Wednesday, February 4, 2009

reflect : deduce : speculate : observe for success

the fabric from which we tell the world about our stories comes from multiple lines of thread. each thread stands as an artifact on its own but when woven together signifies the ways that every aspect of our life – our place in the world, our classes, and our observations – completes the picture. many of you wrote in your blogs “the whole is a sum of its parts” (or something similar), it becomes evident that the observations you collect in your opus should tie to what’s happening in design, your life (at many scales and contexts), and your work. each week’s prompts provide a framework for viewing | speculating | deducing what you find relevant | thoughtful | significant.

the opus project and your individual blogs offer your voice and ideas as one more layer or thread in the many voices and stories you will hear this semester. how you frame those thoughts and images illuminates to those who read them what you make of it all. be careful how you draw your reader’s attention to your work…what makes the most sense to include as an illustration, as an observation, as a through-thread in all of your work. not every illustration should be a scan of an entire journal page nor just a single image. not every annotation should be merely description nor synthetic sweep…strive to represent all kinds of layers in the warps and wefts of your design fabric as you select, edit, and re-tell the stories that you have lived each week in history class, and in your other courses.

rebecca pryor links iarc to psychology through a pictorial dialogue of good + evil. yes, there is life outside of iarc...and, yes, you should acknowledge that in your writing and in your images. now that's unity.

a sure bet to make us happy would be to utilize your reflection to do the difficult work of thinking deeply and sharing those observations, speculations, and deductions. a well-written conclusion for the week is fine, particularly if it is one in which you consider areas OUTSIDE OF but CONNECTED TO class that tells something more about what you are thinking…but does not simply regurgitate the assigned vocabulary in dry and unfeeling prose.

jeff linn's post on multi-view connects outward from courses to his own work : a great example to emulate.

what would be better than a weekly conclusion would be writing that moves beyond the prompts and tells your readers how the material you addressed in your post affects YOU as a designer or appreciator of design. from the history/theory perspective, this means that you have to digest the material in class and in the readings, apply your growing knowledge about humanity’s efforts to shape the built world, and articulate a causal relationship that links past to present. for an explicit example about the deeper level thinking we seek, take a look at the stonehenge post above that we excerpted from patrick's blog

good luck!

--gweni + patrick

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