Teaching Portfolio

GDES 1315; Foundations: The Graphic Studio

Through a series of assignments of increasing complexity students explore the text & image relationship as it exists within popular culture and news media. Additionally they test their ability to manipulate and re-author meaning using technology as well as straight-forward methods. Through hands-on processes the student analyzes a variety of messages, deconstructing them to begin a process of re-assemblage to create enhanced truths. By combining text and image with elements of time, sequence, materiality and context the student directly experiences communication in this infinitely malleable form. Assessment occurs using a variety of methods including both small and large group critique, peer review, formal presentations of research, individual meetings and detailed written instructor evaluation.

Objectives: In this course, students will:


In this assignment students design a poster for one of two films made by French film maker, Chris Marker. Instead of a planning for a prolonged contact with your audience, students now have to plan for making an immediate impression on the viewer and then draw them to the poster in order to take in the full details of their message. And then its over; the viewer is off to do other things, looking at other posters, catching an elevator, going to class, etc.

Students are instructed to remember: the element of time is still present within the structure of this project yet its pace has been accelerated greatly. How do they communicate cleverly, boldly, memorably and effectively within the singular and immediate text/image statement of a poster?

The Book

Students start with a short phrase or message then create a text/image sequence that explores the way these two modes affect one another and their audience. Starting simple, the students think about the book in its totality: how it will begin, how it will end, how many pages it will have and what overall effect they want to impart on the reader. Once they have an idea of the scope of the book in its entirety the students begin thinking about the more detailed aspects of the text/image interactions that will convey the meaning/feeling they wish to communicate to the reader. The students also think about the timing of these text/image interactions and how this alters and enhances the meaning of the book to create a formally and conceptually unified experience.


Students create one image to accompany the text of a previous assignment. They must consider how they are going to approach this. Will they “caption” the text creating or finding an image that is actually described within the text? Will they “editorialize” the text by trying to evoke the overall feel or mood of it? Is the image going to “speak” the text or the text “speak” the image? Or, will they “elucidate” or educate the audience with the image?

DES 1111; Creative Problem Solving

This course will help students understand the role of creativity and innovation in their work and in other disciplines. It will challenge them to move outside of their existing comfort zone and recognize the value of that exploration. This course will help the student understand the importance of diverse ideas, and to convey that understanding to others. The principal learning activity in the course is a series of “differents” where students are challenged to identify and change their own cultural, habitual, and normal patterns of behavior. Beginning with a prompt, e.g. “eat something different” learners recognize their limits and overcome them. In addition, they are encouraged to understand that creativity is based on societal norms, and that by it’s nature, it will differ from and be discouraged by society; in this course, the persistence of the creative person is developed through practice. At the same time, these exercises are constrained by concerns of safety, legality, and economics, which are addressed in their creative process.


The principal activity of the course is the completion of a series of “differents.” They are graded on a five point scale; creativity, writing, completion, being planned and executed. The best of the class will be awarded an extra point. Students will need to write up a description of their “different” each time and post it to Moodle, a course management system for the University. The students will also need to post at least one digital picture of themselves engaged in each DSD and attach these to their web posting.