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Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

MEDIA DESIGN

 

Colloquium (MDP-519)

Colloquium is a steady flow of people, ideas, methods, and provocations. As the sole space and time that the entire Grad Media community gathers together, Colloquium is one of the prime program-wide knowledge sharing opportunities. All program business is discussed here, announcements are made, and faculty and students give reports from the field. Design Dialogues with distinguished guests and off-site visits are interspersed with departmental pecha kuchas (a 6:40 performance lecture format limited to 20 slides, at 20 seconds each) and alumni updates. Grades for Colloquium are based on attendance, contribution, and quality of project documentation and reflection on student websites.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 1

Creative Technology (MDP-514)

Creative Technology prepares designers to research, develop and deploy technology oriented media design projects. The course teaches a range of technology skills and methodologies for designers by immersing students in programming, embedded computing, Web/network systems, mechanical design, and computer aided design/fabrication. While the class is broad and introductory, it rests on a "backbone" of programming, the lens through which a variety of content and concepts will be introduced.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 4

Creative Technology 2 (MDP-564)

Creative Technology prepares designers to research, develop and deploy technology oriented media design projects. The course teaches a range of technology skills and methodologies for designers by immersing students in programming, embedded computing, Web/network systems, mechanical design, and computer aided design/fabrication. While the class is broad and introductory, it rests on a "backbone" of programming, the lens through which a variety of content and concepts will be introduced.

Prerequisite: Take MDP-514
Course Credit: 4

Critical Frameworks 1 (Field) (MDP-535)

This course provides a space for students to connect issues, histories and theories from their work in the Core classes. The combination of readings, screenings, research, and guest lectures comprise the critical frameworks that are core to student work in their chosen track. In this class students will learn to find their own entry point into the critical dialogue of design and experience how the act of designing is always already embedded in that discourse. Students will learn to identify and develop their own unique point of view and to articulate and share it through writing and design.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Critical Frameworks 1 (Lab) (MDP-518)

This course introduces students to issues, histories and theories relevant to practices in media design and related fields. The combination of readings, screenings, research, and guest lectures comprise the critical frameworks that are core to student work in their chosen track. In this class students will learn to find their own entry point into the critical dialogue of design and experience how the act of designing is always already embedded in that discourse. Students will learn to identify and develop their own unique point of view and to articulate and share it through writing and design.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Critical Frameworks 2 (Field) (MDP-536)

Students consider issues from the project in the context of political/social theory, case studies from other fields, issues in development, the rhetoric of good, and cross-cultural design. Students learn project documentation practices, how to use writing as a tool for critical reflection, and how to connect individual experience with wider issues to develop individual research agendas.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Critical Frameworks 2 (Lab) (MDP-532)

This course continues the exploration of contemporary issues, histories and theories in media design and related fields. Students are challenged to respond to the readings, screenings, research, and guest lectures by situating their projects in a context that extends beyond the grad school crit room to engage with issues that impact the field of media design.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Critical Practices 1 (Field) (MDP-615)

This course provides a reflective space for situating the thesis work as it is under development. Students learn to situate their work within the literature and the field through both traditional and design-research-based scholarly activities. Students work with a team of advisors to develop the critical framing appropriate to specific projects and audiences.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Critical Practices 1 (Lab) (MDP-614)

This course provides a reflective space for situating the thesis work as it is under development. Students learn to situate their work within the literature and the field through both traditional and design-research-based scholarly activities. Students work with a team of writing advisors to develop thesis statements and papers and learn to approach writing as making.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Critical Practices 2 (Field) (MDP-625)

This course continues to provide a reflective space for situating the thesis work with an emphasis on the student's future practice as it is taking shape through the thesis project. Students learn about intellectual property, entrepreneurial strategies, scholarly practices, and models for design research and practice as it relates to their own.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Critical Practices 2 (Lab) (MDP-624)

This course continues to provide a reflective space for situating the thesis work with an emphasis on the student's future practice as it is taking shape through the thesis project. Students learn about intellectual property, entrepreneurial strategies, scholarly practices, and models for design research and practice as it relates to their own.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Design Research Practices 1 (MDP-534)

Design Research is an emerging and greatly contested set of practices. The goals of research (the generation of new knowledge) combined with the skills of the designer (making things) can reorient design practice away from problem-solving and toward design for discovery 150 whether about people, materials, methods, practice, or forms. This class is a 5-week seminar that gives students an introduction to the field: an array of research traditions as well as recent developments in both project-based and human-centered work.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 1

Field Core A (MDP-526)

Theory, Method, Research. What is the role (or even, responsibility) of the designer in working toward social change? Exploring the mutually inflected relationships between theory, method and design research-as gleaned from anthropology and the social sciences-students will work toward developing a research-based, critically reflexive, and socially-engaged design practice. What are the problematics and possibilities of design with regard to: regimes of knowledge, social and cultural difference, and forms of inequality? Students will develop skills in formulation of research problems; qualitative research tools and methods, secondary research strategies, and implementation of a range of research models including PI lead, collaborative, participatory, action research.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 4

Field Core B (MDP-527)

Media Design, People, Publics. Students learn the unique capacities of design as a mode of inquiry and point of engagement with people and publics. The course will host a critical dialogue about media design in a cross-cultural context and how can it be used to foster relationships. Students will learn about design's historical role in social environments and explore the design of new frameworks for social engagement, with a critical rethinking of standard communication and interaction design terms such as media, interface, branding, information, visualization, usability, and narrative.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 4

Field Core C (MDP-528)

Technology for Social Change. An introduction to information and communications systems for the global networked public sphere. Designed to leave students with a core competency in programming, network communication, and community information analysis, this course is a mixture of theory and practical learning and experimentation. Students will explore the relationship of technology to social change, and experiment with de novo social networks, non-standard communication systems, and other forms of culture hacking. Technical elements include programming, free software techniques and version control, data management and analysis, mobile telephony, and other systems for communication and data processing, while readings will range from network theory to the sociology of scientific knowledge.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 4

Field Projects 1 (MDP-533)

This semester combines structured activities with time for individual exploration and reflection with a focus on assessment and experimentation, in the studio and the field. How does one enter a new situation (a very new situation) and begin to understand (or interpret) points for design interventions? How does one evaluate and work with (or willfully ignore) social and cultural dynamics, politics, and one's own position as a designer? How does one negotiate the needs and expectations of project partners, design team members, and the local community? Perhaps most importantly, how does each student find their own entry point and connect it to their own design and research interests? By the end of the semester, students should have identified their topic. They should have a social network ('informants,' potential users, collaborators, fabricators, competitors) with which to effect their project. Finally, they should have an explicit understanding of their own responsibilities to the project in the near and long term, both ethical and logistical.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 12

Field Projects 2 (MDP-619)

This semester combines structured activities with time for individual exploration and reflection with a focus on prototyping, testing, and building sustainable interventions, in the studio and the field. How can one create tools or communication elements that work with/in a community? How does one "test" the usability, viability, and effectiveness of different design interventions? What does one "leave behind" and how can long term impact be developed and assessed? By the end of the semester, students will have created and deployed design interventions directly with the community, either independently or with classmates. They will have documentation of their project's impact, failures, and successes and a strong idea of their own position and future direction with this kind of work.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 6

Field Thesis 1 (MDP-616)

This course provides a structure for students as they work on their individual thesis projects.Faculty mentors guide small groups of students in the early stages of investigating and defining their thesis pursuits then each student works with a thesis committee-a team of thesis advisors selected to support each student's particular subject and approach. Students meet with their lead advisor on a weekly basis and with committee members individually and as a group.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 6

Field Thesis 2 (MDP-626)

This course provides a structure for students as they work on their individual thesis projects. Students work independently with weekly guidance from their lead advisor and intermittent meetings with thesis committee members individually and as a group. Includes a major project review in Week 9.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 12

Internship (MDP-900)



Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 0

Lab Core A: Structures (MDP-511A)

In this course students will learn about how our interactions, lives, and even thinking are structured: from cities to computation to biology to language. Students will learn to approach the designing of structures as a way to generate the unexpected rather than to merely categorize and contain.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 2

Lab Core B: Interactions (MDP-511B)

Whether getting things done, biding time, following serendipity, or being entertained, users are readers, viewers, thinkers, and - in well-designed interactions - active participants who build their own experiences and meaning spaces. To learn about this approach, called productive interaction, students will create a tangible interaction as the means to explore an information space.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 2

Lab Core C: Interventions (MDP-511C)

This course is a hands-on investigation into how people engage with the world around them, powered by a motivation to explore and to develop new modes of perception. Using everything from low-tech electronics to social media, students will learn to interact with people and places with the goal of generating new insights into each.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 2

Lab Projects 1 (MDP-516)

Lab Projects are a series of two-to-five-week-long conceptual projects called "Inquiries" and are built around a theme emerging from culture, technology or science. Inquiries begin with a question or a phenomenon and ask "what if"? Each inquiry engages external collaborators, project partners, and travel to locations or extraordinary situations. The projects that result take a variety of forms. Students learn to: approach design as a critical investigation; structure their time and working process; document and articulate project concepts in presentation, exhibition, and web formats; work reflexively.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 6

Lab Projects 2 (MDP-531)

Each year the Lab track runs a set of five Inquiries- 2-5 week intensive projects built around a theme emerging from culture, technology or science. Lab Projects 2 begins with a question or a phenomenon and ask "what if"? Each inquiry engages external collaborators, project partners, and travel to locations or extraordinary situations. The projects that result take a variety of forms.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 12

Lab Thesis 1 (MDP-606)

This course provides a structure for students as they work on their individual thesis projects. In weeks 1-7, faculty mentors guide small groups of students in the early stages of investigating and defining their thesis pursuits. In weeks 8-14, each student works with a thesis committee-a team of thesis advisors selected to support each student's particular subject and approach. Students meet with their lead advisor on a weekly basis and with committee members individually and as a group.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 12

Lab Thesis 2 (MDP-636)

This course provides a structure for students as they work on their individual thesis projects. Students work independently with weekly guidance from their lead advisor and intermittent meetings with thesis committee members individually and as a group. Includes a major project review in Week 9.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 12

Media History/Theory (MDP-502)

This seminar creates a context for the professional practice of media design by drawing on a thousand years of media history and criticism. Readings, screenings, and interactions help students to build verbal and visual vocabularies and to create a historical context for their own work. Critical reading, writing, and visual communications skills are stressed.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Post-Grad MDP Research (MDP-799)



Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 0

Thesis Continuation (MDP-699)

Required course for student that have completed all their course work but have not completed their thesis. This "0" unit, no cost course should be taken every semester until the thesis is complete.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 0

Thesis Gateway (MDP-610)

Thesis Gateway is a Pass/Fail Zero unit course that Media Design students must pass in the Spring before entering into their final year... their Thesis Year. If a student does not pass, the student is required to do a Lite Term in that Summer to work on those issues in which the student is lacking. The student will re-take Thesis Gateway at that time. If the student does not pass a second time, the studnet will be dismissed from the program.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 0

Transmedia Design (MDP-517)

Students will learn to design in a 147media-specific148 manner that makes the most of the affordances of various media types from print to interaction. Students will be introduced to core concepts within media design.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

Visual Narrative (MDP-522)

Explores a range of linear and non-linar storry-telling strategies across a variety of media. Learn/create to combine film and graphic narrative strategies to create inventive scenarios and tell stories about media in people's lives.

Prerequisite: n/a
Course Credit: 3

   
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