Tag Archives: resource

The New Untouchables

First of all, sorry I haven’t blogged in a long long while. I’ve been deep into my thesis work, so I’ve been sparse with my writing. Apologies! However, I did come across a great article in the New York Times that I’d like to share with everyone. It is called The New Untouchables by Thomas L. Friedman. It’s an article about creating new opportunities for oneself during this time of recession. I think one of the major lines that can describe this article is, “those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained. They are the new untouchables.”

This also brings to light what our Chairperson Anne Burdick has to say about designers in her article, “Graduate Education: Preparing Designers for Jobs that Don’t Exist (yet)“.

I see the opportunity right now to design a job that doesn’t exist quite yet. As a designer, it is not only up to me to try my best to do well at what I do, but it is also up to me to carve out spaces, or rather, “design” out spaces in the working world that have the potential to do things that existing job positions just don’t do right now. What can my explorations do to enhance my own practice as a design researcher? What am I doing as a designer to advocate for the induction of new creative practices within our culture?

Advertisements

Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Summer Institute for Teachers

IMG_1528

I had the privilege of observing the Summer Institute for Teachers here at Art Center at the beginning of this month. I had the chance to observe how to apply design-based learning tactics into teaching curriculums, and have been utilizing my experience to apply to my own thesis work. Sitting in with teachers was great because I was able to understand the constraints they face, as well as learn what they know about how to work with young students. One of my goals coming into the Media Design Program was to prepare myself to be a design-based educator upon graduation, so it was refreshing and encouraging to be around enthusiastic teachers. There were many tools and methodologies presented that I know will greatly help my own work as a media designer next term. I think one of the bigger challenges for me is really being able to articulate the importance of me as a media designer in the world of design-based learning and thinking. This is something I plan to solidify over the break, and I know it is imperative in helping steer where I take myself over the course of my final term here at Art Center.

Here are photos of some of the teachers working on building communities, using existing craft materials:

IMG_1532

IMG_1560

Future Creature Presentation

I presented my Future Creature concept to the Illuminations: Lighting class last week. The class is comprised mainly of Product Designers and Environmental Designers. I was able to get a lot of feedback about my project, and I also recruited a few people that offered to help with my thesis! Because this was a lighting class, we focused a lot on how the object could serve other purposes. We also discussed other observations about the behaviors of the object.

Here’s some of the feedback:
– It’s really entertaining and considerations should be made to turn it into a product.
– Color and math games can easily be attached to this object.
– The object seems alive. The smaller light balls seem to have a personality when they roll around together.
– A good starting point to evoke imagination and storytelling (YES! This is what I wanted to hear!)
– Consider other materials – i.e. what if it was softer, what if the outer capsule was made of silicon, what other colors could be used, etc.
– What would it be like if the balls were different sizes too?
– People liked the sound of the clicking tilt switches – it sounded like a very low level of communication between the balls

After the presentations were over, I went home and took some photos of the object in the dark. Enjoy!

fc10

fc9

fc8

fc7

Process!!!

In preparation for my upcoming thesis review, I’ve been mapping out my process, writing down questions, pulling quotes, drawing little diagrams all in the effort to articulate this terms explorations. Where was I and where am I now and what am I aiming to do? What is my own process teaching/informing me?

DSC_1409

DSC_1401

DSC_1402

DSC_1405

Steve Roden Workshop

@ The Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
presented by The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS)

I had a chance to attend a three-hour workshop called Make It, Perform It, Install It: Listen facilitated by sound artist Steve Roden. I wanted to attend this workshop because I figured it would bring inspiration and new perspectives to my own thesis work. Steve Roden started off by presenting some of his work. One of his focuses is on the translation of letters, numbers, shapes and color into new forms through the use of self-imposed codes and constraints. I really enjoyed viewing his work not only because his interests relate to sound and language, but also because he’s a man of juxtapositions who finds inspiration and new meaning by removing some of the obvious and distorting the senses.

During the workshop, we had the chance to create a bit of a collaborative orchestra of sound, film and color. There were about fifteen people at the workshop and we each were asked to color a portion of 8mm film that was strung between all of us. As music and sounds played in the background, we were asked to draw on the film according to the way we felt. When this part of the exercise was completed, we ran the film through a projection reel to see what types of patterns would emerge. 

Prior to arriving at the workshop, we were asked to bring instruments or sound making devices. I brought some percussion instruments, but others brought guitars, violins, digital devices, bells, their own voices… . The film was played again, and this time, we were asked to play our instruments according to relative connections the patterns we were viewing. Steve asked us not to play tunes to the literal movements and color patterns – he wanted us to observe the smaller details of the visuals and he also wanted us to listen to the other participants and allow everyone to have their own creative sound space. One might think that we would have played something horrible and messy, but the outcome seemed quite the opposite. Instead, there seemed to be moments of, hmm…harmonious dissonance. In many ways, it seemed very much like a design research exercise and because it was very free in nature, I felt it was easier to be a creative participant. 

There were a few takeaways I learned from this workshop. First, experimental projects have to be thought-out, but they don’t have to be complicated. Through our exercises that evening, I learned quite a lot about the integration of media, interaction and space. Experimentation doesn’t have to be hard – you just have to do it and learn from it. Second, live participation can be very rewarding, especially when the interaction you do is not just between you and a device or machine, but between other people as well. There is something much more personal about making with others. One other observation I made was about alternative ways of displaying light and color. The workshop allowed me to realize that I must keep my options about in terms of how I portray light and color and what mediums I use to project light. I.e. Not everything I make has to be be about LED’s. Rather, where else can I gather light? Projectors, shadows, natural light? Also, what subtleties can make my work more meaningful, more detailed, more – for lack of a better word right now – poetic?

padLAb + CMTEL

padlab2

I had a chance to meet with Dan Gottleib and Penny Herscovitch of PadLAb last week. Dan and Penny are also professors at Art Center College of Design, and teach mainly out of the Color, Materials and Trends Exploration Laboratory (CMTEL). 

PadLab is a studio for new materials, installations, lighting, and architectural glass.

CMTEL was created in order to develop an awareness of color and material technologies and global trends, and to introduce design research into the curriculum at Art Center.

I sat down and chatted with them about my thesis, and they provided me with a lot of direction, inspiration and resources. They pointed me towards a further exploration of sacred light, as well as sparked my interest in how my project could exist on both a micro and macro level (this was also brought up by one of my advisors, Shona Kitchen). My plan is to take a lighting course with Dan and Penny next term. In the meantime, I will be spending the remainder of this semester studying lighting on my own.