16 credits over two years.
Fall Semester - HDCC 105
Spring Semester - HDCC 106
Fall Semester - HDCC208
Spring Semester - HDCC209
2 Honors Seminars with HONR prefix.
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.
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.
Information technologies have woven themselves into the fabric of our everyday lives, so much that we often call our digital era the "Information Age." While the concept of "information" has been around for millennia, there are profound shifts happening in the ways we think about and practice information in our digital society. In this course, we begin by defining the "Information Age" in a historical context to then analyze the shifting concept of "facts" with the rise of big data. Throughout the course, we will look at the impacts of particular modes of information exchange on issues of identity, community, and our interactions with the world. Using examples such as the exponential growth of Facebook, anonymity and "catfishing," the inequalities of access and uses of digital media, we will explore the ways that certain practices with digital media are encouraged, promoted, or taken as commonsense. We will then look at the material nature of these digital technologies, analyzing topics such as the physicality of the internet, how the design metaphors of these media impact the ways we think about our world, the causes and results of peer-to-peer file sharing. We conclude the course by looking at the connection between our everyday physical spaces and the emergence of ubiquitous/mobile computing that now give these spaces new meaning and context.
HDCC 208F - Designing Technology for and with Humans
Professor: Evan Golub, Computer Science and HCIL
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.
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.
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.