multimedia @ VU
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talk show tell print

2010 / guest(s) / PDF

visual design 2011 -- TINAG / aesthetic(s)

art(s) / poet(s) / screen(s) / story / game(s) / display(s) / scenario(s) / challenge(s) / if you want theory, challenge us ...

first lecture: tuesday 1 februari, 15.30-17.15, WN-M607


As in 2010, Federico Campanale will be guest lecturer, to have a solid link with artistic practice. Also, we will have Victor Onstein, who is among other things interested in color. There will be contributions from Timen Olthof, who will discuss aesthetics, and likely talk about Kandinsky's ideas about spirituality in art. Guest speakers will include someone from and very likely Roderic Evans-Knaup who will speak about Alternate Reality Games.

Clearly, this is not a theoretical course, eventhough topics such as visual semiotic(s) and interactive visualization are warmheartingly recommended. So, if you insist, challenge us and we will see what comes out. And with Timen on board, you may be surprised.

As last year, presence at the lectures is obligatory. If you miss any lectures, or for that matter any of the deadlines without a good reason, you're out.

suggestion(s) -- inspiration(s)

  • see below under target(s) -- or set your own target
  • visual activism -- when nobody listens, or reads, and so much annoys you, what is more appropriate ..
  • (y)our story -- using (interactive) video, see
  • anything else?

what shall we do this year?

Thinking about the design course 2010, I wondered (again) what should be the focus. With visual activism as one focus, intervention and subversion might be another one, understood as making us surprised by (y)our interpretation of reality, as reflected in color(s), sound(s), impression(s) and (aesthetic) interpretation(s).

Now, thinking about visual design, first of all, although it is useful to explore the notion of visual identity, it is more worthwhile to explore and find inspiration(s), that stimulate you to be creative and authentic.

selected project(s)


Although the course is called visual design, I wish to emphasize the overall focus on aesthetics, and although many students would like to have clear guidelines in this respect, such guidelines are to my mind not only impossible, but even not desired, on further reflection, as I have argued in media/12.4.

Furthermore, even as an artist you have to learn the craft, and as such I would like to make a plea for flexibility and unity. In the meantime, you are encouraged to (ab)use this course for improving your skills with common tools such as photoshop, keeping in mind though that for interactive applications realism is not all.

random thought(s)

These reflections lead us to formultate the (strongly) recommended final assignment:

suggestion(s) -- interactive storytelling

As a possible suggestion for this assignment the technology to be used might be the XIMPEL player. An interesting alternative is, for example, unity!

The topic of the interactive application is totally free, that is it may be a personal story, a visual love poem, but also a commercial item selling a product or service in a multimedia-enhanced way, or an interactive museum/art application.

For the final assignment you are encouraged to work in groups, to obtain a result that may qualify for international competition(s).


To avoid any misunderstanding, the construction of a portfolio is an essential element of visual design. Your portfolio should reflect your visual identity, as well as give (sufficiently) clear information about your designs and the ideas underlying it. Also the study done for the essay must, one way or another, be incorporated in the portfolio.

You are encouraged to include meaningful decoration(s) in your portfolio page(s).

One final thing, there is a restriction on imitation(s). We can not stop you from being inspired, and copy. But you can improve on yourself, by digesting the material and rephrase or paraphrase it in your own words and images. And, you should know, this transcends the discussion of copy right&left! Not to mention plagiarism. Does that make sense?

A. Eliens (9/11/10)

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