Assignment Template by alicejenny


									                           THINKTANK ASSIGNMENT TEMPLATE
                                    Mary Stewart

       Translating your personal knowledge of art and design into inventive assignments for
freshmen can be a daunting task. The actions you take intuitively may be totally foreign to
beginners. Use 11-point Times New Roman for body text, and 13 point for the assignment title.

      Title: An inventive or memorable title immediately attracts attention.

      Problem: What will the students do? Describe the assignment in one to three sentences.
       Stick with essentials: details on why and how will follow in sections on objectives and

      Objectives/Assessment Targets: What will students gain from this assignment? What will
       they come away knowing? The objectives can be technical, intellectual, inquiry-based—
       just make them concise and useful to students and instructors. It helps when objectives lead
       to tangible results: if you can’t see it, you can’t grade it! Thumbnail sketches, maquettes,
       and rough drafts provide evidence of creative process, so encourage their use.

      Materials: List the tools, equipment and supplies needed.

      Strategy: How will the work be accomplished? As appropriate, identify the thinking
       processes and organizational methods required.

      Key Questions: List three or four questions students need to ask themselves as they
       complete the assignment. Examples:
             Experiment with rectilinear, curvilinear, geometric and organic shapes. Which shape type
              will best express your idea?
             What happens when negative and positive shapes begin to fuse together?
             What happens when you combine flat solid shapes with gradated or transparent shapes?

      Critiquing Strategy: Determine the type of critique best suited to the problem and work out
       the logistics. Using a variety of techniques increases student involvement.

      Timetable: As appropriate, determine due dates for various stages in the problem as well as
       the final deadline.

      OPTIONAL: Add section called “Examples.” List readings or artists whose work is related
       to the assignment. Since freshmen generally know little or nothing about contemporary art,
       it is especially important to show recent as well as historical examples. You can also add a
       brief section called “Notes to emerging educators” if you wish.

      Author. Give your name, institution, contact info and up to 60-word bio. This is a good
       time for some quiet self-promotion: use it well! Assignments that exceed the bio word
       limit will not be accepted, so please do a word count before you submit your assignment.


                                           LINE DYNAMICS

Problem: Develop four 18x24” non-objective designs, using line and shape.

Objectives/Assessment Targets:
    To fully engage the edges of each composition
    To create an illusion of space using overlap, size, and location.
    To demonstrate the distinctive characteristics of symmetrical and
       asymmetrical balance
    To develop at least 4 strategies for increasing visual impact.

Materials: Two black felt markers, four to eight sheets of 18" x 24" drawing paper,

Strategy: Use thumbnail sketches to rough draft at least twelve alternatives.
     Pay special attention to the edge of the composition. When a line or shape
       intersects this edge, the composition can to visually extend beyond the page
       and into the viewer’s world.
     Overlap, variations in size, and location can be used to increase the illusion of
       space. The illusion of space gives more room for movement, increasing the
       overall energy in the design.
     Experiment with forms and degrees of balance. Symmetrical balance is often
       used when stability is needed; asymmetrical balance is often more dynamic.

Key Questions:
    How deep is the space in each composition?
    How does spatial depth contribute to visual dynamism?
    Is there a dominant movement? If so, how was this movement created?
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of adding a focal point?

Critique Strategy: Student A will select a study by Student B, then re-design it on a fresh sheet of paper,
making it 50% stronger. Placing the two designs side by side, student A then describes the improvements
he or she made. This provides a form of critique that is both positive and productive: it gets students talking
in front of the class and focuses on ways the initial design was improved, rather than on its weaknesses.

Timetable: 15-30 minutes per drawing, 15-30 minutes per discussion. Continually alternating between
drawing and discussion works well.

OPTIONAL Examples: Franz Kline, Joelle Dietrick, Al Held, Julie Mehretu, Matthew Ritchie.

OPTIONAL Note to emerging educators: Dynamic designs are often dominated by diagonals and
curves, which tend to suggest movement and imply change. To create a dynamic design, students must
understand balance and use it effectively. By creating the illusion of space, they can suggest movement
from foreground to background. A focal point can provide a dramatic pivot point for the composition.
This is a good assignment for the first day of class in 2D Design or Digital Design.

Assignment Author: Mary Stewart, Foundations Director, Florida State University,
Author, artist, and educator Mary Stewart wrote Launching the Imagination: A Comprehensive Guide to
Basic Design. She gives workshops and lectures on creativity, curriculum design, arts advocacy, and

leadership. Her work has been shown in over 90 exhibitions, and she has received two Pennsylvania
Council on the Arts grants for collaborative choreography.


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