If you have ever wanted to quickly and easily convey an idea to anyone, (from a potential client to even a classroom of peers) now is your chance.
The 3Doodler is essentially a mini 3D printer you control very much like a pen, making it easy to store and take anywhere you go.
Starting as an idea on the Kick Starter website (www.kickstarter.com), the 3Doodler asked for a minimum goal pledge of $30,000. In a little over a month, the 3Doodler reached $2,344,134 in pledge money and there is currently a waiting list to order this fun tool and costs are projected to start around $50 – $75 per pen. The 3D pen works by “feeding” plastic into it and working it very much like a hot glue gun.
Check out the video to see more of how the 3Doodler works!
Around the age of 5, many average American children have begun to learn to read and write, developing skills that they will carry on throughout their lifetimes. While many of the skills children are taught for handwriting are basic, how they are recompose what they are taught on paper says a lot about themselves (not exactly at the age of 5 or 6, but certainly as a child moves up into a more grown-up world).
This past week and a half , our studio has mulled over this concept almost nonstop – creating our own types of font (by hand) and furthering our understandings of our own handwriting by exploring through iterations. Posed with the thought that, as designers, “shouldn’t we take more pride in designing every page?”…I quickly noticed how downhill my handwriting had gone since the beginning of the school year. Instead of writing or taking notes in a legible and neat way, I had become careless and just eager to get the information down on the paper that it didn’t matter if it was in a jagged, ugly way.
After this assignment, I reflected back to how many times I had judged someone based on their handwriting; how many times I was jealous of the way someone’s letter looked or how many times my ego was boosted because “at least you could read my letters”. I remembered how many hours were spent in middle school trying to imitate the “bubbly letter” look and how many hours were spent desperately trying to learn cursive in elementary school only to never use it again.
It shamed me a little after our group studio talk…especially upon the realization that future employers will also judge me for “how I design the page”. If something is illegible or grungy looking, chances are…you will not receive a call, let alone an interview for a job. This has really changed the way I look at letters and the alphabet as a whole – I am not just copying words and forms learned from earlier in my childhood, I am designing a pathway for my future.
Lately, I have noticed an increasing number in trailer parks and modular homes in not only my own hometown, but in the cities of relatives as well.
In more recent years, the majority of Americans have come to rely on instant gratification – we have to have nice things and we have to have them now. Unfortunately, this mindset has quickly transferred into the home industry; causing a greater inflation in the sales of prefabricated and modulated homes. Cheaper to buy and more cheaply built, modular homes have made a boom in the housing market due to their affordability and easy structure.
While this option seems to benefit the homeowner through the money saved by buying already assembled pieces that can be put together in less than half the time it takes to construct a home, it is also limited to certain designs and guidelines of the company (click here to see a fuller list of pro’s and con’s).
In a traditional house, built piece by piece on site, blueprints can be more easily manipulated and customized to please the owner. Not only is this rarely the case with a prefabricated home, but some places do not allow them to be constructed on their lots because it breaks housing ordinances.
Aesthetic wise, both traditional and modular homes take very different paths and each owner must make their own decisions based on their own circumstances at the time.
Newer buildings are constantly being constructed and worked on all over the world. While this keeps scenes fresh and provides more jobs, many of the older buildings are finding themselves undergoing transformations in order to keep up with a society that continues to move on to the “next best thing”.
The reuse of a building benefits an environment by taking up less resources and re-utilizing existing materials. Many countries are beginning to take more advantage of this than they have in previous years.
For example, Vienna, Austria has turned old gas tanks into smaller communities within themselves; essentially a “city within a city”. After the gas tanks had no further use, the city took suggestions for new uses and the idea of reuse the buildings as housing emerged in 1995. Complete with shopping malls, music halls, and a movie theater, the Gasometer Community opened to the public in early 2001.
This reuse of functionality contributes to creating a stronger economy by saving money, time, and additional supplies it would have taken to completely build from the ground up. With so many buildings already existing in a continuously growing world, it is wise to weigh the options and the benefits of reinventing an already existing structure.
The importance of creating an environment that promotes well-being in the workplace has become a more design driven concept within the last century. Many studies have been conducted in hopes of finding a cure to the sedentary work style that has overrun many of America’s offices since the boom of the internet. Not only does a pro well-being workplace result in healthier employees, it also promotes an increase in productivity through the “’feel good” feeling that follows a better environment.
Gallup and Healthways recently created a document called the “Well-Being Index” that companies are encouraged to take a look at when designing or redesigning a workplace. By measuring certain aspects of lives of employees and the general public (such as physical and emotional health), Gallup and Healthways has produced and provided viable information that can be used by any company to better not only their workplace, but the entire country as a whole.
Felting, as I have learned this past week, is a very time consuming process. A simple 10×10″ layered square can take upwards of 2 or 3 hours to produce depending on it’s intricacy. Our studio took a trip to the felting lab and explored the material for ourselves.
Starting with white roving (click here for a picture tutorial), you gently tug on the furthest ends of the bundle until a fist size amount of thin fibers loosens. Lay the fibers down in a row all facing the same way until your desired size/shape is reached. Once this is completed, start layering the roving on top of the previous layer facing the otherdirection. Add enough warm, soapy water to the completed layers, using your fingertips to “sprinkle” the water on gently. Taking a piece of plastic and placing it on top of your damp layers of roving fibers, run your hands and fingers across the plastic to spread the water to the ends of your shape for 5 minutes.
Once the time is up, gently pick up wet fibers (should come up like a sheet of paper, all together), flip sides, and turn 90 degrees. Place the plastic back on top and repeat the 5 minute process.
When this is finished, the wet fibers should be placed on a screen of some sort and left to dry out for about half an hour.
After this time has passed, the fibers are ready to be “felted”. Using an uneven surface as a sort of rubbing board agitates the fibers similar to the agitation caused by adding water in the previous steps. Apply light to moderate pressure to you piece of felt and continue to rub against the uneven surface until it starts to shrink down a little. You may stop this process at your preference of the density of the felt (the more this process is continued, the denser the felt will become).
Here are a few examples of the felt I produced in a workshop last week!
Many of us believe we can handle doing multiple things at once. While it can increase productivity, most of the time is decreases efficiency and craftsmanship.
For instance, I can not handle doing math and listening to music. I tend to become distracted and no longer focus. This is because both of these tasks do not come automatically to me – meaning I have to think about both.
When two tasks are different enough, such as light reading and listening to classical music perhaps, then it is possible to complete the two because both tasks come easier. In the workplace, attempting to complete two tasks that are not related (no matter how confident you are that you CAN complete both) is not recommended because it has been proven to decrease efficiency.
Earlier this semester, we had a lecture about Mongolian Ger’s (also known as the Yurt). Made out of wood and covered in animal hides, the Yurt was traditionally used by nomads in central Asia. The wooden frame is latticed in a way to make them collapsible and easy to move.
There is a company in Asia that is continuing to make Yurts of all shapes and sizes today! While the thought of a Yurt might seem simple, they can be used for many different things such as living spaces, offices, kitchens, and even schools.
I have always been a huge fan of castles but this one particularly caught my eye. Located in Wetmore, Colorado, the Bishop Castle is made by one man out of stone and iron. Constantly under construction, this castle is continuously growing. Over the years, this castle has become an iconic tourist spot and an example of human ingenuity. Though the government and politicians alike have attempted to put a stop to it due to the origination of the stone used to build the castle, it continues to grow and the owner hopes to complete the castle within his lifetime.