UCLA Design | Media Arts

This page is updated weekly with projects and assignments.


Dec 6th is our final critique!
Documentation of Final Project MUST be posted to blog by 12/12


Final Project Proposals due 11/26 by midnight (THIS IS A MONDAY!)
11/26, 11/29, 12/4 are work days


Final Project - Interactive Object - DUE 12/6
For this project you will design a functional object to be interacted with by a human. I suggest choosing one of the following forms to design: a functional new invention or everyday functional form; a new tool; a vessel or a receptacle for a found object; or a performative object such as a wearable or puppet. Your primary consideration should be how you or the audience or a player / actor / user is interacting with or performing with this form.

What does the object do and why? Who uses it and for what? What does the interaction look like, and how does the objects shape inform, enhance, or subvert this interaction. How does the scale, shape, and material of the object relate to who is interacting with it and for what purpose?

During the final in-class critique, the object’s function must be activated in some. This can occur live, but must also occur in photo and video documentation.


Boolean connector group project due Thursday 11/15!
(Projects can be re-completed for second chance to grade by 11/20)


Post plans to the blog for your group project including:

1) Macro - group shape - what is your group building as a whole? How, with what? As always, please include drawings from multiple angles! How does this form make interesting use of your stock rod material?

2) Micro- your hardware connectors that you as an individual will build to work with your group's overall plan. Consider modeling these in Maya or other 3D software of your choice. If you do, a screenshot is okay to post.


Please continue the Maya Lynda tutorials (see Week 5 below for details). If you are having issues getting public library access to Lynda, please let me know! I can't help you if I don't know what's going on.

Here is the project description for the group project we are working on:

DUE 11/15: “Yuckyminster Gumdrops”
For this project you will work in groups of 3 or 4. Your project is to work on two forms at once. The first form, your “macro” form, is a large geometric shape made of linear edges (think Buckminster fuller-esque goemetries, but your form could more or less abstract or even representational). Your linear “edges” are made from a material that will be assigned to you (you will have round wood dowels, square wood dowels, pvc pipe, or 'sharkbite' tubes). The linear edges of your macro shape are connected together at their vertex points by solid “micro” shapes which are hardware pieces designed to hold together an intersection of multiple linear edges. While your macro forms will be designed as a group, the most important part of this project to make that shape work is designing your micro vertex connecting hardware forms. The labor of this work can be split up, but there should be a design consensus about how these will work together. These micro forms could be 3d modeled and printed, laser cut, or in some other way built. These connector vertex forms function like hardware, but they should be creatively, uniquely, and aesthetically designed. Don't be afraid to take advantage of our 3D printers and CNC routers! Remember, if you can make one with a CAM machine, you can make multiples very easily!


1) Find one example of a real life boolean relationship or "thing fitting perfectly into another thing," take a photo, and post it to the blog
If you need a reference check out this tumblr: http://thingsfittingperfectlyintothings.tumblr.com/

2) Design an object with a "BOOLEAN" relationship to your assigned material (PVC pipe, shark bite plastic tubing, round dowel or square dowl). I will email you with the exact measurements of your assigned material this weekend.

You could think of this design as a container or connector for this material

Make detailed manufacturing plans and acquire your construction materials. We will make this in class on Tuesday!

Make a drawing plan in illustrator and try to make a 3D Model for a sketch in Maya (or any 3D modeling software you want to use)



There are really good Maya tutorials on Lynda, which you can use with an LA public library card

HERE IS THE LINK FOR AN LA LIBRARY ECARD: https://www.lapl.org/about-lapl/contact-us/e-card/e-card-registration

Fill above out first to apply and gain access, then you can access Lynda here: LYNDA Through LA public library

PLEASE try to get through the following Maya tutorials over the course of the next week:
ch. 1 interface
ch. 2 select and manipulate objects
(ch. 3 organize maya scenes ) - a little less essential, but important
ch. 4 Create polygonal models
ch. 5 Model polygonal meshes
ch. 6 Refine polygonal meshes


INFO: Actual inside diameter (in.).609, Actual outside diameter (in.) .84


1/2" SQUARE DOWEL (Info: width of square is truly .5 x .5)

STUDENTS W/ THIS MATERIAL: Dario, Michael, Christina

Info: Actual inside diameter (in.) 0.475, Actual outside diameter (in.) .5

STUDENTS: Andrew, Ariel, Madux, Floria

1/2" ROUND DOWEL (Info: diameter of dowel is truly .5)

STUDENTS: Wenrui, Kyron, Arden, Roxana


Curved surface project due Tues oct 23


Work on Curved Surfaces projects, DUE TUES OCT 23
see links in references / resources for guidance / tips


POLYGONS PROJECT DUE TUES OCT 9 at the beginning of class

To finish your polygons, you should log 2 shop hours or more!

Thursday Oct 11

1) post documentation of your POLYGONS PROJECT to the blog.
(Don't have a camera? Want to take a really nice photo? Consider checking out equipment from the 4th floor equipment checkout desk or booking the shoot room.)

2) Plans for "Curved Surfaces" posted to the blog by Thurs at 2

Curved Surface Plans should have: 3+ drawings, materials (soft?), construction methods (i.e. drawing of deconstructed form), budget, and a new element: a concept or narrative. You should be able to answer these questions: Why does your curved surface appear the way it does? What will you call your curved surface? Who are you building it for? Does it serve a function? Where does it belong? What would its ideal scale be if you could make it bigger (or smaller) ?


DUE 10/16 (by 3:30)

Construct a three dimensional form with curved edges. I encourage you to design for soft materials, such as foam or fabric, and create a pattern for your surfaces. You may also use some of the wood construction techniques we have discussed in class if you would like. But you must have curved surfaces or edges! How will you turn flat materials into round or curved shapes? What method will you use to hold these surfaces together? What are the measurements of your curves? Where do these measurements appear in your 2d plan or pattern? How much material will you need? Where will you get your material? What is the order of operations for constructing your curved 3d shape? What is on the inside of form, or what is it filled with?

I will demo some construction techniques including: patterning with foam and fabric, adhesives for foam, sewing, and if we have time, a simple way of welding plastics for inflatables.

You will likely end up making multiple forms to get this right. Please tell me which is your final shape, but turn in all forms throughout your process for a grade.


If you have not posted your proposal to the blog, post it!
If you have not finished all the reading from last week, please do so.

Work on Polygons project! We will have work time THURSDAY, so please bring plans and materials -- we can find lab materials in class if you plan to use free available plywoods. During shop hours, do some tests and log your shop hours.



Excerpts from Woodworkers Visual Hand book:

Maya Lin, Making the Memorial

Gather your materials for Project 1 !

Choose a date for your artist presentation. We will sign up on Tuesday!

Log at least 2 hours of shop time - You should begin cutting the faces of your polygons (see Polygons project below), or practicing using the saws. This will take some time! You may not know how to put faces together yet, and you may not know your final plan, but begin getting a feel for the shop.

Assignment 1 - plans for Polygons Project should be posted to blog by Tuesday at 2.

DUE Oct 2 - Assignment 1 - Plans, prototypes, and pieces for Polygons Project

Your plans should have at least 2-3 drawings for EACH polygon you plan to make. These drawings should be from multiple angles. Your plans should indicate measurements, materials needed, hardware and tools needed, and construction / assembly methods.

DUE Oct 9 at 2pm - Polygons Project

Make 3 different polygonal forms out of wood. Here are the rules:

1) At least one should be a cube (6 faces, 12 equal edges, and 8 vertices)

2) At least two forms should be hollow (like a box), made from surfaces (not solid all the way through)

Possible construction techniques include surface patterning, stacking, or a purely subtractive construction technique could result from cutting and sanding until you have your form. The edges of your surface-polygon can connect in any way. You can use glue, hardware, pressure fitting construction techniques, and other materials if you need them to make your faces fit together.

How big are your polygons? How many faces, edges, and vertices do they have? What are the measurements of its faces? What are the measurements of the depths of its edges or faces (i.e. what is the thickness of your material and how will this effect your form)? How much materials will you need? How will you connect the faces of your cube and shapes together? What is the order of operations for constructing your forms?

You may end up making multiple cubes and more than 3 polygons to get this right. Please let me know which are your final 3 forms, but turn in all forms for your grade.

You will be graded on technique (including technical construction method and precision), aesthetic (visual appearance, texture, feel, think of this as the level of sensory pleasure derived from object), and concept (this includes originality, uniqueness of form or vision, ideas conveyed by work and surrounding information which could include the use of interesing materials, a unique construction process, an interesting decision-making process, or a drive / motivation for the work that extends beyond simply satisfying the project requirements).