Design an outward-facing expression of your reflective process.
A print product
An on-screen experience
You are making a practical but expressive tool that you will use to facilitate your end-of-year discussions.
Community (GD Commons, 5/18, 11:20am)
Your instructor (5/18)
Your end-of-year review (5/25)
We began the semester by asking you to ask questions.
This weekend, set aside some time away from distractions to think about those questions in relation to your own progress this semester.
What do you consider to be your strongest accomplishments as a designer so far?
What are your biggest challenges moving forward?
Where do you need help?
What inspires you?
What are your hopes for moving forward?
How have your design values evolved?
Try to be honest and clear with yourself.
This kind of awareness is crucial to any creative practice.
An essential part of becoming a designer is recognizing the importance of reflection and self-evaluation.
Ideally, it’s a continuous part of your growth process, in school and beyond.
Wednesday May 11
Unit 17 review
Monday May 16
Unit 18 design studio
Wednesday May 18
Unit 18 review
11:30–12:30 Full group in GD Commons
12:30–4:20 Individual meetings
Wednesday May 25
Juniors end-of-year review
How do we design Design?
More and more, designers are expanding their traditional role as service provider into positions of greater agency. Today, the designer as author, producer, entrepreneur or cultural critic is common. Whatever the challenge, designers are now able to activate their own ideas and shape projects and products for users and audiences directly. How do we design the design process to best serve these relationships? In this unit—your most in-depth Design Studio project at RISD to date—you’ll begin by identifying your own interest that stimulates an inquiry reflecting your own questions, values and identity as a designer.
— to become intimately aware of the “process of design” as an unfolding creative experience.
— to develop a project experience of personal interest and value.
— to develop a natural unfolding process deliberately guided by visual search.
— to ensure a meaningful enfolding of ideas into a final resolution.
Process phases and schedule
Unit#17 Phase 1:
1) Identify your main interest condensed into a single word by reflecting briefly on your response to Unit#15’s question (and sub-questions): What are my design values? Do so in a very short time!
IMPORTANT: DO NOT have project any product or design—keep your mind open!
2) Respond to this via a “making” process of VISUAL SEARCH (to draw, sketch, diagram, form, build, etc.). See the “Conditional Making” below to help you get into this “making” process)
3) From this visual response evolve a simplified “design brief” (meant to evolve over time).
4) For MONDAY 4/11: present this visual search for group review, to fill at least one table, structured in a self-explanatory “narrative” that allows us to respond to what you share from your experience. Present only the results. Do not describe, or explain.
Conditional Making: Choose 2–3 conditions from this list:
— a physical place (a nation, a region, a spot down by the canal, a wall, a pathway, the mall etc.)
— a tool (scanner, copy machine, snapchat, after effects, dropbox, tape, brush, glue, letterpress etc.)
— a method or action (appropriation, collage, collaboration, gaming, blow up, repeat, erase, etc.)
— content / material (newspaper, books, wiki articles, photo archive, googled street view, poem, letters, etc.)
— a physical context (getting dressed, reading a book, taking care of a child, watching a movie, sending
email, riding a train, browsing the web, online shopping, to-do lists, texting a friend etc.)
— an emotional context (make someone happy, take away pain, make yourself laugh, reduce anxiety, etc.)
(For example: scanner, getting dressed, at the mall; or: masking tape, by the canal, make someone happy.)
Using your conditions, pose your questions, make your inquiries, and follow the process….
How can all of our senses be used to design and communicate experience?
As graphic designers we tend to privilege a visual perspective. But experience actually relies on all our senses (touch, sound, smell, taste, visual), inevitably part of one’s total nature for experience. When we set out to capture experience, with the goal of informing others, can we do so in multiple dimensions? How might we use all of our senses to enhance understanding? In this unit, we’ll look at translating sensory input — in the form of a fully immersive, shared experience at the RISD Museum — into experiential output.
You will begin by setting aside expectations and entering the RISD Museum with a beginner’s mind, searching for discrete moments that you connect to using an array of senses. You will identify five of these sensory “inputs” — experiences in the museum that are important to you — and record them in some way. These inputs will be developed, expanded and refined into a series of five output expressions that communicates some aspect of the museum to a public audience.
Think of this project as an investigation in experiential design at the scale of the body in physical space, with the museum collections, gallery spaces, surfaces, sounds and smells as your content. How will you record, develop, design and articulate this experience in ways that capture the essence of your content? How might your design project go beyond the conventions for marketing an arts institution?
— Learn to sharpen sensory input into rich output
— Explore design experientially as a means to understanding
— Develop products that reflect information and experience
— Develop an understanding of relational design (user experience, social context, environment)
Part 1: Five inputs (1.5 weeks)
— Engage with the RISD Museum.
— Use all senses to explore and inquire: sight (seeing), sound (hearing), touch (feeling), smell (olfactory), taste (oral). Note that time may also be used as another “sense.”
— Record your experiences.
— Communicate your experiences to the studio.
Part 2: Development (1 week)
— Focus on at least two experiences from the museum.
— Expand these into multiple ideas and forms.
Part 3: Five outputs (2 weeks)
— Consider your audience and develop the ideas into a project that communicates your sensory experience of the museum.
— Design your project into five outputs that express the museum experience.
— Prototype your design.
— Work collaboratively to present an installation of your projects in the GD Commons.
Things to consider:
— How do you communicate personal values and insights from your experience?
— What are the platforms and media to best communicate your ideas?
— Can others (teams, sharing) help you appreciate the value to the whole?
— What role does time play in sensory experience?
How do reflection, documentation and synthesis facilitate awareness?
Throughout the semester you will develop your own reflective process, running parallel to the other units. Nurturing a daily practice that notes your experience and insights (experiments, failures, interests, questions, methodologies) is a bridge to learning. In this unit you will give yourself a space to nurture this practice. In addition, a final Reflective Process Document will be prepared during your final 2 weeks of the semester.
— Nurture your reflective practice daily via written notes on your DS studio work and experiences.
— Even if only for a minute or so.
— Write spontaneously.
— Use any writing style that feels comfortable and natural to you.
— Feel free to add visual notes, as needed.
— Don’t belabor it! This is not an English class, not a thesis, not a test.
You will be asked to share your reflective process with your instructor at various times throughout the semester. This is not meant to “prove” anything but rather to show evidence of your attention to your work. There may be no response/critique.
Towards the end of the semester, you will be asked to synthesize your notes into a more finished process document that will be shared with your instructor, to be graded as Unit 18. We will spend time on this during the last two weeks of the semester. More details to come.
What are my design values?
Often, we are called upon to respond to a design challenge with solutions. But deep insight into a design process begins with awareness, self-directed inquiry and questions, not answers. If we allow uncertainty and risk into our practice, even vulnerability, we might get closer to our own values and identity as a designer. Unintended consequences and surprise can be key ingredients in the search for our own position in the world of design. In this introductory unit we will practice a questioning stance as preparation for your last semester in the Design Studio sequence, and for the faculty to take note of your needs and interests.
— Begin by yourself. Using the index cards, generate a series of questions around your own interests in design. What is important to you? (30 minutes)
— There are no right or wrong questions, but try to ask questions that are open to flexible opinions and points of view (rather than yes/no questions). Open is good. Try to be as authentic as possible to your own identity as a designer.
— Now, pair up. Interview each other about your questions. Test them. . . how do they hold up to conversation? Try asking: why — what if — how — how might we? Which questions resonate? Which are most important? Choose three. (60 minutes)
— Double the groups and expand the conversation. Discuss your sets of questions. (30 minutes)
— Give form to one (or two but no more than three) of your questions with image, text and/or objects. (60 minutes)
— Install your expression in the GD Commons and be ready for a group discussion at 5pm.
How and to what extent can design change, or influence the world around us?
There have never been times like these: technology, politics, environmental challenges, and social unrest are colliding with remarkable force, shaking the earth and its inhabitants to the core. Can designers make a difference in this complicated world, and if so how? We often hear about design as a tool for change. This Unit asks you to question this premise, to look closely at the world around you, at both large and small-scale issues, and identify areas where design has made change.
According to William Drenttel, even the prosocial design has got its “darker side”: “It privileged the teacher, not the students; the client, not the user; the provider, not the person in need. It was too often design about design, design for the sake of design, designers preaching to one another about design’s capability to create impact.”
In this unit it’s time we stopped focusing on us-designers. Let’s not promote our own style and expression. Let’s not tell any story (more or less interesting to ordinary mortals). Let’s not experiment (formally). Let’s focus on the users and their needs instead. Can we imagine a project that would yield tangible positive results?
“The time to act as a community is now.”—Rosanne Somerson, President of RISD
The necessary minimum for positive grade is preparing the scenario-based design (including analysis/research, prototyping/designing, action/event, consequences/evaluation) and designing the key elements of a project (see schedule). The students should be encouraged, however, to implement the project and evaluate its efficacy (during last week or even after the fall session).
Issues to consider
– probably design cannot change the world. The question is what it can change and how.
– is it possible to start with a person and develop from there (rather than starting with an issue and “applying” the solution to the person)? Or maybe it is better to start with a global issue and consider how to work it out locally based on studying the user, researching the user, understanding their needs and behavior?
– how would you interpret the well-known slogan “Think globally act locally”?
– how can we change someone’s behavior or mind with design?
– how can we help someone who needs something with design?
– how can we identify and/or address a broken system?
– how can a designer use systems and typography when trying to say something useful (to an individual vs a community vs a whole country)
– how can designers use scale and language to make an actual change (ways: micro and macro).
– developing the critical outlook at the discipline of graphic design
– analysis of socially involved graphic designs (ideology/propaganda/activism)
– defining areas, where graphic design directly affects user’s awareness
– shaping attitudes of an activist-designer
Proposed schedule [to be discuss with teacher]
Wed. Nov 18
Introduction talk / presentation
Homework (Analysis & Development): Defining the area of design activity (what the project refers to, e.g. improving visual communication of public transport system, discrimination, freedom of speech in the academic units, helping the homeless, hate speech in politics, revitalization of town districts, activating the local community). Research (what requires improvement/intervention). Research into existing solutions. Developing three initial concept designs (sketches, descriptions), including a proper strategy and medium (Facebook, poster, intervention in the public space, video etc.). Print results (any format).
Mon. Nov 23
discussion / initial concepts review
Presentation of the homework (area of activity, project problem statement, three initial concept designs) in printed form (any format). Discussion. Review of the concepts; choosing one proposition.
Homework (Scenario-based Design): Preparing a presentation (keynote/pdf) of a scenario-based design on the selected initial concept. The scenario should include:
1. detailed project description
2. implementation strategy/action
3. project’s impact on the surroundings/environment (how the design should work)
4. assumed process, changes/results
5. suggested project efficacy evaluation method
Wed. Nov 25
No class held (Thanksgiving break)
Mon. Nov 30
discussion / scenario review
Presentation of the selected scenario. Discussion. Scenario review.
Homework (Prototyping): Preparing the preliminary design of the key elements/prototyping (individually defining the detailed scope of a project with the teacher). Form of presentation in correspondence with the project scenario.
Wed. Dec 2
discussion / project review
Presentation of the project. Discussion. Project review.
Open studios – possibility of review with other teachers.
Homework: Developing the final form of a project.
Mon. Dec 7
discussion / finishing touch
Discussion on the best means of project presentation on Wednesday, December 9th. The finishing touches.
Homework (Presentation): Preparing the Wednesday presentation.
Wed. Dec 9
Walk about / project presentation
Presentation of the design scenario along with the selected elements of the project.
Evaluation [to be discuss with teacher]
Gravity of the problem and correct defining of the project goal; research into existing solutions; inventiveness; potential level of improvement of the selected area; clarity of project presentation.
How can designers engage audiences around issues pertaining to the most fundamental human activity of all: FOOD?
This project asks you to consider all the ramifications of its procurement, consumption, ritual, and economies.
In our ever more global world, one thing we all have in common is the need to eat.
Our bodies need food for sustenance, and our souls need to gather with others for the health of our communities and for human contact. Design is complicit in how we think or know about food and how we buy it, see it, use it, learn about its politics and problems, its rituals and complexities. We are asking students to consider their own position and or interests and points of view around of: Food and Food Culture, in the context of food as part of a system of production and consumption, distribution and procurement.
Consider how the process of production, consumption, and other food/dining activities contribute to massive environmental change; which has produced 19 to 29 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions per year and deeply impacts the environmental changes that are taking place.
1) phase one:
>> Information design (project given Mon Nov 2 Due Mon Nov 9)
>> Unit 03 asks you to consider and choose among the suggested topics one of them.
>> Investigate its background Information that are related to your topic.
>> Find articles, websites, news sources, videos, books etc.
>> Evaluate, edit, organize your data to its very basic facts and core.
>> Develop a comprehensive and well-researched and knowledgeable presentation of your research and information. Show your content, drawings, and maps, and make digram(s) charts, show statistics, etc. to tell your story through the quantitative and qualitative aspect of information design (like the previous work shop study).
Format 24 x 36 poster.
Learning Goal: To develop a qualitative and quantitative understanding of information
Unit Objective: To encourage designers to engage in critical cultural and global issues.
2) phase two: Visual Narrative (project given Mon Nov 9 Due Wed Nov 18)
Based on your phase one project, begin to draw, sketch, develop a formal visual story with rhetorical narrative attitude.
It should define your narrative voice and position.
Use any media including: visual narrative, text, image, sound performance, projection, etc.
Goal is to engage your audience.
Medium is open to the most appropriate and communicative format.
SUGGESTED TOPIC AREAS:
Other agricultural practices can impact the climate. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are widely used in agriculture, and are often made from fossil fuels. Manufacturing and transporting these chemicals uses significant quantities of energy and produces greenhouse gases.
Where your food comes from is also a factor. Currently, the average meal travels 1200 km from the farm to plate. Food that is grown closer to home will therefore have fewer transportation emissions associated with it, and also be fresher and support local farmers. And as the distance food travels decreases, so does the need for processing and refrigeration to reduce spoilage.
Food and health
We are what we eat, and getting it right can significantly slow the clock down
The one dietary approach that has consistently been found to extend the life span of animals is simply to feed them less. A diet based on natural, nutrient-packed foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils will help the body get by on less without the need to go hungry. Drinking plenty of water has been linked with a reduced risk of major killers including heart disease and cancer, and helps to prevent overeating too.
America has a wasteful food culture because of the pattern of our eating, and that kind of diet is one we’re unfortunately exporting to the rest of the world. one third of the world’s food is wasted before it is consumed In the developed world most of the waste happens at the consumer end, when food spoils in grocery stores or in refrigerators. Most of the waste in the developing world happens on the farm as a consequence of inefficient storage and processing facilities.
Each year 1.3bn tonnes of food, about a third of all that is produced, is wasted, including about 45% of all fruit and vegetables, 35% of fish and seafood, 30% of cereals, 20% of dairy products and 20% of meat.
The price of food is wildly volatile. In 2008, the United Nations Food Price Index almost doubled in less than a year before crashing in 2009. Prices then shot up again in 2010 and 2011. Despite this volatility, our supply of food stayed stable throughout this period. This suggests that the price of food is not determined by our ability to produce food at a global level.
Do we choose the product that is “free from artificial sweetener” or has “no MSG”? What about the one that “contains no GM” Researchers have become uneasy about the use of iron in our diets. It brings dietary advantages to many, but problems for others. Folic acid, wheat, soya, nuts, shellfish and milk products bring benefits – but can pose risks. Dealing with occasionally dangerous trace ingredients is a vexed issue.
Organic food has more of the antioxidant compounds linked to better health than regular food, and lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides, according to the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date. There are “statistically significant, meaningful” differences, with a range of antioxidants being “substantially higher” – between 19% and 69% – in organic food.
The IARC’s experts concluded that each 50-gram (1.8-ounce) portion of processed meat eaten daily increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.
Global food system
The most important thing to know about the global food system is also one of the least appreciated: there is enough food for everyone on the planet to live a healthy and nutritious life. In fact, the UN tells us that there is about 2,800 kcal per person per day available. But, the global food system is deeply inequitable. There are about 842 million people hungry on the planet, while at the same time there are about 1.5 billion who are overweight or obese.
The way we’re producing our food is impacting our environment. Agriculture is responsible for 75% of deforestation worldwide, and is the largest contributor of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. We’re also rapidly losing marine food sources. In 2010, 53% of fisheries were fully exploited (pdf), 28% were overexploited, 3% were depleted, and 1% were recovering from depletion.
A very small number of corporations control the vast majority of the world’s food trade: four companies produce more than 58% of the world’s seeds; four global firms account for 97% of poultry genetics research and development; yet another four produce more than 60% of the agrochemicals farmers use.
So to bring design out from under the thumb of content, we must go one step further and observe that treatment is, in fact, a kind of text itself, as complex and referential as any traditional understanding of content. — Michael Rock
Art is the provocation for talking about enigma and the search for sense in human life. One can do that by telling a story or writing about a fresco by Giotto or studying how a snail climbs up a wall. —John Berger
Unit 12 / THE ‘READ’
Question: How can you design narrative experiences in physical places/environments, taking into account your audience and community?
Graphic designers are often tasked with shaping visual or verbal messages using two-dimensional typographic, digital, and pictorial means. But designers are also called upon to help make sense of environments beyond the surface of a screen or a page. We help to organize flow and message in museums and in places of commerce; we develop signage and informational markers in built environments; and we work in any number of other spatial and material ways.
• This unit asks you to explore and experience spatial and dimensional design
• This unit as you to consider the potential for spaces to be, or become, narrative places.
• This unit asks you to consider space, place, and experience through the eyes of the community of users (audience, humans).
• How can you “read” a space and how might you intervene in a way that allows that space to “speak”?
• What can you help a place to say? What does it need to say?
This unit asks the question: What is it to design spatially, materially, experientially, and narratively.
How can you consider and use metaphor, story, and association in a relational way in a public built environment.
• To expand upon your understanding of what constitutes a “narrative.”
• To expand upon your understanding of what constitutes a “place” (see resources and readings on Space and Place)
• To learn basic concepts within the sub-field of environmental and experience graphic design.
• To exercise your understanding of metaphor, association, form, abstraction, and other primary GD concepts, but in spatial settings.
• To expand your abilities in thinking and making off the 2d surface.
• To encourage engagement with your local environs and community.
• To explore the possibilities that exist within the act of creating a communicative documentation. How will you document your spatial explorations? In what way will you organize the evidence of the experiences you created. How can you share the process of finding your site, analyzing it, coming to an understanding, and then intervening or “drawing out” a narrative from within it.
Goals and Outcomes
1) to design a narrative experience in a physical public space using any means appropriate to the space and the audience; to expand upon or extend or embellish or subvert what the space is saying, needs to say, or can say.
This should include (but needn’t be limited to) the use of typography, projection, addition of formal elements, signs or symbols, any object or material which holds narrative potential or signification, color, contrast, light, performance, etc.
2) to design a documentation using any necessary and appropriate media in order to share the physical experience and the process of making it with those who cannot be there in the site.
1) Choose a site. You are encouraged to choose a site downtown (over the canal) but no further than a 10-15 min walk from school.
2) Analyze the site first. Develop lists, keywords, histories, associations. Identify its use, and especially identify its users. What is the site’s culture, its past, its present. Write about its character, its nature, its forms and values. What is already there? What’s in the site. What is lacking? What might it say?
3) Begin to sketch/draw/photograph/ the formal, visual, and narrative potentials and interventions that you want to attempt.
4) Implement your plan(s) and experiments.
• Be sure to document ALL versions, iterations, failures: It may be better to attempt a number of approaches than to get hung up on a singular idea.
Try to be truly experimental. Your approaches can be poetic, pragmatic, linguistic, purely formal, or practical or all of the above. They should be appropriate and authentic in how they relate to the site.
• Students should explore and experiment with a variety of possible ways to alter or intervene in this site:
including but not limited to text, image, form, material, scale, contrast, sound, performance, projection, interaction, etc.
-Consider color and contrast.
-Consider mood, tone, temperature, the five senses.
-Consider uses, users, intentions and assumptions.
-What is your site for and why is it there? What is its history? Its culture or story?
-Why might it need or benefit from an intervention? What is the voice you will use to intervene?
-What do the site’s forms and structures suggest in terms of intervention, addition, narrative, etc.
-Consider how one might alter the site simply, with bold moves using contrast or color or material or form.
-Consider the metaphorical implications of the space/place and how you can highlight or subvert these.
-Consider precedents throughout history and world cultures.
WORKING IN TEAMS IS ENCOURAGED HERE
but no more than 3 people per team
Wed. Sep 30
Introduction talk / presentation / writing exercise
Students to walk and map and choose a site. Make a mapping and an analysis. Details to be posted on ds1416.
Class 1 Mon. Oct 5 / The Read
DUE: a THOROUGH and EXHAUSTIVE site analysis. What does your site tell you? What could it say? Come in with mappings, other drawings, photos, recordings. Also due: ideas and sketches for potential narrative/site interventions.
Class 2 Wed. Oct 7 / The Proposals
DUE: proposals for site intervention/narratives. Show examples of materials, supplies, proposals. Over the course of the Unit, expect to make between 3-5 interventions. They can be fast, materials can be cheap, etc.
Mon. Oct 12 NO CLASS – COLUMBUS DAY
Class 3 Wed. Oct 14 / The Variations
DUE: show documentation of actual in situ interventions, between 3-5 at least; show variations and iterations; show a wide variety of elements, parts, communications, using various media. Each site and situation will call for its own approach. Photograph carefully at close up, long shots, medium shots; think macro and micro.
Class 4 Mon. Oct 19 / The Documentations
DUE: Show refinements, show the development of your designed documentation or presentation of the projects/experiments.
Class 5 Wed. Oct 21 /
TWO THINGS DUE: The Experience(s) and the Documentation (site visits?)
DUE: final presentation of a narrative experience as well as your designed documentation to share with all sections
How do we use curation to tell stories?
“The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.”
Douglas Huebler, 1969
We’re swimming in data. The relentless production of digital material has shifted us into a new condition where the foundation of graphic design — image and language — cannot exist without somehow touching (or being touched by) the internet. Massive archives, from digitized libraries to the quantified self, are part of the new landscape that artists and designers rely on for the production and communication of networked culture. In the face of this overwhelming accumulation of found stuff, curation is key. In this unit, we’ll look at how archives, collections and curation can be used to investigate memory, authorship and storytelling.
Studio 1: Surf / search
Search for an archive or collection. Look for existing photos, text messages, spam, novels, selfies, paintings, tweets, data, recipes, paint colors, stories, purple things, pyramidal things, dreams, code, books, artworks, status updates — anything. The only criteria is that the material interests you, and that you feel compelled to share it. Develop a point-of-view about the material.
Present your point-of-view and an in-depth analysis of your collection in one week. Include as many metrics as possible (quantity, taxonomy, authorship, timeline, etc.) and at least three concepts embedded in your collection that suggest larger stories.
Due Wednesday 9/16.
Studios 2 – 5: Compile / document
You will document your collection in at least two different ways and present your documentation. Consider your options — do you print it out? photograph it? scan it? bind it? how else can you record it? How do different techniques of documentation and reproduction change the nature of the material?
Curate / translate
Curation *always* involves interpretation and translation. Edit your collection (in multiple ways) to shape a range of new meanings.
Storytelling / publish
Design a way to communicate and publish your work — make it public.
Studio 6: Final critique (Wednesday 9/30) Suggested readings
Hito Steyerl, Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?
Clement Valla, The Universal Texture
Archives of Memory
Gerhard Richter’s “Atlas”: The Anomic Archive
Cornell University’s site devoted to Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas
Walter Benjamin, Unpacking My Library
Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction