Jenna Spevack | COMD3504_OL08 | FALL 2021

Discussion: Week 6

Why theory? Designers read about design in order to stimulate growth and change in their own work. Critical writing also inspires new lines of questioning and opens up new theoretical directions. Such ideas draw people together around common questions.

Ellen Lupton

After reviewing the Week 6 Agenda, share your Research Project topic idea(s) in a comment in the Discussion post by Friday, October 8th at 6 pm to allow time for responses. Add at least 5 follow-up responses to your classmates’ comments by Sunday, October 10th, at 11:59 pm.

Reminder: free sharing of ideas helps us learn and it’s also part of your participation grade. 🙂

79 Comments

  1. Nicholas Albanese

    The main topic idea that I want to focus on is art nouveau. More specifically, I want to focus on art nouveau and its influence on illustration. I want to draw attention to the movement, examples of illustration during the original movement as well as the 1960s resurgence and how it influences the illustrators of today.

    • rahel lehar

      thats interesting because art nouveau is ornamental and has complex details

    • Zi Hang Lian

      I think that’s a good topic to touch. I don’t know much about this topic so a insight on this topic would be interesting.

      • Nicholas Albanese

        Yes. I feel there’s a lot of similarities between the linework present in art nouveau and those of graphic novels. I think it would be a good idea to see how the influences are present today and if the style is still relevant, years after its introduction.

    • Hadassah

      I like how descriptive and well throughout your topic is. It’s cool that you picked art nouveau as something to focus on and to expand on its influence to illustrators now at this day and age.

    • SimonWill21

      Very interesting topic, art nouveau has beautiful and decorative art pieces and seem like they take a lot of time to make.

    • Eric Sukhdeo

      Can’t wait to see how you’ll achieve it. It will be interesting to hear how art nouveau works from another person’s perspective.

    • bryanmendez

      that interesting I never thought about how something that heavily influenced architecture can have some strides in illustration

    • Shauntaya

      During 1960 there was a lot of women right Activism going on the poster design from that time are still used today in women’s marches. You could speak about how the poster like ” We Can Do it” . just an idea.

    • Ebony Star

      This is an interesting topic and I would like to see how Art Nouveau influences illustrators of today and what the illustrations have in comparison or contrast to the past.

  2. Eric Sukhdeo

    The topic I want to discuss is Minimalism. The particular reason for why I chose this was because I like the style of minimalism and it is something that I try to integrate into my art style of graphic design, photography, and videography. Many designs have an abstract sense to them with simple geometric shapes or not too many words or a message. Some people may see it as lazy, I should know since I was one of them, even now I still have thoughts on some pieces being art or just lazily put together. However, when a design is done right in the minimalist style, it is something to be appreciated.

    • Hadassah

      Hey Eric,
      I like your topic and how you want to approach it. I agree with you about minimalism in design that it’s something to be appreciated, and it’s a style that has a timeless aesthetic.

    • rahel lehar

      Thats cool because I don’t like to do overcomplicated projects

    • Zi Hang Lian

      I wouldn’t say this topic is lazy. If it’s something you have integrated with your own style, I think it’s something you have a lot of knowledge. Minimalism may seems simple at first glance but that’s what makes art unique. Sometimes, simple can be good too.

    • Nicholas Albanese

      Sounds interesting. Would like to see how you make a case defending the minimalist style. Would be interesting to see some examples of minimalist artists today and see how they push the envelope to make the minimalist style something appealing.

    • Kyle Djemani

      I agree that some may see minimalism as being lazy or an easy way out, but I think when successfully done minimalism is one of the hardest styles to create. Some may think that not doing much is minimalistic, in a sense that could be true but I think that real minimalism is when the designer understands the subject and can convey that in simple ways without it being seen as lazy.

    • Jennifer Salazar

      I will love to see your takes on your opinions about art pieces and how something can be minimalist or lazy art. I’ve seen paintings that sold for millions and they are just a single colored canvas. I never understood the reason for that.

    • Ebony Star

      I like the idea of you discussing a style you are passionate about yourself. I agree minimalist style is sometimes looked at as lazy because not everyone looks at art/designs through an artist’s eye. Simple can say more than a thousand words if done right.

    • Angela

      I am really interested to see this topic discussed especially because it seems as though the minimalist lifestyle and art style has really grown over time. It is much more than being “bare-bones” or “lazy” as it takes a lot to truly make a space or artwork minimalist because of how concise one has to be.

  3. rahel lehar

    I want to talk about some of the past technology and the current digital technology and how they changed design over time

    • Zi Hang Lian

      That sounds nice. I think it’ll be an interesting topic to work on.

    • Nicholas Albanese

      I think that would be interesting. Would be nice to find out how things like Gutenberg’s printing press led to modern printing. It would also be interesting to see how styles of art changed over time and with the introduction of newer technologies like art software. Would love to hear your speculations on what new art technologies the future may bring.

    • Eric Sukhdeo

      Nice to hear, with technology changing a lot overtime of course designs themselves would be influenced by them in many ways.

    • Kyle Djemani

      It’s interesting to see how technology evolving over time also had design evolve alongside it. From looking at the influences that technology has on design from both the past and the present, to thinking about how future technologies will further change design.

    • bryanmendez

      yeah that would be an interesting starting point as you could go over how technology has evolved design and the design industry as a whole

  4. Zi Hang Lian

    My topic for my Research paper will be about gaming. I’ll be mentioning the communication models in games. The player’s reaction towards one game, something the developers did wrong and should improve on, player’s complaint about a certain game (Whether it’s about a nerf or a function of something existing in the game), etc. We’ll look at a few games that have some of the requirement mentioned.

    • Nicholas Albanese

      Interesting. Would like to see how user feedback influences a change in design by the developers. Would be interesting to see some examples of games and how their UIs changed over time due to player feedback.

    • SimonWill21

      Great topic, game devs that respond to feedback from players and makes changes to the game are always more respected by the community than those who refuse to listen to players and make their own changes.

      • Zi Hang Lian

        That’s true, I’ll be mentioning something shocking (I don’t know if it’s a bad one or not) in one of the game I’m playing.

    • rahel lehar

      thats cool unfortunately i dont have a good pc for gaming and I do miss pc games

      • Zi Hang Lian

        Oh, sorry to hear that. Hope you get a good pc for gaming in the future. Even though there are good pc games, there are some good games on mobile as well.

    • Eric Sukhdeo

      Excited for this topic because I play video games as well and I hope to see some examples I recognize. Regarding you’re subject some examples could be Genshin Impact or COD Modern Warfare because those are games that have constant updates and have items like weapons changing.

      • Zi Hang Lian

        Cool. I’ll do some more research on COD and some other game to mention. I played the mobile version of COD (I specialized being a sniper). I plan on doing Genshin Impact (I made a post about that before about Raiden Shogun and I’m an high AR player so I should have a lot to talk about on this game).

    • Kyle Djemani

      I think that being able to communicate is important, especially within games since feedback can help the games succeed. Games that listen to players’ feedbacks and criticisms during the developmental and even the beta stages can implement changes and fixes that correspond to that feedback creating a better experience for the players. One game that I think could be a good example would be Minecraft, since they release snapshots for future features during development to get players’ feedback.

      • Zi Hang Lian

        Oh, Minecraft. I played that game before and also watched other Youtuber play them too. I haven’t thought of that since I haven’t play that for a long time. I’ll mention that in my paper that you brought that up.

    • Jennifer Salazar

      Communication between developers and their players is such a good take. Since I know some games like Overwatch that the game developers seemed to have dropped, and don’t update, or continue to nerf or buff characters randomly rather than listen to what the players want. And there is no new content or updates to it.

    • bryanmendez

      oh so like a human feedback kind of thing where you would be seeing how the players influenced the game or how it had an impact on the game itself

    • Shauntaya

      Feedback from the user is important to see what are the dislike and likes of the game. I know in Pladines first-person MOBA games they have test maps you can play on which is cool.

    • Angela

      This is a really great topic especially because of how much gaming and platforms have developed to collect data on user experience and feedback in order to create new versions and developments.

  5. Jennifer Salazar

    I think my research project will be about how digital concepts in video games became real world inventions. And how those designs impacted what we have today .

    • Nicholas Albanese

      Interesting project idea. I’m not too sure how digital concepts in video games could be applied in the real world. Would be interesting to see some examples of life imitating art.

    • rahel lehar

      I have heard about some video game inventions being turned into real things

    • Eric Sukhdeo

      Compelling topic, I am not sure how you are going to write about this because I can’t recall any video game concepts that have been applied to real life. So intrigued to see how you will do this.

    • Zi Hang Lian

      Oh, nice topic. It’s almost similar to mine but it’s something different. Really looking forward to this topic.

    • Jenna Spevack

      Interesting, Jennifer! You might look into how science fiction TV, movies, etc. have inspired real-world inventions, but also look at this through an ethical, social responsibility lens:
      “It’s far too easy to take inspiration from science fiction without critically examining it,”
      Check out this essay: https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/how-can-designers-responsibly-use-science-fiction-as-inspiration/

  6. Hadassah

    My topic is focusing on album cover art designs and how it progressed throughout the years.

    • bryanmendez

      the music industry that an interesting one as you could also see how technology evolved the album cover creation process

    • Shauntaya

      This is really interesting cause in the 1960 and 70s most album cover was photographed. Now there all different types of mediums involve for example the animation of a record album cover when you use an app or digital work to just playing with the typeface.

    • Ebony Star

      Can’t wait to see all the different types of album covers and their art designs during the growth of digital technology and what is still used in the design process that was used in the past.

    • Jenna Spevack

      This will be interesting Hadassah! As we discussed, you’ll want to narrow down your research question a bit more and also make sure you are engaging with the Why? of design, not just the historical progression. So to Ebony’s point about digital technology, how and why has album art responded to changes in technology and distribution?

      Check out this NYT podcast from 2019 and an article from 2011:
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/29/arts/music/popcast-album-art.html
      https://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/arts/music/as-record-sales-shrink-so-does-album-cover-art.html

  7. Hadassah

    Your topic sounds really cool and interesting. It’s pretty cool how people find ideas to make these inventions possible to create. I’m looking forward to what examples you have that relates to your topic.

  8. SimonWill21

    A topic that just peaked my interest recently is the history of the font “Comic-sans”. I want to to discuss some ways the font can be used successful and also why it has become of the world’s most hated font.

    • rahel lehar

      I think comic sans is hated cuz it looks like kid’s handwriting and doesn’t look professional as all other fonts

      • SimonWill21

        Yes comic sans is a pretty bad looking font lol

    • Eric Sukhdeo

      Comic sans has always been a joke to designers. So it would be nice to see a paper at how and why it got like that overtime.

    • Zi Hang Lian

      Hm, it does kind of making me interested somehow.

      • SimonWill21

        Yeah I thought this topic would be very interesting since just about everyone hates the font lol

    • Kyle Djemani

      I’ve always wondered why “Comic-Sans” is seen as a bad font to use in generally and where the hate for the typeface came from. I think it would be interesting to see how effective the typeface can be used in spite of all the hate it gets.

    • Jennifer Salazar

      I didn’t know it was so hated on! I’ve never really seen people use it much either, makes sense now why that is.

    • bryanmendez

      Comic sans a disrespected font family but it would be interesting to see why comic sans was created in the first place. Was it to always be created to be made fun of or did it have a purpose originally

    • Shauntaya

      This is a cool idea to look into Comic-sans it is a play full handwritten typeface that I have only ever seen used in comic books.

    • Angela

      Definitely an interesting topic especially because of the fact that comic sans has become nationally (or universally) disliked and become much of a meme.

  9. Kyle Djemani

    For my topic idea, I want to discuss the signs and ways of meaning within mythology. Moreso how mythology has been changed and portrayed in both pop culture and gaming. I want to focus more on the recent and upcoming God of War games that portrays Norse mythology.

    • Zi Hang Lian

      Nice, I would love to see how that turns out. Especially the part about gaming.

    • Jennifer Salazar

      Thats such an interesting topic, there must be so much information you can find about mythology and there are so many games that use that concept.

    • Shauntaya

      This is an interesting topic to look into because there is a lot of symbolism used in Mythology. You should probably look into the closeness of the plotline of God of war to the actual is to the real story. Since it is a game they had to change so narrative to keep people interested.

  10. bryanmendez

    I’m thinking about doing something about how design has affected mental health or to be more specific how it has had an impact on depression specifically. Or maybe something about how the design industry has had an impact on the obesity crisis that we are faced with today.

    • Shauntaya

      It that really cool with September being suicide prevention month the ads and illustration work was really cool.

    • Ebony Star

      I would actually like to know more about how the design industry has had an impact on obesity in such a society where so many people are more aware of healthy living nowadays.

      • Angela

        I also would like to see this. I feel like now more than ever on social media there’s so many influencers creating content based around “healthy living” but it seems to really set standards that not everyone may be able to achieve and its become stigmatized.

  11. Shauntaya

    I really don’t know what I would like my topic to be about. I could look at the design and mental health and how the use of photoshop affects young adults and teenagers. I could also talk about design expanded communications how they are different type styles advertise to certain demographics. I’m not sure what to pick I’m just going with the flow.

    • Jenna Spevack

      Narrowing down your focus will be helpful. “…different type styles advertise to certain demographics” This sounds interesting Shauntaya. Can you give an example?

  12. Ebony Star

    I plan to focus on how street art started out as a rebellion in the past and the influence it has had on society and how it’s viewed in today’s culture.

  13. Angela

    I have truly been thinking about how I can create a research topic that I can resonate with and really what comes to mind is how artists in grief really develop over time. Over the pandemic I faced multiple horrible losses including a parent and the way it has impacted me as a creator was so strong and I feel like coming to terms and seeing how other artists faced grief shown in their designs could be a possible topic. If it is too specific I would also do a project based around mental health and design during large events such as our lifetime’s pandemic.

    • Jenna Spevack

      Angela, I am so sorry for your loss. This sounds like an excellent topic and one that might be inspiring and healing personally. I encourage you to explore it fully.

      Your topic is not too specific; you’ll probably want to narrow it down a bit more. I’d suggest focusing on one particular area (advertising, graphic design, animation, illustration, architecture, product design, etc.) or a specific designer(s), preferably those of interest to you. And form a research question that you want to answer, being as specific as possible.

      You might investigate how many designers reevaluated their values and changed course due to loss/grief during the pandemic. In certain areas of design (architecture or product design, for example), the pandemic has sounded a call for change, and designers have channeled their grief/fear into a drive to help make a difference. This might be in climate change, social/racial justice, poverty, access to healthcare, etc.

      As an example, in my studio, when hospitals were running out of ventilators, several startup designers immediately began collaborating to produce portable, inexpensive ventilators. Others shifted gears to produce masks instead of fashion/clothing.

      Though possibly more challenging, if you want to explore mental health, creativity, and global event more broadly, focusing on a specific area of design or group of designers would be best. Looking back historically to see how other generations coped with a global crisis or health events like a pandemic could also be interesting.

      Please get in touch with me so we can meet to discuss.

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