Project 1: Concept Maps (25%)

For this project, student will conduct subject matter research and present their understanding in concept map form. Concept maps are used to arrange knowledge in a visual form so it can be more easily constructed and understood. When skillfully constructed, concept maps have a semantic structure that can communicate complex subject matter to the audience.

Each student will develop a concept map of a media platform (eg. radio, video, computing, newspapers, magazines, television, film, photography, telephony) Students will collect content in a variety of forms: data (statistics), texts, images and sound to develop a deep and diverse understanding of complex subject matter.

As designers, content gathering is key activity during the research process. Concept maps can assist in the organizing and categorizing of the content for this project.

Initial work will be done using concept mapping software for constructing the framework and organizing content. The final output will address typography, layout and colour elements to create a compelling information graphic.


Deliverables will be posted to the wiki and include:
  • initial concept map(s) and process work
  • brief description of topic focus, research summary
  • final information graphic pdf (also copy to instructor' dropbox with naming convention)
  • bibliography of sources

Naming Convention

coursenumbersection_project number_year_firstintiallastname




  • choose a media type that you have access to and can easily observe and have direct interaction
  • start collecting content (text/visuals/sound/video) early from a diverse range of sources
  • wikipedia is a great place to start but cannot be your primary source of information
  • read J. Novak's The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct Them
  • after building the framework, apply visual elements in Illustrator to emphasize desired meaning
  • look at Infographics: Being and Doing for some frameworks and strategies.


Week 1

in class
  • Course introduction
  • Discussion of wiki and participation
  • Introduce project 1, processes and tools
  • brainstorm media forms as possible
  • Concepts: critical thinking, concept mapping, proposition building
  • Technical: concept mapping software
at home
  • choose topic and research from a variety of sources
  • collect content, document sources
  • create initial concept map

Week 2

in class
  • Review concept maps, apply graphic design elements
  • Concepts: hierarchy, information architecture, organizational schemes
  • Technical: layout, ordering, scale, colour, etc using Illustrator
at home,

Week 3

in class
  • Review concept maps, studio work time, in class critique
  • Introduction of project 2
  • 2 Glossary items due for content participation
at home
  • complete project