Archive for the ‘Interface/Interactive’ Category

I always thought that after I finished my undergrad, I would be whisked off the magical land of Graduate School and life would be good. At the time, I was younger, and had basically no concept of money or time. Nowadays, I would just be happy finishing my undergrad degree and landing a semi-solid job working in the design field. With the way the economy is now, I would be very okay with even a part-time job in design, and then another part-timer somewhere else—hell, getting a waiting job at a restaurant is even hard for young people right out of college. That being said, it would almost make more sense to head off to grad school and forget the worries and bothers that the real world has to offer.

I am lucky, as once I graduate I will have no loans to pay off. Thank you Mom and Dad, that was awesome of you guys. One more reason that grad school should look appealing. But here’s the rub: graphic designers do not necessarily need a master’s degree; or so I’ve thought and been told. What’s more important is having a solid portfolio or body of work, communication skills, and experience at a well-known firm. Therefore, my plans for the future include moving to the Pacific-Northwest, getting a job, experience, some money, a marketable portfolio, and only then, after a few years, if I am getting bored and want to spice up my design life, only then will I really think about graduate school as an important option.

As far as right now, I am interested in interactivity—both social and digital (or digitally social). Also, I would be more interested in a Master’s of Science, as opposed to an MFA. If I really had to pick particular grad school programs that seem feasible, my list would look like such:

  1. The NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
  2. Carnegie Mellon Interaction Design Program
  3. Interactive Design at VCU / Design at Virginia Tech
  4. Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology
  5. Human-Computer Interaction Design at the Indiana School of Informatics
  6. Interaction Design at the University of Kansas

Another option I might consider is going the route of the MBA instead of MS or MFA. The MBA in Design Strategy at the California College of the Arts seems to be a rather interesting program. Well, for now, this is all just speculation.



Frederico Diaz’s “Adhesion” Exhibit consisted of four large sculptures, a number of paneled pieces, and a series of I-Mac monitors, as well as one very large lcd-screen, playing videos. All of the works explore the relationship between art and science, specifically, science in the context of nature.

Three of the four sculptures caught my eye first, as they are the closest to the gallery doorway, rather large—3 feet or so wide as well as tall, leap off the wall, and are completely chrome. All four sculptures depicted some sort of liquid, dripping form, turned solid. The fourth sculpture, black as opposed to chrome, formed a column of sorts in the middle of the gallery space. The sculptures did enforce the idea of a literal visualization of nature, and were extremely well crafted, however, I felt as if I had seen similar sculptures before.

The panels, the highlight of the show, are placed around the room, save for the wall with the sculptures. Two of the panels take on very large, stretched, octagonal shapes, whereas the rest are more akin to vertical rectangles. All of them, except for one of the “octagons,” are made up of a deep purplish-black material with white linear markings on it. The left octagonal piece is white with blackish markings on it—the inverse of the other octagonal piece to the right of it. The purplish-black (or white) material is actually a thermosensitive paint/paste, and the white (or black) lines formed are from heat sensors built into circuits placed underneath the paint. The white lines change in width, opacity, and intensity as both the programmed temperature as well as the atmospheric temperature change. These slow, but detailed changes in these linear, tree-like structures easily capture the viewer’s attention and interest, as well as force him/her to visually understand the intricacies of a taken-for-granted natural phenomena.

The monitors, placed off in their own secluded corner of the space, all played the same video, entitled Sakura. The film is a vaux-company’s promotional video in which technology runs the company and humans are the subjects. The film failed to grasp my immediate attention, as it moved at a rather slow pace, and I was extremely captivated by the panel pieces. However, the film did provide a nice ambient soundtrack of the future, complete with downtempo lounge music and robotic bleeps and bloops.

I feel like the video is more powerful if you watch it on your computer rather than in the gallery space. Here it is a la YouTube:


moodline logo

So, the assignment (the first given in my design class) was to document something—anything—for 24 hours, and present that item or object or what-have-you in some format—any format. As you can see, this was a very open project. My solution to this project came out as Moodline, an internet application/web site. Check it out yourself by clicking on the logo image above.


So one of the latest assignments in my graphic design class was to find at least two texts and three images and basically write briefly about how they inspire you/ why you are interested in them. As I find various articles/web sites/images that somehow affect me, I will post about them here in this blog.

For starters, cloud computing. For those of you who don’t know, cloud computing is basically server side computing, as opposed to local computing.

Cloud computing occurs when one accesses a program–say, an email program such as Gmail–over the internet. The actual program being accessed is stored on a server as opposed to your hard drive. This setup allows for many users to access the same program from wherever they have internet access. Ok, so maybe this doesn’t sound like big news, however, with mobile internet technology and faster networks, cloud computing is going to be the way of the future, or so BusinessWeek states. In a few years–maybe sooner–we are going to be able to say goodbye to a lot of programs that we take for granted on our hard drives such as word processors, presentation programs, spreadsheet programs, music programs, etc… The faster the networks get, the larger the programs we can store server-side. Other than freeing up hard drive space, cloud computing will allow the use of small mobile internet devices to access these large programs since they do not need the large drive space or processing capability to run them.

This new device/software revolution will have a huge impact on design. As already seen in the iPhone “App” business, designers will be needed more and more to be able to create slick applications for mobile devices to access server-side information. With faster connection speeds, the market for apps will grow enormously and competition will be fierce. Money will favor those apps with logically flowing visual design.


Here is an awesome project by Kacie Kinzer, a grad student at NYU’s ITP, the interactive design program at the Tisch School of Art (the school that I would love to attend some day). The project is called Tweenbots, and is an awesome take on interactive design in the urban environment.

Kinzer crafted two small, smiling, cardboard “robots” that roll around New York’s Central Park. Each robot (it’s not really a robot, as it does not take in commands and respond to them) has a motor and a set of wheels which allow it to move in a straight line. Attached to the back of the bot is a flag with a set of directions on it that humans can choose to read or not read. When encountered in the park, humans can choose to interact with the bot and send it motoring in the right direction.

Although there are not objective traits to keep track of in this particular project/experiment, it is definitely fun, as who wouldn’t want to play with a little smiling cardboard robot-thing motoring around Central Park? It would be interesting just to see what kind of people choose interact with the bots. Also, one could observe whether or not those interactions are positive or negative. If this experiment were taken further, results could be recorded, and charts and graphs could be drawn up to visualize the general friendliness/aloofness/cruelty of New Yorkers in Central Park. Interesting.