Friday, January 18, 2013

your turn #1


nice class! for my first lecture i tried to present "design" as a more comprehensive way of life. we need to revise our preconceptions and start looking at these "samples" from the past not as archaic, worn-out objects, but instead as wonderful examples of how we design our lives. 

by the way, read the last posts, from "decretals" on, which i didn't cover.

remember, your comment (150 word minimum) can deal with any theme covered in my lecture. you can comment using your google id, but remember to "sign" at the bottom of your comment. if you post anonymously (without an id) you should sign your name as well.

advice: it's better to write your comment in a "word" file, save it and then just cut and paste it on the comment box when you're ready to post. in case something could happen while trying to post and you end up loosing your comment after having invested time and effort.

go ahead!

20 comments:

Justine Fenner said...

I have chosen to analyze the Moscow Papyrus. I will look at it in the context of profession, technology, style, and cultural traditions. The papyrus is from ancient Egypt in roughly 1850 BC. As to the profession I cannot say much because the scribe is unknown. However, whoever did create this papyrus was a skilled mathematician and is a player in the history of mathematics. It can be inferred that his intention was to solve and record every day problems. The technology of the day, papyrus, was limiting to a mathematician, as there was no erasing. However, the fact that the information is written on papyrus has allowed it to be preserved far longer than modern day paper. As far as the style, a picture accompanies each of the 25 problems. This is in the same style as mathematicians today. It seems that the proofs are laid out in a similar style to mathematicians today as well. Lastly the problems relate to the cultural traditions of ancient Egyptians. One problem calculates the potency of beer, while another calculates the volume of pyramids. Both solutions would be very useful to ancient Egyptians.

Justine Fenner

Anonymous said...

I will analyze Trajan’s column in relation to its style and cultural tradition. The style is descended originally from the Greek column but it gives a decidedly Romanesque design with friezes depicting the battles won by the Romans against the Dacians. The scenes of this column depict the battles, landscape and warriors in ideal form, to represent the grandeur of the Roman Empire. This column also displays Trajan in every scene larger then all other figures and in a central position depicting the narcissism with which he commissioned a column to ultimately depict himself as a grand hero. This idea of heroism is a central theme in both Greek and Roman culture and it takes physical form in this triumphal column that also becomes the final resting place of Trajan after his death. Furthermore, as one follows the narrative winding up the column towards the statue on top (originally Trajan but replaced with Saint Peter) the scale of the reliefs become larger, although looking from the ground the average spectator would still not be able to make out the scenes. This suggests that rather than placing value on the individual battles this column is holistic in its commemoration of all the Roman triumphs throughout time. This gestault analysis of this column can be realized when a spectator ventures to the viewing tower of this 100ft memorial, they would be viewing Trajan’s Markets, the Roman capitol and all the other magnificent reminders of the almighty empire.

Brittany Tyson

atRifF said...

by the way, your comment don't have to be academic-like. you could go in tangents and explore themes. don't be afraid to have opinions. that's what designers do.

Anonymous said...

I do agree that design is a way of life and not just a hobby or occupation. A true designer at heart takes their knowledge with them everywhere they go. It changes the way you look at something. Opening your eyes up to new ways of looking at everything and you can’t stop yourself from doing it once you start. Like a tick you cant get rid of. You see everything and evaluate it from a design standpoint. Thoughts such as; “That first line too close to the top”, “I wonder what font that is?”, and “Oh, great, another poster in Helvetica” go through your head constantly as you observe the world around you. It is a habbit that can’t be broken. The more and more you do it the better you do it but also you do it more. It becomes easier to pick out all of the amateur work scattered throughout the work done by traditionally trained designers. Grids start to appear in everything. Not just text and layouts but all around you. Your room gets gridded, your closet, and after awhile you even grid out your schedule just so you can figure out how to go about your day. Design becomes a part of you like a personality trait.

- Adam Berger

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, informative, and entertaining first lecture, Professor Triff! The idea of design's history being that of writing’s was, to me, a revelation. Selecting a topic to fill 150 words from the first lecture was tough, but I must say I was intrigued by your discussion on the way death has been treated throughout cultures and time. Particularly, I was interested in your discussion of cemeteries and who is buried in them. It got me thinking about what famous personalities are buried in the cemeteries in our area— for example, my mother is buried at the catholic cemetery in southwest Miami Dade, and in a visit to her I ran into Jackie Gleason’s mausoleum. No, I did not pour any liquor on his grave.

But it did get me thinking, and with your ok professor I’d like to ask the class—do you know of famous personalities, not necessarily celebrities, that are buried in your hometown cemeteries?

PS- To keep the discussion somewhat design related, Jackie Gleason’s grave is a marble, Greco-roman structure with Doric columns with a sarcophagus at its center. One of the steps leading to the sarcophagus has inscribed “AND AWAY WE GO”, one of Gleason’s classic lines, in a Trajan-like font.

Here’s a snapshot: http://www.death2ur.com/gleasongrave4f.jpg

Eddy A. López

Anonymous said...

The idea that stuck with me following the first lecture was the idea that graffiti art is a form of graphic design. Being a somewhat intermediate designer, I only considered graphic design in the literal sense, typography, magazine, newspaper layout, web design etc. As a studio art and visual journalism double major, I find it difficult to directly connect paintings and photographs with graphic design, but in doing so I know it will only help to further my ideas and designs. I am specifically interested to explore the connection between graffiti and graphic design. I may be specifically disconnected from the idea because of my recent exploration of graffiti. Having seen Bansky's exhibit at CONTEXT during Art Basel, I considered graffiti more of an art form rather than a way of leaving your mark. However, I see graffiti in both senses because these well known graffiti artists are literally tagging buildings with their specific marks such as Space Invader's easily recognized symbol. But also seeing Banksy's documentary or some believe "mockumentary," Exit Through The Gift Shop, I believe by making an example of Mr. Brainwash, Banksy wanted to reiterate that this art can not be done by just anyone and there should be artistic ability behind the work.

-Ana Calderone

Anonymous said...

Of all the interesting things we discussed during class, including design being a way of life and your visits to the cemetery one of the first things you mentioned really stayed with me. It was when you said, “Type is like a chair”. As a self-proclaimed typography fanatic, I had never really thought about it that way. I had however always connected the typeface with the message one is trying to portray in a particular design. Sometimes I think of it so much that I spend more time trying to choose the “perfect” typeface for my design than actually designing. When you compare it to a chair, that’s when it clicked that the typeface you choose becomes a sort of foundation for the message. Different typefaces hold different meanings/speak differently. They have their own tones and way of doing things. I remember watching the movie Helvetica and remembering a quote by Rick Poynor in which he said, “Type is saying things to us all the time. Typefaces express a mood, an atmosphere. They give words a certain coloring.” And I couldn’t agree more.

- Elina Diaz

Alfredo Triff said...

nice discussion, don't mind me.

LAURA NARAYANSINGH said...

The image that struck me the most in this first lecture was hands down the Venus of Willendorf. As an Art minor and Architecture major I feel slightly ashamed to admit that I had never even heard of this 4.3 inch tall sculpture before last Thursday. I suppose what strikes me about this piece is that it is Paleolithic work of art, and hundreds of thousands of years ago the naked female body was of great interest to this artist and to this day it is still an icon for the arts. As seen in this sculpture, the focus of the female body is on her reproductive parts as her face, hands nor feet were even addressed in this piece. What I think is most intriguing is that some 26000 years after the birth of this piece, artists are still drawn to the representation of the most private parts of the female. Perhaps it was the wonder of the female body, that forced this artist to want to create this venus exposing her most private parts that allowed her to reproduce and house life within her. However, one would assume that, with the exponential development of technology since then, this wonder of reproduction and birth would be lost, but this is anything but the case. Instead with our technology, we have simply found hundreds of other ways to portray said wonder...

One of my favorite pieces that fall under the theme of the Timeless Wonder of the Female :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gustav_Klimt_020.jpg

Anonymous said...

I would like to start by saying that was an incredible lecture, Professor. You opened my eyes in so many ways! As cliché as that sounds you truly did. I felt so stupid when I had no idea who Matthew Carter and Zuzana Licko were, I felt like I was just a technical graphic designer, I love art in all its forms but I have never really thought of graphic design as a way of life, I’ve certainly never though of analyzing it, and no one really taught me the history of it. Which makes me wonder, does that make me less of a graphic designer? Graphic design was just something I have always been very passionate about and something I happen to be good at too :p I never really bothered to understand the meaning behind it. I find it really interesting when you say we should look at all these samples you gave us as examples of how we “design our lives” and I also remember you mentioning how awesome it would be to design your own grave and funeral which I find hilarious! As I said before that really opened my eyes and now I want to live the rest of my life as a graphic designer, not just the moment I get a brief of a new project, but in everyday life and in absolutely everything! If that makes sense.... THANK YOU!


Loved it when you said “Why look at the mirror everyday? When nothing really changes”

Doha Nahas

Anonymous said...

I had never considered that graphic design started with early writing forms such as the Dresden Codex or the Hammurabi code. I simply thought that graphic design was a way of putting things together to make it visually appealing for the viewer. Through the first class I now realize that there is way more to graphic design that I had originally thought. It’s really interesting to think that everything has a social function; everything you do means something or is for a certain reasons. Like the Hammurabi Code was a script depicting the laws of the land. Writing and graphic design are ways in which social systems and markers become evident and it shapes our lives everyday. It’s the way we communicate and the way we act. Another point that really made me think was when you brought up the question of what does dying of natural causes mean? You really can design your own future (as well as departure in this instance) and do whatever you want with you life.

Sarah Fischer

Phil Neves said...

I wanted to discuss your thoughts on tattoos. I found it very interesting what you said about how we as people always find it necessary to leave some sort of mark, whether it be on a blank wall or on our own bodies. I my self am very interested and fascinated by tattoos. I feel it to be a great art form that in fact can often be done improperly for the wrong reasons. I always am curious to find out about other peoples tattoos because they always have some deep personal meaning behind them. I of course have tattoos as well. I have two large pieces, one in the middle of my back and another on my right calf. I consider myself to be very creative, as I love to draw and design so naturally I felt it important that my tattoos be my own original art pieces. The one on my back is an abstract form of the Brazilian flag; a gold compass replaces the gold diamond and the green is replaces by vines and roots, all of which surround the blue globe in the middle. This all serves as a reminder of where I came from, and it is a unique marking that only I have.

xiaodong chang said...

In the first lecture I am really interested in the Chinese characters you showed to us. You said “alphabet + time + costumnes = type face style.” In Chinese characters there are a lot of characters from the hieroglyphic. And I know some Chinese national minority are still using some kind of hieroglyphic. It is the only hieroglyphic system is still using in the nowadays. As you say, hieroglyphic is just a kind of mark. Hieroglyphic was invented by ancient Egypt in 5000 years ago. It is the most original methods of word-formation. In the theory of formation of ancient Chinese characters, hieroglyphic used the association, analogy, symbols to create written forms. Actually, in modern Chinese characters we still can see the hieroglyphic. For example, in ancient Chinese characters there is a character means the sun. In modern Chinese characters, most words which have the meaning about the sun all come with the same character, such as bask, shine and so on. When I was a child, I used hieroglyphic to learn Chinese. In my opinion, It is a very easy way to remember Chinese.

Xiaodong Chang

Anonymous said...

I’ve never thought of graphic design as “the history of human marks.” The first lecture really opened my eyes to all the things in life that could and do use graphic design. Some of these include: tattoos, books, typefaces, walls with graffiti, and the early marks of rubbing paint or dye on walls, Paleolithic mark-making being the most basic form of graphic design. I also realized that if you’re a designer, you should be a part of the design of your life, not just in making designs for others. I thought it was interesting that you found it was entertaining to go to cemeteries, and visit admired philosophers’ graves whilst pouring bottles of liquor into them. I myself have always found the concept of death scary; I admire people who are not afraid of it and you go even beyond that, proposing everyone to design their own death, funeral, grave, etc. This perspective of taking death more into your control comforts me, and really I think it makes sense. Your first lecture really inspired me to become a truer designer in more aspects, and make a bigger mark on the world.

Kateryna Gontaruk

Anonymous said...

Prior to this lecture, I would have defined graphic design as the process of creating and putting together images and text so that they may be presented in an aesthetic, eye-catching form. My idea of graphic design as a complex, modern field, one almost inseparable from advertising and consumerism in general, did not take into account its primitive origin in the early marks made by humans. Considering graphic design as the history of human marks makes me wonder about what might have motivated these early people to produce signs and symbols in the first place, and whether that incentive is similar to why we draw, paint, write, and generate marks today. Examples of ancient marks, like the imprint of a hand on a cave wall, suggest that these were to serve as evidence of a person’s presence, as well as a way to connect to the world overall. In that manner, graphic design seems purer in goal in its early stages than it is now, since images, marks, and text nowadays function almost as a kind of currency. Another topic I found interesting was the idea that authentic graffiti, or graffiti in its pure form, must be anonymous, ephemeral, and involve a degree of danger or risk; these criteria contrast sharply with how many graffiti artists operate, as they are known for their work, which they intend to be permanent.

-Mayela A. Hernandez

Remi Wachtenheim said...

I was excited when you brought up The Venus of Willendorf in lecture because it is one of my favorite Paleolithic sculptures. I find the stark difference between its tiny stature and its large importance in early art extremely interesting and unique, as many significant early examples are large paintings or sculptures. The sculptor’s over exaggeration of the female body parts and underplay of the hands, feet, and even head show that as early as 22,000 BC the female body and its ability to produce life were celebrated. The fact that the female form is still one of the most popular subjects for artists today is a testament to its magnificence. The emphasis of the reproductive and nurturing organs solidify this piece as a fertility figure, meant to help women become pregnant. I find beauty in every aspect of this piece, from its physical limestone figure to the themes and spiritual reasons behind it.

-Remi Wachtenheim

Ariana Lubelli said...

In the first lecture, there were many things that stood out to me as interesting. When speaking of design and “marks” I began to ponder how the marks we make represent something within us. I wondered how each work of art started their marks. Which was the first mark on a piece? Was there a reason for it? Was it put there by design? When thinking about other aspects of the lecture, I saw significance in cemeteries for the first time. I guess I never really thought of the art, peace or beauty in a cemetery until the way you described it.
Among all the works of art shown to us that day, Venus of Willendorf was one I was most familiar with. The freedom in that sculpture makes me consider the censorship in today’s art because of media’s idea of beauty. A women of that shape would not be sculpted or painted because it would not be appealing to the morphed minds this society.

Your Turn #1
- Ariana Lubelli

Anonymous said...

First of all I would like to say that I really enjoyed the very first lecture and look forward to a very giving and interesting semester in this class. I loved the way you started to describe how the cover of a book works in so many different ways and how it actually can give you a kind of identity etc. The topic I found the most interesting the first class was when you were talking about Grafitti and questioned if art that someone paid to create to look like it was Grafitti could be considered Grafitti. I agree with you that it would not be Grafitti if someone paid for it!
Jenny Leanderson

Anonymous said...

The most intriguing part of your lecture to me was the Venus of Willendorf. I have taken two art history classes before this one, and it never ceases to amaze me how much significance this little sculpture carries. By placing the focus on the reproductive parts of the sculpture, it obviously represents fertility. This barely 4-inch carved sculpture is brought up again and again. The importance of the Venus of Willendorf also signifies that the theme of women and fertility is one of the most constant and important themes of art, and it has been for hundreds of thousands of years. I always wonder though why the artist chose to make her so rotund. I wonder if even in this time, if being 'fat' meant that you were well to do/well fed or something else Regardless of its meaning, I find its simplicity and overall appearance to be quite beautiful.

bmurr said...

^^ that last comment was made by me, Bailey Murray