Sunday, September 30, 2012

[va] week 7 readings

politics please, we're social designers
towards the middle, i found it interesting where it seems to talk down on designers that are attempting to solve problems in the central/south when we should be solving problems at home. this sort of makes sense to me, because i can see how we'd have better ideas of the problems we're living in and we'd better be able to measure the results. on the other hand, i don't think we should just assume that everybody is able to solve their own problems. i think we still have the potential to help others with their problems based on where we're from and with good user research. do you agree or disagree with this particular topic in the reading?

are humanitarian designers imperialists?
do you think introducing children in low poverty areas to technology is beneficial by opening them up to future possibilities or harmful in making them less appreciative for what they have?

human dignity, human rights
do you agree with the statement, "design is not merely an adornament of cultural life but one of the practical disciplines of responsible action for bringing the high values of a country or a culture into concrete reality, allowing us to transform abstract ideas into specific, manageable form"?  why or why not?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

va; week 6 readings

guerrilla street postering
i find it interesting the thrill these group of protesters get by working together on these posters and illegally posting them at night. i'm not sure how old this article is, but i noticed that when listing the art distribution possibilities that internet was not an option... and this is something you would think would definitely be considered. however, even with internet as an option, i wonder if these types of people would get as much thrill from simply posting their work online. first off, it's no longer illegal and unexpected, and second off, you can't as easily control the people that will be seeing it. it could just be fellow protesters rather than people you're trying to impact and make an impression on.

q: what are some ways guerrilla posting is done online? do protestors have as much control over who sees the message? is it nearly as effective? why might these types of people prefer guerrilla street postering to internet posting?

he might be a giant
this reading fits well with a couple of our previous readings about design that leaves room space for open thinking and opinions. this is a perfect example. i find it funny that this came about on accident though. fairey wasn't even aiming to create this type of reaction to his stickers, but it just happened. it made me wonder if it's easier to create this open design when you're not trying for it, or when it's accidental. because i feel if you are working for this type of design, it's so much harder in that you almost always have underlying beliefs and opinions that somehow work themselves into the work. so maybe the key to designing artifacts that allow the audience to "talk back" is to do it without thinking about it or knowing you're doing it. haha, now this is starting to sound like an odd form of hinduism or something. :b

q: is this type of non-opinionated design something that's more likely to happen when it's accidental? are there ways to consciously remove ourselves from situations or beliefs when trying to achieve this type of design?

kalle lasn interview
i really loved lasn's ideas on true-cost design. if this were to become a rule that designers took into account and considered before doing a job. while i believe a large number of designers would love to stick with this notion, i don't know how easy it would be. i can see a lot of people rather than just weighing out the benefits and the consequences, also throwing pay into the mix of things. let's say all good designers decided to stick with this code of true-cost design. where would that leave places like cigarette packaging companies that have no hope of improving their product for the better? they're not going to want to hire bad designers, so instead they'll offer to pay more. while i think it may be hard to remove design work with consequence, i do think this is a great idea that could still equate to a lot of positive change if the bug gets put into our designer heads to work and think this way.

q: what other types of design work that have more consequences than benefits, but still need designers? how likely do you think it is for designers to be able to take money our of the equation and think purely towards making things better? would we suffer any significant losses?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ds; concept cavalcade

so we've started exploring different concepts, logos, and logotypes for our brands based on each individual attribute. i don't know how close any of these are to what i'm aiming for. i'm pretty happy with them, but i feel like i have so much to explore and try yet. i can't even narrow it down to one name yet (indecisiveness at it's best), but here's what i have for now. whether or not any of these make it to the end of this phase, i feel that this exercise was super helpful and help me to throw some ideas out there to start from. 

design objective:
to brand a music therapy center for troubled youth. this therapy center will utilize music in a homey, comfortable environment as a unifying force to bring adolescents of different backgrounds and social groups together with music to overcome problems, to promote self esteem and to express themselves passionately.

inspiring...this brand will inspire youth to strive to overcome their emotional problems in enjoyable and expressive ways will have a welcoming, homey environment where patients feel safe and comfortable, having the option to work in solitude

passionate...the brand will focus on how much of a passionate outlet music is and the unique impact it has on us

Monday, September 17, 2012

va; week 5 readings

designer as catalyst
i think that designers definitely design in response to their culture and how they were raised, or that these factors shape their work in one way or another. the reading talks about the designer implying to their audience that they're considerate of them having a choice, but they just want to influence that choice based on what they think is best. i believe this is true with some design, but there's still several advertising methods that come off as telling you what choices to make rather than just trying to influence it.

q: what are some of examples of advertising that comes off saying 'we know you have a choice, but this  is why ours is best"? is this the most effective method?

massive change intro
i thought this reading made a lot of great points. design should promote discussion, thinking, and essentially worldwide changes and success. this reading really speaks to how powerful of a tool design really is and why we need to be thinking of it as just that.

towards critical autonomy 
this reading speaks a lot about how essential the 80's and 90's were for making design where it's at today. this was the time of technological advances and experiments. but even today technology is advancing rapidly and i think it's causing us to experiment and explore possibilities more than ever. while i agree that the 80's and 90's helped shape graphic design, i think we're still in the process of shaping it today.

q: if we're continuously experimenting with technology and graphic design and coming up with more and more ideas more rapidly, will graphic design ever actually have a solid foundation or form? is there really an ending point to all this exploration?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

va; rosedale. first presentation.

rosedale presentation 1

behold the supergroup's first presentation! here we discuss the problem of rosedale that we hope to assist - the problem of unity and communication. we went to rosedale and got feedback from the community on these two issues. our finds and goals are pretty much summed up in the presentation above.

mx; research poster q&a

Research poster question and answer:
  1. erika: Do you think your project could work for other grade levels? Like high school?
    Adding social elements/relevance to education could be beneficial for a large range of people.
    While we agree this could be beneficial for other grade levels, we've decided to concentrate on this particular age group because they're the most impressionable. Through middle school and high school, there's too much of disparity between the different types of students and what they believe and how they want to learn.
  2. smak: I'm confused about social studies. How would you describe socials studies in school as of now?
    Social studies is the study of human society and different cultures. We're not working to change what social studies is or necessarily what is being taught, but we're more focused on how it's taught. Most students seem to think that social studies is just history and that they are just learning history about different countries. We'd like to transform these methods to instead teach them how this what they're learning is relevant to today's social world. Plus kids learn so much more from experience than from lectures. Essentially, we're using technology as a vehicle to another country/culture for them to learn more experientially. 
  3. keaton: is there a way to increase class discussion outside of the classroom with a hub, since the typical classroom consists of 5% class discussion? could it integrate with the gaming and reward aspect, like an xbox live room that is centered on homework?

    Great question. Yes, we hope that the proposed technologies, which is unlimited by location, will extend the learning experience beyond the classroom. We hope kids want to keep engaging with the material. Yes to the xbox live room! That's exactly what we had in mind.
  4. jessica: While social studies is about educating students about humanities to promote civic union, is there atypical way to prompt them to create their definition of "civic duties" and advocate for it?
    First of all, great question. Yes. We want the students in the classroom to define what social studies means to them and where they fit in the larger community (self awareness levels). We feel that using current technologies is the "atypical" way of going about this. Your question really taps into the goal of our project. We want kids tocare about their responsibilities as citizens and care enough to share it with others and become advocates for it. Notice how there has been an increase in political apathy in our age group (20 somethings)? Well, what if social studies could spark that drive to be active citizens, ones that empower others to be active too? We feel that integrating social media into social studies early on will prompt that. 
  5. michael: In becoming more active/involved, how do you keep class engagement on topic? How do you reach kids who aren’t looking to be more outwardly involved?

    Good Question. We see the incentives and goals of the proposed technologies as the way to keep the class engaged and on topic and not distracted. The teacher would also facilitate and keep the class disciplined, but the point is that we are offering different ways for the students to keep an active interest in what they are learning; if one way isn't working then there are other methods to look at. We also assume that our proposed technologies would have interfaces controlling access to "distractions" and would keep the learning on topic.
    Because we are offering different technologies to accommodate to each student's learning needs, there would be ways to engage those who aren't as "involved".
  6. abby: how do you plan to address the different ways in which kids learn (i.e., learning styles) and tailor individual experiences?
    Great question. We want to use current technologies to address kids with different learning styles. For our personas, we referenced kids who play video games, more hands on and visual learners as well as social media fanatics who are more auditory and visual learners. Current technology lends itself to many opportunities for making the learning experience accessible to different learners.
  7. jessi: how can this be used to connect local elementary schools with each other, in addition to faraway 'penpal' scenarios? what opportunities are there to connect people of all distances?

    Since we are aiming to make social studies more "social", we definitely see schools connecting with other local schools, etc. The technology we're proposing will have this ability to connect schools from all distances.
  8. ivan: You spoke to a personal device/interface that would allow you to connect with students around the city as the world, but do you think that there could be room for a larger collaborative interface within the classroom that would allow the students to learn from the classmates they see everyday?

    Yes, definitely. We speculate an "interactive projector", which really, doesn't have to be a projector, but the idea is using a large space to create physical interaction and collaboration.

  9. erica: Could this be applied to other subjects such as math and science?

  10. eli: Will they be able to take it home and work on it with parents? If not parents will mentors have access to it? How will parents be able to encourage that usage?

    Good question. Yes, technology itself is unlimited by location. Students should want to take their learning and extend it beyond the classroom experience. It'd be great for them to want to show their parents what they are learning and the parents should want to also be involved. The idea is that learning is not engaging in the current system. With the right approach to curriculum through current technologies, students will be able to really love what they are learning and learning itself. When you are excited about something, you want to share it. We hope to excite these kids and get them sharing with their mentors/parents.
  11. matthew: Is the social relationship you are constructing something that is going to live in the classroom or is there a way that it can extend into the child’s everyday life? How can the aspect of becoming more social through learning impact each child across multiple subjects? Also, is there a way for students to further these relationships on an self-constructed independent level?

    We're hoping that this would be something that students would want to continue engaging in after school. We're hoping that kids bring what they're learning outside of class into the classroom as well. Rather than learning from one direct source, socializing can help students to learn from several different sources and gain different perspectives. It also allows them to explore a variety of learning styles, helping them to know which may work best for them. Yes, technology lends itself to be unlimited by location, so it could be used both in the classroom and home. We hope that kids will constantly be wanting to learn and socialize through our new tool.
  12. lillie: I know you covered this a bit, but considering the dangers of social media, how can you ensure that this online community is safe?

    We talked about this a bit, and this is something we'll definitely consider when fleshing this tool out. Methods that we've discussed so far would include child verification when signing up. So they'd have to go through a process verifying that they're are children (most likely through the school system). All accounts would also have teacher and parental control. But since this is something that schools would be setting up for students, it would definitely be safe for the students.
  13. mckenzie: How will this affect the current curriculum? The technology needed might be something else to consider... depending on the country... and global time changes. 

    We are hoping to take the current curriculum and give it a better experience, so the requirements are the same, but there will be additional aspects that will enhance the current curriculum, such as the use of current technologies. And yes, we will consider the limitations of other schools, etc.
  14. collin: You discussed gaming and competition across classrooms/cultures. how would you address winning and losing in the context of cross-culture differences/characteristics/tensions?

    we haven't really worked through those details yet, but there won't necessarily be a winner or loser situation, it'll be more working at their own pace collaboratively to advance, not really lose and go back. but like i said, these details will be worked further a little later. that's sort of what we're thinking right now, but it's subject to change.
  15. patrick: How can the in-class discussion integrate current technologies? 

    Good question. We suggest speculative technologies like an "interactive projector" that allows the space itself to encourage collaboration. Much of discussion will use current technologies, for example what if the classroom could have discussion with another school? Or another country? These are the types of things that the in class discussions can integrate. 
  16. jumper: How much of the blame can be put on the educational system for being boring? Should the children just buck up and do their damn work? It seems if a child doesn't want to learn they just won't put in the effort. It seems that instead of making learning fun, students should be taught personal responsibility.
    Well, currently, the state and federal requirements for public school curriculum stress math and reading skills; students are forced to learn from textbooks and are then tested on factual knowledge and their education is solely gauged on those results. We think ALL kids want to learn and schools don't accommodate for different learning types, which is why we think they don't put in the "effort". 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

ds; music therapy phase 1

music therapy center // branding. phase 1. 

all of our lives, music has been effecting us in the most powerful ways. it has the ability to set our moods and to direct our emotions. a single song can so easily immerse us with feelings of happiness, sorrow, pity, anger, romance, etc. so why not use this powerful tool that's already so much a part of our lives to help those who have problems controlling emotions or coping with problems?

that's exactly what i've decided to do by creating a hypothetical music therapy center for troubled youth. this particular music therapy center would focus on adolescents who suffer from mood disorders, social problems, and other personal problems. a variation of musical exploration possibilities will serve as tools to their troubled minds and help them to gain self-confidence and to express themselves. they will be doing so in a very comfortable, homey atmosphere to help them better feel free and relaxed.

when developing this brand, i must consider that not only should this appeal to a younger audience, but also health professionals and doctors so that they can view the organization as reliable, friendly and worth recommending to patients. with this done successfully, music can change the lives of troubled adolescents.

mx; final research poster

Our research posters! The poster encompasses our research of elementary school social studies in the classroom and how it can change to better serve the children's interest as well as make the subject more relevant to today's current social climate. 

Here are some shots of progress work to the final:

draft 1

draft 2

draft 3


used this information for how children developed self –concept, when and how they realize they are a part of something bigger.  

how to get kids excited about social studies

general information about the current social studies initiative

shows the types of games currently out there and it’s not pretty

Gayle Mindes talks about her interests in elem. Social studies and how it benefits today’s educational landscape.

Monday, September 10, 2012

va; week 4 reading questions

design with intent
i think breaking down these types of design approaches are really helpful and having an idea of these different types can help a designer know their role in relation to their audience. which type of design approach are we using with our rosedale project?

graphic authorship
in what circumstances should a designer be concerned about claiming authorship? if it's effective, is authorship of importance? is authorship important in projects such as our rosedale project? is it more important with other types of projects?

the designer as producer
should design schools really enforce that the design program also includes management and marketing classes or should this be something up to the students to take those classes by themselves?