January in Boston has been treating me well. While I do wish it was a little warmer it has stayed mostly dry for the last few weeks. However, we do have a snow storm warning for tomorrow so we will see how the next few days go. My new classes have thus far been quite enjoyable. I am currently enrolled in Industrial Design Studio 2, Visualisation 2, Visual Communication, English 2, and Geometry. In industrial design studio class, we have already finished our first project which was an 8-inch by 8-inch cube that we developed using subtractive methods and ultimately modeled in chipboard. Visualization 2 is my drawing class for this semester. As opposed to what we were doing last semester this brand of drawing is a lot more technical and definitely more my thing. I have attached a drawing from class to this post. Visual communication started off with taking pictures of elements and principles of design in existing objects and has now moved onto coming up with personal compositions. English 2 and geometry are pretty standard classes for their subject.
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It’s been an intense last few weeks here at Wentworth, but with finals wrapping up I’ve got some time on my hands to make a couple posts about my work from this first semester. I’m thinking I will put up my favorite work from each of my three design studio classes, with possibly a bonus post from my color theory class because I am especially proud of how far I have come in my understanding of color and composition.
However, before I get to that I will dedicate the rest of this post to the work I’ve done in English. This semester I had Professor Bailey for English 1 and really learned a lot. While my English foundations from high school certainly weren’t weak, I benefited immensely from having to write a short three to five-page essay on almost a weekly basis. This practice really solidified my understanding of how to find solid sources and cite them correctly. In high school I had always been taught to put in direct quotes from my sources, but Bailey consistently pushed me to include other forms of citation, like paraphrasing and summary, which I wasn’t accustomed to using. I also thoroughly enjoyed that, more often than not, we could chose the topics our research papers were on. This analytical writing is, in my opinion, very befitting of a tech school such as Wentworth. While Professor Bailey’s class isn’t suited to those who might be adverse to hard work, if you are willing to take on the challenge and make the most of what he teaches, the rewards are undeniable. I can say without hesitation that the papers I have produced this past semester were some of the strongest and most enjoyable to write.
For our final in Color and Composition, we were told to create a tessellation, first in illustrator, and then in color aid paper. To come up with a tessellation that I liked, I went through at least five different pattern ideas and spent a couple hours researching color choice. In this project, my professor Liza pushed me to choose a color scheme that had a higher contrast than what I had done in my transparency project. Eventually, I settled on a roughly triadic color scheme of the primary colors yellow, red, and blue. I didn’t choose the pure hues, instead, I played with tint, shade, and saturation to make the composition more dynamic, while at the same time harmonious. I chose the pattern mostly for its 3D quality, which is accentuated by the tints and shade of the colors. Sadly, I don’t have my final back from grading, but here is the Adobe illustrator file in PDF format:
For Color and Composition class we refined our understanding of hue (color), value, and saturation. We started off the semester with painting a set of two seven-stage value scales from black to white, followed by 13-stage value scales for all three primary colors as well. Both of these projects were rendered out of painted Bristol mounted on illustration board. Next, we investigated patterns and other compositional elements by coming up with and finally painting them on illustration board. The latter half of the semester was spent cutting and mounting pre-painted color aid paper on illustration board to express the concepts we were learning. In this portion, we did the below projects to illustrate our understanding of implied transparencies through color choice while still utilizing the negative space effectively. A set of two of these took me 30 hours of work to render, but it was so satisfying to have this to show for it. If I had to choose one project I was the proudest of for this semester, I would, without hesitation, pick this one.
In Visualization 1/ Drawing 1 we worked our way through the full course of the drawing progression. We started back in September with gesture and concluded in December with fully rendered and shaded drawings. For me this was an interesting way to loosen up. Coming from an engineering background I was used to drawing in a technical fashion, so it took some time for me to become accustomed to drawing exactly what was in front of me with all of its real-world imperfections. We started the semester with doing big sets of gestural drawings, which are loose thirty-second drawings that try to roughly capture the form of the object. These gestures now serve as the basis for our more complex drawings as they lay out how the drawing will develop. After this we worked on diagrammatic lines to refine our gestures and check proportion (this came more naturally to me). Next, we started to do contour lines over our gesture and diagrammatic lines, which captured the definite lines of what was being drawn. Lastly, we shaded our contoured drawings to capture the form through how it interacts with light. Below is a drawing of the Boston Public Library in contour and cross contour line.
In my Industrial Design Studio class, we focused primarily on developing our understanding of the design process and made models with Bristol paper (it’s similar to card stock). This semester we started with making platonic solids out of Bristol with uniform volumes. This was primarily to introduce us to cutting, scoring, and gluing the material. With this project, and every other one, we were expected to turn in work that was flawless. As a result, I was forced to make two of my five solids twice because of small imperfections in the cutting and gluing of the form. The second project I am going to attach an image of is my fish mask, which I talked about back in October. This project also required me to make several prototypes and iterations, until I finally had a mask that matched what I wanted both functionally and aesthetically. Ultimately, I was very happy with the outcome, despite my mother thinking on first impression that it was an otter. Personally I don’t see it
It has been another couple busy weeks here at Wentworth Institute of Technology. I am beginning to adjust more and more to my classes and the new environment. Recently, I have been able to take the time to experience more of what Boston has to offer. Just this last Thursday I was able to go see the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s production of Mozart’s 39th symphony with a friend. Though it was a relatively cold and rainy night, we had a great time going to the Boston Symphony for the first time and experiencing something out of the ordinary. It was extremely convenient that the symphony was only a few blocks down Huntington Ave. I still have to get used to the idea that so much in the city is only a green line ride away. For instance the week before last I went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History with my drawing class with only a short 15 minute trip from the T station right outside of Wentworth.
Academically, I can really see myself improving. The basics we learned during the first weeks of school are now transitioning into more complex work. However, the foundations built initially are constantly referenced when doing these new more dynamic projects. The design studio project I just finished this weekend for Tuesday is an animal-themed mask in honor of Halloween but all I could use to make the mask was thick card stock paper. I could not even use glue or tape to hold it together. This project pushed me to further my understanding of how folding and tabs work in relation to paper craft while still reinforcing techniques learned previously such as how to cut and score card stock. In the end, I produced through several iterative steps a fish mask which not only strongly resembles a goldfish but is also is made with several complex and interesting techniques. In the next weeks, I look forward to doing new and different projects that are as interesting and fun as this last one.
Boy has this first month flown by! I have been meaning to write my first blog post for some time now but I’ve just been so busy going to class, doing homework, daily chores and meeting scores of amazing new people. I find myself without a doubt wishing for more hours in the day and more days in the week. I feel as if I can’t get everything I want to do to fit into the 24 hours I am given and thusly my days and weeks seem all too short. Often a day will feel like a heartbeat even though I did so much. This past Thursday my roommate (who is also an industrial design student) and I remarked on how we could have both sworn it was the beginning of the week and that we still had several more days of classes ahead of us but in actuality, we were nearing the end. On Tuesday and Wednesday I already proudly turned in my second set of projects for industrial design studio, drawing, and color and composition. My work thus far has eaten up a lot of time but nothing has felt like busy work. Each and every assignment has felt natural and purposeful which is exactly what I was looking for in my college experience. I am so impressed by the fact that I have been here hardly a month and I already would be hard pressed to count off all the new skills I have acquired. However, Despite how busy school keeps me I still have found enough time to go out and explore the city with my new friends and roommates. A highlight from my birthday on the 16th, for instance, was being able to treat my friends to a dinner out on Newbury Street and then to retreat to the common room of our eight-person suite for a movie after a long week of classes. All in all, I am enjoying my early days at Wentworth and am looking forward to sharing more of my experiences here on the admissions blog in the future!