Our first visiting designer lecture of the semester is this Thursday.
February 25, 6:30pm
Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center
Michael Rock is a founding partner and Creative Director at 2×4 and Director of the Graphic Architecture Project at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. At 2×4, he leads a wide range of projects for Prada, Nike, Kanye West, Barneys New York, Harvard and CCTV. Before starting 2×4, he was co-founder of Information incorporated in Boston. From 1984–91 he was Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design and since 1991 he has been a member of the design faculty at the Yale School of Art where he holds the rank of Adjunct Professor. In addition, he was a fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and a contributing editor and graphic design journalist at I.D. Magazine in New York. His writing on design has appeared in publications worldwide. He holds an A.B. in Humanities from Union College and a M.F.A from the Rhode Island School of Design. He is the recipient of the 1999/2000 Rome Prize in Design from the American Academy in Rome and currently serves on the board of the Academy.
Michael’s classic essay Designer as Author (1996)
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.