This last week, we discussed — interrogated — our designed objects, and sought to understand them in a larger context, in relationship to forces and factors that give them meaning. We are interested in how these designed objects come to be in our classroom; what meaning is packed into them, which means, what can they tell us about the world beyond themselves.
Cassidy : purple cow creamers (made in Japan), and
a The Dream Is Alive pennant promoting NASA and the space shuttle, circa 1985
Our discussion has so far centered on what replaces pennants, in terms of physical things that embody/reflect/promote ambitions for young people
Karen : a Gala apple
“a clonally propagated apple cultivar with a mild and sweet flavor,” developed in New Zealand in the 1930s, and for which a US Plant patent was obtained in 1974, the first of several patents for different “sports” (or mutations)
“As American as apple pie,” goes the saying. Discussed Johnny Appleseed and hard cider; the reported “popularity” (ranks no. 2) of the Gala apple; the number of kinds of apples (7,500 known cultivars, according to wikipedia) and the selection of apple types available in the typical supermarket, and characteristics (storability, etc.) that were designed into this particular cultivar, etc.
Amy : Poo-Pourri (“before-you-go toilet spray”)
where we discussed Pou-Pourri in terms of humor in branding, among other things.
Kara Guttadauro : Hot Sauce from Hell
So far, we’ve discussed hot sauce and the use of cayenne and other peppers generally, and historically, and also consumption (including competitive);
have not yet examined a specific bottle of Habanero Hot Sauce from Hell
Andrew : Zippo (cigarette) lighter
discussed its association with military (War War 2, Vietnam War), its magical properties (fire) and even gender aspects (vis-a-vis Bic lighters, for example)
interested in its weight, size, design; relationship to the iPhone (for which there are cigarette lighter attachments!); also, how its longevity (through wars, etc.) adds to its rich associative background
US Patent US2032695 (1936)
for next Monday, review once more the first chapter in Ulrich (“Introduction to Design”), and read
chapter 2 “The scaffolding or rhetoric” in Richard Toye, Rhetoric : A very short introduction (2013), especially pp 32-45 (the three branches of rhetoric; the five canons; and, above all, the three appeals (ethos/character, pathos/emotion, logos/logic)
and Norman Potter, “Is a Designer an Artist?” (1969), from Design and Art (2007) : 29-33
We will be joined in class on February 7 by David Buckley Borden, artist/designer, who will be giving a visiting artist talk at 11:30 that day.
I would like you to look at his Hemlock Hospice project, described at his website, and consider questions we might discuss with him. I am particularly interested in his method as a designer, who sees a “gap” (an Ulrich term!), and then finds ways of situating himself in a place (often with interdisciplinary collaborators) in order to impact awareness, etc.