Core Studio Interaction Syllabus
Parsons School for Design, Communication Design
Core Studio Interaction, Section A, PUCD 2125; CRN 2526
Spring 2020
Nika Fisher
Meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9 – 11:40 am
2 W. 13th, Room #1006

Course homepage

Course Description                                        

In this course we will provide a thorough and elaborate study of interactive concepts and techniques for applications. We will conduct an extensive investigation into the interface, mechanism, controls, and aims of interactive works. Students will learn how to design and develop complex interactive projects, undertaking comprehensive research and directing their thinking process from brainstorming to final outcome. This course will provide students with the tools to conceive, plan, and develop an interactive system, and they will become aware of the importance of their role in the development of interactive media.

Course Goals                                        

  • To learn to apply your own interests as a designer onto a live platform
  • To observe and analyze what interests and inspires you
  • To communicate a narrative through words, design, content, and code
  • To gain an understanding of internet history, where it is now, and how your work will contribute to it in the future
  • To gain familiarity with a range of digital contemporary art and design practices
  • To enhance your presentation skills

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Use a basic vocabulary of interactive media to both give and respond to critique productively. Including individual evaluation through the instructor, group critique in class, outside critique as well as written anonymous critique. 
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the iterative making process in interaction design, using incremental methods such as sketching, prototyping and evaluation.
  1. Conceptualize a product for the web and realize it through coding. 
  1. Evaluate the difference in designing interfaces for different kind of devices, their limitations and specific user situation including responsive websites and apps for mobile. 
  1. Evaluate how typography and its variables are applied to interactive systems to facilitate orientation, support usability and create consistency . 
  1. Research historic and current design precedents to contextualize own work. 
  1. Be able to archive and document work that is printed, on screen or time based in a reflective manner for learning portfolio 
  1. Combine their artistic creativity with technology related to the internet. 
  1. Demonstrate a comprehension of skills, methods, techniques and processes to realize interactive systems (see competency) 

Course Outline

Below is a general outline of the semester. For up to date information, please reference the syllabus on the course homepage.

Project + Exercises
HW + Notes
Communication and Form
Time Capsule
  • Introductions + Syllabus Review
  • Discussion topic: what is web design to you? what are you hoping to learn here? What is the point of this class?
  • Discuss class website
  • Students present their previous work
  • Review Project 1: Time Capsule
  • Assign homework
  • Watch Lo and Behold
  • Purchase Sketch. Sign up for Invision.
  • Come to class with a list of 25 of your time capsule components. Include photos and/or sketches for each item. Consider how you’ll organize your time capsule.
  • “A Living Language” and “A Rose is a Rose is a” from Design as Art by Bruno Munari

Time Capsule
  • Student presents on Bruno Munari
  • Class discusses the reading
  • Decide on the direction of your project and have a selection of your 10 pieces. If you’re using photos – remember that in webdesign, you want a file size that’s the smallest possible. Aim to have images <1mb where you can, and always export for web in photoshop. Jpgs, pngs, svgs, gifs all OK. Avoid large scale images such as tiffs and do not use pdfs.
  • Have a clickable draft of your project for Tuesday’s class online
  • Pick a discussion leader