art 6933c: graduate seminar in graphic design: interactive design

spring 2008 seminar materials

During the course of this semester we will explore a range of concepts, theories, technical, and research methods to inform our process and practice leading to meaningful and innovative results. While our thinking and process may be divergent, we will use the following as connective threads:

1/ Surfacing and communicating processes, conceived of theoretically and in multiple frameworks. Processes vary. We should think of them broadly, abstractly, tangibly, didactically, and metaphorically: growth process (dependent on subject), scientific process, creative process, story as process, the process of making (…toast), of getting dressed (work vs party), the list continues … what is not a process? Analogous to process is ritual, more narrowly defined. We want to think broadly and explore.


  1. something going on
  2. natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result
  3. continuing natural or biological activity or function
  4. series of actions or operations conducing to an end
  5. continuous operation or treatment especially in manufacture

2/ Interactive design (design that is time-based, on the internet, and global).
Explore a range of technologies, methods, and forms to communicate while at the same time we consider multiple and diverse audiences and how to unravel complex topics to make them intelligible. A major objective is to use multimedia and internet technologies in our project work in order to reach a broad, international audience in a way that is compelling, didactic, and cost-effective.

3/ Design for social good is grounded in the belief that by using design processes and creating subsequent products, we, as designers, can make positive contributions to the world.

• Empowerment through technology
• Passive, active, and interactive communication
• Social entrepreneurship
• Designer as author
• Digital storytelling
• Intercultural communication (considering diverse and multilingual audiences)

Ford, Rob and Julius Wiedemann, Editors. 2008. Guidelines for Online Success. New York: Taschen.
(ISBN 978-3822823675; $26.39 on; may be shared; excellent resource)

software: Adobe CS3: Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver. Other software will be opensource.

Most course resources will be provided electronically at > “seminar fall 2008” menu item. Some will also be emailed. You should contribute to a group blog or online journal to document your development during the semester.

Your acceptance to the UF graduate program in graphic design signifies that we believe you are prepared for advanced study in design. To this end, we hope to position you to make positive contributions to the field and to society. I will provide leadership and direction, mentor you, and work to facilitate your learning so that you can excel. You must work diligently and independently, have intellectual curiosity, be devoted to your work, and be willing to ‘own’ your education. You should feel comfortable coming to me if you have concerns, problems, or want to discuss course materials or your project.

During the course of the semester we will have technology workshops to focus on aspects of software necessary for web communication, creative project work, and discussion of relevant issues based on readings and current events. Participation and preparation for each class meeting is vital to the success of this class.

We will begin the semester with an introduction to current software available to create interactive work. The first 1/3 of the semester will focus on exercises to explore possibilities and refine your technical abilities. Then the other 2/3 we will devote to two projects. The first is to visualize a scientific or natural process. This will be an external collaboration. Some general information on this project is provided here: Visualizing Science.