Friday, February 18, 2011

Journal Entry 2/21

Stefan Sagmeister shares happy design:

Stefan discovered that he was happy while experiencing elements of design. He made a list of things that took his breathe away, and he then crossed off what wasn't related to design. Over half of the ones that weren't crossed off were about design. There is a scale of happiness--Comfort, contentment, joy, delight, bliss. He comically mentions how one way to see if a designer is happy, while they are designing, is to look at the photographs of themselves. A museum opened in Japan, and an exhibit in there was called "Happiness." The exhibit was sectioned off into 4 sections--Arcadia, Nirvana, Desire, Harmony. The exhibit showed different ways to write happiness, various paintings. What he took away from the exhibit was that the pieces were about the realization of happiness. One artist replaced subway procedure signs with signs of his own that were about how to be happy in life. Also, a room that has retractable ceiling that opens during dusk and dawn and allows viewers to see the subtle changes in light during these times. He ends talking about various ad campaigns he has done with various life sayings. I really enjoyed what he was saying when he talked about the different life lessons, and the list that he put up. I would ask him what makes him happy other than things in design, and what he thinks is sad design. I can tell why he is so popular; he is very humorous has interesting points of view on design and happiness.

J.J. Abrams' mystery box

J.J. Abram begins by talking about why his grandfather was such an amazing guy, and says he was the one that got him interested in crafts, like printing, book binding, etc. Abram loves boxes. At one point he went to a magic store, where be bought a box of magic. Over the years, he has never opened it, and he questioned why this was. It represents hope and potential. Mystery is sometimes more important than knowledge. Technology is very inspiring. Why are stories but mystery boxes? withholding information is mysterious too. What comes next? the creation of media is everyhwere. There is an amazing sense of opportunity. Technology allows people to create and express themselves. There is nothing stopping you from making something great. Don't need the greatest technology to do great things.

I loved his approach to talking about design and the mystery behind it. Being a fan of Lost, I enjoyed his references and clips from the show. This video was inspiring because it made me view things in a slightly different way--everything has a sort of mystery behind it.

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

The three themes of the lecture were that 1. there is extraordinary evidence of human creativity. 2.the world is a place where we have no idea what will happen 3rd- children have exceptional talents and creativity. He thinks that creativity has the same importance in education as literacy. If you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything creative. As children grow up, they are fearful of being wrong. He discusses that there should be more of an emphasis on the arts in school. He says that he thinks the whole purpose of education is to produce college professors. Some people were steered away from things they loved to do because others told them they'd never get a job doing that. People who are extremely talented don't think that they are because in school what they loved to do was not valued. Intelligent is diverse, dynamic, distinct.

How Good is Good?
by Stefan Sagmeister

In a year away from having any clients, Stefan realized that he wanted a part of his studio to move from creating cool things to significant things. There might now finally be room for content, for questions about what we do and for whom we are doing it. As Victor Papanek said about advertisement design, "In persuading people to buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, in order to impress others that don’t care, it is probably the phoniest field in existence today.” Bad design can harm our lives, but good design for bad causes can as well. He then discusses things such as why so many celebrities involved in charities--are they in it just to promote their own career?

When philosopher Edward DeBono talks about values, he puts them into four equally important sections:

Me-values: ego and pleasure
Mates-values: belonging to a group, not letting it down
Moral-values: religious values, general law, general values of a particular culture
Mankind-values: human rights, ecology

No matter who you are, there is ALWAYS room to be nice to people.
The small simple things that make someone's day better.

Most of current graphic design done by professional design companies is used to promote or sell, which is fine, but design can also do so much more. Good design + good cause = good! Design can help us remember, design can simplify our lives, design can make someone feel better, design can make the world a better place, and design can inform and teach.

I am so impressed by how he views life and design. He is inspiring with his optimism towards both of these, and I think everyone, not just designers, can learn from him.

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