Future Retro

Description

An assignment by Boris Müller, Professor for Interaction Design at FH Potsdam

In 2017, I gave a web design class at the Interface Design Programme in Potsdam, Germany. Each team was asked to come up with a redesign for an existing website. The assignment was very clear: Treat the browser as a blank canvas and create expressive, imaginative visual experiences. Use the technological potential of current web technologies as a channel for your creativity. Do not be constrained by questions of usability, legibility, and flexibility. Have an attitude. Disregard Erwartungskonformität.

The results: https://interface.fh-potsdam.de/future-retro/

Source: Why Do All Websites Look the Same?, Medium, Oct 30 2018

Wikipedia Biographies

Description

An assignment described by Dawn Bazely, University Professor in biology at York University, Toronto:

In 2014, I developed assignments requiring students to edit Wikipedia. One had them choose a woman scientist or an ecologist of any gender, and either start a Wikipedia page or add to their biography. This was partly to lure students into learning some HTML-style coding, but also so they would hone other important, transferrable skills. As a new Wikipedia editor, you learn to follow style rules and policies; you learn how to put work into the public domain while still guarding your intellectual property and how to create fact-checked Open Access Internet resources. I hope, too, this work instills a public-spirited enthusiasm for sharing knowledge.

Source: Washington Post, 8.10.2018

Make a new word

Description

Make a new word; expand the lexicon. New ways of thinking demand new forms of expression. Use the form of the word to reflect its secret meaning, enabling your classmates to adopt the word for usage in relation to your Idea. (Adapted from an assignment given at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the Netherlands)

Source: Erin Hauber, Cottage Industries

Oblique Strategies

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Description

Every artist loves the Oblique Strategies, the infamous card set created in 1975 by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Not only has it been adapted and re-hashed numerous times in various media, including websites, a MaxMSP patch, and a reincarnation as anagrams.

It also appears to be a very popular subject of assignments in Interaction Design education. A search on Github returns currently 138 results, many of which appear to be teaching assignments.

1 report for Oblique Strategies

#1 – Stratagèmes obliques, Eracom

Host institution: Eracom, Lausanne
Instructors: Aurélie Camuset, Manuel Schmalstieg
Timeframe: February-June 2018
Number of students: 11

This design assignment consisted in two parts: first, the students, working in pairs, had to create a series of 20 – 30 illustrations and to design a printed set of cards, including an original packaging.

The second part consisted in creating a website that would allow to browse the cards and illustrations. The website was completed in June 2018, and can be visited at oblique-strategies.github.io.

The source code is available on Github, and a detailed write-up has been posted.

A bird in the hand…

Description

An assignment, created by a teacher at Central Saint Martins, quoted by Nina Paim in an interview at Brno Biennial:

‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ – Prove this visually”.

20-minute music app

Description

A brief created by Hike One, a digital product design company from the Netherlands:

We gave 32 of our designers the assignment to create a music app in 20 minutes, in teams of 4. Every group was provided with a set of basic music icons and some music related imagery that gave them a head start.

Source: Medium, February 2017.

Wikipedia drawings

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Description

This workshop proposes to participants to:

  • select a Wikipedia article that could benefit from an illustration.
  • produce an illustrative drawing for that article.

3 reports for Wikipedia drawings

#1 – Wikipedia Illustrated

“Wikipedia Illustrated” was a workshop initiated by artist/illustrator Galia Offri and by designer/educator Mushon Zer-Aviv.

Host institution: Transmediale, Berlin, February 2011

During the workshop at Transmediale, images are created as illustrations for articles such as: Ash heap of history, Hikikomori, Moustache …

Links:

#2 – Drawing for Wikipedia

Host institution: Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons the New School for Design, New York
Timeframe: October-November, 2012 (three workshop sessions)

A proposal by Michael Mandiberg, building on the work of Wikipedia Illustrated and others. Illustrators and graphic designers are invited to join Michael Mandiberg to create images and illustrations for environmentally oriented Wikipedia pages.

Our goal will be to use visual language to explain complex concepts without over simplifying them. This could range from the factual, such as diagrams of biological or chemical phenomena, maps of environmental issues/disasters, or charts, to the poetic or expressive.

Links:

#3 – Wikipedia drawings : design portraits

Host institution: Eracom, Lausanne
Timeframe: half day (4 hours)

During a half day workshop, a group of five students has created portraits of major figures of swiss design history, in order to illustrate their articles on Wikipedia: Karl Gerstner, Armin Hofmann, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Emil Ruder, Rosmarie Tissi, Wolfgang Weingart

Participants: Sophie Berry, Teo Dolci, Nelson Tavares, Samantha Trinkler, Marina Volet.

 

Links: 

The portraits on Wikimedia Commons

Student Bio Website

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Description

Use the basics of HTML to make a personal website.

Source: Sara Shields, web design and publishing course, Texas State University.

CSS Zen Garden

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Description

In this assignment, students create their own version of the CSS Zen Garden.

Source: Scott Granneman, teaching at Washington University, St. Louis.

Composition with initials

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Description

Rosmarie Tissi, in an interview by Louise Paradis (TM Research Archive), describes an assignment for a workshop she directed at Yale in 1991:

For the Yale workshop I thought of something simple and asked the class to make a composition with their initials. An easy task but some of the results were almost paintings; some very esoteric.