Generative Studio

Work to have done:

Plan for the day:

  1. Loop writing (10 min)
  2. Offline sketching (10 min)
  3. Homework preview (5 min)
  4. Studio (45 min)

1. Loop writing (10 min)

Take a few minutes to think in writing about the websites you might want to make. I’ll read a series of questions aloud. Repeat them silently to yourself, and when you feel yourself answering, make a list.

These lists will remain private, unless you choose to share. I won’t ask for them.

  1. What have you been working on, in or out of this class, that you’d like to show the world? What have you made, or done, or pursued?
    • Or: if you’d rather the site not focus on you, what groups, things, or events might you represent?
  2. Is there anything else you might add to the list? A wider context for one of the projects already there, or a related next step?
  3. Is there anything you’re forgetting? Something you were recently talking about, or planning for? Add it to the list.
    • If you haven’t yet included your work for this class, be sure to add it now.

Take a moment now to read back over your lists. How might you group or divide these items? What clusters do they form? Mark these in some way.

Is there one cluster that stands out, that says, me, pick me? Choose one group to work with, at least for today, and name it in some way. Then copy the name into a clean page.

With that chosen subject, write again:

  1. What terms or images come to mind when you think of this subject? … Think about actions… things… descriptors.
  2. I’m going to interrupt you now and ask you to set aside the list, just for now, and ask: What’s the heart of this? What’s the essential component for this cluster of things? What ties them together?

    See if you can summon up the whole of this idea, like it’s right here in the room with you. Where does it live? Is it above you? Inside you? In the palm of your hand? Just sit with your idea for a moment, feeling where you connect to it.

2. Offline sketching (10 min)

And now, draw. Given what’s essential, given your knowledge of how websites work, and given the principles of designing for attention we learned last unit, make a few quick sketches of your possible website’s landing page.

Consider: How will it look on a phone? On a laptop? What might you add to the layout for a full-sized desktop monitor?

Not sure what that should look like? Here are 33 examples (but no one is asking you to be as elaborate as the most elaborate of these)

  • EXT: Finished one drawing? Make another, using a different system of visually organizing your information.

3. Homework preview (5 min)

4. Studio / Practice (45 min)


  • If you haven’t yet done so, why not start the tutorial sections from the homework?
  • I won’t have assigned time for all the sections of the tutorial; you can look ahead in the schedule to see what’s expected, and what’s beyond baseline
  • Start gathering materials toward your website, to check feasibility
  • Above all, call me over for help as needed.

NB: I’m not sure if the lab computers don’t have Atom, but they should at least have SublimeText, which is very similar.

EXT: If you’re good on what a CSS class is, and how to add it to an HTML element, read up on Bootstrap, a very widely used CSS framework. What that essentially means is that they’ve pre-created a bunch of CSS classes for you, so you can start using them to design your own layout from scratch. It’s a little like Lego for web design, only free.

Homework for Next Time

  • View/Read documentation on using GitHub Pages at
  • Do more of the tutorial, getting through at least The Box Model (5) and CSS Selectors (6), if you haven’t yet.
  • Read more about how CSS selectors work
  • Write a website proposal, posted to the Issue Queue, including:
    • some text about the idea or appeal you’re hoping to make;
    • some sense of what pages and page sections you expect to include;
    • a prospective assets chart (what you’ll need, where you might get it);
    • at least one design sketch, showing possible layouts; and
    • a link to your repository.