In Graphic Design Inquiry we focused on developing a reflective critical design practice that challenged the status quo. For the purpose of our class, the status quo was defined as using design to solve consumerist problems. In this course we worked together to define each student designer as an individual, often by asking the probing question, "why?" We then worked to see how the individual fits into the larger system of design and how design fits into the world. This was rapid-fire 8-week inquiry that challenged student designers to create design work that asked questions of a consumer society, rather than provide a definite answers to design problems. 
Project 1: Instinct
What are design instincts? This project will helped establish a baseline understanding of student design instincts. They were asked to create something in response to an intuitively picked, unknown stimuli (which in this case was a rock with a randomly generated text-based fortune.) Students were able to choose how they made this project and were asked to create something from their visceral reaction.
Adapted from Instinct by Rachele Riley, University of North Carolina—Greensboro
Project 2: Translation
Translation is an exercise in endurance.  For 8-weeks, students created daily short exercises that allowed them to experiment with different concepts and ways of making. This project is about evolution over-time and allowed students to challenge their visual instincts. Students chose a single, regularly updating, Twitter feed and were asked to visualize the Tweets in surprising ways, taking no more than 20 minutes per day.
Project adapted from Visual Translations by Laurel Schwulst, Yale University
Project 3: Mystic
Mystics lead people to spiritual revelations. A guru in their own right, they serve as guiding lights in leading people to their own personal truth. In critical design, the mystic isn’t a person, but rather a philosophy. This philosophy shapes the way students critically evaluate information, providing a set of criteria to guide all of their further inquiries. It’s about the student's ethics. This project will help them discover what inspires them and how they can leverage that to make their work meaningful, both personally and culturally.
Students were asked to create a video or animation and corresponding poster that addressed five distinct areas. These areas included the students inspirational inquiry, its relationship to graphic design, the audience, the overall intention of the work, and what questions it was asking. 
Project 4: Myth
Mystics lead people to spiritual revelations. A guru in their own right, they serve as guiding lights in leading people to their own personal truth. In critical design, the mystic isn’t a person, but rather a philosophy. This philosophy shapes the way students critically evaluate information, providing a set of criteria to guide all of their further inquiries. It’s about the student's ethics. This project will help them discover what inspires them and how they can leverage that to make their work meaningful, both personally and culturally.
Students were asked to create a video or animation and corresponding poster that addressed five distinct areas. These areas included the students inspirational inquiry, its relationship to graphic design, the audience, the overall intention of the work, and what questions it was asking. 
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