January 28, 2010

How To Think

In response to the article How to Think by Ed Boyden:

Always be making notes and always be connecting thoughts and projects together. This is great, not just as a habit to have in design, but a habit to carry through everything. It's amazing how often independent subjects can relate to each other if you connect the dots between them. He talks about collaboration and documentation too, which are things that are already stressed over and over again in studio.
What interested me most in this article was the logarithmic time planning in which as goals become closer, you must map out you plans for them more specifically. Always evolving and becoming more exact, these schedules allow for maximum productivity. The only thing I'd question about planning out your day so obsessively is that it might not allow time for mistakes, which will always happen. Also, this is REALLY machine-like. While it's a great way to manage time, it seems like you're also trapping yourself into these schedules and routines; is it really necessary to make your whole life a micro-managed day planner to get everything done?
Mistakes are another How to Think problem. The key to mistakes is to document them, remember what you learned from them, but move on quickly. While there's a lot to learn from mistakes, there's probably more to learn about what is past them.
Overall this article has a lot of really great points to it, but it also seems awfully mechanical. I understand the point of record-keeping, skill development, and long-term planning are all important to both design and life in general. But in the context the author presents it in, his rules seem a little over the top. I'll keep the general idea of this article in mind as I continue to work, but don't want to become quite so involved as this author seems to be.

The Stories

Old Family Recipe

  1. Bag of Groceries
  2. Old Cookbook
  3. Turkey Baster
  4. Fresh Veggies
  5. Set of Knives
  6. Broken Eggs
  7. Dirty Bowl and Spoon
  8. Oven
  9. Timer
  10. Fire Alarm
  11. Burned Meal
  12. Pizza Box
Japanese Tea Ceremony

  1. Lotus Flower
  2. Tea Whisk
  3. Tea Bowl
  4. Kimono
  5. Sashimi (it's a meal served on those little wooden plate/stands)
  6. Flower Arrangements
  7. Tea Cup with Tea Inside
  8. Sake Bottle
  9. Shoes (not on feet, removed)
  10. Sitting Mat
  11. "Dango" (a kind of treat served?)
  12. Hair Pin

I'm more interested in the first story, so that's the one that I'm going to look up images for. I'm not sure it's a strong title though, so I'll continue thinking about that as I find the descriptive photos of the objects. :)

January 27, 2010

Change One Thing

The three themes I chose to pursue for the Change One Thing poster are:
  • spending time with your children
  • give yourself a personal project
  • learn a new word everyday
I wanted to focus on topics that were less politically/socially charged, but still important to everyday life. Particularly though, I decided to focus mainly on the first one. Taking time out of one's day to spend with their kid is important, and I'm not just talking about the fun stuff. I mean to help with homework, to be present at their sport games and stuff like that too. It's a vague idea still, but I'll be spending today working thoughts out a bit more clearly and working on the poster sketches!

Relevant reference pics:

Photographic Semiotics

A study of the breakdown of semiotics as a personal description:


I'm going to stick with the most literal photos for this section, as it is supposed to be a physical representation of myself. At first this was the category I was least comfortable with, but after spending a while in the photo booth, it seems that icons are the area of semiotics that are easiest, after overcoming the fear of having to photograph yourself. I feel like I've got some solid starts on icons, so I'm going to focus my time on the other two categories for the most part. But if time allows, I'd like to continue to explore more methods/styles for these too.

Index is easy enough to understand, but pretty hard to accurately execute. I don't have a lot of "signature" items, or better said, I haven't found them yet. So I'll be working harder on this, while trying to make sure that I've got a visually appealing image.

I had fun with icons, but I'm going to keep working on this category as well. The pig is a successful example of a symbol, but not one I necessarily want to putout as a representation of myself (once it's printed it's permanent!). Also, I think the glasses would be better suited to go in my index section. And again, I need to make sure that these image both meet the rules of their label, and are visually compelling! No more boring photos!