Initial Assignments 202_

  • 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 activities and informal assignments during class, so please bring it.
  • Read the syllabus: . Then state that you have read it and agree to the policies by midnight Monday Jan 24 in the Canvas assignment.
  • Complete your login and upload an image for your profile on the course website,, which will allow you to post to the blogs. Due Wednesday Jan 24 along with your first blog post. You’ll get an email invitation for this. Contact Shrey on Slack if you have trouble with your login. Posts and critiques are due every week. Your first required blog post is described below. Required: read my post on Blog and Comments policies. For your image, consider something that represents you professionally; perhaps your face or your work? Design a logo for yourself? Here’s how to create a Gravitar . A Gravatar is a Globally Recognized Avatar. You upload an image and create your public profile just once, and then when you participate in any Gravatar-enabled site, your Gravatar image and public profile will automatically follow you there.
  • We’ll be using Slack for communications. Join the class workspace, AesDes2024, by midnight Friday Jan 26: .
  • Complete the CATME survey by midnight January 26. 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.
  • 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 Jan 24. Be sure to categorize your post as ‘Post 1 – 2024 Aesthetics Explorations’. Aim for around 500 words in length.
  • Critiques on Blog Post #1 will be due Sunday Jan 28 at midnight. Revise your post based on the comments on your post by Tuesday Jan 30 midnight. Details: Blog and Comments policies
  • 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, or another one that you choose. 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 19, and a formal report will be due as a blog post 5 on Weds Feb 21. You might want to make one of those time-lapse assembly videos for extra awesomeness.
  • 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.