As usual, it has been a busy semester so far with lots of improvement in my abilities as a designer. Today I am going to take the time to post about a handful of my early projects. The first of which is my Studio 3 cantilever project. The goal of this project was to practice the design project in a very extreme case. Our objective with this project was to suspend a two-pound weight as far from the center of a 6-inch circle and a minimum of 7 inches from the surface of the table. This distance from the center of the base would then be divided by the weight of our model to determine the ratio of distance to weight. This ratio along with the thoroughness which with we executed the process of developing the cantilever would then be used to determine our grade. In our cantilever, we could only use super glue and balsa wood sticks and a single 1-pound counterweight. In the end, after at least five iterations, I was the student with the best ratio! I have attached a picture of my final winning design. It is a simple bridge-like truss with side supports to prevent torsion from the weights. My key development was using a single truss instead of two parallel ones which significantly cut down on weight. My final model weighed only 26 grams and extended 14 inches!
Now that it had been a couple weeks since classes started, I figured I might write about my roster for this semester. This semester, similar to the last two, I have 19 credits of mostly major required classes. My core design classes for this semester are Industrial Design Studio 3, 3D Realization, and 3D Visualization. Studio consists of primarily more major projects that focus on developing the design process and tying together the many different skills developed in the two other design classes. 3D Realization is the design class which has replaced the more graphic design esk classes from last year. 3D Realization focuses on teaching different modeling and machining practices. So far we have learned to safely use the laser cutter, foam cutters, plastic ovens, band saws, drill presses, mills, and metal lathes. The laser cutter and plastic ovens already played a major role in our second studio project. 3D Visualization is my drawing class for the semester. In 3D Visualization, we moved from using black colored pencils as we did last year to using various types of pens and Copic markers for shading/color. I took me a little while to get back into the drawing flow but recently I have been very satisfied with some of my work.
Aside from my design classes, I have a social studies elective and a mandatory physics class. For social studies, I decided to take design history. Both classes are very well organized and have a regular pattern which is something I appreciate. In History class, for instance, there is always an online quiz due on Tuesday before class and the writing homework is due by midnight Friday. In physics, the online homework is due every money before class and the quiz is due by midnight Wednesday. This makes it really easy to keep track of all work and get it in on time. Overall I am very satisfied with all of my classes and professors this year. I will continue to write posts referring to individual projects as I complete them.
The last few weeks in both Vis and Studio have been taken up with our final projects for this semester. In studio, we were instructed to design the packaging and form of a bar of soap, and in Vis, we were asked to design a poster for an assigned font type. For my soap, I chose to design a product that addressed the needs of a swimmer. Having been a swimmer for most of my life I knew that a crucial part of the soap would be addressing the issues surrounding chlorine exposure. To solve this, I added moisturizers and liquid anti-chlorine soap to the base we were using. In the packaging and the form of the soap, I upheld the swimming theme by using speedo products such as swimming fins as a reference. I really like the final product which I came up with and will have it at my year end show this week. I am also very pleased with my poster. After several iterations, this is what I came up with what I have attached below.
Admittedly It has been a little over a week since I made my last Vis 2 post and promised to post this drawing. With all the work I had to do that week before spring break it slipped my mind to take a picture of my drawing before submitting it for grading. With it now returned I am able to put together this post. In this drawing assignment, each student was asked to come up with a recognizable form which could be composed out of the blocks we had become accustomed to in the last assignment. I chose to draw a boat, and after several iterative thumbnail sketches I came to this final form. Once the other students and I had completed the front view we were asked to draw a reverse view looking in from the back. I think both drawings came out really well In part because what I had learned about drawing cubes from the last assignment could be applied to this one.
One of my favorite classes after studio this semester has been visualization 2. Looking back at the drawing I posted from earlier this semester I think it is undeniable that I have improved quite a bit. We have moved from purely geometric shapes with sharp edges to cylinders, spheres, and smoother more realistic edges. Until this last project, which I have attached, all the drawings we did were purely imagined and realized on paper. However, this week’s assignment had us draw a block composition which our professor put at the front of the class. I am pretty satisfied with my outcome. Sadly, I realize now that by trying to include the blocks in my image I let the focus stray too far from my drawing which gave it a warped look. Our project for the coming Friday is to draw the front and back of our own block compositions which we came up with in class and have memorized. Mine will be a boat. I am planning to post that drawing later this week once I have it finished.
The last few weeks have been busy per usual. However, as we approach spring break and we wrap up projects, I finally have some extra time to write a few blog posts to summarize the last month. In industrial design studio, we have been working on the final compositions for the deconstruct/reconstruct project. In this project, we took a found object, in my case a hand plain, and deconstructed it to understand the form and function. After this, we did several iterative models to reach a final composition which pays homage to what we observed in the first step. The final model is made of different colors of chipboard joined with Sobo glue. In my model, I chose to include a mechanical mechanism that slides. As you push the plain forward the wood shaving grows longer. Of the work I have done while here at Wentworth this is my new favorite.
January in Boston has been treating me well. While I do wish it was a little warmer it has stayed mostly dry for the last few weeks. However, we do have a snow storm warning for tomorrow so we will see how the next few days go. My new classes have thus far been quite enjoyable. I am currently enrolled in Industrial Design Studio 2, Visualisation 2, Visual Communication, English 2, and Geometry. In industrial design studio class, we have already finished our first project which was an 8-inch by 8-inch cube that we developed using subtractive methods and ultimately modeled in chipboard. Visualization 2 is my drawing class for this semester. As opposed to what we were doing last semester this brand of drawing is a lot more technical and definitely more my thing. I have attached a drawing from class to this post. Visual communication started off with taking pictures of elements and principles of design in existing objects and has now moved onto coming up with personal compositions. English 2 and geometry are pretty standard classes for their subject.
It’s been an intense last few weeks here at Wentworth, but with finals wrapping up I’ve got some time on my hands to make a couple posts about my work from this first semester. I’m thinking I will put up my favorite work from each of my three design studio classes, with possibly a bonus post from my color theory class because I am especially proud of how far I have come in my understanding of color and composition.
However, before I get to that I will dedicate the rest of this post to the work I’ve done in English. This semester I had Professor Bailey for English 1 and really learned a lot. While my English foundations from high school certainly weren’t weak, I benefited immensely from having to write a short three to five-page essay on almost a weekly basis. This practice really solidified my understanding of how to find solid sources and cite them correctly. In high school I had always been taught to put in direct quotes from my sources, but Bailey consistently pushed me to include other forms of citation, like paraphrasing and summary, which I wasn’t accustomed to using. I also thoroughly enjoyed that, more often than not, we could chose the topics our research papers were on. This analytical writing is, in my opinion, very befitting of a tech school such as Wentworth. While Professor Bailey’s class isn’t suited to those who might be adverse to hard work, if you are willing to take on the challenge and make the most of what he teaches, the rewards are undeniable. I can say without hesitation that the papers I have produced this past semester were some of the strongest and most enjoyable to write.
For our final in Color and Composition, we were told to create a tessellation, first in illustrator, and then in color aid paper. To come up with a tessellation that I liked, I went through at least five different pattern ideas and spent a couple hours researching color choice. In this project, my professor Liza pushed me to choose a color scheme that had a higher contrast than what I had done in my transparency project. Eventually, I settled on a roughly triadic color scheme of the primary colors yellow, red, and blue. I didn’t choose the pure hues, instead, I played with tint, shade, and saturation to make the composition more dynamic, while at the same time harmonious. I chose the pattern mostly for its 3D quality, which is accentuated by the tints and shade of the colors. Sadly, I don’t have my final back from grading, but here is the Adobe illustrator file in PDF format:
For Color and Composition class we refined our understanding of hue (color), value, and saturation. We started off the semester with painting a set of two seven-stage value scales from black to white, followed by 13-stage value scales for all three primary colors as well. Both of these projects were rendered out of painted Bristol mounted on illustration board. Next, we investigated patterns and other compositional elements by coming up with and finally painting them on illustration board. The latter half of the semester was spent cutting and mounting pre-painted color aid paper on illustration board to express the concepts we were learning. In this portion, we did the below projects to illustrate our understanding of implied transparencies through color choice while still utilizing the negative space effectively. A set of two of these took me 30 hours of work to render, but it was so satisfying to have this to show for it. If I had to choose one project I was the proudest of for this semester, I would, without hesitation, pick this one.