Design is an introductory-level art class open to all majors at McDaniel College. Design students created stained glass-inspired works using paper materials and installed work in an assigned window in our building, Peterson Hall. The imagery and symbols used in the pieces referenced the past, present, and future of Peterson Hall: what did this building used to be? How is it used now? How might it change in the future? Students begin the project by taking a "stained glass walking tour" of campus with our college archivist, Andrea Briggs. From Andrea, they learn about the historical context and meaning behind the imagery depicted in stained glass window installations around McDaniel's campus.
Design students created multiple 5 x 7 inch paintings based on McDaniel College's campus and surrounding landscape. Students had to recreate this landscape using minimal elements such as shape and color.
One Week Project: Our daily lives and interactions with technology generate data points. These data points are tracked and stored by major corporations who make a profit off of all of us users. Let’s take control of our data and do some tracking ourselves!
Students collect one week’s worth of data about the foods they eat, the locations they went to, activities, and moods. They track and record this information over either fall or spring break.
Students then create a large, one-page foldable booklet using heavy-duty paper. Using their collected information, they create abstract representations of categories such as: Moods, Foods, Activity Level, Song of the Week, and Routes.
Dream Worlds or Phobias final project: Students create a paper-based, miniature set-like construction that will communicates their interpretation of a dream world or a phobia. This world may be influenced by other imaginary worlds but should ultimately be unique in sharing the student's own craft and ideas as the maker. Students utilize all of the concepts and technical skills that they've used throughout this semester.
First Day vs. Last Day portraits: for fun, I have students draw their self-portraits on the first and last day of the semester. I only give them three minutes to draw. This exercise was inspired by Lynda Barry and her book, Syllabus.
The Skill Set Decathlon is a series of ten exercises assigned to Design students at the very beginning of the semester. Before a student moves on to the next exercise, they must have their work checked by me. If it's complete and correct, the student can move on to the next exercise. There are also three questions rounds: one about the syllabus, one about the elements and principles of design terminology, and the last round is a written formal analysis of an artwork. The Skill Set Decathlon gets students acquainted with materials, terminology, and techniques that will be employed throughout the semester and also introduces students to my expectations in terms of craft.
A sample of color mixing exercises that students do during our Color unit.