Tuesday, September 30, 2008

in the mail

Postcards by (clockwise from the top): Laura Snoderly, Sara Easterling, Mira Eng-Goetz, Brittany Dasso and Erin Marshall.

Here's a small sampling of the many beautifully crafted postcards the class produced in response to John Linn and Jay Lennartson's lectures. Nice job!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

process makes "perfect"

process is the key in carrying a project from conception to completion. in order to understand the whole problem and situation of the project-- while leaving individual beliefs and presumptions out-- is follow a two stage method: analysis + synthesis. analysis is the identification and dissecting of the problem while synthesis is putting together the parts to make a whole in order to apply the solution. within this two-stage process—there are eight steps to guide you in solving the design solution for the project. commit with the project, state the problem, collect information through precedents + research, analyze through conceptual diagrams + sketches, ideate to form a concept, choose those ideas in which are creative, implement the ideas, and then evaluate the outcome.  

this is an example of a design sequence for developing a plan from the conceptual stage onto the final stage. [see those bubble diagrams do come in handy]  it is clear that each step is equally important as the next because it allows you to learn what is successful  to incorporate into the final design. [take note on the comments listed below each diagram-- it clearly defines the details associated with each step.] 

the following information and diagrams came from --the design process: the sequential steps.

Concepts for Dummies

After reading Rengel this weekend you all should have a general idea of what concepts are and some of the ways a designer goes about attaining the most appropriate one for their project. I refrained from using the word "selecting" in the previous sentence because attaining a concept goes beyond a situation similar to picking which laundry detergent you want to buy at the grocery store. I will be the first to admit that Chapter 6 is a lot to take in one reading (it still hurts my brain when I look at it in one sitting), especially the varying ways in which the word "concept" is used. I recommend reading it over several times and taking notes each time. It also might help to look at some of your previous projects to see where you might have already used some of the criteria mentioned in the chapter to help your understanding.

It should be noted that this chapter is not the golden rule of concepts and that there is no golden rule. I know, its frustrating..."...but I want structure and strict guidelines to follow so I know if I'm doing it right!" Rengel is a very good starting place for understanding them but it is one of [many] approaches. Explore elsewhere and everywhere.

Unfortunately, you will also find that people will sometimes disagree with your interpretations, peers and instructors alike, usually in a mixed and confusing way (even more frustrating). Don't be offended and don't be afraid to have a productive conversation with your dissenters as this will only help you in your journey. I like to think that the more people who are able to understand your concept, usually a direct result of your articulation audibly and visibly, the more successful the concept is. Like anything else, it takes practice.

As for myself, I associate conceptualization with design process because it is my belief that they drive each other simultaneously. My process might be comparable to a combination of natural/unnatural disasters or maybe even Stephen Hawking's theory of what a person would experience if they were sucked into a blackhole (kudos for whoever looks that up and emails one of us). Look at the name of my blog (and the header for a description) and you will get an idea of how I view things. The thought of having a linear process might be appealing to others but it scares me to think that some people view it as a check list. I am constantly looking to be influenced by everything around me, regardless of how far into a project I'm in, and reconnecting, merging, or scrapping new ideation and old ideation. While that might not necessarily be appropriate for someone in the real world, we are students and we can afford to do things like this. I can attest to the mental growth that will occur if you are always open and not afraid to toss something you like for something that you can convey better conceptually...and to repeat the process until you've exhausted all avenues.

This is an example of my own work from a project last year when I was a third year in Stoel's studio. We were charged with picking a location in the building and coming up with a way to make that location better for student presentations. My concept was "[end/ex]ogenous influence" and my location was the lobby. It started with analysis ( light, circulation, use, sound, problems for presenting in the lobby, etc) and progressed to ideation with different media usage (3-d modeling, painting, sketching, photography, etc). I spent a lot of time looking at books, magazines, the internet, inside and outside Gatewood, our campus, Greensboro- everywhere. I crossed analytical process with ideation and external influences (precedents) constantly throughout the project. Though I changed concepts many times in between the beginning and end, my final concept was born from my design process as a whole. Its difficult to explain on a blog but if you are interested, feel free to come and talk to me about it.

A little cheat sheet...
"Concept" defined, via google, as:
1. comprehensive or organizing idea (strategy)
2. unit of knowledge abstracted from a set of characteristics attributed to a class of objects, relations, or entities
3. abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances

From Rengel:
types: philisophical, thematic, functional, mood-related, stylistic
main concept: helps to tie the entire project together by providing a dominant structure or idea that all other design ideas adhere to
organizational concept: guides arrangment or order, placement, divisions, and relationships helping to establish a scheme(s) for the project
character concept: style, image, theme helping to give personality(ies) to the project as a whole

section cut

section cuts are one of the many ways designers can show and study spatial relationships, details, connections and other important design features. the key to a successful and informative section cut relies on the designer's ability to cut through the spaces that reveal the most. moreover, a section cut must show your design concept in a clearly legible manner. these sections might help you understand how useful and informative a section can be.


resources for investigation

Good resources  are a great way to researching for inspiration, precedents or understanding for this project or projects in the future. The most obvious tools would be the research library or the uncg library and its extensive database. Here are some others to add to your bag or tricks.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

constructive criticism and ll cool j

who says watching reality television is a waste of time?

here's a lesson in how NOT to take criticism via this week's Project Runway, where the designers were given the challenge of designing for one another, taking cues from a variety of music genres.

the truly awkward action begins approximately  4 and a half minutes in.


Friday, September 26, 2008

the rest of the semester...

well gang, it's time for another big transition and the image here, dubbed a "squbble" by debbie nestvogel, lays out our time together. a copy of this same graphic can be found on blackboard.

Monday, September 15, 2008

and the academy award for...

the client charrette documentary goes to....
camacho + easterling + jackson + schwarz
for best special effects
eng-goetz + hall + lessane

for best screenplay
farley + giles + stanisic + stokes

for best editing
brown + dipasquale + neitzel + takeda

for best voice over
the results for these special awards have been verified by the accounting firm of pike+rowland.

six thumbs down

today, we reviewed all the blogs in the class. disheartened by the lack of care in the quality of the blogs, in the style of movie-reviewers siskel and ebert, we gave your blogs a RESOUNDING six thumbs down!!! Y-I-K-E-S! next reviews in a week: do better.

six thumbs up

thanks to the following students for taking care in their craft and content of the blogs at this point in the semester. all class members should look at these nine blogs and leave a substantive comment that speaks to the information contained there AND the way it was represented.

anna will
emme zheng
heather link
katrina fischer
laura dipasquale
laura snoderly
monique farley
nacarra lessane
sara easterling

we encourage all members of the communitybydesign studio (iar201) to redouble their efforts with these nine blogs as the "thumbs up" standard for the class. remember that these blogs are your own outward link to the world about the work you do as designers. they should be your best work always. moreover, we utilize your blog as a means to assess your effots and performance in this course.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

playful spaces.

to aid your ongoing research on bus|shelter + shelter|bus, check out this VIDEO on youtube to observe the ways in which humans interact with one another in relationship to a given shelter. great design by bruno taylor.

thanks to edgar for finding the video!