MEDIA504-20B (HAM)

Media Design and Aesthetics

30 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts
Screen and Media Studies


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Paper Description

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This paper is designed to provide an overview of several key approaches that link concepts of aesthetics with perceptions, creation, and reception of media.
Students are encouraged to explore the inter-relations of media productions with the cognitive and phenomenological experiences of media makers and audiences across a variety of media formats.

The distinctions between media formats (animation/moving and still images/ 2D and 3D animations/films productions//interactive platforms and more) are in constant flux.
These media forms are undergoing continual transformations
intrinsic to shifts in technology, economics, ideology, social and cultural practices. These cultural shifts are reflected in practitioners' conceptual and practical approaches that impact productions and reception of cultural expressions.

This state of flux
questions the role of makers and audiences alike and pushes us to find new ways of understanding the relationships between aesthetic approaches, the self, process of media creation, audio-visual technologies, and audiences.
Therefore, this paper emphasises a process of research and analysis to develop academic arguments related to the productions and effects of media practices and associated aesthetics.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is taught via a mixture of lectures/workshops, individual and group activities, and self-motivated learning and research tasks.
The emphasis is on the aesthetic process, its research and analysis, and the development of an academic argument related to the productions and effects of media practices.
e will explore the role of aesthetic process relevant to media productions from their conception to the public screenings or exhibition. As a group, we will aim to develop ways to articulate, and explore, the relations between perception, creative practices, and cultural experiences.
The conceptual integration of embodiment and aesthetic will hep us
to assess the importance of imagination, media, and technologies in a variety of mediated expressions.

Participation to Wednesdays lectures/workshops is essential. You will be able to join synchronously these sessions via Zoom (Wednesday 3-6pm Hamilton time). The panopto recordings will be available the following day for people unable to participate to the sessions.
If you are unable to attend, post your questions on the topic forum: these will be discussed by all present at the beginning of the following lecture/workshop.

Note that participation to the 1st and second lectures include walking around campus.

It is recommended to read all announcements and keep in touch with your class representative in a timely manner. If you contact me directly, the title of your email must contain the paper code, your name and student ID.

Please note that some aspects of the paper might have to be amended if circumstances require to do so.
Potentially there might be slight changes in lecture content or topics' order should different alert levels associated to the current pandemic be activated.
All care will be taken to not disturb your study and the planning of the assessments.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

    • reflect upon the complexities of the relationship between the self, audio-visual media and the social-historical world;
    • recognise that all media representations, and their associated design and aesthetics are shaped by perceptual, social, cultural, economic, political and technological factors;
    • reflect upon their own position in relation to the representations, design and aesthetics that proliferate the contemporary mediascape;
    • engage critically with the process of creating cultural expressions
    • perform different media analyses of a variety of representations (audio and visual forms) to align conceptual and creative frameworks;
    • acquire the communication skills necessary for imagining, developing and articulating ideas related to future media creation;
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Assessment One: engaging critically with creative media (40%)
30 Aug 2020
4:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Assessment Two: live Presentation for academic conference
30 Sep 2020
3:00 PM
  • In Class: In Workshop
3. Assessment Three: written analytical review
24 Oct 2020
4:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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A list of readings will be provided via the Waikato Reading List, accessible via a link on Moodle.

Please note that you, as autonomous learners, are also expected to search for your own academic sources in addition to these readings.

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Other Resources

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Suggestions of readings and other media outputs from students are appreciated: please share cultural perspectives.
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Online Support

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There is an online Moodle community for this course. Moodle can be accessed via iWaikato. Reading lists, assignment guidelines, important dates and the paper outline are all available from this site. Occasionally, basic lecture slides may be made available for download after a lecture. In this event, these slides will only provide basic bullet points of the topics covered, so it is strongly advised that students do not rely solely on these slides for their learning or for assignment preparation. In order to gain the best learning experience from this course, and to prepare adequately for all assignments, students will need to attend all the scheduled lectures/workshop

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Graduates are expected to attend and contribute to weekly meetings.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted Papers: SMST520

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