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words. images. artefacts.

Category Archives: assignments

Hi everyone! I’ll go over this in detail in today’s lecture, but here’s a reminder of our schedule for the rest of the term, and some guidelines for this week’s presentations.

Wed 1 June / Thus 2 June (in tutorial)
Group presentations
Fri 3 June (by midnight)
Proposal reflections due
Tues 7 June
Proposal assessment + final project statement template emailed to group
Mon 20 June (10am start)
Exhibition set up
Mon 20 June (by midnight)
Email personal reflections
Tues 21 June (11am start)
Final presentations & critical reviews
Fri 24 June (by 3pm)
Exhibition clean-up complete

The reason for this week’s presentations is to receive constructive criticism on your project proposal and/or work in-progress. The more detailed information you provide, the more specific and useful this feedback can be. Each presentation should include:

  1. A clear explanation of inspiration.
  2. A clear statement of intent.
  3. Detailed sketches, plans and/or prototypes of the design.
  4. A simple use scenario.
  5. A list of exhibition display requirements.

Each member of the group must deliver part of the presentation & briefly explain their role in the project development. (You will each receive individual marks for this part of the project.)
Each group must email their presentation to Anne by noon on the day of their tutorial presentation.

And last, but not least, please answer the following questions in your written response to the feedback you receive:

  1. What are the strengths of your project?
  2. What areas need to be improved?
  3. What tasks are required to complete the project, and who is responsible for each task?

Good luck & have fun! If you need anything, please email Anne or Catherine to make an appointment during the week of 13 June.


I mentioned in class that there are books on reserve in the library that you might find interesting and helpful for the final project. (If your course outline says “excerpts” that just means that you only need to read the interesting bits, and not the whole book.)

  • Antonelli, Paola (ed). 2008. Design and the Elastic Mind. Museum of Modern Art.
  • Bagnara, Sebastiano and Gillian Crampton Smith (eds.) 2006. Theories and Practice in Interaction Design. Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Dunne, Anthony. 1999. Hertzian Tales: Electronic Products, Aesthetic Experience and Critical Design. RCA.
  • Dunne, Anthony and Fiona Raby. 2001. Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects. Birkhäuser.
  • Lorenc, Jan, Lee Skolnick and Craig Berger. 2007. What is Exhibition Design? RotoVision.
  • Sterling, Bruce. 2005. Shaping Things. MIT Press.
  • Thackara, John. 2005. In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World. MIT Press.

I’ve also just learned that Moggridge’s Designing Interactions is lost, so if you’d like to take a look at it you can borrow my copy or check out the website.

You can also check out the following website/blogs:

Auger Loizeau
Christien Meindertsma
Core 77
Dunne & Raby
The Interrogative Design Group
The Near Future Laboratory
RCA Design Interactions
We Make Money Not Art
The Why Factory

And please feel free to share your own sources of inspiration in the comments!

Please bring all your work in progress to this week’s tutorial for feedback.

At this point you should have:

  • a selection of 10-14 photos
  • draft captions for each photo
  • a draft project statement
  • sketches/mockups of your final book or website

We’ll briefly go over the presentation guidelines and then focus on one question/concern for each student, so please decide beforehand how the group can best help you. If you would like to arrange one-on-one feedback consultations, please be sure to contact Anne or Catherine as soon as possible.

Next week’s schedule

Monday 9am: Please email Anne a .pdf of your book’s content, including a photo of the final product OR a url and .zip file of all your web content.

Monday 10am: The presentation schedule will be posted outside Anne’s office & VS 318.

Monday 12:30pm: Presentation set-up. Presentations start promptly at 12:40.

Wednesday/Thursday: Presentations continue.

By now you should be pulling together some concrete ideas for Project 2 (pdf) as you are required to informally present your work in-progress after the break.

This will be an excellent opportunity to get feedback on your photos & captions, project statement and your book/web design before you submit.

As promised, here are a few sources of inspiration and support:

Scott McCloud on telling stories with images (pdf)

Photo essay storyboard template (pdf)

Taking Pictures

14 Powerful TED Talks by Photographers

After Photography


A Collection a Day

Sociological Images

Telling Stories

Scott McCloud

Lynda Barry, Pt 1 & Pt 2

Shaun Tan

Putting Together Photo Essays

Magnum Photos

5 Photo Essay Tips

10 tips to craft a photo essay

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Anne or Catherine.

After you’ve finished writing your essays you’ll need to prepare your presentation.

Background and general guidelines:

This part of the project is inspired by the business world’s elevator pitch and the university’s 3 Minute Thesis Competition, but it was chosen because it offers the opportunity to practice presenting your ideas to an employer, client or colleague in a clear and succinct manner.

The biggest challenge will be summing up the main points from each essay. Since each person’s essays will be unique to their research and position on the topic, there is no single or best way to organise your presentation. However, each essay is effectively divided into two parts and you could use one slide for each part.

For example, for the first essay you might use one slide to present the three values your research uncovered and why you agree or disagree, and one slide to present your personal ethos and explain why it’s important. For the second essay, you could use one slide to state and defend your position on whether you think amateur design is a threat to professional design, and another slide to explain what you think you can gain and/or lose from collaborating with non-designers.

Just remember to include ONLY the main points or conclusions. If you use four slides, for example, you only have 45 seconds to tell us about each one. Be sure to practice your presentation at home to make sure you’re within the allotted time – everyone will be cut off at 3 minutes.

A few important tips:

1) For your slides, individual words or phrases work better than full sentences. (They should trigger your memory and help us follow what you’re saying.)

2) The visual design of your slides is important; pay attention to the layout and colour of image and text. (Make sure that the audience can actually read what you’ve written and that any images support what you’re saying.)

3) It’s good to have notes or speaking points, but don’t forget to make eye contact with the audience. (Don’t just stand up and read what you have written down; it should be more conversational.)

Some good links:

Jason Santa Maria: Make Yourself Presentable

Oral Presentation Guide (PDF)

Overcoming Presentation Anxiety

A few reminders:

The assessment criteria are in your project brief, and here’s a reminder of the requirements:

Each presentation should include at least one slide for each essay, but cannot exceed four slides in total.

Your oral presentation must not exceed 3 min. (180 sec.) in length.

1) The selection of text and/or images used to represent the content of your essays is up to you, but they should support audience comprehension and help guide your oral presentation.

2) The visual design of each slide is up to you, but all slides should use a coherent and consistent style to form a set.

3) Please proofread carefully for typos, spelling and grammar.

4) Please email a copy (lastname.presentation.ppx) of your presentation to the Course Coordinator no later than 9am on the due date.

And that’s it!

This should cover everything you need to know, but if you have any other questions or concerns please email Anne or Catherine by end of day Friday. (Sorry, but we can’t promise to be available over the weekend.)

Your first assignment is all about reading, writing and speaking–and it offers the opportunity to consider WORDS as a medium for design exploration and expression. While all designers need to know how to use words effectively, there are many types and styles of writing. This project requires that you combine academic research and writing with personal reflection. In both cases you are required to support your position or claim; which means you always need to explain why you think something and it’s  okay to write in first-person.

Guest presentations by Julie (Library) and Xiaodan (Student Learning Support) covered everything you need to know about finding academic sources and turning what you’ve read into a written essay, but you can always find additional support on our resources page.

A few general guidelines:

Each of the required essays is divided into two parts.

The first part (about 2/3) requires you to do research in order to identify what is already known about the topic, and then explain why you agree or disagree.

The second part (about 1/3) requires you to critically reflect on your own opinions and explain why you believe what you do.

Just remember that although you can choose to write on any number of actual topics, you MUST stay focussed by answering the set questions. At this point you should have your brainstorming and/or outline complete, as well as your sources for each argument identified. If you are still unclear about what is expected, be sure to ask in this week’s tutorials.

The submission requirements:

Each essay should be 1250-1500 words, double-spaced, 12-pt font.

1) Please include a title and bibliography for each essay.
2) Please follow the standard academic format of introduction (including a clear thesis statement), body and conclusion.
3) Please use APA style for citations and bibliography.
4) Please proofread carefully for typos, spelling and grammar.
5) Please include your name, the course number, your tutor’s name and the date at the top of the first page.
6) Please include page numbers on all pages and staple the pages together. Please do not use plastic covers.
7) Please email a copy (lastname.essay.pdf) to the Course Coordinator no later than 9am on the due date, and bring a hard copy to lecture.

And that’s it!

This should cover everything you need to know, but if you have any other questions or concerns please email Anne or Catherine by end of day Friday. (Sorry, but we can’t promise to be available over the weekend.)