Charlotte Lee

Autumn 2017

Comics Made By You (Theme TBD)

Prof. Charlotte Lee with Jeremy Kayes

Meeting times: Wednesday or Thursday Evenings (TBD)

Comics can be a form of user experience design, of storyboarding and of technical communication. They can serve to convey complex ideas, concepts, and emotions in an accessible and sometimes profound way giving us the power to explore and tell stories. 

This is the fourth iteration of this DRG. In 2014, we drew comics describing and defining different aspects of Human Centered Design and Engineering. In 2015, we used comics to explore and explain the concept of the sociotechnical - what it means and why we study it. Last year we drew our inspiration from Vannevar Bush’s 1945 article “As We May Think” that envisions, and in some cases predicts, the future of computing. Using that article as a touchstone, we explored the themes of inspiration, time and memory. This year’s theme is TBD

The goal of this directed research group is for participants to create and ultimately publish a collection of comics related to the history and/or future of human centered design and computing. You do not need to be able to draw. If you can draw a stick figure, you can draw a comic. Depending on how fast you work, 3 to 4 complete pages is a realistic goal for the quarter. Please note that deliverables are due weekly in order to meet our production deadline. This class is fun but it also provides steady work.

This DRG will be co-taught by Jeremy Kayes, author of the book The Indies and founder and organizer of the 5-year-old, 800 member, Seattle Indie Comic and Game Artist (SICAGA) Meetup group. Jeremy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and works as a User Interface Developer.

Students will be responsible for buying their own art supplies and for getting access to Adobe Photoshop through UW resources, such as Odegaard Learning Commons, or by purchasing a license. We will discuss art supplies during the first class.

BS, MS, and PhD students are all welcome. Students will enroll for 3 or more credits (CR/NC) through HCDE 596 (for graduate students) or HCDE 496 (for undergraduate students). 

Interested students should email Prof. Charlotte Lee ( to apply no later than Wednesday, September 20, 2017. We anticipate that admission will be competitive and that this DRG will fill up. We suggest applying early. In your email please discuss any relevant background you might have; what reasons you have for being interested in joining this group; and how you anticipate helping the entire class succeed in the timely production of a print publication. 


Charlotte Lee's Directed Research Group archive: