Tag Archives: inspiration

Fight the Flatline

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbott

You may be wondering what Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions has to do with design, and why the heck I posted it here (two posts back).

I read it for an intro Philosophy course when I was in college. Although it was written over a hundred years ago, the themes remain timely. The main concept that has stayed with me all these years is that there are many perspectives in the world and possibilities for other dimensions. (Part II of the story.) It will do you well to keep an open mind — in life and in design. The metaphorical characters of Point, Line, Shape are incidental. Ha! I just saw there’s even an animated movie of it!

If you’ve never seen it, check out Powers of Ten, a nine-minute film made by The Office of Charles and Ray Eames. Another interesting take on perspectives.

I had a professor who said as a designer, we need to know about many different things. You may be designing for varied organizations, on a multitude of different subject matter. So, learn to learn. Learn to uncover the essence of a thing/business/service so that you can communicate that essence in a compelling way. I think it was Bob Gill who said (during a lecture for the ADCMW in DC) that if you have only one hour to design for a laundromat, spend 45 minutes in the laundromat and 15 minutes designing.

So, shake up your routine; get out of your comfort zone; be interested in… everything!


It’s All Good

Thanks for a good first day of class today, everyone. The PDF of the syllabus and schedule are in the BOX, as well as the PDF of the brochure project.

Want to be inspired by design for good? Check these out:

Have more examples? List them in the comments.

Wednesday, bring in your 3 narrowed down topic choices, with potential approaches or solutions. You will present your ideas to the class, and come away with a firm decision for your brochure topic.

And don’t forget the Flickr exercise!

Creativity Recap

I think we accomplished just about everything we set out to in Monday’s class. I’ve got the Box working again, so be sure to download the file entitled AVT498_CreativityProcessElementsPrinciples.pdf, as it has links and explanations.

If you did the brain test, you became a little more self-aware. The left half of the brain is: logical, sequential, rational, analytical, objective, looks at parts. And the right half of the brain is random, intuitive, holistic, synthesizing, subjective, looks at whole. Knowing which side is more naturally dominant can help us to purposefully exercise the other half and use more of our full brains. (My theory is that most designers are fairly balanced.)

Another interesting brain teaser is the rotating silhouette figure. Is she going clockwise or counterclockwise? Although this has apparently been debunked as a method for determining brain hemisphere dominance. One thing’s for sure; of all the links, pages, lists, and diagrams about brain hemisphere functioning, most of them are ugly as sin. The people smart enough to know about the science of it are not always adept at applying visual thinking skills. (Here’s where we come in!)

With regard to your brochure topics, and tackling or addressing a problem that affects a society, get inspired by the creative work done on behalf of these issues/orgs:

Do you have other good examples? List them in the comments.

As a designer, if your job is to come up with ideas and designs, you will not have the luxury of excuses like, “oh, I’m not feeling it today.” Someone is paying you to be a designer, so you will need to figure out strategies for calling up your creative, on demand. Today we reviewed the design elements and principles, which can always help kickstart you out of the stuck bucket. We talked about having a process/methodology, because for most people creativity does not come out of nowhere. And I mentioned some books that address improving creativity. Here they are, plus a few more.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks to check out: