • Describe and cite your inspirations and any existing designs that you adapted. You must cite ALL content on your blogs for this course! Any photo that you did not take, any text that you did not write MUST have a citation, a source link. If you can’t remember where you got something DON’T USE IT. Go back and search for something similar that you can cite.
  • Describe your vision for your project, the specifications that you developed for its function and its form, your artistic vision and aesthetic. What were you trying for?
  • Include and describe your initial sketches and final design plans. Include your complete CAD drawings if you are using CAD in your design process. Include how your aesthetic was embodied in your design.


Part 2: How

  • Create a timeline graphic. Show your actual design process. Be sure to show times for exploration, skill acquisition, looping, shopping, fabrication and documentation.
  • Add a detailed description of your actual fabrication process. How did you make your artifact? What were the steps? Describe the steps shown in your timeline graphic. Document with lots of additional sketches, flowcharts, photos and/or video.
  • Write a conclusion. Compare where you started (plans) with where you ended.  What do you wish you had done differently? What will happen to your creation now? Focus on the aesthetics.  Don’t get too wrapped up in function.
  • Optional: include a link to the video you made of your live presentation, or another video that provides an equivalent full description.



Final Report Presentations

In class starting Weds April 24 (see Schedule), we will have presentations in pods. The pods will be mixed and split in half to allow more time for presentation and critique from a fresh perspective. Critiques will use the same procedures as the rest of the semester.


Pod Facilitators (the grad student in the group) is expected to coordinate Critique Facilitators, who presents which day, make sure the Google sheet links are posted in and take roll, filling out the names in the Google Sheet. The schedule needs to be set before the first presentation on Weds April 24.


Each student will give a presentation on their project, with the content of the presentation to mirror the entire (Parts 1 and 2) written report, detailed above. Yes, Powerpoint is suggested. Plan to talk for 10 minutes, then take 10 minutes for Q&A, then one minute for the next speaker to get set up while others are commenting. Your presentation should capture your process for the final project, and can include the same content as in your written report. Remember, you are archiving your work. How you want to present it is up to you.


It’s up to you to make sure you can share your screen in Zoom. If it doesn’t work, be prepared to have a backup posted (in Slack?)  to show on somebody else’s laptop or speak without it. Have your artifact available to show. You don’t want to watch somebody else’s presentation without seeing what they actually made, right? As before, your group can choose to have an in-person meeting in addition to zoom. Your Pod Facilitator must request a room by April 17. Earlier is better; rooms may be hard to come by.


Say Thank You at the end of your talk. Do NOT say ‘Any questions’ right away; wait until after the applause or thumbs ups. Then ask for questions. It’s magic. It completes the rhythm of the talk. Allowing applause sets the audience free to ask.


You may want to record a video of your talk and feedback. Ask the zoom room host to do that and share it with you. Afterwards, title your video, then upload to Youtube or Vimeo and put the link in your post Part 2.


Everyone is expected to comment on your podmates’ presentations, live in class. Even on the days you are not presenting, you must attend and comment. This is another opportunity to hone your critique skills. If you cannot attend, be sure to comment anyways, and figure out some other way to contribute to the class.


Ungrading Statement Due Wednesday May 8, 1:30 pm

As I said at the start of the semester, everybody who has done all their weekly posts, required presentations, substantive comments, and made a good effort at all the other stuff will get an A. However, I have no way to really understand all the stresses you’ve been under and challenges you are facing, so we will also use a form of ‘ungrading’ (there is interesting research on this approach). I am hereby requesting you to enter in Canvas a short statement of what grade you believe you have earned and why, taking everything into account. This is the grade you will get, unless I see substantial evidence to the contrary in your work. This statement will be due at the start of our expo, Wednesday May 8, 1:30 pm


Expo Requirements Survey Due Wednesday May 1, 12:20 pm

Check your email for a Qualtrics survey link starting Monday April 22. Think about the aesthetics of how you want to display your artifact, and what information you want to convey. You must display a title for the artifact and your name at a minimum. Tables and black tablecloths will be provided. 3 fold posters as a backdrop are suggested but not required. Lighting for your artifact is recommended but we can’t provide this so will you need power? Indicate your special display needs such as power, lighting, easel, or wall. Do you want a table, or is your artifact going to stand on the floor? How much square footage do you need? How will you display the title etc.?

If you must attend remotely, you will be provided with telepresence: a laptop or projector showing the class zoom room where you can share your screen.

We will post a map showing your assigned space on Monday May 6.

Exit Survey Due Wednesday May 8, 1:30 pm

Check your email for a Qualtrics survey link starting Monday April 22. I very much value your thoughtful responses, and will use them to improve the class.

Post 13: Portfolio. Wednesday May 8, 1:30 pm

Use this final post as a portfolio landing page and speak about the work for this class. Include links to all of both your Upcycle project and your main project posts, either in your narrative or at the end of your post. Tell the story of your semester in this class. Highlight what you are proud of and acknowledge your challenges. Feel free to point to other online-published work of yours as well. Maybe include a link to this post in your CV.

Final Revisions due noon Weds May 8 1:30 pm.

Final Revisions: You can submit late edits, posts and comments until Weds May 8 1:30; please email Shrey and Aryan, so they know to update Canvas. You are welcome to keep working on your project, and revise/add to your posts accordingly, up to August 2024; you’ll still have editing access. If you believe your extra work merits a change in grade, be sure to let me know.

AesDes Expo Wednesday May 8, 1:30 pm. Attendance required, In- person expected if at all possible.

Fully-remote students can participate via Zoom but it won’t be as fun as in-person. If you must be remote, indicate this in the Expo Requirements Survey. Remote students will be in the class zoom room, and in-person participants will view and interact with zoomers via laptops and projectors in the Idea Forge at specified times.

In-person logistics:

Bring your artifact! We will use both our classroom and the Idea Forge Commons.

Pod members will be at their projects at specified times, and browse other projects when not showing theirs.


Pod showing work Start time End Time
Set up your display and enjoy snacks 1:30 2:00
Pods 1, 2 and 3 2:00 2:30
4, 5 and 6 2:30 3:00
7, 8, 9 and 10 3:00 3:30
Eat more and clean up 3:30 4:00


Please invite your family and friends to the Expo, to see your work and others’. Excellent snacks will be provided. Volunteers to set up/ clean up are most appreciated!





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