Building Resonance (echo) by Benjamin Gale-Schreck

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DESIGN 488 B: Professional Practices

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 4:50pm
ART 236
Christopher Ozubko
Christopher Ozubko

Syllabus Description:

Design 488 | Preparation for Professional Practice   3credits | pass/fail
2018 Autumn Quarter  3.30-4.50p | Tuesday + Thursday

Professor Christopher Ozubko |

Office hours: Mondays 1.00–2.00pm | Art building room 253 | Green Door


Syllabus Des488 | Autumn 2018.pdf

Schedule 27 Sept | Autumn 2018.pdf

Course overview

This course will focus on planning for a successful transition from academic life into professional practice as a working designer. Invited speakers from professional design practice will play a key part in panel discussions in this class.

Please note that this class will not just focus on creating a portfolio & website.

We will cover methods for effective job-hunting, job interviews, portfolio presentation & related skills. Assessing and understanding your personal strengths, weaknesses and objectives as you enter the job market are important elements to reflect upon.

Additionally, we will discuss the nature of the professional design industry: what are the pros and cons of working for a design firm, as a freelancer, as a consultant, or as an in-house designer? Are internships necessary? What broader roles can the designer play? What about setting ethical boundaries on the work that you do?

Your personal branding and completion of a portfolio targeted to your specific career goals in preparation for a job interview is an important aspect of this class. Your employment objectives will be reflected by the development of a comprehensive job search plan. Weekly discussions will focus on project compatibility, portfolio design and personality, photography of 3-dimensional projects, career destination, financial planning,  job hunting strategies, information resources, letters and resumés, arranging & handling interviews, professional protocol, salary negotiations, and other topics relevant to getting a job. Other topics will include current business practices, design trends and changes taking place in the industry, ethics, freelancing and self-promotion.

This class will prepare you to get the most out of the Design Career Fair to be held at the beginning of Winter quarter 2019 on Friday 25 January.

Learning objectives

Through this course you should:

• Learn from design professionals about the practice of design, and what they look for in a designer

• Refine skills for effective job hunting, including presentation skills, writing and speaking about your work

• Learn about different working models within the design world

• Develop plans + goals for entering the design profession and pursuing a career path suited to you and your work

Final deliverables & expectations

There is no ‘final’ for the class, but the upload of all materials to Canvas, and packets of print materials dropped off outside my office, is due no later than 4.30p Tuesday 11 December.

You must submit the following:

Résumé + Business card:

This must include your website url. Your website must be live.

Sampler pdf portfolio:

5-to 8-page pdf, 8.5x11 (or similar), showing two to three projects, which you could email to introduce your design work.

Sample cover letter (for a job application):

on letterhead that matches your resume/ buscard format. This should be addressed and targeted to a real studio or firm where you would be interested to work.

Sample thank-you response (after interview):

on letterhead or notecard format that matches your résumé/ buscard format. This should be addressed and targeted to a real studio or firm where you would be interested to work.

This course will consist of a seminar and studio format and will involve critiques sessions. The design of your portfolio materials will require independent development and will parallel the work in your other senior studio classes. Active participation in class, in particular during panel discussions with outside guests, is critical to evaluating your performance.


School of Art+Art History+Design Class Participation, Engagement, and Learning Policies   

Classes offered in art, art history and design require students to be engaged as active and verbal learners in order to successfully complete the course. In addition to completing assignments and exams our expectation is that you will consistently participate in the classroom and studio during class time. It is this consistent participation and contribution to discussions, critique, gallery exhibition activities, team projects, and presentations of your research with faculty and peers that guarantees your learning, contributes to your academic accomplishments, and supports your professional goals after graduation.

Evaluation criteria | Comprehensive assessment

• Developing and refining an effective set of materials to promote yourself as a designer, including

  understanding your weaknesses and addressing them effectively.

• Effective oral and visual presentation skills.

• Personal development: self-motivation, researching, pushing personal and creative boundaries.

• Class participation and contribution, especially in forum sessions with invited guests.

• Completion of required work on schedule.

This is a three-credit course, taken as pass/fail (credit/no-credit) therefore participation in surveys, and 100% attendance for all assigned sessions is mandatory. More that 2 inexcusable absences will result in no-credit.

Student responsibilities

If you are ill you should arrange with a classmate to find out any assignments in order to keep up with the class. If you must be absent (legitimate excuse), please email me, or if this is not possible, see me at the next class meeting. An excusable absence will not affect your grade, but it is your responsibility to get assignments and to bring complete work and research on time. No ‘incomplete’ grade will be given except in a case of incapacitation or other extraordinary circumstances.

Learning environment

Be respectful to your colleagues. Please don’t eat during class as this can be distracting and disruptive. Clean up your space after class. Please turn off cell phones before class begins. Laptops are for classwork only. No surfing, e-mailing, texting, Instagram, or Facebook during class, or lectures and forums. In forums, please take notes by hand. For written communication practice good email etiquette with formal salutations to instructors and colleagues, written in proper English without acronyms or abbreviations. Use your UW email account and include a signature block.

Access + Accommodations

UW Disability Resources for Students ( offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. If you have already established accommodations with DRS, please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course. If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary or permanent disability that requires accommodations (this can include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or When you contact DRS, the DRS office will work to establish reasonable accommodations for you through an interactive process between myself, you, and their office.

After-Hours Access to the Art Building

For after-hours access to the Art Building, please bring your Husky Card to the Art Advising Office (RM 104, Open M-F, 8am-4pm). Student cards will be swiped, and you will receive an access sticker for your Husky Card. Access is instant after swiping. Access will be removed at the end of the year.

UW SafeCampus

Preventing violence is everyone’s responsibility. If you are concerned, tell someone.

Violence Awareness/Prevention


1. Download the SafeZone app from your app store.

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—Always call 911 if you or others may be in danger.

—Call 206-685-SAFE (7233) to report non-urgent threats of violence and for referrals to UW counseling ( and/or safety resources (

—Don’t walk alone. Campus safety guards can walk with you on campus after dark. Call Husky NightWalk @206-685-WALK (9255) or the shuttle/NightRide program:

—Stay connected in an emergency with UW Alert by registering your mobile number at to receive instant notification of campus emergencies via text/voice messaging. For more information, visit the SafeCampus website at

Catalog Description: 
Focuses on developing the tools to create a successful transition between academia and professional practice as a working designer. Credit/no-credit only.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:11pm