Unit 4: Overview & Lecture

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Lecture notes

Research question: How can space influence concept and design?

Unit summary: Design has evolved into a broader profession than just a service—design has become all-encompassing, incorporating art, music, sculpture, environmental design and signage.

In Europe, art movements such as Bauhaus and Fluxus both embraced a multi-discplinary approach to the creative fields, combining the fine arts and design under one umbrella. And although craft was the focus in Bauhaus, stressing the importance of designing for mass production, (Art into Industry), these ideas could not come into fruition without strong concepts and voices behind them.

As designers, we are given certain guidelines from a client’s brief to create results that are about functionality, and problem solving for the consumer world. These guidelines pose as challenges, limitations and often feel as though they infringe on our creative process. How can one embrace a certain framework and still satisfy the sense creativity and authorship?

As software and high end work- stations become more universal, anyone has the access and ability to mimic what they have seen through blogs, magazines or book. What makes one designer distinct from another is their personal voice, and their ideas. How can you develop your own voice and ideas with the tools you have been given? In an attempt to begin fostering a more critical approach to design, let us ignore the trends and find what is the key to your ideas. Let us ignore online assets and try to come up with ideas without relying on the internet as the usual go- to. Using the art school as the subject matter, you will research and pick a space any where in the school and over time, will create a number of site- specific projects for that space.

Why are we exploring physical spaces to inspire a design process? The locker room, the dining space, the common room, the bathroom, the elevator, and the stairwell all serve a purpose for everyone in the community—the design of each space centers on functionality. But for each person, they relate to those spaces in very different ways– triggered by memory, experience, and importance. This in effect, can influence how you re-interpret these spaces, their qualities and themes, which in turn will help develop your unique approach to problem solving, examining and forming strong critical skills along the way.

You can pick one quality or multiple aspects of your space to inform your research and final project. There are only three requirements when beginning these projects.

1/ I advise that not all work is not entirely done on the computer. Be inventive. Use chalk, cardboard, objects, removable type, etc. You are not obliged to not use the computer. If that is what makes you feel most comfortable, so be it.

2/ Only use what you can find in the school and at your home. Try to limit your expenses to a minimum.

It is important to bring work to each class and to be involved in a critical discussion about it. It is necessary to learn how to present your work clearly, and how to respond critically to the work of your peers. By improving your skills of presentation, criticism and analysis, you will see that the formal execution of your own ideas will improve dramatically. It is imperative to sketch in this class. For all assignments, begin your process by sketching ideas out as thumbnails. Bring this to every class so we can keep track of your progress.

3/ Do not vandalize school property and be conscience of public safety regulations of the campus. Get permission from faculty and school if the site is in question.

Unit Objectives:
– To develop self-motivated concepts, themes and content based on their existing environment
– To consider space as a framework/canvas to work within
– To build “translation” skills; being able to adapt forms from one medium/site to another

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