Curriculum

Visual studies taught

Design Communication (Vis 41 UCSD)

Both a broad discourse in distinctive design practices, histories, methods, systems and vernaculars, Design Communication is also a practicum introducing students to one of its predominant fields—working with the fundamentals of graphic design practice and examining foundational concepts in typography, image-making and complex visual story telling. The hands-on quarter-long Genealogy Project will give students the tools to orchestrate information and meaning in compelling and idiosyncratic ways specific to their body of personal work or area of study. By working with various typographic methods and process-focused image-making techniques, students will develop the means to concept and manipulate form and meaning with a communication framework while also being exposed to the broader study of various and peripheral design communication spaces outside of, but in partnership with, graphic design. Students will examine their own proclivities, background and work (from their course of study) to verbally articulate an Artist Statement which will subsequently be used as content for the course’s poster design project; affording them both foundational skills in design communication and an opportunity to deepen their individual genealogy and understanding of their present or future practice.  Download course syllabus.


Design History + Theory: High Corporate 60s to the Digital Era

Explores the periods of design practice loosely beginning with the high corporate 1960s, fringe design activity, continues through Postmodernism, neo-ornamentalism and concludes open-endedly with a real time contemporary focus on new design frameworks, the renaissance of the design “agenda”, and the digital discourse, especially responses to mobility and data as new architectural and design surfaces. 

Students are asked to respond frequently, through visual or critical writing assignments, to presented materials. Each assignment will be geared toward provoking students to question established canons of design, to make arguments for or against their validity, to conceive of possible alternative or tangential histories and their applied value systems, and finally to imagine, unpack and establish their own design approaches and determinations. Download course syllabus.


Artist as Author + Other Design Modalities

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of graphic design principals by examining foundational concepts in typography, image-making and complex visual story-telling. A hands-on monograph project will give students the tools to orchestrate information and meaning in compelling and unique ways specific to their body of personal work. From typographic structure through rigorous clarity, considerations of beautifully complex image-making techniques, the students will develop the means to extract and compose form, meaning and structure that is superbly harmonious to their own conceptual ideas. Students will use their own biographies/research/process/work from their entire course of study to use as content for the class’ semester long monograph design project. From this students will glean both a greater skill in the graphic representation of conceptual ideas, but also another opportunity to deepen their individual design genealogy and practice. Download course syllabus.


Unpacked: Artist Genealogical Studies

Students research the 'family tree' of their influences and interests connected to their design, architectural or conceptual art practice. The “tree” should will be far reaching and complex, covering a wide array of cultural activities and issues. Starting with a contemporary figure (or figures) one relates to. 'Maps of influence' will expand to include contemporary and historical figures/movements from the world of art, architecture, product or interior design, fashion, film, music, and performances, places (houses, cities, gardens, landmarks), books (literary, philosophical) and then oddities like specific objects, tools, appliances, personal experiences etc. The ideas represented in genealogies should range from popular to avant-garde, subculture to high-culture, from popular to obscure and esoteric, and everything in between to ultimately arrive at a framework for a personal artistic agenda. Download course syllabus.