Post 6: Main Project Plans and Inspirations

To find a basis for my personal aesthetic, I decided to look at my approach to the projects I have worked on in the past, and how I decide to complete my work to get a better understanding of the personal style with which I approach tasks. I also paid closer attention recently to how I go about working on assignments, since I wanted to gain additional insight into the way I think. 


After spending some time considering my past assignments, projects, and recent work, I realized that my approach to design is very much characterized by the adage “function over form,” as I tend to prioritize the functionality and objective success of my work over the outward appearance. This approach is why I believe that I gravitated towards being a mechanical engineer, since I care predominantly about whether or not a solution works, as opposed to making it artistically pleasing. Taking this class has taught me however that taking a more artistic approach can make your work feel much more meaningful and rewarding.


I think that the main inspiration for me treating my work in this way has to do with the things I enjoyed doing growing up. I have always been fascinated by the way things work, and I have memories of being a child and taking apart alarm clocks, toy cars, and electronics to try and understand how they worked. I typically paid little attention to the outside shells of these things, and focused more on the inner workings. I think that this has played a major part in causing my work to be functionality oriented in practice. 


After researching a number of different 20th century design movements, I came across a movement called Bauhaus design. Bauhaus design focuses primarily on functionality over form, and was a product of the Bauhaus design school in Germany. The style places heavy emphasis on function, causing architecture in the Bauhaus style to appear industrial, with noticeable amounts of simple geometric shapes, and few sweeping curves and elegant lines. Bauhaus design does not incorporate ornate design features, instead adopting a more modern and minimal appearance.


For my project, I want to build an artifact that aligns with the way that I feel about design, something that I can look at and reflect upon the way that I approach life. I want to include symbolism that is relevant to my area of study and interest, and combine the important elements of my academic and professional life into one piece that represents who I am and how I think. Since I want to be able to see my artifact every day, it would make the most sense to make it a desk decoration sized miniature sculpture with a moving feature driven by mechanics. Since I have an interest in space travel, I also want that to be an element in my design, tying together my passions of mechanics and astronomy.

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