highly mediated society we live in is often referred to as culture of images,
due to their ubiquitous presence in contemporary culture. In order to develop
a critical understanding of the mechanisms of visual communication and processes
of design for our creative needs, artists and designers need to be able
to read the images and understand how they interrelate with each other to
The act of looking is a highly dynamic process, we never gaze at simply one thing: we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves.
In this class we will learn how "what we know" and "what we believe in" affect the way we see. We will also learn how the interplay of visual and spoken language creates mutable forms of communication that not only actively mold the society in which we live but also contribute to our perception of reality.
We will explore the history of communication design, learn about theory and psychology of perception and introduce and apply ideas from theories of visual culture, particularly visual semiotics. Many examples will be shown and discussed, ranging from the work produced by todays most innovative designers, to advertising, film, multimedia, and the web.
Department of Design | Media Arts
Professor: Silvia Rigon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
DESMA 103 / Introduction to Visual Communication / Summer 2003
Class meeting: Mond. and Wed. from 1:00 pm-3:00 pm at Heine, room 220.
There is a midterm assignment and a final assignment. The midterm and the final assignment will be explained in class. The final assignment will be presented to the class during the last class (Wednesday, July the 30th).
The grading is based on the midterm assignment (30%) and the final assignment (60%). (10%) Active participation in the class meetings will be considered. More than one absence (without the teacher's permission) will automatically lower the overall grade by one step. There will be a roll call in the beginning of each meeting.
Berger, John: Ways of Seeing. London: BBC and Penguin Books, 1972.
Chandler, Daniel: Semiotics: the Basic. New York: Routledge, 2001.
Lupton, Ellen and Miller, J. Abbott: Design Writing Research. Writing on Graphic Design. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
and Cartwright, Lisa: Practices of Looking. An Introduction to Visual
Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Case studies: Velasquez, Marinetti ad the Futurism, El Lissisky, The Bauhaus, Lester Beall, Paul Rand, Alvin Lustin, Frida Kalho, Magritte, Ed Fella, Emigre, Tybor Kalman, David Carson, John Maeda... Diesel Advertising, Colos Magazine, The Matrix and much more...