1230 w3 MakerLabs

This week we met at a coffee shop before our excursion. We had a round table discussion about the first project that seemed pretty productive. I’ve narrowed the scope of my project and can now begin to work out details and function.
What I found interesting was how much some of the ideas developed from last week. I think one of the longer parts of the design process can be the idea development. Ideas form and your head constantly fits pieces together and sorts good from bad.
Inspiration, consideration, and idea articulation impose upon the idea.

We left the shop and moseyed on over to Makerlabs.
We had a chance to look at the facilities and ask questions, which opens up a world of possibilities and resources to us as designers. I like the idea of having a space like this where ideas and processes are up to the scrutiny and input of likeminded people. I’ll definitely be considering the space when I am at a point.

1230 w2 its a process

Regular course related posts for DEPD 1230 ‘Transformative Thinking’

This last week was Vancouver Design Week. On Thursday I went to the VDW edition of PechaKucha. It was a great line up centred on design and as such there were some really intriguing designers, architects, and creatives. Some of the more interesting points were around having fun and how real experiences inspire design.

I also really enjoyed a talk by Isabelle Swiderski of Seven25 about designers addressing our changing urban culture. From what I wrote down, her blueprint of sustainable operations prioretizing People, Planet, and Profit gave interesting insight into the potential future. The idea of designers, entrepreneurs and philanthropists of all sorts working to create desirable jobs with values that benefit the objective group as well as driven employees you would be galvanizing.

On Friday we made our first class excursion to a Creative Mornings talk by local artist Reese Terris. The topic of process was explored through anecdotes and examples of his artistic expressions of critical observations. The idea that doing equals learning was a great reminder of the potential that each day presents. He also talked about the idea of presenting materials as themselves, and letting the piece inform itself and its own development. This made me think about the context surrounding things, and how much truth belongs to the object itself, how much to its surroundings? 

After the talk we all met up at a coffee shop and sat around discussing our fruit project proposals (see previous 1230 post) where some really great conversations took place. Here we see how beneficial the discussion of ideas is in the design process. The level of development from everyones ideas varied; from vague leads based on the produce type, well formed pictures of the end product, or just the slightest inkling of an interesting concept. Regardless of what we each brought everyone left with; a clearer sense of direction, and a lot more to think about.

On Saturday I made a stop at two open studios. It’s nice to see designers studios and operations, because aside from space, equipment and talent, the most obvious differentiating factor to me was the sole fact that they were doing it. They were engaging fully in their own unique and surely variable processes, and seeing projects (whether for clients or self-directed) through to full fruition.

DEPD 1230 Transformative Thinking

Project 1 Fruit Punch: Design inspired by nature

Marc Wilkinson

Stage 1 Proposal

The first DEPD 1230 project requires us to heavily consider a piece of produce and allow it to heavily influence us in creating 3 related products inspired by aspects of the vegetation. Colour, material, structure, context & symbolism are some of the aspects from which to draw inspiration.

Through the initial idea generation phase I’ve identified the actions and movements of interacting with the produce as particularly interesting. I intend to pay special attention to the subconscious motions attached to consuming these fruit and vegetables. I want to further examine the accessibility to the foods both as a consumer on various levels and through the packaging that nature provides, in order to provide depth and continuity in theme.

Exactly which species I will make the focus of the project is still a mystery, and finding a single category with which I can encompass the ideas with remains another challenge.

For motion I’ve been looking at the peeling of bananas, the twisting of avocado and the folding of the tomatillo wrapper. In addition to whole fruit form studies, some shapes within food have reminded me of the shapes of some products. One example being the undeniable resemblance between grapefruit morsels and fanny packs. The avocado is interesting because of the new dimensions it takes on after it’s been halved, quite literally and figuratively.

The next step will be to refine the ideas into a solidified set of three ideas within the same universe. It will take some work on my part to ignore the ideas I am most eager to pursue and take a risk.

PechaKucha Night Vancouver vol. 34

The special design-centered Vancouver Design Week PechaKucha occured at the Rogue. It was a meaningful reminder of the broad scope of design. The idea of using our time to make real marked progress and growth, and finding a better way through better understanding.

One recurrent theme of the evening revolved around play; the experience. When the furthest removed thing in some poorly designed processes is that thing itself, its vital to step back and reconsider the practicality of approach. 

I feel inspired to keep doing what I love, to make mistakes and follow my instincts without fear of failure. I want to remain critical but allow myself to trust instinct. 

There was also some ideas on the business of design, and the outlook seems good. I liked the notion of life being a designed construct that can be changed and improved upon. I was encouraged thinking about the various companies and organizations changing thinking to make the world a better place with sustainable new models for the world. Isabelle Swiderski mentioned ‘a story based on fact’ and the creation of value centric jobs, for which there is sure to be demand. I like the idea of building an economy on the basis of benefiting others.

Stay up on this too see if I get into any more Vancouver Design Week fun.

KICKSPOTTING: ANIAN mfg. goes Off the Grid

It’s not often I would point to a crowdfunding platform other than KS, or a project other than a product, but I think this is important.

ANIAN manufacturing currently embody the DIY attitude, local values and shift away from industrialization that it rippling through our culture. The Vancouver Island based outfit has grown from local shapers into clothing manufacturing and a hub to the South island surfing community.

Their storefront and manufacturing are done in the dirty forgotten corners of Downtown Victoria. From the construction of the buildings to handling their current power needs, ANIAN has managed to stay off the grid and provide for their companies own needs independently. 

Now they want to take it to the next level by improving their solar capacity. Please support their campaign and ensure they can stay warm and productive through the winter and keep pushing local, independent business to the next level.

CHECK OUT THEIR CAMPAIGN HERE and don’t miss a chance to do good and get some Made in Canada gear.

1230 w1 the stories we tell

Regular course related posts for DEPD 1230 ‘Transformative Thinking’

Objects tell a narrative. Without context or history, how might materials, form, and construction speak for themselves? What other factors contribute to make an object beautiful, and to whom?

This weeks take was an excerpt from Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling, a social psychologist. It introduces 3 category of common personal objects; identity claims, feeling regulators and behavioural residue. Once categorized the objects can inform into the owners connection with these possessions. What do my objects say about me?


this is who you are - An eye level onslaught of identity claims indicate that I’ve probably tried Red Bull. Guests should have no doubt that I am an extreme individual. An old novelty sign indicates that I have siblings, likely older. The placement was probably subconscious, but indicates that you should go no further - behind the ‘X-Games-terior’ is personal. 


don’t forget where you came from - This pillow came from my parents house. After the 2013 Alberta Floods the basement was in a transitional period. The fabric is cool to the touch and soft and everything that one cold hope for in a pillow. The zodiac print is, or was, one of my mom’s oldest fabrics. It warms my heart just to think of how important these pillows have become to me. This feeling regulator transports me over the Rocky mountains back to the foothills, to hot days finding cool shelter on the basement couch. This pillow is kept at my de facto seat on the couch. Another one sits unused at the opposite end of an underused sectional that I can see from my computer. 


we can only move forwards - This fragrance was acquired from a street vendor in Fulda, Germany. It hangs typists left from my home workstation. Another feeling regulator queues more recent priorities. The smell and sight of this take me back to Hesse while it’s still pages away on the calendar underneath. A blank calendar filled with behavioural residue. Paradox, or a perfect metaphor for good intent and poor execution? A completely empty planner makes me think I’m eager to organize and get on schedule but letting life get in the way, too often stopping to smell the flowers.

What would you want the things you design to say about you? Will they say the same things in a different context?

socially conscious design

Dos’ and Dont’s of socially conscious design by Cansu Akarsu

- Socialize with the culture you are designing for 
- Get your hands dirty; prototype
- Document each step of the design process 
- Bring in multiple prototypes to get comparative feedback

- Get defensive about your idea. When asking for feedback from users, designers should not defend the idea they have presented, but be open to as much critical feedback as possible.