24 Spheres, then Case Study: the Chair

We looked at sketching spheres. Shading is the key. Then we did breakout rooms so folks could discuss their projects. Then we looked at the evolution of the modern chair, from Thonet with his bentwood manufacturing innovations up to Charles and Ray Eames. Designers were inspired by both technology and previous designers. Lecture notes Zoom…
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20 Aesthetics Game Critique

Today we critiqued the sketches from Friday’s Aesthetics Game, played with the major 20th century design movements. We also went over the schedule for the rest of the semester, and looked at which current designers to talk about, plus some other resources. Lecture Notes Zoom recording
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17 Modern Movements. Monday 3/30/20

Today was the second lecture on Zoom. It was better since I could broadcast from my office. We talked about revised due dates (finish your Design Review 1 and 2 ASAP, critiques due Friday) . Behruz will post a spreadsheet showing who still needs to have their DR reports critiqued. Don’t forget to upload the…
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Transition to Online Course

Hi Folks. Starting tomorrow Monday 3/16, we will be online. See the Slack #general channel for detailed instructions. Basically, those who still have to do their Design Review Presentations will do them in Zoom this Monday and Wednesday at our usual class meeting time. Your pod facilitator will issue the Zoom meeting invitation in your…
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09 Cubes and Contour Bias

Admin Sketching cubes Universal Principles of Design: Contour Bias Admin: Final (Exam) Expo will be Sunday May 3, 7:30-10 pm in the Idea Forge. Snacks, open to the public. Invite your friends and family. Great projects, and informative reports. However NO CREDIT WITHOUT FEATURED IMAGE. Use Worktrade to get help, or see me or Behruz…
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Pods for Presentations

Here are the pods for presentations. You’ll be in the same pod all semester, meeting in the same location on presentation days. I’m expecting the graduate students to volunteer as facilitators for two or three of the presentation days (we have a total of 10 presentation days this semester, and 4 grad students per pod).…
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04 Aesthetics Tour

Today we practiced drawing circles, then started the Aesthetics Tour, discussing the aesthetics of Tim Burton’s work, Industrial Chic, Harleys vs Japanese motorcycles, Yakuza vs feminine speech patterns, manga, steampunk, religion and angels, red, white and blue, colonial furniture, and corporate logos. Lecture Notes
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01 First class meeting

In our first class meeting (Monday 1/13/20) we started with the Strandbeest bicycle video and did a little critique of it. The walking mechanism was derived from Theo Jansen’s work. Then we went over the syllabus and the initial assignments.  Here’s an example of upcycling that I didn’t get to show. t’s a giant ball…
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Final Assignments

Hi. I’ll try to collect all of the end-of-semester details here, in rough chronological order.   Make a post for Monday 4/22 with your project name and your name as the title. This will be a placeholder  so your pod can comment on your presentation regardless of the state of your final blog posts or…
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Final Presentation logistics

You will have a 15 minute slot for your final presentation. Your content should cover the two written final report blog posts: What and How, Why and What Next? Introduce your project, then present design drawings, budget, and details of the assembly process. Talk about what your original goals were, and what you achieved. YOU…
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25 Golden Ratio, then Chairs

Today we went over shade and shadows during sketching practice. We finished discussion of Geometric Aesthetics looking at the Golden Ratio, including a video about John Edmark. Then we started looking at chairs as a case study. Chairs have evolved along with other furnishings, and their history is well documented (Chippendale anyone?). We saw some…
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20: Modern Design Movements

Today we looked over the schedule for the rest of the semester, had a little team time, and then went through Modern design movements with lightning speed: Art Deco, Organic Design, Streamlining, Post-War/Mid Century Modern, Pop, Radical Design, High Tech/Matt Black, and back to Post Modernism. Whew! Now everybody is ready to play the Aesthetics…
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19 Bauhaus and Beyond, plus Critical Design Review criteria and logistics

Yesterday’s post on constraints MUST HAVE sketches showing your current plans. ESPECIALLY to illustrate your aesthetic. Critical Design Presentations starting Monday. Same pods. Prototypes please! Must show aesthetic design. Does not need to function. Small scale is fine. The goal of this milestone is to force everybody to decide on what they are making and…
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16 Arts and Crafts Movement

Groups of students analyzed images of Arts and Crafts styled products to determine what design elements form this aesthetic. When critiquing this week’s blog post about Main Project Inspirations, look for enough information to do this type of analysis on the proposed aesthetic. In other words, did the author describe what are the important style…
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15: 20th Century Timeline

If you are having trouble deciding on your project, choose an aesthetic to start, then think of an artifact that defines that aesthetic. Choose a random one if you have to! Today we started talking about historic design movements, so that our postmodern references will be understood. Had trouble with a video link, so please…
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11 Contour Bias vs Cubes

Today we went over Upcycle Presentation logistics (look for a separate post on that), and then continued with sketching practice, specifically cubes, extending to a blocky chair. In contrast, we also started talking about Universal Principles of Design; specifically Contour Bias. Humans react to pointy things with fear and attention, while rounder objects are more…
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10 Aesthetics Game

Today the teams played the Aesthetics Game. The names of artifacts and aesthetics were drawn at random from a hat, and teams then sketch versions of the resulting mashup. For examples of what happened see http://www.aesdes.org/category/student-work/2016/aesthetics-game/ The popular favorite was the Disney Princess Flathead Screwdriver Lecture notes: 10 Aesthetics GameDownload
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08 Teams

We listened to my favorite wisdom on teamwork, from This American Life, and then the teams all met for the first time. The TAL episode focused on the work of Will Felps, now a professor of business at the University of New South Wales. During his PhD thesis in 2006 or so, he found ‘bad…
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04 Aesthetics Tour 2

Today we shared design notebooks and ideas for tonight’s first post on aesthetics. Then we looked at a few specific design aesthetics: Industrial Chic, Biker Culture, Japanese motorcycles, Yakuza tatoos and speech patterns, Manga, Steampunk and more. Lastly we looked at a few examples of upcycling in preparation for the warm-up project. PDF of lecture…
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03 Aesthetics Tour 1

Today we went over some more administrative stuff (will it never end?) including a demonstration of how to post to this website. There’s an old post on this from last year  on how to post that is still mostly correct. We finished going over art theories, and had a very nice discussion; lots of thoughtful…
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32 Wrapping Up

Hi. I’ll try to collect all of the end-of-semester details here, in rough chronological order.   Make a post for Monday 4/24 with your project name as the title. This will be a placeholder for your presentation video only, so your pod can comment on your presentation regardless of the state of your final blog…
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29 Current Designers: Stewart, Rashid, Lovegrove, Behar

Today we looked at how to represent metal in sketches; neutral, desaturated colors and fake reflections, suggesting a photography studio environment. We also looked at the work of a range of current designers: Martha Stewart – what is unique about her work? Organized clutter! Karim Rashid’s biomorphic shapes Ross Lovegrove: Captain Organic. Rejects biomorphism/blobism/consumerism, but…
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28 Glass sketching and Phillipe Starck

Today we looked at how to represent glass in sketches; show something inside the glass, show its refractive effect, its shadow and glossy surface. Then we started discussing current designers; who comes to mind. Just a few from students: Martha Stewart Dyson Apple; Jonny Ive Elon Musk David Kelly IDEO/Stanford D-school Martha Stewart and Jonny…
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25 Golden Ratio

Today we talked about schedule, final expectations and Expo registration. See the notes for full details, but here is the registration link. Deadline is 1 week, next Friday! April 14. We will probably all be grouped in the DLC, so we can have group music. Each student should provide one song for a playlist, no…
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23 Color and Anthropomorphic Effects

Today we did sketching practice: ellipses, useful for showing horizontal circles in perspective. Homework: practice drawing ellipses, as many and as quickly as possible. Practice to correct your errors. Here is a link to some good exercises for drawing ellipses: http://mydrawingtutorials.com/a-drawing-exercise-every-beginner-artists-should-do/ We talked about color spaces, including HSB, RGB and Pantone. Went over a psych…
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