your design, my design and our design

2008년 11월 30일 일요일

My ID history

My ID history

My personal history of ID began from my junior year in high school. It was when the cell phone industry was boom in Korea. New technology of cell phone was growing rapidly every month; new cell phones with new functions were out every second. Due to the system, after I decided to do design, I had to go through a certain process in Korea. I learned drawing skills first when I was in 7th grade. Until high school didn’t know how design was related to a simple pencil drawing skills. While I was thinking of it, revolutionary cell phone designs were good enough to open my eyes and become an icebreaker on my process of reaching to learn design. I always knew I wanted to design but not knowing what, I was sometimes walking sideways not straight. After learning some drawing skills and knowing what I want to design, it kept me on track.
After all that jungle of start, I found myself a junior in high school. It was when I started to make my portfolio and filled it up with those charcoal drawings and pastel drawings. I did not enjoy doing it but good quality of drawings. When I was almost done with my portfolio, I was a senior. I had a chance to build a model of concert hall, it was my first time and I had the most fun ever. In two months I doubled my portfolio slides and I replaced half of my original portfolio with new 3d model slides. It was ‘fun’ making 3d models. It questioned me after, ‘Have I ever enjoyed this much?’ The quality of it was bad but I kept on working. I felt like, after all that process I finally found an icebreaker giving me new fresh start line. I was lucky. I cannot imagine myself being in RISD if I did not find the fun of doing designs and making 3d models.
Being accepted to RISD was an escape from old high school art and starting design. Now I’m already a junior in ID of RISD. I learned what ID is about, how to design for Industrial design. Yet I still think I’m only a beginner. I want to keep on learning until I find that icebreaker for me, so I can keep on walking on the new road called ID.

2008년 11월 23일 일요일

Separation from Art

For last summer vacation I visited Japan. The most interesting items that actually made me open my wallet were the limited editions. I knew this young artist, Michael Lau with his special editions in Nike shoes. There were already those kinds of shoes called, ‘Dunk’ but this artist from Hong Kong, designed same kind but ‘different’ shoes. Michael Lau has connected his art to products that people can wear. This shoes that Michael Lau designed has been reached two thousand dollars on auctions. They were so limited in stock; they were numbered and gave the buyers the feeling of chosen ownership. Of course they are not affordable for most of people and I don’t believe there are many people who would want to buy a pair of shoes with two thousand dollars. Who are the target users? And who benefits for having those shoes out in the market?
In 3rd world country there are people who can’t afford to buy a pair of shoes worth ten dollars. They don’t even have the luxury to own one. Are those shoes necessary in the world? I do not know, but my personal opinion was not so sympathetic. I am a very huge fan of ‘shoes.’ I love to own them and I also love to just see them online. There are even bigger fans than I am, they own the most expensive pairs of sneakers; they wrap the shoes and keep them in the boxes. Sometimes those fans will take shoes out and take photos, but other than that the shoes will be kept in the boxes under wraps. People like us think that Michael Lau has brought the whole level of ‘Dunk’ and became revolutionary on Nike shoes market. But I became curious again. Would the shoes that Michael Lau designed have been still revolutionary if they didn’t cost so much and not limited? It was different in material, in pattern, in color even the boxes that covered the shoes was different, but they weren’t made out of gold and diamonds.
These shoes had art in design, but these were still categorized as “Dunk.” People look at these shoes and get shocked at the new design and they scream after looking at the price tag. The design with artist’s art in it is excellent but small piece of paper, the price tag has separated the item from people. My last question is will they be still excellent when no one is looking at it?

2008년 11월 16일 일요일

Shigeru Ban

Cameron Sinclair, the co-founder and executive director of Architecture for Humanity said, “All problems are local and all solutions are local.” When I heard such statement, one architect came to my thought, which also does architecture for disaster relief. The accomplished Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban. He was the winner in 2005 at age 48 for the 40th annual Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture. His unique feature is that he builds quickly and efficiently by using papers and recycled cardboard paper tubes for disaster victims. In “Shigeru Ban Talk” (interview with Shigeru) it is said, “Even in disaster areas, I want to create beautiful buildings, this is what it means to build a monument for common people and this is what I would like to continue doing as an architect.” Ban actually began experimenting with many different materials. And there was a chance to build his Alvar Aalto exhibition display. But he could not afford other materials such as wood, by low amount of the budget. Although he could not use other materials he quickly searched for other materials and soon he was surprised at the strength of the paper. In the year 1995, when there was an earthquake in Kobe, Shigeru builds inexpensive and durable housing units for the victims. He went further beyond; he made paper churches, and even paper bridges. New way of thinking of the material totally brought new perspective on building disaster relief architectures. They were built in papers and cardboards but it had beauty and it gave satisfaction to the victims.

I wrote on the last paper, if I had to chose my priority on my product for 3rd world country, it would be function. Shigeru taught me with his works of architecture, function and beauty can be kept together. And just because their environment isn’t like ours, it’s not my right to take away their freedom to have and to see beauty in designs.

Shigeru talks about waterproof of the papers

2008년 11월 9일 일요일

Humanitarian Design

Designers contribute to society by doing what they are best at, making our lives better. Last week’s lecture spoken by Bruce Becker, made me realize designers could be everywhere not only in one office, and on one desk. His lecture on Monday just took me to other side of the world. The depressing number of refugees shocked me, and the environment they are living in shocked me again. Thinking about the issues for this week’s 500 words essay, I quickly started to brainstorm what designers can do for such different environment for different cultured refugees. To design something for somebody, we have to study the user group, so the product fits the specific user group and satisfy them. The issue is not about what we can do for the user group, but what the designed product can do for the user group. In the process of designing, designers should find the best way to close the gap between users and the products. For such environment as 3rd world country, more studies on users are required. We can find and create similar environment around here, but the best will be actually being on actual environment and do case studies and experiments with actual users. That way, we will be able to research more accurately, and trust the results. Whatever we design and make will be well fitting with the environment also.

Top design priorities in the field of humanitarian design should be well thought out and delivered on the product. If I was in the field of humanitarian design, I will probably have ‘function’ on my first priority. In our world, we have what we need, they all have same functions, there isn’t only one cell phone Company, but there are many of kinds. The design steals customers’ eyes and makes business out of it. The humanitarian design is not about business, is about designing on the people’s needs. What my product can do for them, this will be the first question I will ask myself before I design for people in needs.

2008년 11월 2일 일요일

The very first moment of me hearing the word, ‘dildo’ was back in middle school. Until then I never heard of it, never saw it and I never even thought about such object for one second. It was the moment I changed my channel to HBO and saw the famous television show, “Sex and The City”. When the cleaning lady came to Miranda’s house to clean when Miranda wasn’t home, the cleaning lady finds dildo in her drawer. When Miranda comes back home trying to go to bed, she finds the small statue of Jesus instead of her dildo in her drawer. That’s how I remember the first impression of seeing this sex toy. It was too much for 8th grade but it was funny. The interesting fact is that I saw the object and I knew what it was for right away. After, I probably thought the object was against Christianity or any religions. It wasn’t only the situation that made me think of it unfaithful, but the shape of it was too revealing of sex.

When I went to Germany last month, I saw many sex toy shops, even one in Frankfurt airport. When I was waiting for my friend to pick me up, I went in and saw all different varieties of different dildos and vibrators. It was the moment me finding out about the whole new world of business. And actually I thought of it as a tough competition between all the different companies. I don’t know how the market grew so big, but they were all organized by what they were for and what they could do. The specific pleasure that each machine could give was so detail, they couldn’t be made if they didn’t consider women’s body scientifically. Unique part of German sex toy shops was that, not only they were so many of them; they are not shy to hide but bright and open about themselves.

Vibrators were invented by the doctors in 1970s, and focused on the function so much they did not care on the design. The function was to treating the sickness and releasing the stress from women, but now they became more private and for personal pleasure.

After all, we should think about the change that these objects made. The perspective of society looking at this machine and the user group changed. More this tool became known and widely used; the idea of considering vibrators and dildos unfaithful has been removed.

2008년 10월 25일 토요일

Remember The Numbers / Design Perspective

1. Remember The Numbers

For our very first assignment, we had to research designs that dealt with Passed and past. Motivated by the presentation, I decided to search for objects that remember the deads. 2650BC the kings of the ancient Egypt were buried in a gigantic building, pyramid. Pyramids were designed to protect the kings' body forever but they meant more than just a final resting place, but a symbol of power. If there is a gigantic building which protected the dead's physical body, there is also bible. Words in Bible promised new life in heaven and the eternal protection was given by God. There is an interesting contrast between the pyramid and the bible. Not only in sizes, has pyramid dealt with one individual, when bible deals with countless people. This fact tells us not to measure power of monument/object due to their sizes.
The third in time line isn't a building or an object. It's a song called, Requiem. Requiems are sung in mass. First requiem was thought to be composed by Guillaume de Machaut but after 1600s it was so much more developed. Guillaune de Machaut said he wanted to calm the sad souls and remember them.
The fourth is the camera. Since the invention of the camera, it captured and recorded people’s lives and their faces. Rather than reading and imagining we can now look at the history with our own eyes.
My very last one in timeline was a phone. Ever since cell phone was invented, every one of us started to possess one. I personally think it was the day I got my first cell phone. I was given a number my very own one. And I think it was the same day many people saved my number to get in contact with me. One time, I didn’t have my cousin’s number on my new phone, but I was asked to call her. I could not remember the number but my hand did. As soon as I typed in vague three numbered area code, I started to type in number after number. And I called her. I came to thinking; if I die, people will remember me with the phone number which used to represent me.
Today, it’s calculated to be 49 percent of the people in Earth have cell phone. There won’t be same numbers, so approximately 33 hundred million people have their cell phone with all different number. Now we can identify ourselves in 10 digit numbers. People might question me back, why not social security numbers? We carry around cell phones. They don’t look all the same. There are companies making cell phones, and there are designers designing cell phones. There is a design. The fact that a designed object, works as a media to connect to other people in numbers was absolutely interesting.

2. Design Perspective

Industrial revolution was on during 18th century to 19th century in England, it meant more than just a transition between 18th century and 19th century but extraordinary amount of economic growth. The functionalism movement was actively going on and their thought “Form follows function” fitted in their era. We are at 21st century and we still cannot forget that form and function should go together as one.
As a designer what should we consider most and the least? What can we leave behind? Last year when my Design Principle teacher gave me the survey sheet asking the priority in designing, I saw many options, but I couldn’t write it out what I thought the most important thing was for me. One thing I remember is that I chose the look before how it works. It was even foolish to think hard to find out which one is above on another. They were all important. Industrial design shouldn’t be locked in a steel caged name “industrial" Industrial design is an evenly mixture between art and science. The study of function and form should be applied on the product. Also the designer should be able to find the connection between their products and the user. Always thinking how to make our life better is the key point. In my opinion there are three requirements that designers should have. We, as designers, have to have eyes to look far enough, skills to bring imagination to life, and emotions to feel as a customer. Designers need to visualize future and read it before any others does. Being ahead of any other is important. Even if you have an awesome imagination with excellent description in words wouldn’t help any, it will require skills to bring it to life. Emotions are very important, no matter how good the design is, if it doesn’t cross customers’ minds, it won’t be a good product. A product that emotionally appeals is important. Sometimes having a mindset as a customer helps on appealing to customers. I want to be a designer who can breathe in and out with the customers. Understanding customers and making connections between them to my product is the most important key for my design perspective.

"Industrial Design (ID) is the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer." According to the IDSA (Industrial Design Society of America)

Rocking chairs