Creative Computing

Parsons School of Design
School of Art Media and Technology BFA
Communication Design
Creative Computing

PUCD 2035; CRN 3645
Fall 2017
Tuesday, 0900 to 1140
63 Fifth Ave, Room: 622

Nitzan Hermon

Course Description

Creative Computing is designed to introduce students to programming as a creative form of communication. The coursework focuses on a utilitarian vocabulary, the various tools and syntaxes used to publish websites. Students will experiment with various media formats, tools, and approaches – learning to evaluate their effectiveness when combined. An emphasis is placed on typography, and typesetting in the context of screens.

Learning Outcomes

By the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

W D Activity Assignment
W1 8.29 Intros, set up, logistics domains, Slack, server, Hello World
W2 5.9 General and single purpose tools, ENIAC, Shannon, and binary information Narrow Tools (in class)
W3 9.12 Intro to HTML, intro to CSS (class, IDs etc), core states (hover, down) work in class
W4 9.19 Writing HTML 1 Writing HTML 1
W5 9.26 Writing HTML 2 Writing HTML 2
W6 10.3 Typesetting CSS typesetting critique and improvements
W7 10.10 Intermediate CSS (core properties) work in class
W8 10.17 Advanced CSS (layout) vertical rhythm
W9 10.24 Responsive (core concepts + experimentation) smartphone version of a previous site
W10 10.31 CSS animations art animations
W11 11.7 Intro to JS semantic interaction (in class)
W12 11.14 Sound sound and text (in class)
W13 11.28 Accessibility screenreader tests (in class)
W14 12.5 Work Session
W15 12.12 Critique and summary final project: self summary

Narrow Tools (in class)

Find an example of a narrow tool (digital or analog) which performs only one task. That could be an umbrella, pen or a calculator. Write a couple of lines about your tool, and be ready to share those later. In groups of 3 - 4 design a new system that uses everyone's tools and renders value ( = is actually useful for other people). You can use yourselves to fill the gaps between what the tools can do. Sketch a flowchart of your system, and present that to the rest of the class.

Writing HTML 1: due 9.18

Find a newspaper and write an article in HTML, make sure you include at least 5 micro formats.

Writing HTML 2: due 09.25

Write 1 more newspaper article in HTML and link create at least 5 hyperlinks between the articles.

Typesetting CSS: due 10.2

Find a piece of text online (500 to 700 words), critique and improve its typesetting. You will need to present your work.

Vertical Rhythm: due 10.16

Pick a graphic poster (Swiss, or otherwise) and translate it to a CSS composition (only for desktop). Extra Kudos for not using images. Examples:

Semantic interaction (in class)

Pick a body of text of your choice, design and code it on a single desktop page. Then add 3 different JS interaction, that are driven and informed by the actual meaning of the text.

Art Animations: 11.6

Pick one of Josef Albers' interaction of color artworks, code it and then create 3 different CSS animations (at least one based on user interaction).

Sound and text: in class

Crate a set of sound based on interactions with a textual composition.

Screenreader test: in class

Write a page in HTML and in pairs present to a classmate, based solely on screenreader. Ask your classmate a question based on the text. Tweak and repeat until your page is accessible via screen-readers.

Final: Self summary: due 12.11

Write a summary of everything you learnt in the course, make sure to link to at least 4 external resources you used, and at least 2 videos. Design that into a responsive page.

All assignments need to be submitted in Canvas no later than 8pm of the due date.

Attendance and participation 50%
In-class and Take-home Assignments 40%
Final Assignment 20%
Total 100%

Recommended Reading:

  • Nature of Technology, W. Brian Arthur
  • End of Average, Todd Rose
  • Detail In Typography, Jost Hochuli
  • Interaction of Color, Josef Albers
  • Typographic Systems of Design, Kimberly Elam
  • The New Typography, Jan Tschichold

  • Grade Details
    A+ Work of exceptional quality, which often goes beyond the stated goals of the course
    A– Work of very high quality
    B+ Work of high quality that indicates higher than average abilities
    B Very good work that satis es the goals of the course
    B– Good work
    C+ Above-average work
    C Average work that indicates an understanding of the course material; passable 1
    C– Passing work but below good academic standing
    D Below-average work that indicates a student does not fully understand the assignments; Probation level though passing for credit
    F Failure, no credit
    W The grade of W may be issued by the Office of the Registrar to a student who officially withdraws from a course within the applicable deadline. There is no academic penalty, but the grade will appear on the student transcript. A grade of W may also be issued by an instructor to a graduate student (except at Parsons and Mannes) who has not completed course requirements nor arranged for an Incomplete.
    Z The grade of Z is issued by an instructor to a student who has not attended or not completed all required work in a course but did not officially withdraw before the withdrawal deadline. It differs from an “F,” which would indicate that the student technically completed requirements but that the level of work did not qualify for a passing grade.
    I The grade of I, or temporary incomplete, may be granted to a student under unusual and extenuating circumstances, such as when the student’s academic life is interrupted by a medical or personal emergency. This mark is not given automatically but only upon the student’s request and at the discretion of the instructor. A Request for Incomplete form must be completed and signed by student and instructor. The time allowed for completion of the work and removal of the “I” mark will be set by the instructor with the following limitations: work must be completed no later than the seventh week of the following fall semester for spring or summer term incompletes and no later than the seventh week of the following spring semester for fall term incompletes. Grades of “I” not revised in the prescribed time will be recorded as a final grade of “WF” by the Office of the Registrar.

    Divisional, Program and Class Policies


    Students are responsible for all assignments, even if they are absent. Late assignments, failure to complete the assignments for class discussion and/or critique, and lack of preparedness for in-class discussions, presentations and/or critiques will jeopardize your successful completion of this course.


    Class participation is an essential part of class and includes: keeping up with reading, assignments, projects, contributing meaningfully to class discussions, active participation in group work, and coming to class regularly and on time.


    Parsons’ attendance guidelines were developed to encourage students’ success in all aspects of their academic programs. Full participation is essential to the successful completion of coursework and enhances the quality of the educational experience for all, particularly in courses where group work is integral; thus, Parsons promotes high levels of attendance. Students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly and in compliance with the standards stated in this course syllabus. While attendance is just one aspect of active participation, absence from a significant portion of class time may prevent the successful attainment of course objectives. A significant portion of class time is generally de ned as the equivalent of three weeks, or 20%, of class time. Lateness or early departure from class may be recorded as one full absence. Students may be asked to withdraw from a course if habitual absenteeism or tardiness has a negative impact on the class environment. Whether the course is a lecture, seminar or studio, faculty will assess each student’s performance against all of the assessment criteria in determining the student’s final grade.


    Use of Canvas may be an important resource for this class. Students should check it for announcements before coming to class each week.


    In rare instances, I may be delayed arriving to class. If I have not arrived by the time class is scheduled to start, you must wait a minimum of thirty minutes for my arrival. In the event that I will miss class entirely, a sign will be posted at the classroom indicating your assignment for the next class meeting.

    Electronic Devices

    The use of electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, etc.) is permitted when the device is being used in relation to the course's work. All other uses are prohibited in the classroom and devices should be turned o before class starts.

    Academic Honesty and Integrity

    Compromising your academic integrity may lead to serious consequences, including (but not limited to) one or more of the following: failure of the assignment, failure of the course, academic warning, disciplinary probation, suspension from the university, or dismissal from the university.

    Students are responsible for understanding the University’s policy on academic honesty and integrity and must make use of proper citations of sources for writing papers, creating, presenting, and performing their work, taking examinations, and doing research. It is the responsibility of students to learn the procedures specific to their discipline for correctly and appropriately differentiating their own work from that of others. The full text of the policy, including adjudication procedures, is found at Resources regarding what plagiarism is and how to avoid it can be found on the Learning Center’s website: [http://](http://

    The New School views “academic honesty and integrity” as the duty of every member of an academic community to claim authorship for his or her own work and only for that work, and to recognize the contributions of others accurately and completely. This obligation is fundamental to the integrity of intellectual debate, and creative and academic pursuits. Academic honesty and integrity includes accurate use of quotations, as well as appropriate and explicit citation of sources in instances of paraphrasing and describing ideas, or reporting on research findings or any aspect of the work of others (including that of faculty members and other students). Academic dishonesty results from infractions of this “accurate use”. The standards of academic honesty and integrity, and citation of sources, apply to all forms of academic work, including submissions of drafts of final papers or projects. All members of the University community are expected to conduct themselves in accord with the standards of academic honesty and integrity. Please see the complete policy in the Parsons Catalog.

    Intellectual Property Rights:

    1. Satisfactory completion of a course is considered to be a grade of C or higher ↩︎