AIB Design: Visual Research

Student Interviews
January 22, 2010, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

During the December 2nd class I sat down with 7 students: Dylan Store, Sam Reaume, Gerald Hastings, Katie Door, Cody Ward, Beth Frost-Bennett, and Ryan L’Italin, to ask them detailed questions about their development and experiences in the Visual Research course.

Here were their responses:

1. Now that your in the final stages of the process, what tools are you know using for your project?

Dylan: Fooling around with stuff in Photoshop. I don’t feel like I have a solid campaign yet but I’m using images that I’ve collected to build off of.

Sam: My work is more grungy, so I did litter studies where I looked at the marks they made to see how they could communicate.

Gerald: Video and since last class I’ve been using screen overlays to my advantage, even in my presentation.

Katie: Keeping the research in mind.

Cody: Right now, mainly Illustrator, Photoshop and perhaps Flash in the future. Possibly even iMovie. I also look at resources to get as much information as possible, I think its good to see how other designers and illustrators produce their work.

Beth: Everything is transfered to the computer and is less hand touched. I started with paints and photographs.

Ryan: Well I guess for technical tools, I’m using Adobe programs and the Wacom tablet to make it.

2. In the beginning of the course, the class was engaged in more research-intensive work. How has this project been a benefit to you?

Dylan: It helped me to learn more about to go green movement and how to be more responsible.

Sam: It helped me to become connected with the work and get a better grasp on what to expect and what to use.

Gerald: I think everything I’m doing now is based out of the old research.

Katie: Its given me more information about what I’m doing, so you’re not winging it and have more credibility.

Cody: I’d say it gives me a lot to draw from. I’m not usually one to slow things down but its helped me to slow things down. Although its frustrated me at the same time, I probably wouldn’t have reached this point had I not.

Beth: Just the ability to explore whatever you wanted was a little overwhelming sometimes but it was good to know you could bring anything to get there.

Ryan: I think its made me more thoughtful. I really hadn’t considered the outcome in the process. I would come up with a couple ideas that I liked and would approach them. Now I’m thinking more about different methods and tying it together.

3. What are the most important tools from your research right now? How has that changed over time?

Dylan: First, I went into skateboarding and biking, then into the school idea and lost the first idea. Now Then later bringing the first idea back.

Sam: It pretty much stayed the same, though it developed more clean and less vague.

Gerald: Video and technology is going to help draw from the mood board, research helping all together in every way. The fashion references I’m drawing from the interviews. For a time I was only using certain parts of my research and now I’m using a different part. I’m hoping that I’m not reaching to far out. The main thing for me is getting hands on the technology to articulate my ideas.

Katie: At first I thought about pop culture references and now I’m referencing images that I’ve taken around Boston.

Cody: Initially music video studies was the major part of my research(color palette) asing the texture by photography that was taken by high school students. I took typography references from the t-shirts in street wear.

Beth: Photos and color. Its what held my attention and its easy to work on something when you have a personal connection to it.

Ryan: Well, I guess for right now definitely the color and the texture. After a really good critque that got me for being intentional, I felt broken down and took pictures of everything that conveyed urban environment. I took advantage of noticing not as much the pictures but the idea of going back to high school, like tie-die.

4. How are you remaining focsed on the mission at hand, to promote and excite students about the Boston Green Academy and green technology? How do you keep from getting off-track from your goal?

Dylan: I tried to work with images that excited me but also other people, so that I could get other people involved.

Sam: (Laughs) I don’t know. I guess not allowing yourself to think of others stuff and trying to stay excited about it.

Gerald: I think that what I’m doing is trying to excited and inform in one go. It excites in looking but as you look deeper you get something from it. I’m using this strategy instead of separating it.

Katie: I live behind Fenway High School, and when I look out the window I think about the reasons that I’m designing this project for. Its for the kids, and that motivates me.

Cody: I’d say its just apart o everyday routine. I try to incorporate it into a majority of what I’m doing. Into everyday things like noticing more branding done by different companies using packaging design. It’s very popular. I don’t know if its prevalent but I’m just noticing it more.

Beth: I tend to keep it in my head all the time. When I’m doing other things it keeps recycling the ideas.

Ryan: I guess its part organizing, sitting down, and thinking about it, being in that state of mind.

5. What was the most valuable advice you recieved from a critique?

Dylan: I received it in the last one. They liked my idea and I got alot of ideas from it. I thought I was going in the wrong direction at first but people liked it. I feel more comfortable now using the images.

Sam: Not making it so digitized, which took awhile to do. Putting in more marks.

Gerald: I had a personal critique with Professor Sansone that really helped me. I used to try to work things out in my head, and because of that I was not getting the message across visually so people can understand. And now that I’ve tried a new approach I think my works getting better.

Katie: To branch out and keep loose.

Cody: Probably when we first finished the research aspect of the course. There was a two week period where we discussed visual identities and it really impacted my view of identity and now its expanded.

Beth: Just getting it outside of me and getting feedback. Sometimes someone looking at your work sees it different than you.

Ryan: Honestly, it was this devastating moment when I had a talk with Professor Sansone about the controversy that could be interpreted in my eco-sapien concept, that dealt with evolution, Darwin, a monkey, and the banana. We were given like 5 days to get the next phase of the project done and had to come up with a new concept.

6. What do you feel you’ve gained the most out over the course of the class.

Dylan: I learned to get an idea you have to keep going at it, keep doing iterations.

Sam: Patience. I didn’t realize so much work went into it, as well as time management.

Gerald: I think its gotta be that when you stop and slow down you come up with better solutions using research to help as a problem solving tool.

Katie: Can’t be enough research.

Cody: Just being able to do an actual campaign. This is the first time I’ve had to design an advertising campaign. My first year it was more foundations design.

Beth: Just more experience with this process. It was more broken down in Language and Form(graphic design course).

Ryan: Humility, whan I had her(Professor Sansone) last year  I ended pretty strong but when I started in this class I kind of got kicked down a couple pegs and basically never accepted anything as done.I started to not just go on design websites or look at magazines for a certain look and started going back into my binder to use those references.

7. What are you the most excited about for this project?

Dylan: To get a finished product that really excites me, and bringing in objects like a shirt of skateboard, something solid.

Sam: Being over and showing off  the work.

Gerald: I will be excited to get what I want to happen.

Katie: Seeing everybody elses final and seeing the process of where they began to where we came to.

Cody: I’m excited for the end, not in a “I don’t wanna be doing this” kind of way but to see other students work and the jury. I don’t know how its going to be so I’m looking forward to it.

Beth: Being done with it and being able to look back at this for reference for future projects.

Ryan: The presentation. Id like to present to the jury for thwo reasons 1.) To get a feel for a environement of presenting to a real committee 2) If someone’s design is chosen for the campaign it would present the ability to see it exist outside of the classroom.

8. What are you least excited about for the project?

Dylan: Trying to get this all finished up.

Sam: Getting there, having to finish everything and anticipating the hours of work. Its like a marathon you know its going to be hard work.

Gerald: The work to do. I have a feeling its just going to be mentally taxing.

Katie: The presentation. I have anxiety but I am excited with anticipation.

Cody: I would say being done. I’ll probably be able to create a funtional deadline that was my goal. The deadline was rough.

Beth: I worry that mine isn’t as “campaigny” than others rather it’s more decorative and I’m just using the schools name while some others are using catch phrases. I don’t want to risk being offensive, it’s not like I’m selling ipods.

Ryan: If the project didn’t receive any feedback at all,  positive or negative.

9. What was the most challenging obstacle that you had to get over to get to where you are now, or do you feel your still engaging with that obstacle?

Dylan: I’m still trying to get over doing the iterations, and staying on the iterations so I can have something to show.

Sam: Trying to connect my research to my final project.

Gerald: My obstacle would be to let people into my head, now I just need to move forward with that.

Katie: Me. Knowing about work and being okay, I still feel a little stingy but its lessened a little.

Cody: Getting out of the whole overly designed structure of producing work and how to explore more and do more things.

Beth: Sometimes its easy for me to get tired of what I’m working on, and sit down and say “No, I’m not working on this” even though when I’d sit down and be motivated to work.

Ryan: I’m still engaging with letting go of producing tight work, and sometimes the time management factor as well. Sometimes you can get really into a certain part of the project and not focus on others. I find that I’m working against my own need to design and still create work that I can respect and that other people can respect.

10. How has making 50 iterations in this class give you a wealth of resources to choose from?

Dylan: I played around a lot with different textures. I wanted to incorporate some of that and I took a lot of good pictures.

Sam: It was a little bit of a stretch using trial & error and combing them into a final piece.

Gerald: Yes, but I don’t think I went with just one, its been a combination of iterations blowing up into one. But I think they helped a lot.

Katie: It showed me how many ideas can come up, and you can see your own process.

Cody: I guess it gave me the chance to toy with different ideas. 50 is such a random number, but it did help me. I wouldn’t have the stuff I have now without that.

Beth:Yeah definitely, it mad me realize that there can be slight changes and still be a different iteration. It sounds difficult but its not such a big deal.

Ryan: It was a challenge but I did enjoy  the iterations. It was a mix of research/explore and doing what things that I had been wanting to do. And it basically gave us freedom. I feel I work the best in that situation because it was nice to think of different ideas and show variations. Being able to be broad but slightly cohesive. It was easy to then see a probable campaign from that. That’s how I ended up coming up with my final visual identity, I saw one representation from the 50.

Observation: After interviewing each of the students it’s evident that they have gained a significant amount of confidence and understanding of design through visual research and through developing design strategies that reflect the content that they’ve collected. It’s also certain that as these students prepare for their final project presentations they will also have a wealth of references to draw from to discuss the relevance of their design decisions.

–Lauren Cross, Graduate Assistant