The tools we use form our world, just as the invention of the camera, the synthesizer, and the smartphone led to a huge change in the way we see and hear, contemporary tools like the iPhone, zoom, and 3D scanner, are changing our world.
Although the range of media that designers and artists can use is diversifying, we tend to design within a certain norm. There are legacies of different tools, materials, and media that have been built over time. By hacking the use of these conventional tools, we can generate new possibilities.
Experimental practices and perspectives are needed for a multilayered, critical, and detailed understanding of various tools. In this class, students analyze the tools’ characteristics beyond their conventional use and seek new uses by twisting and flipping. Based on this method, we will look at how to intervene and overturn contemporary tools such as Penscanner, the panoramic camera in iPhone, Zoom, and Google Maps. Lectures and mini-workshops will be provided to help students understand how to build their own methodology. There is no need for prior experience in Photoshop, Illustrator, or coding, as the assignments are flexible.
Course Goals & Objectives
- A foundational understanding of each tool
- A foundational understanding of your own work process and experience of using physical devices and software
- Developing an understanding of contemporary ‘tools,’ including Pen scanner, Portable scanner, panoramic camera in iPhone, Zoom, and Google Maps
- Developing methods of working with or against ‘tools’ for artistic or design-based ends
- Developing a framework for critical thinking about ‘tools’
- The ability to fluidly move between software and physical iterations
- Engaging in critical discourse about the ways in which physical and digital areas relate to movement, time, technology, and culture
Student Learning Outcomes
- Explore the functions of the tool systems and image-making and attempt to apply their methods to studio practices
- Critique tools’ original functions and envision hybrid function and form by combining different pieces of hardware and software
- Create and develop a generous and expansive language to discuss what we make
- Explore everyday tools and contemporary software we use, and study how to tweak them
- Share artworks, ideas, books, images, lectures, and audio with each other
- Think and communicate critically about our work and the work of others
- Share technical skills
Method of Instruction
In this class, we will split our time between lectures, collaborative workshops, studio time, critique, and individual meetings. Ongoing practices and activities will be focused on generating new methods for each student's practices.
All assignments must be turned in on time and ready for critique at appointed times. Late assignments will automatically be reduced by one letter grade before being critiqued. Students are encouraged to re-do an assignment if they wish, but please speak to me before undertaking this. Please keep all work for the whole semester, as students will be asked to hand everything in at the end of the semester for re-evaluation. The major individual student assignment will be the final project due on the last day of Wintersession (Class 12) as a live demonstration.
This class will require a laptop (Mac or PC), Internet access via a web browser (Chrome), and image editing software (Adobe Creative Suite in addition to any other open source alternatives). Access to at least one digital imaging device (mobile phone, digital camera, zoom, scan application, etc.) is requested but not necessary. If you don’t have access to either of these let us know as soon as possible so that we can work on finding you access.
- Projects: Including all studies
- Breadth: Range of experience, Willingness to experiment, Take risks and broaden horizons
Grades included in the GPA
- A −
- B +
- B −
- C +
- C −
- D +
- 0.000 (Failure)
- 0.000 (Incomplete)
- 0.000 (Incomplete)
RISD is committed to Social Equality and Inclusion and has a newly created campus initiative to support this (SEI). Our intent is that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives will be well-served by this course, that students’ needs will be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength, and benefit. Our intent is to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, culture, perspective, and other background characteristics. Your suggestions about how to improve the value of diversity in this course are encouraged and appreciated. Please let us know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups. See also: RISD’s non-discrimination policies on titleix.risd.edu
Students With Disabilities
Rhode Island School of Design is committed to providing equal opportunity for all students. If you are a student with a disability that may require accommodations to complete the requirements of this class, I encourage you to discuss your learning needs with me during the first week of the term. Once an approval letter from the Office of Disability Support Services is submitted, accommodations will be provided as needed. For more information on how to receive accommodations, please contact Disability Support Services at 401 709-8460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Absence from class
Students should make every effort to avoid missing any class. This class is highly iterative and each class builds intentionally upon the conversations of the week before. In the case of illness or other special circumstances, please make every effort to let your instructor know as soon as possible and before the date in question. Two or more unexcused absences are to be understood as an open for a letter grade reduction and possible removal from the course. Three late arrivals count as an unexcused absence. Please see the full RISD Class Attendance policy.
Absence for religious holy days
RISD respects the religious beliefs of all members of the community, affirms their rights to observe significant religious holy days, and will make reasonable accommodations, upon request, for such observances. If one’s religious observance is in conflict with a class then the student should inform the instructor(s) of the class. If it is an academic experience or other school function but not a scheduled class, then the student should inform the person in charge. It is the student’s responsibility to make the necessary arrangements mutually agreed upon with the instructor(s).
Forms of academic misconduct
Academic misconduct compromises the academic integrity of the College and subverts the educational process. You can find RISD’s general Academic Code of Conduct linked here. For this class, primary, but not exclusive, kinds of such misconduct are:
The use of unauthorized information, study aids or other materials, or unauthorized communication with, or copying from another student on papers, projects, tests, or other academic work. It is the responsibility of students to consult with their faculty concerning what materials and types of collaboration are permissible.
The passing off of someone else’s ideas, writing, or work as one’s own is plagiarism. Appropriate methods and forms of attribution vary by discipline. Some courses will include instruction in appropriate conventions for citation and attribution within the field. Students are advised to seek out relevant guidelines on their own (the RISD Writing Center offers resources and guidance), to ask faculty when in doubt about standards, and to recognize that they are ultimately responsible for proper citation.
Falsification and fabrication
The attribution of information or material included in one’s work to a false or fabricated source, or the falsification or fabrication of the information or materials themselves.
The submission of substantially the same work to satisfy requirements for one course that has previously been submitted in satisfaction of the requirements for another course or that was created for another purpose, without permission of the faculty of the course for which the work is being submitted. Students are expected to create new work in specific response to each assignment unless expressly authorized to do otherwise.
Unfair academic advantage
The theft, destruction, or defacement of, or other interference with, the work of other students for the purpose of gaining an academic advantage; the engagement in other activities that place other students at an academic disadvantage, such as theft, concealment, or alteration of needed resources or other materials; or other manipulation of the academic system in one’s favor.