Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Evolution student work

My Evolution course requires students to complete a Term Project through a semester-long process of scientific research, concept proposal, and creative execution.

Term Project Proposal

One of the main goals of the Term Project in this course is to translate scientific research into a creative work. Students start by researching a topic (of their own choosing) related to the course, and then develop a project proposal through a process of feedback and revision that includes both an in-class presentation and the development of a written proposal. Although different students will contextualize this assignment within their career trajectories in different ways, I see this proposal as good practice for convincing clients to “buy” a design idea, for applying for residencies, or for seeking project funding. The guidelines for this assignment can be found here. Below are some of the best student Term Project Proposals that I have received, downloadable as PDF’s:

Evolution of the Eye as Communicator © Isabella Parker (Spring 2019)
The Sixth Mass Extinction © Jessica Lee (Spring 2019)
The Stripe Pattern of Zebra © Jong Kwan Lee (Fall 2018)
Evolutionary Similarity © Luke Masella (Fall 2017)
Natural Selection in NYC © J. McHale Ourand (Fall 2017)
Primate Speciation © Finn Swede-Taillon (Fall 2017)
Mimicry © Veronica Mitrano (Spring 2017)
The Sixth Extinction © Sydney Paul (Spring 2017)
Convergent Evolution and Optimal Design © Thornton Kimmell (Spring 2017)
Living Fossil Plants © Ada Chen (Spring 2017)

Term Project & Summary

Based on their project proposal, students develop a creative work in the medium of their choosing. While the nature and scope of the creative projects vary widely, they all must incorporate ideas and concepts that emerged from research into the scientific literature. Most students stick with media that is native to their majors, but I encourage students to explore whatever medium best serves their project idea, and I get a great variety of work. The guidelines for this assignment can be found here. Below are some of the best student Term Projects & Summaries I have received, downloadable as PDF’s:

Evolution of cranial appendages in the Cervidae and Bovidae families © V Gunther (Spring 2019)
A Quick Guide to G.M.O.’s © Amy Young (Spring 2019)
The many genders of Calidrius pugnax © Congyuan Lu (Fall 2018)
Adaptive Hypotheses for Zebra Stripes © Jong Kwan Lee (Fall 2018)
Feral Pigeons © Natalie Krowitz (Fall 2017)
Dog versus Human Vision © Erin Lutz (Fall 2017)
Breaking the News © Luke Masella (Fall 2017)
“In many song birds song traditions are transmitted…” & Mood Board © Alex Berns (Spring 2017)
Taxonomic Nesting Dolls © MJ Sullivan (Spring 2017)
Human Coevolutionary Effects © Sydney Paul (Spring 2017)
Living Fossil Jewelry Collection © Ada Chen (Spring 2017)
Optimal Design Tangrams © Thornton Kimmell (Spring 2017)
The Deep Sea Guide to Parenthood © Michael LoPalo (Spring 2017)
Cece Talks Science: The Evolution of Sex © Allin Skiba (Spring 2017)

Below is a gallery of the creative work students have completed for this assignment:

The many genders of Calidrius pugnax © Congyuan Lu:

Cece Talks Science: The Evolution of Sex © Allin Skiba:

You can click on each of the images above to see the work in more detail. The description for each image also includes a link to the Project Summary that accompanies the work. All of this work is used with permission of the students who produced it. Please respect the intellectual property rights of these students by not using their work without their permission. If you would like to contact any of the students who produced this work, contact me.