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September 2009
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AIGA Make | Think: Elizabeth Coleman

Liz Coleman, Design and the Liberal Arts Education.

Thinks a lot about the vast divide between intention and outcome. Conversation is powerful way to education and shape college admissions. How to get perspectives students to tell them about themselves. Often tell students how wonderful the institution is.

Socrates: build a city in speech so that people can see justice. The founders of the US designed a nation based on ideas and the constraints. Nation was created by an act of design. If we're to address today's challenges, we need to redesign the structure of media, justice system, and legislature. 

Liberal arts is tied to ethos of democracy. A liberal arts education is designed to foster a student's broadest intellectual and deepest ethical potential. Traditional education is deeper knowledge about less and less.

Oversimplification of civic engagement is about idealization of the expert, fragmentation of knowledge, technical mastery, and neutrality.

What kind of a world are we making? Should we be making? Can we be making? are questions not asked.

We cannot have a viable democracy made up of experts, zealots, politicians, and spectators.

This is really depressing. Having attended a liberal arts institution, Bryn Mawr College, I understand intimately the value, but her prognosis of the world does not match the current optimism that I feel.

New curriculum is focused on equity, education, the environment, governance, the uses of force, and health. Rhetoric with its emphasis of organizing the world of words and design with its focus on organizing of the world of things. They will keep things open to new possibilities. 

Takes as much energy to do stupid things to do positive things.

Post conference contemplation: It is really unfortunate that the lecturing style of the presentation (medium) really did obscure what was an important message.

AIGA Make | Think: Marissa Mayer of Google

Google focuses on the user and the value of simplicity. She had been the keeper of the homepage. First home page was due to the fact that the main designer did not do HTML. January 2000 did a user study with Stanford students. The first users were waiting for the page to load before doing the rest of the search. Usability insight: Put copyright notice on the bottom of the page. There have been many iterations on the home page. Two weeks ago made the search box bigger and made the type bigger. Searchers started searching 1% more. Found fewer spelling mistakes.

Google lets the data decide. Do split testing with two groups and give them two experiences for usability.

Battle of the Blues: Discovered that the blue on search was different for blue on Gmail. Did test with 41 shades of blue between the Gmail and search blue. Graphs that came back the more green the more abandonment and time to search. The more blue get less abandonment and less time to search.

Latency in design matters. Users have preferences that they cannot articulate. Some changes made reader faster and increased use by 20%.

Google Checkout: Put image on checkout and latency went down 2% and search went down. Drew the image as bitmap style so did not gain latency.

Google news takes 8 seconds to load. Used HTML tables thus it appears to be faster. Broke up into little tables of chunks can see about the fold in 1 second and the rest comes in the other 7 seconds.

Google is in 140 languages. How do they do that? They message on the site that if you don't see your language, then create it. Use crowd sourcing of fans to sign up and volunteer to translate to produce versions in own languages.

Be unexpected: the changing of the logo is unexpected. Little bit of unexpectedness.

Innovation is design is about experimentation.

This was a great and very professional presentation.

Post conference contemplation: I owe design observer an article about the use of data to make design decisions. I think googles ability to do significant user testing at a scale of 41 shades of blue is amazing and provides designers with great knowledge as to the true intentions of their designs. I disagree with the idea that billion dollar business decisions should be made based purely on gut instinct especially if you can get user data to test its impact, not just its aesthetics.

AIGA Make | Think: Command X Round 02

Contestant 01: Ryan did a hand lettered Captain Crunch box that gave adults permission to indulge in eating the cereal.

Contestant 02: Bobby did a pornographic Cap'n Crunch box in dark with his cap over his dong. "You and the Cap'N Make it Hap'n: sexually stimulating cereal. 

Contestant 03: Allison did a groovy 1960s nostalgic Captain Crunch. 

Contestant 04: (female) Emphasized hat and mustache with nice red and blue palette.

Contestant 05: (female) Cereal hat with mustache out of hair. Yellow, white, and orange color palette. 

Who will be deleted? Stay tuned.

AIGA M/T Affinity Session: Design Education for School Age Children

Caroline Payson, director of education Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.

Because most students will not go to the physical museum, CH had to focus on the intangibles of design mainly design thinking and design process.

Teen Design program: teens get to speed date designers. Graphic Design Workshops. Also do more intense programs where they do college visits or overnights at Design Schools. Students in the intense program have 100% acceptance to elite design schools.

Teacher Training: Program such as Edcouch-Elsa program in Texas. Red Barn Chemical Site: worked with elders, sent samples to EPA, do student presentations to jury (people from town council, principle of school, and CH), they learned how to exhibit their work. At every point, think about the design process. Of two town pop of 2000, 200 people say the exhibition.

City of New Orleans: Design in the future is ground zero. People are going to be making decisions for long time. Brought 40 educators from New Orleans and Brooklyn, NY. The first year it was important to get them out. Used Chinatown because adjacent to Sept. 11 and changing populations.

To get the kids to understand design, you are thinking about the future, using that positive energy.
Design Fair with local partners who can go into class rooms or use studios. End every year with the design fair like science fair with the local partners.

St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans: Chalmette high school redid their courtyard through students design thinking and working in science class to understand the pumps of how they got flooded.

Have done three years of evaluation. more engaged and active learners, improved wrting, problem solving, and presentation skills. Enhanced collaboration and more positive attitude and involvement. 

12 major project cities.

Educator resource center: Every educator gets a stipend, need to create curriculum lesson plans and place on the site. 300 videos. Are going to create first unit on sustainable design. Have 1000s of educators, 1000s of education threads...

Next step is to build out website. Working in places that have primarily underserved populations, 88% black and latinos. We are probably connecting to more underserved communities within AIGA. Peer to peer, virtual mentoring, etc.

Martin Rayala, Kutztown University

  1. Design
  2. Design education
  3. Design education in schools
  4. Design education in schools as part of regular instruction taught by qualified teachers

He focuses on the fourth item. The visual world is massive and only small part being introduced in fine arts. If we could get people to understand the importance of the visual world, they can develop greater visual literacy. The are four pieces of visual literacy: art, visual culture, design, and visual communication. Visual communication is not universally accepted, there is determined effort to keep vis com out of school.

Big question: What should students know and be able to do?  General education core: Knowledge (content) is group Common Core. Skills such as critical thinking etc. is Partnership for 21st Century, tools is No Child Left Behind, and religious institutions focus on Dispositions.

  • Knowledge and Color: Getting color wheel in elementary, high school. But not RGB or Pantone. Content is not enough.
  • No Child Left Behind focused on the tools of numbers and words, but what about images and experiences. 
  • Skills are part of the design process: ideation, research, criteriazation, visualization, prototyping, selection, production, implementation, and evaluation. 
  • Design education: images (graphics), objects (ID), space (architects), experience (interactive design).

Four things we want in life is to do well (focus of school), do good (need to win fairly), be well (design is being blamed for consumption), and have well being. Have to help people in designing a future worth living into. Battle is not just to get the visual arts in the schools but also visual culture, visual design, and visual communication into general education in the schools. 

Images from session:





AIGA Make | Think: Roger Martin

Roger Martin

Sharing thoughts of how creativity is being valued and design thinking. "Why design thinking is the next competitive advantage"

Everything is the world crosses the mind of society as a mystery. How we create on a three-dimensional image on two-dimensional surface. We come up with a way of understanding that mystery: a heuristic. Gravity is heuristic apple following. Continue to term heuristic becomes an algorithm (formula to accomplish what we want). By the time we got something to the stage of algorithm, we can code it (without human interference). Why important? We reduce the cost of understanding.

Mysteries are expensive and take a long time. This is why it is done in universities.
Algorithms don't require great expensive skills so ability to reduce mystery to algorithm is what good businesses seek to do in order to invest in the next mystery.

If you as an organization don't reach back up to the mystery, then algorithm becomes a dead end. Design thinking is what helps organizations move back into the mystery.

Analytical thinking is to prove a proposition through inductive or reductive knowledge. Approach: rely on existing knowledge and repress judgment and refine what is. Goal is reliability, getting a consistent outcome.

Intuitive thinking is to know without explicit reasoning. Approach is to explore the new by casting off the past, suppress analysis, and invent what will be. Goal is validity that provides and outcome that meets the objective.

Design thinking is balance utilizing abductive logic, Charles S. Peirce. Its approach is respect for exploitation and exploration, the design of what should be, integration of future with past, combination of judgment with analysis. Its goal is a productive balance of reliability and validity.

Post Conference Contemplation: Everyone knows the ambivalence I feel about Design Thinking as a concept and Roger's presentation did not do anything to change my mind about the definition of design thinking. What he did do is provide the best explanation for what design thinking does good and specifically what type of thinking it is. Again, as an anthropologist, we use abductive logic as well, but this was not the AAA but AIGA. 


AIGA Make | Think: Daniel Eatock

Daniel Eatock

Images in Eatock's circle

  • Giotto created the perfect circle.
  • Photo of first person who take photo of each person in the audience until the last photo of him. He is obsessed by circles, drawing circles by hand. Interested in the attempt to draw the perfect circle. Enjoys  judging where the beginning and ending of line join.
  • Lego perfect circle made out of square parts.
  • Jewelry necklace of necklace clasps.
  • Circle of students in chairs balanced with holding the person in front of you by leaning back.
  • Photograph of strap to hold a camera. how do you get the strap in the camera lens.
  • Scissors that requires another scissor to open it.
  • Clear cassette tape with a perfect loop. 
  • Tube of underground tube.
  • Rubber stamp of impression of postage stamp.
  • Wrapping paper of pricing labels. 

Must take break to go to the bathroom. Sorry

Back from bathroom. This presentation really lacked energy for me.

AIGA Make | Think: Command X Round 01 Results and 20/20

Command X: Round 01 Results

And the judges eliminated two are contestants 01 and 04 John. Now there is only five left. Best in competition round winner is 02 Ryan. He does not get anything more. The judge, Caroline, from Elvis merchandizing chose it because could see changing the color. If you took Elvis Presley away, it was strong. Dissent: It is too one dimensional.

Next challenge: Rebrand and redesign the Cap'N Crunch Box to appeal to adult audience. Asked Jay Ward to create a character and then make the cereal. Image before reality. Do front of package, can spell out "captain" and must have connection to original Cap'N Crunch. Due tomorrow afternoon. Need to communicate that it s cereal, fortified with b-vitamins and iron, and made by Quaker Oats. 

AIGA 20/20

Debbie Millman, AIGA President. Thanks to Ric, Denise, and the rest of the cast of AIGA.

20 designers perform 1 minute each. This years theme is vibrant chapters:

  1. Donovan Beery and Nate Voss of Nebraska.
  2. Kim Berlin: Metro North
  3. Charles Brock: Portland Think about killing Amazon Kindle. That was great. 
  4. Jane Naillon: Idaho Getting at tattoo that says Think on back of her neck. Painful
  5. Emily Carr and Jill Spaeth: DC Stamps for Supreme Court Justices
  6. Tracy Moore Clay: St. Louis Gave 1 minutes about the lack of black designers in design. Less than 1% are designers.
  7. ???: Wisconsin: 2nd year as revitalized chapter with 200 members
  8. Thy Doan and Kevin Perry: Salt Lake City, Revinylize project
  9. Jay Ganaden: San Francisco Losing is part of winning.
  10. Michael Guthrie: Memphis Finding your mojo Only one without images. 
  11. Bernardo Margulis: Philly
  12. Mike Joosee and Matthew Munoz: Raleigh Make badass things. Make impressions.  500 buttons Make, 500 buttons It Up
  13. Amanda Otto: New Mexico  Film of making a painting with New Mexico desert.
  14. Jeremy Perez-Cruz: Orlando About food
  15. Missed this, the names were too challenging to capture :(
  16. Valerie Sloan: Rhodes Island  Spoken poetry and images from her youth.
  17. Michael Surtees: NY Great images of NY with sound scape
  18. Robin Tooms: Houston Pet photos online: great montage of cats and dogs with LOVE
  19. Two missing!!! Wassup with that?

Wrap up

Kurt thinks that AIGA designers know how to have fun. Design fair reception.

AIGA Make | Think: Carin Goldberg

Carin Goldberg: Books and Stuff

Shows video of Issac Mizrahi saying he does not have to travel to places to get inspiration. Designers are addicted to Inspiration. Need visual artillery for inspiration. Inspirational booty is designer's crack. 

Motivation: driven money, fame, seven deadly sins and relatives. Fear of loosing credibility and desire not to be ignored. Was not cool as kid. Worked at Art Department in CBS. Found herself knee deep in cool. Moved to book jacket design. Motivation is not money but display in book gallery of Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc. Time Ink asked her to design journal, Gallup: corporations could make money by being more humanistic. Became Creative Director of Time Ink independent publishing. Got involved in New York Times to provide graphics for articles.

Why is everyone reading their presentations?