(from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the Netherlands)
Select five letters to make a five-letter word. The word should - as far as we can judge - be unknown to any language. Make sure the word sounds common and familiar to our ear. Ascribe a meaning that seems obvious for this word.
Make a design, using the word, that explains its meaning. The medium of the design is inherent to its ascribed meaning. Use nothing more than you really need (ie. no literal explanations, no illustrations).
Make three, very distinct, variations with either the same letters or others. Choose one to refine and present to the class next week. At that point, we should be able to infer your meaning from your design.
NOTE: consider creating a word whose meaning fills a hole in the english language. Perhaps you always wished for a descriptor for a certain feeling or action. For instance, the word "schadenfruede" (: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others) exists in German, but there is no English counterpart. Can you think of another phenomenon for which we have no word?