MEDP 299.XX Hunter College at the City University of New YorkPosts RSS Comments RSS

Archive for March, 2008

The Cloisters Museum

The Cloisters is one of my favorite spots in Manhattan. It’s a museum cobbled together of monk’s cloisters, tapestries, illuminated manuscripts and so much more, all brought over piece by piece from Europe.

dsc01272arches.jpg The Cluxa Cloister (a courtyard)

dsc01274window.jpg Pontaut Chapter House

dsc01285cards.jpg The only complete 52 card deck of playing cards from the 1400’s.

dsc01277doors.jpg Doors from about the same era.

dsc01282tree.jpg An “espaliered” tree, probably a pear tree. It is trained to grow symmetrically on a south facing wall.

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The Design of Everyday Things

It’s interesting that we tend to blame others or the environment for our errors, EXCEPT when it comes to simple things, where we employ ‘learned helplessness’. Fascinating that the secretaries did not report their difficulty with ‘return’ and ‘enter’ because they blamed themselves. I wonder if phone systems have improved since this book was written in 1988. I’ll check the film & media department’s phones.

What Norman calls natural mapping I have always referred to as “intuitive”. Same idea. Apple makes incredibly intuitive items. Consumers Reports gives advice on how easy products are to use. I’ll bet AARP gives advice too!

I was surprised to hear that new products take 5 or 6 tries to get it right. I would have thought that market testing would have reduced that number more. Perhaps it is difficult to assess everyone’s ‘gulf of execution’ and ‘gulf of evaluation’, just like with the secretaries.

3 Things That Are Designed Well:
Subway tokens: there’s only one way to insert into slot
Wind up alarm clocks: you can choose to set it each night
Sash windows: it’s pretty ingenious how they stay up

3 Things That Are Designed Poorly:
Subway metrocards: four ways to swipe, but only one is correct—plus you can’t go too slowly or too quickly or it won’t work
Electronic alarm clocks: they buzz automatically every morning, so if your neighbor is on vacation—you get to hear their clock buzz for an hour
Casement windows: it’s hard to insert screens, so people have trouble keeping bugs out, and cats in

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Directed Storytelling

The text says that directed storytelling is what one can do when there isn’t enough time for more in-depth research (ethnography). However, it seems as if directed storytelling is a branch of market research. If an instructor explains what doesn’t work in Blackboard in step-by-step detail, then that is like a research interview. If a group of people are involved in gift-giving storytelling then it seems like a focus group. If anyone has a deeper understanding of the definition of these words, I’d like to understand the distinctions better.

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Shelley Evenson

I agree with this reading in that intuition is good, but may not be good enough when you don’t have personal experience. I think that “direct storytelling” is an interesting approach to experience something without having to do such thorough research when it’s not possible. I feel like the process of direct storytelling is very much like doing an interview. Questions are asked, stories are told, and then the information is interpreted and presented to others.  

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John Jennings

Who would’ve thought that hip hop and graphic design are so similar? They’re both means of communication, they both concentrate on representing ideas and connecting people with  community, and they’re both  “definite subcultures”. Additionally, they also share the problem of being victim to the corporate world who caters to statistics and target audiences but not real people, which can lead to a distorted view to what design and hip hop actually are. I thought that the projects that were done were great because they dealt with everything from self-perception, other people’s perceptions of you, linguistics and consumer culture.

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Will Dance for Fonts

Gotham Thin and Bold Font –

Does anyone have this font?  I need it for a project and can’t find it anywhere (not for less than $300 anyway).

I would be willing to boogie for exchange.

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Here is the alpha build for the machine, which is being demoed by a Blue Man Group reject.
Baristouch Aplha Build

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Elecoffee machine

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Hip Hop Culture Reading

I can understand how Hip Hop was an way for people to release their pressure and was an outlet to express their feelings and thoughts of what was going on at the time. I too use music as an outlet to express my feelings, and as a way to escape reality.

Today, the media has portrayed Hip Hop with violence, sex and drugs. Hip Hop is not what it seems to be. In the earlier years of Hip Hop, if you listen to the lyrics, it was about current events that was going on at the time and struggle people were encountering. Now, it is about money, power, violence and sex. The face of Hip Hop has changed over the decades and the image can represent the positive and the negative of the Hip Hop culture.

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Dezyne Klass

Dezyne Klass
I am very ignorant when it comes to Hip Hop culture. I think of it as being part of a middle-class consumer trend thinking it’s cool to be illiterate and disrespectful to women and etc. In my narrow mind before this reading, I thought it is a matter of degeneracy. I would love to take a class like this in order to get a better understanding of what Hip Hop culture really stands for and what it really entails before it was snatched up by the money grubbers. This description of the class really affected in me in understanding how well versed a designer has to be. You’ve got to know ‘where you are’ and ‘where your going’. I can see the relation of this course in regards to our assignment with the vending machine. As a designer you need to place yourself in the shoes of the user and need to consider the number and type of people who will either see or use your product. Know your audience and know them well. I can see that through this ‘dezyne klass’ that you really need to know how to approach the market your after and know what it is really all about, before the basic sugar coated version the ‘media’ has presented you. This is the sort of class I would like to take but I can just use this syllabus to apply it to any sort of design-wise self-imposed training.

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