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Design Cultures & Creativity

MAKERS AND THINKERS TRANSFORMING SOCIETY THROUGH DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

DCC

We are a selective Honors College Program at UMD that brings together a diverse group of students from a range of majors to study emerging media, society, & creative practice in the digital age. We are makers and thinkers transforming society through digital technologies.

HONORS COLLEGE

The Honors College combines excellent students with superb faculty in small classes and the result is a power-packed and highly efficient learning environment. Honors students and faculty are full of curiosity, productivity, energy, and humor.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

UMD is one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities and global leader in research, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Here, like nowhere else in the nation, undergraduates can study digital media across the disciplines.

About DCC

Exploring Emerging Media and Society through Making and Creating
Design | Cultures + Creativity fosters an open, collaborative, and social environment that encourages students to explore the relationship between emerging media, society, and creative practices. We are passionate about emerging technologies and their impact on the world; but even more importantly, how our contributions to emerging technologies can change the world. DCC students are innovative thinkers and makers who engage in research and collaborative projects on topics as varied as identity, connectivity, social justice, art, design, and all things creative in an era when digital media links us on a scale unprecedented in human history.
DCC encourages students to think beyond disciplinary boundaries and approach problems from multiple perspectives by providing them with the resources to tackle any issue or goal they have. Our courses, lab space, and workshops provide spaces for exploration, for thinking through ideas, and experimenting with the process of building, designing, and creating in the digital age. DCC strongly values inclusivity and aims to cultivate life long learners who are critically engaged thinkers. Our students will become the makers and doers of tomorrow, able to expand our notions of human potential, not merely technologically but also socially and creatively.

http://vimeo.com/36724604

FIND OUT ABOUT ADMISSIONS

Majors Represented at DCC

To say that we’re interdisciplinary may be quite an understatement. DCC students come from these following departments: American Studies, Aerospace Engineering, Agricultural and Veterinary Medicine, Animal Sciences, Architecture, Art History, Art Studio, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Business (Undecided), Cell Biology and Genetics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, Electrical Engineering, Engineering (Undecided), English Language and Literature, Fire Protection Engineering, Foreign Language Education, Government and Politics, History, Information Systems, Journalism, Letters and Sciences, Marketing, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Music Education, Music (Liberal Arts Program), Music (Professional Program), Physics, Physiology and Neurobiology, Psychology, Secondary Education, Sociology.

Languages Spoken at DCC

We are polyglots and speak 0101010, 1337, 8421-code, American Sign Language, Anime, Arabic, ASP.NET, BASIC, Bengali, Blazon, C, C#, C++, Cantonese Chinese, Chinese-Shanghai Dialect, CSS/CSS3, Dubstep, Ducreux Meme Speak, English (American), English (Broken), English (International), English (Internet), English (UK), Eye contact, Facial expression, French, German, Gibberish, Hausa, Hebrew (Biblical), Hebrew (Modern), Hindi, HSK (Humming and Screaming and Kicking), HTML/XHTML, IDL, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Japanese Internet-speak, Java, JavaScript/JQuery, Judeo-Aramaic, Kikamba, Korean, LaTeX, Latin, Lisp, LOGO, LOLCat speak, Love and rainbows and friendship, Mandarin Chinese, Math (it’s the language of the universe!), Mind reading, Music!, MySQL, Nerd, Objective-C, OCaml, Painting/Drawing, PHP, Pig Latin, Pirate, Pokemon, Portuguese, Python, Ruby (fortunately), Ruby (unfortunately), Russian, Spanglish, Spanish, Taiwanese, Telepathy, Thai, Turkish, Ubbi Dubbi, Urdu, Vietnamese, Visual Basic, XML, Y86, Yoruba, — — .-. … . / -.-. — -.. .

HEAR WHAT OUR STUDENTS THINK ABOUT DCC

Admission

Design | Cultures + Creativity seeks self-motivated, independent thinkers and provides them with an intimate community of students in which to explore, innovate, and create. DCC students are exceptionally talented, multi-faceted students with interests as varied and diverse as our student population representing 35 academic majors across campus.

Each year, DCC admits approximately 70 high-achieving Honors students to join the program. While each of the students have very individualized experiences, many students share similar traits:

Application Process

First-year applicants to the University of Maryland who demonstrate exceptional academic ability and promise are automatically considered for admission to the Honors College and to DCC when they apply by the preferred November 1 deadline. There is no separate addendum or special application at that time. Once a student is admitted to the Honors College, invitations will be extended to join DCC. For more information on the Honors College timelines please visit the Honors College website.

– Self-motivated, independent thinkers.
– A broad range of interests and activities.
– Leadership and cooperation.

– An openness to new ideas.
– Motivated to learn through experience.
– Engagement with the broader community.

 

APPLY TO UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BY NOVEMBER 1

Support DCC

DCC aims to cultivate life long learners and critically engaged thinkers who will become the makers and doers of tomorrow, able to expand our notions of human potential; not merely technologically but also socially and creatively.

Your support can help us further achieve these goals. The DCC program welcomes monetary and in-kind donations to support the overall mission and its students.

DONATE ONLINE                         MAIL YOUR GIFT (pdf)

People

Students work closely with faculty and graduate assistants in DCC. Most class sizes are around 12 students and we draw on the expertise of faculty from all across the university.

Honors Ambassadors

The Honors College is currently accepting applications to apply to become an Honors Ambassador for 2015-2016. The Honors Ambassadors are the “face” of University Honors during Open House and Question+Answer panels and participate in a wide variety of events to get the word out there about the Honors Program. If you want to communicate with potential students about how awesome it is here, this is the program for you!
For more information about Honors Ambassadors, check out the website:
http://www.honors.umd.edu/ha.php
and to request an application, email them at honorsambassadors1@gmail.com.
Applications are also available at the front desk of Anne Arundel Hall. The application window closed on October 3rd — thank you to those who applied!

The DCC Lab is run by a set of committed students that make ensure that the equipment available is well taken care of and accounted for. A lab manager is always present during the lab hours to check out equipment, provide operation instructions, and have fun with their fellow DCCers!

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The goal of the Student Council is to arrange fun events and promote community within the DCC group. We are looking forward to the the upcoming semester and the 2014-2015 academic year. If you have any questions send them an email at dccstudentcouncil@gmail.com.

DCC has had a number of distinguished faculty and fantastic staff in the past who reflect the diversity and interdisciplinary nature of DCC.

Learning

Design | Cultures + Creativity is a 2 year, 16 credit program. There are four DCC specific courses students must take (one each semester) beginning with a broad overview of how technology and society influence one another in the first semester and culminating in a capstone project of the students choosing at the conclusion of the program. Students are also required to take 2 Honors Seminars of their choosing during their 2 years in DCC as well as participate in a variety of workshops, lectures, film screenings, or working groups. Below is a brief overview of the courses.

16 credits over two years.

Year 1

Fall Semester – HDCC 105
2 credits.

Spring Semester – HDCC 106
3 credits.

Year 2

Fall Semester – HDCC208
3 credits.

Spring Semester – HDCC209
2 credits.

Any Semester

2 Honors Seminars with HONR prefix.

HDCC 105 – Introduction to Design | Cultures + Creativity

This required introduction to the Design | Cultures + Creativity program will examine the history of creative digital expression from the invention of computers in the mid-20th century through the Web 2.0 landscape of today (and beyond). This is part one of a two-course sequence that will be completed by all DCC students during their first year. You will learn to use new media technologies, explore the cultural context in which they were first imagined, and explore examples of creative works that exploit the unique opportunities the digital medium offers. Historical and theoretical insights will be applied by actively considering issues of ethics, aesthetics, and community as they are manifest in the contemporary globalized cultures of the Web, including popular social networking sites such as YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter, virtual worlds such as Second Life, computer games,and online reference tools such as Wikipedia. This will be coupled with a practicalintroduction – also to be continued in the second semester – to developing new toolsand applications for platforms such as PCs or phones or tablet computers. This team-taught course is therefore aggressively interdisciplinary, coupling hands-onexperimentation with a curriculum designed to focus awareness on the historical, theoretical, and cultural contexts in which digital creativity happens

The course syllabus can be found here.

 

HDCC 106 0101 – Digital Media and the Formation of Religious Identities

Professor: Sahar Khamis

The introduction of digital media and internet-based communication modes play an important role in both shaping, and reflecting, the formation of new identities, on so many levels, and in many regions of the world, This course focuses on the role of digital media in the formation, and reflection, of religious identities, with a special focus on the Muslim world. It will explore how different groups of Muslims use internet-based communication modes, such as discussion boards, Facebook pages, Twitter, and blogs, to interact with other Muslims, as well as with non-Muslims, and how this ongoing, interactive process continuously leads to the reconstruction and negotiation of new identity positions, whether in the political, religious, social, or cultural domains.

HDCC 106 0201 – Introduction to Time-Based Media

Professor: Krista Caballero

This course takes an arts-based approach toward the theory and practice of time-based media with particular emphasis placed on video, sound, and 2D animation. The course is designed to be an experimental space for engaging interdisciplinary and intermedia approaches of making, developing conceptual and technical skills, and exploring the use of time as a medium to shape aesthetic experiences. Alongside individual production we will examine the impact of time-based art in society through course readings, class screenings, critical discussion, and formal critiques.

Technical workshops will be offered throughout the semester including Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects, and Audacity.

HDCC 106 0301 – Gender, Race, and Labor in the Digital World

Professor: Alexis Lothian

The class will explore how the power structures of race and gender have been co-created with the development of digital technologies – even as feminist, queer, and antiracist movements have made the digital world their own since its earliest days. We’ll learn about the ways in which practices of media consumption, design, production, and critique connect privileged and disprivileged users in the US and elsewhere. We’ll look at our own position within global circuits of labor and as participants in the ways race, gender, disability, and class are represented and experienced online. And we’ll discover the practices that critical artists, thinkers, and media makers use as they work to creatively transform this unequal landscape.

HDCC 106 0401 – Users, Technology, and Design

Professor: Evan Golub

When designing, whether software or hardware, whether the goals are increased productivity, entertainment, education, art, or others it is crucial to consider the “users” of your creation. It is also important to be familiar with existing technologies as well as ideas from the past which can inform your design. The field of Human-Computer Interaction draws in researchers from many disciplines. Here at Maryland, our HCI Lab has had faculty and students from departments including Computer Science, Psychology, the iSchool, Journalism, Sociology, Business, and English. Individual project teams tend to have similar combinations of disciplines represented. These teams typically bring a wide range of background knowledge to their teams and work with “end users” who come from diverse populations such as medical doctors, children, older adults, and others. How do these teams proceed when designing new technologies for and with the people for whom the technologies are being built? If your core group is more science and engineering focused, how do you bring diverse viewpoints into a team’s work? Once you have a bold new idea or prototype or research result, how do you share it with your local community as well as broader ones? This course will explore and answer questions such as these!
For certain parts of this course there will likely be an implementation component. However, it is important to note that programming or building isn’t the “new thing” here. The focus will on the things that should be done when designing what you want to program or build. The group projects might have working prototypes as one of their outcomes, but you will find that much of the design work and brainstorming will happen using “paper prototyping” via art supplies and graphical tools such as Photoshop and PowerPoint and that much time will be spent working with potential users.
Unlike many traditional courses where there is a single set of learning outcomes expected for all students who enroll, you will find that while there are some uniform goals this course also sets different goals for you based on your background. For example, students with non-technical backgrounds may gain new insight into technology, students with technical backgrounds may gain new insight into the power of diversity in technology projects, and students with diverse backgrounds will learn how to shape them.

HDCC 106 0501 – Ephemeral, Everyday, Elusive:  Media from Parchment to Pinterest

Professor: Michelle Butler

This course invites students to think critically about media technologies in our culture and in comparison with those of the past, focusing largely but not exclusively upon medieval culture.  How do we record memories, concepts, and stories?  How did people in the Middle Ages?  What techniques are used for public ideas versus those meant for personal consumption?  Come learn the overlap between hand-copied books and texting, the 18th century equivalent of Pinterest, and whether/how personal communication has altered in the shift from letters to email.  We will consider as well the assumption that contemporary technology provides more permanent existence to even the most ephemeral, everyday elements of society than those of the past.

HDCC 208 – Special Topics in Design | Cultures + Creativity

HDCC 208F – Designing Technology for and with Humans

Professor: Evan Golub, Computer Science and HCIL
http://www.cs.umd.edu/class/fall2013/hdcc208f/syllabus.pdf

The field of Human-Computer Interaction draws in researchers from many disciplines. Here at Maryland, our HCI Lab has had faculty and students from departments including Computer Science, Psychology, the iSchool, Journalism, Sociology, Business, and English. Individual project teams tend to have similar combinations of disciplines represented. These teams also work with “end users” who come from diverse populations such as medical doctors, children, older adults, and others. How does such a diverse group work together when designing new technologies for and with the people for whom the technologies are being built? If your core group is more science and engineering focused, how do you bring diverse viewpoints into a team’s work? This course will explore and answer questions such as these!

We will explore the idea that to create a good and useful tool, you need to understand the people who will come to use it, and the tasks they want to accomplish with it. We will see that a cross-disciplinary team works best when each member contributes their unique view and skills to the whole. We will also see that to make a creation usable, you need to learn what mistakes might be common and then design to avoid them from happening. You will develop an understanding of these through the course readings, lectures, exercises, discussions, and projects.

HDCC 208G – Expanded Cinema

Professor: Krista Caballero, Design | Cultures + Creativity

With rapidly evolving digital technologies the film industry is being transformed. Smart phones, motion capture, 3D as well as the proliferation of web series, and ‘appisodes’ are changing how we look at, create and experience movies and television. This seminar will explore the theory and practice of how these new technologies are expanding boundaries of the moving image and how this is reflected in society. In addition, through hands-on, experimental and collaborative projects, the course will include a practical introduction to video production and editing.

As a class we will critically screen and discuss “movies and art of influence.” Experimental film, web series, video art, and installation will be considered in tandem with more traditional forms of narrative and documentary cinema. While not a historical survey or a traditional film appreciation course, key films and videos have been selected that serve as an introduction to major themes within cinema. The first half of the semester will focus on notions of “expanding perspectives” considering topics related to authorship, truth, identity and politics. The second half will be dedicated to “expanding screens” or how artists and filmmakers are experimenting with new models of dissemination, participation and installation.

HDCC 208I – Digital Culture and Material Culture: The Middle Ages as Case Study

Professor: Michelle Butler, iSchool

In the Middle Ages, a well stocked personal library would contain twenty or thirty volumes. Now the internet has made access to information fast and easy, and the scope of information available is staggering. With a simple series of key stokes we can call up a wide range of information about any subject we like. The Middle Ages, for instance. Web sources allow us to quickly locate information about medieval literature, history, and culture. The possibilities seem endless. But are they?

In this course we will interrogate the potentials as well as the limitations of text-based learning, both web-sourced and via traditional books, through the lens of medieval literature, history, and culture. We can learn a great deal from web sources – when we can trust them. How do we determine whether a web search yields reliable information? What aspects of medieval culture can we grasp sufficiently through digital and print sources, and which elements are enhanced through experiential, material methods? We will read medieval literature such as Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, learn about medieval history through both primary and secondary sources, and experience medieval culture through food, clothing, language, and objects.

HDCC 209 – Practicum in Design | Cultures + Creativity

In small, seminar-sized groups, students will meet regularly with a project advisor in a research practicum that culminates in a research project or major creative effort. Multiple seminar offerings will be available.

Honors Seminars

In addition to the 4 DCC specific courses, students are required to take two Honors Seminars on a any of the topics offered with the HONR prefix. A list of the classes available through the Honors College can be found here.

DCC Capstone Project

The DCC Capstone Project is the culmination of 2 years of work in DCC. Students will spend the Spring Semester of their second year working on a project of their design that engages with DCC’s curriculum, challenging students to think outside disciplinary boundaries, take creative risks, and approach problems from multiple perspectives. This project begins in the fall with students creating a proposal of their project similar to any proposal that they would write for a professional research grant they may apply for in the future. The template can be downloaded through this link: Capstone Proposal Template (.docx)

Internships

Our students have interned at some amazing places, including:

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • DoD
  • NASA
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Federal Reserve
  • IBM Corp.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Northrop Grumman
  • John Hopkins – Applied Physics Lab
  • The Daily Record
  • Johnson and Johnson

Living

https://youtube.com/watch?v=bDK0w9v1SaE

Timelapse of Prince Frederick Hall created by Brian Bock, DCC Zeta Class member.

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Events

august, 2016

Sort Options
28aug8:30 am- 9:30 amOrientation Breakfast
28aug9:30 am- 2:30 pmDCC in DC
29aug5:15 pm- 8:30 pmDCC Carnival
  • September, 2015
    • DCC CARNIVAL
    • Design Camp: Intro to Programming
    • Talk on Location-based Storytelling using Mobile Technology
    • Design Camp: Mobile Game Design
    • Design Camp: Music Composition
    • Design Camp: Arduino
    • Design Camp: CAD

  • October, 2015
    • Design Camp: Scalar
    • Design Camp: 3D modelling and Printing
    • Design Camp: Mobile Interface Prototyping
    • Multisensory Dining Event
    • Design Camp: Roblox
    • DCC Open Mic

  • November, 2015
    • Design Camp: Adobe Premier Pro
    • Design Camp: Adobe Illustrator
    • Design Camp: Open Source and Internet Anonymity
    • Design Camp: Photoshop
    • Design Camp: Digital Forensics

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