UCLA Design | Media Arts

This page is updated weekly with projects and assignments.


Mon Nov. 20

Documentation of work and process from Project 2 (with description, title, media list) - posted to the blog

Proposal for Final Project - to be presented to class (5-7 min to present, 3-5 min feedback)
Your presentation should include drawings / plans / models, measurements, proposed processes and materials, etc.

Nov 20
Proposal for Project IV (in class presentation)

Create a presentation to get class feedback on your proposal / ideas for Project 3 / Final Project (Interactive / Performative Object). Your proposal presentation should include at least 3 sketches and / or models, measurements and material / construction plans, a description / diagram of how and where the interaction or performance will happen in your piece, as well as some possible titles. Why does your piece do what it does and how? You should also include references to relevant research, artists, designers, art works, fiction, pop culture, entities in nature, whatever.

See the in-class lecture on Interactive / Performative objects here

Dec 6 - Final Project - Interactive / Performative Object Project

Design a form / object / sculpture / tool / space. Your primary consideration should be how you or the audience or a player / actor / user is interacting with or performing with this form. Consider aspects of your piece like touch, navigation, scale. How does it relate to the human body, how will human bodies relate to it? How does it prompt audiences to respond, act, move, play, or make use of it? Does it have a purpose to “do” something, to ease, convolute, or complicate a process? Does it interact with one part of the body or all parts? Is it an invention or tool of some kind? Is it a character, costume, or prop? Does it solve a problem? How is it used? How can it be misused? Who interacts with it and why? How do they encounter, play with, or use it?


Mon Nov 13

DUE Project 2: Surface Construction! Critique 2:10pm - 4:30pm

Documentation of Project 2 due Monday, Nov. 20th. This will include excellent photos, title / description / media list, as well as photos and documentation of your processes.

Weds Nov 15

Guest Artist Lecturer Nick Rodrigues will be in class

We will discuss the Final Project guidelines


Mon Nov 6 - Weds Nov 8

Work on project 2, Due Monday Nov. 13th!

Tuesday Nov 7

6pm - Angela Washko lecture @ EDA


For Monday Oct 30

Start working on your project!!!!
While working you should create an updated proposal for your project. This should include new drawings, plans, 3D models (can be in progress), measurements, a budget, process ideas, reasoning / description of finished piece, possible titles.

PDF of Presentation on Weds OCt 25 - artist inspiration / UV mapping for sewing patterns

Extra Credit:
The Image Object Post-Internet - Artie Vierkant
Write a brief response to this reading and post it on the blog for Extra Credit.
(A guide for the blog post, should you undertake it: I should be able to tell if you actually read it or not ; )))


Due Wednesday Oct 25

Part 1:
Your HOLLOW OBJECT (from week 1) is due. Make this 3D object from 2D patterns out of any material (it is a small model / prototype).

Part 2:
Work on a proposal for the Surface Project. What do you want to make? Make hand sketches for 2 or 3 ideas. Begin to build a model in Maya to conceptualize something related to your project proposal. (you can use Nurbs, but I recommend using Polygons) The most important aspect is to think about making use of techniques we discussed in class, make surface-based sketches for possible patterns, and make plans! You can also begin to make illustrator files as well (or drawings) if they will serve you. What are you making and why?


            Through workshops in class we will investigate 2 dimensional patterning for 3 dimensional objects (both physical and digital). Using these concepts and techniques, you will design and construct an object from surfaces. The method by which you create your surfaces could be a process you design yourself. You could use UV patterns to map and “texture” this object, or simply to pattern, or Slicer’s “Folded Panels” construction technique. Try paper, fabric, or another relatively “soft,” cut-able, or foldable material. Or consider using the CNC router to make profile cuts. Your surface materials are up to you. If you want to think about “filling” the volume of your object with something — such as air, stuffing, whatever — it may be a good technique to bring your object to life.

Due Monday Oct 23

Part 1: Post documentation of Project 1 to the blog. This should include Photos (1-3), title, description, and media list (this is a list of materials you used, such as wood, acrylic, fabric, etc.)

Part 2: Continue Lynda Maya Tutorials. You should now know and be practicing most of the polygonal modeling and sculpting techniques. By Monday finish lessons 7 (NURBS modeling techniques) and 8 (Refine NURBS models). If you don't have time to practice working with NURBS yet, that's okay, just watch chapters 7 and 8 and we will review next week.

Quiz Yourself: Start to make a 3D polygonal model of something / anything on Maya! We will work on them next week.

Reminder: Your laser cut hollow cardboard object from week 1 is due Weds. Make this in Illustrator or use SLICER FOR FUSION 360 using the "Folded Panels" technique to export an eps file and edit in illustrator. If you don't know how - see the Slicer Notes



Vessel / Receptacle Project


Work on your Vessel / Receptacle Project - Plan and Build! This is DUE WEDS. the 18th!

Continue Maya Lynda lessons (if you didn't finish last weeks tutorials, continue)
And Add the following:

4 - Create Polygonal Models
5 - Model Polygonal Meshes
6 - Refine Polygonal Meshes
If you access the 2017 Essential training you can also review the chapter called "Sculpt" (though some of this is covered in 2018)
Try it yourself in Maya as you go along!

Basic Maya notes can be found here


DUE OCT 11 - Proposal for Project 1, begin Maya Tutorials on Lynda

Access Lynda through UCLA: https://oit.ucla.edu/lynda-com
Search for "Maya 2018 Essential Training" or find it here: Maya 2018 Essential Training

Maya 2018 Essential Training by George Maestri

I recommend starting with 1.1 - Overview of the Maya Interface and Navigating in Maya

Then jump ahead to: 2 - Select and Manipulate Objects (whole chapter)

Then jump ahead to: 4 - Create Polygonal Meshes (whole chapter)

Don't worry, we will come back to the other stuff. When you have time, it is very important, but for now let's jump into the essentials of making polygonal meshes. If you can't get through ALL OF THIS, that's okay -- but try to get through these basics by next week. Download Maya and try out what you see in the tutorials.

Plans for Project I...

...should include:
sketches / measurements / properties of your THING, what's interesting about it?
multiple drawings for possibly more than one idea / outcome for a vessel / receptacle
possible measurements / costs
Descriptions / Titles
drawings from more than one perspective
use any platform - paper, photoshop, illustrator, maya / rhino
More drawings are better than good drawings!


Design an object. It can be made of anything or any combination of materials. It will be semi-functional in the following way: it will hold the weight of and/or in someway encapsulate ___________.  Fill in the blank by selecting a Thing you draw from a hat in class.

Examples: I draw “orange” so I create a very specific bowl made just for an orange. I select “human,” so I build a chair.  I draw “air” out of the hat, I make a balloon. (I don’t recommend making bowls or chairs). Your sculpture does not need to fully cover your object, but it should in some way hold / encapsulate it and should pass a weight-bearing test (or perhaps could in someway creatively avoid the weight-test). 

Take into consideration what your selected item is, what it does, what it weighs, what material it is made of, what its scale is, what its inherent properties are, and from there determine the properties of your receptacle/vessel for it. Your piece shouldn't really “work” for anything else, but be specific to your Thing. Think about weight, scale, negative space, and function. Think about your Thing. What form does it take? What does it look like? What is it used for or how to people relate to it? What is its relationship to an object that would hold it or in some way sit beneath it?

Stage your final installation with both your piece and the Thing. (If you can make alterations to the Thing in some way that is possible that enhances your installation, you can do that — as long as a person could still call the Thing that Thing). How has your Thing been newly activated, enhanced? What qualities of it have you drawn out? How does your piece change the Thing it has been made for?

DUE OCT 9 - Assignment 3

Pt. 1
Design a simple 2D test in Illustrator for the Laser Cutter using all the functionality (vector cutting, vector engraving, raster etching, see here:

Pt. 2
Design due Oct. 9, full object due Oct. 25
Create a 2D illustrator file to make a hollow cardboard shape on the laser cutter. (First try a cube, then try to make a different shape if you want. On monday we will talk about how to use Slicer's "folded panels" technique to do this. Try it! Don’t forget about kerf!)

Pt.3 - OPTIONAL - We will go over this monday
If you aren't feeling challenged by the previous two parts, try this: Download a free 3D model online (try turbosquid or thingiverse). Import it into Slicer for Fusion 360 and play with some different construction techniques. See the "Slicer notes" Link on the references / resources page. Prepare an illustrator file for the laser cutter using one of the interlocking or stacking construction methods. Just your file is due Monday. Have your object cut and build it for extra credit. Bring it in any time (cut from any material) for the credit.


DUE Oct 4 - Assignment 2 - Model Homework

Pt. 1 Make something out of the model magic / modeling clay given to you in class. After you make something, draw it from 2 or 3 perspectives. Optional if you want to have it cut. Pt. 2 Draw something (else) from 2 or 3 perspectives. After you draw it, try to make it out of model magic / modeling clay. Bring both forms and all drawings to class

DUE Oct 1 - Assignment 1 - Form Game Object

Find an object that fits in a shoe box or small cardboard box. Bring the object to class in the box (don’t take it out!)