Auburn and Regent's logo's, then AU Summer in London: British Impact on Communication Design

British Impact on

Communication Design

10:00 - 1:00, Tuesday/Thursday, Acland 101


From Tube stops to punk music, British culture has shaped the way we think about communication design. Sniffin’ Glue… and Other Rock ‘n’ Roll Habits, released in 1976, contributed to a DIY ethos of fanzine design that forever reshaped the way we communicate about popular culture. The London Underground map design isn’t just informative, it’s a paragon of beautiful design, and is just as likely to be spotted on T-shirts and coffee mugs as in the hands of lost commuters. Charles Booth’s London Poverty Maps (1886 – 1902) shaped the way we think about infographics, and British road-building protests have contributed to the way we engage in environmental social movements. Each of these examples is native to the London area, and in British Impact on Communication Design we will combine scholarly readings with weekly field trips to investigate just how place and culture work together to inform the way we design, produce, and distribute complex information.

Week 1: June 6 & 8: Information Design



Class 1 : Part 1: (Re)Introductions, Expectations, and Assignments; Part 2: Information Design

Prep: Read Carliner, 2000 and 2001; and Redish, 2000 articles. Discussion--how will we structure our class around these models of communication? What elements of design should we be looking at, if we're interested in not only how culture informs design, but how we interact with design? What will your focus for the semester be?

Class 2 : Meet at reception, travel to The Design Museum, 224 - 238 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6AG (Free to enter, has some paid exhibits). The museum opens at 10:00. Our main agenda is the Designer, Maker, User exhibit (Free). After, you are welcome to visit any of the other exhibits (paid exhibits on your own dime, as there are a couple to choose from) at the museum.

To get there: Baker Street Station through Paddington, then to Kensington High Street Station (~22 minutes).

Prep: Come with a notebook and camera. We will meet outside of the museum to discuss our agenda for our visit, then head inside to collect data. You will use your notes and photos in various projects throughout the semester. Make sure to note information design elements that call back to your earlier readings, and document exhibits and ideas that speak to the evolution of communication design and design technologies.

Week 2: June 13 & 15: Experience Architecture



Class 1 : Meet at reception, travel to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL. The museum opens at 10:00. At 10:30, as a group we will meet for the hour-long introductory tour at the Grand Entrance.

To get there: Baker Street Station through Green Park Underground Station, then to South Kensington Station (~21 minutes).

Prep: Read Salvo (2015, in Intercom Magazine)

Come with a notebook and camera. We will briefly discuss the basics of Experience Architecture in a suitable location outside of the museum, then head inside. In groups, your job is to create a shared narrative of objects that relate to our readings. In class on Thursday we will further discuss EA, then you will put your images and notes into context against today's and Thursday's readings in order to share your understanding of EA with the class.

Class 2 : Meet in Regent's classroom. Discuss experience architecture. Bring notes, flyers, brochures, photos, etc. from our last two museum trips. During class, we will split into groups, then prepare semi-formal slideshows and presentations that contextualize our readings against the designs we're seeing.

Prep: Read Salvo, 2014 (blog post); Salvo, 2014 (What's in a name?); and Salvo, 2016.

ASSIGNMENT 1 DUE BY FRIDAY AT MIDNIGHT

Week 3: June 20 & 22: Mapping and Design



Class 1 : Meet at reception, travel to the London Transport Museum (Covent Garden Plaza, London WC2E 7BB, paid entry, tickets already purchased), opens at 10:00. We will meet outside to review our agenda.

To get there: Baker Street Station through Piccadilly Circus Station, then to Covent Garden.

Prep: Read Hadlaw, 2003; Vertesi, 2008

Come with a notebook and camera. We will briefly discuss the basics of Hadlaw's and Vertesi's article in a suitable location outside of the museum, then head inside. In groups, your job is to create a shared narrative of objects that relate to our readings. In class on Thursday we will firther discuss mapping and iconography, then you will put your images and notes into context against today's and Thursday's readings in order to share your understanding with the class.

Class 2 : Meet in Regent's classroom. Discuss mapping, design, and culture. Bring notes, flyers, brochures, photos, etc. from our last museum trips. During class, we will split into groups, then prepare semi-formal slideshows and presentations that contextualize our readings against the designs we're seeing.

Prep: Kimball, 2006; Welhausen, 2015

Week 4: June 27 & 29: Punk and Zines



Class 1 : Meet in Regent's classroom. We will watch the movie "Punk in London"

Prep: Triggs, 2006; Worley, 2015

Come prepared to discuss punk/alternative culture in class, following screening of Wolfgang Büld's 1977 movie. Between this class and the next (to take place at the London College of Communication's Zine Collection), your homework is to explore Camden Town, taking pictures of, and notes on, the appearance of alternative culture in design.

Class 2 : London College of Communication Zine Collection. We will need to leave Regent's NO LATER than 9:30, preferably 9:15. Our class--run by the curators of the collection--begins at 10:00. When we finish there, we'll return to our main classroom, time permitting, to discuss.

Prep: Dunn & Farnsworth, 2012; Brumberger 2003

To get there: Baker Street Station to Elephant and Castle Station. Our session with Special collections will begin at 10:00--Plan on ~30 minutes travel time (we'll have a better idea at this point in the semester than when I set this up). The college is opposite the Elephant and Castle tube station/shopping centre, on the elephant roundabout. Reception will know that we are coming so they can let us in. The library is straight up the main stairs (we will see these in front of us when we come in through the gates) and around to the right. The session will take place in the library learning zone event space, on the left around the corner as we come into the library. The library desk and staff there can direct us.

ASSIGNMENT 2 DUE BY FRIDAY AT MIDNIGHT

Week 5: July 4 & 6: Designing the Urban/Nature Interface



Class 1 : Walking day! We will travel to the St Jame's Park underground station (Baker Street Station to Westminster Park Station to St Jame's Park Station), and, from there, proceed on the Royal London Walk, which will take us from St James's Park → The Mall → St James's Palace → Clarence House → Buckingham Palace → The Royal Mews → Constitution Hill → Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner → Apsley House, No 1 London → Hyde Park → Serpentine Gallery → Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain → Albert Memorial → Royal Albert Hall → Kensington Gardens → Kensington Palace → Round Pond → Peter Pan Statue. Estimates of the time needed to make the journal are between ~1 hour for power walkers to 3 hours for a leisurely stroll. We will accomplish as much as we can before ending wherever is convenient for those that need to leave to get back to Regent's in time for their next class.

Prep: Read Lawrence, 1993

Come with a notebook and camera. As we walk, we'll discuss the role of communication design in the urban/nature interface. In groups, your job is to create a shared narrative of objects that relate to our readings. In class on Thursday we will further discuss the urban/nature interface, then you will put your images and notes into context against today's and Thursday's readings in order to share your understanding with the class.

ASSIGNMENT 3 (Brief Proposal) DUE BY WEDNESDAY AT MIDNIGHT

Class 2 : Meet in Regent's classroom to discuss design and the urban/nature interface. Bring notes, flyers, brochures, photos, etc. from our last excursions. During class, we will split into groups, then prepare semi-formal slideshows and presentations that contextualize our readings against the designs we're seeing.

Prep: Read Barton & Barton, 1993; Doherty, 1999

Week 6: JUly 11 & 13:



Class 1 : Writing, design, and presentation workshop

Prep: Bring all of your notes, photographs, flyers, brochures, etc. to class. We will take the entirety of class to workshop final papers and prepare for your final, individual presentations.

Class 2 : Final project presentations. Any deliverables for your final project, either electronic or physical, are due in class at the time of your presentation.

Goals



By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Offer a culture critique of some facet of communication design informed by both personal experience and theory
  • Explain how popular culture shapes, and is shaped by, design culture
  • Recognize and respond to ongoing cultural trends and how they shape communication design
  • Offer a working definition of “information design,” and be able to discuss ethical implications of design and design practices
  • Demonstrate an understanding of design culture through your writing

Texts



Our course readings will include the following:

Unless otherwise indicated, these texts will be located in our Canvas site--you may also aquire them from our library.

Barton, B. F., & Barton, M. S. (1993). Modes of power in technical and professional visuals. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 7(1), 138-162.

Brumberger, E. (2003). The Rhetoric of typography: The awareness and impact of typeface appropriateness. Technical Communication, 50(2): 224 – 231.

Carliner, S. (2000). Physical, cognitive, and affective: A three-part framework for information design. Technical Communication, 47(4): 561–76.

Carliner, S. (2001). Emerging skills in technical communication: The information designer’s place in a new career path for technical communicators. Technical communication, 48(2), 156-175.

Doherty, B. (1999). Paving the way: The rise of direct action against road-building and the changing character of British environmentalism. Political Studies, 47(2): 275 – 291. doi:10.1111/1467-9248.00200.

Dunn, K., & Farnsworth, M. S. (2012). “We ARE the Revolution”: Riot Grrrl Press, Girl Empowerment, and DIY Self-Publishing. Women's Studies, 41(2), 136-157.

Hadlaw, J. (2003). The London Underground map: Imagining modern time and space. Design Issues, 19(1), 25-35.

Kimball, M. (2006). London through rose-colored graphics: Visual rhetoric and information graphic design in Charles Booth’s maps of London poverty.” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 36(4): 353 – 381. doi:10.2190/K561-40P2-5422-PTG2.

Lawrence, H. W. (1993). The greening of the squares of London: transformation of urban landscapes and ideals. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 83(1), 90-118.

Qiuye, W. (2000). A cross-cultural comparison of the use of graphics in scientific and technical communication. Technical Communication, 4(47): 553 – 560.

Redish, J. C. G. (2000). What is information design?. Technical communication, 47(2), 163 – 166.

Salvo, M. (2014). What's in a name?: experience architecture rearticulates the humanities. Communication Design Quarterly Review, 2(3), 6-9.

Salvo, M. J. (2015). Ethical experience architecture: Designing with users. Intercom, 62(5): 21 – 24.

Salvo, M. J. (2016, September). Sites of Experience Architecture: Methodology for Community Formation. In Proceedings of the 34th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication (p. 12). ACM.

Triggs, T. (2006). Scissors and glue: Punk fanzines and the creation of a DIY aesthetic. Journal of Design History, 19(1): 69 – 83. doi:10.1093/jdh/epk006.

Vertesi, J. (2008). Mind the gap: The London Underground map and users’ representations of urban space. Social Studies of Science, 38(1): 7 – 33. doi:10.1177/0306312707084153.

Welhausen, C. A. (2015). Power and authority in disease maps: Visualizing medical cartography through yellow fever mapping. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 29(3), 257-283.

Worley, M. (2015). Punk, politics and British (fan)zines, 1976-84: “While the world was dying, did you wonder why?” History Workshop Journal, 79(1): 76 – 106. doi:10.1093/hwj/dbu043

Work



Assignment 1 (25 points)

Cultural Critique 1

For this assignment you will offer a cultural critique and analysis of some design element that you have encountered in your time in London. You must choose at least one of the papers assigned for this class as your theoretical base. Briefly explain the the key components, as you see them, of the author(s)' argument(s), then use those to analyze a series of images or artifacts collected in the city. Your paper should be between 500 - 700 words long, and include reference images with captioning. Please use APA format for citations.

For example: If I choose Experience Architecture as my grounding theory, I would choose a paper or two from our readings to describe, then explain something I had seen in our outings within that context, and provide pictures to support my argument.

Assignment 2 (25 points)

Cultural Critique 2

For this assignment you will offer a cultural critique and analysis of some design element that you have encountered in your time in London. You must choose at least one of the papers assigned for this class as your theoretical base. Briefly explain the the key components, as you see them, of the author(s)' argument(s), then use those to analyze a series of images or artifacts collected in the city. Your paper should be between 500 - 700 words long, and include reference images with captioning. Please use APA format for citations.

Assignment 3 (5 points)

Project Proposal

You will present to me a brief proposal (200 - 300 words) on your final project, in which you will decide on which key writings you will focus, to which artifacts you will apply those writings, and what form your final project will take (see Assignment 4).

Assignment 4 (Presentation 15 points, final paper 30 points)

Presentation and Deliverables

Your final project for this class is a two-part assignment.

First, you will create a document illustrating some theme you have considered over the course of this class. You might choose to focus on Experience Architecture, for example, or cultural impact on typography, or mapping, etc. Your final deliverable must include 2000 - 3000 words of description and analysis, contextualized, captioned images, and reference to at least 5 of our class readings. How you choose to present your work is up to you--you might write a standard-format, double-spaced paper; create an interactive website using a site-design tool like Wix or Weebly; produce a zine; generate an interactive timeline using Prezi; or anything else that you choose, provided that you discuss your project with me and clearly articulate your intent in your proposal.

Second, you will present your work to our class. Your presentation should be designed to take us through your thought process, and include references to the works you cite, description of the theories on which you base your analysis, and, of course, plenty of images. Your presentation will take place on the last day of class, and should take roughly 15 minutes. Each member of the class will assess your presentation using a presentation rubric.

Rules



Grading

You will fail the class if you do not attempt and submit ALL major assignments. Late assignments will receive a grade of zero (0).

Grades on assignments will be determined according to the following criteria:

A (90-99%) The document is superior. It exceeds all the objectives of the assignment. The presentation and discussion is ethical, sophisticated, thorough, thoughtful, and ideally suited for the audience. The style is clear and appropriate to the subject, purpose, and audience. The organization and design of the document make the information understandable, accessible, and usable. The mechanics and grammar are correct. Typography and design elements are sophisticated, ethical, and appropriate to audience and purpose. Outside information is cited appropriately.

B (80-89%) The document is good. It meets all of the objectives of the assignment, but requires minor improvements or contains only easily correctable errors in organization, style, design, grammar, or mechanics. Presentation and discussion are good, but could be addressed in more depth. Typography and design elements are good, ethical, and appropriate to audience and purpose. Outside information is mostly cited appropriately.

C (70-79%) The document is adequate. It omits useful information or requires significant improvement in organization, style, design, grammar, or mechanics. Presentation and discussion are superficial in places.Typography and design elements are not entirely suited to audience and purpose, have questionable ethics, and/or require significant improvement in order to function for their intended purpose. Some outside information is cited appropriately.

D (60-69%) The document is disappointing. It meets some of the objectives of the assignment but ignores others; the discussion is inadequately developed, omits important information, or displays numerous or major errors in organization, style, design, grammar, or mechanics. Typography and design elements are poorly suited to audience and purpose, lack awareness of ethics, and/or largely fail in their intended purpose. Most outside information is not cited appropriately.

F (0-59%) The document is unsatisfactory. It omits critical information, does something other than the assignment required, or displays major or excessive errors in organization, style, design, grammar, or mechanics. Typography and design elements fail to accomplish desired goals and/or lack ethical awareness. Outside information is not cited.

Projects submitted more than 7 days after the due date will not be accepted for a grade (they will receive a zero), though I will be happy to look over the project and offer constructive commentary.

Team Assignments

Team assignments receive grades based on group and individual work. It is possible that unsatisfactory participation in team assignments will result in a lower participation grade or a lower grade on the team assignment itself. You may be called upon to evaluate your own or your team members' performance on group assignments.

Attendance

No unexcused absences are allowed in this class. All unexcused absences will result in a loss of 2 points from your final semester's point total for each absence. Any quizzes or participation grades given on a day when you are absent without documentation will result in a grade of zero (0) for that quiz/participation assignment and may not be made up.

Do not show up late to class, even if that class is being held off-campus. If a participation grade or quiz is given during the first 15 minutes and a student arrives late, a grade of zero (0) will be received for that assignment.

A student will be excused from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for documented University-approved functions (such as competing in an athletic event), or the observance of a religious holy day and the time necessary to travel for this observance. The student will not be penalized for the absence and will be permitted to take an exam or complete an assignment missed during the excused absence. The policy applies only to the documented University-approved events and official holy days of tax-exempt religious institutions. No prior notification of the instructor is required, though is requested. Other than exceptions related to university-related events and religious circumstances, only a note from a doctor or death notice for an immediate family member will result in an absence being excused. Personal circumstances are not considered acceptable for excusing an absence. Please see Auburn University's policies for additional materials relating to what constitutes an "excused" absence.

Dropping the Course

As our course takes place in another country, dropping, if such a thing is possible, is your responsibility.

Due Dates and Submission Technology

You will fail the class if you do not attempt and submit ALL major assignments. Late assignments will receive a grade of zero (0). It is your responsibility to turn in your work on time. Computer-related excuses will not be accepted. In the event of difficulties with our course management system (i.e., Canvas), you may email me your work to get it in on time, though you will still be responsible for submitting it through the appropriate channels when the difficulties are resolved. If you believe you have a legitimate excuse for submitting late work you may submit to me a formal appeal. I reserve the right to reject your appeal.

If you are absent the day a physical assignment is due, I will not accept the work via email. You must make arrangements with me to submit work before the deadline or put your work in my department mailbox. If extenuating circumstances apply (see below), your work will be due the day after your return from your athletic event or the day after you attend the emergency appointment or funeral.

Electronic documents must be saved in the following format: lastname_firstinitial_assignmentname.

Documents saved in the .docx format are generally compatible across systems. However, formatting is a major aspect of this class. To that end, you may wish to save your file as a .pdf to insure that all formatting appears to me exactly as you intended. There are several free options available to you, beyond those offered by most office software suites, including bullzip,pdfill, and cutepdf, among others. The excuse "it didn't look like that on my computer" will not be accepted.

I may give quizzes at any time during the class. These quizzes cover the specified readings, but they may also cover material introduced in previous classes/chapters. I do not offer make-up quizzes for any reason other than absences for university business (and only with proper university documentation), documented illness (a clinic must document the episode of illness if you have a chronic illness), or the death of an immediate family member. Additionally, late homework exercises will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Basic Technology Requirements

Computers

You are expected to be familiar with the day-to-day operation of computers including email (and sending attachments) and standard software. If you are not familiar with basic computing skills, speak to me as soon as possible, so that we can familiarize you with basic procedures.

You are also expected to have regular access to computing technology whether it be your computer at home or the computers provided by the university. The statement, "I don't have access to a computer" is not acceptable.

Hardware and Disk Media Requirements

It is your responsibility to ensure that the computer(s) and disk(s) you use are functional and that you have, in the case of technological failure, backed up your data. Bring a USB drive to class, or use the cloud,keep your work on it, and keep your work updated.

Email Requirement

You are required to have a viable @auburn.edu email account. When sending email to me, your instructor, or to your classmates, please ensure the subject line is formatted as: RE: ENGL 7030- [Your Last Name]

Identifying emails from students is difficult, especially when sent from accounts outside of the university. If you do not include a valid subject line it may go straight to junk mail, or I may delete your email myself.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism includes any use of words or ideas of another writer that would allow readers unfamiliar with the source to assume that the words or ideas originated with you. THIS INCLUDES USE OF IMAGES. Policy does not allow me to judge whether an instance of plagiarism is accidental or deliberate. If I find in your work 1) another writer's work inserted without quotation marks or acknowledgment, 2) a close, unacknowledged paraphrase of someone else's writing, or 3) another writer's research or analysis presented without acknowledgment, then I will treat it like a plagiarized assignment and deal with it appropriately. Sanctions range from failing the assignment to expulsion from the university. I take the issue of plagiarism very seriously, and will enforce the university's plagiarism policies to their full extent.

Please see Auburn University's policies relating to plagiarism and penalties.

Special Needs

Auburn University makes reasonable accommodations for people with documented disabilities. I will adapt methods, materials, or testing for equitable participation. During the first week of class, set up a meeting with me. Bring the Accommodation Memo and Instructor Verification Form to the meeting and discuss what you need for equitable participation in this class. If you do not have an Accommodation Memo but need special accommodations, make an appointment with the Program for Students with Disabilities (Haley Center 1244; 334-844-2096; psd@auburn.edu or haynemd@auburn.edu). All communication between a student, the Program for Students with Disabilities, and his or her professor is confidential.

Religious Holidays

Students requiring to miss class due to the observance of an officially recognized religious holy day are asked to consult with me in advance so we can schedule missed work accordingly.