Senior Projects (DESMA 159C)
UCLA Department of Design Media Arts
Monday and Wednesday, 2–4:50 pm
Broad Art Center, 4250
Instructor: Rebeca Mendez
Office Hours: Mondays, Broad 4250, 1–2 pm
By appointment. Sign up via Google Doc 24 hrs in advance.
TA: Erin Cooney
Office Hours: Wednesdays 1-2 pm, Broad 4250 (our classroom)
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 159C Senior Projects class focuses on communication design. Senior Projects is the only course offered that is directed by each student’s individual goals, interests and skills. Communication design should not be understood as limiting a project to printed or digital media. 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.
Grading. Grades will be determined with the following % breakdown:
- Participation: 10%
- Process Documentation: 15%
- Project Proposal: 15%
- Final Project: 50%
- Final Project Documentation: 10%
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 15% 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 someone specific to discuss your project. Be proactive 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 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 Erin know as soon as possible.
Late work. Late work will not be accepted.
Commitment to Diversity
In this class we make a commitment towards diversity by acknowledging the different identities and backgrounds we inhabit. A collaborative effort between the students and the teacher is needed for creating a supportive learning environment. If a class member says that something you have said or shared with the group is offensive, remember this is a valuable opportunity for everyone present to grow and learn from one another with further discussion. All class members are encouraged to discuss such instances with the instructor so they can be addressed with greater care in the future. [ voidLab / CC SA ]
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.