Digital Media Design — “Taster” Course

MSc in Digital Media Design: “Taster” Course

Digital Media Design

Digital Media Design is a new masters degree programme (MSc) under development at Edinburgh College of Art, in the University of Edinburgh. The programme is intended to launch in September 2015. It will be based in many ways on our existing on-campus programme in Design and Digital Media, but will require new approaches to online teaching and learning, studio practice and assessment, among other things. This short “taster” course will allow us to experiment with some of these appraoches while giving students a feeling for the kind of programme we are aiming to create.

The course

This course is unapologetically experimental. As a student taking the course you will be helping us to form the strategies and practices we will need to run the programme. Much is not yet known about how this should work; your feedback wil be invaluable to us. We offer this course at no cost, with no promises or guarantees of what you will achieve; the course is not as yet accredited or certificated by the University. However, we believe the experience will be as valuable for students as for us the teachers. As usual, what we get out of it will depend on how much we put into it, on both sides.

Plan

The course will take place over 6 weeks, starting on 18th September 2014. Each week an online lecture will be released, corresponding to the lecture delivered to on-campus students of our course “Introduction to Digital Design“. (In week 3, exceptionally, there will be two lectures.) The lecture will generally take the form of a video/viewtorial/screencast supplemented perhaps with slides and other materials. In weeks 1, 3 and 5 an exercise will be set, which will involve a creative task. The outcome of the task will be submitted, and subjected to a public critique (“crit”) session the following week. The crit will involve at least a video commentary, with scope for asynchronous discussion. At times during the progress of the course we will aim to experiment with synchronous discussion using chat systems and also skype or similar voice technology. However, this may depend on interesting issues such as which timezones the students are in.

Requirements

No assumptions are made about your previous experience or education. You will need a computer with a broadband connection; ideally the computer will have a good-quality screen and video card, but we make no assumptions about which operating system is used. Our teaching material will often be based on the use of Mac OS X with Adobe software such as Photoshop. If you can get access to Photoshop this will be best, but in principle alternatives such as Gimp could be used (as long as it is recognised that we will not be able to advise on these). For constructing HTML/CSS pages, any text editor can be used. For communication we will use a variety of web-based tools; some of these may require accounts with 3rd-party providers (e.g. Google hangouts).

Schedule

Week 1 – What is (Digital) Design?

This session provides an overview of the themes covered by the course such as design context, practice process

Week 1 Tutorial/Exercise – Image Capture and Cleanup – vimeo.com/76940023

Week 2 – Colour Theories

This viewtorial introduces colour in design, discusses the work of Albers and Itten, and addresses differences between print and screen based processes

Week 2 Image Crit

Week 3 (Weds) – Formal Functions – Principles of Design

This session examines the use and utility of basic design building blocks such as point, line and plane, and their subsequent combination in formal arrangements

Week 3 Tutorial/Exercise – Point, Line and Plane

Week 3 (Thurs) – Typography and Grids

This viewtorial covers the use of text as a design tool

Week 4 – Style and Substance – Separation of Presentation and Content

This session looks at delivering different messages via different mediums and the impact of the medium on the message.

Week 4 – Form Crit

Week 5 – Networks and Net Play

This session focuses on the changing character of the Internet and the impact this change has had on digital design

Week 5 Tutorial/Exercise – Introduction to HTML/CSS – vimeo.com/29955174

Week 6 – Websites with Style / Boxing Clever – Separation & Grids revisited

This session consolidates prior learning by applying it to screen based media

Week 6 – Web Crit

Collective Imagery Weaving Workshop

A taster of all the things that came out of the workshop with Priscilla Chueng-Nainby and Rocio von Jungenfeld: collaborative deconstruction, construction and reconstruction of Jenkins ‘Game Design as Narrative Architecture’ into a collective weaved imagery. M&C students weaving narratives into a collective web in the Atrium, Alison House 25th Sep.