159A: Senior Project

Senior Project: Interactivity and Games (DESMA 159A)
Spring 2017
UCLA Department of Design Media Arts

Professor: Casey Reas (Office Hour: TK, Broad 3224)
TA: Tuangkamol Thongborisute (Office Hour: TK, Broad TK)

Monday & Wednesday
9:00–11:50 AM
Broad Art Center Room 4240


Senior Projects provides a capstone experience for the major, culminating in the Senior Show in June. You will work closely with the faculty to focus on a project defined by the your individual skills and professional interests. Each project will employ a process of research, conceptual development, prototype development, refinement, and production. You will also engage in critical analyses by reviewing and critiquing othersʼ works.

The 159A Senior Projects class focuses on interactive media, which includes game design, interactive installation, dynamic websites, creative coding, and electronics. Senior Projects is the only course offered that is directed by each studentʼs individual goals, interests and skills.

Interactivity and games should not be understood as limiting a project to technically mediated forms. Works in all mediums are considered. You are encouraged to work with media that allow you to hone in on your conceptual and visual sensibilities, and with which you already have proficiency.


60% Final Project
20% Participation (active engagement throughout the course)
10% Process documentation
10% Video documentation

Project feedback will be qualitative through discussion during the quarter and numeric scores will assigned for all work at the end of the quarter.

Participation and attendance

Punctuality, focus, articulation of concepts, and contribution to class discussions are all part of class participation.

Attendance is mandatory. More than two unexcused absences will lower your final grade by one unit (i.e. an A will become an B). With each additional unexcused absence, the grade will drop an additional unit. Classes start at 9:00 AM. If you are 15 minutes late, you will receive a tardy. 3 tardies will turn into 1 absence.

If there is an emergency and you will be late or absent from the class, please email me.

As a part of the course, you are required to attend the "What's Next? Conversations with DMA Alumni" on April 20th from 5-7pm.

Commitment to Diversity

We understand the classroom as a space for practicing freedom; where one may challenge psychic, social, and cultural borders and create meaningful artistic expressions. To do so we must acknowledge and embrace the different identities and backgrounds we inhabit. This means that we will use preferred pronouns, respect self-identifications, and be mindful of special needs. Disagreement is encouraged and supported, however our differences affect our conceptualization and experience of reality, and it is extremely important to remember that certain gender, race, sex, and class identities are more privileged while others are undermined and marginalized. Consequently, this makes some people feel more protected or vulnerable during debates and discussions. A collaborative effort between the students, TA, and instructor is needed to create a supportive learning environment. While everyone should feel free to experiment creatively and conceptually, if a class member points out that something you have said or shared with the group is offensive, avoid being defensive; instead approach the discussion as a valuable opportunity for us to grow and learn from one another. Alternatively if you feel that something said in discussion or included in a piece of work is harmful, you are encouraged to speak with the instructor or TA.