Senior Projects: Interactivity and Games!!

Syllabus

Monday and Wednesday 2-4:50pm
UCLA Broad Art Center 4220

Professor: Lauren McCarthy
(office hours: By appointment, Broad 3246)

TA: Stalgia Grigg
(office hours: By appointment, Broad 3263)

Description

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.

Expectations

Grading. Grades will be determined according to the following breakdown:
  • Participation 15%
  • Process documentation 25%
  • Final project 40%
  • Final documentation 20%

Outstanding or exceptional work will receive As, good work will receive Bs, sufficient work that does nothing more than meet requirements will receive Cs.

Process documentation. The quarter is broken up into smaller assignments that will guide you on the path of creating your senior project. It is recommended that you create a dedicated notebook or folder to track the assigments and research materials you compile. It is essential that you meet these deadlines so you don't fall behind. If you are struggling, talk to the professor or TA ahead of your meeting to communicate the issue or confusion. Process documentation is worth 25% of your grade.

Individual meetings. Much of the class time will be devoted to 1-on-1 meetings with the professor and TA. You should prep for these meetings. Show new findings, discuss conclusions, and present your goals for the following week. Make a list of questions beforehand that you want to discuss. Outside of these meetings, keep in mind that you are also welcome to discuss your work with any professor you feel could help you out. Your senior project professor might ask you to seek advice or have a meeting with soemone specific to discuss your project. Be pro-active and report to your professor if this was helpful. You are also welcome to come to class after the last scheduled meeting each day for open office hours help.

Participation. Participation is critical to passing and enjoying this class. Do the work, share your thoughts, ask questions, prepare for meetings, offer feedback during critiques. This class is meant to be a safe space in which you feel encouraged and supported in learning and taking creative risks. This means being aware and considerate of different backgrounds, perspectives, and identities. Respect each other and this space we are building together. Don’t assume, ask. Remain open, be willing to take responsibility, apologize, and learn. Help each other in this. If there are concerns please let me or Stalgia know as soon as possible.

Attendance. On days where we have only individual meetings scheduled, you are only required to come at your designated time. You may otherwise use the time to work on your projects wheverever you like. Each unexcused absence will result in one full letter grade deduction. Three unexcused absences will result in a failed grade in the class. If there is an emergency and you must miss class, email Stalgia before class. Absences will not be excused after the fact except in extreme circumstances. Illness requires a doctor’s note. If you are more than 10 minutes late, you will be marked tardy. Three tardies results in one unexcused absence. Your attendance can be viewed here, any disputes should be discussed with the TA within two weeks.

Late work. Late work will not be accepted.

Commitment to Diversity and Safer Spaces

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. (tx voidLab!)

Disability Services

UCLA strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience academic barriers based on a disability, please let me know as soon as possible. It is necessary for you to register with the UCLA Center for Accessible Education so that we can establish reasonable accommodations. After registration, make arrangements with me to discuss how to implement these accommodations.

Schedule

WEEK 1 M 4/2 Introduction
❗DUE: Pecha Kucha (15 x 20s) with initial idea
W 4/4 Workshop: Developing Ideas
WEEK 2 M 4/9 ❗DUE: Project brief
Individual meetings, studio
2:00 Reggie
2:15 Lilyan
2:30 Matt
2:45 Jingjie
3:00 Charlotte
3:15 Zoe
3:30 Jane
3:45 Chelly
4:00 Rosalind
T 4/10 DMA Lecture: Ian Cheng, 6pm EDA
W 4/11 ❗DUE: Project brief
Individual meetings (with Stalgia), studio
2:00 Suhani
2:15 Nina
2:30 Elana
2:45 Briana
3:00 Tabatha
3:15 Tyler
3:30 Annie
3:45 Rong
4:00 Alison
WEEK 3 M 4/16 ❗DUE: Research
Presentation about Senor Show equipment and proposal requirements
First Senior Show committee meetings
LaurenStalgia
3:00TylerZoe
3:25AnnieLilyan
3:50RongChelly
4:15AlisonRosalind
W 4/18 ❗DUE: Research
Individual meetings, studio
LaurenStalgia
2:00SuhaniReggie
2:25NinaJane
2:50ElanaMatt
3:15BrianaJingjie
3:40TabathaCharlotte
WEEK 4 M 4/23 ❗DUE: Midterm plan
Individual meetings, studio
LaurenStalgia
2:00ZoeTyler
2:25LilyanAnnie
2:50ChellyRong
3:15RosalindAlison
W 4/25 ❗DUE: Midterm plan
Install project process for midterm review (no required class meeting)
LaurenStalgia
2:00ReggieSuhani
2:25JaneNina
2:50MattElana
3:15JingjieBriana
3:40CharlotteTabatha
WEEK 5 M 4/30 ❗DUE: Midterm review
Final decisions on presented work
W 5/2 Required: 12-2pm EDA, Career Development Workshop Series: Portfolio Panel
Suggested: Take the afternoon to visit an art/design exhibition, installation, screening, etc related to your project
No meetings
WEEK 6 M 5/7 ❗DUE: Context write-up
Lecture: Alumni panel "life after graduating"
W 5/9 ❗DUE: Timeline
Individual meetings, studio
LaurenStalgia
2:00SuhaniReggie
2:20NinaLilyan
2:40ElanaMatt
3:00BrianaJingjie
3:20TabathaCharlotte
3:40TylerZoe
4:00AnnieJane
4:20RongChelly
4:40AlisonRosalind
WEEK 7 M 5/14 Individual meetings (with Stalgia), studio
2:00 Suhani
2:20 Nina
2:40 Elana
3:00 Briana
3:20 Tabatha
3:40 Tyler
4:00 Annie
4:20 Rong
4:40 Alison
W 5/16 Individual meetings (with Lauren), studio
2:00 Reggie
2:20 Lilyan
2:40 Matt
3:00 Jingjie
3:20 Charlotte
3:40 Zoe
4:00 Jane
4:20 Chelly
4:40 Rosalind
WEEK 8 M 5/21 ❗DUE: Invitation to industry
Individual meetings, studio
LaurenStalgia
2:00TylerZoe
2:20AnnieBriana
2:40RongChelly
3:00AlisonRosalind
3:20SuhaniReggie
3:40NinaLilyan
4:00ElanaMatt
W 5/23 Workshop: Documenting work in exhibition
Individual meetings, studio
3:20 Jane
3:40 Jingjie
4:00 Tabatha
4:20 Charlotte
WEEK 9 M 5/28 Memorial Day: no class
W 5/30 Individual meetings, studio
LaurenStalgia
2:00ReggieSuhani
2:20LilyanNina
2:40MattElana
3:00JingjieBriana
3:20CharlotteTabatha
3:40ZoeTyler
4:00JaneAnnie
4:20ChellyRong
4:40RosalindAlison
WEEK 10 M 6/4 Installation
W 6/6 ❗DUE: Final installation walkthrough
Th 6/7 🎉 Senior Show Opening! 🎉
WEEK 11 W 6/13 ❗DUE: Final documentation

Projects

PECHA KUCHA (DUE 4/2)

PROJECT BRIEF (DUE Week 2)

RESEARCH (DUE Week 3)

MIDTERM PLAN (DUE Week 4)

MIDTERM REVIEW (DUE 4/30)

The midterm is a chance to get feedback from a range of people. You should prepare a prototype of your final project that will serve as a proof of concept. This should be something further developed than sketches or an idea proposal. You can use multiple forms to communicate your idea. For example: If you are making an interactive website, you might show a simplified version in progress alongside illustrator mock-ups of how you'd like the pages to look. If you are creating an installation, you might install some of the unfinished elements, and include stand-in objects or drawings for the parts that aren't built yet. You will be installing somewhere on the 4th floor. All three classrooms are open, as are the hallway and common spaces. It's up to you to work out space amongst yourselves.

Think of this as a first user test, there should be an experience of a thing (not just a hypothetical idea) for us to react to. The goal is to get feedback on how the work is functioning already, and ideas about where it might go. We will be breaking into smaller groups for the review, mixing classes. Practice explaining your project in a minute or less so you can get the maximum time for feedback. Copies of the project descriptions will be distributed so ideally you won't need to say anything at all. It is recommended that you bring a list of questions you hope to answer and see if you can write out answers to them after the review.

IMPORTANT! You must input your project info, description, and equipment requests into the show spreadsheet by the EOD on 4/30. Failure to do so will mean you won't get priority consideration for your equipment requests.

CONTEXT WRITE-UP (DUE 5/7)

TIMELINE (DUE 5/9)

INVITATION TO INDUSTRY (DUE 5/21)

INSTALLATION (DUE 6/6)

FINAL DOCUMENTATION (DUE Week 6/13)