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Week Six Goals

We live in a world where we are surrounded by design — signs, posters, book covers, advertisements, company logos, clothing. It’s almost impossible to look around the room you’re sitting in in now and not see 100 example of designed elements or objects.

When done well, good designs can be incrediby effective ways of communicating meaning — and telling stories.

While we can’t become graphic design experts in a week, we can learn a little about what goes into good design and start creating our own designs.

Daily Creates

Assignment: Daily Creates

This week, make sure you complete the Daily Create for Tuesday, the 20th as well as two other prompts. 

Todays TDC

#tdc2259 Stack it up as high as you can

Find something that has a lot of parts. Legos come to mind. See how tall you can build your whatever-materials-you-have-found before it collapses. Take a photo of your tower or, better yet, make a stop-motion video of the building of your tower. Bonus points for using fruits and veggies. Triple bonus points if you stack cats.

Considering Design

We’re going to start this week by looking some videos and resources related to desing. First up, is this video of Paula Scher (a graphic designer known for her famous album covers, the Citibank logo, and more)  presenting at the Serious Play conference in 2008. Watch this and consider Paula’s examination of how we can remain playful in the work we do.
Next, login to and explore their Design Essentials tutorials (start at the bottom of the page and work your way up). Pick at least seven of the tutorials that are on topics unfamiliar to you or that you want to learn more about and complete them (they don’t take long).
q Information

You’ll need a free account in order to complete these tutorials. You should also return to Canva as one option for completing your design assignments this week (detailed further down this page).
Next up is a TED talk from David Carson, a sociology turned designer. Carson’s designs are eclectic and often break the rules. How does his work compare to Scher’s and the design concepts introducd in the Canva tutorials?

Assignment: Design Reflection

You’ve looked at two videos from different designers (who engage in very different kinds of design) as well as some basic resources to learn the elements of design .How do these three resources influence your own approach to tackling design work this week?  Which resonated with you the most any why? Did any of them seem to contradict each other? If so, what do you make of that?


We will be completing a DesignBlitz this week. It’s similar to the PhotoBlitz we did two weeks ago, but instead of taking photos to address particular prompts, we’ll be looking for designed objects in our lives that embody particular design principles and sharing those.

Before you begin, review 8 Basic Principles of Design from the Adobe Web site. Some of these should be familiar from the videos and tutorials you’ve already looked at. Faimiliarize yourself with the 8 concepts.

Assignment: DesignBlitz

Carry your camera with you this week and take photos of objects, ads, signs, etc. that illustrate at least five of the eight concepts listed below (from the Adobe article):

  • Alignment
  • Hierarchy
  • Contrast
  • Repitition
  • Proximity
  • Balance
  • Color
  • Space

Share your photos on Instagram using #theend106 #ds106 #designblitz and share your experience completing this assignment in a post on your blog.

Design Assignments

It’s time to start working with design. Complete the design assignments below. As you’re working, refer to the Design Resources page for links to tools, resources, and inspiration.

Assignment: Alternative Book Cover

Complete the Apocalyptic Alternative Book Cover assignment from the ds106 Assignment Bank, by creating an alternative cover for the book you’re reading for class.

Assignment: Character Design

Complete the Apocalpytic Character Generator assignment from the Assignment Bank. 

Assignment: Choose Your Own Design

Complete at least 6 additional stars of design assignments from the Assignment Bank. Make at least three of them relate to your new character.

Survival Camps,  Participation, Evidence Hunting

This is the week when we need to organize into groups to survive what’s coming. Spend time reading your classmates #mycharacter tweets in which they shared their introduction to their character (HINT: if you never wrote this tweet, you might want to do so now). Think about what characters would work well in a group with your character.

Then, go on Slack and start reaching out to your classmates to form groups. I will give everyone until Sunday at midnight to self-organize. After that, I’ll assign characters to groups.

Groups may not be more than five individuals or fewer than three. When you’ve chosen your final groupmates, one person in the group send me a direct message on Slack with the names of the members.

Assignment: Survival Camp Organization

Form a group with at least 3 but no more than 5 other classmates by Sunday, January 18 at midnight.

Assignment: Participation

Participation is an ongoing, conitnuous activity in this class. Are you reading your classmates posts? Are you commenting? In addittion to aggregating all the posts on the class site, I’ve begun to aggregate all of the comments across all of your sites. Here you can easily check on your own commenting activity as well as activity on each site. Find sites that haven’t had much comment love and make them feel wanted!

Assignment: Evidence Hunting

I’m not saying their’s evidence hidden in the HCC related to the strange visit I had last week and a possible infection that’s spreading, but you never know.

Question of the Week

Group dynamics can be tricky.
What’s been the most succcesful group you’ve been a part of and what made it work?

Weekly Summary

Assignment: Weekly Post

Make sure you’ve completed all the assignments above. Write up your weekly post by Monday at midnight. Remember to refer to The Guide for Writing Blog Posts for tips on how to write our weekly posts! 

Weekly Checklist

I had a request in self-evaluations to provide a checklist at the end of each week that lists the work of the week. Here you go:

  • 3 Daily Creates (including Tuesday, the 20th) completed on the day the prompt comes out
  • Reflection post on the two TED videos and the tutorials
  • DesignBlitz completed and reflection post about it
  • Alternative Book Cover assignment
  • Character Design assignment
  • Six stars of additional design work, at last 3 of which related to your character (help me find my hat!)
  • By Sunday, choose your survival camp; one member private message me on Slack with list of names 
  • Comment and participate!
  • Keep your eyes open for evidence. . .
  • Publish your weekly post by Sunday at midnight!