Monday, July 31, 2017
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Designers end up getting all sorts of jobs. I recently visited a former student who was doing fascinating work in set design. It is a great example of merging art, design and engineering.
I’m also impressed by all the attention to detail that is rooted in experience. Knowing where the actors wear out parts, where they actually walk, what parts have to be done with high resolution and which can be simplified.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
My last entry had some meandering thoughts about the foundations for disciplines. Here let’s consider addressing design weakness through: 1) technology, 2) techniques or 3) talent (people).
Following are some of my materials (warning shameless self-promotion!) but there are many other sources available. Below are some approaches for common weakness among designers.
Weak at or hateful toward:
Use graphics/rendering programs or scribble sketch.
Use materials you are comfortable with like clay or foam core.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZcO7Js9fGA&index=11&list=PLyhGT2rZ2DvgAP86MvS2GZOHHVFMk6Yiw (video)
- https://www.academia.edu/32959438/Model_Making.pptx (PowerPoint)
Buy my book! http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920042617.do
Work in a group, do creativity exercises, Develop techniques. Make sure you experiment with ideas you have never seen before, create surprise.
Impossibly complex, wicked problems
Check out all the discussion on design thinking:
- https://www.academia.edu/27313413/Art_of_Invention (PowerPoint)
- https://www.academia.edu/9814659/Design_Thinking (PowerPoint)
Surround yourself with real materials that you can touch and experiment with. Find favorites such as in my previous blog post: https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5519627997616041041#editor/target=post;postID=6130921847858290005;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=10;src=postname
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWSXyCVBv-4 (video)
- https://www.academia.edu/9814739/Ethnographic_Design (PowerPoint)
Use software such as Excel (Solver etc.), Matlab or make new friends.
Disciplines are founded on principium. These are the necessary truths that allow the existence of a discipline. The principium cognoscendi is the ground for the knowledge of a discipline. While it is pretentious to write about principia essendi and cognoscendi, I always feel more comfortable going back to philosophical foundations. Even though principium cognoscendi ties more closely to epistemology than articulating what interdisciplinary actually means in design, it is fun to include these Latin terms because it reminds me of James Joyce’s irritating inclusion of Gaelic in his English writings. This snobbish behavior seemed almost mean to a non-Gaelic speaking person like me. I hold my grudges a long time. So I am joining Joyce’s disenfranchisement parade by using geeky philosophical terms in italics. Perhaps I should write these off putting terms in bold Edwardian script?
In any event, design is interdisciplinary to the extreme. We are working with art, engineering, math, sociology, psychology etc. Designers are not expert at all of these fields. In fact, we are probably weak in some of them. We may be bad at drawing, hate math, or fearful of science.
It is helpful to identify weaknesses and address them through either: 1) technology, 2) techniques or 3) talent (people). For example poor drawing skills can be improved by graphics and rendering software. Techniques such as ethnography can improve empathy and subsequent user centric design. Most importantly, key people can fill voids in abilities such as engineering or psychology. I will elaborate on these in my next post.
The problem with identifying your weaknesses is that you may wear them as a self imposed and enduring tag. It is sad to live your career saying, “I am and always will be bad at math so when I see numbers I run.” Don’t be that guy.
BTW, ignore the first paragraph. This is why I'm not a journalist. Only a brave few will have gotten to this line...