Imagine you have been asked to redesign one object or process or environment of your choice for the COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 era

Essay Prompt 1:

Step 1: Imagine you have been asked to redesign one object or process or environment of your choice for the COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 era. Think of something that you think needs to be redesigned. Here’s some inspiration, a web project I contributed to in the summer of 2020. The entries are wide ranging, taking on topics as far afield as healthcare and airports:

Step 2: Make notes for how you would redesign that object or process or environment for the COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 era.

Step 3: Go through the lecture slides and the readings, choosing at least three significant points of comparison or contrast between your design approach (the philosophy and methods behind your design) and the design approach typical of at least three historical design movements or eras we covered in this course.

Step 4: Write an essay in which you 1) define the problem you want to solve, 2) present your design solution, and 3) discuss its comparison or contrast to at least three past approaches (in philosophy or methods) taken in specific design movements or eras in the history of design we covered in this class. Be sure to explain the general design philosophy or methodology typical of that movement or era and give a specific example from each one. The example can be an individual design or a piece of writing by an author we read.

Suggestion for organizing your paper for prompt 1:

Follow the order in Step 4 (above). Section 3 should be divided into multiple paragraphs, each one discussing a distinct historical design movement covered in this course.



There is no one right answer. This is an exercise in critical thinking as well as accurate understanding of and ability to synthesize and summarize course material. The course material provides ample opportunity for students to arrive at their own conclusions. But just because there is no one right answer doesn’t mean that anything is correct. It is very possible to represent the course material inaccurately. Remember that this is a final exam, so you need to show that you understand the course material.

This essay measures your understanding of the course material. It is not a research assignment.

Because you won’t use sources outside the course materials, there is no need for scholarly citations. If you refer to course readings, simply put the page number of your reference in parentheses at the end of the relevant sentence like this (234).

A good essay will be thorough and varied—incorporating material from the full range of the course.

A good essay will manifest all of the qualities stated in the “A” column of the Grading Rubric. Your opinions are never graded.

Assuming students show an accurate understanding of the course material, I will additionally reward students who show especially imaginative—meaning, original—critical thinking about the course material.


Approximate length: There is no strict length requirement. Approximately 4-5 pages, which should be double-spaced at 12-point font with one-inch margins

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