Tag Archives: studio

two weeks down, one week (or so) to go!

I feel much better today after talking to David about my current (and final since it’s due SO soon) direction. I think I just needed some time to re-fresh and remember how to actually design things with more informed decisions, instead of just throwing things together without thinking. But honestly, I think I’ve always had a slight problem with keeping myself in a ‘designer’ mindset when I start projects. I’m not usually good at coming up with a set plan at the beginning of a project. I remember last year when we were given the ‘seating device’ assignment, Jes started almost the first day with concepts ONLY related to being cut out of one circle, focusing on multi-person seating. I started out drawing 50 different random things I saw around me like the bathroom lock, origami, trash – mostly in profile or top view because I just don’t seem able to think in 3D very quickly…

For the remainder of projects I work on in school, I want to try and focus down on one good ‘theme’ or ‘rule’ – like “what can i make out of a perfect circle?” – at the beginning of a project. In the end, I want my projects to come across stronger and more fully developed when I present them. Less “I couldn’t really find a direction until five days before the first pin-up, but I did really good work in those five days!”, and more “I started with this [insert cool idea of a start off point, like only using nouns instead of adjectives for your target words!] and went from a to b to c to d and ended with e with ease,” would be nice in my design life.
Another thing I’m going to try doing more often is giving myself more strict time limits on the things that I’m doing. An hour is quite a decently long amount of time, and if I don’t accomplish one important thing every hour – it seems like a waste. Whenever David gives us ‘real-life’ challenges in class, i.e. GO MAKE A POSTER IN 30 MINUTES OR YOU’RE FIRED, we seem to get a lot accomplished but whenever I’m on my own ‘just trying to sketch some concepts’ the blank paper and the seemingly endless amount of time messes with me.

The sketch models I lathed this week are serving as a really good starting point for the concept I’ve got now, drawing inspiration from a lotus (water lily) and a lily pad. Pink foam modeling isn’t really accurate enough for me (or just not very helpful with this particular project); maybe part of it is that I’m too impatient and need more practice using the wire cutter slowly. I think the proportions of my current models are dead on in size, but David mentioned somehow shelling the inside so that the overall weight and bulk would be less overwhelming and more ‘fresh’. I’m going to be doing a lot of 3D computer modeling and sketching this weekend to work out the super important details. We’re doing a silent pin-up on Wednesday to show all the process we’ve done, and then we’re doing “graphic treatments” for Friday I think? Soon, anyway.
Anyway, I’m relieved and excited to keep working on this now!

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Welcome back! The show’s just about to begin.

Second semester starts today. Bright and early every MWF – 8am.
First project is dinnerware – a “trio” of sorts
We need to make a cup, saucer, and plate (!)

I’m thoroughly excited for this semester, but still scared. I’m always nervously excited.
I always have an overwhelming fear that everything that can be made, already has been made and other than that we’re just copy cats…
And I know that isn’t entirely true, but when it comes to some common things (perhaps like dinnerware?), it seems to be

Good thing about this project is that we have to have three words as our target to help us conceptualize and focus
I’m not 100% sure of mine yet, but I’ve been thinking a lot & I’ve been playing with the visual thesaurus.
I like fresh, quirky, and honest thus far

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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.

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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.

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We’re working on a new project for studio all about branding and it’s right up my alley. Right now I’m doing some research on Chuck Taylor and the classic “Converse All-Stars” which is hilarious since DVA annnnnd my Mom greatly dislike them. Anyhoo, I found out that some kid has the world record for owning over 1,000 pairs (gross). Not to mention that he own’s a LOT more shoes than I do. See, Mom? My shoe collection isn’t really that bad!

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Sand sand sand

Studio isn’t studio unless something is wrong; at least that’s how it goes for me.
That being said, nothing is TOO terribly wrong except that I can’t actually finish my pebbles until right before the presentation because the lights will get too dim if I tape the whole circuit deal together too soon. I am not too bummed about this because it’s going to be easy to “fake” it for some pictures to put on my board and everything is on schedule and perfectly fine…
But I am bummed because once I glue the caps on my pebbles with the LEDs “on” inside of them and they finally burn out and die, then I’ll be left with a whole lot of white pebbles that don’t light up.
And that won’t be as cool of an addition to my apartment as I had hoped because I was hoping I could put this dish and these pebbles on my actual coffee table at home and potentially use them as I intended the product to be used.
For now, I’m still just sand sand sanding my pebbles in-between sanding, priming, sanding, spackling, sanding, priming, sanding and painting (and sanding) my dish.
I’m hoping for a late-night pebble photoshoot in the apartment; maybe throwing in some context with my sweet Ikea coffee table and/or couch.
Blah blah blah.
Everything is fine and nothing hurts [except my ears. LAME. Boo GT Health Services]

I’ve been testing a complete LED & battery pack since 3:30 and it’s still running pretty well; I’ve been taking it everywhere to make sure it doesn’t die when I’m not looking – rather reminiscent of having a “baby” for health class or something. Colleen said that most battery/LED deals lasts 150 hours on average, so it should work out for the project at least. Jake had some ideas on how to make the ‘caps’ removable now, so I need to play around with that, too.

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So. Things are looking up?
More like, ‘Things will be looking up once I can find cheap light-up junk to break, and some of those clear plastic piggy bank-esque plugs for my pebbles.’
DVA helped me re-size the ‘pebbles’ from the kind you might use to stone people with to something more appropriate. It’ll cost a lot less now, but I’m really going to need some assistance cutting the hole into the ‘pebbles’ in SolidWorks after I’ve found the aforementioned plugs [more like: creating the perfect hole for the plug to go into].
I don’t really know what to do about the dish right now; nothing’s really working the way I want it to. I made an actual bowl in SW (thanks to Jes), but its sort of boring. My mind was thinking of a lot more drama and dynamics in the shape and position it should rest on a table…so we’ll see.
Jes helped me out with a combo of rectilinear + curves + brutalist idea, so I’m going to plop that into SW today, too.
We also have some crazy [but good in the long run] guidelines for how to do our boards.
In general, I really appreciate how hard DVA pushes us to work so hard. But its stressful, none the less.

To Do:
1. make 9 different pebble shapes on Alias [x]
2. find LED things [X]
3. cut holes in ‘pebbles’ and shell them out in SW [X]
4. make ‘dish’ [X]
5. 3D print [X]
—————————————————————-by Monday, hopefully
6. sand/paint/dye/finish models [  ]
7. boards, etc. (not until Tuesday or Wednesday) [  ]
8. plot (not on Friday. Geeze) [  ]

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airing it out.

“Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with old age. Nothing does – except wrinkles. It’s true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place. ” (Abagail Van Buren)
[WARNING: This is a giant post!]
Arnold Palmer is the most amazing thing I’ve ever had – lemonade + sweet tea. Sweet tea by itself isn’t really my favorite, but the second you add lemonade the whole world changes. I’ve been thinking more about the role that designers and products play in people’s lives – especially as we age and make that transition from being independent and young to needing ‘assistive technology.’ I know it might be vain of me, but I think designers are pretty freaking important. We serve as creators, givers, liaisons between engineers and customers, and everyday superheroes. It’s almost like we get to play a little bit of God by being able to improve people’s lives and change they way they feel when they wake up in the morning. A simple design like the walker gave an elderly person hope, happiness, and the ability to get up and go places. Not to mention that most of the general population is rather oblivious to what an “industrial designer” is, and we do a lot of great work in a behind-closed-doors fashion.When I was previously thinking about why I wanted to become a designer, I focused on my own selfish reasoning and what lead to me choosing the career that I have, and although it is a perfect blend of creativity and problem solving, it’s also about caring about the people that surround me.
We have the power to change the world with our designs. That’s a pretty big deal.
Continue reading

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the geeks were right

The AWARE house is a super cute grey, three level Victorian house in the middle of Home Park that has a crazy amount of expensive technology. I think part of the reason why its taken me so long to process the way I feel about our class field trip there is because most of the students in studio have such strong opinions one way or the other. Most of the prototypes are aimed at improving “family” life, so a lot of devices to help keep track of things like motion sensors, video cameras, RFID-tagged medicine bottles with a ‘magic mirror’ deal are installed in the house. Overall, I think that their ideas are decent, but their execution, and possibly their research, miss the mark. For instance, one idea to improve communication at a retirement village is to create a network of wireless notepad devices with the same essential features as Facebook. The notepad would have one “community” side and one “private” side, and would invite communication and instill a sense of community with the residents. As wonderful as a wireless, touch screen, dual-sided electronic note pad would be… I just feel really uneasy about whether or not the current residents in retirement and nursing home communities would use it [i.e. my 99 year old great grandmother and my grandparents].

I’m glad we’ve finally started the ball rolling on project 2. I’m really not a fan of too much downtime between projects because I know the work will pile up eventually, whether or not we take a week off before hand. Thus far I feel a little apprehensive about the project because it seems sooo open-ended and vague, but I’m also feeling a little reassured that it isn’t due until the 26th or so. Without having done too much research yet, the only idea I’ve magically brainstormed is that of some sort of ‘personal shopping assistant’ to help older people/people that can’t see crazy well in large stores with vague signage and bright lights like Wal-Mart.

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so fresh and so green green

So far, things seem to be going really swell.
I have the concept of how it moves from flat to working figured out (twist the whole thing into tension and keep it in place with slats, a la traditional flat-packed stuff), and I’m pretty confident in the way I want to package it (seed-impregnated, hand-made paper from cotton rags left over from textile mills [no need to waste tree pulp!], a la a gum-wrapper, with a pull string to open the package). I’m still looking at simplifying and perfecting the shape of the spoon end, and fine-tuning the tines of the fork. I just need to work out the fine fine details (package graphics, hand cut vs. laser cut the spoonfork), actually put it all together (make stuff that works!), find a different wood-substitute (the birch veneer I have right now keeps snapping) and actually finish everything (models, possible 3D models, renderings, boards, plot, sleep and shower before Friday at 12:30).

Point being: I’m really digging my idea, I’m not panicky quite yet, and I have a decent amount of time to ‘knock this out’. Not to mention nothing has gone too terribly wrong yet (minus the wood snapping, and not figuring out how to make a perforated package well – but both not big deals).

Who wants to pre-order some Seedling Silverware? [Name subject to change.]

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