GDES-420 spring 2022 / Prof. David Ramos, American University Design

Capstone proposal

Write a proposal that describes what questions you want to ask in your capstone project. Tell us what artifacts you intend to create, and lay out a plan for the rest of the semester.


Address these questions in your proposal.


What is your project’s working title?

What subjects will your project examine? You might examine issues in the outside world, or you could address matters within design history or design criticism. (“Global supply chains, Arts and Crafts Movement pattern design, accessibility and restaurant takeout order systems…”)

What questions are you asking about those subjects? (“Where do my art supplies come from? What would an Arts and Crafts pattern look like today? How could restaurant websites better serve customers who rely on screen readers?”)


Where will you look for background, context, and criticism? Describe what historical precedents, prior work, contemporary designers, and writers will will you respond to. Tell us where, exactly, will you find their work. Look to sources that are more substantial than social media sites.

Design issues

What artifacts will you create over the course of your capstone? (“A static website, two printed and bound books, a one-minute video with sound…”)

What areas of design practice are you working within? (“Brand identity, interaction design and user experience, publication design…”)

What production techniques and skills will you use to create your work? (“Page layout, drawing, studio lighting setups…”)

How can we know that your project has met with success?


What are the phases of work? Break your project down into several phases. For each phase, tell us what tasks the phase includes, what you will create, and when you plan to start and end your work.

What could go wrong, and how can we avert those problems?

Submitting the proposal

Your proposal should run for 3–4 pages. It might include images. It should certainly be thoughtfully written and designed. Include your name and the date.

Email a PDF of your proposal to Prof. Ramos (>). Expect comments and revisions.

Deadlines for this course are listed on the course schedule.