Teaching design. . .

Over the next year I will be writing and researching a great deal about design education.  My blog will serve as a place to gather thoughts and share information.

Currently I am a FT instructor at a community college. I have taught for seven years, both at a one year career school and at community college. At this juncture I am also responsible for the graphic design department which is a new experience on which my explorations will be built as I make my way through my thesis.

Playing with something different in Ps



Combining 7 images (some found, some my own) to tell a story in visually dreamlike manner. Just for fun.

Information Graphic



For Design Methodologies course – goal to create an info graphic that speaks to a cause. Research, typography, layout and illustration techniques with care to evaluate and incorporate critical information.

This is the end… | wk8-2

Every term my mind is more open to the possibilities. While all this preliminary work is at times time consuming – it serves as a good exercise.  As able I try to introduce the students to the concept of preliminary work and record keeping. They live computer and so it can be a stretch. There is no formal organization when they do preliminary work, my own is getting better yet my physical methods need improvement.  I may have a methodology now it needs refinement.  This term also expanded the writing methodology which will be most helpful when it comes time to do a thesis project.’

Thankful …

for a second chance when most needed,

a Professor who doesn’t let us off the hook (no matter how painful)

developing skill set and expanded thinking.

Goals for the week get it done!

                     Get one night of 7 plus hours of sleep.

                                                 Learn and implement into new more organized methodology.

Process Books | wk8_1

This week reviewing the three process binders included in the unit readings, I am struck with how different everyone’s binders can be.  Jane Dorns was the most inspiring in that it was casual yet tight, it was also not elaborately designed and relied on the process to work out the details. It looked like a sketch book and not a project.  In the PDF version half the spread was computer generated the other the sketch book page.

An idea from Dorn’s Process is the yellow highlighting of usable or best ideas. This is very clever simple device used to jog her own memory and process as well as guide the reader through.

April’s as well is very clean, white paper, small type and lines used to direct the flow. Again the same half page digital information and the other the sketch book.

Turpin’s book is more “designed” yet her illustrations are wonderful.  They are well done and rich with detail for thumb-nailing.


Ironic that this is the course content for the week because it has come to me that I need to sketch on half sheets of tracing paper so that I can scan them easier.  I have tried to make my process binders simple and clean and have not succeeded at this.  In past courses we were shown examples that look like we designed thought out final projects which in reality were process binders.

What I take from this is  permission to keep it clean(er) and spend more time on the ideation and less on the compilation.

I do like to sketch on tracing paper because of the smooth surface and the way the markers leave a watermarker-ish appearance. See samples from my own drawing pads. The negative to using tracing pads can be transparency of the page for replicating, the size and the sloppiness of the pages which fall out.  I also use pencil often which is very light and hard to share digitally.

All in all my preliminary work is not as elegant as it could be.  The process biner experience has been valuable and a wonderful way to follow my own train of thoughts.

More Dubberly thoughts… | wk7_2

Our processes determine the quality of our products.

If we wish to improve our products,we must improve our processes;

we must continually redesign not just our products but also the way we design.

That’s why we study the design process. To know what we do and how we do it.

To understand it and improve it. To become better designers.

Dubberly,Hugh. How do you design?, (San Francisco: Dubberly Design Office, 2005)

Two things passed my way today that got me thinking about the process and students. One was a link to a site which had 50 examples of creative brainstorming for logo’s  (noupe.com) and the above quote of Dubberly from the intro to his new book, How Do You Design.  My own process is undergoing an amazing amount of growth, I am invigorated by expansion of my knowledge and skills.  In class or shortly after a few students were hanging around and we were talking about what design education could look like. This was in response to which software to use.  In a short span of 62 credits, there is not enough time to evolve and explore further the skills obtained. Too much emphasis is on the teaching of software and not enough on thinking.

Yet as possible small steps can be made – at least for now to get students thinking.  Yet the process is lost on most. While many balk at the limitations or assignment perimeters, the hope is one day they will think back to being forced to sketch or brainstorm and  illumination will occur.