DMA 8 – Media Histories

Lecture, three hours; outside study, 12 hours. GE Course. Synthetic overview of optical media and aesthetic movements covering past two centuries: photography and industrialization/Romanticism (1850 to 1900), cinema and modernism (1900 to 1950), television and postmodernism (1950 to 2000), and digital media and unimodernism (2000 to 2050). How such movements can inform generative work and how understanding these media becomes essential in emerging era of digital humanities. P/NP or letter grading.

DMA 104 – Design Futures

Lecture, three hours; outside study, 12 hours. Preparation: completion of preparation for major courses. Open to nonmajors with consent of instructor. Critical examination of design practice and theory of 20th and 21st centuries, incorporating historical as well as speculative methodologies. Consideration of how various design practices and techniques related to each other across cultures and media, with strong emphasis on communication design. P/NP or letter grading.

DMA 150A/B – Brand Lab

Professors Peter Lunenfeld and Rebeca Méndez offer a two-quarter design media arts course sequence dedicated to the development of design media arts research and strategy in the areas of organization, culture, and identity. This hybrid seminar/studio studies how complex organizations are defined by their public identities, and how those identities can be strategized and designed.. The course sequence has a Winter quarter design research seminar coordinated by Prof. Lunenfeld, and a Spring quarter design practice studio organized by Prof. Mendez. Brand Lab is structured to cover the following phases of identity development: research, strategy and planning, communication strategy, implementation guidelines, and design development of specific communication material in all appropriate media: web, print, and environment.

DMA 269 B – The Maker’s Discourse Graduate Seminar

This seminar discusses numerous approaches to writing, develop strategies for making writing a more fluid act of making rather than a mostly static textual exercise. It engages with the difference between architectonic planning and emergent structures, explores the tradition of the artist’s interview, and analyzes best practices for Web publishing. As well, the seminar models strategies for demoing work, mastering oral presentations, and overcoming performance anxiety.

DMA 404 – Graduate Tutorial

The tutorial is offered as a central part of the comprehensive MFA program. Discussions, readings, critiques and other interactions are designed to encourage and refine the student’s concentrated body of work to be presented in a master of fine arts exhibition. An accompanying record of the exhibition, including documentation appropriate to the media, for example, images of physical work, research material, other visual material, a written statement, and other materials as determined by the student’s Graduate Thesis Committee, is also required, and will be discussed and critiqued in tutorial.


MDP – Design Dialogues

This open forum addresses the major issues of art, design, and communications in a transmedia era. This is a seminar based around visiting speakers and field trips. Students develop fluency by discussing the state of the field with its leading lights.Our visitors will be doing demos, talking about their working methods, discussing their future projects, and asking students about their plans. Critiques are incisive and tough but always informed and constructive. This seminar is a vibrant opportunity for the Art Center graduate community to meet with professionals from the arts, academia, entertainment, technology, and design fields to share insights and experiences in an informal, but informed, setting. The title of the course, Design Dialogues, is meant to be an invitation to students to interact on a personal level with our guests. We are working for an environment in which critiques are incisive and tough but always informed and constructive. The requirements are simple. Attendance and discussion are absolutely mandatory. Grades are determined by participation in class discussions and critiques. Final requirements include an 4-6 page paper due Week 13.

MDP – Media History & Theory, Special Topics Seminar

The required texts are Walter Benjamin, Illuminations, Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Noah Wardrip-Fruin & Nick Monfort, eds. The New Media Reader, Utopian Entrepreneur, Brenda Laurel, design Denise Gonzales-Crisp Writing Machines, N. Katherine Hayles, design Anne Burdick, and Peter Lunenfeld, USER: InfoTechnoDemo, visuals Mieke Gerritzen. Other readings will be handed out in class. Attendance is mandatory. Grading will be determined on the basis of participation in discussion, completion of the assignments, and a final paper, 6-8 pages in length.

MDP – Bespoke Futures, Special Topics Seminar

In this mixed seminar/studio we will be investigating the power of media design to craft compelling visions of the future. Harnessing the power of scenario development — as pioneered at Royal Dutch Shell in the 1970s and used throughout the business world today — the seminar will develop three to four compelling new visions of the future via media design. We will be trying out different kinds of language on for size, determining what modes, strategies and discourses best “fit” our own, particular flavors of practice. We’ll be working with other faculty, including Bruce Sterling, and other advisors to help craft these future scenarios.We will be reading Peter Schwartz’s seminal book on scenario planning, The Art of the Long View, selections James Ogilvy, Creating Better Futures, selections from The New Media Reader to examine how the pioneering practitioners of multi-media computing like Turing, Weiner, Englebart & Kay developed a language to express their vision of the future of the “dream machine,” Lev Manovich’s The Language of New Media which offers a taxonomy of practice for using these machines to craft these visions, and Systems of Survival, by Jane Jacobs, which is subtitled “A Dialogue on the Moral foundations of Commerce and Politcs.” The ultimate question of the seminar/studio concerns design itself, and is both simple and profound: What is the point of it all? There will be a two page response due Week 7, and a final eight to ten page paper due between weeks 13 and 14.

MDP – Colloquium
col·lo·qui·um (k-lkw-m)n., pl. col·lo·qui·ums or col·lo·qui·a (-kw-).
[Latin conversation, from colloqu, to talk together: com-, com- + loqu, to speak; see tolkw- in Indo-European Roots. Important derivatives are: loquacious, circumlocution, elocution, soliloquy, ventriloquism.]
1. An informal meeting for the exchange of views.
2. An academic seminar on a broad field of study, usually led by a different lecturer at each meeting.
3. An address to an academic meeting or seminar
4. The part of the plaintiff’s pleading in an action for slander that avers the defendant spoke the slanderous words concerning the plaintiff for the subject matter in question in a certain conversation.
The MDP colloquium cover a range of ideas and issues. First, and most importantly, this is the one place that the entire program comes to share ideas, discuss projects, air concerns, and simply be together.