309: Syllabus

STC 309:  Independent Design in Engineering and the Arts

STC 309 is a new course offered as an independent study to students who have completed STC/EGR/MUS 209 (Transformations in Engineering and the Arts) or STC/THR 210 (Storytelling with Technology for Performance).  STC 309 students will enhance their understanding of and leverage more deeply the concepts, connections, and skills that were introduced in STC 209 and 210.  Students may continue their STC 209/THR 210 projects or initiate entirely new design work.

Course goals:  The central goal of the course is to facilitate independent thinking and creativity in design that draws from synergies at the intersections of technology, storytelling, engineering and the arts.  Students will create as engineer-artists and artist-engineers, integrating artistry and aesthetic sensibility with systematic thinking and design.  Students from all backgrounds are welcome to engage at the intersections of these creative disciplines.  Students will develop their abilities to pose questions and to define the means to experiment with and explore those questions through their independent design work.  Building on content knowledge and skills gained during STC 209 or STC/THR 210, students will engage in projects that explore design in various contexts (in the visual arts, in structure, in code, in music, in movement, etc.) and apply this understanding to critique the work of their peers and to inform their own designs.  Students will continue to work on open-ended, interdisciplinary design projects, and to work collaboratively in groups.  Students in STC 309 will have the opportunity to interact and engage with students in STC 209.

Course themes:  In STC 209, “transformations” provide a framework for exploring and connecting visuals, sound, structure, and movement as well as light and text. For example, students are challenged to design transformations from one medium to another, such as from sound to visuals or movement to sound.  In STC/THR 210, theater and performance provided a framework for storytelling and exploring how technology can work in service of storytelling.  These themes of transformations and storytelling will serve as an underlying framework for STC 309 to catalyze student work.

Course Logistics:  STC 309 is open to all students who have completed STC 209 or STC/THR 210 in a prior year. Class will be held Mondays 1:30 to 4:20 pm. The location is still TBD.

Course Requirements: Design projects may be proposed by the student or may be selected from suggestions by faculty.  Project proposals will be submitted to and discussed with the faculty early in the semester.   Students will be expected to report on and present on their progress at midterm.  A final written report and an oral presentation, demonstration or workshop that engages visitors in the completed design project will be required (schedule below).


2/13       Submit a proposal and pick a faculty advisor   
2/20       Midterm prototype presentations
2/27       Midterm project due and presentation of midterm project
3/13       Final project proposal due and select same or different faculty advisor
4/3         Final project work-in-progress presentations
4/24       Final project prototype presentations
5/8         Final project presentations