Tasks Due from Week 1

  • Complete the Student Survey
  • Introduce yourself on Discussion: Introductions
  • Join & Favorite this course
  • Review Welcome & Introduction: Why Theory?
  • Submit Your Learning Plan
  • Submit Week 1 Agenda Checklist

This Week’s Topics

  1. Checkin & Share
  2. Freewrite – The Art of Noticing
  3. Course Materials Review (from last week!)
  4. Your Learning Plan
  5. Why Theory? Reading & Discussion
  6. Assignment: Reading Response 1
  7. Week 2 Agenda Checklist

Check-in (15+ min)

Spring 2024 Playlist
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story | TED

Consider how the things you notice or pay attention to reflect YOUR STORIES as a designer or global citizen. How do your personal experiences and your stories define your design ideology (beliefs) and design aesthetic (look & feel)?


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

1. Freewrite / Share– The Art of Noticing (10 min)

Noticing Task for this week from Luke and Rian!

Imbue Your World With Spirits

Practice a Shinto-influenced take on noticing by maintaining “a single point of concentration.” … We can imbue everything with a little spirit (or soul)… focus on one thing and search for the “sacred” within it.


Prompt: In your language of choice, write continuously in your notebook for 5 minutes about what you noticed while trying to focus on one thing and searching for the “sacred” within it. Don’t edit, or correct, don’t stop, just write. Feel free to share or not.

Next week’s task brought to you by Sonali:

Channel Your Inner Monk

Challenge yourself to spend an entire day saying only what you absolutely must say. We often tend to treat “conversation” as a game of waiting for our own turn to speak. We miss what’s being said because we’re mentally rehearsing our next utterance.

I would say the cultivation of silence is indispensable to being human.


2. Course Site & Materials Overview (15 Minutes)

Let’s review the following sections of this site to familiarize ourselves with the following course materials. Please suggest edits or amendments.

3. Review and Submit Your Learning Plan (15 Min)

Many of you have already submitted your Learning Plan. Let’s read through the Grading Policy & Learning Plan form together. Take a moment to review the questions and write (or rewrite) a draft of your Learning Plan in your notebook.

Before the next class, submit Your Learning Plan. You are welcome to revise it at any time throughout the semester. You are in charge of your learning experience in this course.

3. Course Tools Set up (30 – 60 Minutes)

We will be using multiple tools and methods to facilitate the process of reading, writing, collaborating, and presenting. Each of the links below will give you step-by-step instructions on how to get set up with the following tools.

Complete the (3) tasks below before starting your Reading Response 1 Assignment.

> Setup Hypothesis

Follow the instructions in the tutorial Using Hypothesis to become familiar with the tool.

  • Create a Hypothesis account
  • Download and install the Hypothesis extension
  • Join our Hypothesis group
  • Learn about Close Reading and Annotation Types

> Setup your Writing Portfolio

Follow the instructions to set up your Writing Portfolio

> Review OpenLab Commenting

Review the instructions for commenting on a post

4. Introduction Reading & Discussion

What is Communication Design Theory? (15 min)

Watch the Introduction slideshow below to learn more about the goals and expectations for the semester.

COMD3504 Introduction – What & Why?

Why Theory? Readings

Together, let’s read the “Why Theory” from Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field, Armstrong, Helen, Princeton Architectural Press, 2009. Navigate to page 6.

And, let’s read a page from the text “Extra Bold” by Ellen Lupton, Farah Kafei, and Jannifer Tobias.

Highlight/circle the words you may be unfamiliar with and important phrases that stand out to you. Write down your own definition of Design Theory and why it could be important to you as a design student.

Let’s read and annotate these pages together in class.

Break into groups and discuss with your classmates.

Report back. What words or phrases did you highlight? What stood out to you?

5. Assignment: Reading Response 1 – Why Theory? (1 hour)

Follow these assignment guidelines: Reading Response 1

DUE Wednesday 11:59pm before the next class


Week 2 Agenda Checklist

Below are all of the tasks, big and small, for this week. The due date is Wednesday, 11:59 pm. Timely completion of these tasks will contribute to your success in this course.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Tasks from the Week 2 Agenda

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