A1. Visually Express Environments

A1. Visually Expressing Environments

Students will be introduced to tools that would help communicate environments. Students are encouraged to draw and roughly build mock-ups before working digitally.


Seeing, thinking, drawing are inextricably interlinked process in visual thinking. When ideating the environments, we encourage the students to not only create rough sketches and story boards but also build and see low-fi structures and share their thoughts with each other.

We encourage the students to start from low-fi renderings and build mock-ups during the creative phase then shift to the phase of design execution with high fidelity outcomes once the ideas are polished and refined. Conventional computer programs can help present complex ideas effectively to the clients. In the course we’ll focus on using computer programs to express an idea that can be expensive.

Communicate your design concept as cardboard models, sketches, storyboards, a series of slides (presentation) and mock-ups. Include current state, context design, and story of how this will have an impact.


Rough video sketch of space, environmental sketches, wireframe for the interactions in space.
Process documentation of iterations of wireframes, storyboards, and video sketch.
Photographic documentation of sites explored iteratively.

Project Deliverables for all assignments:
(1) A 200×200 pixel thumbnail for the project with a 35-word description (e.g., one sentence).
(2) Link to process work. Documented real in-progress process (not process fictions). Document and reflect on your design process as you work.
(3) Self-reflection questions at the end of each assignment.
(4) Submit final files to Box-folder.
(5) Intranet submission: All projects are required to be uploaded to the CMU Design intranet, complete with imagery, descriptions, and links as appropriate. This is a requirement for all projects, so make sure you know how to log in, have the correct password, etc.

Studio A1. Visually Expressing Environments 15%
•  Are the design deliverables (form + context) communicating the big concept effectively?
•  Are the physical, digital, and hybrid environment components documented online?
•  Are is the process work documented online visually and the process work explained?
•  Is there tangible evidence of exploration multiple versions, iterations, documented site visits (e.g., multiple types of sketches, photographs, annotations, etc)
•  Were the final files submitted?

Lab A1. Visually Expressing Environments 25%
•  Did the student acquire the sufficient skill set for expressing the form, characteristics and idea of an environment?

Class 1. Wireframes:  Creating UX flow of a digital site

Class 2. Storyboards:  Sketching UX in an environment


Class 3. Sketching Space:  Capturing and expressing space

Class 4. Sketching, Modeling & Prototyping:  CAD for 3d visualization