Archive for October, 2009
28 October, 2009 – 7:03 pm | Filed under Tags: amma, awww, music, reading project family, music, personal | No Comments »
I’m going to Jason and Yufang’s wedding in Ohio this Friday evening, and staying the night with my grandmother, who lives not too far from there. My mom had called her earlier this week to remind her that I’m coming, and I finally got a chance to try calling her this afternoon. The land line was busy–meaning, she was most likely online (she has dial-up internet at home)–so I called her cellphone, and she let me know that she actually was in the process of writing me an e-mail when I called.
We talked for about ten minutes before hanging up, and a little while later I checked my mail again to see this message from her:
dear smitha ,
how are you doing. here iam doing well.
are you coming to akron on thi
now from your phone call i understand about your coming friday .
just like ,i will sending you this mail
eagerly waiting to see you,
In other news, while searching for appropriate music for my studio project, I’ve (re?)discovered the music of Huun-Huur-Tu (which means “sunbeams”), a group from Tuva, a republic of Russia that borders Mongolia, which mainly plays traditional Tuvan folk songs, using local instruments, and does throat/overtone singing, which is when an individual creates a note and its overtone/harmony simultaneously. I never expected it, but this is seriously hitting the spot–I’ve been craving music like this and am loving it. Check them out, though their newest album definitely branches away from the traditional sound of their previous albums, so don’t just go by the samples on their website.
22 October, 2009 – 12:48 am | Filed under Tags: design studio, reading project, sketch assignments, school | No Comments »
Today in studio, while presenting my idea and approach for my reading project (a narrative composed of still photographs, narrated by me, describing the feeling of illiteracy people have when going abroad), several people commented that they thought these storyboard sketches were “really expressive.”
I figured it was probably best not to mention that I dashed these off at 2 AM. Heh!
15 October, 2009 – 3:30 pm | Filed under Tags: cold, grrr, screenshots, weather, winter daily life | 1 Comment »
I know it’s the north and all, and they have real winters here, but IT’S FREAKING OCTOBER. COME ON.
14 October, 2009 – 1:40 am | Filed under Tags: design studio, information design, japan, latch, map, music, self portrait assignments, design, japan, personal | No Comments »
13 October, 2009 – 6:56 pm | Filed under design, personal, school | No Comments »
Heh, it didn’t take long for me to lose track of this again.
An update on the shirt design: after consulting with my roommates and my typography professor, I made some updates.
The vote went down at Sunday night’s rehearsal, but I had to leave early and missed hearing the results; guess I’ll find out this weekend. At least I still get a free shirt, and the officers really liked the design, but the other illustration submitted (of Brahms receiving an honorary Ph.D from Carnegie Mellon) was really cute, too.
So what am I working on right now? Several things.
Seminar: Wrapping up the design brief Marcus, Lauren, and I are working on the nuclear waste brief (not actually proposing strategies to deal with it, but outlining everything designers have to take into account).
Studio: Storyboarding for our motion project on reading. Thanks to an inspired idea by my friend Claire, I’m focusing on the idea of illiteracy when somebody goes abroad, and doing some kind of short first-person narrative–not set specifically in Japan and not rooted in my experiences, but just of the general experiences one has with going abroad, interspersed with facts about reading from an international perspective.
Typography: Continuing work on laying out a New Yorker article on Matthew Carter. (InDesign crashing after I’d designed half of it and making me lose my work has set me back somewhat.)
Letterpress: Still nailing down the specs of the work I’ll be doing. Since I’m doing this as a course, I need to come up with a cohesive, graduate-level project that the instructor can evaluate me on; I’d had my sights on doing a simple book of meaningful quotes and passages, but it’s been pointed out that it’d be good if there were a cohesive theme tying them all together, so I have to go reevaluate.
And starting next week: Presentation and Pitch Design, a mini taught by Carlos, a second-year design grad student, which will fit snugly into the two-hour block between my Monday and Wednesday seminar and studio courses. This means that I’ll be in class from 10AM-4:30PM straight. Great! (At least it’ll be useful.)
I’ve also started searching for winter boots. I haven’t worn boots of any sort in 20 years, so this is kind of a weird thing for me overall, but I’m already wearing the warmest coat I own and it’s only October, so…yeah. Winter coats are on the agenda, too. Like, serious ones, not the ones you get in Atlanta that are only good for the weather hitting the freezing point. (And I’ve been keeping an eye out for long underwear, too.)
And speaking of orchestra, as the image indicates, we have a concert in just under three weeks. I have a lot of practicing to do before then that I’m wishing I’d done before now. We also started sightreading new music in String Theory (the chamber orchestra group) for our February concert: Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and Mozart’s 40th Symphony! I’m particularly psyched about the former. Even if I don’t have time for orchestra in the spring, I hope we work it out so I can stay with String Theory (they’d prefer that people be in both, since ST’s an offshoot of the orchestra).
Time to get back to work, but I swear images of the work I’ve done will be up here eventually. (Perhaps not super-detailed, though, as some of them are a little more personal than I like to get online. But we’ll see how it goes.)
7 October, 2009 – 2:37 am | Filed under design, school | No Comments »
I threw this together for the All University Orchestra shirt tonight, instead of doing my seminar readings. (Heh.)
I’m not totally certain this is the final design; it’s still rough around the edges, and I may think of something better, but I like the concept. I designed it at 8″x8″ with the intention of having it be on the back of the shirt, but can easily resize it (probably to make it bigger?). Unfortunately, we aren’t actually allowed to use “Carnegie Mellon University,” “CMU,” or any other similar variant anywhere on the shirt, so it has to stay kind of vague.
It hit me that every single design I’ve done for school so far this term has been in black-and-white. Not really sure why that is…I’d love to work some more color in somehow but it just hasn’t worked out that way.
7 October, 2009 – 2:18 am | Filed under design, personal, school | 1 Comment »
Wow. Man. Hi. Is anyone still out there?
I’ve been around, but gave up on the public blogging thing for a while…now that I’ve begun a new phase of my life, though, it seems as good a time as any to get back into it. I was considering other blogging platforms for a while (Posterous, Tumblr), but I have this web space and am not doing that much with it right now, so why not?
As of the beginning of August, I’m no longer a resident of Atlanta: I’m living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, having begun grad school at Carnegie Mellon University (I still get a thrill every time I hear that name). I’m in the School of Design, studying Communication Planning and Information Design. I’m very interested in the meeting point of design and technology, especially on the web, and in online communication and communities, as well as cross-cultural communication issues.
I’m sharing a gorgeous, if surprisingly cold, house with three very awesome girls from my program (and a very unobtrusive mouse, for a little while). Really, my whole program has been pretty cool, and the school has a lot to offer. The city of Pittsburgh is great, too–it’s this hidden gem of a town, and I think the G-20′s brought it a lot of exposure, and we’ll be seeing more great things here in the future. My only concern, after growing up in the south, is how to handle the approaching winter.
One of the things I would like to do is keep some kind of public record of all the work I’m doing as part of this program, as well as in general.
This semester I’m taking two core courses, our Design Seminar and Design Studio, and a Graduate Typography elective.
Just last week, I had a switch-up with some of my classes; I dropped my Social Web class (a Human-Computer Interaction course), as it ended up being very heavy on the statistical analysis side and didn’t do much with the behavioral/observation side (e.g., we read a lot of studies and stats about online usage, but didn’t really do much direct observation/participation). In its place, I’m in the process of setting up a letterpress and bookbinding independent study, and I’ll be starting a half-semester-long course in a couple of weeks on presentation and pitch design (both pitching design and designing pitches). I hope to do a Social Web independent study in the future, to continue to study the subject matter but focusing more on my area of interest.
That’s where it all stands now. I’m currently working on a few things:
- a group paper with Marcus and Lauren, drafting a design brief for designers who are creating a communication system warning future generations about nuclear waste repositories 10,000 years in the future
- beginning an exploration into some aspect of reading and books in the future (which will be a motion project), most likely focusing on multiple languages and the idea of il/literacy when you go abroad
- a semi-experimental typography treatment for an essay on type designer Matthew Carter
- on the extracurricular side, a t-shirt design for CMU’s All University Orchestra
And so far I’ve worked on:
- a self-portrait in information design, focusing on type-as-image and recreating a few bars of Dvorak’s “Largo” movement from his New World Symphony almost completely in text/type
- a process book for the above project
- some exploratory work (not actual assignments) in calendar design, “I used to __ but now I don’t” typography self-portraits
- studying Wikipedia user dynamics and the social process of editing articles
- lots and lots of rather philosophical reading, making us approach the idea of design and design thinking from a very different foundation–it goes way, way beyond just graphics; it’s really a full-on world view
I think that’s everything for now…there will definitely be more to come.