Wednesday, September 26, 2007

After Thoughts on Project 1

So over all, the polar bear shirts came off fairly well. I should have tried more colors of shirts, particularly blues, which I feel would have produced a whiter white. I also could have experimented/pushed the tags more. The tags could have become their own thing entirly. I think the bleach pen on the interior of the stencil yeilded the best image, but the negative space polar bear is not without its charms. There could have been more variation in the images on the back. I feel like there could be more than the three interpretations I presented in class(ie: there could have been a better walk/ride your bike option). And of course there could have been more. because there can always be more. And they should have been covered in glitter.
The only things I felt were missing in the first four weeks were maybe some discussion on the readings (any readings) and maybe an inclass workday or two, just to see what everyone was up to, and where everyone was at with their project.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


So I thought the episode "Wear" from Big Ideas for a Small Planet was really spectacular. I especially liked the idea of the Swap O' Rama Rama, and I was wondering if that was something that we could put on here at TU. Could the Metals Club host a similar event, maybe out in the atrium as a fundraiser for the Porject Object workshop? Just a thought. Might be interesting.
Pictures of my Polar Bear shirts (so far) have been posted on my Flickr site. Check it out!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I Want Something

"She's sittin' in a bathroom stall
With a marker in her hand.
Scribblin' down the words,
to her favorite song, by her favorite band.
She hopes someone will read them,
and maybe they'll understand,
How it feels. . .
To care so much it hurts,
To fight so hard you shake,
To love so intensly that it scares you,
To build so much that something breaks,
She knows she's not the only one,
but sometimes it sure feels that way,
In a little college town in Ohio,
So there's a song she sings everyday:
'I want something,
That's better than this.
and I'm not sure exactly what it is,
But I think that we could build it'"
Evan Greer

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fun with Dog Words

So while my brainstorming session for the Droog project was interesting, I feel like it put me back at square one. I am over the Post-it note idea and back to the color idea. Only this time I'm back to assigning a color for each day and this time I'm recording it. I still want to enamel small squares for each color, and no they woun't be one flat color, there would be some depth to them. I'm thinking about putting velcro or something on the backs and then having them attatch to a large piece of felt like a giant wall calender and then have a little place for the brooch to pin. The problem is, I don't feel like this is Droog enough. I feel like I sould really try to do something funny or clever, but I feel like my dry wit has dried up for the time being. I feel like the more I try to push to make this witty, the less sucess I'll have. I don't know. I bought some Magnetic Poetry to mess around with. They didn't have Original, so I bought Dog Lovers. So now I have lots of words to play with, but they're all dog related. I need Random Magnetic Poetry, or Irreverent Magnetic Poetry.Maybe I'll make my own and mess around with it some more.
Here are my best from my dog poetry so far:
behind hungry squirrel
no brown poop on my street
beautiful eat
remember over bed
investigate around where to nuzzle
sweet wet tongue

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Addicted to Polar Bears

My Social Issue for my first project for "Design Like You Give a Damn" is Save the Polar Bears. Amy and I have been brainstorming on this for nearly a week and this is what we've come up with so far:
1. A polar bear will not fit in my Grand Am.
Gavin suggested I simply move all the polar bears to Antartica. This is problematic in many ways. First off, it seems like simply too large a task to complete by next Tuesday. And, even if the polar bears could be moved to Antartica, then would then be an invasive species. Invasive species are not good. I feel like if the polar bears were supposed to be in Antartica, then they would already be there. Besides, they would probably eat all the penguins, which would uspet a lot of people.
More on this later.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Today calls for brainstorming. . .

So for Droog project I decided to focus on the wearer participation and humor aspects of the Droog mentality. I want to make a brooch that is unquestionalbly wearable, but invites/demands participation by the person wearing it. My first thought was colors, and using colors to indicate emotional state. I used to do this thing where I would take stock and figure out a color that best overall described my day. "Today I am drenched in blue", or "Today I am a pale and wan yellow", something much more descriptive that "Red=angry". But that seems a bit to serious for Droog, so I began to consider ways to bring the humor back into the piece. I made a ring in undergrad that was my "Today Calls For. . ." ring. It has 25 interchangable tags of the things I need for a particular day. My personal favorites are "Tye Dyed Underpants", "a Press Conference", and "a Doomsday Device". So now I'm trying to figure out how to reformat this general idea, make it Droog and make it more universal. I'm considering the use of Post-it notes, or some such, so the wearer could just write whatever it is that they're feeling. I'm hoping to brainstorm this with my design team tomorrow, and hopefully get some good feedback.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Who's Who at Target

Who's who at Target? Who shops at Target? I shop at Target, you shop at Target, our friends shop at Target. I'd say the majority of the people who shop at Target are middle class citizens of nearly any age or race. Target appeals to a braod spectrum of people. I'd say most of the people who shop at Target are not design literate. They do not know the nuts a bolts of a good design, or the importance of good design. They do not specifically seek good design. But they shop at Target because they like the things that Target sells. Target sells many items that are not only designed well, but are unpretencious and appeal to the average American. Target makes design affordable for nearly anyone.
Why should we care? We (as in my design class) should care because we are everyday, average American citizens. With one exception. We know HOW to design. We have the creativity and critical thinking skills to design and create. We should care because WE could design for Target. Or be part of team the designs for Target. Which would mean a job with a paycheck so that my rabbit won't starve.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I don't have anything paricularly witty or clever to say today, but I've decided the word of the day is "whakaloon". Why? because I seem to know a lot of them.

Word of the Day: Whakaloon

Monday, September 3, 2007

Artist Statement for Spring 07

The purpose of last semester's work was to make things and to work though designs and ideas through making things. I wanted to answer the questions: "What happens if I make a lot of things? What happens if I make a lot of the same thing? How will these things evolve? and Where will it get me?" "What happens if I . . ." became the driving force behind the majority of this work. Electroforming allowed me to rapidly work through and experiment with forms. Generating lots of forms allowed me to experiment with enamals and color.
I've long been interested in beads and how they can be used in conjuntion with metal. Of course beads have many negative connotations, and are only viewed as fine craft by other beaders. In the right hands, beads can be pushed to fine craft, a goal I would personally like to achieve, and last semester's work was a goal in that direction.
Electroforming allows the creation of very large, yet lightwieght pieces. For the rock necklace I wanted something large, with a lot of visual weight, but still wearable. When we see rocks, we have an expectation of weight, which the electroformed and enamaled rocks don't quite meet. Weight can also be a comfort, and dark, river stones can be soothing, both visually and to the touch. To wear the piece is to carry that sense of calm with you; to carry the river with you.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Social Issues at the State Fair

The end of summer and the start of fall is usually commences with state and county fairs nationwide. Bill Giest did a spot on the Iowa State Fair (supposedly the nation's largest) and my finance and I visited the Maryland State Fair just last weekend. It got me thinking about this American tradition in light of my designing for social issues class, and I realized that there are more to fairs than games and rides.
First of all, it seems a little surprising that the state fairs are surviving the digital age, pretty much unchanged. Sure, they come up with a new food to deep fry every year, and I'm sure technology plays its part (organization, ticket sales, ride safety, perhaps) the state fair looks the same today as it did 50 years ago (a point made by Bill Giest). People grow vegetables, raise cows and pigs and make quilts. The technology behind these things has changed but the products haven't.
Agriculture is at the heart of any state or county fair, and agriculture if rife with social issues: sustainable farming, producing food free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and raising meat without hormones. The plight of the American small farmer (yes they do still exist) against the gigantic corporation who produces large quantities of tasteless food, and puts fish genes in the tomatoes.
A big part of my county's annual fair is the Demolition Derbys. Cars and gas, big social issues. Yes, the cars get smashed to bits, and spew smoke and exhaust for the crowd to breath in, but what was going to happen to these cars anyway? They were going to wind up in a dump sooner or later anyway. It is a waste? Is it recycling? Down-cycling? Does it create more waste, since most of the interior of the car is torn out and steel supports are welded in?
Think of the waste generated by a fair. Where ever there are people, there is waste.
All in all, I'm glad the fairs exist. I'm glad to see people that grow food for the rest of us and that kids still raise rabbits and goat for 4H projects. I'm glad to see that people invent there own recipes and make their own preserves. I'm glad to see that people who didn't go to art school still make things with their hands, even though most of what they make, they didn't design. I feel like fairs are made possible by small town Americans for other small town Americans and in a world of increasing globalization, big companies and technology, I'm glad that small town America still persists.
Word of the Day: Americana

Saturday, September 1, 2007

What is Droog?

"Droog is a brand and a mentality: design of products that do what they should and think about why they’re doing it in the first place: function? fun? wit? criticism? All of the above?
Droog is a curatorial collection of exclusive products, a congenial pool of designers, a distributed statement about design as cultural commentary, a medium, working with cutting edge designers and enlightened clients, taking the production and distribution of its collection into its own hands, being unique in its conceptual and contextual approach towards design.
Yes, I cut and pasted that directly from their website, but who can say it better than they can?"
Droog is Dutch for "dry" as in dry wit (the best kind) and is based in the Netherlands. The design products that do what they are meant to do and also think about why they're doing it.
Droog was founded by Gijs Bakker and Renny Ramaker, who controll the firm today. they keep an eye out for up and coming designers through magazines, exhibitions and studio vists. When Droog recieves a commison, they select a designer or group of designers who they feel are best suited to the job. They seem to work on a "give and take" system with the designers, they direct, but are also inspired by. Problems are solved through discussion.
Droog's Philosophy on Design:
"Droog works in close collaboration with designers who share our outlook on design and its contexts. We value continuity in our commitment to selected designers, which allows us to continually deepen our understanding of each other’s fascinations and explore the range of possible answers to the questions which intrigue us."
Droog seems to design everything from funiture to luggage to glass objects.
Want to work for Droog? Don't call them, they'll call you.