Download a PDF of the full Syllabus here:

For design practice to be effective and challenging, it is important for designers to look not just at the artifacts created, but the environments and theories that are contributing to the creative process. The development of a critical voice must include those engaged in the design process and application for it to have merit, authenticity and rigor. If those voices are not put forth, the current and future of the field is dictated by others. The Student Publication is an opportunity for such a critical evaluation of design and the design process, as it relates to contemporary ideas, theories, currents and cultures, to be analyzed and articulated by young designers. It is a chance for you to consider new theories or perspective on design process and practice to enhance your own work, as well as how designed experiences contribute to our discipline, our communities, and the world.

This course will have two main outcomes:

  1. Develop a body of individual essays that address personally compelling and critical topics in design
  2. Contribute to the thematic and content development of Volume 38 of The Student Publication.

Course Expectations and Organization

The course will be organized in service of two main goals:

  1. Development of a series of individual exploratory design “papers/submissions” that focus on a variety of viewpoints and perspectives on the theme of Volume 36. These submissions will embody the critical evaluation of design as related to theory and practice.
  2. Editing, curating and crafting the content of The Student Publication into a marketing tool that promotes The Publication through subscriptions and individual orders.

Classwork and Expectations

The central goal of this course is to create a student-led and developed Publication. This should embody and explore relevant, timely and compelling topics that will be of equal interest to students and pracitioners outside of our institution.

To that end, projects are designed to help students explore these topics as a way to think through the potential of various aspects of design to be explored on a larger scale through the Publication itself.  It is expected and necessary that students will be self-driven and develop certain topics without the express direction of the instructor. Whle there are precedents that mgiht be influential, there are no preconceived notions of what the Publication will be about, nor specific outcomes in mind for the individual work. All aspects of this course necessitate students to define for themselves what the content of the projects shall be and the resources that they will want to draw on as evidence of its relevance as a topic.

Individual Work

A series of exploratory projects will be assigned as a way to process idea and theories of importance within the field of design. They will also be used to begin and continue conversations that are relevant to our field and that might be themes for Volume 38 of the Publication. In addition, the projects will be used to research topics through various design journals, authors, theorists and critics. In these, you will begin to make various connections between your own work and what is being talked about in the larger field of design; hone your writing; and define arguments and positions in support of, or in contrast to, existing ideas and theories of design.

Collective Work to Create The Publication

We will move through the process of creating the journal by discussing, outlining and working through: thematic, participatory and editorial criteria; schedule and budgeting constraints; format, medium, and visual language; distribution and dissemination methods; and exposure and review processes.

It is imperative that students follow through on commitments that they make, take excellent notes on what they are supposed to be responsible for, and engage in timely and consistent communication. Each team will assign a team leader / project manager who will be in charge of recording and following through on these commitments in addition to coordinating with other teams where necessary.