Industrial Design undergraduate student work

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DESIGN 365 A: Developing Solutions in Design

Meeting Time: 
TTh 12:30pm - 3:20pm
ART 207
Joint Sections: 
ART 360 A
Dominic Muren
Dominic Muren

Syllabus Description:


A photo of an artist made tent near a building entrance. The tent is made of white plastic, has round windows and a tube coming out of its top and going to the exhaust vent of the building.

Micheal Rakowicz paraSITE. 1998 - ongoing. Plastic bags, polyethylene tubing, hooks, tape. Various urban sites in New York City, Boston and Cambridge MA, Baltimore MD, Chicago

Welcome to RADICAL MAKING: Reconnecting Post-industrial Manufacturing to Nature, Culture, and Community!

“It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what descriptions describe descriptions, what ties tie ties. It matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories.”

― Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene


This joint studio class, co-taught by IVA and Design programs, considers experimental and conscious ways of making for the 21st century. Students may enroll in the ART or in the DES section, depending on their individual credit needs. Course content, assignments and grading are identical, meetings will be held jointly. 

Classrooms: art207 (home base, making projects)

Additional studios: Advanced Concepts Lab + Wood shop + Link space + Loop space

Meeting times: TTh 12:30-3:30


Dominic Muren (he/him)

Associate Teaching Professor, Industrial Design and Interaction Design, Division of Design


Timea Tihanyi (she/her)

Teaching Professor, Interdisciplinary Visual Arts, Division of Art

Week by Week Schedule of Topics and Assignments is to be posted


Course Description

The class is built around two central questions: 

How do we, as artists and designers, bring artifacts into the world that are both physical and social? 

And how does culture arise from these products of artistic and design production?  

Our course considers making as RADICAL because we acknowledge that creating is an entangled web of ideological and material/skill-based considerations, which connect to how we see ourselves in the world and how we acknowledge other actants, both human and non-human. We will see how individual and communal production originate from these considerations and how the process and products of making come to form the basis of cultures. 


This course is co-taught by the Interdisciplinary Visual Arts program and the Design program. 

The Art and Design course numbers have identical content, assignments, and grading rubrics. 

Students can expect teamwork in addition to the pursuit of their individual research directions under shared guidance by both instructors. 


Class meetings consist of discussions, short lectures, skill-building workshops in various making studios, team check-in times, instructor consultations, and some work time. Outside of class meetings, additional work time and team interaction can be expected, including one Saturday field trip in early October. See Tentative Course Schedule for details. 

Course fee of $50 is used to invite speakers, to provide access to some of the workshops and some basic materials for the class to use. Please expect $10-40 additional materials cost, depending on your project. 

Course Goals

  • Gather a toolkit of making strategies through practice and experimentation.
  • Practice problem solving while conceptualizing, designing and building an artifact for each project.
  • Understand the artifact’s life span from cradle to cradle, including its resources/materials, tools and processes, its use, repair, and possible obsolescence.  
  • Share your knowledge. Develop your ability to work as part of a team. 
  • Discuss, evaluate, and critique existing models of radical making. Conceptualize viable alternatives and guiding principles. 




Artist/Designer Examples

Theaster Gates

Lily Hope

Neri Oxman

Cecilia Vicuña

Thomas Hirschhorn

Hella Jongerius

Campana Brothers

Michael Rakowitz

Amy Franceschini

Andrea Zittel

Ronald Rael


Project Descriptions

Project #1: Feeding the Body, Feeding the Soul, Building a Culture

In this project, students focus on a single edible ingredient from the farmers market. This ingredient is a material resource. Our goal is to understand where this material resource comes from and how it was produced.

Students will interview the grower/farmer at the market and will prepare a simple recipe for a communal dinner held at the Intellectual House. It’s a good opportunity to think about where our food resources come from, how food/cuisine is part of one’s heritage and food creates culture. 

Deliverables: story of the ingredient (PDF of 1 page paper based on the interview) + 1 simple dish for the communal dinner prepared with the ingredient from the market. 


Project #2: A Cup, a Napkin, a Spoon: Cultural Meaning and The Material Intelligence of Everyday Objects

Now that we have traced the history of material resources, students will be paired up to design and produce a prototype of a functional object. Choose one of the 3 types: a cup (vessel), a napkin/tea towel/furoshiki (linen), and a spoon (utensil/tool). The main focus of this project is on a conscious design process that considers materials, which may be natural or man-made. Students are asked to consider their chosen materials from as many angles as possible, thinking across geographies, cultures, time periods, crafting and making practices, use-values, environment impacts, etc., exploring both poetic and mundane potentials of these materials. 

Deliverables: 1 object prototype + visual story of the object's development: inspiration, cultural and material connections, including cultural and natural history of the material resources used (PDF of 3-5 pages, use template provided. Templates are gathered at each assignment check-in point.)


Project #3: Creating RADICALLY

Working in teams of four, the students will leverage their research and material experimentation knowledge from previous assignments and will design and test an entire functional ecosystem of making. 

Utilizing a deeper understanding of the complexities of making, the project’s goal is to create a novel system that considers relationships of MATTER, PROCESS, and COMMUNITY. In other words, we are considering not only what is being made, but also how it is being made, used, and disposed. 

Students are asked to document the entire life cycle of the project from research and inspiration to material tests, to broader environmental, social, cultural implications of their work. Field test on a smaller scale and envision your product's impact on a larger scale. Note: Teams may use any techniques of documentation (product photography, rendering, animation, AI, poetry, audience surveys, etc.) to visualize and present this ecosystem, including highly speculative ones.

Deliverables: Documentation of your speculative or actual ecosystem of RADICAL MAKING (presented using sketches, prototypes, material tests, visual/video/sound/data charts/etc.) in 2 formats:

1. PDF for an in-person Oral Presentation (8-10 image heavy slides, with some captioning on the main points) to the class. This document is image driven, will need to be accompanied by your explanation. Due: Dec 5th in class;

2. PDF of a DIY Manual (8-10 pages, including images and descriptions that explain the project to outsiders) for online distribution. This document needs to stand on its own, without further explanation. Due: Dec 14th. Please print one hard copy for the Final Makers Faire. 

3. Prototype + various kinds of tangible materials from your project + one hard copy of the DIY Manual for the Final Makers Fair. We will collect this DIY Manual for the Design and IVA program archives. It will be reshared with students in future classes. 



We are planning to use the following studios and sites as our workspaces:

  • SOA+AH+D Woodshop
  • SOA+AH+D Advanced Concepts Lab (3D printing, laser cutting, CNC machining)
  • IVA LOOP Space (3D printing, looms, sewing and tufting machines)
  • Intellectual House (kitchen)
  • UW Center for Urban Horticulture, the UW Farm, UW Greenhouses and Medicinal Herb Garden
  • U District Farmers Market (Saturdays 9am-2pm)
  • Beacon Food Forest
  • Optional studio spaces (please make your own arrangements)
    • UW Makerspaces (3D printing, laser cutting, computer embroidery, etc...)
    • 3D4M Ceramics and plaster studios
    • 3D4M Metal shop


Learning Goals and Requirements in the Skill-Building Workshops

Each type of "a la carte workshop" (e.g. woodshop, advanced materials lab, sewing, etc.) will be offered once or twice during the quarter. Each student is required to select and take at least 3 different workshops from these options. The workshop itself teaches the basic equipment use and safety. At the end of the workshop, participants fill out user acknowledgement and safety quizzes, which will allow them to use the shop and the tools on their own. Students without workshop user acknowledgement and safety quizzes are not allowed to use the shops for making. 

Guest artists workshops are for the whole class. There is an expectation that each student will pick up skills useful in current and upcoming projects. 

Workshop skills may be used in either of your projects, including team projects. Additional tutorials and demos are available upon request. Please plan ahead and contact instructors/technicians early. Expect extra time for scheduling and getting help. 


Readings will be from the following books

Bennett, Jane. Vibrant Matter : a Political Ecology of Things. 2010. Duke University Press.

Haraway, Donna. Staying with the Trouble : Making Kin in the Chthulucene. 2016. Duke University Press.

Adamson, Glenn. Fewer, Better Things : The Hidden Wisdom of Objects. 2018. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Art Library Resources
Research is hard! Whether you’re completely new to art research or have experience, the library is
here to help at any stage. Have a library question? Ask Us via our 24/7 chat service!
UW Libraries Undergraduate Research Tutorials
UW Library: How to Cite & Write About Art (includes recommended, easy to read books on
the topic available at the Art Library)
UW Libraries Odegaard Library Writing Center
Make a research help appointment with the Art Librarian


Art Building After Hours Access
● The Art Building is open from 8 AM to 6:20 PM on Monday through Friday.
● After Hours building access for students via Husky Card may be requested by completing a
form available on the school website

● Student can rent lockers for $12/quarter to store their tools, supplies, work in progress, and personal items.
● Students can pay for lockers using husky card or credit/debit card via the School’s online
storefront and should visit ART 102 to get their locker assignment finalized.


Voicing A Concern
● At some point in your experience as a student in the School of Art + Art History + Design, you may have a problem that requires help. Please see
for guidance
about whom to consult in different situations.


Student Health + Wellness Resources
● UW Counseling Center offers multiple options for students seeking help coping with stress
and mental health concerns. Open M - F, 8am - 5pm. Contact: 206-543-1240

● SafeCampus is dedicated to supporting anyone at the UW dealing with potentially dangerous situations including, but not limited to: resolving conflict, addressing prohibited behaviors, suicide / self harm, relationship violence. Contact SafeCampus with any issues of concern 24/7 at 206-685-SAFE

● Urgent Help Options for mental health are available to students through UW and
several off-campus organizations:

● Call 911 in emergency situations. 


Disability Accommodation
To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Student
Disability Services, 011 Mary Gates Hall, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY) or prior to the
first day of class. After requesting your accommodations with SDS, instructors receive an email outlining your academic accommodations. Please discuss these directly with one of us to ensure that we can help you with your needs.

Religious Accommodation
Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student
absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized
religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is
available at Religious Accommodations Policy. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (


If you have any questions or concerns about the class, its content or your progress, please schedule a time via email to talk to one of us. 

If you need to miss a class meeting, let both of your instructors know as soon as you can. Offer a plan to make up lost course work and catch up. 3 or more absences could be severely impacting your progress in the course. There is no make up for lost in class participation. 

If you need an extension on an assignment or a homework exercise, reach out to let us know. Reasonable time extension requests are being honored. 

Please be aware that late assignments without prior agreement result in point deduction, -2points/day. 


Protecting yourself against Covid

  • Stay home from class if you are sick, including with respiratory or COVID-19 symptoms, and follow the UW COVID-19 public health flowchart.
  • Take a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms or have been exposed. Rapid tests are available for free on UW campuses, and can be ordered at no cost through a federal government program. Both rapid and PCR tests are also available locally.
  • Stay up to date on recommended vaccines. This includes the updated COVID-19 vaccines and your annual flu shot. If you are at risk, talk to your health care provider about the new RSV vaccines. The UW will be offering COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots for students and personnel. Information about the vaccine clinics can be found on the COVID-19 vaccination webpage. Vaccines are also available at UW Medicine and local clinics and pharmacies.
  • Face masks are currently optional in most settings. Use common sense when you are being exposed but asymptomatic or when in large group indoor settings. 


Plagiarism is using the creations, ideas, words, inventions, or images of someone else in your
own work without formal acknowledgement or permission. This applies to written papers and
research as well as to art, design and architectural images. Please check with one of us if you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism.
More information about reporting academic misconduct:


Class Participation
First day policy: Instructors assume that if you are not present for roll call on the first day of a
studio art class you have decided not to remain enrolled. If you miss the first day without
permission, it is your responsibility to drop the course. You may contact the instructor in advance
and ask for permission to be absent on the first day.
Participation is essential to learning and success in all classes. If you miss class due to illness
or emergency, notify your instructor and set up a timeline to complete missed assignments and


For the complete list of SOA+AH+D Policies please see this document: Policies 2023-24.docx

Catalog Description: 
Revolving topics class that concentrates on learning in specific areas where design can be used to resolve contemporary issues.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
May 22, 2024 - 4:54am