︎Back to Design Issues
Spring 2021  ︎ SUNY Purchase︎(DES3240) Design Issues

Project: Responses & Notes


For each of our readings, we’ll select  four people to do a response about a portion of it. On a practical level this is to avoid tests and quizzes, and to help structure our discussions.  On another level, it is to merge or at least, place in proximity, your personal aesthetic and written voices.

For most classes we’ll meet in four 40 minute blocks with ~4 people in each group. As such, it is critical that you complete your work for the class in time, if you’re having an issue please let me know in advance enough that I can plan around it and let other people know.

For each reading you’ll have to upload notes even if you’re not doing a response, this is just so there’s a better chance of people having involvement in the discussions and because inevitably people can find a way to get lost in the mix.

Requirements for Responses

  • Your response text (not neccesarily the designed or final version of it) must be uploaded on Monday (by 11:59PM would be ideal, but if you need to upload it later that’s fine).
  • Please make the text of your writing such that I can add comments to it.
  • You must do (at least) 3 responses throughout the semester.
  • Your response must be at ~1000 words. 
  • It must be designed and typeset in some way.
  • Your designed response must be a .PDF or include some documentation if it takes another form (for example a screen recording if you do a website).
  • You must also submit the text of your response as an .rtf, .txt, .doc, or .pdf.

Requirements for Notes

  • Your notes need not be designed, but please write in full, intelligible sentences that give some idea of your attempt to track the contents and your interpretation of the piece.
  • Give context, within the piece for your notes. For example put a quote and then your thoughts on it, add a time code and then your response to what is happening, or a page number.
  • You must also submit the text of your notes as an .rtf, .txt, .doc, or .pdf though I am open to options like those below.
  • If you are doing something like printing a reading and heavily annotating it such that it would satisfy this, please make sure you are able to scan or photograph your notes such that 

No Shuriken Mode Challenges

  • Take a stance on a subject you disagree with, come into class in costume and read your response in character. (Not as a troll, try to invest in the character component of it)
  • Outside of the responses, do a response to someone’s response.
  • Make a “lyric video” or kinetic text motion design piece featuring part of your response.


  • Avoid summary ︎Give your response the time it needs to gestate, give context for your thoughts but avoid summarizing to the point where it approaches filler. Assume that people have done the reading but might have forgotten some of it, not that they are aliens who have never seen a video on the internet before (on the extreme other end of the spectrum. 
  • Consider transitions rather than summary ︎ If you feel yourself using summary to fill space, or have trouble knowing how much context to give, or just feel your word count is too low, try to transition between paragraphs with a segue. “And that leads me to my next point...” or “In speaking about x, we should consider how it effects y, because y is also important to...”
  • It is okay to exaggerate your opinions/arguments (in writing) ︎ It’s fine to just hunker down on an opinion to make it more vociferous and clear. I would avoid, in writing saying things like “I mostly agree,” say things definitively.
  • Incorporate other (non-design) content ︎Use a conceit or extended metaphor to frame your opinion (i.e. “workaholism is like grinding in World of Warcraft because...”). Use this to help people understand where you are coming from, to make your point more salient or to provide a counter argument in an interesting way.
  • The reality of your time and how you utilize it︎This is to say, if you really want to focus on the writing, or know you’ll need the time for that it’s okay for your design to be simple, but it should be considered. It’s also totally fine to set up a template that you modify it for responses.
  • Your voice︎This is not a writing class. You do have access to the Learning Center, but please write in a way that feels natural and true to you. I will give you feedback on your writing, but you won’t lose points for your writing unless it is, say, totally incomprehensible.


︎Back to Design Issues