Friend of the lab Matt Pavesich, Associate Teaching Professor in English and Associate Director of the Writing Program here at Georgetown, is offering a new course this spring that builds on the project-based studio pedagogy employed in previous flagship Ethics Lab courses:

This class is an experiment. We’re going to test a new kind of class at Georgetown — a class in which the students, you, will receive course credit for working on a project that you’ve dreamed up, that you’d like to work on if you had time, but sadly will have to leave forgotten on the shelf because you’re at Georgetown — you don’t have the time.

After an introductory unit, intended for us to create a shared ethos and group dynamic, each of you will pursue your own individual communication and design projects. Our meetings will have a common thread — a little reading about communication design in the 21st Century and discussion — but most of our shared studio time will consist of working alongside each other, bouncing ideas around, conducting critiques (“crits”) of our work, and making substantial progress on a project personally important to you.

We will consist of two subgroups, the 305s and the 105s. 305s are students, sophomores and above, who have already worked in one of Georgetown’s studio-ish courses: University as a Design Problem, the Studio Collaborative, Introduction to Design, and so on. 305s will begin the semester with a working proposal and/or prototype of a project, and their semester’s work will be to take it to completion. They will also serve as mentors to the 105s.

105s are interested in design work and its methods, as well as communication generally. They have not taken part in the curricular experiences that 305s have; this will be their first studio class. They will likely not yet have a proposal for a project; their semester’s work will be to conceive of a communication design project, to research it thoroughly, to write an extended proposal for its completion, and to create a rough but working prototype.

Admission to the class will be based on your application: please email Prof. Matthew Pavesich with a brief statement of the project you would like to pursue this semester (approx. 300 words). This project may be one you have begun in a prior class or another forum, or it may a project you have not yet begun. Please also indicate whether you’ve participated in any of Georgetown’s design or studio-related courses or projects (the Red House, the Studio Collaborative, a UNXP course, etc.). Design experience is not required for admission.