Saturday, January 31, 2009

Opus Post 2: Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

In experimenting with watercolors Suzanne taught us how to show different values of shading and that the best way to enhance light is to use color to fade into the white on the page. I used this technique in adding value to the cheeseburger in the foreground of the following vignette. The Ancient Egyptians had a culture built around the sun which reflected through the materials they used to embellish their pyramids. Egyptian Pyramids in Pointing to the sun had golden tips and white limestone sheathing to increase their sheen and delight (Roth 189-213). The Greeks developed lighting styles within their houses which would serve their needs for income as well. Small cobblestone Courts in the middle of their houses would have a roof cut out which would provide light for the house (Roth 178-277). 

An idiom that comes to mind in regards to iarc is to not bite off more than you can chew! Although idioms are short phrases they are designed much like stories in aiding the reader to their meaning.  The phrase "Biting off more than I can chew" literally makes me remember of times when my parents wanted me to eat everything on my plate. I would try and take large bites to get through the food faster, but sometimes I would end up throwing up. "Rags to riches" is a story within itself and flows well with the two "R" words. With the vignette below, I drew from a restaurant scene it may be said that "birds of a feather flock together" meaning old fat people eat with old fat people. Roth discusses how during the medieval period in Europe an architect was not really a defined title; that they were often "jacks of all trades" (119-136). They were often skilled builders who also studied astronomy, mathematics, and biology.

"Don't tell me what the supposed meaning of the color is tell me what it means within your composition in regards to the other colors." Something like this was heard from Stoel many times during our our story-based apparel critique. So rather than saying the dark blue of my hat represents water and hopeful greatness; its purpose along side the pointed bill and down-turned style of wear is to invoke a mysterious feeling among those who see it. 
The Egyptians learned and pondered much about how they could present themselves to God. 3rd dynasty Pharaoh Zoser invented the ancient Egyptian pyramid as a glorified tomb. After him, successive pharaohs built on his prototype creating larger pyramids with gold tips and luminescent white limestone sheathing (Roth 178-277).

Commodity, Firmness and Delight- 
The ancient Egyptian's special focus on firmness (buildings meant to last eternities) provided direction for their commodity and delight in that permanence goes hand in hand with God (Roth 170-297). 
From our last critique I learned how a solid presentation was just as important as the wearable artifact. Commodity is compromised when presentation (delight) is lacking as potential clients for the apparel may be bored by the presentation rather than be impressed by the item's incredible function. 

From the egyptians to the apparel critique; a large part of this week's importance had to do with presentation. How can a group of people present themselves to God? something so grand can perhaps only be impressed by incredible architecture. The limitation of materials the Egyptians had to work with pushed them to develop new (for them and those around them) building styles such as columns and most importantly pyramids. Working with what you have forces you to evaluate how you can embellish or make it seem to others like what you have is great and they need it. In order to accomplish this we as designers must be "jacks of all trades." 


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Water Color Apparel Artifacts


My Five Artifacts

Pat's Chair

Because Pat is moving to the "Big City" I wanted to address this issue in some way. When you look out of a high-rise apartment you can see the cityscape of tall sky scrapers and buildings tightly bunched together. I wanted the furniture piece to be modular and small. I combined a chair with a work table to make things simple with straight planes as the structure. I then thought to create shelves on the front end which could in shape mimic the shapes one sees when looking across a great cityscape  The shelves do not have a backing so that the light and negative space between them is more pronounced. 

Opus Post 1 Enquire:Design::Tell:Story

Stories if cleverly executed are like fine architecture in that they must succeed on 3 levels. The story must be entertaining (delight) it must have a structural progression (firmness) and it should have a deeper meaning/message that speaks to the reader through close analysis (commodity). In watching "A Midsummer's Night Dream" we witnessed the design of the story in how stories within intertwined through the characters and their interactions with other characters. 

In history we see that the aedicule is an artifact that is constantly around us as buildings are aedicules and aedicules are also in buildings. Aedicules are usually within structures to showcase special places or to glorify an entrance. This week we were also to choose five artifacts which have been with us throughout our lives. One of my best friends gave me a red dream catcher. We used to fight a lot but after fighting we would always be friends again. One day we got into a fight over who was better at the video game Mortal Kombat (its spelled with a 'K'). We didn't get to make up because he went on vacation with his family to the reserve his grandparents lived on. When he came back he brought me this dream catcher. 

In my story there is a slight commentary on familial relations. The main character's parents sell him when he is born which is juxtaposed with the grandmother's love of her grandson the devil. She is a morally good character not only in the way that she helps the main character but also in the care she has for her grandson the devil. We can infer that although the devil is a terrible creature the grandmother has an unconditional love for him that cannot be broken. 

Translation - 
In reading our stories this week we were challenged to translate and distil the essence of our stories through imagery.  I learned that rather than creating a literal representation of what's going on it is better to create images based on the mood and message of the story. For my next step in creating a wearable artifact I think I will foucus on what type of mood it will provoke in the wearer as well as those around him/her. I want a mood of mysteriousness to come across those who come into contact with someone wearing my artifact. In making Pat's desk I wanted to address his  'Big City' arrival as well as his design background and translate that into my furniture piece. I decided to shape the shelves somewhat like a view to a cityscape so that the furniture is cohesive with his environment. 

There is a cycle in architecture in that older building styles are resurrected to today's standards as seen in subtle influences such as engaged collumns in walls, or in large ways such as classic furniture styles influencing present architecture. In prehistory Stonehenge influences the later Greek and Roman colonnades which in turn cycle into present day structures.

This week we learned how to look past the stories we read in terms of intended audience, hidden meanings as well as how artifacts and their cycle through time affects us. A big step in my growth this week was in exploring ways to differentiate myself from others. Focusing on Pat's newfound environment to provide a concept has helped me in finding a sense of direction in that I'm not just designing a piece of furniture, but Pat's furniture. 


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Found In Translation Story Synopsis

My story is called "The Devil and the Three Golden Hairs"
A newborn peasant boy is said to marry the princess at the age of 14. The king catches wind of this prophecy and comes and buys him from his parents. The king then throws the infant boy into a stream in a box. Instead of drowning the infant boy floats safely to a mill where he is taken care of. The king finds the boy again and sends him to deliver a letter to the queen. However this sealed letter contains orders for the queen to have the boy killed. Along the way the boy finds shelter in a thieves den. The thieves take his letter and write a new one saying the boy will marry the princess. Upon arrival to the queen he is married. When the angry king returns he tasks the boy with journeying to Hell and retrieving three golden hairs of the devil in order to keep his marriage to the princess. When the boy arrives in Hell The devil's grandmother aids him. She plucks the hairs while the devil sleeps on her lap. During the journey back to the kingdom with the hairs the boy helps a ferryman and two gate keepers who in return bless the boy with mules bearing gold. When the king meets the boy he immediately enquires about the gold and where it came from. the boy cunningly tells the king the gold was strewn about on the shore of Hell. When the king goes there he is damned for life and the boy and the princess live happily ever after.