Introduction to the Creative Use of the Web
UCLA D|MA 161A, Spring 2006
Instructor: Peter Cho
TA: Rajorshi Ghosh

Studio, six hours; outside study, nine hours. Preparation: completion of preparation for the major courses. Emphasis on gaining deeper understanding of technical concepts in networking while learning history of Internet and becoming familiar with state-of-the-art tools of the moment. Storyboard and project development integrated into all aspects of class. Letter grading.

Time: TR 12:00–2:50 pm, Location: KINR SO 128
Office Hours: Peter Cho, Tu 5–6 pm, KINR NO 200K
Rajorshi Ghosh
Class website:


This course will introduce students to the World Wide Web as a medium. Originating from efforts to create a standardized information-retrieval system, the WWW developed into a broadcast media, a shopping mall, a communication platform, and an environment for personal expression. Although this class offers a wide range of workshops dealing with web technologies, it focuses on conceptual and aesthetic aspects of designing for the web. Creative projects and exercises will be developed throughout the course, by utilizing the various skills acquired in class in the service of perception and communication.

Web technologies are constantly and rapidly changing. By focusing on the concepts behind those technologies, the acquired skills working with HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Flash will be transferable to future contexts. The course wishes to develop the vocabulary necessary to speak to developers, to present and discuss Web projects, and to pursue individual research. Through the quarter students will have the opportunity to complete a series of exercises, analyze and discuss Web projects, and present a research report.

Projects will be evaluated based on their originality, their aesthetic and conceptual qualities. All exercises must be completed in order to pass the course. Late assignments will reduce the assignment's grade by one unit each day (B -> B-). Exercises are only considered as complete when they are accessible form the course website. There will be a sign-up sheet for each class meeting; it is the students’ responsibility to sign up to this list. More than two absences without the instructors’ permission (medical certificate might be requested), before the class meetings, will decrease the overall grade by one unit for each additional missed class. Three times running late will be considered as one unexcused absence. Students must attend at least three D|MA sponsored lectures during Spring quarter 2006.


10%: Participation and Attendance
60%: Exercises 1–5 (12% each)
20%: Final Project
10%: Research Report and Student Web Presentation

Required Readings

Cloninger, Curt: Understanding the Web as Media, website,
Niederst, Jennifer: Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition. Sebastopol: O’Reilly, 2001.

Recommended Readings

Frieling, Rudolf: The Archive, the Media, the Map and the Text, website,
Moock, Colin: ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide. Sebastopol: O’Reilly, 2003.
Greene, Rachel: Internet Art. New York: Thames & Hudson world of art, 2004.


Exercise 01: Text/Image
Exercise 02: Text/Typography
Exercise 03: Identity
Exercise 04: Animation
Exercise 05: Response
Final Project
Research Report
Student Web Presentation