Self-Directed Project Day 1

Note to self: New file naming system in place for the 5th floor– “first name last name_graduation year_abbreviated assignment name”
(e.g., katarinacountiss_2013_assign.tiff).

Today is the first day of Self-Directed Project Day. It’s not completely self-directed. Marc Salverda, our jokey yet stern leader, is going to be with the class every Wednesday as a resource, an idea bouncer-offer, a critic and encouraging ear. He’s also going to lead creative exercises  He talked about how this quarter is a way to supplement our learning with things that aren’t in the curriculum like screenprinting and AfterEffects. We could spend the whole quarter watching tutorials if we wanted. (He recommended

Exercise 1: What is Success?

The first exercise is a definitions rally. In groups of four, we brainstormed for an hour on the definitions of the words: Success, Failure, Effort, Challenge. After an hour we collectively approved and appended our definitions.

With excellent brainstorming efforts from my pod, what ended up written for each was something like this (I edited it as I typed it because I was a little rushed during class, so no, it wasn’t quite this elegant in class):

Success: practical and innovative efforts resulting in appreciated and tangible results

Failure: The event at which, through the squandering of resources (e.g. time) a problem was not solved. (Marc didn’t think this was a complete definition. So we appropriately failed at grasping this concept.)

Effort: a force with coordination of energy and knowledge working against something

Challenge: A commitment of discomfort that through using skills promises results to gain through focused efforts despite opposing forces such as working with other, or a time constraint.

The exercise also asked the question: Can Failure be Successful  I say no as a linguist, but yes as a motivational speaker.

Success word map
Success word map

Exercise 2: Questionnaire for Special Topics Design Project (I think I am just going to look at these questions for now.)

Question #1

What do you consider to be your design strengths? Please be specific.

Question #2

What do you consider to be your design weaknesses? Please be specific.

Question #3

Describe your most successful graphic design project you have done, this can be either a class assignment or an outside project. Including your thoughts on what made the project successful.

Question #4

In a short but thorough explanation, please brainstorm a list of any and all ideas you currently have interest in investigating for your project.

Question #5

Do you intend for the content of this project to be personally or professionally motivated? Please be specific.

Question #6

What techniques, materials and media do you anticipate experimenting with while developing your project?

Question #7

What will your final deliverables be?

Question #8

Are your intentions for this project to be a self-contained piece (meaning that it will begin and end with the quarter), or do you view this project a starting point to create a larger body of work? Please be specific.

Question #9

How many hours per week will you be able to realistically dedicate to this project, not including class time?

Question #10

How will you determine the success or failure of this project?

Question #11

What are the biggest things you have to both lose and gain from doing this project? Please be specific.

Question #12

What would be your dream job and why? Please be specific.

Question #13

What would be your dream company?

Exercise 3: The Next 10 years (due next week, blog post with process to come)

Assignment description:

Substrate– On an 11” by 17” (portrait or landscape) paper (collage and other media accepted) mounted on a black board with a 1.5” border

Theme– reflect The Next 10 Years of your life. It’s a companion piece to the exercise Create a Map of Your Journey to Seattle Central that the class did last year.


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