Course Description


Parsons School for Design
Communication Design
Core Interaction
PUCD 2125 Spring 2017

Studio 9 – 11:40am
Tuesday, Friday
Nitzan Hermon

Lab 9 – 11:40am
Bryant Wells

Course Description


We will exercise thinking and communication individually and as a group. We will use the course material, and our own thinking patterns as the foundation for building our respective practices


This course serves as a complement to Core Studio Interaction. The assignments are built to work in tandem with the projects students are developing in the studio class. The lab is designed around a series of small workshops that teach beginning and intermediate interaction design through a hands-on engagement with HTML and CSS.

Course Outline

Below is a rough outline of the semester, subject to change.


Week Lab Studio
1 HTML, Servers & Git Intro to thinking
2 HTML & CSS First graphic interfaces
3 Advanced CSS I Birth of the user
4 Advanced CSS II Smalltalk and Model View Controller
5 Responsive Practices Early internet: 1993, Creative Commons, Slow Web
6 Work Session Layout and visual language
7 Midterm Critique Geometry and optical art
8 Javacsript I Mechanics of reading
9 Javscript II Typesetting: metal, and screens
10 jQuery I Type and letterforms: Basics
11 jQuery II Font technology
12 JS Libraries Interaction of color
13 Work Session Thinking in motion
14 Work Session Prototyping: tools and techniques
15 Final Critique Thinking ahead: How to approach interests

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the semester, students will be able to:


  1. gain a broad understanding of the fundamentals of interfaces, interface design and interactive systems
  2. understand the mechanics of a digital product, and various approaches to designing systems
  3. trace the narrative of the internet. Its history and future.
  4. be able to articulate and develop on ideas from art, geometry, and graphics in designing interactive systems
  5. articulate and make positive use of personal research interests, as the foundation for the student’s practice
  6. learn to use various tools for communication of ideas, and prototyping


  1. Apply Skills in HTML:
    • Standards: W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium: W3C recommendations as standards.
    • Understand the difference between programming and markup.
    • Title, Meta (keywords/descriptions); !DOCTYPE and Document Type Definition.
    • HTML tags and the HTML Element Syntax including opening/closing tags, nested structures.
    • HTML Attributes: class, id, style, title.
    • Headings, Paragraphs and Formatting.
    • Links, lists, forms and images.
    • The Box Model.
    • HTML5 Semantic/Structural elements.
    • HTML5 Media Elements.
  2. Apply Skills in CSS:
    • Cascading Style Sheets, their storage in external CSS files and reference in. HTML
    • Styling backgrounds, text, links, lists and forms.
    • Styling the Box Model: border, outline, margin, padding.
    • Working with dimensions, positioning, display, floating and align.
    • Color systems.
    • Manipulating images with CSS.
    • Using Webfonts.
    • Using CSS to create interactive elements.
    • Media queries and responsive design.
  3. Understand the meaning of JavaScript/JQuery:
    • Basic idea of JavaScript and JQuery.
  4. Prepare Images for the Web:
    • Digital Image Formats – what are they for and how are they created professionally: GIF, JPG, PNG.
    • Working for different resolutions.
  5. Understand Web Environments:
    • Getting it online: Purchasing URL/Webspace.
    • Use FTP to upload files.
    • Use in­browser tools to troubleshoot and amend HTML/CSS Search engine optimization.
    • The role of content management systems / blog systems.

Assessable Tasks

Project 1

Build an archive of media with the subject matter of your choosing. Create an interface to navigate between and create sub collections of the archive. What are the different ways you may organize the content? How may the structure of your collection reflect the meaning communicated?

Project 2

Find an expression of your theme, communicate and build it using HTML, CSS and JS. No images allowed.

Project 3

Create a site that responds to time. The site should respond to multiple variables. How does the site’s content and visual appearance change from second to second? Hour to hour? Day to Day? Week to Week?

Lab Exercises

There will be both in-class and homework assignments most weeks. All assignments should be stored on Github as subfolders of your lab repository.

Assessment Criteria

Studio and Lab

Assessment %
Attendance 20%
Biweekly Research Assignment 30%
Project 1 15%
Project 2 15%
Project 3 20%
TOTAL 100%



  • Github: version control
  • Github Pages: hosting
  • Google Domains: domain registration


  • Mozilla Developer Network - comprehensive documentation for html, css, and js
  • Stack Overflow - if you’ve encountered a programming problem so has someone else and they’ve posted about it here Can I use - check browser support for various features
  • jQuery API documentation - comprehensive jQuery documentation
  • Codepen - share code snippets + small demos for debugging


  • Sketch
  • Sublime Text
  • Google Chrome
  • Github Desktop

Grading Standards

A [4.0; 96–100%]
Work of exceptional quality, which often goes beyond the stated goals of the course

A- [3.7; 91 –95%]
Work of very high quality

B+ [3.3; 86–90%]
Work of high quality that indicates substantially higher than average abilities

B [3.0; 81–85%]
Very good work that satisfies the goals of the course

B- [2.7; 76–80%]
Good work

C+ [2.3; 71–75%]
Above­average work

C [2.0; 66–70%]
Average work that indicates an understanding of the course material; passable Satisfactory completion of a course is considered to be a grade of C or higher.

C- [1.7; 61–65%]
Passing work but below good academic standing

D [1.0; 46–60%]
Below­average work that indicates a student does not fully understand the assignments; Probation level though passing for credit

F [0.0; 0–45%]
Failure, no credit

Grade of 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.

Grade of 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.

Grades of Incomplete

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 “F” by the Registrar’s Office.

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 in­class 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 the 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 defined as the equivalent of three weeks, or 20%, of class time. Lateness or early departure from class may be recorded by the instructor 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.

Members of the faculty are expected to provide syllabi in which course objectives and assessment criteria are described, in writing, at the beginning of the term. The syllabus should also articulate how attendance is assessed with respect to active participation.

At Parsons, attendance and lateness are assessed as of the first day of classes. Students who register after a class has begun are responsible for any missed assignments and coursework. Students who must miss a class session should notify the instructor and arrange to make up any missed work as soon as possible. A student who anticipates an extended absence should immediately inform the faculty and his or her program advisor. Advance approval for an extended absence is required to ensure successful completion of the course. Withdrawal from the course may be recommended if the proposed absence would compromise a student’s ability to meet course objectives.

Finally, faculty are asked to notify the student’s advisor for any student who misses two consecutive class sessions without explanation or who otherwise miss a significant portion of class time. Following two absences, students may be asked to speak with their advisor to review any impediments to their successful performance in class and, if so, to provide confirmation to the faculty member that such a conversation took place.

Religious Absences and Equivalent Opportunity

Pursuant to Section 224­a of the New York State Education Laws, any student who is absent from school because of his or her religious beliefs will be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study, or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. The student must inform the instructor at the beginning of the course of any anticipated absences due to religious observance.


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 off before class starts.

Academic Honesty and Integrity

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.

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. 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.

Student Disability Services (SDS)

In keeping with the University’s policy of providing equal access for students with disabilities, any student with a disability who needs academic accommodations is welcome to meet with me privately. All conversations will be kept confidential. Students requesting any accommodations will also need to meet with Jason Luchs in the Office of Student Disability Services, who will conduct an intake, and if appropriate, provide an academic accommodation notification letter to you to bring to me. SDS assists students with disabilities in need of academic and programmatic accommodations as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.