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5 Blog

B End-of-year reviews


Juniors will present their work for review on Wednesday, May 25. It’s a great way to end the year for all of us, by allowing a closer look at each student and a wide view of the curriculum. Students receive critical feedback from faculty other than their instructors and can receive some of the best on-the-spot advising for future study (areas of improvement/strengths). Think of the review as your final Design Studio project for the year, a unit that carries the question: “how does one present 9 months of work in 10 minutes?”

Your Design Studio instructors may have specific advice, but below are the Department’s expectations of the review. This document is shared with faculty before entering the review.

Summary of goals for the review

  • — To draw out strengths and weakness within a student and in the curriculum at large
  • — To allow for a holistic view of a student’s body of work
  • — To allow students to meet and hear from faculty other than their instructors
  • — To advise students on future courses, internships, areas of interest
  • — To force a student to present his/her body of work in a clear manner and a short amount of time (an important design problem in its own right)

Advice on what and how to prepare

  • — Bring all of your work from this year. What you see as weak or irrelevant may really help instructors understand your trajectory. Consider how your presentation may emphasize the primary projects from each course while giving instructor’s access to the process or versions. We want to see your stronger and weaker moments in order to help guide you as best we can.
  • — Include non-school work if it helps to complete a picture of your year. For example, if you spent months on a project for a student group, show it!
  • — Show non-major studio work (wintersession) and be prepared to talk about Liberal Arts courses and how they fit into your GD work
  • — Visit your room in advance to plan out your presentation. Arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled time to hang up work on walls and lay out projects on tables. Borrow a friend’s laptop if you need more computer displays. Use the projector if needed. Bring pushpins or other supplies that you need. Bring a laptop or plug in to a projector if available to show digital work.
  • — You may need to reprint work or revise work to fit your presentation. Digital work may be best printed given the short time period.
  • — You may ask a classmate or friend to be present to take notes or to hear the conversation. The review is considered closed except for peers you invite or faculty who are assigned or wish to be present.

The reviews go quickly so we will start and end on time. A list of student date and times will posted on a Notice (available online as well). Ask your DS instructor if you have any questions. Best of luck preparing your work and closing out the semester.

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Y 10/26/15 Nicholas Felton Workshop

Here is the write-up for the Nicholas Felton three day project.
Please read all of it before the 1:10 lecture today.
DS3 RISDxFeltronWorkshop_102515b

How do you condense a section of the the Sunday New York Times into a single page?

outline for the workshop:

>> Each team will deliver 1 to 4 single page aggregations of their chosen section.

>> The dimensions of each page should match the dimensions of the section.

>> Final files should be placed in the workshop’s Google Drive folder: http://bit.ly/1i7GX3v

>> Monday, October 26 Lecture 1:10–2:10  / Introduce Assignment 2:10–3:00 / Reconvene at 5:00

>> Tuesday, October 27 Meet with Nicholas: Office hours DC 7th fl 11:00–5:00 (sign up Tues at 11)

>> Wednesday, October 28 Review Assignment 11:20-4:20

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Many great projects related to Unit 8. Particularly Ben’s collaboration with the Elevator Repair Service performance troupe. Their collaborative works show how manual execution of recordings and automated processes lead to interesting results. See:

Info on the lecture

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How does a designer make use of sequence?


How does a designer study, explore and use “sequence” — the means, the order of succession, the arrangement of things? Stories, films, books, TV, music, videos, comics, games etc all have sequence or some aspect of it. It’s a conceptual tool in the creative process of design actions.

Learning Objectives

– To study the basic elements of visual narrative: framing, types and size of shots (long, medium, close-up), points of view(s), editing and sequencing
– To become more critically aware of how images function
– To become familiar with theoretical and reflective aspects of visual narrative
– To become familiar with the mise-en-scène theory — where it has been used to construct visual composition but also it can be applied to reading and deconstructing visually elements of movies, painting or architecture etc.

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OTTO, Jürg Lehni, 2014
Brushless DC motors, chalk tool head, sprung steel reels, cables, custom made controller, Paper.js software
Based on VIKTOR (vimeo.com/16379803), and developed further as part of a commission by the Long Now Foundation in San Francisco to create a permanent installation at their space «The Interval»: longnow.org

I wanted to draw your attention to one recent example of the kind of back-and-forth collaboration that we’re encouraging in Unit 5, Layer Tennis:


Two competitors swap a file back and forth in real-time, adding to and embellishing the work. Each artist gets fifteen minutes to complete a “volley” and then we post that to the site live. A third participant, a writer, provides play-by-play commentary on the action as it happens.

The players may be designers, animators, illustrators or anything else, and they can do pretty much as they like. There are no real rules, the matches are generally competitive andcollaborative. Things progress volley by volley.

A match lasts for ten volleys and when it’s complete, everybody sounds off and together we declare a winner. To see LYT in action, get lost in the archive of past matches.

Matches happen live, in real time on Fridays, with play-by-play commentary from a third designer, writer, etc. There’s also an extensive archive of previous matches.

The example above is from one of my favorite matches, which unfortunately I can only find in this single image, showing Frank Chimero‘s turns on the left and Kate Bingaman-Burt‘s on the right. (Each volley was an animated gif.) One thing that was nice about this particular match is that Kate and Frank are good friends, and they were actually working side-by-side in the same studio (as you can see from their shared methods, props, etc.

Some other fun past matches, showing a variety of approaches and results…

Jessica Hische & Mig Reyes

Khoi Vinh & Nick Felton

Armin Vit & Sam Potts

Jason Santa Maria & Derek Powazek

Greg Hubacek & Aaron Draplin

Sam Potts & Aaron Draplin


4 Blog / Unit 5: Dylan Fracareta   b 1

One Response to “Layer Tennis”

  1. John Caserta says:

    Thanks, Ben… Also here is a link to The Design Office’s first Paper Football Tournament Poster Workshop. It used the idea of passing a design back in forth, but in an opt-in sort of way. Grab a sheet and work on top of it. By using a physical sheet (and not a digital file), one could only print over previous designs. Give it a look.


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