Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall is my favorite season of all

[Fall Findings]
Today was a great day, because today some friends and I went to the pumpkin patch. And being a lover of all things fall pumpkins, pumpkin spiced lattes, and friends were all I needed for a great afternoon. So after church we drove on out to the pumpkin patch for some fun.

No pumpkin patch experience is complete without a PSL

Along with being interested in Graphic Design, I absolutely love fashion and specifically fall fashion is one of my favorites. My friend Anna and I share this love, so we took some impromptu photos of our fall fashion outfits for our blog.

Shirt: Conversation Pieces (a site I found via pinterest)
Skirt: Forever 21
Tights: H&M
Boots: Target
Necklace: Charming Charlie

These cotton-like tights from H&M came in a two pack of different shades
and are very comfy. Tights are a fall & winter staple item in my wardrobe.

My friend Anna is beautiful! And Italian. Double whammy.

I loved getting to take pictures with Anna's amazing camera. Maybe I will take a photo class after all.

We are the best of friends.
[Musical Musings]
So if you know me at all you probably know about my love for Taylor Swift. Because of that, I thought for this week's musical selection I'd share some of my favorite songs from her album. If you're not a big Swift fan, I'd suggest at least trying these out:
Red, 22, Stay Stay Stay, & Starlight

[BDS 101 Update]
In BDS we are working on our third project now, which is partially a group project. I am in a group of five people (including me) and we were given the word "intense" to work with. We are to create this word in 3D and arrange it somewhere on campus exemplifying the word itself. Last week, we researched the definition and did 20 sketches of 6" x 6" squares using typography to exemplify the word. I always find the definitions of words very interesting, for it always brings a new perspective. And although intense is not a verb, making it a little more difficult, I absolutely love our word we were given to work with.

Intense: (adj.)
-existing or occurring in a high or extreme degree
-of an extreme kind: very great, as in strength, keenness, severity, or the like
-having a characteristic quality in a high degree
-characterized by deep or forceful feelings
-highly concentrated
-forceful; severe
synonyms: fervent, PASSIONATE, ardent, strong, keen, powerful
antonyms: calm, dull, low-key, mild, moderate

I'll be updating you with my 20 sketches as well as progress on our group project soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Project #2, out.

Last Thursday we turned in our second project, which was the group project in which we redesigned a badly designed object. The four things we had to turn in were our final prototype, poster, movie, and individually made process books.

Our final prototype of "The Cutting Edge Board"

It was double sided; one for bread one for veggies.

Our final poster, which we mounted on foam core board. Actual size: 24" x 36"

Some screen shots from my process notebook, which was a total of 31 pages printed front and back and spiral bound:

If you want to watch our approx. minute long commercial just click here.

This weekend I went to the plaza with a friend for a bit on friday and we also walked around the Nelson Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City. The fall trees were so pretty!

Fall is my favorite!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Project #2 Progressions

Our final prototype, poster, and movie are all due this thursday during BDS class. We have shot the movie, been working on the poster, and I am continually working on my process book. The one thing we do have done is our prototype. Since my blog has been very wordy lately, I'll share some photos of us building our prototype.

One of our first prototypes, and the one we based our final prototype off of.

Our other prototype. It also included some great ideas, but through interviews we
found the other cardboard prototype to have more innovative and useful ideas.

We built the base of the prototype using two layers of the original cutting board (painted red)
and foam core board in the center to create a greater width as well as a place for knife storage.

The outside anti-slip was formed by cutting a slit down plastic tubing
and editing it to fit perfectly around the outside edge of our board.

The edges didn't fit perfectly at first, so we had to cut and modify them.

After placing the tubing, we decided to paint it red as well.

The next step was applying the label stickers "Veggies" and "Bread".

Finally, we drew in the ruler using a sharpie and ruler.

For our movie, we thought of trying to make it funny but didn't come up with any good humorous ideas, nor did I think cutting board could be very funny. So when researching cutting board commercials and advertisements, I found a brand that advertised kitchen tools, specifically cutting boards, very well. You can watch some examples below:

Luckily my grandparents live in Lawrence, so we were able to shoot the film for the commercial in her clean kitchen and this way we had access to a dishwasher, veggies, bread, and a cabinet which were all necessary in our video.

[Musical Musings]
While creating this process notebook, I have become obsessed with a new band called, "The Lumineers". Not only that, but my recent download of Spotify has made it possible for me to listen to their whole album for free while designing. Some of their songs that I would suggest:
1] "Ho Hey" artist: the Lumineers
2] "Classy Girls" artist: the Lumineers
3] "Stubborn Love" artist: the Lumineers
Check them out on iTunes or Spotify, you won't regret it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Reflections

For our process notebook, we were asked to read and reflect on a couple of articles that our teachers posted on blackboard.

{Reading #1}
The first article is called "The Writer's Toolbox"by Andrea Wertzberger. It talked about how writing can be a very powerful tool when we are designing and private writing processes can only enhance the designer's process. In fact, in Leonardo DaVinci's sketch books diagrammatic sketches were included that are similar to mind, word, and concept maps that we use today. This type of thinking can help use both the right and left side of your brain while designing. Five different types of brainstorming were discussed, and I learned a lot about these brainstorming methods.
Mind Maps: The goal of mind maps is to develop the diagram quickly. It's helpful for initiating new ideas in a process and don't be afraid to include color, images (good for visual thinkers), and dimensions to these maps. Traditionally they are made by pen and paper which helps with speed and web based mind maps allow for additions of links and notes. To make one, you start with one central word then branch off from there with what words come to mind and see where it takes you. Examine your results with a group. Are there patterns or new concepts that developed?
Concept Maps: Concept maps are very similar to mind maps, but include links between similar concepts to create connections. They work by showing relationships of concepts in a hierarchy of order from general to specific. These are joined with linking statements such as "depends on", "can be", "made of", and "from". When making one also consider visual mapping issues such as shape, scale, proximity and color to go further to explore the relationships.
Free Writing: Free writing is done by letting your thoughts flow onto paper continually without judgment. It's similar to journalling by focuses more on a specific idea or question such as, "What does the logo represent?" You can free write about things you have talked to your colleagues about before, but what are your thoughts on the matter? To develop a free write give yourself a time limit (between 10-15 minutes) and write whatever comes to mind. Afterwards, read over your results and expand upon any new innovative ideas if some were formed.
Brainwriting: During brainwriting all group members write down their brainstorming ideas within a developed template. The group members then continually trade these templates until all members have written/brainstormed on all of the papers. Once the brainstorming is complete, reflect and talk about it within the group to see what ideas and thoughts developed.
Word Lists: Word lists are a quick easy was to brainstorm and organize your ideas. After you are complete look over the lists and circle the words that jump out to you to explore new ideas upon the topic.

{Reading #2}
The second reading was titled "Understanding Comics" which was a chapter excerpt from a book. This reading was written in the form of a comic and discussed out emotions can be portrayed through comics and drawings. Here are some key notes I learned from the reading:
-Expressionism didn't start as a science but as an expression of the emotions of the artists.
-Some artists looked to comics as not understanding the emotions that can come from color and artwork, but do lines not also portray and show just as much emotion?
-Artists come up with ways to represent the invisible (i.e. hearts above someones head to show they are in love or wavy lines and flies above the trash to represent it's smell)
-Backgrounds can also be a great way to show emotion.
-The most widely used symbols within comics is the word balloon and it can be altered to show emotion within the context.
-Words and pictures work together to fully engage the reader in the sense of emotion attempting to be portrayed.
One of the best parts of this reading was the fact that it was written in comic book form, so I could see all of the ideas and facts about emotion via comics portrayed throughout the book. I liked the real life examples this gave, and it was a much more powerful way of portraying it than just writing about it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Video Responses

During our second project, we have been watching videos and learning about the design process within industrial design firms and industry. First, we watched the film, "Objectified" by Gary Hustwit and also an approx. 20 minute clip from ABC news about the company, IDEO.

{"Objectified: A Documentary Film"}
by: Gary Hustwit

The first film we watched as a class was "Objectified: A Documentary Film". You can watch a trailer of the movie here. This documentary film was really quite interesting, and I don't just say that from a designers standpoint. As a viewer of the film I was able to see inside the design process for large companies such as Apple and how the design process works. One of the big take-away facts I learned from the movie is that everything you use has been designed, but the products that are well-designed you don't even notice that they have been designed at all. That's how well designed they were. I also took some notes on other facts I learned from the movie, that I felt could help me become a better designer:
- A designer's job is to look at people's needs. Look at the extremes of people's needs, and the middle group will take care of itself.
- Industrial designers look at how an object effects the user (ex: for a potato peeler they look at where the pressure points are on your hand. Are these working? Does the design need to be changed to ease the user's hand?)
- look at design in a formal object, at symbolism, and in a big picture scenario
- goal as a designer: design products that will stand the test of time
- consumers need to demand that design is good
I was amazed at the intelligent design that goes behind the apple products, and there were so many things about my Apple laptop that I didn't even think of as being design, but instead I just think about them as being "perfect". It works so well and looks so good, I can tell Apple didn't over design it or over think it. They always make their products just right, in my opinion.

{ABC News broadcast: IDEO}
The second video we watched was an ABC News broadcast about a design company called IDEO, one of the most successful design companies in the world. You can watch the clip for yourself here. This clip really helped with the brainstorming process for our second project, because we are doing a version of this "deep-dive" brainstorming process that IDEO has come up with. In their office, they all work together rather than having one boss telling everyone else what to do because he "has the best ideas". Rather, they know everyone has great ideas and to get the best product they must compile them all together, filter through, and re-design the product that way. One of the biggest things I learned from this film was the power of brainstorming. During this broadcast the company was asked to redesign the shopping cart. Before anything, they came up with probably hundreds of ideas as a team of things that were wrong with the cart, ideas on how to fix these problems, and even new innovative ideas. But the brainstorming didn't stop there. They then broke up into teams and all brainstormed what their ideal re-design of the shopping cart would be. After trying all of these ideas out and working very hard they then presented prototypes to each other. These group prototypes then went into the making of the final prototype where they kept only the best ideas and put them into one cart. After it was all finished, they even took the final prototype into a grocery store and got some good response from the shoppers and workers at the store. This film was good to watch for how to go about re-designing our cutting board. The process of excessive brainstorming, prototyping, and re-prototying could only improve our design process within this second project. It was very insightful to see how this company made it work using different ideas that the "typical company" such as not having a boss figure, whoever has the best idea has the best idea rather than whoever has been at the company longest, and not working silently at a desk but rather with your hands and in a group setting.

Both of these films were quite interesting to inspire my design process, and I would recommend either, even to the non-designer.