Saturday, April 10, 2010

Your turn #10

There's plenty to talk about. Below, my Design Manifesto, an alternative way of looking at design. Take any theme you like.


Anonymous said...

Professor Triff - You have been saving the best for last. Your manifesto references any number of compelling articles. Would the class want to select one or two for a discussion? I am especially drawn to the citations in footnotes 4, 14, 15, and 18.

Throughout the class one of your themes has been, "these designers from the past were people like you,' i.e. designing for their times, reflecting their times, so I am delighted if we can critically consider the role of designers in the 21st Century.

At this moment I am reluctant to equate the work of Frank Gehry or Rem Koolhas with car and boat shows. Design is a business - as are law, medicine and education. As I began to read your manifesto your point to view seemed to be that business is evil. But reading further, the important question for me is how can design be a better business - a business for the good.


Gloria A. Lastres said...

Prof Triff, I very much enjoyed reading your Design Manifesto. Sometimes, when seeking a position as a graphic artist, you accept a job offer in which you know the philosophy of the organization runs counter to your own philosophy. Reading over your manifesto, you have revealed it seems, a way for we as designers to satisfy “the man/woman” while producing cleaner, energy-efficient, safe designs that are appealing in the aesthetic sense, satisfying your clients’ and bosses’ criteria. Wherever the designer is given wiggle room, wiggle for protection and preservation of the environment. As you state, “design can help consumers alter our present ecological imbalance.” Think outside the box, and make sure the box is recyclable or do away with the box altogether. Once you have established yourself as a designer then you are free to find your niche in an organization committed to going green. And I fervently hope that going green becomes as automatic as extreme consumerism and the more is more movements of the present and recent past – when an organization no longer needs to identify itself as pro-environmental and a designer doesn’t have to compromise his/her values as a pro-environmentalist. When beauty of the designer’s product combines with the long-term health of our planet, that day designers will be truly free.

-Gloria Lastres

Juliana said...

What a great way of seeing design in this Design Manifesto. After reading this section I found exceptionally interesting how women design products are radically different from those made by men. The example of the car design is great, how women emphasize on function and safety rather than technology and mechanics. This is the role society has given us so we have 2 options; rebel against the norms or just follow as it is. Today we have seen more and more women designers being respected and acknowledged, way more than 50 years ago.
One thing that I also have to mention about the reading is this, “Design has gotten so entangled with advertising that it advertises itself.” In order for people to recognize you, your work and your design it ends up being advertised. Whether is it purposely or not it just happens. It’s all about creating a memorable impact and if the designer is willing to do that then he will touch his audience.
- Juliana : )

Rafaella said...

I really enjoyed the videos you showed in class. The one of Stephan Seigmeister, and the one of Rick Valicenti. They really do put design in another dimension, and take creativity to another level. I thought it was impressive how Sagmeister graduated from engineering but was still capable of switching to a graphic design career and succeeding at it. He believed anything was possible, and held design to very high standards, once he said “you can have an art experience in front of a Rembrandt, or in front of a piece of graphic design.” I was very impressed by his talent, and how he could think outside the box. The video of Rick Valicenti was very funny, and I think it was a great speech to motivate employees or to connect with clients. It was an amusing metaphor he played on, god is a designer, and how he had many departments to create flowers, humans, types of transportation. I think this speech is very motivational and the way Rick talked reminded me of my dad. My dad has been working in the same company for over 30 years, and one of the reasons he has been successful is because he has always managed to inspire and motivate people who work for him. I saw that quality through Rick Valicenti’s speech, it invoked leadership and passion, and that is why the essence of his work can never be repeated or replaced.

AlliHeathe said...

The design manifesto was actually quite interesting to read. I do disagree with the line: "The design profession needs more women designers." I think there are more than enough female designers. The whole problem is that stereotypes do not allow these women to gain as much recognition as the well known men. Women need to stand up and be more individual to make themselves stand out, such as the awesome April Greiman, whose work I studied in a previous design class. Many female designers do tend to have more feminine work, however, not all female designers fit into this stereotype.

I also agree that design has become a more recognized profession in recent years. Through the introduction of digital computer technology in the 80s, the ability to design has become available to more people. These days, design students can learn design and how to express themselves even though they may not be artistically inclined in other areas of art, which previously dominated design. I think it definitely allows more diversity in the design field because more mediums can be utilized and put together in less time.

Allison Brown, ARH346

nasha89 said...

Of all the designs and artists we looked over and discussed in class, I really enjoyed Stephan Seigmeister’s work. There are so many reasons to love his work. Not only is all of his work innovative and creative, but he thinks of such interesting ways to display and present his ideas and concepts. The example of the trophy composed of coffee cups is a great example. The video we saw gave us the opportunity to see the actual process of his ideas taking shape. It was such a great and out of the box way to display such a simple, everyday image like a trophy.

By far my favorite design of Seigmeister’s was the two images of him sitting on the couch. Firstly, I found it so entertaining and shocking to learn the idea behind the images and the work (and food) that went into it. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is! I loved how we were able to see the before and after in the image, the set, and his actual body. I think it is a difficult task to catch people’s interest now a day when we have pretty much seen it all. Seigmeister has a great way of making viewers take a second look and surprising them.

Nasha Wallin

dmb said...

I'd like to take this comment and give my own commentary on the role of advertising (i.e. graphic design):

"Advertising (i.e. graphic de$$ign) plays a crucial role in consumerism by mediating between manufacturers, retailers and the public. Advertisements provide goods with a context (usually mythical). Richard Bolton explains: “We’re inundated with a parade of spectacles (…) these do not merely distract us from crisis and conflict: they absorb the conflict.”

The more I've studied advertising here at UM, the more I understand what it is that agencies and brands are trying to achieve. We don't live in a world anymore where a brand delivers a monologue. We live in a world of dialogue. The consumer engages with a brand and talks back. They are the ones who have the ultimate say in what brands thrive and what brands die. The best advertising is such that taps into human truths, undeniable facts about life and human nature, making a brand relevant in a consumer's daily life. The graphic design side of advertising strengthens the message and creates a visual that the consumer remembers and recognizes given the visual cues.

Bolton says these spectacles absorb conflict. I think certain advertising takes advantage of crisis. For example, global warming is such a relevant problem in today's society and many campaigns and/or designs capitalize on this opportunity by somehow tying their message back to the environment, whether that be in a positive or negative way. Some companies exploit situations like this one, others are empowered and inspired to take positive action. Either way, brands embrace and take in the current situation and interpret it however they see fit. There's a certain beauty in the power of visuals and advertising -- look at Obama's CHANGE political campaign. It was one of the most successful advertising campaigns in history, capitalizing on conflict and crisis. But in the end it was the simple image of the word CHANGE with the red, white, and blue colors symbolizing patriotism and American democracy, that allowed for the first African American President to be elected into office. Simple design. History making moments.

-Dayna M. Bieber

Sarah said...

I really enjoyed reading the bold and intriguing statements of “Design Manifesto." There were several influential remarks in the manifesto that it’s difficult to focus on only one. That being said, one of the most valid points stated in the Design Manifesto was “To consume.”

Design impacts the consumer every day. Design has had a negative outcome on the environment. Humans often consume too much based on design or advertising of a product. We think we need our water in a bottle, because products like Evian or Dasani lead us to believe that water tastes, looks and feels better in a bottle.

Design makes products feel and look cleaner. We feel better if we can grab a cold drink out of a vending machine than drinking water from the fountain or from an actual glass. The design of the product is more appealing to us in a Dasani bottle than out of a metal fountain.

The remark “To Consume,” goes hand-in-hand with the statement “De$$ign becomes design when it manufactures cleaner, energy-efficient, quieter, smart, safe, lasting, and aesthetically-appealing products.” We as graphic designers must learn how to create energy-efficient products to positively affect the planet.

I think design today is great in many aspects, but unfortunately through design we have created a monster that has adversely affected the atmosphere. Our environment is suffering because of the overwhelming amount of design that significantly influences everything we do today. We can’t eat, drink, or exercise without being bombarded by design. We must learn to be environmentally friendly designers!

Sarah Gruhn
ARH 346

lauren dresbach said...

It was very interesting to read the design manifesto and look at all the different themes when designing. The one that appealed to me the most was sustainable design.

Everyone today is all about going green. A lot of graphic designers and printing places are more conscious of printing and not wasting ink and paper. Not only is using too much paper and ink wasteful, it also can get very expensive. Designers and printing places are using recycled paper and soy ink. With sustainable design, you want to comply with the fundamentals of "economic, social and ecological sustainability." The main theme of sustainable design is reducing. You want to reduce energy and being wasteful.

In my graphic design class this semester we did a project on sustainable design. Everyone had a different way of showing and telling others to be sustainable; whether it was showing the consequences, possibilities or coming up with a creative icon to represent being environmentally friendly in design.

Ping said...

The future for design looks brighter than a luminous monitor in a pitch-black room. One of the great things about today's design is the flow of ideas and inspiration. A design movement does not need to start from a prestigious art studio or to be handcrafted, it can be created from anywhere, with just a laptop. Design style is no longer linked or associated to its location as in the past (France, New York, etc...). The Internet has broken down those walls and distances and we are no longer limiting creativity. It is because all the information and imagery can be transmitted though fiber optic with the speed of light and be exposed to so many people from around the world and allows us to work together no matter where we are. One idea can blossom to an even better idea, with mashup (a digital media file containing any or all of text, graphics, audio, video, and animation, which recombines and modifies existing digital works to create a derivative work), like an international brain synapses.

The online design world is exploding with demand today. Because of the ease of communication, people have a drive to stand out from this
mammoth crowd. In this generation everyone can be a star. The majority are being pushed to go beyond one discipline of design and combining different elements like illustration, Video, 3d animation, and flash interactive pages.

The design shift to online resources and being presented digitally helps to save the environment. This new "eDesign" can eventually replace all the printed advertisement, and even books. I can see that in the near future every one of us will be required to carrying a device like an iPad. We are going to achieve our jobs and everyday life with it.

Sau Ping Choi

jorell said...

Designers are people with active imaginations and ideas they want to share. This desire to share ideas makes them experts at grabbing people's attention. Businesses have a similar need but for different reasons. They too need to get people's attention, but their motive is usually profits. It is this common need that makes a synergy between business and design. And while both have their separate motives, they both fulfill their needs in a sort of symbiotic relationship. Designers have a real power in that business gives them a platform for their ideas to be heard. If more designers took advantage of their position and began to design their ideas into our culture. Going green for example. This is a designed subculture. There is nothing wrong with it, people need something to think about keep them occupied. But driving around in a Prius doesn't make them a better person or prove they care more about the world than anyone else. In engineering and math, the more simple a solution, the more likely it is correct. Engineers could learn a lot from design and vice versa. We should look to nature for design. Things like the brittle starfish with hundreds of lenses on its body more perfect than we can manufacture.

Ashley said...

Professor Triff- thank you for mentioning the role that designers play in the effort of recycling and sustainability. All to often artists (as designers are) disregard the impact their work(s) will have on the environment. Choices in color, paper, and method of production are vital.

While I believe that passion and vision are at the core of design, that does not mean that taking other aspects of the overall process is out of the question. The vision can still come to fruition using soy base inks and papers and thoughtful reproduction.

Without taking the environment into consideration, design is an ugly word, a word that reminds me of the furs worn by fashion stars with disregard to the animals they belonged to.

pedroiscool said...

Well, design is in and of itself a superficial thing. Most design does not move you, nor does most design work to inform you of a social injustice. Most design is commercial; that is the new wave of design and artists "Commercial art".

Design is trying to sell you something, even if its not a product. Sure the new Apple commercials try to sell you an iphone or ipad, but others want to sell you a service, sell you information, some just want you to think like they do; to like something, or watch a certain show. Its free to think and talk and watch whatever you feel like, so design comes in to steer your "freeness" to a certain product, or idea, or way of thinking. Design is all about how things appear, instead of what it is.

Just look at that ridiculous ipad! i do not know a single person who NEEDS one. Sure everyone would like to have that, but no really needs it. Its only designed to make you want it. Its made to look pretty and sleek and its designed, from the screen to the commercials, to make you think you need it. All in all, design (for the most part) is material, superficial, and is in the business of selling you something.

cbfelder said...

Concerning design's evolution into a tool of consumerism, i feel that perhaps it is an unavoidable casualty of the digital age. As is mentioned in the manifesto, the ideals put into practice by the arts and crafts movement are largely forgotten in contemporary design, where the emphasis is on style over substance and aesthetics over functionality. This cheapening effect is made possible, i believe, by the digital age in that now anyone with adobe software and a fundamental understanding of design theory/elements can become a designer. This accesability is good in that it has opened doors to many talented people who would have otherwise never had a chance, but it has unavoidably saturated the design landscape with mundane, lifeless creations from the masses.

This phenomenon can be seen in many aspects of human creativity - from music, film and fine art, to the planned obsolescence of automobiles and consumer goods. It seems that a byproduct of the digital age's accesability is a loss of quality and craftsmanship (and perhaps, soul) that only the human touch can produce.

Luly said...

I have to say that watching Labyrinth left me in amazement. Knowing that the technology we have today did not exist back then makes me wish I could go back in time and witness how Lenica created Labyrinth. The designs and videos are getting more and more interesting with each class.

The video of Seigmeister was great, he is one of my favorite artists. The way he plays around with materials to make typography is genius. I enjoyed learning about who was behind the creations of the logos that were shown. The majority of the logos are simple and straight to the point, and although it seems like it was so easy to create, im sure there was a lot of thought and trial and errors on the other end.

Lisa said...

I wouldn’t deny that there are aspects of design that are intended solely for profit and not the for the principle of design, or the creativity, or sharing important ideas; but that money-loving side is a part of many other fields of study. Science, teaching, and fieldwork of any sort have areas where work is done only for the money and not the spirit of the work. But every subject has both good and bad sides. The good part of design is that design is constantly evolving and inspiring… even “old” designs still have an impact today.

People design in all fields of study; the practice of design is even bringing all these different subjects together: biology, chemistry, calculus, and art all come together in studies of biological systems like organisms, environments, weather patterns, population studies, etc. Without a handle on design, complex ideas and studies can’t progress to their potential… which is the extent of an individual’s (or group’s) imagination and resourcefulness and ability to design a project. Good design leads to efficiency and productiveness

Kendra said...

I found the Design Manifesto to be fascinating. It brings up a good point that while design (regardless of the form or medium) today is becoming increasingly visible, it's not necessarily working with our current environment (be it ecologically or socially). The various bulleted points provide ways for young designers to become more socially responsible. I think an important part of change comes when designers realize that while education can broaden their perspectives and sharpen skills, it is not a replacement for a constant self-awareness in values when taking on a job or creation. I really like the point about a piecemeal form of enacting change-- it is really through the individual that little by little positive actions can make a larger impact.


Julia Kristina said...

I greatly enjoyed reading your Design manifesto. I liked it because it showed how men and women generally fall into different styles of design, although this is just a stereotype and not true in every case.
Also, it made me realize what a superficial thing design is. Although I feel like I already knew this, I felt that since I have always seen myself as a type of designer, that I was given the designer eye for a reason. But the reality is that the purpose of design is to grab people's attention and appeal to their tastes. To make the consumer feel that such a project is so great that they NEED it. Maybe there is a higher purpose to design, as in sustainable design, but I think most design is commercial.

AlexBroadwell said...

I find the Design Manifesto particularly interesting, especially the footnote which states that De$$ign now advertises itself. This seems to suggest that ad design is not only selling its respective product, but also itself. This concept seems to infect virtually everything media-oriented. If a designer isn't trying to sell the design itself, it is at least trying to sell its services for future use. This probably results in more in-your-face 'de$$ign' that draws attention to itself and makes sure everyone is aware of it. Whether or not everyone being aware of the 'de$$ign' itself is a good thing is up for debate. I regularly remember some very showy advertisements in magazines and on television without remembering what they are attempting to sell.

-alex broadwell