Monthly Archives: February 2010

Understandings (of Sorts)

Today I had a moment of spontaneous enlightenment about my design desires – I suppose that’s the best way to describe it. More complexly: “the sorts of things I enjoy creating, have noticed a trend in my designs, and would enjoy doing more of in the near-and-long-term-futures”

I’ve noticed that I enjoy designs that are well thought out, planned, and researched but still allow the customer to be involved in the true end result. Perhaps this is considered product interaction design? I don’t know; I plan on spending a little bit of time researching this in the near future. Most of the trends of “interaction design” that I’ve seen are heavily reliant on computer and electronic product interaction, and I’m specifically more interested in the ways that the consumer can personally change the design and sort of take part in creation. For instance, the silverware I re-did last semester – the reason that project gives me so much joy is that I have created something that 1. works 2. does something awesome 3. is simple and 4. is simply awesome for someone else to finish creating and use!

A more famous example of this concept that I love is the Droog Do-Hit ‘chair’. It’s an 80-something pound stainless steel box AND hammer that you buy and smash into submission/seating device at the same time. A good idea for someone that has a lot of anger and likes cold, metal chairs.

BRB, research about my own future to do! 🙂

The Future

Today I made some cute little paper models of the Olympic mascots; I found the pre-made patterns for them while browsing around the internet on the official Vancouver website. Pretty simple, fun, and quick to put together overall – plus, sizable with the use of AI and an 11×17 printer bed!

All of this just makes me realize how much the internet (+ technology in general) can, and does, influence our lives AND product design. We’re working on a second project in studio right now that allows us the creative imagination to ‘predict’ the future of product design – technologies that are cutting edge now and too expensive, but could be totally normal in 10 years. It’s sort of amazing that the Vancouver Olympics offer you FREE 3D versions of their mascots! FREE! And you simply print, cut, assemble! Plus they’re easy to manipulate yourself, and easy to make more ‘permanent’ – using higher quality paper and/or chipboard – that they could actually just be the souvenirs themselves! They aren’t – but they could be. Especially if we all had home-materializers.
And then I would stop drooling over buying the large plush version of all of the animals.

Here’s to the future!

work sample!

I finished up a work sample I’ve been working on off-and-on for through December.
Here’s the beginning of a hopefully long line of work samples, portfolios, and jobs!

on independent studies

After all of my registration and adjustment to classes drama that I’ve been sorting through and my recent chest cold (lovely, let me tell you!) I had almost forgotten about my independent study! Almost. I believe that my momentary loss of excitement about being able to work alone was lost due to waiting time for my exceptional books to arrive at my doorstep – and now that one (of the two) is here, I need to get cracking!

Independent studies are nice because they allow you to work on whatever you want to, within reason (obvi). I’ve made an independent study that focuses on branding/graphics/packaging because that’s an area of design that I believe I’m interested in and could possibly be talented at, but haven’t had enough/any practice at school. I figured I would do three projects over the course of this semester, one for each full month of school (not counting January drama or May finals). My first project is expanding upon the Converse branding project I did October of last year – exploring and researching the existing brand of Converse and then making a small series of promotional items to go with it. That project last year was sort of quick and I plan on improving the first design for that project, as well as doing two more.

This week I’ve assigned myself to do research and analysis, combined with the existing work I’ve already done.
Next week is for design ideation and direction and meeting with someone to talk about things.
The third week is for me to work, work, work away at things (most likely this will be me attempting to find paper, printers, ect. that can help me do what I want to achieve since last year I couldn’t figure out the best solution in time for the presentation)
Last week is to finalize everything and present it to someone


This semester is going to be jam-packed, and I realize now that I already need to start working much, much harder.

Materials & Experiments

Most of the time, I feel like a design scientist – doing mad experiments, cutting things up, finding things at Home Depot and using them for stuff you aren’t supposed to use them for…

Anyway, my point is that everything is always changing with design because there are so many different ways you can go about achieving the same effect with materials and manufacturing processes (like vacuum forming the same acrylic over a mold vs. just bending it into a similar shape freehand).

Currently I’m focused on two different paths for my postcard/picture frame project. The postcard itself has been determined to be a pop-out picture frame with an ‘easel’ system of holding it up – so that means some parts that also pop-out and have tab/slots to hold things up.

The two ‘directions’ I could go are as follows:

  1. an insert and a sleeve
    – this would probably be a lot more work for people to put together because it would have so many separate parts BUT could also be more time saving than taking a long continuous piece and flipping it over and waiting for the whole thing to be done
  2. one continuous piece that folds over itself
    – like above but opposite…

I’ve been focusing on making things out of chipboard and/or picture matte board, but I’ve seen a lot of interesting stuff involving recycled card from food packaging and cereal boxes, which is just a thinner version of chipboard anyway.

Postcard Inspirations

A collection of current postcard products and packaging that I’ve been exploring for this project. I should look into origami, too. It’s difficult to search the internet for “mailers” and get what I want!

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