LAR 2XXX Graphic & Illustrative Communication Technologies
CRN XXXXX | Spring 2020
Burruss 122 | M 6-8:30 p.m.
Sara Lamb, MLA, CELA
Landscape Architecture Program – 0190
Student Hours: MW 2-5 p.m. or by appointment
I believe that students learn best through active participation and through the completion of projects—in other words, learning by doing. This course is designed to introduce students to graphic & illustrative communication technologies, and as the instructor, I can only teach through leadership and demonstration. Students must meet me half way by accepting the challenges, spending time in the software figuring out how to use it, and coming to class each week with in-progress work for critique and troubleshooting.
I also believe that we learn best when we are interested in and excited about the projects we are working on. So for this course, each project will have guidelines and parameters, but the topics will be broad enough that each student can pursue the type of design work they intend to practice upon graduation. I believe your course work should work for you, so by the end of the term, each student will have produced 5 portfolio-quality projects that they can choose to include in their design portfolio.
Diversity & Inclusion
My philosophy is to be a resource and a guide to all students who come to me to further their education. Therefore, all who enroll in this course are welcome. My classroom is a place for discourse and learning and together, we will create an environment that is respectful and secure for all individuals.
When this class starts, remember, we are all strangers who share a common goal. We may all be different, but we have more in common that unites us than our differences that divide us. We are on a journey together. We will get to know each other and learn from each other during this term. If each student approaches this course with openness to learn and is driven to work hard, then they will be received with equal enthusiasm and support from me and their peers in this course.
One of my goals for this course is to expose you to a broad range of scholars and content creators. If there is someone significant in our discipline that you do not see represented or discussed, I welcome your suggestions.
Clear communication of concepts and ideas might be the most important skill students take away from their education. In landscape architecture, we communicate across a spectrum of modes and media. While much of our design work is communicated to peers and allied professions, there are many instances where this is not the case. Landscape architects are often challenged to communicate their ideas and plans to clients and stakeholders who have no background in our discipline. Part of what makes a designer successful is the ability to communicate to these different audiences and recognize what level of information is necessary to tell the story.
This course is designed to train students in foundational skills required to use design software. As a class, students will work on a range of projects that will allow them the freedom to explore design topics that are of interest to them. At the same time, this class will act as computers workshop where students will have the time and the space to explore software programs and develop a strong command of the language required for proficiency.
- Students will be able to confidently use AutoCAD, Photoshop, and Google SketchUP as tools in the design process.
- Students will be able to digitize a sketch or any other physical drawing, rendering, or photograph.
- Students will be able to adeptly move their work between software programs to develop illustrative drawings.
- Students will complete the class with 5 portfolio-quality pieces of design work.
- Students will develop the ability to critique and peer-review projects.
- Students will move forward with a broader understanding of the diverse scholars and content creators that have contributed to the discipline.
Computers should, at a minimum, be able to run the most recent release of AutoCAD and Adobe Creative Cloud software programs.
If computer access is an issue for you, please come talk to me. There are resources available to students to level the playing-field such as loaner equipment or computer labs.
It is wise to invest in an external hard drive for the storage of your work and a portable jump-drive as well. Virginia Tech also has Google Drive available at no cost to the student; however, it is wise to keep your digital work saved in multiple locations in case one method or another fails. (Speaking from personal experience.)
As this is an introductory course to graphic software, no background in computers is required. Students from all disciplines across campus are welcome to join in on or audit the course.
Open Source Texts
You’re paying enough as it is to take this course. The least I can do is make sure that supporting resources are free. All texts will be provided to you via PDF or link. Please see me if you need additional resources or if you have concerns.
- Students are expected to contribute to and participate in class each week.
- This is a professional environment and students are expected to treat each other with professionalism and respect.
- Students are expected to come prepared to class. This means bringing everything you need such as materials for taking notes and sketching, and snacks/drinks if you so desire.
- This course requires a lot of time designing on the computer and thus, it is strongly recommended that students will invest in a (wireless) mouse in order to streamline workflow. If this is a problem, please let me know and I will help you resolve the resource issue.
- This course requires students to help themselves learn the software programs by following the guides, seeking tutorial videos outside of class time and other strategies for success.
- This class only meets once per week for 15 weeks throughout the semester and it can be tough if this is your first time taking a computers course. Attendance is paramount to success because you will receive 1 on 1 help in our face to face meetings. Barring emergencies, if you are planning to be absent or don’t think you will be able to attend class, this may not be the ideal semester for you to take this course. As always, if you have a problem, come talk to me and we will sort it out.
- Grading and assessments will be based on several criteria. Pin-ups, discussions, and desk critiques will be evaluated based on each student’s starting point, growth and understanding of the course material.
- Projects, homework, and in-class activities will be evaluated based on criteria defined in each assignment’s problem statement and accompanying rubric.
Class Participation: 40% 35%
Projects: 35% 35%
Homework: 15% 10%
Attendance: 10% 10%
Literature Review: n/a 10%
This course is designed to be accessible for all students. Adherence to Virginia Tech’s University Accommodations of Persons with Disabilities Policy and Procedures. Students with a dis/ability must contact the appropriate offices and instructor in advance to ensure that ADA and Accessibility Services (ADAAS) accommodations can be arranged.
Services for Students with Disabilities (540) 231-3788, TTY (540) 231-1740, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Tech Honor Code
“As a Hokie, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do.”
|1/22||1. Course introduction 2. Introduction to Software||AutoCAD, Photoshop, SketchUP||Chapter 1 AutoCAD Chapters 1-3 Photoshop Chapters 1-2 SketchUP|
|1/29||1. Review Homework 2. Sketching to Computers||Annotated Sketch (hand drawing), homeworks (pdf) and original files||AutoCAD||Chapters 2-3 AutoCAD Chapters 4-5 Photoshop Chapters 3-4 SketchUP|
|2/5||1. Review Homework 2. Modeling in SketchUP 3. Rendering in Photoshop||Annotated Design (pdf), homeworks (pdf) and original files||Photoshop, SketchUP||Chapters 4-5 AutoCAD Chapters 6-7 Photoshop Chapters 5-6 SketchUP|
|2/9||1. Review Homework 2. Blending AutoCAD and Photoshop||Rendered Design (pdf), and original files||AutoCAD, Photoshop||Chapters 6-7 AutoCAD Chapters 8-9 Photoshop Chapters 7-8 SketchUP|
|2/12||1. Review Homework 2. Introduction to Project 1||Homeworks (pdf) and original files||Work on Project 1|
|2/19||1. Work on Project 1 2. Discuss Literature Review with Graduate Students||In-Progress Project 1||Work on Project 1|
|2/26||1. Pin-Ups of Project 1 2. Introduction to Project 2 3. Sketch Walk||Project 1 Due (pdf & original files)||1. Work on Project 2 2. Work on Project Revisions|
|3/12||1. Work on Project 2||In-Progress Project 2 Graduate Student Literature Review Outline Due||1. Work on Project 2 2. Work on Project Revisions|
|3/19||1. Pin-Ups of Project 2 2. Introduce Project 3 3. Sketch Walk||Project 2 Due (pdf & original files)||1. Work on Project 3 2. Work on Project Revisions|
|3/26||1. Work on Project 3||In-Progress Project 3||1. Work on Project 3 2. Work on Project Revisions|
|4/2||1. Pin-Ups of Project 3 2. Introduce Project 4 3. Sketch Walk||Project 3 Due (pdf & original files)||1. Work on Project 4 2. Work on Project Revisions|
|4/9||1. Work on Project 4||In-Progress Project 4||1. Work on Project 4 2. Work on Project Revisions|
|4/16||1. Pin-Ups of Project 4 2. Introduce Project 5 3. Sketch Walk & Site Evaluation||Project 4 Due (pdf & original files)||1. Work on Project 5 2. Work on Project Revisions|
|4/23||1. Work on Project 5||In-Progress Project 5||1. Work on Project 5 2. Work on Project Revisions|
|5/7||1. Pin-Up & Critique of All Projects for Jury||Project 5 Due (pdf & original files)||1. Work on Project Revisions for Final Portfolio|
|5/11||(No Class)||Final Portfolio Due on Course Website (pdf) Graduate Student Literature Review Due|