Monday, January 31, 2011

Reading Response 2: History and Theory of Design 1

Blog: IAR 221 History and Theory of Design 1/ Acropolis +Xianyang

Our class was divided into our groups for this discussion.  Each group was given a specific term from the reading passage to elaborate on its importance and how both Acropolis and the Palace at Xianyang both connected and how they differ.  My group (Pegasus) was given the word Experience and here is my response to this discussion.  Both cultures valued people, I would say through experience and the materials available, each site was constructed carefully for what worked in their environment and the experience of working with those materials.  Acropolis is built upon a mountain to keep it as a "safe"  environment as well as on a high pedestal looking down on the rest of the buildings.  The Palace at Xianyang on the other hand is placed at the center of its city to show its importance.  Each building has its own extravagant ornamentation.  Simplicity was seen as more important in Acropolis as opposed to the Palace in Xianyang.  Each building was constructed based upon how society viewed it at the time.  The layout of both buildings can easily be viewed from the geometric perspective.  Acropolis setting having a more triangular shape with most of the building leading up to the main temple.  The Palace at Xianyang can be viewed as circular with the most important part(The Palace)  in the center of the cirlce and all the other buildings going outward from that point. 

Social Networking: Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a small country located within the Carribean Sea. It borders the country of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola.  Making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries.Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,442 square kilometers (18,704 sq mi) and an estimated 10 million people.  Inhabited by TaĆ­nos since the 7th century, the territory of the Dominican Republic was reached by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, namely Santo Domingo, the country's capital and Spain's first capital in the New World.  The Dominican Republic has went through many trials and tribulations from Spanish rule, to strife with the French and Haitians, civil war, dictatorship briefly during the sixties, which was ended in the mid-sixties due to U.S.-led intervention.  The country now is under representative democracy led by Leonel Fernandez much past 1996.  Like most all the other countries in the world The Dominican Republic has also been bitten by the social networking bug.  The social networking phenomenon is taking over the world country by country and the Dominican Republic is no an exception, with Facebook and Hi5 in its top 10 of most visited websites. According to Vincenzo Cosenza, the man behind Vincos Blog, focusing on the topics of social networking, social media and photography, Facebook is the most popular social networking site in 100 out of 127 countries, reaching over 350 million users across the planet.  Cosenza recently published an interactive World Map of Social Networks that uses analyzed data from Google Trends for Websites to visually depict the most popular social networks by country. 
The map was first published in June 2009, when Facebook had more than 200 million users and was the most popular network in most places in Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States. The updated map shows Facebook's continuing trend of global domination. 
Non-English speaking parts of the world have been "colonized" by the Facebook takeover, and rival social networks such as Orkut (India), Hi5 (Cameroon, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua), Maktoob (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen), Cyworld (South Korea), Lide (Czech Republic) and Skyrock (Guadeloupe and Martinique) have been almost all but replaced by Facebook.  Some regions that have not been taken over include Russia and Kazakhstan (where social network V Kontakte dominates), China (where social network QQ is the market leader), Mongolia, Thailand, Peru, Romania and Portugal (where Hi5 is the dominant social network), and in Brazil and Estonia (where Orkut is the leading social network).  The national flower is that of the West Indian Mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni). The national bird is the Cigua Palmera or Palmchat (Dulus dominicus).
The Dominican Republic has become the Caribbean's largest tourist destination; the country's year-round golf courses are among the top attractions. In this mountainous land is located the Caribbean's highest mountain, Pico Duarte, as is Lake Enriquillo, the Caribbean's largest lake and lowest elevation. Quisqueya, as Dominicans often call their country, has an average temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) and great biological diversity.
Music and sport are of the highest importance in Dominican culture, with merengue as the national dance and song and baseball the favorite sport.

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Reading Response : Theory of Design

Illuminated Box

Our First project of the new semester for Environmental Design class is this illuminated box.  Using the materials such as corrugated cardboard or  foam core, wooden skewers and bristol board we were to create a space.  The space was to be a five-sided box (one side open for viewing).  The interior of the box was to be white.  The dimensions of the box were 12''x 12''x 18'', with one 12'' x 12'' end left open.  By using a remote light source, e.g. desk lamp, flashlight, etc., that shines through a series of openings in the box, we were to create a pattern of light (illuminated space) within the box that divides the space into four parts.  For this project I had to think three-dimensionally, including all three sets of planes:  horizontal/floor, horizontal/overhead, and vertical/wall.  For my box, I wanted to keep it simple, keep it very minimal, because in my mind I envisioned this dark space where the light would do all the talking and give the box life.  Not to mention we were then going to add in the skewers and the bristol board.  So I proceeded to cut three slender and long rectangles on one side of the box.  Those cuts then created a space that was dark, but divided into four parts by light rays seeping through.  I then had to think of a creative way to incorporate these long skinny wooden skewers.  It would be a tricky process because these skewers would then interrupt the light that was already created.  We used the skewers to articulate and modulate (selected) planes of the space to reinforce or complement the illuminated parts of spaces that were created.  As I was working with my box and trying to figure out what to do, I thought to myself, "I want to manipulate this box to do something completely different, I want it to take on a different shape than just being plain and flat on the side that rested on the ground.  So I took my skewers and lined them up with the holes that I had cut, and pierced the box on the top side from the box.  The skewers then went through the inside and came out on the opposite side of the holes.  I did the same number of skewers as I did with the holes (three).  I then took three more skewers and did the exact same thing to the bottom of the box.  This technique created a new skeletal half box that allowed me to pitch my box onto an angle.  This allowed my box to have a corner of the box on the bottom and give my box a sense of floating.
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New Header for Blog

Now that we are turning over a new leaf with the new year, a new semester has started.  New classes, new formats, new ideas and challenges to take on.  Over the break I was inspired by different things I read, saw, and took part in.  Our first assignment for Design Visualization II was to design a new header for our blogs.  This header was pretty open ended with creativity.  We were instructed to pick a font that way liked and helped represent us as designers.  Along with the font we were to draw an image.  Something that inpsired as well as helped represent us as well.  For my font I wanted to choose something classic, but with an edge.  Something that could stand the test of time.  So I chose ENGRAVERS MT for the font.  For my image design on my header it was a tricky.  I was so undecided, because how could one image evoke what represents one person.  People are so complex and there is so much to choose from to narrow down to one image.  I then decided to go with something fun and playful, but artistic as well as something that I would never regret.  I was inspired by designer Zac Posen at the time when I started, because I had watched a talkshow on television where he was a guest.  He was showing how he was using Ombre techniques not only in his high fashion designs, but also in his home as well.  Ombre is a that takes a very rich deep color and it fades to a lighter shade  here in the photo is an example of pillow cases that have been ombred with shades of green.  The ombre technique can be seen in everything from clothing, to hair, to fabrics used in home goods.  I see it as very cutting edge as well as fun, warm, and appeasing to the eye.  For my header I decided to give it an ombre feel using shades of blue.  I chose blue because it is one of my favorite colors, I wear alot of blue because it suits my skin complexion as well as matches my eyes. 
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