Tag Archives: john

wallpaper for assisted living center

Amy wallpaper (for assisted living center), version 1

Amy wallpaper (for assisted living center), version 2

Amy wallpaper (for assisted living center), version 3

Amy wallpaper (for assisted living center), version 4

Amy Chan
wallpaper for assisted living center
The wallpaper created is for assisted living homes. Assisted living homes can sometimes stray away from feeling like an actual home and more like a hotel room. The choice of color is very important making sure the environment does not represent a hospital-like facility. In his Color, Environment, & Human Response (1996), Frank Mahnke explains the colors associated with health care facilities. Bright colors and dark tones are not ideal considering if a patient has a mental disorder. We have to find a balance in between to block out the loudness of color and also steer away from an institutional sense. When it comes to assisted living homes it can be difficult due to aesthetic preferences. A person is leaving the freedom of there home to another home with others around and it can almost feel artificial.

The wallpaper I have created is simple outlines of leaves but I did not want a clutter of them like floral wallpapers. The leaves are gigantic in order to convey that sense of space along with the mutual color tone to help reduce the loudness of the leaves in size. I created a wallpaper that is silent in order to blend into the background, enough so it does not cause too much attention unless you look closely. I kept the pattern simple to allow a sense of comfort and flow.

analytical prototype / prospectus

Develop a prospectus/analytical prototype of a design solution — or approaches — to a problem (or gap). The solution need not be a designed artifact, but may be a service, or set of procedures (that may involve some artifacts).

The analytical prototype/prospectus may work as a “think piece,” opening a topic up, giving it a larger framework. Its proposed solution(s) is/are mainly models, things around which a conversation can be encouraged, yielding new ideas, agreements, concrete plans (or even the decision to have *no* plan, and even to do nothing).

Your guide is to be the procedures outlined in the chapters of Ulrich that we have read.

user experience or other gap
problem definition
exploration of features that might address that problem
selection of features
design(s) (prototypes, sketches, models)

The final deliverable is a prospectus document, printed or web/adaptive (if printed, multiple pages, may be 8.5 x 11 inches), in which you discuss a perceived gap, definition of the problem, exploration of alternatives, and selection/development of a plan.

Draft (nearly done) materials due Monday 7 May, when they will go on the Hardie 2F wall. These materials would include the prospectus, and any supporting imagery/references, which may be large size. The wall presentations may have a work-in-progress feel. Final (document) due Wednesday 9 May.

We have printed examples of these prospectuses from recent years; see also the Design Stories archive for recent years.

transitioning from wall paper

have been printing tests and final versions of wallpaper.

don’t forget to write an account of your wallpaper, its purpose, how it came into being, ideas behind it, the process, etc.

We are reading or re-reading Steve Baker his “To go about noisily : Clutter, writing and design” (Emigré 35, Summer 1995), and Jane Graves her essay “What is the object’s secret?” in The Secret Life of Objects (2010). An ebook format of the latter is available here.

Here is Jane Graves’s summary of that essay —
I approach the ‘secret’ of an object from a double perspective. My twin practices as a cultural studies lecturer and a psychoanalytical psychotherapist stimulated my search for the object’s ‘secret’. I see my patients alone in my consulting room, and this isolation is essential for patients to tolerate the process of change and discovery — which tells them they were not quite as they thought. I isolate the object in a similar way, and stripping it of familiar associations, it becomes strange to me, just as my patients become strange to themselves. But the art/design college focussed me primarily on the making process rather than the responsive process. All artists/designers must acquire skills; but at the root of all creative practice, there is an intuition. This intuition can then be sustained by a systematic exploration of the possibilities implicit in the original concept. To guide me through this creative maze I have turned to Freud’s dream theory. He identifies three strategies, condensation, displacement and symbolisation which convert the disturbing wishes of the unconscious into a form acceptable to the dream censor — and pleasurable to the dreamer. To me these three strategies are essential to understand the indirect nature of the creative process — as long as they are unconscious. They are also the defence strategy which allows the artist to get lost in her/his own mind — to engage with the rhythm of the body, heart, blood, breath, which utilises the orifices of the body, in particular the mouth, the anus and the phallus. These primal erotic zones link us to the pulsating erotic desires, which can never be fully satisfied. We must renounce the fantasy of total fulfilment to fully engage with the creative process. Mourning is the basis of creativity — as it is of the creatively lived life. Approaching the individual object this way allows us a temporary escape from the plethora of objects, which make up our daily world. Trapping an object in a peepshow box is an opportunity to illuminate its singularity.

Our next (and penultimate) project is, to develop a catalogue of objects (or one object being dismantled, etc etc — this is very open), that will also present selected passages from one or other of the two readings. The images in the catalogue should have descriptive captions, but need not relate directly to the excerpts. We will discuss this exercise more on Wednesday, 28 March.

the shape of design

over break —

read Frank Chimero, The Shape of Design (2013), Part I, chapters 1-4
you can find at shapeofdesignbook.com, upper left menu.
bring in a one-page (minimum) response to the reading.

If interested, look through some of his other writing, including The Good Room.

You may want to get a head start on reading two passages from Brian Lawson, How Designers Think : The design process demystified (Fourth edition, 2006) : pages 17-23 (marble machine, igloo design, cartwheel design), and chapter 15, “Design as conversation and perception” (pages 266-286)

and be ready to run test prints (for color, pattern etc) of your wallpaper designs.

aesthetics / ornament and crime

for Monday, 25 February
bring in ideas for wallpaper / room treatments


read two essays by Adolph Loos —
“Ornament and Crime (1908) and “The Poor Little Rich Man” (1900)
translations of both were distributed in class; different translations are available here

I also distributed Hal Foster, his elaboration of Loos in his “Design and Crime” (2002), which originally appeared as “Hey, That’s Me” — a review of Bruce Mau’s Life Style (Phaidon, 2000), in the London Review of Books 23:7 (5 April 2001): 13-14). Find the original LRB version — easier to read — here. This is optional, but quite interesting, reading.

5. aesthetics. form and function.


For Wednesday 21 February, read Ulrich chapter 7, Aesthetics.
What is the role of aesthetics in design? Where does it come into play? How does it relate to terms like elegance, or even sprezzatura?

Two recent essays by Frank Chimero might relate to this —
Every thing easy is hard again
The Good Room

and this, from computer scientist and writer David Gelernter * in Machine Beauty (1998) —

Beauty is important in engineering terms because software is so complicated. Complexity makes programs hard to build and potentially hard to use; beauty is the ultimate defense against complexity.

form and function

And be thinking about a room, in which wallpaper might play a role. What might that role be, for that particular room? What goes on in that room? Who uses it, and who does not? What is the energy level of the room?


For Wednesday, read Ulrich chapter 4, Exploration.
Farhard Manjoo, Welcome to the Post-Text Future
The New York Times. February 9, 2018

We reviewed our emblems this morning; for Wednesday, revise if appropriate, and write a paragraph (or so) on each of your emblems, discussing not so much what it means, as some of the potential meanings its particular algebra makes possible.

week 3a

We meet tomorrow (Wednesday 7 February) in the Design Seminar room, H-309.
We will be joined there at 9:30 am by David Buckley Borden, with whom we will discuss his work as an interdisciplinary artist and designer
Using an accessible combination of art and design, David promotes a shared environmental awareness and heightened cultural value of ecology. David’s place-based projects highlight both pressing environmental issues and everyday phenomena. Informed by research and community outreach, David’s work manifests in a variety of forms, ranging from site-specific landscape installations in the woods to data-driven cartography in the gallery.
from his website.

David Buckley Borden and Aaron M. Ellison (Senior Ecologist, Harvard Forest), will speak in H-201 at 11:30 am today, on their work at Harvard Forest — Hemlock Forest, Landscape Ecology, Art and Design.

Fast Forward Futures, installation at Harvard Forest, 4x4x26 feet, wood, acrylic paint, and assorted hardware, 2017. Collaborators: David Buckley Borden, Jack Byers, Dr. Aaron Ellison, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, and Salua Rivero.
“Fast Forward Futures,” installation at Harvard Forest, 4 x 8 x 26 feet, wood, acrylic paint, and assorted hardware, 2017. Collaborators: David Buckley Borden, Jack Byers, Dr. Aaron Ellison, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, and Salua Rivero.
source : Hemlock Hospice

Before David arrives, we will review our thoughts on Ulrich’s chapter 3 — Design Problem Definition — and, if time permits, give a collective thought to what we learned about emblems and emblematics on Monday.

To reiterate, we will create three emblems based on materials found in a single copy of The New York Times Magazine. These three emblems, each using the three-part (A-B-C) structure of motto, (allegorical) image and explication and/or other text providing closure. The basic algebra is that A + B + C = not D, but some quantity greater than the sum of those parts.

week three

Read, and be prepared to discuss, Ulrich’s chapter 2 — “Problem Solving and Design.”
Within the taxonomy of (six kinds of) problems, there are design problems, plus : selection problems, system improvement problems, tuning problems, crises, and wicked problems.
Ulrich has a bias in favor of “structured” and “deliberate” processes. Designers (and artists) may have a bias in favor of action, but we can think of “design problem definition” and “exploration” as somewhat unruly passages in a deliberate process.
The relationship of design with innovation (p21) is worth dwelling on (particularly “technology push”).
Think of “elegance” (p22) in terms of sprezzatura

John expects to talk briefly about emblematics as it relates to graphic design, with focus on combination of elements to make or investigate a point or topic. We talked briefly last Wednesday about Castiglione’s conception of sprezzatura — “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it” — and how it might relate to the designed object, and specifically to the vertu contained by that object.

We will also look more closely at recent work by David Buckley Borden, who will join us for part of our meeting on Wednesday 7 February.
Our questions for David may relate to his method as a designer/public artist, in terms of interventions in various situations of critical interest. His educational background is business school (entrepreneurship) and a graduate degree in landscape architecture.

further ahead,
we will be reading Ulrich’s chapter 3 — “Design Problem Definition” — and relating his ways of thinking about design, to the relationship between User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design, as introduced by Harshita Aora,
What’s the difference between UX and UI design?
(Aora is a “16 year old programmer and entrepreneur.”)

aside (and optional) —
Read Jason Farago’s review of First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone, an exhibit at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas —
Stone Age Tools, or Art? Or Both? : A Dallas show of Paleolithic artifacts proposes a new genealogy of aesthetic history.” in The New York Times (February 2, 2018) : C17
The essay explores the question of whether these objects are tools or “art”, and what is entailed in our thinking of them as either or both.

further (week two)

designed objects
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

Vincent : a Warmies® Cozy Plush Junior Brown Hooty
manufactured by Intelex

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

further ahead
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.