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5 Unit 3: Benjamin Shaykin

OTTO, Jürg Lehni, 2014
Brushless DC motors, chalk tool head, sprung steel reels, cables, custom made controller, Paper.js software
Based on VIKTOR (vimeo.com/16379803), and developed further as part of a commission by the Long Now Foundation in San Francisco to create a permanent installation at their space «The Interval»: longnow.org

í Unit 3: Due this week

 

Function

For Wednesday, October 15:

Continue your experiments. Refine and define your tool(s).

Please bring your final results to class.

Additionally, in the spirit of growing knowledge through the sharing of tools, please also provide a set of instructions for using your tool(s). Your instructions can be as simple or as complex as they need to be, to make your tool available and accessible to others. The method or form of your instructions is open, but you are encouraged to make something appropriate to the tool itself.

 


 

A few examples:

Simple, wordless diagrams from a chopsticks wrapper:

chopstick detail2

Four simple sentences from the Content Aware Typography tumblr:

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.36.44 AM

or Daniel Eatock’s “participation” projects (for example), or his Pen Prints:

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.34.39 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.40.56 AM

 

or Xavier Antin’s Printing at Home:

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or the how-to guides from Obedient Objects:

bike-stack-610

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B Unit 3: Some additional digital hacks

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Panoramahacks
hacking the iphone camera’s panorama feature
by RISD GD Critic Paul Soulellis


 

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Excel Drawings by Danielle Aubert

 

 


iqfont03

iQ font—When driving becomes writing
A modern take on Rauschenberg’s Automobile Tire Print.


 

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Making Future Magic: iPad light painting




Illucia: a patchable videogame controller
by RISD GD critic Chris Novello

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B Unit 3: Readings

Tool (Or, Postproduction for the Graphic Designer), Andrew Blauvelt, from Graphic Design: Now in Production

Program or Be Programmed (introduction), Douglas Rushkoff

Design As Art (excerpts: Micro-Art, Moiré, and Direct Projections), Bruno Munari

Original Xerographies (excerpts), Bruno Munari

Jürg Lehni talks with Philippe Cao & Daniel Giuditta, HTML Output, Spring 2014

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2 Responses to “Unit 3: Readings”

  1. John says:

    I just ordered Nicholas Carr’s latest book, The Glass Cage… described on the back cover as “at once a celebration of technology and a warning of its misuse, [it] will change the way you think about the tools you use every day.

  2. Benjamin Shaykin says:

    !

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í Unit 3: For next week

A tool—any tool—is possibility at one end and a handle at the other.

Select two tools of your own choosing, from two different quadrants of this matrix:

matrix

  1. physical + design/art— (ex: letterpress, calligraphy brush, camera)
  2. digital + design/art— (ex: photoshop, or one particular action / filter within photoshop)
  3. physical non-design/art— (ex: photocopier, telephone, trowel, dice)
  4. digital non-design/art— (ex: microsoft word, excel, google)

Explore both tools’ default behavior(s). Explore their most unorthodox potentials. Hack the tools, break the tools. (If they belong to RISD, please don’t actually break the tools.) For this week, experimentation is key. Process rather than final results.

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í Unit 3: In class

“Tools make revolutions. ‘When we make a new tool, we see a new cosmos,’ says physicist Freeman Dyson. He was probably thinking of microscopes, telescopes, and atomic particle accelerators.

But even the workaday tools . . . can alter our perspective. A tool—any tool—is possibility at one end and a handle at the other. Because tools open up options, they remake us.”

—Kevin Kelly, 2000

You will each receive a common item—art supply or household item—sourced from RISD 2nd Life.

How can this object be utilized as a tool? For communication? For writing? For mark making? Experiment using your tool on letter-size paper. We will pin them your results for a brief discussion at the end of class.

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MUN_xerografie_int1

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Question: How do the tools we use influence the things we make? How can we subvert a tools’ intended use to create something unexpected?

Unit summary: The study and practice of graphic design is not simply a matter of mastering the latest digital tools. Each successive piece of software or physical tool we encounter has its own preferences and proclivities. As engaged critical designers, we must learn to recognize the assumptions that our tools make (and that they encourage us to make), and to see beyond them. At the same time, we should be nimble—able to adopt things which are not standard tools of our trade, and consider ways to adapt them to our own purposes.

Learning objectives: Master a tool (or two); understand where the tool came from; become critically aware of the relationship of tools to process and form.

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