Page 1

*


* this is an object


PLEASE LOOK AT IT


as a whole.


CONTENTS

1 the properties of the parts are not intrinsic but can be understood only within the context of the larger whole. no object exists purely by itself. * 9 all we create as designers by design has tremendous impact not only on what other peole see, but how they see. * 15 systems thinking is always process thinking. stability gives a things its essential character. * 21 a generating system is a view of a whole as a kit of parts. let the form be the fallout of the process. * 27 * all headings (except this one) are pulled from quotes by tom ockerse from his lectures or assignment sheets for the spring 2010 visual systems course.


THE PROPERTIES OF THE PARTS ARE NOT INTRINSIC BUT CAN BE UNDERSTOOD ONLY WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE LARGER WHOLE. NO OBJECT EXISTS   PURELY BY ITSELF. * PROJECT 1 pattern as a system

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2


At the time when Andrew and I were taking turns filling in the cells   of graph paper in an attempt to objectively and cooperatively choose a module, I remember saying proudly: “Hey! We’re using a system to   find our module!”    But now, as I look back on this instance, and apply what I have learned about design systems, I disagree with this initial claim. Instead, it is clear that this first step in our process was only just a part — a part integral   to the entire system of generating the patterns, but alone, is only a part, only an object. This same notion can be applied to just this step. When one turn of shading in one grid cell is isolated, each of the turns (9 in total for each module) becomes a part of the whole. So in the end, it is all about how one sees each part: when the turns are seen together as a kit of parts, this initial step is a system by itself, but when we move a step back and see the step as just a part of the entire process, we see that there are systems within systems within systems…

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4


5


6


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ALL WE CREATE AS DESIGNERS BY DESIGN HAS TREMENDOUS IMPACT NOT ONLY ON WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SEE, BUT HOW THEY SEE. *

PROJECT 2 pro/portion as system

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I approached this project with an open mind and hoped to see my proportional system from a different perspective and translate that perspective into a mindful experience to share with the viewer or user. Fortunately, the root-3 rectangle allowed me to see the proportional system in the third-dimension. I attempted to give this same view to the user by constructing an interactive 3-d model of how to form a root-3 rectangle from a cube. After making a mock-up that captured my idea but lacked the precision and fine details that I hoped for (cleanly joined plexiglass with pins,   vinyl text, more exact measurements), I embarked on making a final version of my root-3 cube. The designs on the computer worked out,   so did the laser-cuts of the 1/4 inch plexi, but once I got to the manufacturing stage, I hit a wall. Working with the pins instead of adhesive proved to be disastrous. After several hours of failed attempts at joining the sides of the cube, I laid down my tools and walked away. Nevertheless, I took away something important even from failing and not meeting my vision. Even though the sides of plexiglass were cut to exact measurements, the holes I drilled   to place the joining pins were not exact and thus the acrylic cracked and broke. Even on a scale too small for the eye to see, one mistake in a small part of the system will cause a breakdown of that system — once  a part of the system fails, the entire system fails as well.

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SYSTEMS THINKING IS ALWAYS PROCESS THINKING. STABILITY GIVES A THING ITS ESSENTIAL CHARACTER. *

PROJECT 3 series design: a kit of parts

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What initially attracted me to exploring the platonic solids was their visual power and beauty. There’s something magnetic about them; something so primal and elemental that I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I knew I wanted to keep this visual power intact when designing my stamps. In my research of the platonic solids, I found a simple mathematical concept that would work perfectly to keep with my aspiration mentioned above: the platonic solids can be paired with one another and nested within each other by aligning the vertices  of one solid with the center of the faces of the other. I realize now that this geometric formula is actually an integral kit of parts in the system of the platonic solids, and that it is what gives the solids their visual stability and power to which I was first initially attracted. To really learn and absorb the geometry that I found in my research, I sketched and drew the solids both on the computer and by hand. I found that my drawings by hand not only helped me understand the concepts better, but offered an additional layer of visual stability and allure. Moreover, I now know that including the analog process (the hand) in my final stamps allowed for my thinking, and therefore my system, to be more clearly visible.

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A GENERATING SYSTEM IS A VIEW OF A WHOLE AS A KIT OF PARTS. LET THE FORM BE THE FALLOUT OF THE PROCESS. *

PROJECT 4 chance and system

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For the penultimate project (counting this book), I was glad to be working again in tandem with Andrew LeClair. Not only did I feel like we collaborated well together, but it was a fitting closure for the class: a   full circle from the first project. Moreover, although we have a similar design aesthetic, our way of thinking about design and process is very different but because we believe in each other’s process and thinking, we are able to feed off each other and generate cohesive products through balanced collaboration. More specifically, on this project, we were able to combine Andrew’s adeptness at writing processing script and my experience with printing and photography. We also were careful in our variable selections. We wanted to keep our variables at a minimum and keep the randomized or chance aspect of our project to a simple set of data representing simple ideas. We chose the Myers-Briggs Type Identifier to automatically generate a set of data that we could plug into the processing script as values of color and line thickness and it would spit out the forms. Through the synthesis of our skillsets, as well as our focus on simplicity, our final forms that were yielded from the chance operations turned out to be surprisingly beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.

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* ALL HEADINGS (EXCEPT THIS ONE) ARE PULLED FROM QUOTES BY TOM OCKERSE FROM HIS LECTURES OR ASSIGNMENT SHEETS FOR THE SPRING 2010 VISUAL SYSTEMS COURSE.

PROJECT 5 this is an object as a whole

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For the creation and design of this book, I scoured my notes and assignment sheets and gleaned phrases that stood out to me as important lessons I have learned or valuable knowledge I have   attained from taking this course. I then took these phrases and set them as the headings for each section which were broken up by the four projects done of the course of the semester. The content of my reflections were driven by the content of these phrases. This process not only led me to different conclusions and revelations than when I originally reflected on the projects, but they forced me to see all the projects — the entire course — as a kit of parts; ; a system; an object as a whole.

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Š copryright 2010 by adam lucas printed on newsprint in CIT 502 set in brauer neue, originally designed by Pierre Miedinger in 1974 and revised in 2006 by Elektrosmog


*this is an object as a whole.  

My "reflective document" for RISD Spring 2010 Visual Systems course with Tom Ockerse.

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