Building websites has become complex but the fundamental languages behind the web have stayed pretty much the same. In this course, we will learn HTML, the scaffolding behind all websites; CSS, the presentation layer that gives our websites a unique identity and gracefully falls away when needed; and JavaScript, the energy behind the modern web.

Big Picture

We will take a holistic approach to designing and building websites. Through workshops and assignments, we will practice making websites that feel grounded in the medium of the web. Each assignment will be approached through a historical lense. Knowing your sources and building on what has become before is crucial to any artistic practice. This is especially true when designing for the web. We will utilize the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine as a research tool through out this course. It's expected that you collect relevant sources before beginning each assignment. While current sources can be useful, it is more important to reference a technology or website from the past than a current trend. For example, if you are creating a website for sharing links with a small community of friends you could reference a project like Community Memory, 1973.


Here are some questions we will be discussing...

  • How can we build websites that are grounded in every day experiences?
  • How can we design more accessible/relatable webpages?
  • Can we learn about the web from built environments or nature? If a website is like a forest, each page might be a tree or a leaf.
  • The current web seems to be at a crossroads. What is our vision for the web in 2020? Do we need to revert back to a slower text based experience? Was the web at its best when it was primarily documents?


Logo designed by Laurel Schwulst, Beautiful Company.