MEDIA504-19B (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 aesthetics with perceptions, creation, and reception of media.
Students are encouraged to explore the inter-relations of design, 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/interactive platforms and more) are now blurry.
These media forms are undergoing continual transformations
intrinsic to shifts in technology, economics, ideology, social and cultural practices.
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.

As a group, we will aim to develop ways to articulate, and explore, these states of flux in relations to our individual perceptual 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.
e will also perform multilevel analysis of the aesthetic process relevant to existing media productions from their conception to the public screenings or exhibition.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is taught via a mixture of lectures, workshops/ individual presentations, group activities and self-motivated learning of research skills.

The emphasis is on research , analysis, and development of an academic argument related to the productions and effects of media aesthetic practices.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

    • reflect upon the complexities of the relationship between 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;
    • 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;
    • critically engage with ontological and epistemological aspects of media aesthetic;
    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 1: Literature review, due 16 August 8pm
16 Aug 2019
8:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Assessment 2: collaboratively devised. Due week of 16 September
20 Sep 2019
8:00 PM
  • In Class: In Lecture
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Assessment 3: Seminar presentations 2nd and 9th of October
2 Oct 2019
2:00 PM
  • Hand-in: Department Office
  • In Class: In Lecture
  • 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: it will direct you to the resources that need to be read prior to lectures.

It is important that you read these materials fully and in the correct order.

This will enable you to participate in class discussions each week, and will provide the basis for achieving assessments 2 and 3.

The Waikato Reading List will be accessible via a link on Moodle: Please note that you are also expected to search for your own academic sources in addition to these readings.

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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 where, initially, some generic readings in key issues in aesthetics will be covered.

Graduates are expected to keep up with the required readings, which are linked from Moodle. These will be discussed each week in lectures, and many of these will apply to specific pieces of assessment.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted Papers: SMST520

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