Designing for Social Good: Two-Dimensional Design and Board Games

Fall 2018
Winter 2019
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 31
12 Credits per quarter
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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 learn two-dimensional design skills, 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 two-dimensional images 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 assignments addressing basic elements of two-dimensional design skills that will be used to design board games. 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  artistic design can be used to foster critical engagement with issues of equity and social good.

In fall quarter, students will explore intersectionality and the social good, as well as visual literacy and game design. Introductory  two-dimensional design 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, the completion of studio assignments 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: two-dimensional design, introductory game design: theory and practice, and writing.


Enrollment Conditions

New students accepted in winter without signature. Students interested in joining the program will be asked to complete a reading and writing assignment as preparation for the winter program. Catch-up assignments are due no later than 9:15 a.m. on the second Saturday of winter quarter.

Fall 2018 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (12): 10050
Winter 2019 Registration

Students interested in joining the program will be asked to complete a ‘catch-up’ reading and writing assignment by 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 11 (week 2, winter quarter).  Readings:  (1) Game Design Workshop by Tracy Fullerton (3rd ed., 2014), chapters 3 and 6, (2) Chris Barney’s “Games are the Argument,” review (3) “Designing Interaction” by Roger Ngim (  New students should review the texts and resources indicated above and contact faculty for details about the writing assignment.  Failure to complete the ‘catch-up’ reading and writing by the deadline will result in the loss of one credit, winter quarter.

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (12): 20013

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies and careers in

education, visual arts, and design.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


In Person or Remote
In Person (F)
In Person (W)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 D2105 - Workshop


Date Revision
2018-11-15 description updated
2018-05-01 Title revised (formerly Designing for Social Good: Drawing and Board Games).
2018-04-30 This program is offered for 12 credits.
2018-04-16 This program is offered to Sophomores-Seniors.
2018-04-16 This program is offered for 16 credits only.