Network Media – Syllabus
DESMA 161, Spring 2013
UCLA Department of Design Media Arts
Monday & Wednesday, 14:00 PM - 16:50 PM
Broad Art Center, 4220
This course introduces students to the World Wide Web as a medium. Originating from efforts to create a standardized, world-wide storage and retrieval system for information, once established, the WWW evolved into a broadcast media, a shopping mall, a communication platform, and an environment for personal expression. While a wide range of workshops dealing with web technologies is offered, the class also focuses on conceptual and aesthetic aspects of working with the web. Creative projects and exercises will be developed throughout the course by applying the various skills acquired in class in the service of perception and communication.
The course aims at developing the vocabulary necessary to speak to developers, to present and discuss Web projects, and to pursue individual research. During the quarter, students will complete a series of exercises, will analyze and discuss Web projects, and present a research report.
Reading / Viewing
- H.G. Wells: World Brain: The Idea of a Permanent World Encyclopaedia. Encyclopédie Française, 1937.
- Vannevar Bush: As We May Think. The Atlantic Monthly, 1945.
- Khoi Vinh: Grids are Good. Subtraction.com, 2007.
- Oliver Reichenstein: Web Design is 95% Typography, 2006. (Further reading: Reactions to 95% Typography)
- Mark Boulton: Designing for the Web – A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web, Five Simple Steps, 2009. (Free online reading)
- InDesign for Web Design, Accessible after logging into learnit.ucla.edu
- Codecademyʼs Web Fundamentals (Interactive Online Tutorials)
- Elisabeth Freeman, Eric Freeman: Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. O’Reilly Media, 2005.
- David Sawyer McFarland: CSS: The Missing Manual. O’Reilly Media, 2009.
- Bill Weinman: HTML Essential Training, Lynda.com Tutorials, 2012. (Accessible after logging into learnit.ucla.edu)
- John Boardley: A Brief History of Type – Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5, 2007.
Grading & Evaluation
60% – Projects
10% – Writing
10% – Presentation
20% – Participation and Attendance
- Use a text/code editor (ideally with syntax highlighting) to complete all exercises and projects, not a WYSIWYG editor such as Dreamweaver. See the Resources for suggested editors.
- The structure of the HTML and CSS code will be a part of the evaluation. Pay attention to indentation!
- All assignments must work as designed in modern browsers such as recent versions of Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer 9 or higher.
- The use of modern, simpler HTML5 is encouraged. Your markup does not need to validate as XHMTL, which is not in fashion any more.
- These are both design and technical exercises and projects will be evaluated based on their originality, as well as aesthetic and conceptual qualities.
All projects must be completed in order to pass the course. Projects are only considered as complete when they are accessible from the course website.
Participation & Attendance
Punctuality, focus, articulation of concepts, and contribution to class discussions are all part of class participation.
Classes start at 14:00 PM. If you are 15 minutes late, you will receive a tardy. 3 tardies will turn into 1 absence. Every absence equals 1 full grade down (A to B), 3 unexcused absences result in a failing grade.
If there is an emergency and you will be late or absent from the class, please email both me and the TA to schedule a meeting to discuss the situation.
No use of cellphones in class, except for the testing of websites on mobile browsers. No checking personal e-mails, Facebook, Skype, etc. during class.
Ask questions, make comments, contribute to reviews! Learn from your peers; the class should be a collaboration.