Sunday, December 7, 2008

Des Comm Evaluation

There have been both positive and negative aspects of the des comm quarter this fall quarter.

Some successes would include the fact that Mike Roller was our teacher and that he was really willing to help us learn and grow as design students. I feel like he can really relate to us and has given us great tips on how to be a better presenter and really sell our designs. He has prepared us very well for the future and has really got us thinking about what we want to do when we graduate.

Another success I feel was when Mike approached us before the start of the quarter and asked us what we wanted to learn. This alone showed me personally that he actually cares about our development and wants us to have fun while being given projects, because sometimes I find that I'm not at all interested in some projects that Im forced to put my time in and I think that affects the outcome.

Some possible ways to improve the course could be to have a little more time to finish certain projects (even if that means not having as many projects) because I'd rather spend more time in my design to have a well developed design in the end. Another improvement may be to do more digital presentations so that we arent wasting paper and time pinning up numerous papers.

Fall '08 Evaluation

I am actually proud of myself and my achievements this quarter (which is rare because I am usually disappointed with the outcome of many projects in previous quarters).

This quarter I have been designing without really thinking of them as "school projects". Instead I have been in a mindset of thinking about if my products could actually be in production. As a result, I have been thinking a lot more practically while still being unique (I always strive to be different from everyone in studio).

On the other hand, I still recognize many things that I need to improve on. For example, I would like to work on starting on projects the moment they are assigned for next quarter. This way, I wont have to be in a situation where I am sick and end up really behind when I am well or feel obligated to settle on a concept or idea that I am on the edge about but have to follow through for the sake of time. Also, I definitely plan on being more pro-active about helping out everyone else in studio during critiques because sometimes the best people to give you advice on how to improve are my own peers. At the same time, I will take in more information that I get during critiques and not take for granted the fact that I have other people who are one the same level as me and willing to help me improve just as they do.

Blog Evaluation

Throughout the quarter as I have been writing blogs, I have thought a lot about how effective this sort of communication is.

As a designer, I am always looking for sources of inspiration and ways to expand my overall knowledge. I feel like reading other people's blogs helps alot with really getting a grasp on a person's ideas and philosophies because when I write in my blogs I am truly expressing my feelings (kind of like a journal but open to the public) therefore I am giving other people an opportunity to know what I think about a certain aspect of design without any sugar coating; everything is real and honost (unlike a critique where sometimes I have to bend over backwards to sell my designs).

Sometimes when Im looking at blogs online I scroll down to ones that show the designer's work. I love looking at really nice concepts and renders because it motivates me to do better and increase my standards for myself.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Interview Notes

I interviewed my mom’s cousin Victor Robertson who is a designer/ inventor.

I asked him 5 of the following questions that focused on design communication and his different approaches and methods.

1. When you are given a project to work on how do you tackle the problem so that you are able to come up with a successful concept in the end?

One of the things that I have learned in this profession (and something you will soon learn when you get a career) is that companies are passionate about their work but at the end of the day their main goal is to make money as well as make an impact on the industry somehow. As a result, I approach the problem in a way that expresses my creative input but will also be beneficial to them in terms of profit. Sometimes this is done by toning down my outrageous ideas and design products that are more practical.

2. When it comes time to presenting your concept to the company or client, how do you go about doing this?

First I do a little research (depending on time and the project will determine how in depth I will go with research) to kind of see what kind of similar products are out there and how to make them better. Then I do some quick thumbnails just to get my ideas on paper, then do more developed sketches with specific functions, forms, etc. Then I try to figure out a clever way of showing how this product will interact with the person.

3. I am constantly in the process of updating my portfolio, do you have any suggestions for me on how I can show my work effectively to get the job that I want?

Well, one thing that I always tell people is to show your products in a way that they completely speak for themselves. As you may already know, designers have a very short attention span so I feel like any way to get your point across with little explanation necessary is a great approach. Another thing you can focus on is the overall layout of your portfolio: effective fonts, simplicity is a big one, and showing different portfolios to different clients according to their specialty (they don’t have to be completely different portfolios but maybe have some that have certain projects in comparison to others).

4. You’ve seen the design industry grow over many years, how has the industry progressed when it comes to the way ideas are made and presented.

Well I have noticed that companies are hiring more and more young people which is great because it brings in a fresh new perspective each time someone new is hired. As a result, our ideas are more dynamic and we will have a wide range of ideas.

5. Is it frustrating when no one seems to grasp your ideas?

Yes it can be, especially when you feel like you have something substantial. However, it is my job to be able to understand why someone doesn’t understand an idea. Also, a lot of times people don’t understand something simply because they can’t relate to it. Therefore, I try my best to present concepts in different contexts so that we’re all on the same page.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Reviewing Earlier Goals

I looked back at what my goals were earlier in the quarter and they mainly focused on producing better thought out projects and designing something more practical and production worthy as opposed to just making something that looks cool; also to have a thorough process for my project for my portfolio.

I would say that I am at a point in the quarter where I am proud at the progress I have made. Specifically with my HP project, I have really focused on what the consumers' needs are and how this electronic is going to make their lives better. I am still concerned on the aesthetics but I really want a successful design where form and function go hand and hand. I feel like I am well on my way, and at this point I am hoping to deliver a model that will communicate effectively to the panel.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Individual Strengths

I feel like my individual strengths as a designer center around the fact that I'm always developing concepts that are very different than many other peoples' ideas (for example the people in my studio). I feel like being a designer gives me freedom to produce whatever crazy ideas are floating through my head; it's almost irresponsible in my opinion to just design to conform or to not step outside of the box sometimes. Another strength I would say is designing for people that are less fortunate; giving people who can't afford certain luxories a chance to interact with innovative and modern products.

I focus on these strengths by finding ways to improve existing products that people aren't thinking of. When I'm ideating, I try to mentally put myself in someone's shoes who have certain obstacles in their everyday life.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Favorite Approach to Design

I approach design in a way that puts functionality over aesthetics. Not too long ago, I was really trying to think of what I want to do with a career like this because, although it would be fun, I don't want to just have a job that only involves making stuff look cool.

More specifically, I am currently designing a desktop computer for a sponsored studio with HP. Our main goal is to end with a product that is sustainable and will thrive in the marketplace. Usually in past products I end up forgetting what my initial goal is. I used to focus primarily on how the product looked as opposed to what it will do for the consumer. I am doing my best to constantly think of my demographic and how this computer will affect their lifestyle (positively as well as negatively).

In addition to this, it's a lot easier to make something look cool than it is to make something that will improve someone's life. I feel like truly successful design will make a drastic impact on someones life.