Experience by Design: Course Overview

Experience by Design: Course Overview

Course Objectives
  • To create a foundation (as well as an appreciation) for creative thinking and problem solving in the art, process, practice, and history of graphic design.
  • To develop typographic sensibilities, skills, and awareness. Topics covered will include: our typographic history, letter-form anatomy, the visual organization of typographical elements and the interface between form and meaning.
  • To understand how the process of design can be utilized to represent, document, and understand our experience in the place and context of Orvieto Italy.
  • To develop verbal and visual skills in critiquing / interpreting design (learning to look at design and then effectively, respectfully and intelligently discuss what you see).
  • To creatively explore and recognize the relationship between text and image and how that relationship of functionality and meaning has evolved over time.
  • To recognize the significance of visual communications in culture (both past and present) and the role of artists and designers as shapers of meaning.
Course Description

Referencing Orvieto as the main content and context, students will create a body of work that explores and represents their experience in Orvieto. Students will engage in creative problem solving and the practice of design to develop and make this body of work. The class will explore various ideation and visual research techniques in the preliminary stages of assigned projects (individual and collaborative) that will creatively probe such questions and concepts as: representation, memory, identity, text, and place. Projects will take the form of various artifacts that address relating elements of typography, images, writing, formats/structures, and site-specific contexts.

Course Overview

Text and image are the most basic elements in the practice of graphic design. Creatively exploring the interface between text and image is at the heart of what graphic designers do. Text and image can communicate timeless content and meaning but the context in which text and image exist is always evolving. For example, a hand-made illuminated manuscript represents text and image in a different context than a mass produced printed book, or an interactive application on an iPad, for that matter. Technology, structure, format, place, and time are relevant to how Text and Image work together and communicate meaning. In many ways, context influences content.

One of the major goals of this course is to explore the relationship of text and image in the context of place and time. Orvieto (and surrounding regions) will be the ‘place,’ with its very rich history represented in buildings, spaces, images, artifacts, etc. But we will also explore Orvieto as a present place of personal and communal experience. We will probe and give tangible form to our experience through the actual creation of design artifacts that are based on a series of assigned projects, communication problems, and creative explorations. In other words, the process of articulating the text of our experience will be facilitated through the act of making.