Monthly Archives: November 2008

So close, but no cigar – yet

SO the sewing machine went from a peaceful kitten at 7am to some bastard love child of a pair of scissors and thread vomit at 12:55. Allison calls it a demon child sitting in the corner laughing at us – true. It was a pretty big disappointment for all of us, I think, to have gotten so much work done with not a lot of trouble all night and then for all the work we could’ve easily gotten done today after we had all taken a break and had a little rest to NOT get done at all simply because the machine just would not cooperate. Whatever. I know I know how to make this bag and I know it would be great if it would just get made.

Allison and I dropped off parts and pieces of it at her alteration’s place this afternoon to see if they could work with some non-devilish sewing machine. I keep going back and forth about trying to use the industrial ones in studio – but when is enough enough? I’m a little burnt out with all the various work I’ve been doing and all the holidays rapidly approaching.What we have done is good work, and I think that overall we’re on to something good. I think that also, since this is not our most perfect outcome, it prepares me more for constructive criticism because I’m not going into this thinking “This model is perfect because I sanded it and painted it and loved it to perfection and there can be no improvement on a perfect model.” [Not that I think that a lot, because I haven’t been blessed with lots of perfect models in the past (sophomore year) – but I think everyone can relate to that feeling of “OMG, THIS MODEL IS JUST LIKE WHAT MY HEAD THOUGHT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE AND IT LOOKS SO GREAT AND IT’S LIKE PERFECT!” and get so blindsided by your own success that you’re too into your idea that you can’t see what other options there could be.]
I’m just going to let the little Asian ladies do what they can and try not to stress. Ha ha.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

ONLY a prototype

I’m up late again [shocker!] – but I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past few days. I know that ALL three of us have had so much work and school work to do, but our bag is looking really good right now [although, it IS 6:30am…]. I’m glad that Allison, Chris, and I all have different strengths. Right now Allison is slowly stitching on the ‘reflective’ lettering onto the front pocket. We have to wait until tomorrow to plot our vinyl map [BIG whoops there, but we’ll work it out]. Chris has been working crazy hard on some renderings that look good. As soon as Allison is done with those letters, I can put the small pocket on the bigger pocket and we’ll have most of the bag’s body done. The two straps are already complete, but we have to attach them to the back and the body of the bag. I’m conceptualizing over the third strap right now, and then it’s back to the grindstone.
Remember, it’s ONLY A PROTOTYPE.

Tagged , , , , , ,

keep trekking

Allison put together a stellar collage of our benchmarking research at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Chris and I were bag models. I feel like we’re making a lot of good process thus far, and some solid design decisions SO I’m just trying not to panic because I’m not really a wearable design designer…
I usually do my ‘wearable’/’soft good’ tinkering on my own time over Christmas breaks – like the shoe and hoodie projects I’ve been known to do. I often do the same thing I’m doing now, which is procrastinate my heart out until I get fed up and knock it all out in a couple of hours without help. We’re heading to the store early tomorrow to get all the little details to start working, so I’m nervous excited for tomorrow to really get going and see how this is going to work [!]

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

bag inspirations


bright colors + innovation

I’m pretty partial to the color scheme of the AA ‘School Bag’ in Hunter Orange with silver and highlighter-yellow zippers. Their other bags, with more bright colors [like this gym bag in yellow or purple] are also pretty similar to the brightness and color schemes of the bag I was thinking of in my head for this project. I’m also a fan of contrasting zippers, and reflective patches [safety first!].

Tagged , , , ,

getcho bike onnnnn

I’ve been stewing over bikes for a bit. Not in a angry, mean kind of way – more like a warm, happy, chicken-noodle-soup-kind-of way. The idea of biking is really great; you have the opportunity to pollute less while keeping yourself in shape (bingo! double sustainability points!). The reality of biking is not really great [at least not in ATL]. Ted did a presentation on how he’s divorced his life from a car, which we had already talked about previously – but I thoroughly enjoyed his point about ‘every trip begins and ends on foot.’

Allison, Chris and I have been doing a lot of work and I’ve been way too lame to write about it. The three of took an adventure to Cabbage Town to see if we could find commuters in action – we got a little lost [no blaming me; I wasn’t driving], but it was a really interesting side of Atl that I hadn’t really seen before. We also stopped in Little Five and talked to two different skate shops and a bike shop about the pros and cons of how they get around the city ((some people like how crazy and risky it is to get around on a bike/board, some wear helmets and some don’t, etc.)).

Another important point of our research was experiencing riding a bike in the road first hand. Allison and I borrowed some mountain bikes and took to the road [at night. in the cold. in freaking Atlanta]. We road from M street to Northside to 10th street up to State where Allison turned left and I kept going for a block because I wasn’t listening, then down some other road by the townhouses near Atlantic Station, and then up that hill [we walked. whoops.] to 17th, and then a couple blocks down 17th street to experience how it felt to ride in an actual ‘bike lane’. Riding with Allison really helped me feel a lot more brave; having Chris follow us in his truck helped way way way more. I think we topped out at about 12mph – which would get quicker over time. Part of the difficulties we experienced were due to being out of shape and not having been on bikes in a long time. I have a bike of my own that I NEVER ride – it actually holds magazines in my apartment and looks super cute – and part of that is the type of bike it is + the fear of having to get my out-of-shape-self out in the freakin’ streets to ride it. Basically, riding that bike in the street with Allison has changed my perspective quite a bit. Bikers are killer. I mean, really, people that bike around campus are ‘bikers’ – but holy crap. To commute all over the city? That’s so extreme and brave – especially in the crazy, unpredictable weather. One of my friends said that riding a bike is like being in a convertible, and it lets you see things that you don’t usually get to experience in a car. So true – if I hadn’t been fiddling with my helmet, that ride would’ve been extra awesome. Feeling the wind and the wobble of the bike while trekking around is really liberating.
But how on Earth are we going to get more people out there on bikes the first time? That’s exactly our design problem.

Since realizing that we want to solve the ‘confidence’ issue of getting people out on bikes the first time, and making sure they stay out there, we’ve gone through several different product concepts. Some strayed from products into more advertising/promotional situations, and others into really rad concepts like ‘Aggressive Biking School’. After brainstorming some more, and really defining down what makes or breaks ‘confidence’ we’ve decided to create a sort of ‘Biker’s Buddy Bag’ [but much cooler than that]. One of Allison’s original ideas involved putting a map onto a bike seat, since there’s no need for anything more than a bike when you’re commuting [all about the bare essentials], but seat terrain + small surface area =/= as useful as we had hoped.

DVA got us into contact with a local bag/wallet designer, Malcolm Fontier, who was sooo very nice and talked to us for a long time about design, stitching, manufacturing and manufacturing drawings, conceptualizing, research, and benchmarking. It was really nice to get some real-life feedback and talk to someone that creates bags for a living. I also personally enjoyed being able to hear how what Leffler teaches us in Materials class really does matter when you design stuff. [Malcolm’s stuff rocks – he doesn’t use leather (instead its plastic-coated-canvas), he was featured at the ID exhibit at MODA (, and I want one of his bags in the sweet blue color he has (so worth checking out)] [His ‘smallest wallet’ is ingenious and I’m a proud new owner 🙂 ] Allison, Chris and I recently went to Dick’s Sporting Goods [I had never been in such a large Dick’s before – the one in Buckhead has three freaking stories, and the one in my hometown does not] to benchmark one-strapped bags. We found some by Nike, Jansport, and North Face and they all had a lot of interesting info to offer. I’m pretty partial to the Nike Team Training Mono in M-L because it’s strap is so ingeniously shaped and padded which makes it CRAZY comfortable and it’s uniquely shaped to fit better on one’s back; I’m not, however, a fan of the lame ‘girl’ colors in gross ‘coral’ and ‘cherry’ [give me electro inspired colors every day, thanks]. I’ve been trying to get rid of the itchy urge to go purchase said Nike bag and take to the streets on my bike – or maybe I’ll just have to do it one day. I think I could make it down North Ave and onto campus…

Anyhoo, we’re busy working on bag details as we speak. I’m *pretending to be busy* looking up how colors affect visibility [night vs. day, distance, etc.], as well as what materials we might make our bag out of *while writing this giant blog*. I have to go grab some samples at Joann’s tomorrow before studio so we can decide on what we want – or at least start figuring it out. We forSURE need to make the bottom of our bag waterproof since this bag is geared towards teens and early twenty-year-olds that are commuting to school and similar activities. I’m excited about the progress and design decisions we’ve made thus far, but I am beginning to get nervous because our model is due this coming Wednesday and we have so so much to do. Yikes. Good thing we have all weekend, eh? Or at least all weekend after BANGARANG. Perhaps I’ll ride my bike to The Loft? Perhaps.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

design: hard

I am in the midst of writing another MIND-BLOWINGLY-LONG blog about all the work I’ve been doing on this fourth project (because, YES, I have been doing work) – but I needed to quickly make this observation about the real-life designer experiences I’ve had this week:

No one, but other designers, can even contemplate the time that goes into products of any kind.

Not even a little.
“Oh you’re doing a project for studio and you’re making a bag? Why can’t you come hang out with me right after you whip that little thingy up?!” Yeah. Right.
[But I still love it. Weird, right?]

whatcha gonna do?

I’ve been asked what I want to do with my life a lot recently; or more like, I’ve been asked what I want to do with my life recently and it seems to be sticking out in my memory more.
I don’t know what I want to do because I don’t feel like I know what I’m good at, and I don’t feel like I can confidently say to someone “I want to have a giraffe farm” or “I want to do interior lighting” or “I’m interested in exhibit and space design.”

Is there a certain point in time when you wake up and think, “Now I am a designer. I’m going to call myself a designer when I describe myself and I really am one, too.” ?
But is this lack of confidence in ‘believing in the designer in me’ keeping me from being my ‘best possible designer self’? [with all the humor that I’m sure that provides, I also mean it 100% seriously]

If only I could be a professional thinker.
I can out-think everyone I know – except for Sam Brown.
PROFESSIONAL THINKER FOR SALE. NEEDS COFFEE. CAN BE MOODY. LIKES GIRAFFES, SPARKLES, COLOR, AND HUGS.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

off-kilter

I have started and then stopped half way through many different drafts of new posts….
But, I haven’t had enough time to really sit down and hash it all out.
However, I just found this thru someone else’s else’s tumblr link thing, and it’s cool:
Trek Lime

and it all came tumbling out.

Now that I have been away from that godforsaken computer lab in 104 for a few days, and have already started our final project for the semester I am feeling a little less completely consumed by bitter rage as I previously felt [circa Friday’s review around 2pm]. I have even gone back to liking packaging, and have even found a stellar site that is all about it The Dieline [thanks to following FFFFOUND! on tumblr that posted some stuff from thedieline.com – isn’t the internet a funny little thing (or rather, never-endingly-huge)?]
I am proud of what I accomplished for the third project in theory and in graphics – which I was actually done with Wednesday night. I am not proud of the “end result” I produced for Friday’s review. I just couldn’t get things together, and it seems as if everything that could go wrong did, of course, go terribly wrong. I think that if every project this semester had gone so generally smoothly as they had been going, that perhaps the karma backlash I would’ve experienced would have been much more devastating than the one that I did have. I was burnt out and angry over being in that stupid, small computer room for so many days in a row with what seemed like nothing to show for it – but, of course, as a simple third year student I had simply forgotten that all projects are for the greater good of THE PORTFOLIO and not necessarily ‘the review.’ Days, MANY extra hours of sleep and some good meals of chips&dip and/or nachos [to ease the ‘WTF STUDIO SUCKED’ pains] later, I am back to being a happy little studio worker and am looking forward to this new project.

Project Four is a serious group project about non-motorized transportation. I’m working with Allison, one of my loverly former roommates, and Chris, a boy that can sketch like nobody’s business, on wheel-related transportation. I’m not usually a group project person, but thus far, I’m very happy with my group and I know that they’re both fantastic designers/hard workers. Looking forward to what this project has in store.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: