Final project grading rubric

Total of 140 points are possible.

Organization and Content (20 pts)
Did the project deliver complete creative, narrative and live performance components?
Is the content clearly written and free of typographical errors?

Creative Component (40 pts)

Does the creative component offer a polished aesthetic experience?
Does the project give us a new and compelling vision of a future world?
Does the project demonstrate a clear, understandable and effective design aesthetic/philosophy?
Is the creative component designed so as to easily facilitate the user experience (i.e. does the project layout and/or interface focus attention on the most important creative elements of the work)?

Narrative (40 pts)

Does the story make sense?
Does it draw the reader in?
Does the project effectively invite readers into your dream of a potential future?
Do the creative and narrative components work well together to create a heightened sense of believability?

Live Performance (40 pts)

Does the performance effectively introduce us to the dream you have prototyped?
Was the performance polished and focused?
Did the performance make effective use of the time allotted without running over time or ending too early?
Did the performance deepen or enhance our understanding of the story?

Prototyping Dreams: Final Project Proposal

Overview

This assignment will lay the groundwork for your final independent project in the class. The proposal lays out a plan of attack for your final project, demonstrating that you have thought through an idea, come up with a compelling narrative and developed a plan for how to complete the work.

You may complete the final project on your own or in a team with up to 3 members. If you form a team you need to make that decision before the Final Project Proposals are due. Also, groups need to submit a one-paragraph document explaining how they divided the labor for the final project. Each group member must contribute to each component (below).

Structure

The proposal will have two components:

Creative Component

A conceptual blueprint of your artistic idea (this is your technology that you’ve been working on). This can be a series of sketches, a written description, a literal blueprint or some other kind of early-stage rendering that clearly shows what you are hoping to accomplish. (~2 pages of material)

Written Outline

A written outline (2-3 pages) that includes:

  1. A description of the story you will be creating alongside your creative work
  2. 1-2 paragraphs on influences and related work. Cite sources using MLA style.
  3. A brief timeline for how you will get everything finished on time

Evaluation

This project will be evaluated alongside your final project, with a combined value of 25% of your final course grade. Therefore it is important that you invest your time early on in creating a strong proposal so that the final outcome will be well thought out. You will be evaluated on several criteria.

Organization and Content

Does the project include each of the sections described above under Structure? Is the content clearly written, free of typographical errors and correctly cited?

Critical Thinking

Does this proposal define a clear and intellectually rigorous approach to the final creative project? Does the proposal offer a clear view of how the project relates to similar work done by others?

Design & Creative Thinking

Does the proposal describe a final project that is creative and exciting? Is this project something that the author can reasonably be able to accomplish in the final few weeks of the semester?

Deadline

The final draft of this assignment is due before Noon on Monday, November 16 via CritViz

Additional Resources

MLA Style

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/05/

Example Works Cited

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/12/

Prototyping Dreams: Final Project
Overview

This is your final project in the class: an opportunity to prototype a dream of your own. Show us how you have synthesized the ideas we have discussed over the past three months and applied them to your own creative process in creating a vision of the future. Your final project will include a creative component, a written narrative and a live performance in class. The three components should work together to create a single compelling experience: a tangible or visceral glimpse of your dream for the future.

You may complete the final project on your own or in a team with up to 3 members. If you form a team you need to make that decision before the Final Project Proposals are due. Also, groups need to submit a one-paragraph document explaining how they divided the labor for the final project. Each group member must contribute to each component (below).

Structure

Creative Component
The creative component will deliver on the promise you made in your proposal. Your creative contribution does not have to follow the plans you laid out in your proposal exactly—it is ok to adapt and improve your project. But your creative component must be a finished, standalone piece of work. Your audience must be able to experience your creative project as a complete aesthetic experience (i.e. a fabricated object, a short film, a diorama, etc).

There are no rules about precisely what form the creative component must take except that it must be self-sustaining: it should work without you standing there playing/running/explaining it. You may choose to submit one or more digital files or a physical object. If your project requires instructions for how to load or play your project, make sure to include those instructions.

Narrative Fiction
The narrative component will build on the outline you created in the proposal to give your final object a story or a narrative frame. Use the story to help us understand this object as a visitation from some future world. This narrative is longer than any we’ve assigned in class so far: use the extra length to tell a deeper story with multiple “acts” or stages.

Length: 2000 – 3000 words
Format: Double-spaced, numbered pages.

Live Performance

Each final project requires a 5 minute performance. This cannot be a standard presentation describing your work. Be more creative! Your performance must incorporate the creative component and the narrative somehow (i.e. acting out the narrative and using the object as a prop, or projecting digital images of your object, etc). You must present live, in person, with all members of your group involved.

Be sure to practice your performance beforehand for timing and technical problems. 5 minutes per project. You can load your presentation on a DC laptop and plug it into the overhead projector.

Evaluation

The final project (including the proposal and the components in this document) is worth 25% of your final grade in the class. The live performance is worth 10% of your final grade in the class.

Your final projects will be evaluated on several criteria:

Organization and Content
Did the project deliver complete creative, narrative and live performance components? Is the content clearly written and free of typographical errors?

Creative Component
Does the creative component offer a polished aesthetic experience? Does the project give us a new and compelling vision of a future world? Does the project demonstrate a clear, understandable and effective design aesthetic/philosophy? Is the creative component designed so as to easily facilitate the user experience (i.e. does the project layout and/or interface focus attention on the most important creative elements of the work)?

Narrative
Does the story here make sense? Does it draw the reader in? Are the stakes of the narrative high enough—do we care how things turn out? Does the project effectively invite readers into your dream of a potential future? Do the creative and narrative components work well together to create a heightened sense of believability?

Live Performance
Does the performance effectively introduce us to the dream you have prototyped? How does the performance enhance or deepen our understanding and experience of your idea? Was the performance polished and focused? Did it make effective use of the time allotted without running over time or ending too early?

Deadlines

Proposals: Mon, November 16 Final project proposal and experience blueprint (turned
in via CritViz) – you will draw on your work on the experience map and prototype blueprint here.

Workshop: Monday, November 23 Rough draft of presentation and prototype (brought to class)

Performances: Mon, November 30 and Wednesday, December 2
Final materials submitted no later than 11 p.m. Wed, December 2

Helpful information on the DC labs

You do not have to use the lab tools – it’s reasonable to build a carved styrofoam or popsicle stick or fabric prototype. It’s also fine to work with the tools you have on your personal computer if that suits you and your project. That said, these resources are available for those who would like to use them.

Please respect these spaces and the equipment therein – food and drink should be kept away from sensitive equipment and students are responsible for the equipment they are working with.

The FabLab is located just at the end of the hall outside of our classroom.

Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. M-Th and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Fri

What’s available: Sticker machine, vinyl cutter, laser cutters and 3D printer. Unless you are familiar with 3D printing, please stick to the first three. Please plan to use the lowest cost materials possible, for the the laser cutter that means cardboard and equal to or smaller than 24 x 18.

Tutors/Guides: Yes; they suggest coming in with an Illustrator or PDF file of what you’re hoping to cut.

Appointments: Yes.

Other info: during busy times cuts may be limited to 30 minutes and the last cut is 1/2 before close of the lab.

The Media Lab is B135 – just around the corner from our classroom.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. M-F and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sat

What’s available: computing stations with most of the software you could hope for, laptops available for check out with same software, digital cameras for both still and video, projectors, microphones, kinect for motion capture, lighting + more.

Tutors/Guides: in the lounge during tutoring hours (check the door outside of B102)

Appointments: no – all use is first come, first served and there are no timeouts.

Toward the Final Project

Mixed Reality Prototype

The prototype should consist of a physical part for allowing the tactile and ergonomic evaluation, a rendering of the aesthetic appearance, the simulation of the interface and of its functions, an interaction based on touch

It should also include a narrative component that further fleshes out the prototype as it would be after full production and that crafts a compelling story about what the technology does

The first step: blueprint to your mixed-reality prototype + experience map (due Wednesday 10/21 by 11 p.m.)

  1. Schematic/draft/drawing of what you want to build

– should include a sketch of the object

– notes regarding features/components   (including materials!)

2. Experience map: A graphical representation (a drawing/map) of your evolving transmedia story. This should include the object and its relationship to the narrative – how will reader/participants engage? Story first? Object first? Please note that this is the first step toward the larger transmedia final project and should extend well beyond the blueprint of the prototype.

– a sense of the temporal relationship(s)between components
– a list of the materials that you’ll need for your full transmedia story presentation

Second step: First iteration of physical prototype and explanatory narrative, which is different from the “experience map” and more like the short narrative that went with your digital object (due Wednesday 10/28 in class)

Third step: Final iteration of physical prototype and explanatory narrative (due 11/4 in class)

Once we move into the final project/presentation section you will write up a short proposal for the larger transmedia experience, which must include the narrative + one other element (can be either from “pixels” or from “plastic”). 

Travel Guide Writing Assignment

Assignment: Write a travel guide piece that takes place in the world that you’ve imagined in the previous work thus far. The piece should be roughly 500 words. Due via CritViz before class on Wednesday.

Travel guide tips: Readers need to know where the story is based, who it concerns, how action unfolded, etc. The Travel Guide piece is meant to be yet another window on the world you’re imagining, but told from a point of view that is different from that of your first story. The stakes and location may be the same, but both the objectives of the piece and the perspective are different.

Imagine that you’re writing about your techno-world for a travel magazine – among the elements to be included:

  • The Lead—snappy opening to attract reader interest
  • Where—the place, grounding the reader in geography
  • When—the season, grounding the reader in time, climate
  • Who—introduce the writer, to identify with the reader (this can be you or a fictional authorial persona)
  • Why—reason for the trip, the motive, draws the reader into the story
  • How—the process of travel unfolds
  • What—the story details, quotes from people in the place, anecdotes and facts
  • The Conclusion—wraps up the article, perhaps linking ending to lead

While the Lead and the Conclusion should come in their relative spots, you need not write the piece in this order. It’s more a checklist of elements to include.