Creative Elements

DES131

Module Coordinator: Conánn FitzPatrick
Module Notes
Assignments

Rationale

This module aims to introduce students from diverse backgrounds to a range of concepts and skills required to gain an understanding of the universal principles surrounding both interactivity and animation. Students will work together in small groups exploring core themes, such as: visualisation, time-based media, audio, interactivity, and divergent thinking.

This module runs concurrently with the ‘Design Discourse One’, history and theory, lecture and seminar module, which will provide the student with a contextual framework in parallel with their practical workshops.

Hours

  • Lectures: 5 hrs
  • Seminars: 5 hrs
  • Tutorials: 15 hrs
  • Workshops: 30 hrs
  • Independent study: 345 hrs

Total Effort Hours: 400hrs

Aims

The essential aims of this module are:
  1. To introduce core themes, such as: visualisation, time-based media, audio, interactivity, and divergent thinking.
  2. To introduce students to the fundamental techniques, processes and technology through intensive workshop practice.
  3. To promote innovative thinking and idea generation.
  4. To encourage the creation of assets required to meet the outcomes from innovative thinking.
  5. To encourage a creative environment that supports an understanding of core themes relating to interactivity and animation through reflection, group work and peer-assessment.
  6. To encourage a creative environment that supports an understanding of core themes relating to interactivity and animation through reflection, group work and peer-assessment.

Learning Outcomes

A successful student will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

  • K1 Develop and originate ideas through to conceptual outcomes
  • K2 Demonstrate an awareness of appropriate thinking skills and methodologies employed to solve problems
  • K3 Demonstrate conceptual knowledge of relevant historical and contemporary models of practice in the field of design

Intellectual Qualities

  • I1 Demonstrate an appropriate approach to risk taking, and independent enquiry
  • I2 Evaluate new information, concepts and evidence from a range of sources
  • I3 Demonstrate an ability to work within the context of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity

Professional/Practical Skills

  • P1 Demonstrate proficiency in observation, investigation, enquiry, organization, making and visualisation

Transferable Skills

  • T1 Organise time, resources and ideas so as to work productively
  • T2 Can communicate concepts effectively in visual, oral and written forms.

Content

This twelve-week module contains five two-week workshops. Each workshop will explore themes relevant to interactivity and animation. The components are:

Visualising

The term ‘visualising’ embraces many disciplines. It is perceived as a necessary primary activity to project development. Experimentation within this area will be realised through visual enquiry, utilising fundamental principles, developing knowledge and technical skills within the workshop theme.

Time and Motion

Time and motion encompasses linear and non-linear forms of expression. Experimentation within this area will be realised through time-based media and storytelling concepts, utilising fundamental principles, developing knowledge and technical skills within the workshop theme.

Typography and Composition

This workshop aims to introduce key concepts within the field of typography and the aesthetic principles inherent in screen-based composition. Experimentation within this area will be realised through visual enquiry, utilising fundamental principles, developing knowledge and technical skills within the workshop theme.

Sound

Audio presence can offer an additional layer of exposition, emotional depth, as well as supporting existing visuals. Experimentation within this area will be realised through audio enquiry, utilising fundamental principles, developing knowledge and technical skills within the workshop theme.

Interactivity

Fundamental psychological and control-based methods of interactivity will be explored in this workshop, providing a sense of the various forms of engagement that an audience or spectator can participate with. Experimentation within this area will be realised through visual, kinetic and auditory enquiry, utilising fundamental principles, developing knowledge and technical skills within the workshop theme.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The development of fundamental skills is addressed through lectures, seminars and tutorials in both studio and workshop practice.

Lectures will introduce the entire year group to the principles of interactivity and design, the development of ideas and illustrating what it means to be a practitioner within this emergent field.

Seminars will offer the opportunity for student groups to explore and expand upon a range of ideas covered in workshops and lectures.

Tutorials will help support progress, identify strengths and weaknesses and clarify future direction and will encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning.

Workshops are central to this module and will introduce student groups to the varied processes and techniques of the discipline and encourage participation, experimentation and peer assessment.

Blended (Web Supplemented), all lecture notes, workshop handouts and key tasks will be supported on blackboard learn.

Assessment

Coursework 1: 75%
Thematic Workshop Outputs

Practical workshop output(s) from each component will be produced by each student group, in addition, all individual preparatory research, divergent thinking examples and experimentation work will be recorded within an ideas book.

Coursework 2: 25%
Reflective online Journal

Students will reflect on their learning experience within each workshop and record it within an online journal. This will aid student evaluation in relation to how the topics and themes are relevant to interactivity and animation.

100% Coursework

Feedback

Coursework assignments are planned at key points throughout the module. Diagnostic and formative feedback encourages students to continuously engage in learning reflection and developmental practice. Summative feedback will be given to students at the end of the module within two weeks of coursework submission.

Required Reading

  • Handler Miller, C., (2nd Edition, 2008) Digital Storytelling: A Creator’s Guide to Interactive Entertainment, England: Focal Press
  • Sagmeister, S. (2008) Things I have Learned in my Life so Far, New York: Abrams Books
  • Williams, R.E., (2009) The Animator’s Survival Kit, USA: Faber and Faber
  • Adobe Creative Team, (2010) Adobe Illustrator CS5 Classroom in a book, USA, Adobe.
  • Berger, J., (1972), Ways of Seeing, London: Penguin Books.
  • Bestley, R and I. Noble, (2005) Visual Research: An Introduction to research Methodologies in Graphic Design, Switzerland, AVA
  • Creeber, G. and Martin, R., (2009) Digital Cultures: Understanding New Media, England: McGraw Hill, Open University Press
  • Dabner, D., (2010) Graphic Design School: A foundation course for Graphic Designers working in print, moving image and digital media. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • Fletcher, A. (2001) The Art of Looking Sideways, London, Phaidon
  • Furniss, M., (2007) Art in Motion: Animation Aesthetics, England: John Libbey Publishing Ltd
  • Manovich, L., (2001) The Language of New Media, USA and England: The MIT Professional
  • Preston, B., (1994) Cartoon Animation, California: Walter Foster Publishing Inc.
  • Thomas, F. and Johnston, O., (1997) The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, USA: Hyperion
  • Wells, P., and Hardcastle, J., (2008) Re-Imagining Animation: The Changing Face of The Moving Image, USA and England: Ava Publishing
  • Wiedemann, J. ed., (2008). Illustration now!, Koln, London: Taschen.

Websites

Journals

  • Wired, Computer Arts, Sound on Sound, Computer Music magazine, 3D World, VFX

Journal Articles

  • Green, J., (2010) ‘Understanding the Score: Film Music Communicating to and Influencing the Audience’, The Journal of Aesthetic Education 44.4, pp. 81-94
  • Smuts, A., (2009) ‘What is Interactivity?’, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 43 (2009) pp. 53-73

Summary Description

This module aims to introduce students from diverse backgrounds to a range of concepts and skills required to gain an understanding of the universal principles surrounding both interactivity and animation. This will enable students to experience and broaden their comprehension of each workshop through practice.