Saturday, May 17, 2008

Educating Design: Design Re-Education - A matter of going back to basics

One of the key things that I have always been a proponent of is EXPERIMENTATION! Since I join the education service, this has been one of the cornerstone of my mission every year, and I have made it a point that I AM going to be doing something new, innovative and perhaps even experimental in nature for each of my year in service. Well I can't speak much yet of my 'experiments' this year, but what I can say for last year is that sometimes, things that can seems to be difficult to comprehend can sometimes be actually be made to be understood and appreciated using much simpler tools.

The experiment that I did last year was on evaluating the combined use of PlayDoh, compressed foam (also known as the blue foam in local design circles), presentation boards, and even Google SketchUp as a means to get the students be more excited and appreciative about the rudiments of design and design thinking! I can't say for sure that it was a success, but nonetheless my gut feeling has told me that I didn't do that bad either. People say 'Pictures tell a thousand words', so I hope these sample of pictures taken of my experimentation with PlayDoh and basic design modelling will help give you guys a better idea of what I have done. :)

Starting with the basics: Making primitives out of the dough

My charges busy at work sketching out the resultant primitives:
2-pronged skills acquisition approach of basic modelling skills and sketching

One of the STORAGE solutions being proposed...a
3-fingered form that holds your glasses in place

A skull-inspired CD-holder. The bare CD's would be placed into
the slots shown on the top of the skull

Another design of a storage solution, this time inspired
by simple unclosed squares and rectangles, used for storing books,
magazines and others. You might want to see where did
this product headed to eventually in the end!

A shape-shifting chair-inspired design that shows promising possibilities

A 'lazyman's' way of drawing an idea of inspiration.
Pushing the pencil sticks into the dough and getting the resultant shape

I will blog more about this experimentation of mine in my next posts.

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