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  • dan saffer :: what I'm studying weekly archive
    sketches out of foamcore and paper rectangles the dimensions of which were based on the measurements we took of our bodies back on Monday scaled down to 1 4 size It s all about how planes relate to each other in space Not surprisingly there were a lot of Fallingwater influenced designs and quite a few that looked like Frank Gehry leftovers It s strange to think of 3D shapes as sketches able to be changed easily It was equally strange not to sketch out on paper these sculptures but just relax and train your mind to move freely about the space The next step is adding a black and white image to the planes of the sculpture I ll post pictures tomorrow Reading We re also reading Elements of Design which is a collection of the thoughts and processes of Rowena Reed Kostellow an influential and innovative design educator posted at 12 37 PM in 3D readings comments 0 trackback 0 link Tuesday July 29 2003 The Wright Stuff Our class went to two of Frank Lloyd Wright s houses today Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob Fallingwater is generally considered a masterpiece one of the top five houses ever built And it s easy to see why What s fascinating to note are the smaller compositions within a bigger composition like the fireplace inside the living room Harkens back to our discussion yesterday about the Japanese bento boxes where each element is composed inside the whole of the box Wright s command of light is pretty amazing too A darkened hallway warns guests not to go that way Skylights drop light inside only during certain seasons Skylights are hidden in an herb garden to let light and air into a bathroom Equally impressive is Wright s command of his clients His nearly total control of every detail is an unusual state for a designer His consessions especially at Fallingwater are pretty minor Fallingwater by the way is a mess structurally It s taken two years to fix all the problems It was sinking into the river basically It also doesn t seem like the most comfortable place to live although with the dozens of people going through the house with you it s hard to tell You get about 2 minutes a room if you re lucky Kentuck Red is a little more relaxed both as a place and the experience of touring it It s a much more humble and warm house than Fallingwater much more like Wright s earlier Prairie Period houses 1901 1922 that I like so much It s a beautiful house in its own right with some nice views on the property as well Kentuck Knob only has two right angles in the whole house and those are in the showers Everything else is at 30 60 and 120 degree angles even down to the dental molding around the skylights All in all a worthwhile day looking at some beautiful architecture posted at 10 49

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/cmu/archives/week_2003_07_27.html (2016-04-26)
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  • dan saffer :: what I'm studying weekly archive
    23 2003 Grids and Letterforms Half of today s class was spent drawing by hand of course a I m guessing 72pt New Baskerville letter either E or S and turning into double its size Not easy to make it look right The trick is to break the letter up into a grid and draw it piece by piece The second half of class was spent deconstructing a magazine page and turning it into a thumbnail in order to see the underlying grid I ve been skipping out on software bootcamp this week because it was a program I know Photoshop but today they re teaching After Effects so I m heading back in to get a taste of that posted at 12 37 PM in visualization comments 0 trackback 0 link Tuesday July 22 2003 A Transparent Window into my nightmare Today we were told that non Asian peoples think of paper as a transparent window to the world behind it Then talked more about perspective Things farther away are usually higher on the screen and smaller Then we spent three hours drawing cubes and ellipses Seriously It s no exaggeration that I was the worst drawer in class groaning as even the lamest of my HCI classmates drew circles I mean ellipses around me This was the day I d been dreading and tried to ameliorate by taking a drawing class last Spring ever since I decided to go to design school when my drawing flaws were exposed in all their pink nakedness Very humiliating But as Rachael reminded me when I got home if you knew everything and were good at everything you wouldn t need school posted at 07 35 PM in design 101 visualization comments 0 trackback 0 link Monday July 21 2003 Drawing I mean Visualization This is going to be a tough week for me I can tell Why Because this week is all about drawing And I can t draw Yes I know anyone can draw But I can t draw well is what I m saying And yes I realize the irony of getting a master s degree in design and not knowing how to draw a straight line I m working on it The stated purpose of the class taught by Mark Mentzer is to enable us to convey ideas quickly in both small napkin and large whiteboard contexts A quick Google of Mark s name revealed that he taught Terry Swack who along with Clement Mok is one of the big advocates of experience design Terry had this to say about Mark s teaching in an AIGA interview Mark Mentzer a drawing teacher at Carnegie Mellon once said to me ìIëm going to teach a class called ëDrawing on the Back of a Napkin ëî which I thought was brilliant because everybody today has ideas that theyëre trying to communicate that are generally complex Everybody goes to the white board in a meeting or is drawing on a scrap

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/cmu/archives/week_2003_07_20.html (2016-04-26)
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  • dan saffer :: what I'm studying weekly archive
    But be careful of the ragged right edge of text Make sure the edges aren t too ragged You don t want to draw too much attention to that edge for the reader When designing don t throw away your early ideas They might be cliche but they might also be the most honest response to the problem An underlying grid structure can help organize your page and can also help build variety within consistant pages It s sometimes hard to know when you are done with a project The end is often simply determined by external forces ie a deadline During the second half of class we looked at the work of Bradbury Thompson an American graphic designer who helped give definition to graphic design in the US in the second half of the 20th century His main contribution was the integration of type and image in advertising and in his Inspirations projects for paper manufacturer Westvaco posted at 07 53 PM in big ideas design 101 projects techniques typography comments 0 trackback 0 link Tuesday July 15 2003 Social Animals Just in case you thought all we grad students do was sit around and talk design I should let you know that we often do it in a social setting with beverages of choice in hand Every week I ve been here there s been at least one or two off campus gatherings Cinema in the Park is a Design School tradition Bach Beethoven and Brunch was fun for the whole family And tonight is Micah s goodbye bash before he heads off to eBay posted at 05 14 PM in alumni classmates extracurricular comments 0 trackback 0 link Communication v Design I m apparently having the same trouble I had during Photography emphasizing Design over Communication In my first assignment pdf 96k I spent a lot of time some 6 hours playing with the composition of each variation But what I missed was the communication of the message Which is pretty stupid considering the first line of the text is A great square has no corners You d think in six hours of staring at and typing the same message some of it would have sunk in Hopefully my refinement pdf 30k is better We did talk a lot about form today in class about how the overall shape and form of the page prepares the reader for the content therein Symmetry as it turns out is boring Old skool Asymmetry is more interesting more dynamic Asymmetrical text might be more difficult to comprehend but it is ok to make the reader work a little bit as long as it isn t too much You have to know you audience and your content to know which end of the type spectrum you should be working in pure information absolute clarity or expressive work ambiguity Don t ever just stick something on a page Everything every letter needs to be placed Do everything knowingly Things in proximity are

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/cmu/archives/week_2003_07_13.html (2016-04-26)
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  • dan saffer :: what I'm studying weekly archive
    objects in a picture Repeating texture by itself isn t very interesting posted at 08 40 PM in photography projects techniques comments 0 trackback 0 link Wednesday July 9 2003 What Makes a Good Image We ve been having a debate discussion both in and out of class about what constitutes a good photograph Or if this is a false question entirely it can t be determined because the medium since it contains an element of artistry is too subjective and that context how the picture was made under what circumstances and how the elements of composition work in that particular picture is too important Since most of us in class are novice photographers it is often hard to tell if a photograph works or not and if so why or why not It s difficult for many of us me included to critique work so unfamiliar are we with the language of photography But critique we did spending most of class today going through our last assignment of photographing objects first in representational documentary style then in abstract style One thing became apparent quickly there are a lot of talented people here Some of the images were stunning beautiful grotesque intriguing I wish I could present some of the work here other than just my own attempt 112k Our next assignment is a combination of image and text text as part of the image or as a caption or as commentary My comment on learning Illustrator in software bootcamp it s hard It makes InDesign look like a picnic in comparison posted at 05 04 PM in photography projects comments 0 trackback 0 link Tuesday July 8 2003 Using a Camera Today s class was a fairly detailed examination of the various components that go into making a good exposure An exposure is a combination of the correct amount of time shutter speed and the correct intensity of light aperture Shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second 1000 500 250 125 60 30 15 etc Shutter speed determines how time is shown Aperture f stop depends on your lens and is measured thusly 2 8 4 5 6 8 11 16 22 32 64 Higher the number the smaller the lens ìSpeedî of the lens is its highest aperture Smaller the number bigger the lens Higher stop is useful for low light and fast action shots Another component is film speed Film speed ISO or ASA comes in 1600 800 400 200 100 50 The higher the number the faster the film 400 is a good all around film Slow film requires more light When creating photographs one must always determine which has priority shutter or aperture Or to put it another way time vs space We discussed the concept of Depth of Field how much of your picture is going to be in focus The higher the aperture the greater depth of field The lower the aperture the tighter the focus We discussed the merits of

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/cmu/archives/week_2003_07_06.html (2016-04-26)
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  • dan saffer :: what I'm studying weekly archive
    a page determines the bottom The left usually determines the right In software bootcamp our study continues on InDesign learning about frames and bounding boxes and how to manipulate the two I m starting to feel comfortable with the program three days in It helps we re using it in CDF class too posted at 06 15 PM in design 101 software techniques typography comments 0 trackback 0 link Tuesday July 1 2003 Introduction to Typographic Variables Today we examined the concept of visualogic what might not make sense logically but what makes sense visually To do this we re taking a unformatted poster that has reportedly been used in this exercise for years in the design school and making changes to linespaces stroke weights and flush left thresholds to make it make sense visually First homework This involves first analyzing the message and identifying the most important content From there the content text is broken down into labeled parts and a hierarchy of information is determined Then you look at the micro and macro labels and use them to help in arranging the message visually Today s key point the best typography does the most communication with the least amount of materials posted at 05 39 PM in big ideas design 101 comments 0 trackback 0 link Monday June 30 2003 First Day of D School I survived my first day at school Hooray My two classes are Communication Design Fundamentals and the accompanying software bootcamp Communication Design Fundamentals is a six week course designed to teach Design 101 Each week is a different instructor to teach a different aspect of design This week is Introduction to Display Typography taught by Karen Moyer There s about 13 students in the class a majority of them from the HCI program

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/cmu/archives/week_2003_06_29.html (2016-04-26)
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  • dan saffer :: what I'm studying weekly archive
    insurance activites fees books or beer posted at 01 50 PM in money comments 0 trackback 0 link Wednesday June 25 2003 School Countdown 5 Days The last two weeks have been hectic to say the least but I m really looking forward to finally starting school on Monday It s good to be in Pittsburgh even if I am surrounded by boxes not boxes and arrows moving boxes I ve got my fresh copies of Macromedia Studio MX and Adobe Design Studio at the ready Unfortunately the 15 G4 Powerbook I bought for school had a faulty Superdrive in it and has to be replaced so I won t see it until the middle of next week As I ve been meeting people neighbors movers random folks I ve had to say that I m a student which is weird for me since I haven t been one in over a decade It feels especially strange since I haven t yet taken any classes Note to self I really need a better 10 second description of what interaction design is Typically when people ask me what I m studying I ll just say Design and leave it at that

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/cmu/archives/week_2003_06_22.html (2016-04-26)
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  • dan saffer :: what I'm studying weekly archive
    at the amount of stress all this is causing CMU this had better be worth it I m headed to Pittsburgh without even knowing what my financial aid package is or when and how I m paying for my summer session More details to work out Until next week posted at 04 15 PM in preparation comments 0 trackback 0 link Thursday June 12 2003 Details Details This post isn t so much about school as it is about preparing for school uprooting your life for two years quitting your job selling your house and a car saying goodbye to friends and dealing with all the details you take for granted once they are set up Insurance phone lines DSL gas and electric picking up the keys to your new place on top of finding a new place which is another HUGE hassle cable cleaning out your old place These last two weeks for Rachael and me have been one long checklist of To Do items that slowly ever so slowly get crossed off Everything has to be done soon since the movers will be here on Monday to pack up the house Yikes posted at 09 35 AM in

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/cmu/archives/week_2003_06_08.html (2016-04-26)
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  • dan saffer :: what I'm studying weekly archive
    CS then it will suffer the anti body syndrome Much like how an anti body attacks and kills a disease CS will react to UX treating it like a disease and killing it off or assimilating it I wonder what my classmates in CMU s HCI program which is housed in CMU s Computer Science department feel about that posted at 11 46 AM in hci program comments 0 trackback 0 link Wednesday June 4 2003 Software We ve been informed that we should be familiar with the following programs prior to starting school in the fall Photoshop Illustrator Flash Director InDesign Dreamweaver HTML Authoring Well 2 out of 6 isn t bad since I know Photoshop and Dreamweaver What no Visio During summer session in the afternoons we re supposed to have software bootcamp but from all reports not much is learned during the 90 degree Pittsburgh summer afternoons I m going to have to step through the tutorials myself especially Flash I ordered with my new laptop Macromedia Studio MX they are having a great sale right now I guess I ll try to learn those myself over the summer But I don t want to cough up

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/cmu/archives/week_2003_06_01.html (2016-04-26)
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