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Spring 2021 ︎︎︎ CUNY Queens College ︎︎︎ (ARTS395) Senior Capstone

What is Senior Capstone?


The terms for the project are not determined by the department, they are dictated by me. That being said I am setting the terms; it is your project and your responsibility to develop but I reserve the right to approve your idea or strongly suggest changes if your idea doesn’t seem feasible in the a lotted time, or is not ambitious enough.

I would generally think about it on two axes (that may be related). I went to undergraduate and graduate school and many people do not use their degree. You may not want to “design graphics” you may be forced into this degree by family circumstances. On the other side of the coin, you may be already applying for jobs that may be in your field but may ultimately be not what you want to do which is fine and valid. Regardless, view this project as potentially the last opportunity to do whatever you want on your own terms.

The focus on this project will be a large part of this class (more than half the work should be related to it). As such the accumulation of these projects will comprise a significant component of your final grade, though I’m not placing any special grading emphasis or weight on the final project itself. This is partly because I am new to the process specifically how it goes down at Queens and because the planning, research and idea generation are as important as the production and execution.

Your project should be

Ambitious, a summation or showcase of the skills accrued at Queens (this mainly means even if you are making a video game you will be critiqued on your typography), something that could attract attention from potential employers or from luminaries in the industry or culture at large (ie virality), and able to withstand sustained conversation, criticism and investigation and your own interest for a semester.

Your project will involve

    • Proposing ideas that will be whittled down
    • Determining and considering your audience
    • Presenting your final proposal to the class
    • Creating a timeline with deliverables for your project
    • A storyboard /animatic /wireframe or other preliminary version of your work.
    • Presenting an initial version of your project that is ready for changes and critiques
    • Outputting the deliverables for your final project
    • Producing a “post-mortem” report on what worked and didn’t and what (if anything you might change
    • Determine ways you might package and promote your project

Some suggestions for your Senior Project

    • A 50-75 page magazine based on a fictional or forthcoming brand. The magazine has ads based on brands that your friends or colleagues have created.
    • A “gallery” of 30 posters on a related theme that you can experience through AR or virtual reality (made in Unity or something like that) 
    • A completed prototype and all possible screens and menus for an IOS/mobile app.
    • A font or typeface with a concept related to an area of interest for you. You might for example, make a variable font that changes shapes based on writing systems native to the places your parents are from.
    • A game design document for a video game. Showing 3D models of characters, a comic outlining the narrative and mockups of the options menus and different play scenarios.
    • A documentary featuring your typography, motion graphics and animation interviewing people about their psychological/ spiritual relationship to COVID.
    • A five-minute animation about kids who can turn into dragons to serve as a pilot for a more fully realized project.
    • A 100-page book showcasing the writing you recently uncovered from a relative who was estranged from your family. You might also interview other people in your family about the relative.
    • An album & music video for your a band you are in who recently found out a workflow to make music during the pandy.

Related Work

For next week (02/17/2021)

    • Propose 10 different ideas for your Senior Project.
    • They can be related (ie 10 different video games or ways of presenting them, 10 different poster serieses, etc).
    • Write at least 3 complete sentences for each. Make sure there is an area of idiosyncracy or “personal flair” or something to make it your own (ie rather than “A design document for a video game” you might write “a design document for a game based on my experiences with anxiety”).
    • It doesn’t need to be psychological or force you to be vulnerable, but generally avoid the generic.

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