Designing for Social Good: Printmaking and Board Games

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Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 quarters

Taught by

academic and creative nonfiction writing, community studies, analog game design
printmaking, drawing

Design and design thinking center on the transformation of ideas into purposeful objects and actions. Our focus in this two-quarter program, while we learn design processes and approaches, will be on making our ideas about the social good tangible. We will work with intaglio printmaking (etching and printing copper plates), and also design and play analog card and board games, with the intent of stimulating and articulating our own thinking. At the same time, we will explore ways to inspire ideas and actions in those who engage with our work.

Games and prints act as ‘texts.’ These texts describe and enact real-world dynamics, model structures and systems, and reveal visible and invisible cultural values. Students will learn skills in visual and experience design, visual literacy, research skills for image- and game-makers, planning processes for artistic projects, and strategies for using visual information and rule-bound actions to convey meaning. Learning activities will include weekly reading and writing assignments, seminars, and studio practice in etching/printmaking. Our focus on games will include studying historical games and fundamental components of game design, as well as uses of games to educate, empathize, and provoke. Students will discover ways that game design and printmaking can be used to foster critical engagement with issues of class, race, disability, and sexual and gender identity as structural systems.

In fall quarter, students will explore intersectionality and the social good, as well as visual literacy and game design. Introductory printmaking skills, game analysis and design will accompany theoretical work. Winter quarter, students will employ their foundational knowledge and skills to design and prototype games collaboratively. Both quarters will include weekly academic reading and writing assignments, printmaking work outside of class, and completing game design exercises or tasks. No prior drawing or artistic experience is necessary. We welcome those who may not identify as artists, gamers, or designers. Willingness to learn technical and sequential artistic and game design practices is essential. We’ll present introductory skills and welcome upper-division students seeking breadth in their studies. Willingness to listen and learn across significant lived experiences will be an essential aspect of our work toward equity and the social good. Credit equivalencies of the program include: introductory intaglio printmaking, introductory game design: theory and practice, and introductory intersectionality theory (social justice).

Program Details

Fields of Study

education visual arts writing

Preparatory For

education, visual arts, and design.


Fall Open Winter Conditional

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$75 per quarter for printmaking supplies.