As usual, it has been a busy semester so far with lots of improvement in my abilities as a designer. Today I am going to take the time to post about a handful of my early projects. The first of which is my Studio 3 cantilever project. The goal of this project was to practice the design project in a very extreme case. Our objective with this project was to suspend a two-pound weight as far from the center of a 6-inch circle and a minimum of 7 inches from the surface of the table. This distance from the center of the base would then be divided by the weight of our model to determine the ratio of distance to weight. This ratio along with the thoroughness which with we executed the process of developing the cantilever would then be used to determine our grade. In our cantilever, we could only use super glue and balsa wood sticks and a single 1-pound counterweight. In the end, after at least five iterations, I was the student with the best ratio! I have attached a picture of my final winning design. It is a simple bridge-like truss with side supports to prevent torsion from the weights. My key development was using a single truss instead of two parallel ones which significantly cut down on weight. My final model weighed only 26 grams and extended 14 inches!
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Now that it had been a couple weeks since classes started, I figured I might write about my roster for this semester. This semester, similar to the last two, I have 19 credits of mostly major required classes. My core design classes for this semester are Industrial Design Studio 3, 3D Realization, and 3D Visualization. Studio consists of primarily more major projects that focus on developing the design process and tying together the many different skills developed in the two other design classes. 3D Realization is the design class which has replaced the more graphic design esk classes from last year. 3D Realization focuses on teaching different modeling and machining practices. So far we have learned to safely use the laser cutter, foam cutters, plastic ovens, band saws, drill presses, mills, and metal lathes. The laser cutter and plastic ovens already played a major role in our second studio project. 3D Visualization is my drawing class for the semester. In 3D Visualization, we moved from using black colored pencils as we did last year to using various types of pens and Copic markers for shading/color. I took me a little while to get back into the drawing flow but recently I have been very satisfied with some of my work.
Aside from my design classes, I have a social studies elective and a mandatory physics class. For social studies, I decided to take design history. Both classes are very well organized and have a regular pattern which is something I appreciate. In History class, for instance, there is always an online quiz due on Tuesday before class and the writing homework is due by midnight Friday. In physics, the online homework is due every money before class and the quiz is due by midnight Wednesday. This makes it really easy to keep track of all work and get it in on time. Overall I am very satisfied with all of my classes and professors this year. I will continue to write posts referring to individual projects as I complete them.
September was a busy month. After flying in from California on the 30th of August I went to my roommate’s house in Rhode Island from which we prepared to move into the apartment on the 1st. When we moved in, the apartment was left in pretty poor condition so we spent the first three days driving in from Rhode Island in the morning then cleaning or painting for a few hours and in the evening driving back to Road Island to sleep and eat. While it would have been nice to be able to move into the apartment the day we got to the city, having to do some work wasn’t unexpected and the real estate agency was willing to reimburse us for the materials we needed to buy. Now that we have moved into the apartment it is really nice to have a clean, open, and most of all a personal room. Hopefully, this whole endeavor is rewarding enough for the time and energy spent on it.
So far I am happy with living off campus but there are some cons to renting from a private company instead of getting a dorm room on campus. The most noticeable is that if I lived on campus my classes would only be about 5 minutes away while from my apartment it takes about 15. On the flip side of this, the grocery store and Target are only 5 minutes away instead of 15 which makes it easier to go grocery shopping and prepare meals myself. Another mark against the off-campus apartment would be that we are on the fourth floor and don’t have an elevator in the building. However, I quickly got used to walking the steps and now appreciate it as a mandatory workout. Overall I am happy with my choice to move into the Fenway but I understand that it wouldn’t be the best choice for everyone.
The last few weeks in both Vis and Studio have been taken up with our final projects for this semester. In studio, we were instructed to design the packaging and form of a bar of soap, and in Vis, we were asked to design a poster for an assigned font type. For my soap, I chose to design a product that addressed the needs of a swimmer. Having been a swimmer for most of my life I knew that a crucial part of the soap would be addressing the issues surrounding chlorine exposure. To solve this, I added moisturizers and liquid anti-chlorine soap to the base we were using. In the packaging and the form of the soap, I upheld the swimming theme by using speedo products such as swimming fins as a reference. I really like the final product which I came up with and will have it at my year end show this week. I am also very pleased with my poster. After several iterations, this is what I came up with what I have attached below.
After coming back from winter break my classes started up again pretty quickly. Especially in my studio and drawing classes. However, I still found enough time to go to the gym here on campus and to go out into the city when the weather permitted. In addition to my classes this semester, I also made a point to attend the many guest lectures which the design professors organize for the students. My two favorites were from a Wentworth graduate who is now doing design work for Bose and the lead designer for Nerf at Hasbro toys. Both presentations helped me to further understand what life is like as a professional designer. After attending it was a lot clearer to me which skills are most emphasized by the industry.
Life in the Evansway dorm this semester has continued to be pretty comfortable. My suitemates and I all get along well and often help each other with assignments since we are in many of the same classes. The dorm isn’t far from any of my classes and is close enough to the Fenway to attend games and carry back groceries from Target or Star Market. The one thing I wish I had access to is a kitchen somewhere on campus or even just a counter to prepare food standing and not at a desk.
Even though I found that on-campus housing was a good experience this first year for the next three I will be moving off campus into an apartment in the Fenway area. I chose to do this mostly because as an out of state student from the west coast I found that moving in and out of housing every year and needing to go home over winter and spring break was extremely costly and difficult to organize. Off-campus housing, however, gives me a year-round space to live in and has the potential of being less costly than on campus housing if I stay in the city for my co-ops and organize a roommate. However, this does limit my flexibility when it comes to the location of where I could do my internships. During the whole process of finding an off-campus solution for next year, Wentworth Housing was very helpful in figuring out the logistics on their side of things and made the process really straightforward.
In all, I have really liked my first year at Wentworth and am really looking forward to my Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years. For these last two weeks, I have to focus on getting my final projects and presentations ready for my review. Once I have them figured out I will certainly write a post summarizing what I achieved this year in my classes.
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.
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:
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