David Shields
Associate professor and chair

arts.vcu.edu/graphicdesign

The Department of Graphic Design champions agency through the competencies of collaboration, research, making and cultural literacy. The department believes in responding to the reality of our time and that design is activated by content, condition and impact. Further, that design exists in a continuum: The study of the historical past informs the now and the strength of design is its ability to strategically speculate on future forms and language.

The department provides an education that values a diversity of backgrounds, skill sets and experiences. Students develop acuities to communicate effectively through visual and verbal representation, and are prepared — as individuals and collaborators — to be practitioners not limited by the confines of current professional practices.

GDES 567. Visual Interface Design. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. A course concentrating on the visual design and development of human-computer interface systems. Emphasis is placed on visual design processes and methods in the diverse arena of user interface design.

GDES 591. Advanced Studio Topics in Visual Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 3 studio hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Topical studio focusing on research and experimentation in specialized visual communication media.

GDES 593. Visual Communications Internship. 3,6 Hours.

Semester course; 3 or 6 credits. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of chair required. Supervised study in cross-disciplinary visual communications research projects to integrate theory with practice. Training is provided under the direction and supervision of qualified professional practitioners and a faculty adviser.

GDES 610. Visual Communications Workshop. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: permission of the graduate director. A studio course focusing on the philosophical, communicative and aesthetic relationships of visual communications problem-solving and the effective articulation of concepts.

GDES 611. Visual Communications Workshop. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 sutdio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of 16 credits. Prerequisite: permission of the graduate director. A studio course focusing on the philosophical, communicative and aesthetic relationships of visual communications problem solving and the effective articulation of concepts.

GDES 612. Research Methods in Visual Communications. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: permission of program director. A studio-based examination of design research methods with emphasis place on linking knowledge, comprehension and application of historic and emerging methods of experimentation to generative and iterative studies. The course culminates in the writing and presentation of a research proposal for the second year of study.

GDES 621. Visual Communications Seminar. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 4 lecture hours. 4 credits. May be repeated. A detailed examination of selected theoretical, historical, aesthetic and social areas of concern to the designer. Scholarly research, critical analysis and discussion are expected.

GDES 631. Visual Communications Teaching Practicum. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 6 practicum hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. Observation, instruction, and practice to develop skills in the design, organization, and conduct of courses in visual communications. Explores multiple teaching strategies, student development, learning styles, and evaluation techniques.

GDES 692. Visual Communications Research/Individual Study. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 6 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated. The structuring, research, execution, and presentation of an independent project in visual communications under the guidance of a faculty adviser.

GDES 698. Research Documentation and Exhibition Design. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 3 studio hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of program director. A studio-based course focusing on the design and production of final research documentation in both book and exhibition formats.

GDES 699. Directed Thesis Research in Visual Communications. 1-8 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours (three studio hours per credit). 1, 4 or 8 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Prerequisites: successful completion of 30 credit hours of graduate study and permission of department chair. Supervised investigation and presentation of selected problems in visual communications. Executed under the supervision of a graduate adviser and review committee.