Course Syllabus

If you are not present on Zoom on the first day of class for Design 166, faculty assume that you have decided not to remain enrolled. It is your responsibility to drop the class. This is the official policy of the School of Art + Art History + Design due to extremely high demand for Design courses. No exceptions.

Questions & Advice for Des166: 


Zoom Information

Lecture: Mon and Wed, 2:30-3:50 pm

New Zoom Link:

Critique: Fridays, 8:30–9:50am (AA, AC, AE) and 10-11:20am (AB, AD, AF)

(Note: instructors will rotate sections for each Project, i.e. roughly every 3 weeks.) 

Updated for Project 3:

James Pierce Critique Sections (AE+AF):

Eason Yang Critique Sections (AA+AB):

Rebecca Rhee Critique Sections (AC+AD):



Jayme Yen, 
Office Hours: By appt. Wed 5–6 pm and Thu 12:30–1:30pm
Sign up by leaving a comment on this Google Spreadsheet
(Zoom info is on the Google Spreadsheet)

James Pierce, 
Office Hours: By appt. Wed 4-5 pm and Thu 2-3 pm. 
Sign up by leaving a comment on this Google Spreadsheet
(Zoom info is on the Google Spreadsheet)

Teaching Assistants
Rebecca Rhee: 
Office Hours: By appt., Mon/Wed, 4:30-5:30 pm
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(Zoom info is on the Google Spreadsheet)

Eason Yang: 
Office Hours: By appt., Mon/Wed, 1:30–2:30 pm
Sign up by leaving a comment on this Google Spreadsheet
(Zoom info is on the Google Spreadsheet)


Class Emails and Announcements

Anyone in the class is welcome to email the entire class using this email: 

Instructors will primarily use Canvas Announcements to communicate important information. Please have your Canvas alerts turned on and remember to check your email inbox at least twice each day in order to stay up-to-date.


CLUE Session (optional)
Hours: Tuesdays, 6:30-8:00pm  
Undergrad tutors: Ashten Alexander and Yuna Shin and Min Jung Koo
During this optional time, students can work with each other and/or undergraduate tutors. This is an ideal time for brainstorming and informal critique. Note: no CLUE session during first week of the quarter; no CLUE session during finals week. To present your work, sign up on this Google spreadsheet


Post-Critique Friday study hall (optional)
Hours: Fridays, 1–2 pm 
Undergrad tutors: Ashten Alexander and Yuna Shin and  Min Jung Koo
During this optional time, students can review the feedback they received during critique with each other and/or undergraduate tutors.


Discord Group (optional)

Anyone in the class is welcome to join this optional Discord group by clicking on this link:  [new link as of 4/16] 

Please use your official UW name (on our class list) to join. We will delete names that are not on our class list. The purpose of the group is to provide a venue for students in the class to meet and talk to each other about DESIGN 166. For example, you can ask for critique, offer to share materials, etc. Please be kind and courteous to each other in the group. Posts with swearing/four-letter words and/or hate speech or bullying will be deleted. We will also delete sales promotions and self-promotions. 


Course Description

This course introduces students to fundamental issues in both two- and three-dimensional design. 
At the conclusion of the course, students should:

  • Know how to make effective two-dimensional and three-dimensional compositions
  • Understand the ideal relationship between form, function and content
  • Understand the value of a thorough design process where multiple ideas are explored
  • Be able to discuss, analyze and critique two- and three-dimensional design work
  • Gain insight into design as a profession.


How the Course Works

Mondays + Wednesdays: Twice a week, the entire class meets for an 80 minute session. Faculty and TAs will introduce and assign each project, and will discuss design theory, practice and history as it pertains to the projects. Students will complete short exercises, quizzes and writing assignments. Students should be prepared to be called upon to discuss and critique their own and other students’ work.

Fridays: Once a week, six sections of 20 students each meet for a single 80 minute session. Faculty and/or teaching assistants will lead group discussions to analyze student work; we rotate through all sections throughout the quarter. Be prepared to present your ideas and respond to others with constructive criticism.

Note that we do strive to give all students feedback, but due to time constraints, not all work can be discussed in-depth. You are expected to learn from the overall discussion (i.e., when analyzing other students' work) and apply general concepts to improve your own project. Please note that only work that is posted online at the START of the session will be critiqued; we plan the discussion around the quantity of work submitted, and students entering late cannot take time from students who were on time and ready with their work. 


Course Calendar 
Click here to view the course calendar
Note that both the syllabus and calendar are subject to revision by faculty and TAs as needed.


UW Policies
Please read these official policies of the UW School of Art + Art History + Design as well as these additional policies here:



The past 12 months (and counting) have been extremely challenging, as we continue to teach and learn in a 100% online environment. We ask you to try your best in the course and to be flexible as situations arise. Please be kind, patient, and supportive when working with each other both during class (lectures, critiques) as well as outside of it (study sessions, Discord chats, office hours, emails). If you’re in need of additional support, please note that UW has increased their mental health support for students: 

You will derive the greatest benefit from this class if you remain alert and interact with faculty and your classmates.
We know that Zoom fatigue is a very real thing, and that being online isn’t necessarily conducive to high levels of verbal participation. We’ll use breakout rooms and Zoom chat/poll features to try to have as much interaction during class as possible. Please do feel free to interrupt, speak up, comment, and make suggestions!

If your internet access allows, and you are comfortable with it, please keep your video cameras on so that we can see and communicate with humanity. Being able to see the faces in our audience has a positive impact on the strength of our teaching. 

In the event that you need to miss class, please let faculty/TAs know as soon as possible via email. We do understand that students may have unexpected illnesses or personal emergencies. However, please be sure to have at least two other student colleagues in the class who you can contact (via email and/or text) to review any missed discussions or assignments. Because this is a large class and we receive many emails, it's best if you can first watch the class recordings, acquire notes and materials from a classmate, then email faculty and/or TAs with any remaining questions.

Note that this is an experiential design class, and as such, there is no single required textbook for the course. There are required readings posted on the course website, but the majority of information is covered in lecture and critique—and learning is the result of class interaction. Therefore, your participation in both lecture and critique is vital to your learning and will be recorded and counted as a significant portion of your grade. 

In addition to the links at the top of this page (under "Questions & Advice for Des166", we strongly suggest you review these PDFs with further advice from previous students: 


As in any art or design course, grading is subjective. Your final grade is based on the quality of the final projects, your design process, and your class participation, as assessed by faculty and TAs. We do try to be as transparent as possible about our judgement, and to explain our assessment with logic and factual reasoning. However, in cases where students and faculty/TAs disagree about the merits of the submitted design work, the faculty/TA view prevails.

The final grade is composed of the following percentages:

  • 81.25%: Projects 1, 2, and 3 (final work) 
  • 6.25%: Critique Participation (attending Friday section) 
  • 6.25%: Lecture Participation (completing in-class quizzes, weekly reading quizzes) 
  • 6.25%: Canvas Participation (submitting in-progress work, tutorials, add'l assignments)


All assignments that are submitted on Canvas should be submitted on the due date as shown. 

  • Late assignments that are submitted within the same week as the original due date will receive partial credit (50% point deduction).
  • Late assignments that are submitted after the same week will not receive any credit.
  • Lecture/in-class quizzes submitted after the deadline will not receive any credit. 
  • We will make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. We do understand that students may experience personal emergencies and/or internet outages. However, we encourage you to plan ahead and submit work well in advance of the deadline if possible. 

At the conclusion of the quarter, a grading curve is applied. 
The class average is generally a 3.2 to 3.3. 


Students who excel in the course and earn a 3.7 or higher (the top 10% of the class) will be given the option of direct entry into the sophomore level of the design curriculum, bypassing the Design Major Admissions Review. More information on the Design Major Admissions process is here:


Academic Honesty and Plagiarism
We expect all students to follow the highest standards for academic integrity.
Students may report suspected cheating to faculty and TAs via email.

Examples of cheating and plagiarism in DESIGN 166 include (but are not limited to):

  • Exact copying of someone else’s design—from a website (Pinterest), book, magazine, or other reference.
  • Using another person’s photographs, drawings or illustrations in your projects. You may NOT use stock photography or creative commons material (for example, icons from The Noun Project). Your 166 projects must be made ENTIRELY BY YOU during this quarter.
  • Allowing someone to complete a quiz, in-class exercise or project for you, or completing a quiz, in-class exercise or project for someone else.
  • Attempting to alter a grade on a project after it has been returned to you.
  • Attempting to alter a project for regrading/grade dispute after it has been graded.

Getting help is not cheating or plagiarism. For example, you are encouraged to:

  • Ask someone to suggest improvements to your project, then act on those suggestions.
  • Ask someone to help you with a digital or manual technique that could improve your project.
  • Discuss your project with other students and brainstorm ideas.
  • Look at other design work to analyze how and why it works or does not work.

We do encourage you to look at design work in order to get general ideas that you substantially adapt. Designers do commonly get “inspired” from other designers’ work. The key is to make any design idea your own through substantial adaptation. For example, it’s perfectly fine to see a pattern of dots on something—a dress, a painting—and be inspired to use dots on your own project (a book cover). However, the book cover should use those dots in a unique way. The dots should not be a mirror image/exact copy of the original inspiration.

Process for Addressing Academic Misconduct
If faculty and teaching assistants in this class suspect design plagiarism, we will ask the student to produce early sketches, process development and original artwork that substantiates their claim of authorship. (Note: in some cases, students do coincidentally come up with the same idea as another designer/student).

Depending on the original artwork produced by the student, faculty and TAs may:

  • Accept the project as submitted.
  • Give the student the option to redo the assignment without penalty.
  • Give the student the option to drop the assignment and allow their final grade to be determined by the remaining course work.
  • Give the student an ‘F’ or zero for the project.


If faculty and/or TAs are unable to determine the best course of action, they will refer the matter to the Dean’s Representative in the UW College of Arts & Sciences: 

For more information on academic dishonesty and plagiarism, please see:


Software, Equipment, and Material Supplies



For our class, you must complete tutorials on the design software you plan to use. 

Note: Be sure to back up your work! Please back up your digital files every time you work. You may use USB sticks, external hard drives, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. Keep at least one copy on a tangible device in your physical possession to prevent issues associated with lack of server access or server failure. All projects are due on the dates listed regardless of technical failures and/or computer emergencies.


  • You will need a camera for Projects 1 and 2 (as well as for documentation of Project 3). Ideally this would be a digital SLR or a point-and-shoot camera. (Here’s more information about the difference between the two:
  • You can borrow cameras, laptops, webcams and wifi hotspots from the Student Technology Loan Program (STLP). Equipment reservations are currently open: (Note that equipment other than laptop and tablet computers may be checked out starting the second week of the quarter.)
  • Aside from the STLP, check with family and friends to see if you can borrow their camera.
  • A recent camera phone is also acceptable for Projects 1+2. Please double check that it’s capable of taking high-resolution images. (For example: A 2017 iPhone has a 12 megapixel rear camera which creates high resolution photos of 300 pixels-per-inch (ppi) at 10x13 inches.) 


Material Supplies

For Project 3 (which begins May 10) your main project material will be corrugated cardboard. If your space allows, we highly recommend you begin collecting cardboard boxes for this project at the start of the quarter. We will post a list of craft tools shortly after the quarter begins, and you’ll be able to find most of them (such as X-Acto knives, 18” rulers, cutting mats, etc) at Artist & Craftsman, the UW Bookstore, or another local arts and craft supply store.



For the third project we strongly suggest that you read Structural Packaging: Design Your Own Boxes and 3D Forms by Paul Jackson. Previous 166 students said that this book was so helpful it should be required rather than optional. You can also access the free online version of the book if you login through UW Libraries: 


Course Summary:

Date Details Due