Open for Enrollment (In Development)
This exclusive course is part of the program:Graphic Design Methods
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This course explores various roles that designers can play to generate and organize content and create visual forms and structures. Conversations between Lupton and Horne will examine diverse approaches to the production of form and content. The instructors will apply each method to contemporary practice, from problem solving to narrative thinking. Students will explore both theory and practice by considering some prevailing ideas about the designer’s agency to author compelling content.
This course is in scheduled mode. Learn more about scheduled courses here.
Session 1: Design Thinking
Design thinking is a widely practiced method that involves studying a problem, observing users, generating multiple ideas, prototyping solutions, and testing results. Design thinking is a non-linear process that is often conducted with multidisciplinary groups. It is especially effective at the early phases of the design process, when it is valuable to think broadly and openly about why a project is being pursued and how people might benefit from its outcomes.
Session 2: Form and Content
Graphic designers continually break down the dichotomy of form and content. One of modern design’s most crucial insights is that the way texts and ideas are framed, visualized, and delivered changes their meaning and impact. This lesson looks at different methods or strategies for using form to lead—rather than follow or serve—the design process.
Session 3: Signs and Symbols
Semiotics is the theory of how signs and symbols convey and create meaning. This lesson examines the relevance of key concepts from the field of semiotics (theory of signs), including icon, index, symbol and pragmatics, semantics, and syntactics, as these concepts relate to contemporary graphic design practice.
Session 4: Storytelling
Human beings are drawn to stories. Animations and graphic novels are time-based works, but even a flat, two-dimensional poster can contain the elements of a story by implying action and movement, representing characters and conflicts, and issuing a call to action to viewers. This lesson introduces basic principles of visual storytelling, and prepares students for the second half of this course, which focuses on user experience.
Instructors & Guests
Brockett Horne is a designer, educator, and writer. She serves as chair of Graphic Design at MICA, where she teaches fierce sophomores and daring juniors. She is a past National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar in Design History, has been exhibited and honored with multiple design awards, is a past Rotary International Scholar, and has work in the permanent collection of the RISD Museum of Art. Her creative work is inspired by a desire to encourage the spectator to learn while looking. She holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design.
Ellen Lupton is director of the Graphic Design MFA program at MICA (with Jennifer Cole Phillips), where she teaches courses in design history, theory, and studio practice. She also serves as Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. Recent exhibitions have included "Beauty—National Design Triennial" (curated with Andrea Lipps), "How Posters Work", "Beautiful Users", and "Graphic Design"—Now in Production (curated with Andrew Blauvelt). Lupton has edited and authored numerous books, including "Thinking with Type", "Graphic Design Thinking", "Type on Screen", and "Graphic Design: The New Basics" (with Jennifer Cole Phillips). She earned her BFA from The Cooper Union and her Doctorate in Communication Design from University of Baltimore.
What You Need to Take This Course
- Access to note-taking tools and basic design tools, such as pencils, scissors and tape, drawing pens
- Laptop, desktop, or tablet device
- Access to digital drawing software, such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop
Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member, does not affirm that the student has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by Maryland Institute College of Art.
In order to receive college credit for these program courses, you must successfully complete and pass all 3 courses in this program. If a student signs up for the Graphic Design Methods program, it is recommended that these courses are taken sequentially.
*Partial credit will not be awarded for completion of only one course.
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