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DECEMBER 11, 2009    More below:  Type in Motion

Process, not product

Collection of candy and other items on desktopThis semester's Media Design class was an experiment in process. We spent much of our time talking about/working on how to approach a design project rather than focusing on the product itself.

During the first class I asked for ideas about how to make the class an environment where we could all learn and enjoy it.

Sad to say I never brought in the black light, piñata, or sushi. We did have music in the form of Pandora.com blues playing in the background at least during the start of class. We watched a lot of short videos, many of them from the HIllman Curtis series on artists. We had interesting discussions on religion (or lack thereof) as well as design ethics and client expectations.

Student takeover

To make the last class special I turned it over to students Carissa and Eric. I also asked that everyone bring in something to share with classmates. We each got the collection you see above (plus a Malley's chocolate bar that I ate before taking the picture).

Eric and Carissa sent me a detailed plan for the class that included watching the "type in motion" videos that the class had done as an earlier assignment, with a quick critique. They also brought in a poster size piece of illustration board, gridded off so each student could fill in one block with whatever they wanted, to create a group illustration/collage.

The last 30 minutes or so we watched a collection of short videos that included digital graffiti as well as several of the Yes Men. I had a great time just sitting back, enjoying the show. Might have to do this more often.


The most successful aspect of the entire semester experiment was a sense of camaraderie that developed in the group. Because Tri-C is a two-year college and most students have very busy lives off-campus, you don't see as many friendships develop as you might in a four-year school. Many of our students are only on campus during class hours, then they are off to work, pick up the kids, whatever.

For a fair judgement you'd have to ask the students what they learned, but I'm happy that the class learned a bit about themselves, each other, and oh yes, the design process too.

Evidence of how well that design process can work is visible in the projects below.

Type in Motion

MLK, Jr. speech screenshotI Have Seen the Promised Land
—Martin Luther King, Jr. speech, interpreted by Eric Oldag.
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This is Just To Say screenshotThis is Just to Say
—David Rakoff, interpreted by Carissa Rapalo.
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