Open Lab Hours



(Assignments may change as additional resources become available in the newly built CVA building)


Weeks 1-4 – Introduce the elements and principles of design and the Gestalt principles of Unity. Simple compositions are developed through brainstorming, refining, and then translating flat, graphic compositions into photographic images.

1.1 Principles of Gestalt – Discover and apply the 6 principles of Gestalt (containment, continuation, closure, repetition, similarity, proximity)
1.2 Unity with Variety – Organize and refine compositions to reflect principles of unity with a greater emphasis on variety
1.3 Human Element – Collaborate to stage photos in 3 dimensional space to reflect their flat compositions


Weeks 5-8Explore how elongated or repeated forms can generate the illusion of movement and space. The proportions of the frame and the relationship of images to the frame become especially important

2.1 Illusion of Space and Motion – Discover and explore strategies for creating illusions of motion and space using found dynamic marks
2.2 Compositional Flow and Figure/Ground – Explore basic elements of design while mapping the organization of provided artworks
2.3 Methodology – Collaborative installation project emphasizing action/dynamism while continuing to explore various elements of design


Weeks 9-12 – Explore the major variables of hue, saturation, and value and their role in composing with color. Common color schemes and color interactions are introduced and then applied within an isometric grid to explore the play between flat pattern and illusionistic, three-dimensional space.

3.1 The Properties of Color – Explore hue/value/saturation
3.2 Relativity of Color – Explore relativity through digital and paper color studies and then by incorporating pattern and motif
3.3 The Plastic Action of Color – Use color, pattern/texture on isometric grids to further explore illusionistic space and dynamic compositions


Weeks 13-16Continue to use color, unity, and movement to construct a more self-directed, more conceptually driven project (to be determined). Students now take a more active role in collaboratively designing the parameters of the assignment and how it will be carried out.

4.1 Inspiration and Meaning – Generate ideas from your interests, daily life, and research
4.2 Design the Path – Self-assign exercises that utilize the various elements and principles of design that are driven by conceptual interests
4.3 Communicate the Idea(s) – Generate a final project that is conceptually articulate (consider how the work will be presented/received)

Final exam schedule

12:45 – 3:00 p.m. Fri. May 12