Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Commonality Commercial - No-Fail Wi-Fi

The commonality explored in this commercial is the experience of losing internet connection.  The commercial shows an internet user happily using the internet, when suddenly the connection is lost. She goes through some frustrated clicking, and shakes around her router before collapsing on the ground in frustration.  The persuasive element is thus a new outage-guaranteed Wi-Fi for consumers to invest in for their homes.  This video was created using the "just enough and no more" principle in order to make the most of every shot, transition, and effect in order to avoid a stop-motion effect.

The comments I received in VoiceThread were very positive and helpful.  It was suggested that I add in a focus on the character's angry face during her thrashing of the router in order to avoid repetition in my shots; I was also advised to add some extra time on the ending slides for the viewers to register what they were reading.  I took both of these suggestions and edited my video to incorporate them.

Sound Effects:,,,,
Model: Holly T. 

ALSO, check out the videos my friend Stephanie made, featuring me! 

Wicked Problem Poster

Wicked Problem Research Poster project with Monica G., Margaret G., and Macklin F.
Poster arranged by Macklin.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Personal Culture Iceberg

Storyboard assignment for Design Culture and Context class

Personal Culture Brain-Storming

What rituals, ceremonies, places, and memories create your personal culture?

Rituals: Nightly dinners with family (often as late as 9 p.m. when my dad got home from work); driving north in a full car to visit family over the summer and for holidays (a 12-14 hour ride); watching cartoons together with my younger brother and sister, and then quoting our favorite lines for weeks afterwards; taking care of our dog (including taking him on walks with my siblings).
Ceremonies: Birthdays (nice dinner at a restaurant of the birthday person’s choice, cake/ice cream, presents from the family); graduations (from middle school to high school, and high school to college; had a big family party for my high school graduation in which we invited our large extended family down to North Carolina to celebrate with BBQ and beer).
Places: Desk at studio (problem solving / work area, surrounded by creative minds, helpful people, and their assistance and influence; both work and social time); my room at home (shared a room with my sister and my dog; lots of pictures and movie/band posters on the walls); brick wall outside my house (a quiet place to sit and think/sketch/be alone).
Memories: various rock concerts with family and friends (Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Panic at the Disco, A Day to Remember, Rise Against); school band trips (VA, GA, TN, NC); fantasy / art conventions (Atlanta, Pittsburgh); family trips (amusement parks, beaches, visiting extended family in CT and RI).

How does the design element, COLOR, play a role in your family and your culture?

My Family’s Color Palette: 
House – beige, green, brown (natural colors)
Dog – yellow/tan, green or brown collar (He unintentionally matches our house’s interior.)
High School – dark blue

My Personal Color Palette:
Room – blue/teal (calming)
Clothes – neutral / earth tones (green, brown, orange); plaid
School – red/black/white
Language – very ‘vibrant’ and expressive

All of me and my family’s colors are very natural and create a calming home environment.

High Culture:
-Fine Arts (illustration, sketches, anthropomorphism)
-Literature (fantasy, historical fiction)
-Drama (literature/stories, movies, animated TV shows, plays and musicals)

Folk Culture:
-Music (rock, punk, alternative, dubstep)
-Mythology (interest in Native American stories; importance of story-telling)
-Dress (casual: jeans, t-shirts, plaid, sneakers)
-Games (imagination, pretend)
-Cooking / Diet (Mom keeps my family happily well-fed with any type of food (mostly pasta and chicken dishes); she used to read cookbooks for fun.)
-Courtship Practices (admire from afar; subtle compliments; expressing genuine interest and concern)
-Humor (corny puns, alliteration, rhymes, “anti-jokes”)
-Etiquette (polite but casual)

Deep Culture:
-Morals and Ideals (equality, tolerance, humility, loyalty, acceptance)
-Family Relationships (close, friendly, trusting)
-Nonverbal Communication (body language (fidgeting if uncomfortable, physical contact if at ease); actions speak louder than words)
-Cosmology (Aries: headstrong, impulsive)
-Sex Roles (personal dislike for traditional gender stereotypes)
-Arrangement of Physical Space (comfortably messy, but not disorganized)
-Conceptions of Self (ongoing process of self-understanding; coyote spirit animal connection)
Cooperation Vs. Competition (not a competitive bone in my body; very chill and willing to cooperate; no desire to ‘compete’ or ‘win’)
-Behavior in Public Places (reserved unless very comfortable, which is not very often due to social anxiety)
-Tempo of Work (quick)
-Decision-Making Practices (impulsive, often settles on first idea or choice quickly)
-Eye Behavior (hesitant to make eye contact due to social anxiety; if made, it is quick and inconsistent)
-Methods of Problem-Solving (visual thinking; metaphorical thinking)
-Nature of Friendship (few strong friendships; dedicated, loyal, trusting, and personal)
-Conversational Patterns (initially quiet, more talkative and funny as I warm up to people; speaks less in general, content to listen)

What is your conception of beauty?

Beauty is perceived differently by each person, and sometimes not perceived at all. I believe that there is at least some small amount of beauty in everything and everyone, but the viewer must have a considerably open mind at times in order to see it. The amount of visual beauty an object has may vary by personal preference, but people should be appraised based on their values and qualities as a person rather than their physical appearance. A truly beautiful person is one who cares more about others than themselves.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Design Thinking - Design Excercise 1

Initial Sketches

Explanation and Evaluation of Process
            I started this project by listing my biggest strengths and weaknesses (shown on the first page of initial sketches).  The most hindering weakness that I have always been burdened with is a fear of the unknown, uncertainty, and new things.  My innate nervous, neurotic nature makes it incredibly hard for me to branch out of my comfort zone, because I’d much rather feel safe and comfortable than scared and anxious.  Elizabeth Gilbert poses the question in her TED Talk, is it logical to be afraid of the work you’re going to do? Considering the intense expectations put on artists to create greatness and constantly out-do themselves, I believe that it is, to a certain extent.  To design a wearable piece to help me conquer this weakness and fear of a new design process, I began thinking of and sketching pieces of armor that would bring me protection, confidence, courage, and inspiration, pieces such as shields and helmets; these concepts that I aspired to achieve by wearing my piece (protection, confidence, etc.)  acted as my ‘launch pad’ while I used the ‘first principle’ thinking method to start designing armor from these initial concepts.  Jessica Helfland’s writing on the art of thinking through making encouraged me to focus on ‘imagination first, logic later’ in my sketches.  This concept allowed me to freely sketch and explore any and all ideas I had, without concern of being limited by resources or logic.  Through my sketches, my varying concepts of safety began to combine with thoughts of tribal masks.  By utilizing the ‘combining’ thinking method, the idea of a scary helmet-mask came to me (combining concepts of protection, courage, and fear).  My helmet-mask hybrid, through use of the ‘analogy’ thinking method, became symbolic of me scaring away my own fears by becoming more threatening than the things which intimidate me.  With the vague idea of a mask in mind, I ventured out to Home Depot and began collecting a myriad of metal objects which caught my eye.  I had ideas of basic shapes that I wanted, but no idea how the pieces would connect or attach; this open-minded, ‘lateral’ thinking method allowed me to amass a wide variety of materials with which to work; the once mechanically-inclined metal pieces were now to be used as sculptural elements, not the purpose for which they were originally designed.  After I began assembling these parts, I returned to sketching to refine my ideas of how to connect the physical materials I now had in my arsenal.  This helped me visualize how everything would look in the final version.  The final helmet-mask is heavily inspired by a coyote, an animal that has acted as a muse to me for many years.  Elizabeth Gilbert addresses the idea in her TED Talk that the creative process does not need to be a torment (as I had previously viewed it), but can instead be a conversation between the artist and their muse.  By utilizing my muse to overcome my fears of change and new experiences, I am freeing myself to keep creating with a new confidence which pushes me to try new things.

Final Photos

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hectic Hillsborough

For my joiner project, I attempted to showcase the hectic nature of an intersection on Hillsborough Street.  Because of the high level of activity in the area, I thought it would be the perfect location to explore different perspectives and the passage of time, as often is portrayed in photocubism.  I took many photos from varying angles and at several times of day and loosely composited them together.  I took this loose approach to suggest the constant changing nature and business of the scene, allowing the viewer’s eye to wander and explore.  I included connecting elements and leading lines (such as the crosswalk leading up from the bottom right to the center, and the stoplight post leading from the top right to the left) to give the viewer some guidance, while still allowing them to discover the scene for themselves.  I used the strong leading line of the stoplight post to lead the eye deliberately from right to left, opposite of how we are naturally inclined to read things, to create a stronger sense of rhythm throughout the composition.  This line is enhanced through the gradual shift from mostly day photos to mostly night photos from right to left, suggesting the cycling time of day.  The overall circular viewing path of the image suggests this constant change in time.   The critiques I received on VoiceThread influenced a lot of these decisions and were incredibly helpful.