While the internet has great potential to bring people together, if the internet was a country, it would be the 7th largest energy consumer on the planet. This is set to increase in years to come moving the internet even higher on this list to become the 4th largest energy consumer if it were to be a country. So, as artists and digital citizens it is imperative that we understand how to create and display the content we produce online in ways that are sustainable and accessible.
This assignment, while slated for Art 109, may be slotted into an earlier course in the Digital Media Art BFA as we reassess when and how students should learn about these technologies. As an assignment that engages students in 2 programming languages (HTML and CSS), it would take place over the course of 3 - 4 weeks.
Finally, in an increasingly networked world (and in particular an increasingly networked art world) empowering students with the both the technical skills to build websites and the critical thinking context to understand how and why they should do so in a sustainable and accessible way will play an essential role in helping them discover and define how they fit into this context.
Art 109: Web Development
Art and Art History
Art and Design | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media | Programming Languages and Compilers | Sustainability | Systems Architecture
Explain how your assignment addresses Sustainable Futures.
Through both conceptual readings/context as well as hands-on practice, this assignment introduces students to the concept of sustainability in web development and gives the tools and resources to practice it in a hands-on, project-based learning environment.
Explain how your assignment is robust, innovative, or active engagement of students.
This assignment is robust in its combination of technical and conceptual exercises, allowing students to engage simultaneously in theory and practice. By centering sustainability and accessibility, this assignment challenges the common mode of technology “move fast and break things”, replacing it instead with a modality that centers equity and sustainability.
Explain how your assignment might be used outside your own discipline.
While this assignment is written in a way that focuses on the creation of a web portfolio, the content and structure of the assignment could be used in a variety of disciplines including computer science, mass communications, and design. Importantly, the centering of accessibility and sustainability could provide a model for those looking to build this into the foundation of their teaching of web technologies.
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Thompto, Chelsea. "Building a More Sustainable and Accessible Internet: Lightweight Web Design with HTML and CSS." Sustainable Futures, 2021. doi:10.31979/SF.2021.005.