Friday, September 5, 2014

reading responses // updated

We are Superman
I moved to KC for college, so I've only been here a few years, but I still remember always hearing to avoid the Troost area, and to be especially careful when I was over there. I do remember being shocked the first I really spent time on Troost, at how sad the area seemed to me, and how it seemed to have a lot of character back in the day. So in the movie when they explained how Troost was a very prominent part of the city before the whole J.C. Nichola debacle I thought it made a ton of sense, and found it disheartening that one person could make such a huge change that we will have problems fixing for generations. I think that KC has made good steps towards breaking the barrier but it looks like there is still a lot to go.

"Design Thinking: A Useful Myth"
So I'll use this as the perfect transition to lead into that article. I thought it was really interesting generally I find myself falling into the trend of "making pretty things" but I like that there can be more to it than that. Design is critical thinking, and creating new insightful ideas and making them come to life. I especially liked that the article stressed that it is also used by more than just graphic designers, but also by all fields of work. I always fascinated by those that can program and do highly analytical work, and I like thinking that I can relate to them through "design-thinking".

"Good Citizenship"
This article seemed kind of pessimistic to me, which made it kind of hard to read, but I guess they were playing devil's advocate for those negative points. One of the other things that struck me is that the refer to "design thinking" in this article in the way that the "Design Thinking: A Useful Myth" described.

"What Does Designing for “Good” Mean?"
It's nice to see that design is coming around to impacting people for the better. I thought it was interesting that the article stressed that it is the duty of designers to shift their focus toward ethical and socially responsible practices and products. While I think it is true, I think that the article should mention that it is more than designers', it should be about designers collaborating with all sorts of other people to accomplish these tasks.

"Designing for Social Change"
I think this book is a great guideline for designing for helping others, and it makes some really good points like all the sections. I think that it really clearly spells out that it's not about the design (it is, but it isn't at the same time) but it's really about the community and seeing how you can best help them, even if that means talking about talking about controversial issues. But it also comes back to amplifying that communities strengths and voice and taking it to a whole new level that can impact them and other outside of their community. I particularly liked the book cover project and how the designer focused on archetypal stores all sort of kids can relate to, and I think it was very successful having kids be his audience because they don't have stereotypes permanently set in their minds. Also it was just a beautiful project

"Graphic Agitation: Social and political graphics since the sixties”
Propaganda I think is an issue I could sit and have a discussion with someone for a very long time. I think it's interesting that vintage propaganda is now considered art to most people, when in the past it purpose was to sway people's opinions and be "informational", not to be hung up for the sole purpose of visual appeal. I was really intrigued that this article brought up propaganda for women's suffrage especially because of gender rolls. Men were still predominately artist and designs at this time, and they were the ones making posters for a women's movement, and they were ones with more respected voices at the time. I also think it's interesting that these posters showed women still somewhat passive and maternal, aka not really what I expect from propaganda. These were the opposite of dissent I suppose. When I think back to my history of graphic design class we talked about how during war times more women started making propaganda to influence men to go enlist, and the piece I'm imagining had kind of a similar approach by its non-militaristic style, but shamed men by pointing out they would not be considered men if they didn't follow the typical manly stereotype of going to war. (wish I could find the piece to show, i can't seem to remember the artist).

Well, there was my gender roll bunny trail, but overall I think that propaganda can be a good tool for designers to sway opinions, it just needs to be highly considered.

“Design of Dissent: Introduction & Interview with Milton Glaser”
I'm struggling with the meaning of dissent early on, which made this interview really hard for me to understand in the end. After the class discuss I finally got the meaning  of dissent, how its going against the norm, or "sticking it to the man" sort of attitude. After learning this I think that is a useful way to make impactful design, but I think sometimes it can be a over used and exaggerated. I do think it's interesting how it used to be extremely controversial in the past and now days its kind of expected and some people's entire purpose in the art world, like Banksy. I also thought that the article had some interesting conversations about amateurs designing and how professionals with an education can make more appealing forms but amateurs can sometimes make unexpected impactful pieces that utilize dissent because they are closer to the issue.

“Graphic Authorship,”
With copyrights, patens, and big business these days authorship and ownership go hand in hand with designing. I think it's really interesting that authorship calls out a responsibility to the work you are creating. It's not just designing things that just go into the ether, your design is now something that you should be held credible to as an author. I think this article in general has left me feeling unsure how we define these thin lines between design and authorship, but maybe we don't need to.

“Towards Critical Autonomy, Or Can Graphic Design Save Itself?”

“The Designer as Catalyst,”

I thought this article was really interesting because it really places the importance on how designers can really get the action moving. I especially like this article because it got me to thinking about how much power a designer can wield. Sight is one of the first senses that impacts people, and as designers we can make things that grasp peoples attention from the first moment, and that can be one powerful tool that we should utilize, especially in cases of designing for social change. I did find this article to be a bit jargon-y though, which is a doubled a edged sword, it makes the article seem educated but I think that it made the article seem kind of snooty and like it was trying too hard.

“Now That We Can Do Anything, What Will We Do?”

“He Might Be Giant: Shepard Fairey,”

“Adbuster: Veronique Vienne Inteviews Kalle Lasn,”

“Why Being Less Bad is No Good” and “Eco-Effectiveness”

“Catherine Gray on sustainable business”

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