Instructor: Peter Cho, TAs: Tyler Adams, Sue Huang


UCLA DESMA 161B, Winter 2006
Instructor: Peter Cho (petercho -at- ucla -dot- edu)
TAs: Tyler Adams (tadams -at- ucla -dot- edu), Sue Huang (huangs -at- ucla -dot- edu)

Ten weeks studio course, 2 x 3 hours, outside study 8 hours.
Prerequisite: DESMA 161A.
Time: MW 2:00 pm – 4:50 pm
Location: Kinross SO 146
Office Hours: Peter Cho Wednesdays 5-6 pm, KINR NO 200K; Tyler Adams: Tues 2-3 pm, KINR NO 301; Sue Huang: Mon 1-2 pm, KINR NO 301
Class website: http://classes.design.ucla.edu/Winter06/161B


This advanced course will focus on the production of dynamic content for the World Wide Web. Based on the skills acquired in the introductory class “Creative Web” (161A), this course is intended to provide a foundation for professional Web production, utilizing databases and teaching how to separate design from content. In the context of this class ‘dynamic’ can be interpreted in two ways. It refers both to web pages which contain dynamic elements and the creation of dynamic pages which are built at runtime. Although this class offers a wide range of workshops dealing with technologies, the primary focus is on the conceptual and aesthetic aspects of designing for the web. Creative projects and exercises will be developed throughout the course, 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, PHP, MySQL, Flash/ActionScript, JavaScript and CSS will be applicable to future contexts. Furthermore, the course will help to develop the necessary vocabulary to plan, execute and discuss Web projects, speak to developers, and to pursue individual research. Through the quarter, students will have the opportunity to complete a series of exercises and projects, analyze work, and present a research report.


Problem sets 1 through 8 will be evaluated based on their originality, their aesthetic and conceptual qualities (60%). The final project will be evaluated based on the quality of completion and the overall design vision (25%). Active contribution during class and attendance is required (10%). The participants will conduct individual research on a chosen topic and present the results to the class (5%). All assignments must be completed in order to pass the course. Late assignments will reduce their grade by one unit (B -> B-) for each class session they are overdue. Exercises and Projects are only considered as completed when they are accessible from the course website. Letter grades will be made available trough MyUCLA (http://my.ucla.edu).

More than two unexcused absences (without the teachers’ permission before the class meetings) will decrease the final grade by one unit with each additional absence dropping the final grade by another unit.


10%: Participation (contributions during class)
5%: Research Report
60%: Problem Sets 1-8
25%: Problem Set 9 (Final Project)

Required Readings

required for 161A, available at UCLA LuValle Bookstore:
Niederst, Jennifer: Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition. Sebastopol: O’Reilly, 1999.

Recommended Readings

Lerdorf, Rasmus and Tatroe, Kevin. Programming PHP. Sebastopol: O’Reilly 2002.

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.

Cloninger, Curt. Understanding the Web as Media, website, http://www.lab404.com/media/.

Druckrey, Timothy and Weibel, Peter. Net_condition, Art and Global Media. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: The MIT Press, 1999.

Online Resources

PHP Reference
PHP Manual
PHP Tutorial

Class Examples PHP, JavaScript, CSS and HTML

Macromedia Flash ActionScript Dictionary