Watkins Web 2: Blog

Web 3 Preview

Web 3 will be a workshop-style class, meaning you will take on more of the definition of the scope and goals of your projects. That said, the exercises and projects will revolve around two topics:


The first emphasis will be on learning the fundamentals of Wordpress. While optimized for blogging, Wordpress can be used as a general-purpose Content Management System (CMS). Because it is fundamentally a collection of PHP files, you can mix in your own PHP alongside Wordpress’s built-in functions, variables, and looping structures. And, of course, Wordpress enables you to build a site that can be managed and updated by a client who has no knowledge of HTML.

We’ll use Wordpress to explore the contemporary notion of designing a system, rather than creating a static, one-time product. The site you build will require you to design and program templates, re-usable modules of code, and conditional rules that control the way elements (text, images, video) interrelate and combine. The rules may be simple or complex, but the outcomes they produce in the form of pages viewed at any given moment can be diverse.

Interactive Experiment

The second emphasis (and project) will be in building a more experimental, free-form web site that visualizes a dataset or creates artwork in a dynamic way.

For inspiration we will be looking at work by the new generation of artist/programmers and studios like Jonathan Harris, Ben Fry, Aaron Koblin, Stewart Smith, and Lust. We will be exploring data structures like MySQL, RSS and XML, and the ways they can be manipulated with PHP.

For this project, invalid code and HTML hacks are encouraged.