Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fall Quarter Summary

This was the quarter where I learned about graphic design. If it's true that the head of the department hauled ass to remove any traditional graphic design courses from the curriculum, then Human Factors is the unofficial graphic design class for Industrial Design. What I've been up to:

Anthropometry Study:

I was trying to channel subway map layouts with little success. This was full of novice mistakes like forgetting to line up the elements and not making good use of space. I was really happy with it when I first finished but now I am of a different opinion.

Anatomy Study:

There are elements from both the first draft and the final that I like. I like the tabs in the first one, but I liked the economy of space of the second one more.

Final Ergonomic Study:

This could probably use more tweaking but for now I'm pretty satisfied with it.

Contextual Research is another course where I spent more time in front of the computer than in the shop:

Flow Model:

This was easily ten hours, not including field research. I remember refusing to put any content in it until I figured out how I would style everything. That attitude resulted in so many hours pissed away just picking out the fonts.

Survey Project:

I tend to lean towards simple layouts with clean graphics. Right now everything I do feels pretty plain, so in the future I want to try to avoid flat colors and simple shapes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Some Sketches

I feel like embarrassing myself into improving, so here are some sketches that normally hide in the deep dark crevices of my sketchbook


People with styles I love:
Michael Ditullo: Especially this power drill

Kimberly Wu: Beautiful renderings, even if they are of concept cars.
Chris Kujawski: Several different product designs, lots of sketches.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Beef with Concept Cars

Concept cars remind me vaguely of mary-sue fanfiction. They aren't tied to reality, they're obscenely perfect, and they're an excercise in crazy fantasy fulfillment for the mind responsible for it.

Let's talk smack about the grasshopper concept car that core77 has linked to. The comments tear this idea apart, saying it's not revolutionary in anyway, that it's all been done before, that the only thing remarkable about it is it's inspiration. But even that isn't all that original.

The Wasp

The Ladybug

The Beetle

Nothing futuristic about it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

TV B Gone

Becky Stern posted an entry about her TV B Gone zip hoodie in craft magazine's blog. Much finger wagging followed. The idea of having an inconspicuous gesture like zipping your hoodie control something else is interesting, and something that might inspire me later. However, I do agree with a lot of the stuffy lectures in the comments.

I wish the project had been presented as a device for a pretty innocent lark, instead of presenting it as a magic morality wand. It's fun and it's clever, but it's still not a very mature thing to do, and probably won't accomplish what it was created for in the first place. Take the offered restaurant scenario. The television is turned off, confuses the owner/host/hostess/whatever, and they turn the television back on. This goes back and forth until someone grows bored and frustrated. If it's the restaurant owner, they may be concerned about their malfunctioning TV and spend lots of money either getting a new one, or trying to get it repaired when it's not necessary. The original purpose of the hoodie isn't realized and all that effort and ingenuity is wasted.

Besides, a plastic box with wires that displays images and makes noise isn't inherently evil or obnoxious. So the problem must be the content. Maybe you hate how media giants control information, or think sports represent oppression by the male population, or whatever. Hoping owners will understand your ambiguous and anonymous actions isn't the best way to get what you want.

Can you imagine a flock of politically aware twenty-somethings, angrily zipping their hoodies up and down outside a convention hall, in protest? Zip-wankers.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

wall monsters

Wall monsters! These were the first of many projects I did for my color theory class. True to the tentacle trend, too. If I made these for production, I'd embed a screw so that the user could just twist them into the wall.

A study in tints and shades, these guys are the product of the Happy Frog Preservation Society. The logo I made was too dumb to use in my class presentation, but I'm pretty happy with this vegetarian alternative to dissecting frogs.

Elephant espionage! Is it a table disguised as an elephant, or an elephant disguised as a table? I was inspired by all the wonderful flat pack designs that have been coming out recently and wanted to try my hand at designing one. This cardboard mock-up held my roommate's N64 for the rest of the year.

I may post more of my freshman projects, who knows?