Field trip to Cooper Hewitt Design Museum

The New exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt-The senses, features many works incorporating our five senses into design elements of everyday objects, such as clocks for the visually impaired, and food bowls for those with Alzheimer’s.

While trying to fully admire each work and making sure to keep a slow pace, i came upon one work entitled “Taste of Music (1002)“designed by Bruno Mesz, made in 2011. The work featured a set of black speakers, each tucked into a corner of the window sill it rested on, with a description before it, reading “Four buttons play short musical compositions inspired by the sense of taste”. After i pressed the first small white button labeled sour, what came was a series of notes that i thought maybe could represent sour to the artist. This work compelled me because of how subjective it was. In other pieces i saw, they mostly relied on touch, sight, or audio, but what this piece does is different, it tries to take something we taste and translate that into audio, which in my mind, doesn’t work. When you’re first introduced to it, you are immediately given a name to the sound, in a way its almost saying “this is sour, and that’s a fact” or “this is what sweet sounds like” and the audience is expected to go “that’s right!” but that isn’t how it works. It would have been better to have the viewer decide for themselves what sound goes to what taste, or even make it a surprise. But yes, i did enjoy this particular work, to create something we taste into a piece of audio is hard, and i’m sure to some the artist really captured the taste.

Another work i noticed at the gallery was a large textured canvas, maybe 4ft by 2 ft “Organoid Organic Rose Blossoms Wallcovering, 2016″, by Martin Jehart, made up of flower petals, and Alpine hay mixed with herbs (not specified which herbs). From afar it just looks like a textile pattern, but when getting up close, you can smell the aroma of said flowers and herbs and alpine. I thought this piece was, to put it simply, really pretty. I thought the idea of introducing a natural aroma into a room, which source was more organic than a tin can spraying chemicals was very eco-friendly. However i noticed some of class mates weren’t really observing this piece as much as i was,  not that that’s a bad thing.  Maybe to them, it was plain. Or it wasn’t really breaking new ground, which might be true. But i found the use of flowers and other natural smells, especially in a large frame, was very welcoming and beautiful.



A woman who is the head of a family or tribe.
An older woman who is powerful within a family or organization.
From my glossument book I heard the owl call my name
Origin: early 17th century: from Latin mater ‘mother,’ on the false analogy of patriarch .
Example:  My great grandmother was the matriarch of our family.

Discussing “Ways of Seeing” with our different roles

Congratulations to you , our first group of Role 1 posters, for posting about Part 1 of “Ways of Seeing”! Now everyone who signed up to respond can do so. If you need to remember what this whole Roles thing is or how this assignment will work, check out this previous post I made describing what you need to do and when.

Here are the Role 1 posts: from @vhenny space mind, from @bribrianna Brianna M, from @airy Air (E.N.). @rcortes, you were also going to post a Role 1 post–there’s still time today or even early tomorrow morning–so long as the next group has time to read, process, and add their work.

Role 2 folks: that’s @garence, @sruan, and @ezraab. Get ready to post something by Wednesday (again, early Thursday morning won’t destroy us in this first round, especially with the holiday, but we’ll get on  a stricter schedule as this becomes more comfortable to each of us). Read the above posts and choose one to respond to. If someone has already responded, please move on to another until they’re all responded to once before doubling up (this is more a concern for Role 3 this time, since everyone wanted that).

Role 3 folks: that’s everyone else (unless you decide to add to Role 2 just to balance things out). You’ll add your responses by Thursday (or early on Friday, again, just this time). Remember to choose a post that doesn’t already have a Role 3 response until all have one, then make sure it doesn’t already have 2. We want to keep things even, so everyone gets to enjoy the conversation!

After this round, we’ll move on to Part 2 of “Ways of Seeing,” then Part 3. We’ll check in before Part 4 to see if we need to adjust. Your role for each shifts down one (Role 1 becomes Role 2, Role 2 becomes Role 3, and Role 3 becomes Role 1).

This might sound complicated, but it will be exciting to have more of our work read and responded to than all of us talking at once with no one listening!


Reminders for ENG 1101, M9/17

Project #1 was due by the end of the day last Wednesday, 9/12. Be sure you submitted it on the FYLC site, choosing “2018 Spevack and Rosen” as your category.

The Project #1 Cover Letter was due by Thursday, 9/13, in my mailbox in N512. I only received a few. Please have these available for me at the start of class.

For Project #2, we got off to a slow start because we didn’t have time to draft in class. Some of you have started drafting on our site, which is great. Take some time to draft on your own, and we will do some in-class drafting on Monday 9/17 as well. Please have spent some time thinking about all parts of the assignment, and have chosen an avatar. When you write about it, it would be good to include a larger version of the image than the thumbnail of you in your avatar, if only for the purposes of analyzing the image.

You will have completed the viewing part of your homework before tomorrow: Watch “Ways of Seeing” Part 1video. However, we have not discussed our blogging guidelines. Please come to class prepared to discuss the video, and we will discuss our blogging guidelines for the semester.

Finally, I asked that everyone be up-to-date with glossary entries. Since tomorrow starts Week 3 for us, that means you should have completed 2 glossary entries so far. We will do some critiques, so it’s essential we have a good supply to work with!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reply here or to get in touch with me directly. Thanks to anyone who asked questions because that helps me know what isn’t clear.

See you soon!

Writing about Avatars

For Wednesday’s class, I’ve asked everyone to read three pieces about avatars: “Professional protocol when choosing a Skype avatar“; Chad Renando’s “An avatar analysis: Choosing your profile picture“; and Michelle Venetucci Harvey’s “Design avatars that make sense — and be more inclusive in the process.” These are different types of readings, from message board to researched article. What ideas stand out to you? Think about this both from the point of view of someone choosing an avatar as well as from the point of view of a design student.

To complete the written portion of the homework assignment, add comments to this post that respond to this question: What ideas from these readings stand out to you as you consider choosing an avatar that represents you on the OpenLab, and as you are now officially Communication Design students. Choose two ideas to write about in a comment, and if someone has already written about the idea you wanted to write about, find something to say that adds to what that classmate (or those classmates) have written, rather than just repeating. You can use the @ to refer to someone else in the class ( e.g. you can mention @jrrosen when asking me a question), so please use that feature to refer to previous points or to bring someone back into the conversation. That means that you should expect to come back into the conversation, commenting on at least 2-3 classmates’ ideas.

We haven’t yet discussed our blogging guidelines and goals, which means we also haven’t set when work for our class is due online. Let’s say for this time, you should add your comment with enough time for classmates to comment back by the start of our class–we will adjust that deadline in the near future for upcoming work.