Urban Artifacts: phase 1

Some people come to new york to see the big building, and others come to see the urban style of new york. if you really pay attention while walking you can find beauty in random things in the city.

The first three pictures has an ambiguous ground figure relationship, an ambiguous ground figure relationship is when it can be hard to see the subject from the background.

The last three has a stable ground figure relation because you can clearly see the difference between the subject and the background.


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.



“dominated by or emphasizing masculine interests or a masculine point of view — compare ” – Merriam-Webster dictionary
The word was encountered through the reading “Design avatars that make sense — and be more inclusive in the process” by Michelle Venetucci Harvey.

The sentence that this word was used in was “This tendency to view men’s bodies, thoughts, and experiences as more normative than women’s is a phenomenon called androcentrism. Even in contexts that we think of as being gender and race neutral, andro and eurocentric biases lead to detrimental outcomes in medicine, business, and education — and in online communities.”

The author was trying to convey the idea how western society prefers males to be the icon. She also used the example of Pac man, a character that was created as a male before having a female opposite. Androcentrism was a word utilized to describe this social behavior or trend that masculinity is the norm and the author wanted to bring attention to this issue that gender-neutral avatars are not actually neutral. Michelle may have wanted to suggest that companies who have default icons should avoid a silhouette of a person. Instead, they could use an abstract auto-generated image, animals, initials and maybe even the company logo like Open lab is currently using.

Definition    l   Example of androcentric avatars   l   Example of non-androcentric avatar


Urban Artifacts: Phase 1

It seems very straight forward that these images above are old dried flatten gums sticked on the street everywhere and it’s nothing new for New Yorkers. Back in the early 2000s and earlier, people would throw their gum all over the street floors instead of a garbage bin provided on every corners because most of them were lazy or no garbage we available. Therefore, time to time the gum gets dried, dirty and flatten as people kept stepping on it without realizing and these gums will be stuck on the same spot forever. In the other hand, some artist can think of something to redesign the image into something else never seen before. And of course the dried sticky flatted gum gives a organic shape as if it was a black & white made stetch hand . This three images that look very similar are consider a Stable Figure.

The other three picture on the second row  are consider a Ambiguous figure because the small figure that interrupts the outside image gives a organic shape and it every figure are always different. It could be a old peeling wall, a left over sticker stain on a wooden door or a cracked floor.

Urban Artifacts Phase 1

When you’re in New York everyone is always running to get to their destinations so stains, as well as the dropped accessories, can be proof of this hustle. The student came out of Starbucks and after trying to put down their books, they spilled the coffee. They then later proceeded to buy a replacement refreshment such as a soda. However, after looking at the time the student began to panic and broke the can top. Giving up on the broken lid they threw it on the floor out of frustration and it exploded. While rushing to class they dropped their bracelet and after taking a turn to City Tech the keychain fell off their bag because it got caught onto the trashcan’s design.

The first photo is geometric and the rest are organic shapes. The first three photos are ambiguous because there is almost an equal amount of positive and negative space. For example, the first image has an equal amount of blue to black and the two stains are almost equal in different shades of gray causing our eyes to go back and forth. The last three are stable because there are clear off color objects from the gray concrete. The can top, bracelet, and occasional gum stand out from the concrete and catch your attention.

3 hours + editing

ENG 1101: Class notes

How do we annotate a text?

  • highlighter: important words; phrases you can use as evidence; words you don’t understand; main idea or main argument
  • notes in the margin: summary; make connections; definitions of words you learned; your opinions/ideas in conversation (or argument!) with the author’s; questions (clarification OR springboard)
  • underline
  • double underline
  • squiggly line
  • star
  • bracket: something you agree with or want to call attention to, etc
  • + and – for pros and cons
  • circle: words to look up; key terms
  • arrows: addendum to margin notes; connect ideas across the page
  • notes at the end

What are our ground rules for collaboration?

  • clear communication
  • ask questions
  • make sure everyone understands you
  • time management
  • be open to different ideas
  • roles: work an equal amount, but not all in the same modes
  • challenge ourselves
  • teamwork: we all bring different strengths together to reach our goals
  • enjoy
  • be respectful

Look at avatars on the OpenLab.

  • what do you think individual members’ avatars represent? groups’ avatars?
  • first look at the image, then at the profile

Introducing ourselves

Although we introduced ourselves in class briefly, and we’ll introduce ourselves more formally in Project #2, please write an introduction here as a way to help us get to know each other better. Aim to write 250-300 words. This is your chance to say all the things you forgot to say in class, or to say again all the things you crafted and said brilliantly. You might add what your academic interests are, what the highlight of  your high school experience was, what you hope to find at City Tech, etc.

If you have successfully created an OpenLab account, log in before you comment so the system can recognize you. Otherwise, fill in the required information and get started!

Check back again and reply to at least 3 of your classmates, asking questions or letting them know about shared interests.

Ways of Seeing

Welcome! This First Year Learning Community for COMD students taking COMD1100 & ENG1101 will include field trips, hands-on projects, and cross-sensory experiences to help you discover and express your creative vision.

Faculty: Jody Rosen (ENG1101) & Jenna Spevack (COMD1100)