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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22 Stuff and Color

Today we went over the schedule (Pictionary Friday!) and looked at a couple of UPS videos: Black and Red Effects. Came up with some answers to “why aren’t all products black?” Also looked at some color nomenclature; brightness vs saturation, and complementary colors. 22 Stuff and Color
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20 Guest Lecture: Sketching Instructions for Travellers

Today (3/10/17) Korkut Onaran (Principal, Pel-Ona Architects and Urbanists, Assistant Professor Adjunct, College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado, Denver and President, Colorado Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism) gave a wonderful talk on how he learned sketching, and the role of sketching in his architectural process. He brought us some new…
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19 Streamlining to Post Modern

Here is the administrative info for today (Wednesday March 8, 2017): This Wednesday Blog: What are your top 5 constraints? Aesthetics should be one of them. Friday: Guest Lecture: Prof. Korkut Onaran (CU Denver, Urban Planning), pel-ona.com Next Monday: Prototypes are due! Must show aesthetic design. Does not need to function. Small scale is fine.…
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18 Art Deco and Organic Movements

A look ahead: This Wednesday Blog: What are your top 5 constraints? Aesthetics should be one of them. Friday: Guest Lecture Next Monday: Prototypes are due! Must show aesthetic design. Does not need to function. Small scale is fine. Same presentation rules and pods as last time, starting Monday. Report blog Weds March 15 Following…
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17 Bauhaus and Beyond

Bit of admin: Please post your Upcycle presentations! A little advice on posting videos: Post your video on Youtube or Vimeo. Make the link to the video the first text in your post, and select post type to be video. Now your video will show up with a play button as a featured image. Also…
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15 Ideation and Brainstorming

Most folks are closer to choosing their main project, so today was ideal to do a bit more ideation, to get over the hump into a better idea space, or be more sure of their current choice. We used methods from Thinkertoys; a linear method called False Faces, that challenged basic assumptions, and an intuitive…
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12 Taking Stock and Sketching

Taking stock: looking back at Upcycle, and ahead at Main Project Some sketching UPS on color Tonight: Between The Folds Wednesday Blog: Info for team building – what are your skill sets, and what are your personal aspirations (not inspirations)? What do you want to do when you graduate? What do you aspire to be?…
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09 Aesthetics Game

Today we played the Aesthetics Game. Teams drew a random object and applied a randomly chosen aesthetic, and made sketches on the whiteboards around the room. Some awesome mashups resulted! Very popular: the Mob Culture electric razor, and the Sk8r Shoe Toilet. 09 Aesthetics Game A set of screwdriversSuburbia in TV commercials
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08 Team Upcycle Discussion

We went over the schedule: All blog topics are listed there blog posts are due every Wednesday, critiques due every Sunday; one on a teammate’s post, and the other on anybody else’s post. If you are late with your critques, Michael may assign you to a post nobody else has commented on. We talked about…
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01 First Class 2017: Fresh again

Design, art, engineering: all iterative processes. This will be the third offering of the Aesthetics of Design course. The class is full, the students are eager, and I’m stoked to do this again: learning and presenting new content, expanding and honing what I already have, greeting students from previous courses and meeting new ones. Looking…
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24 Wrapping Up

Hi. I didn’t hear any screams of protest, so let’s go forward with the final page idea, due Sunday May 1 at   7 pm. Create a Page (not Post)  for your work. Title it for your main project. It should have a featured image, a very brief description of the project (< 50 words), your…
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Pattern Workshop by Kara Priest

We had two after-hours sketching workshops from Kara Priest, a local painter, portraitist and art educator. The first workshop focused on the human face, and on light and shadow, using pencils and shading tools. The second was on patterns, done with sharpies. We were given a number of skill- building exercises; repeating patterns to practice…
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24 Current Designers of Note

Today we talked about current designers of note. Can’t use the term ‘modern’ designers; that gets you all the Mid-Century Modernists. ‘Contemporary Designers’ is a bit better, but focuses on clothing fashion. We listed famous designers, and then talked about Jonathan Ive, Philippe Starck, Martha Stewart, Karim Rashid, Ross Lovegrove and Yves Behar. Full Lecture…
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21 Timeline Engagement

Today we played the Aesthetics Game, but instead of the random aesthetics we used the major design movements of the 20th Century, as defined by Fiell and Fiell. Check the posts category Student Work > 2016 > Aesthetics Game > 20th Century design movements. We will continue presentations of the results on Wednesday. In other…
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20 Pictionary

I wanted to give the opportunity to practice sketching concepts, so we played a home-made version of Pictionary in class. We had four teams of 3-4 students each (this was the Friday before Spring Break, after all). At first I used a ‘medium’ difficulty wordlist from the Game Girl. The artist from each team came…
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19 Bauhaus and Beyond

Today we finished discussing the timeline of 29th century design movements. Everything changed around 1920; Modernism rose with it’s ‘less is more’ austere designs, lacking in ornamentation and cultural references. Now we live in the Post-Modern era, where the value of symbols in ornamentation is more appreciated. I had a lot of fun writing these…
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