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words. images. artefacts.

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.


So sorry, but there appears to be a problem with the .pdf I posted here, so I’ve put copies of the brief in the R Drive (Hand-ins/CCDN 371/Project 2) and we’ll have hard copies in tutorial.


Thanks to everyone who emailed their Project 1 essays and presentations on time – they look great!

I’ve just posted the presentation schedule on the door for VS 318 and outside my office.

You are required to attend all the presentations, but please be sure to note your time.

And please don’t forget to bring hard copies of your essays for me and Catherine.

See you soon!

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.)

Here are a few highlights from yesterday’s lecture, based on Guy Julier’s fascinating book The Culture of Design.

Design can be understood, and studied, as:

  • a way of doing things and creating value;
  • an active force in changing the practices of non-designers;
  • an activity that includes, but goes beyond, notions of ‘excellence,’ ‘innovation,’ or ‘best practice;’
  • a generalised setting for a specific and distinctive designerly ambience;
  • collectively-held norms of practice shared within or across contexts;
  • the way that context may influence the practice and results of design;
  • the way that physically distanced actors connect, communicate and legitimate their activities;
  • flexible, horizontally-networked, transaction-rich activities that deal in symbolic products like brands;
  • creative industries built on team-working, creative empowerment and innovation.

On design in cultural context:

“Design is embedded in the working systems, knowledges and relationships of designers, and in the everyday actions of design users. Design is fostered within discursive systems of power, economic structures and dynamics or social relations … Much of the history of design may be read as the history of individuals and groups who have striven to separate design from other commercial and cultural practices. In doing so, they have attempted to identify themselves and their practice as something which bestows things, pictures, words, and places with ‘added value.’ Design becomes the range of goods, spaces and services that are shaped by the intervention of professional designers. It no longer refers to the countless objects which are formed and consumed within everyday life and which do not, of themselves, carry that level of cultural capital. The study of design history…acts to reinforce very specific and restrictive understandings of what design is and how it should be carried out. It uses refined language to legitimate itself and a self-perpetuating logic which identifies ‘good design’ as against ‘bad design’.”

– Guy Julier

And here are a few more points about design culture he raises:

  • Historically, design has been a ‘minor’ and relatively ‘new’ profession;
  • As a social class, designers have belonged to what Pierre Bourdieu calls the ‘new petite bourgeoisie’ or those involved in the ‘symbolic work of producing needs;’
  • Designers work as mainstream ‘cultural intermediaries’ or taste creators while tending to prefer ‘marginal’ culture;
  • Designers desire to maintain a ‘creative’ drive unfettered by procedures and hierarchies while differentiating themselves through education, practice and culture.

What do you think?

If you’re interested in learning more about the professionalisation of design, you can check out the many books listed on our Resources page.