Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mind Maps

The flat city project begins with a mind mapping exercise done in groups of two. The objective is to map ideas related to ”city“. By comparing maps we are able to distinguish between broad ubiquitous ideas and unique singular ones. Subjects like education, technology, and culture are general and appear on all the maps. Yara imagines “City of the dead” somewhat like the Dia De Los Muertos. We realize this is a unique idea because it only appears on the map she is working with. The maps are engaging in that they tell mini stories about how one idea makes its way to another. After sifting through the broad topics individuals create their own focused maps using topics they are interested in developing. These maps are expanded and include imageresearch, color pallets, and typography, to guide the intended look and feel of the project.

Mind mapping tools are available on the internet that allow sharing and also create webs of associated content. Bubbl.us maps can be developed and shared by multiple users. I see Bubbl.us as a way to organize content generated in a broader map into specific categories. Credoreference.com organizes a map from words typed into a search. Both sites are accessible through the Ringling Library link. I find these internet searches to create some seeming random branches that I have yet to decipher. The human mind is still necessary to filter through the words and make the conceptual connections. I encourage the web based maps to complement, but not replace the maps done by the human hand and mind. Standard 8 1/2 x 11 pages or even screen sized maps do not encourage the outpouring of ideas that can fill a wall sized sheet of paper.

Thank you Emily and Michael for such a well developed mind map.

Mind Mapping Continued

When we mind mapped the article titled“Bad Press” by Elizabeth Diller, we discovered how a simple object like a man's white oxford shirt could reveal all sorts of underlying meaning ranging from economic hierarchy, to women's roles, to disorder.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

White Models

These architectural models by Frank Gehry are a good example of how to think about a white model. The models indicate form proportions first, later models are built showing details like windows etc. You can see that these models are not exact replicas of the building, and are sometimes made with simple materials like tracing paper. In your models it is important that your idea come across clearly rather than sweating out details. In the case of “Fred and Ginger”, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are dancing together. The idea of connection/contrast, grace and flowing movement is evident in the stark simple white wooden model. You can see later how this form was carried out to the final construction of the building.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Concept vs Idea

How is a concept different than an idea? Is it possible to define a difference between the two?

An idea for the example above might be “I have an idea to make a series of unconventional packages to make people think” The concept is further developed by assembling disparate visual and verbal elements and combining them in a new way to create a message that is sum total of the individual parts. The“ scarcity goods collection” packages individual, community and environmental imbalances. Collectively these packages read as a cry for collective healing. An empty bottle that we associate with a drugstore product labeled “symptom remover” becomes a remedy for perhaps some of the ills of the body, environment, or even culture. The concept is complex in its interpretation, but simple in its solution. FLOWmarket packages are designed by the danish designer Mads Hagstrøm.

A title, an artist's signature and a museum context elevate Duchamp's “fountain” to the status of a work of art. A found object declares itself as a work of art because it combines the nomenclature found in art museums and is placed on exhibition.

A concept transcends the physical object to create a mental image or idea.

In “Brutus Killed Caesar”, an artist‘s book by John Baldessari, the title helps to direct the interpretation of events. In the book two men face each other separated by an object. The title implies the object is a murder weapon, Brutus is on the left, and Caesar on the right. As the middle pages are turned different objects appear that we understand to be weapons, like a knife or gun. As the book progresses the objects become more absurd and we imagine murder committed with a roll of packing tape or a potted plan. This is a good example of how the context or juxtaposition of images and words shape the message.

The watch series “ Waste not a Moment” designed by Tibor Kalman communicate more than just the time. By emphasizing 5 o'clock on a watch, we interpret an aspect of time rather than just the time of day.

David Trujillo presents a concept for packaging a remedy for a phobia about germs:
Disposable anti-human wipes that talks about taboos, genocides, rituals, myths, and social stigmas overall. Small graphic elements support the concept: the registration mark on the flap resembles a shooting target icon while the red fingerprint symbolizes marks left by the user.

Thank you David and Crissy for bringing the Flowmarket, and Fountain to the class discussion.