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å Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

í Unit 4: Overview & Assignment


How can collaboration be a catalyst for making?


Collaboration is important across many fields of creative work and the discoveries made through it can be invaluable. This unit promotes methods that emphasize teamwork, spontaneity and responsiveness. You will see how methods of shared creativity can produce a form of knowledge that is experiential and intuitive.

Students will develop a discrete visual vocabulary and system. These systems will then be shared with all DS1 students to create a shared lexicon that may be mined endlessly. We will recontextualize, synthesize, transform and conspire, working in and on top of each other’s work. We will build on remix practices, which blur distinctions between invented and borrowed work.



After introducing this unit each student is given a word. Use this word as a starting point for inspiration and media to be explored.

Next build a complex set of visual parts (total: 50) to share with all students in DS1.

Use this assignment as an opportunity to develop a language of personal symbolism.

Use any available resource found and/or self-authored: photos, scans, drawings, video, etc. Your visual vocabulary will include but not be limited to: shape, perspective, color, line weight, scale, foreground/background, level of abstraction, etc.

This unit is structured to provide an opportunity to collaborate and extend the process of design from self to collective.

You will design 2 posters that are due week one of this unit. (printed or pdf)

  1. Highlights and applies all 50 visual parts that you created.
  2. Create a hybrid that borrows/appropriates visual parts from the collective. Use any module of your choosing.


Determine methods, techniques, media, etc. you plan to work with. Explore and perform studies using a variety of 2D and 3D materials and processes. Look at ways of hybridization and translating one medium into another. (Physical and Digital)

  • – Create a set of visual parts. (possibly interchangeable)
  • – Explore a variety of tools and processes. (at least 5)
  • – Explore (at least 10) different form factors. (refer to posted list)
  • – Be exhaustive, create multiples, aim for quantity and variety.
  • – Carefully consider contrast, figure/ground, composition and gestalt principles.
  • – Be economical with the combination of elements. Reduce to basic elements.
  • – They should work together as a system (similar scale, level of detail, grid, etc.)
  • – Screen grabs and stills may be taken from video and motion work.


You will receive an invitation via email to a shared Google Drive. Save your set of parts to the Google Drive in preparation to share with classmates by Noon on Saturday, October 31st, 2015.

  • – Group all vectors into one Illustrator file.
  • – Save images as individual jpg files. Scale should be at least 4 x 4 inches, 300 dpi.
  • – Use this format for naming and numbering of files: email username_1.jpg
  • – Present (2) 30 x 42 inch designed posters
  • – Display at the beginning of class on Tuesday, November 3rd


For this part of the assignment you will work in pairs.

Create a poster diptych that is a response and reinterpretation of your partners work. Expand it through analysis and experimentation. Recontextualize, synthesize, transform and conspire, refine the system, work in and on top of each other’s work. This process can shift your thinking and may uncover unforeseen relationships.

  • – Consider exploring methods of sorting, adding and subtracting.
  • – Look at ways to connect seemly-unrelated ideas.
  • – Visual responses during this phase of the assignment may totally transform.
  • – 2 posters (diptych) 30 x 42 inch due: Tuesday, November 10th

Working together in section:

  1. Dissect week one’s outcome. What themes emerged?
  2. What methods and mediums were most successful?
  3. Does your partner’s work contrast or compliment yours?
  4. What methods of your own devising will you continue to employ? Can you achieve a successful hybrid?
  5. Will you enhance or destroy?
  6. Look for relationships between things to see what emerges. What are the commonalities?
  7. How can you creatively combine and connect totally disparate elements? Taking something out of a context and placing it into another, demonstrates how meaning is fixed and how meaning is unfixed when location is changed. What does it mean in its new situation?
  8. Analyze outcomes, transform, hybridize, change parameters, explore in depth.
  9. How does working collaboratively alter your approach?

Week Two Critique in Section:

  1. How were your original intentions interrupted?
  2. How was work transformed by the conversation?
  3. Do you feel ownership of something that was not originally yours?
  4. Take note of benefits and pitfalls.
  5. Were your results consistent or were there pivotal moments?


Martin Venezky, Sol Lewitt, Stephen Wolfram, Karel Martens, Barry McGee, Miranda July






Collaborative working methods, Flexibility, Intuition, Spontaneity, Respect and Trust, Working with Constraints, Fragmentation, Gestalt, Abstraction, Appropriation, Conveying ideas through minimal means, Explore processes and media, Hybridization/working across platforms, Representation and Meaning

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