General information

Expanded Course Descriptions
Design

Check here for additional information about our courses, including course flyers, special projects, and photo galleries.

Course Description

DES040A: Energy, Materials and Design Across Time

This course could also be called Critical History for Sustainable Design or History of the Science and Technology of Design. We will cover the history of design production processes based upon changing energy sources and materials over time and across cultures, viewed in the broader context of environmental sustainability and materiality studies. We will explore how design proceeds hand in hand with the creation of technologies that adapt energy and new materials for new purposes.

Course Description

DES040B: Ideologies of Design (4)
Fall 2015

Why do designers design? What changes are they trying to make? What do they believe they’re doing? This course looks at how designers from William Morris in the 19th century to Steve Jobs in the 21st century tried, and sometimes succeeded, in changing the world. But the world is hard to fix, and this course asks why. Students write short papers on topics that interest them. Last year, for instance, students wrote about subjects ranging from the Russian Revolution to the FitBit.

Course Description

DES040C: Design for Aesthetics / Experience (4)
Spring 2016

What is an experience? What does it mean to design experiences? UX Design – “User Experience” design – is a major growth area in design hiring today. Recent economic theorists have claimed that we now live in an “experience economy” that differs markedly from the economic models of the last centuries. DES 40C, “Design Aesthetics and Experience” asks us to question experiences, with examples that range widely from dance to Disney, from the design of concerts to the Whole Earth Festival, to the design of exhibition spaces and narrative environments.

Course Description

DES115: Letterforms and Typography (4)
Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016

Rebecca Creger shows an example of Project 2: Type Hierarchy Studies. This multi-week project is key to mastering the basics of typography and expressing what Paul Rand calls “the relationship between form and content,” his well-known definition of design. Students experiment with a given set of text to create compositional alternatives that express clear information hierarchy and relationships.

The project begins with one size and one weight of Universe and builds in complexity as more sizes, weights, and styles are introduced each week.

Photo Gallery

DES136B (Winter 2016) Final Projects
Lighting Design class

Ashley Lam (First place winner)

These are some of the student final projects from Professor Michael Siminovitch’s DES 136B Winter 2016 class. 

Course Description

DES180A: Adv Interior Design: Institutional Spaces (4)
Fall 2015, 3D scanning

In Fall 2015, DES 180A offers some truly relevant and cutting-edge educational opportunities. The first assignment is the interior design of Cruess Hall, Phase II.This project is currently being developed by campus planners, but so far only a schematic diagram has been created. Student work will contribute to the “real” discussion of what Ph II contains and how it will look.

Course Description

DES185: Exhibition Design (4)
Fall 2015, Winter 2016

Exhibition Design is primarily concerned with how to communicate an object led narrative to an audience in an engaging manner. Interpretive strategies using spatial planning, furniture, lighting, images, typography, activities, audio, film and interactive media help to embellish the story. Content is relayed through multiple levels (intellectually as well as participatory) and applied to a variety of environments from museums to trade show exhibits. Teamwork is crucial in the exhibition design process and includes curators, writers, educators and technical specialists.

Course Description

DES186: Environmental Graphic Design (4)
Fall 2015, Winter 2016

Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) communicates information in three-dimensional forms and integrates messages into the built and natural environment. These messages are geared towards finding a way from one place to another, identifying a location or a specific destination, or gaining orientation in unfamiliar surroundings. This spatial problem solving process is termed wayfinding. The designer is charged with creating the tools (signs) that facilitate wayfinding, and the physical result of a wayfinding problem is a successfully concluded journey. 

Course Description

DES187: NARRATIVE ENVIRONMENTS (4)

Narrative environments are public spaces that are designed to communicate a story, deliver a message, provide entertainment, create a sense of place, or sell a product. Examples include exhibitions (museum ortradeshow), transaction experiences (store or restaurant), entertainment venues (theater or theme park), or special events (festivals or parties). Designers for these spaces are articulate storytellers who use strategies to engage, inform and entertain multiple audience types.

Course Description

DES191: Group Study
Furniture for a Museum of Art

191A-D. Workshops in Design (4-12): Seminar—1 hour; studio or field experience—3 hours per unit (units determined by instructor and student); field trip. Prerequisite: course 14, 15; upper division standing and consent of instructor. Faculty initiated workshops featuring advanced studies and applications of original work in Design: (A) Costume; (B) Environment; © Graphics; (D) Textiles. Credit limited to 12 units in one section or a combination of sections. Letter grading by contract. Field trips included.

Course Description

DES222: Research Methods and Critical Writing for Design
Open to advanced undergraduates with instructor's permission

This graduate research methods and writing seminar covers different methods of historical research (book/journal/review of the literature, archival, and oral history interviews), as well as quantitative and qualitative approaches useful for researching contemporary topics. We will read the writing of others (selections from 20th-century design history topics) in order to study the methods of research the authors used to construct their arguments and historical narratives.

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