Semester(s) Offered: Spring
Credits: 4
Course Call Number: GAMES-GT 310
Taught By: Matt Parker

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the world’s largest museums and a preeminent scientific and cultural institution. In this class, student groups work with several departments at AMNH to create prototypes (either digital or analog) that serve the museum’s primary goal:

“To discover, interpret, and disseminate—through scientific research and education—knowledge about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe.”

With the Exhibition Department acting as the primary point of contact, students first learn how to communicate with clients, market themselves, and gather requirements for a project. Experienced designers guest lecture on best practices for producing meaningful creative projects by collaborating with clients.

Students then develop several concepts to present to the museum, pitch them to AMNH staff, and iterate on the concept based on feedback. Finally, students develop a prototype to present to the client and demonstrate at a public expo, where they will convey their concept to a broad audience. Class meetings will take place both at MAGNET and the museum, and students will work directly with museum staff.

Upon completion of this course, the student will:
1) Gain experience working with one of the top natural history museums in the world.
2) Develop an understanding of what it means to work with a client.
3) Learn to gather requirements for a project.
4) Develop a concept around constraints.
5) Understand how to communicate effectively with clients.
6) Develop a final proposal/prototype and present it.
7) Learn to see clients as partners/collaborators.