Assignment 11.01: Senior Project Research and Project Proposal


The goal of the assign­ment is to pre­pare stu­dents for the rig­ors of ART 499 Senior Project course.


The objec­tive of the assign­ment is to develop and doc­u­ment the sub­ject, con­cept and scope of the project for ART 499 Senior Project prior to the class’ ini­ti­a­tion and cor­re­sponds to sim­i­lar assign­ments in ART 095 BFA Progress Review

Background Reading

  • Phillips, Chap­ter 1–5, p 1–64. Chap­ter 11, p 133–160.
  • The project should rep­re­sent a level not attempted at ORU, in both sub­ject and com­plex­ity of solu­tion, and reflect the cur­rent state of pro­fes­sional prac­tice. The project should be sup­ported with ade­quate research and analy­sis to define para­me­ters and suc­cess of design deci­sions. See con­tent from ART 318, 355 and 412 for addi­tional details.
  • ART 095 Design Pro­posal Sample
  • Paul-Rand_Ford_Proposal.pdf


The pro­posal is sim­i­lar to the design brief used by design­ers to facil­i­tate client work. Cre­at­ing a pro­posal prior to the course’s ini­ti­a­tion will make the pro­duc­tion of the project more effi­cient. The project course con­sists of three dis­tinct parts, Project, Paper and Exhi­bi­tion. The pro­posal should reflect mainly the project and the exhi­bi­tion. An under­stand­ing of the entire class is, how­ever, help­ful in planning.

Part One

Develop an ini­tial idea. The sub­ject should expand the bound­aries of the known stu­dent skill set and engage a fer­tile design sub­ject. The project is nei­ther a port­fo­lio review nor a revi­sion of a project com­pleted in a pre­vi­ous course. The project should also reflect the student’s career goals, but should also be sub­stan­tially dif­fer­ent or unique to pre­vi­ous design work.

Brain­storm your idea and look for engag­ing and orig­i­nal man­i­fes­ta­tions of the sub­ject, tech­ni­cal or aes­thetic para­me­ters of sim­i­lar work. The amount of work is con­sis­tent to approx­i­mately 150 hours (10 hour per week aver­age) dur­ing the final semes­ter. The num­ber of arti­facts and the scale of the exhi­bi­tion are flex­i­ble, given the demands of the sub­ject mat­ter, but gen­er­ally each project should achieve a num­ber com­pa­ra­ble to the amount pro­duced in a nor­mal course (between four and eight assignments).

Begin research­ing the nec­es­sary skills and infor­ma­tion needed to com­plete this project. Con­sider the following:

  • What exist­ing assets or skills would you like to improve? 
  • What sim­i­lar­i­ties does your idea have with other people’s work? 
  • Does my project need input from mul­ti­ple design dis­ci­plines (photo, video, web, etc)?
  • Are addi­tional resources avail­able (ie friends, col­leagues, pro­fes­sion­als, pur­chased ser­vices, pro­duc­tion, etc)?
  • Does your idea focus too much on a par­tic­u­lar arti­fact and ignore a solid con­cep­tual or intel­lec­tual mes­sage? Is, per­haps, the oppo­site true? 
  • Is the amount of work fea­si­ble for the time restraints? 
  • Can I afford to pro­duce my project? 
  • What out­side resources are necessary? 
  • How and why does this project relate to your faith and Chris­t­ian Worldview?

Ver­bally review your basic idea with the course instruc­tor and advi­sor. Using this dia­logue and any nec­es­sary visual aids, develop a rough, writ­ten state­ment of the project and out­line of infor­ma­tion you need to inves­ti­gate as a PDF deliv­ered to the appro­pri­ate D2L dropbox.

Part Two

Begin research­ing nec­es­sary sup­port­ing data for the project. Keep care­ful notes for use as appro­pri­ate cita­tions dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion, paper and exhi­bi­tion stages of the ART 499 course. Doc­u­ment the following:

  • Three-five (3−5) sam­ples (com­plete images, videos, links, etc) of inspi­ra­tion, back­ground or asso­ci­a­tion in the field.
  • Iden­tify the strengths and weak­nesses of those sam­ples, as well as pos­si­ble solu­tions to evolve the projects.
  • Iden­tify any nec­es­sary design and com­mu­ni­ca­tion the­o­ries that will sup­port or relate to the pro­jec­t’s needs.
  • Iden­tify sta­tis­ti­cal data and his­tor­i­cal con­text that would sup­port the com­mu­nica­tive out­comes of the project.
  • Iden­tify ways to empir­i­cally prove that the project is a suc­cess through test­ing, eval­u­a­tion or evolution.
  • Iden­tify skills in all dis­ci­plines needed to com­plete a sim­i­lar project.
  • Iden­tify any tech­nol­ogy, soft­ware or hard­ware needs or lim­i­ta­tions to pro­duce the project as envisioned. 
  • Pre­pare a plan and time­line for address­ing any shortcomings.

Update your doc­u­ments from Part one to reflect these ques­tions and sub­se­quent answers.

Part Three

This doc­u­ment will serve as your com­mit­ment to com­plet­ing the project as defined and agreed upon with instruc­tor approval. Write a sin­gle sen­tence state­ment that will be used to deter­mine the suc­cess of the project. Tran­scribe your notes and find­ings from Part Two to a (1−2 page) writ­ten doc­u­ment. List or dia­gram an out­line all the arti­facts or expe­ri­ences that should be pro­duced. Add your state­ment to the begin­ning, and save it as a PDF for sub­mis­sion to the appro­pri­ate D2L dropbox.


  • The fol­low­ing rubric posted on D2L will deter­mine assign­ment score: Assign­ment 11.01: Senior Project Research and Proposal
  • The fol­low­ing rubric posted on D2L will deter­mine Key Pro­gram Assess­ment (KPA) scores: Art 355 — Senior Project Pro­posal (KPA)


Project folder, file nam­ing, proof­ing pro­ce­dure, dig­i­tal proof­ing tem­plates, file types, sam­ple project briefs, time logging


Com­puter, appro­pri­ate soft­ware, appro­pri­ate D2L dropbox


As defined by cor­re­spond­ing cal­en­dar item, drop­box, dis­cus­sion or con­tent topic description.