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Art 1114 started out simple enough. “Grids,” Professor Sullivan stated. To be more specific, she asked us to redefine the grid in five different ways through drawings. Grids seemed simple enough, and while it didn’t seem like much at the time, it truly was the perfect introduction. It was the first step to understanding design elements—the subatomic makeup of design.

But what did my grids look like? Well, let me show you:

Unfortunately, the grids are now long gone, but they’re not forgotten! So, as a replacement, I’ll let you into what I would say now in order to refine the grid, which would be something like this:

Topological embedding from R2 to R3. Shows how all 3-Dimensional objects are just 2 Dimensional planes enclosing a volume.
Topological embedding from R2 to R3. Shows how all 3-Dimensional objects are just 2 Dimensional planes enclosing a volume.

The whole grids notion was a nice intro to design elements, but it was, nonetheless, an exercise. The first true rigorous dive into the massive depth and enormousness that is design was… to grid again, but in 3D? Not exactly a grandiose statement, but an important one for beginners. The foundations of design are built in the ideas of… well… design! However, people also want to use their hands, they want to be constructive. Ergo, we come to the second important part of this class: using your hands and human ingenuity. You see, were limited to using only paper, and no adhesives to create a 3-dimensional representation of a grid. In my case, that was 2 grids, but displaced in 3-dimensional space but still lined up parallel so that each grid square on one grid lined up with each grid square on the other. Of course, I have no representation of this either. However, the inspiration for this came from a normal square fan as seen below:

Notice the front and back of the fan are two parallel grids.
Notice the front and back of the fan are two parallel grids.

After this, came the true start to the class, and with it, Project 1.

Although we were done with the formal introduction to design, there was still another topic to cover, and that was how to convey information. After all, design does serve a purpose. It must convey something or else its meaning is arbitrary and unstructured, and personally, I find that to go against what design should stand for. Then the question stands: how were we to convey our first project? Well, the blog posts do tell some story, and particularly, during that period, we were told to do a blog post on photography. So, naturally, our first project would be conveyed through photography. This, along with symmetry, would be the main themes of Project 1, which can be seen by clicking below:

After a successful first project, the time came for a second project. The twist this time was that now we have a change in materials.

Goodbye Paper and Hello Clay

The problem is, clay is difficult if you’re not used to it. It takes delicacy, and it did take progress, which can be seen by the fact that this was *technically* our longest project. Explaining it here would take away from the actually project page, so the link to that is the following:

Midway through making the clay tiles, we started a new project, with a change in direction. Now, with less of a focus on materials, and kind of a turn around back to the idea of conveying information. The difference now is that conveying is in a different manner… well, sort of. We’re still using photography in one way or another, but now we’re conveying information through a base medium. If that sounds a little abstract let me explain. In order for photography to work, what is the one thing that it needs? Well, other than a lens, a battery, an adjustable frame, a position to place your eye to get a good picture… light, the answer is light. Light is the medium through which photography acts, and light is the medium that we explore in this project:

Then came the finale, which seemingly felt way too soon, but alas, it is the way things go. However, things get quite interesting with this final project. We’re going from optics, to classical mechanics—light to motion! Well, kind of, at least that was the start of what would become our final project. Since, after all, this was a final project, focusing on something specific such as motion would be somewhat of an unmemorable final project. So, we would be focusing on design in totality, which would lead to one of two paths. The creation of a reimagined book, or an animation including all of the design knowledge we have ascertained over the semester. Of course, I picked the latter, since my knowledge of Adobe Premiere was what was most comfortable for me. This animation was quite difficult, as we were at home for the rest of the semester, which always makes doing work difficult. Further details are in the portfolio page below:

And so, the year ended in finale with a nice animation and a portfolio to create. We went from 2D to 3D, from physical to metaphysical, from design to experience. It was a great year, and one I will not forget.