Concept Development

A large component of the design learning in the 3rd year is idea generation and concept development. In COMM 3610, we combine that with advanced-level typography and layout. Students focus on designing two, connected parts: a new typographic system and grid design for an article; and a visual pull that dominates the first spread. The design has to be based on a unique, well-written, appropriate, and defendable concept. The concept must demonstrate tension – it must be compelling and “exciting” in both idea and execution.Read More →

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How Did I Get Here?

For this 1st project in ARTS 398 Data Visualization (at U. Nebraska), students were asked to consider the last few decades of their life with a view of answering the following question: How did I get here? As they thought through this question, they considered the following: not everything that appears important is important in the context of this question some things that might, on first thought, appear inconsequential might actually have been important aspects of your journey your objective is not to tell us your entire biography, nor to simply highlight key life events. Instead, your goals are (1) to consider what is a data set; and (2) to exploreRead More →

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Using Information Graphics for Story Telling – the Canadian Experience

For this project the COMM 3610 Visual Communication for Information Designers I students worked  with one of the data sets available through the Government of Canada web site. They were asked to find an interesting, unique, and compelling story within the data sets. Their objectives were to explore the use of a variety of information graphics to communicate data; construct a cohesive, well structured, information and visually-rich design; focus on clear communication, strong typography, and graphical (not photographic) content; and communicate the multidimensionality of the topic.Read More →

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New course: Critical Design

COMM 4650 Special Issues in Information Design Information design pervades and shapes our world. In this experimental new course, students will learn to observe, analyze, and critique how design shapes our relationships, dictates our actions, inscribes values, and sediments privilege. The course will combine cultural analysis and critical theory with information design practice. Students will work in small groups to identify a local issue, then propose, defend, and implement a project that is meant to act as an intervention into the issue. Students will work in dialog with those concerned with the focal issue, and learn to adapt their design practices through participation and criticalRead More →

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Experimental Interfaces Exploring Issues of HIV / AIDS

In Winter 2013, Piotr Michura and I co-taught COMM 3611 Visual Communication for Information Design II course at MRU. This is a third-year course, where we focus on interface design. Every year I attempt to collaborate with not-for-profit agency as the guest client for the course. This year the client was HIV Edmonton. Laura Keegan and Dylan Richards worked with us to create a new web site design for the agency. In addition, as the last project of the semester, we asked students to envision, design, then pitch an experimental interface on the topic of HIV / AIDS. Project Requirements: Interactivity – the final resultRead More →

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