Archive for the ‘assignments’ Category
18 January, 2011 – 11:05 pm | Filed under assignments, design, posterous, school | No Comments »
I’m still sorting out the semester’s classes, but am definitely taking a Color and Communication class. I’ve wanted to take a class that was all about making and doing, and it has been so much fun so far.
For today, they asked each of us to bring in roughly 30 objects of various colors within a single category. I raided my roommates’ and my own spices, and collected about 25. Our aim was to arrange them while taking hue, value, and saturation into consideration, then to re-create the colors using an artistic medium (I used colored pencils), to understand the subtle shift in colors between similar objects.
The instructors then encouraged us to look into juxtaposing different pieces to look at the color relationships. (I hadn’t quite gotten to that point so they helped me out a bit…they look amazing but would probably taste terrible together.)
8 October, 2010 – 9:05 pm | Filed under assignments, design, school | No Comments »
My head is spinning as a result of the last week, which was spent in Chicago at the 2010 Design and Emotion Conference. It was my first true design conference (SXSW Interactive in 2008 kind of counts, but…), and my first academic conference. I didn’t present a paper, but I did volunteer and sat in on something like 30 talks about various design papers and 3 of the 4 keynote speeches (I only missed the 4th because I had a headache, but it’ll be online shortly anyway), and had some great conversations and met some great people. It was a great experience, and has given me a lot to think about. (Maybe I’ll write a write-up in a few days.)
We got back late last night, and today I’ve jumped right back in with catching up on my large pile of schoolwork and research. Besides my thesis, I’m in two other classes, with their own research projects:
- Social Impact By Design (mentioned by Jenny on printmag.com’s Imprint blog!) – I’m exploring the idea of getting people to take more responsibility for their surroundings. This could relate possibly to something like littering or vandalism, or being more considerate of people around them, or just shaking the idea that “it’s not my problem; someone else owns it/someone else will deal with it”.
- Information+Interaction+Perception – I’ll be developing some designed product/artifact/campaign that educates and informs about the health and environmental benefits of vegetarianism (in a friendly and totally unobtrusive way, to counteract the headstrong and pushy image a number of vegetarians have built).
For the latter, I’m working on reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma right now, and searching for relatively unbiased and reputable sources of information.
For the former, I’ve started by reading up on designing for persuasion. But that brings up some questions: does persuasion imply some sort of tangible and measurable reaction? With something like this, which is more of an implicit and personal cultural shift in how a person responds to a situation, does that mean that this project would still fall under the umbrella of persuasive design? I’m not persuading people to take a specific action; I’m “persuading” (or suggesting?) that they think differently, and possibly even internalize a message or concept that changes their view, which will, in turn, change their actions. Or…is that actually what persuasive design is all about?
Obviously I’m only getting started on my research for this. But the psychological implications and strategies implicit in design are really fascinating to me, and I’m looking forward to learning much more about this.
28 February, 2010 – 3:34 am | Filed under assignments, school | No Comments »
I was on the fence about posting these, but oh well, what the heck, right? This is a scenic writing assignment – we’re supposed to describe a scene in such a way that an impartial reader can immerse him/herself in it easily, and without imposing our own opinions onto it.
(Well, “these” = “this” – this is the 3rd paper I’ve written for this course so far, and it’s the best one of the lot and my favorite so far. The others require some revision, but eventually I’ll put those here as well.)
Some names have been changed and some circumstances have been tweaked (this combines a couple of different visits to this cafe), but this is mostly factually accurate. Including the music, incidentally; I’m kind of amazed I was able to identify the majority of it.
The warm, sunny glow emanating from the foggy windows of the 61c Cafe stands out against the chilly, blustery weather. It feels cheerful and enticing, and a number of people succumb to it on this winter’s evening. Even on a weeknight and well into the evening hours, a steady stream of people continue to come and go. Some stop in for a hot drink before going on their way again, while others settle in for a while, to get work done or relax in pleasant company. Books, laptops, and drink glasses are stacked and positioned strategically to make the most out of the small amounts of table space. Backpacks, purses, and shoulder bags occupy empty chairs around the patrons, as the floor is almost uniformly dingy and damp, thanks to the weather outside.
16 November, 2009 – 1:40 am | Filed under Tags: assistantship, design seminar, design studio, letterpress, presentation & pitch design, typography assignments, design, school | 2 Comments »
I’m really behind on my work this evening, so what do I do instead of work? Turn to my poor, neglected blog to collect my thoughts.
My immediate goals are:
1. finish grading papers for the class I’m TAing
2. work on sketches and general information-gathering for my design studio course.
The second is the most interesting and the most nebulous. It’s our final project for studio, where we have to visualize information spaces. We each were assigned various topics, whether they’re books, movies, websites.
I received Design Observer.
I have conflicted feelings about this. For one, I’m lucky, because it’s a well designed and well organized website. For another, it’s freaking huge. There have been thousands of articles posted there over the last 6 years.
For a third, I’ve realized I’m not a big fan of the site. It’s a great resource and has some wonderful gems, to be sure, but…it just smacks of higher-level “glossy New York elitist” design to me. I don’t relate to the mentality of the contributors at all, and the tone and approach of a number of the articles just…kind of rubs at me awkwardly. It doesn’t feel “real” or “grounded” enough to me.
Well, anyway, tomorrow I have a meeting with Dan (Boyarski, the professor) to show my sketches of how I’ve mapped the site and its content out, and possible sketches and storyboards for how to visualize it. Obviously I want to do something creative, but…what can you truly do with what’s essentially the sitemap of a website? I’m toying with the idea of working with the actual articles instead, to show how interlinked they are within the structure of the site, but I kind of feel like the layout and usability flaws in the site exhibit themselves in how to navigate at such a granular level like that.
(It shouldn’t surprise me, though; I was present when William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand, two prominent designers and two of the major figures who run Design Observer, gave a talk to AIGA Atlanta at the Portfolio Center earlier this year, and Drenttel’s parting shot was something along the lines of, “We have to do usability testing. I hate it, but we do it anyway.” Considering I was working as a graphic and usability designer at the time, I had a real problem with that, and with him propagating the idea that usability is unnecessary and annoying to a bunch of students (who made up more than half the crowd)…if not for my having a pounding headache that night, I would have gone up to him and called him on it. (Dan offered to give me his e-mail address so I can tell him anyway. Heh!))
Anyway, that’s what I have due for tomorrow.
Otherwise, I am working on…
Design Seminar: a final paper, tying together a lot of our readings this semester to reflect on design from a theory and philosophy standpoint
Design Studio: see above. We finished up our motion graphics projects on reading; I will post a link to the video here when I’ve uploaded the final version.
Typography: doing some basic experiments with putting expressive text over images to free us up, before jumping into our final project. We just finished up a project where we studied type designers and fonts; I got Hermann Zapf and Palatino.
Presentation & Pitch Design: This is a mini (half-term) class I enrolled in just a few weeks ago, to fill the gap left by dropping Social Web. We’re studying rhetoric and effective presentation strategy all in one, to consider different ways to craft and frame arguments, presentations, and pitches.
Letterpress: I’m starting to suspect I won’t be able to typeset all 12 of the quotes I picked out for my booklet. So far I’ve hand-set four of them, and it’s taken weeks (and lots of digging around to find enough cast type, too).
The two orchestra groups I’m in just had a concert a couple of weeks back, which went pretty well. And spring registration kicks off tomorrow; grad students can register at 6 AM. I was going to wake up then to register and work, but now I’m not sure it’s going to happen.
Eventually I will post more of the work I’ve been doing. But for now, back to work.
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!