Undergraduate Classes Fall 2021

FOUNDATIONS

  • Audio Foundation Studio
  • Visual Foundation Studio
  • Creative Coding
  • Ideation & Prototyping
  • Intro to Web Development
  • Still and Moving Images
  • Interactive Narrative
  • Professional Practices for Creatives
  • Senior Project

ELECTIVES

  • User Experience Design (UX)
  • Sound Design for Media
  • 3D Modeling
  • 3D Animation
  • Intro to Game Development
  • Motion Graphics Studio
  • Advanced Creative Coding
  • Designing Interactive Experiences
  • Natural Aesthetics
  • New Lenses: Experimental Capture & Release
  • Media in Game Design and Development
  • Dynamic Web Applications
  • Experimental Cinema

Graduate Classes Spring 2022

FOUNDATIONS

    • Pre-Thesis & Thesis
      This course is the capstone of the MS program in Integrated Digital Media. Each student, guided with thesis  faculty completes a major media-production project. The thesis form and format are determined by agreement between the student and adviser with department approval.
    • Media Law
      This advanced seminar explores in depth the theoretical and practical aspects of media-communications principles and regulations. Knowledge of media law is crucial for professionals. A full range of models will be explored, from Open Source public license to Digital Rights Management, as well as working definitions of Fair Use and the practical limits of sampling/mixing in different idioms and economic sectors.
    • Theories and Cultural Impact of Media & Technology
      In this course, students will examine and analyze the history and theoretical discourse of media and technology, while connecting these studies to contemporary trends and issues. Students will also explore the cultural impact of media and technology. Lectures, discussions, readings, research, and writing constitute the body of this course.
    • Ideation & Prototyping
      The creative process will be investigated in order to generate ideas for art, design, technology, and business endeavors. The course will show how ideation, design research & thinking, and prototyping can inspire, inform, and bring depth to what one ultimately creates. Students will expand their arsenal of design research skills, learn how to think critically about their audience, content, form, and processes, as well as, understand the importance of utilizing more than one research and design strategy.
    • Creative Coding
      This course is an introductory programming class, appropriate for students with no prior programming experience. Traditionally, introductory programming teaches algorithmic problem-solving, where a sequence of instructions describe the steps necessary to achieve a desired result. In this course, students are trained to go beyond this sequential thinking – to think concurrently and modularly.

ELECTIVES

  • On campus electives – 3 credit 14 week courses
    DM-GY 6103 Live Performance StudioJosh Goldberg
    This course introduces students to contemporary digital-performance techniques and issues, i.e., integrating computing technology into traditional performing arts. Drawing on contemporary research in performance studies, as well as technical advances in performing-arts production design, students perform research on how digital technology and media are integrated into dance, theater, performance art and concert-music performance. Students develop performance technologies as part of their research and use them in a performance at the end of the semester.
  • DM-GY 6113 Sound Studio – Luke DuboisThis course introduces DM students to contemporary techniques and issues in audio, sound and musical research. The class covers digital signal processing, synthesis, musical informatics and interaction design as it applies to contemporary music production, postproduction and live performance. Students are expected to achieve competence in a number of technologies and to create brief studies based on them.
  • DM-GY 6133 Mobile Augmented Reality Studio Jason Laan
    This course examines the potential of mobile augmented reality [AR] and its future impact on society. Augmented reality technology is poised to revolutionize the way we understand the world by overlaying physical reality with real time, interactive digital content. AR will change our interaction with digital media by dissolving the user interface and turning it into a physical experience of sight and sound.
  • DM-GY 6153 Game Design Studio This course guides graduate students through contemporary thought in game design, development, user testing and deployment. The course will benefit students interested in research or employment opportunities in game design or in related fields that require an understanding of human-computer interaction. This studio provides a foundation understanding of how games are developed, tested and experienced.

    DM-GY 9103 A Accessibility & Assistive Technology in Historical Sites & Museums
    – Amy Hurst & Anita Perr
    This multidisciplinary course allows students from a variety of backgrounds to work together to learn about and develop assistive technology for historical sites and museums. Students will work in teams to develop prototypes for individuals with diverse motor, cognitive, sensory, and behavior-emotional abilities. Previous syllabus

    DM-GY 9103 B User Experience Design – Regine Gilbert
    The course is oriented toward practical methods for approaching a design problem holistically, beyond usability and usefulness. In this class, you will develop an appreciation for the notion of user experience including how to design for it and how to evaluate it. The course will focus on storytelling, sketching, and communication of design ideas within a design team and to potential users. Assignments will focus on hands-on learning through individual assignments, application of design skills in group mini-projects, and peer critique. Previous syllabus

    DM-GY 9103 C Virtual Enhancement —Leah Roh

    This course will introduce the fundamentals of the 3D to VR pipeline, covering the basics of modeling, texturing, and animating in Autodesk Maya to build a dynamic scene in Unreal Engine utilizing custom-built models, physically-based materials, and lighting effects. By the end of the course, students will walk away with a personalized virtual island featuring custom-built Maya assets, keyframe animations, physically-based materials, and realistic lighting schemes in Unreal Engine.

    DM-GY 9103 E Micro-Environment Exploration Lab – Elizabeth Henaff

    In this class we will cover a basic understanding of the state of current research in environmental microbiomes. Students will get hands-on experience in which they will learn the computational methods to analyze genomic data. We will design physical devices to interact with this invisible component of our environment, either in form of sampling instruments, bioreactors or bio receptive substrates that propose new symbiotic relationships with the microbial environment. Previous syllabus

    DM-GY 9103 F Better Storytelling Through Humor & Game Engines – Carla Gannis

    Humor can be the agent that humanizes our technological products, services and experiences. It also can act as salve during moments of crisis in culture and society. This course is designed to engage students critically in exploring humor and the absurd in the production of moving image works built with game engines and video editing software, including Unity, Unreal and After Effects. Taking a speculative design approach, students can address pressing societal issues, autobiography, the art of puns and more through thoughtful and imaginative implementations of comedic storytelling. There will be lectures; class visits from scholars on the absurd, comedy writers, and game engineers; along with hands-on introductions to working with software to produce comedic moving image stories. There are no prerequisites for this course, however a key asset to success is tapping into your own sense of humor. The course will culminate in a screening of student work at locations in New York and the University of Texas at Austin. 

    DM-GY 9103 G Amusement Parks – Scott Fitzgerald & Todd Bryant

    Amusement park ride prototyping draws from a wide range of disciplines that come together to make immersive experiences. This class will discuss the key issues, challenges, and best practices in experiential storytelling through theme park ride design. Topics discussed include art direction, story writing, computer graphics, projection design, virtual reality, ride control, show control, audio and video, lighting, mechanical actuators, and animatronics. 

    DM-GY 9103 H Reuse, Rethink, Resilience – Benedetta Piantella

    Our society often relies on centralized and vulnerable systems for most of our basic needs including power, telecommunications and food. In times of crisis these systems fail and the infrastructure they control struggles to adapt in the face of change and uncertainty. Through this “choose-your-own-adventure” citizen science and design research course, focused on real-world scenarios, you will be introduced to tools, methods and practical skills around fermentation, environmental sensing and wireless networking, energy production and harvesting, community engagement and more. The course will include lectures from experts and local Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), hands-on workshops, scavenger hunts and field trips. The class aims to empower individuals to unpack and build their own resilience while also contributing to the resiliency of their communities through research and experimentation. Similar syllabus 

    DM-GY 9103 I Tech Media and Democracy – Justin Hendrix

    This course represents a New York City-wide effort to create new tech that supports and defends journalism and media — the most critical elements of our democracy — as they are increasingly threatened by political and market forces. The course brings together journalism, design, media studies, and technical disciplines to understand the various threats to journalism and media, and attempt to address these challenges using technical and computational methods and techniques. The free press, journalism and the media are some of the most critical elements of our democracy, but have been increasingly under attack by political and market forces. These challenges include: dwindling resources and support for deep investigative journalism; smear, law and technical and even physical assaults of media organizations and journalists; challenges to credibility and reliability including fake news and discrediting campaigns; and shifting business models and income sources that threaten both local and national news organizations and coverage. https://www.techmediademocracy.nyc

    DM-GY 9103 J 3D Cinema++ – Kathleen Sullivan

    This class will explore the history of 3D Cinema while also questioning the definition. We will create short films using 3D models, computer generated landscapes, virtual cinematography, and motion capture. We will also program interactive 3D video installations, and integrate the virtual production pipeline currently being adopted by film and game studios to facilitate collaborative projects. Related syllabus

    DM-GY 9103 K Designing Other Worlds – Ahmed Ansari

    This studio\seminar hybrid will deal with speculative design practice framed as a practice of imagining and materializing alternative, non-Anglocentric social and cultural realities. Students will be exposed to perspectives from different parts of the world, different communities and cultures, and engage with texts dealing with cultural difference from various disciplines like science and technology studies, design studies, social theory, critical cultural studies, and anthropology. We will study how mediums as diverse as print, film and cinema, tangible board\tabletop games, and installation art have been and can be employed in order to materialize ‘other’ futures. In this class, you will bring the technical skills required — the object will be to collaborate with others with complementary skill-sets in order to create a number of rich and intricate transmedial projects that will draw people to question existing social realities and present ‘other’ ways of being, thinking, and designing in the world visible, experimenting with the boundaries of design as a practice of cultural production. Prior syllabus

    On campus electives – 1.5 credit 7-week courses

    DM-GY 9201 A Savage Ecstasy! – Ahmed Ansari, 7 Week 2 

    This course intends to expose students to the practice of ethnography in creative and interesting ways in order to create thought-provoking and compelling narratives that give audiences and publics deep and wide-ranging insights into the lives and worlds of specific communities. Students taking this course will use ethnographic frames, methods and practices in order to develop a deep, capacious, and empirically grounded understanding of a set of concepts from contemporary French philosophy that speak to the limits of society and subjects: eroticism, limit experiences, taboos and transgressions, sacrifice, ritual, by undertaking design and media ethnographies of various subcultures in New York City that indulge in experiences and practices that fall outside of the socially acceptable. Students will materialize and present their ethnographic research, not in the traditional form of the essay, but through media and design artifacts.

    DM-GY 9201 C Light and Control – Scott Fitzgerald, 7 Week 1
    In this studio-based course, students will learn about and apply various protocols for controlling digital lighting for interactive, expressive, sculptural objects. While light-based art goes back centuries, the last few decades has seen an explosion of tools for creative output using various electric lighting fixtures and technologies. In addition to the technical aspects of control, this course explores aesthetic dimensions of this form through exposure to a variety of works and artist practices. At the end of the class, students will have a mini-exhibition displaying their work. Experience with programming and electronics is strongly encouraged. 

    DM-GY 9201 D Learning on the Edge – Scott Fitzgerald, 7 Week 2

    Machine learning has rapidly moved to a place where tools offer visual artists and designers access to technologies that were previously the exclusive domain of engineers and computer scientists. Similarly, microcontrollers were once far removed from the arts, but platforms like Arduino brought this to a larger audience. In this practice based course, students will explore the use of machine learning on microcontrollers and ‘edge’ devices with an eye towards creative uses of these technologies. No prior experience with machine learning is required, but familiarity with electronics and programming is strongly encouraged. Students should come with an open mind and a willingness to experiment.

    On-campus courses that explicitly support online learners

    DM-GY 9103 D Looking Forward – Regine Gilbert & Gus Chalkias

    This course surveys assistive technologies for people with low vision and blindness, from historical, contemporary, and forward thinking perspectives. Guest lectures from leaders in the field and people with lived experience will help students learn about low-vision and blindness accessibility across several domains (web, wayfinding, literacy, socialization, etc.). In the second half of the class, students will partner with each other and clients/community members to develop their own projects that transform and advance these technologies. Previous Syllabus

    Online electives – 3 credits 14 week courses

    DM-GY 7153 Images in the Expanded Field —Kevin Siwhoff

    How do images operate in the world? Do they contain memories or tell myths? Can they reproduce and generate new images? Or are they often repeated with variation throughout consciousness? This course is not a dystopian science fiction about object sentience—it’s a hands-on exploration of contemporary themes within moving image practice. Through short readings, film screenings, group discussions, and self-directed design propositions, we will explore these questions, revealing their power and potential socio-ethico-political implications. The example works we will study throughout the semester will present an array of concepts key to understanding image-centered technoculture such as the subjectivity of the camera, perspective and bias, operative imagery, human-machine labor, computer vision, mediated memory, the posthuman and postcolonial eye, and artificial intelligence. Additionally, through the screenings and readings, students will be introduced to important image thinkers and inspiring luminaries such as: Grégoire Beil, Harun Farocki, Forensic Architecture, William Greaves, Donna Haraway, bell hooks, Michael Klier, Jesse McLean, Trevor Paglen, Susan Sontag, Hito Steyerl, Dziga Vertov, Angela Washko, Eyal Weizman, and many others. The unique approach to this course blends critical making with visual culture studies, and therefore assumes that students bring an equal parts interest in analytical as well as experimental design thinking. We will be asking a lot of questions such as “Why?” , but also “What if?,” using hybrid techniques from an expanded field of arts, gaming, and data science research to speculate on future possibilities for the image, and the media technologies we use to produce, store, and interpret them. As part of the “hands-on” approach to this course, we will build on foundational knowledge of coding/computational methods, digital prototyping, image rendering, and video editing. Syllabus

    DM-GY 9103 INT1 Motion Graphics Studio – Jenny Bee

    In Motion Graphics Studio, you’ll be treated as a collection of motion designers first and foremost, regardless of discipline, as we build pieces for your portfolio in the Adobe suite of programs. We enter the artistic world and hone many skills: composition, color, craftsmanship, originality, that we often forget all about the ability to think in time and motion. This class will emphasize good animation principles, and get you thinking about your art existing in the temporal space. Open and encouraging to all skill levels.
    Related Syllabus

    DM-GY 9103 INT4 User Experience Design

    DM-GY 9103 INT5 Radical Data Visualization – Tresson Canley

    This course examines data through a humanistic perspective and explores how data visualizations can draft narratives—stories that reflect real life and real people. In this class, the discussion will surround theoretical and ethical design implications of data and information aesthetics. Students will build upon fundamental tools and practices of visual design and storytelling (related to space, time, and hierarchy) through the use of static and interactive (code-based) forms, and emerging and experimental forms. Students will also learn to think critically about design ethnography, inclusivity, and accessibility, as well as, gain a general understanding of the data artistry landscape.   

    Online electives – 1.5 credit 7 week courses

    DM-GY 9201 iNet Systemic Design – Ahmed Ansari, 7 Week 1

    This course intends to introduce students to general principles, frameworks, and methods in designing at different scales to implement systemic change, drawing from a range of different approaches from the fields of systemic design and applied systems thinking through hands-on exercises and a major studio project learning to implement design methods and tools. As a result, students will learn to analyze and model large-scale systems and systemic issues, design for stakeholders at various scales, develop appropriate interventions in the form of products and artifacts, services and experiences, and platforms and strategies, and be in a better position to evaluate the consequences of their designed interventions.