Tasks Due Last Week

  • The Digital Revolution & Social Responsibility
  • Evaluating Online Sources
  • Research Project Prep
  • Project Presentation Tools & Tips
  • Reading + Discussion Week 12
  • Week 12 Agenda Checklist

This Week’s Topics


Greetings! This week you will be focusing on finishing your Research Project & Presentation.

Aim to have a rough cut of your video completed by Sunday, December 12th (to share and get feedback with others), and the final post completed by Tuesday, December 14th. Your Research Journal and comments on your classmates’ presentations will be due on Sunday, December 19th, the last day of course.

The Discussion Week 13 will be available this week so that you may share your Research Project Presentations in progress and get feedback from me and/or your classmates prior to the due date.

In this Week’s Agenda, we will take a look at recent and current design trends, but there will be no reading or discussion required. Review the videos and text below to explore the New Paradigms and observed design trends. What design trends have you noticed in your world?

If you’d like to meet again to discuss your research project, please contact me to schedule a time. And as always, be in touch with any questions or concerns: jspevack@citytech.cuny.edu.

If you’d like an overview of all of the topics we’ve covered this semester, take a look at the Schedule page. Each week is listed with the topic and readings we completed each week. We’ve covered a lot and you’ve produced some great written work!


Below find the information covered in this session. Complete all of the following activities, videos, and assignments.

1. New Paradigms (30+ minutes)

In this section, let’s look at a few different areas that are have surfaced in recent years and are positioned to (possibly?) alter the future of design.

AI Designed Products

The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning is being felt in all areas of the creative industry. We have robots reporting the news, computers generating songs, and paintings by AI machines. Our creative roles are changing once again.

One designer discusses the potential implications of AI in our design processes and provides an example of a shoe designed with AI tools.

John Mauriello. Industrial designer.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) are working their way into a range of disciplines, but these are still emerging technologies. Many people predict VR/AR/XR will be bigger than the internet. We have seen how technology can be a driving force in the changes in society and in the field of design, but it may take time for real adoption to occur.

Recently Facebook announced it is evolving into Meta: “3D spaces in the metaverse will let you socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine.”

Check out some examples below and imagine what VR and AR will look like in five to ten years.

Here are just a couple of the product apps that use AR technology:

IKEA’s Place app

Here is an example of a 360 world of Oreo Cookie. View on desktop and use your mouse or the arrows to move around the scene.

360 animated Oreo ad
[view on desktop and use your mouse or the arrows to move]

A here is one designer’s dystopian imagining of an Augmented Reality future. Could this be the Future?

Hyper-Reality – Could this be the Future?

Want to learn more?

Here’s a designer who talks about his journey and career in 3D and AR.

Here’s an example of the use of VR to share the experience of racism:

Diversity in Design

As we’ve discussed throughout this course, the mainstream history of design is historically narrow ie: white, and male. While change is glacially slow, a current trend in design is the awareness of a need for diversity of voices in the field of communication design. This is and has been one of the primary goals of the COMD Department at City Tech.

This year, Cheryl D. Miller is the 2021 Design Visionary National Design Award winner. I encourage you to watch one of her many talks on diversity in design, such as White Default. In the following video, she talks about her personal history as a designer and also a writer. Graphic authorship is a thread that we’ve touched on in this class and it is critical that we have a variety of voices authoring the history of design and contributing to theoretical discussions in the field.

Presented each year by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the National Design Awards honor innovation and impact and recognize the power of design to change the world. Learn more at CooperHewitt.org/Awards

2021 National Design Awards: Cheryl D. Miller | Design Visionary

Ethical Design

Last week we looked at the Social Responsibility Movement and prior to that, we explored how the Ethical Design Movement has grown out of the impacts of social media and the internet. This movement which is often connected to technology takes many forms: accessibility, inclusion, open culture, social equity…

Here is an interactive video that takes you through some of these questions of ethics and design. Below are related links.

Design Trends

Every year you see lists of current design trends. These often look at visual trends, such as Vintage Design, Minimalism, Maximalism, Metamodernism, etc. Take a look at an example below of one designer’s observations of current trends. Using your Design Theorist skills, I encourage you to look deeper and ask WHY we are seeing these visual trends.

What’s happening NOW?

As you continue your academic career and your career as a designer (in whatever form that takes), keep an eye out for what is happening right now in the broad field(s) of design. Here are a few suggestions. If you have channels that you follow to keep up with what’s happening in the field, add them with this form.

  • AIGA Eye on Design – Published by AIGA an editorial platform covers the issues important to the global design world + elevates the voices of contemporary designers as a way to build a more engaged design community.
  • The Observatory– Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand on design, current events, and current enthusiasms.
  • Design Matters – Debbie Millman features interviews with designers, artists and cultural leaders.

2. Research Project Presentation Planning

You have 9 DAYS left to complete your Research Project & Presentation.

Review the following milestones. By today Dec. 5th you should have completed the first three milestones. Your next milestone is Dec. 12th.

  1. November 21: Finish collecting all supporting media and sources
  2. November 28: Complete presentation outline and script
  3. December 5: Assemble all graphics and text in slideshow
  4. December 12: Share in-progress slideshow presentation with voiceoever, get feedback from peers and professor
  5. December 14: Submit Presentation to OpenLab site
  6. December 19: Submit at least comment on each of your classmates’ presenations

3. Presentation Tips & Tools

Review the project guidelines to make sure you are clear about what the expectations are for the Research Project & Presentation. Specifically, take note of the requirements for Your Annotated Bibliography and Your Presentation Format.

Below find some helpful links for tips and tools you can use to assemble and record your Research Presentation.

If you have questions about putting together your presentation, don’t wait until the last minute. Reach out and ask: jspevack@citytech.cuny.edu

4. Discussion Week 13 – WORK IN PROGRESS

Use this Discussion post to share links to your Research Project & Presentation work in progress. Link to your slideshow, video rough cut, or any questions or thoughts about your project that you’d like feedback on from your classmates or the professor.

Week 13 Agenda Checklist

Below are all of the tasks, big and small, for this week. The deadline is Sunday, December 12th, at 11:59 pm. Submit your Weekly Agenda Checklist below, indicating the tasks you’ve completed. This is required.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out: jspevack@citytech.cuny.edu

Tasks from the Week 13 Agenda

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