Design & Education


CDGD 401-12

Graphic Design Intensive 2

School of Design
Communications Design Department

3 BFA Studio Credits
Prerequisite: XXX

Wednesday 1:30PM - 05:50PM
Steuben Hall, Room 102


Course Description

Bulletin Description:

This course introduces expanded modes of practice for graphic designers: interactive, experiential, performative, and circumstantial ways of communication. Through readings, lectures, and in-class workshops, students will learn the fundamental design principles for interactive media, and be exposed to methods, tools, and processes of human-centered design. Students will explore interactivity and experiential design as a medium in various ways — from tangible interface, screen-based products and services, to multimedia systems that incorporate multiple dimensions and nonlinear narrative strategies. Students will practice critical making and explore interactive, experiential, and performative media as a new landscape for communicating their voice.


Detailed Description:

This course builds on Graphic Design Intensive 1 and offers the opportunity to engage the experiential playful, emotional aspects of design, and explore expanded modes of practice that span temporal, spatial and circumstantial dimensions. The course introduces the fundamentals of interaction design through applications with dynamic, experiential and performative media.

Students are introduced to basic concepts of interactivity, that of interface, mental model, feedback, affordance, metaphor, and signifier. Students will develop visual thinking skills and reflective practice to conceptualize and communicate interactions, experiences and services, such as wireframing, user flows, mapping and charting. Students will gain a fundamental understanding of methods, tools, and processes of human-centered design such as personas, scenarios, prototyping, user testing, and heuristics.

Through three major assignments, students expand their skills in designing tangible interactions, screen-based media, and multimedia systems applied to spaces and environments. Assignments prompt students to explore nonlinear narrative strategies that integrate words, imagery, space, time, and behavior. Students will engage interactivity in its broad definition, and conceptualize, prototype and demonstrate usable and delightful products, services and experiences.


Course Goals

To become familiar with… To acquire a knowledge of…., To gain a greater appreciation for…., To develop an understanding of…

  1. To obtain an understanding of interactive, experiential, and performative media, their historic relevances and current trends

  2. To explore critical making in various media, making use of spatial and temporal dimensions to achieve interactivity and nonlinear narratives.

  3. To develop skills in information architecture, visualization of intangible information in interactive and experience design.

  4. To further develop research skills, specifically methods, techniques, tools, and processes in human-centered design.


Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students should be able to…

  1. Articulate and apply fundamental principles of interactive design, and be familiar with discourses around experience design

  1. Apply a reflective and iterative process employing a range of methods of critical making.

  2. Plan, design and prototype complex interactions incorporating multiple dimensions and nonlinear narrative strategies.

  3. Apply human-centered design methods, analye and synthesie research insights to create interactive products, services and experiences.



Project 1: Everyday Interactions

3 Weeks Group Project (2-3 people)

Choose a common everyday object that you can hold with your hands. Observe and document how people use this object in different contexts. Imagine and sketch 15 new ways of using this object if it became ‘smart’. Identify the best use cases and create video scenarios describing the experience of use.

Project 2: Inhuman Factors

4 weeks (Individual project)

Create a persona with a set of specific goals or needs, based on a real user or a fictional character. Describe his/her personality, psychological traits and everyday life. Be as detailed and illustrative as possible. Identify the objects, tools, artifacts, spaces and actions your persona is most familiar with. Using symbolic representations of these elements, design a graphical interface to help your persona achieve his/her goals.

Consider using metaphors and analogies to represent the functionality and affordances of the interface. Sketch multiple layouts and spatial configurations, applying behaviors to provide feedback and respond to gestures. How can your pesona interact with the interface in a useful and delightful way?

Project 3: …


Reading & Research Assignments

Select readings will be provided throughout the semester, giving students critical insight into the format and subject matter, with the intention of supplementing research and class work. Each week, one or two students will be assigned to present a specific topic in the assigned reading material.

Process Log (Process Book)

A Process Log is an easy way to share the back-story of a project - it allows a viewer to see the progression of a project from the beginning to end through research, rough sketches, screen shots, scans, photos, and multiple rounds of work. It must be organized according to course/program guidelines and include a cover with your name and the course title clearly visible. It should reflect the use of appropriate research and analytical skills. The Process Log should include the following chapters detailing the design process for each of the three assignments; Debriefing, Research, Observation, Discovery, Brainstorming, Ideation, Prototyping, Comping, Implementation.


Homework Projects Will Help You:

  • Closely examine the role of research and process in communications design,
  • Understand the impact that audience analysis and cognitive science have on strategic thinking and concept development, and
  • FInstigate your own self driven design process derived from personal interest and exploration.

  • Always safeguard your work by making a second copy on a back-up disk. Lost work due to disk malfunction or deletion is not excused and will have to be recreated for a lesser grade. Submitted work should be in PDF format unless otherwise specified. You should create a PDF document for each projects that includes all elements of your work for review.




    A (4.0) / A- (3.7)

    Excellent Sustained level of superior performance in all areas of course requirements.


    B+ (3.3) / B (3.0) / B- (2.7)

    Above average Consistent level of performance that is above average in a majority of the course requirements.


    C+ (2.3) / C (2.0)

    Acceptable Performance that is generally average and course requirements are achieved.


    C- (1.7) / D+ (1.3) / D (1.0)

    Below average Poor level of work and performance and achievement of the course requirements


    F (0)

    Failure Accomplishment of the course requirements is not sufficient to receive a passing grade


    INC (n/a)

    Incomplete Automatically expires after the following semester.


    Recommended Reading

    Reflective practitioner

    Visser, Willemien. “Schön: Design as a reflective practice.” Collection 2, Parsons Paris School of art and design, (2010): 21-25.

    Human and objects

    Norman, Don. The design of everyday things: Revised and expanded edition. Constellation, 2013.

    Sterling, Bruce. Shaping Things. MIT Press, 2005

    Antonelli, Paola. Talk to Me. Exhibition Catalog. MoMA.

    Dunne, Anthony, and Raby, Fiona. Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects. Basel: Birkhauser, 2001.

    R. Buckminster Fuller. Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. Chapter 4. Spaceship Earth. 14-19.

    Interaction Design Fundamentals

    Brenda Laurel. Computers as Theater. Chapter 4. Dramatic Interactions, 109–127

    Keramidas, Kimon. The Interface Experience: A User's Guide. Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, 2015.

    Moggridge, Bill. Designing Interactions. Foreword. Gillian Crampton-Smith (pp viii-xix)

    Shedroff, Nathan. “Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design.”

    Computational Thinking

    Ford, Paul. “What Is Code?”, Bloomberg, 11 June 2015,

    Manovich, Lev, Roger F. Malina, and Sean Cubitt. “What is New Media”. The Language of the New Media. MIT Press, 2001.

    Manovich, Lev. “Remixing and Remixability”. 2008.

    Reas, Casey, and Ben Fry. “A Modern Prometheus: The History of Processing.”, Processing Foundation, 29 May 2018,

    Rheingold, Howard, and Howard Rheingold. “The First Programmer Was a Lady.” Tools for Thought: the History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology, MIT Press, 2000.


    Attendance, Participation

    Departmental Attendance Policy

    There are no unexcused absences or cuts. Students are expected to attend all classes. Any unexcused absence may affect your final grade. Three unexcused absences may result in course failure at the discretion of the instructor. Unexcused tardiness may also affect your final grade. 

    Daisuke Attendance Policy

    Three unexcused absences will automatically result in failure for the semester. The first and second unexcused absences will result in a reduction of your final grade by one half letter. (Chronic lateness may also affect your grade.) An excused absence means that I have received notification of a legitimate excuse (such as illness or a personal or medical emergency) before class starts—preferably by the night before. We can then schedule a makeup time for our discussion.

    You are expected to arrive on time and be prepared to work for the entire period. Being late to the class twice count as one absence.

    Class Participation

    Class participation is an important part of this course. Students are expected to contribute to classroom discussion at every class meeting: to ask questions, make a comment or observation, respond to questions asked by faculty, guest presenters or classmates. Students are expected to work in class and be ready to sketch, work with analog or digital processes and present and discuss their assignments every week. Class participation will be monitored and the student’s grade will reflect the contribution made each week.

    Class time is devoted to presentations and critiques within which you will be asked to review your classmates’ displayed work. Such evaluations are very important in the development of self-analytical judgment.


    Required at Each Class

  • Weekly assignment completed to deadline date.
  • All previously completed work on the assignment as well as all related research materials.
  • Fulfillment of any other requirements issued in writing by your instructor.

    Course Calendar / Weekly Schedule

    Week 1 / Date


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    Week 15 / Date


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    Pratt Institute-Wide Information

    Academic Integrity Policy

    At Pratt, students, faculty, and staff do creative and original work. This is one of our community values. For Pratt to be a space where everyone can freely create, our community must adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity.

    Academic integrity at Pratt means using your own and original ideas in creating academic work. It also means that if you use the ideas or influence of others in your work, you must acknowledge them.

    At Pratt,

    • We do our own work,

    • We are creative, and

    • We give credit where it is due.

    Based on our value of academic integrity, Pratt has an Academic Integrity Standing Committee (AISC) that is charged with educating faculty, staff, and students about academic integrity practices. Whenever possible, we strive to resolve alleged infractions at the most local level possible, such as between student and professor, or within a department or school. When necessary, members of this committee will form an Academic Integrity Hearing Board. Such boards may hear cases regarding cheating, plagiarism, and other infractions described below; these infractions can be grounds for citation, sanction, or dismissal.

    Academic Integrity Code

    When students submit any work for academic credit, they make an implicit claim that the work is wholly their own, completed without the assistance of any unauthorized person. These works include, but are not limited to exams, quizzes, presentations, papers, projects, studio work, and other assignments and assessments. In addition, no student shall prevent another student from making their work. Students may study, collaborate and work together on assignments at the discretion of the instructor.

    Examples of infractions include but are not limited to:

    1. Plagiarism, defined as using the exact language or a close paraphrase of someone else’s ideas without citation.

    2. Violations of fair use, including the unauthorized and uncited use of another’s artworks, images, designs, etc.

    3. The supplying or receiving of completed work including papers, projects, outlines, artworks, designs, prototypes, models, or research for submission by any person other than the author.

    4. The unauthorized submission of the same or essentially the same piece of work for credit in two different classes.

    5. The unauthorized supplying or receiving of information about the form or content of an examination.

    6. The supplying or receiving of partial or complete answers, or suggestions for answers; or the supplying or receiving of assistance in interpretation of questions on any examination from any source not explicitly authorized. (This includes copying or reading of another student’s work or consultation of notes or other sources during an examination.)

    For academic support, students are encouraged to seek assistance from the Writing and Tutorial Center, Pratt Libraries, or consult with an academic advisor about other support resources.

    Refer to the Pratt website for information on Academic Integrity Code Adjudication Procedures.

    General Pratt Attendance Policy

    Pratt Institute understands that students’ engagement in their program of study is central to their success. While no attendance policy can assure that, regular class attendance is key to this engagement and signals the commitment Pratt students make to participate fully in their education.

    Faculty are responsible for including a reasonable attendance policy on the syllabus for each course they teach, consistent with department-specific guidelines, if applicable, and with Institute policy regarding reasonable accommodation of students with documented disabilities. Students are responsible for knowing the attendance policy in each of their classes; for understanding whether a class absence has been excused or not; for obtaining material covered during an absence (note: instructors may request that a student obtain the material from peers); and for determining, in consultation with the instructor and ahead of time if possible, whether make-up work will be permitted.

    Consistent attendance is essential for the completion of any course or program. Attending class does not earn students any specific portion of their grade, but is the pre-condition for passing the course, while missing class may seriously harm a student’s grade. Grades may be lowered a letter grade for each unexcused absence, at the discretion of the instructor. Even as few as three unexcused absences in some courses (especially those that meet only once per week) may result in an automatic “F” for the course. (Note: Students shall not be penalized for class absences prior to adding a course at the beginning of a semester, though faculty may expect students to make up any missed assignments.)

    Pratt Institute respects students’ requirements to observe days of cultural significance, including religious holy days, and recognizes that some students might need to miss class to do so. In this, or other similar, circumstance, students are responsible for consulting with faculty ahead of time about how and when they can make up work they will miss.

    Faculty are encouraged to give consideration to students who have documentation from the Office of Health and Counseling. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities will continue to be provided, as appropriate.

    Refer to the Pratt website for information on Attendance.

    Students with Disabilities

    The instructor will make every effort to accommodate students with both visible and invisible disabilities.  While it is advisable that students with disabilities speak to the instructor at the start of the semester if they feel this condition might make it difficult to partake in aspects of the course, students should feel free to discuss issues pertaining to disabilities with the instructor at any time.  Depending on the nature of the disability, and the extent to which it may require deviations from standard course policy, documentation of a specific condition may be required, in compliance with conditions established by the campus Learning Access Center, and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students who require special accommodations for disabilities must obtain clearance from the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of the semester. They should contact Elisabeth Sullivan, Director of the Learning Access Center, 718-636-3711.

    Religious Policies

    In line with Pratt’s Attendance Policy, Pratt Institute respects students’ requirements to observe days of cultural significance, including religious holy days, and recognizes that some students might need to miss class to do so. In this, or other similar, circumstance, students are responsible for consulting with faculty ahead of time about how and when they can make up work they will miss.

    Departmental Attendance Policy

    There are no unexcused absences or cuts. Students are expected to attend all classes. Any unexcused absence may affect your final grade. Three unexcused absences may result in course failure at the discretion of the instructor. Unexcused tardiness may also affect your final grade.


    Personal wireless devices must be inaudible at all times and used only for class purposes with permission of the instructor.