Monday, November 29, 2010

Scary design

The most dangerous design that I think is the body jewelry.  Even though many articles and websites say that body piercing is no serious harm to our health, but I still cannot accept to make holes and put some extra things on my body except the earlobes.  

Body piercing was not a mainstream plaything in society in the past.  However, since 1990’s, some people started to fond of wearing body piercing jewelry rings in different part of their bodies: ears, nose, eyebrow, navel, tongue, nipple and lips. This trend became a new found craze among teenagers, men and women until today.  It is hard to deny that some body jewelries can enable the piercers to look more fashionable, but I still worry that I would be hurt or torn if I were careless to hook something.  Besides, There are not all of the body jewelries are reliable, because the materials are so uneven.  Precious materials such as gold, gem, silver, stones and jewels is not affordable by everyone, so designers need to use sub standard materials to cater for the purchasing power of these people.  But these kind of cheap materials usually may cause allergic reaction. Like belly button rings, the accessories will deteriorate gradually inside the body and skin of the piercers and the rings will emanates some harmful chemicals to the body fluid and skin.  Some lip rings and tongue pins also will cause the whole mouth have infection, because the plating is faded and mix with the food that are chewed up inside the piercers’ mouth. 

Our body is very honest and tend to reject the extra things, so we should not blindingly follow some popular trend.

The utopian women's wear- the Little Black Dress by Chanel

The utopian design for women's wear should be the Little Black Dress which was contributed by Gabriella Bonheur (Coco) Chanel.  The Little Black Dress was born in 1926, and it was the year whenwomen started to shed their complex elegance, cut their hair and enjoy the fast-paced party life.  In the 1920's, everything was tended to be modern, so people began to be more open minded and could accept women to bare more of their body which included their arms, legs, shoulders and back.  This could be the reason why the new black dress became popular in those days; women all preferred the comfort and attractiveness new style that introduced by Chanel. 

In the old days, black color only was for wearing in funeral or periods of mourning.  However, Chanel had successfully changed this culture, and she gave black color a new fate. 

Chanel was fond of using neutral colors and soft easy-to-wear jersey fabrics to apply on her fashion.  By using of these elements, she was inspired to create many comfortable and simple in shape cutting wears included the little black dress.  The first appearance of the dress was a sleeveless sheath.  Its length was just above the knee.  The simple, chic and sexy style immediately welcomed by women-even the European and American women. The first little black dress was called "Chanel's Ford" which was issued by Vogue magazine in May1926.

Afterwards, Hollywood also assisted the Little Black Dress to become a hot choice to their artists, because they needed to wear in black during the black and white film age.   Due to this reason, many movies stars like to wear the Little Black Dress for their acting.   Just as Audrey Hepburn said : it looked best to the cameras of the day.  Because of Hepburn liked to wear the Little Black Dress before the cameras, this made her and the dress became the classics until nowadays.  Today, women still like to pick the Little Black Dress for attending different kinds of function, so every woman should have at least one black dress in her wardrobe. That's just because the idea of Little Black Dress by Chanel is a remarkable design that can affect now and forever

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How to use "Bezold Effect" to change a design

example of Bezold Effect (I)

From the book "Interaction of Color", author Josef Albers hopes to give the recognition of interaction of color to his audiences, so he provides a record of the experimental studies about colors that he did with his students in his book.  From all the examples, I am interested inthe Bezold Effect. 

The effect why is called "Bezold Effect" because its discoverer was Wilhelm von Bezold (1837-1907).  Bezold found this effect when he was thinking how he only added or changed one color but still could have many changes of color combination for his rug design. 

  example of Bezold Effect (II)
Here is an example of Bezold effect.  From the above two pictures (example II), we can find their colors and patterns are almost the same as each other, and only the background color are different.  When the picture in the left hand side is using a yellow color to be its ground color, we can have a delightful feeling because a vivid and fresh atmosphere is contained.  Due to the yellow color is comparatively pale, this causes the pattern colors which include pink, light blue, green and orange to become more soft and light.  However, after its background color is changed into blue in color, a contrast of feeling  occurs as in the picture on the right hand side.  The whole mood becomes gloomy, and all pattern colors in the right one are turned into darker and deeper.  At the same time, the blue background color also affects the pattern colors to become sharper; they look more obvious than when the background is in light color.

Another design also looks interesting after only one color has been changed.    
example of Bezold Effect (III)

From example III, we can find the central point and spiral pattern are in white color, and a feeling of whirlwind seems blowing from the circles.  If we change the central point and spiral pattern into black color, the circles immediately become a black hole.  It seems like sucking things to it.  The colors of the circles are affected by the white and black colors as well.  The white spiral pattern makes all circles' colors look light, and the black one causes all circles become dark in color.
example of Bezold Effect (IV)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ergonomics of the innovative fan - Dyson Air Multiplier

Can a fan function without blades?  Before you see the real object, you may not know why I ask this question.   Last year, Dyson had a new development of electric fan.  The new generation fan is called Dyson Air Multiplier.   Unlike the conventional fan, the Air Multiplier is bladeless.  There is only a “round shape” with its pivot, so you may not recognize it is a fan at once.  When you see the fan at the first sight, you may scratch your head and ask how does it work? 

As Sir James Dyson explained in his advertisement video, his invention is using a combination of technology that is used in turbochargers and jet engines to generate a powerful airflow.  When the air is sucked through a range of 1.3mm tiny holes which are positioned on the lower part of the fan’s body, the air will be multiplied fifteen times by the technology. And the purpose of its “round shape” appearance will help to form a cylinder, during the air that already multiplied passes through the “round shape”, this air will be formed and blow out like a natural wind.  Because conventional fan works with blades, so it has a problem to make air slapping your face especially it sets at the highest speed.  However, the Dyson Air Multiplier is different.  Its wind makes you feel like opening a window on a breezy day.  The tender wind will keep on flowing out constantly and make you feel comfortable. 

Conventional fan usually blows wind with dirt and molds, because many people always avoid cleaning their conventional fans.  The cleaning process is absolutely terrible and can waste us couple of hours.  Because of this, we are rarely to clean up our fans.  Dust and molds certainly will be formed and stuck on the blades and cases.  In contrast, the Air Multiplier is easy for cleaning up.  You only need to clean it with cloth or wet paper towels.  The simple design makes users feel pleasant to keep it clean.

The bladeless fan also is a great design to parents and the people who have pets.  In the past, many children were hurt by their curiousity when they were playing with the conventional fans.  Without any blade on the Air Multiplier, you don’t need to monitor your curious kids anymore and includes your pets as well.   Besides, the Dyson bladeless fan is made by a very tough thermoplastic which called ABS (Acrylontride butadiene styrene).  This material is very light and rigid.  Some products like car bumpers, crash helmets and modern golf club heads are using it for production because of its ideal performance of shock absorbing characteristic.

General design of conventional fan usually has provided 3 different power of wind speeds and come with some additional functions like wind blow direction only.  But Dyson is very considerate for every detail. Users can use the dimmer switch control to adjust how strong of the wind blow.  This no doubt is a thoughtful improvement, and you can enjoy plenty of blowing wind as you like.  In addition, you should feel very happy that Dyson Air Multiplier is much easier to adjust its pivot.  Just simply push or pull the tilt base of the fan, you can adjust all directions that you want. 
To simplify its design, the Dyson Air Multiplier only has three buttons on its pivot: The power, airflow control switch, and the oscillation control buttons.  The smart silver gray color accompany with a very sharp purple blue inside the inner part of the “round shape” and the power light, it is easy to match all your furniture and wall colors.  People may concern this modern fan will use a lot of power, but it only use the same power as a conventional fan.  Except its expensive price, it can be claimed as a perfect fan nowadays.

"Check it Out"with words and images

Last Tuesday, we had watched several funny music videos in the Design one class.  The one that most impressed me should be the song “Check it Out” by and Nicki Minaj.  Maybe the video is produced for promoting in Korea, the whole video is using Korean words to accompany with the scenes.  This was not the first time that artists use this method on their music videos to express their lyrics, but the English song post with another language, this should be rare in the past.  The dance music market in Korea is very flourishing.  This may be the reason to urge Nicki Minaj to develop their market in there.  For luring the appetite of Korean’s audiences, director use many elements to make the consonance.  For example, use a more sharp and colorful color tone to match the Korean market, use Korean MC to speak at the beginning of the video, etc.  Meanwhile, the posting of Korean lyrics has input more strong intention to impress their Korean fans.  This should be the impact that comes from “word and images”. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Repetition and Unity

In the lessons of Des001 class, I had learned many design theories such as the term of visual unity, unity, repetition, etc.  When I think about their characteristic, they are not difficult to find around me, and they have been using a lot in our society.  Like many beautiful constructions in the old days, architects designed whatever for building or houses, ensure to have a harmony feeling, they applied the method of repetition and unity to do their architecture.   

For example as below, you can find that this construction was used the same construction material to build it.  (eg. same window frames, same shape of chimneys, same pattern of bricks, same external wall design, same design of roof, etc.)

Many wall papers, floors and cloth use the method of repetition to do their designs.  Designers use a same pattern to repeat on their works and cause to have visual unity. 

Sometimes, some sculptors also like to use repetition to form their pieces.  By using repetition to form their pieces, their sculpture will form a feeling of harmony.  This is the result of unity.   

Also, the theories had been existed in our nature.  If we can observe more, all plants are glowing in a repetition way, so we feel pleased of their shape.  There maybe we have an inborn tendency to prefer the visual unity in our sight.   
 That why Charles and Ray Eames had said that “nature is the ultimate designer”.  There is a true thing indeed.

"Word and image" practical example - Times magazine

Every week, Times magazine tries to use different gimmick to create their book covers.  The reason of why they need to exhaust all mental efforts to do it, it is certainly for attracting audiences to find out the topic of that week.  To make a successful book cover, Times magazine is skillfully on using “word and image” distinct their topic.  Like the cover on April 9th of this year, they used a penguin that is standing on a peak of snowfield as the image and with the theme “The Global Warming Survival Guide” beneath the penguin.  When I saw this amusing composition, my first impression is that penguin maybe really is the one who very want to know this survival guide.  Also, there are some small words “51 things you can do to make a difference” to arouse people’s curiousness what are the contents inside it.  

Another one also uses a very humorous idea to introduce the theme “how to save your Newspaper”.  This picture made me think that hawkers used newspapers to swipe and sold food in markets in the old days.  Is it inside the content?  Actually, the topic of that week talked about the crisis in journalism that has reached meltdown proportions.  Because many people in some major cities don't want to pay for newspapers.  But it doesn't mean that they have no necessity of reading newspapers.  In contrast, newspapers have more readers than ever.  However, people in nowadays can get news from online for free.  Who wants to pay for the publication that may not fit to charge for its content.

A complementary relationship between "Word and Image"

   Our college has the great honor to invite Mr. Brian Fies, the Arthur of the comics book “Mom’s Cancer” and the winner of the Eisner for Best Digital Comic in 2005, to be our guest speaker in the class of Design one(class name) on Nov. 2.  The Will Eisner Comic Industry award are like the Oscars of graphic novel; but humility was the only thing that we could find from the awardee.  During his speaking, he showed us a lot of his work and explained how he processed his book.  He gave us so many examples to demonstrate what are the elements to affect him to make his work, and he also stated that both of “words and images” are the essentials to structure a good comic book.

     Fies explained that “Words and images” are able to be the complementary relationship to form a comic book, so there is very important to have a balance development to these two ways.  The imbalance development of “words and images” can be the big issue to affect audiences that do not understand the story of a comic book.  For the example, from the book’s cover of “Mom’s Cancer”, we can find that there are two panels to separate Fies’s mom, and the setting of this border actually can bring a lot of meaning to the picture.  Fies explained that this border has created a feeling of a window pane.  Through the window pane, he and his family could observe and watch his mother.  However, it didn’t help them to understand what her mom was experiencing and how she was feeling.  Because her mom was suffering 2 kinds of cancers at the same time, so he used the top panel to imply that she has a brain tumor, and the lower part was represented that she has a lung cancer.  The two panels also suggest the mood and feeling of his mom to the audiences.  Even though he has projected all ideas from the image, he still needs the words “Mom’s cancer” to tell us what is the theme of his comic book.

Monday, November 1, 2010

“Objectified” – what “Form and content” in today’s design world

“Form and content” both are the essentials for a design.   Especially for industrial design, form is talking about how to present an object and what visual aspect should be appeared to consumers.  Some elements like color, texture and composition will be included in the consideration to compose a design.  However, we cannot work without any subject matter (story) - the content - for a design.  Before we make decision to have a form for an object, we also need enough information to propose the content for its design.

 Inside the documentary movie “Objectified, Alice Rawsthorn, the design critic of the International Herald Tribunedesign editor, says that “design is moving from the culture of tangible of material to increasingly intangible culture”.  Her interpretation of this tendency is quite true.  In the past, analog products like chair, spoon, and fork these kind of objects are according “form follow function” this concept to design them, so people can easily guess what are their function and how to use them.  But the design trend is tended to without relationship between the form and function; for example, iPhone is a typical product of this case.  The form doesn’t help us to understand its function. 

On the other hands, Andrew Blauvelt, the design curator of Walker Art Center, also analyzes 3 phases of modern design. 
1)      first phase : looking at the design and the formal relationship, formal logic of the object, the active form giving, form be get form. 
(e.g.: designer Karim Rashid help the company Dirt Devil to make the Kone Vacuum and state that it is so beautiful enough to put it as a display.)

2)      second phase : symbolism and  the content of what you during with.
(e.g. making coffee, using a fork and knife, or the culture of symbolism particular object, those come back to a habit and give form, help give guide to the designers, and see that form should be and how it should look. (e.g. James Dyson’s vacuum, the design is in a very functional manner, form is very expressing symbolism and function, color of the design is not exaggerated because Dyson is not a flamboyance person.)


3)   looking at the technique content of the object, looking at the human and object relationship (e.g. Roomba vacuum, the vacuum is very different, no interaction with human, and no more human interaction in the relationship, the relationship is the room cleaning. )

Last, Blauvelt concluded that as a designer should consider about “the search for form and what form should an object take”, and designers have asked that question and use different


“Objectified” is a documentary about the industrial design industry.  Inside the movie, we can find many famous designers to tell about what they have learned in the industrial design field.  From what they say inside the movie, I can understand what attitude we should have before we are being a designer, and what is the important for us as well.

Dieter Rams, the Former Design Director of Braun in Germany, gives many precious aspects that a designer must think about for doing design.  He said that good design should be innovative, make a product useful and understandable.  Also, good design is honest, unobtrusive, long-lived, consistently in every detail, environmentally friendly and little design as possible.  He said that designers are not the fine artists, they cannot work without businesspeople, and this may some designers have confused with and cannot seriously to think about what they should do on their design.  However, he found Apple is the one of the serious company that can make good design in nowadays.  

Jonathan Ive is the Senior VP Industrial Design of Apple Company in US.  When he met the products of “Apple” in the first time, he could feel how is the person of the designer from them.  This so impact me to think more how I can do some good designs and let people to know how sincere when I was doing the design.  He told us the big definition of who you are a designer.  Designer is the way you can look to the world and need to keep constantly to observe to the things around us and think how they are.  This is true that if designers cannot have a good observation, how they can find out the problem before the present their works.

Another French designer who is called Marc Newson also let me think deeper about design.  As a good designer, Newson thinks that he want to do is to be able to have things that don’t exist before. His job is to look into the future but not doing for the existing design.  This is a very positive thought to a good designer and so why he can be successful.

Although there are only these few examples from the movie, we can find that this is really an awesome movie to let us have more thoughts to introspect how to do a good designer.