Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pockets contents

While the things we carry in our pockets serve many different purposes, they have many common elements.
1. similar sizes
2. common shapes-- lots of rectangles with rounded corners
3. muted colors-- black, dark brown, greys, dark silver
4. durable materials
5. similar weights
6. smooth surfaces
As a result, a wallet looks surprisingly similar to a phone when both are designed to travel in pockets.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Name sign exercise

A few things we learned:

1. Different solutions exist for the same problem
2. Many things affect legibility
- size
- lettering style (or font)
- color
- line thickness
- contrast
- background
3. Color, shapes, and complexity can be intriguing and can draw the eye
4. There can be a trade-off between aesthetics and readability
5. Quality depends on time, effort, and thought

Friday, September 18, 2009

Design Characteristics

In our first class, we developed a short list of characteristics we could use to evaluate a product.

1. materials
2. sturdiness
3. consistency
4. comfort
5. aesthetics/visual appeal
6. cost
7. production (how easy is it to make?)
8. economy of materials
9. purpose
10. portability

If you want you can see a similar list from last year

Monday, September 14, 2009


Welcome Kalamazoo College Class of 2013!

This seminar will look broadly at design and will meet the K College writing requirement for First Year students.

Here's a brief description from the syllabus:
This course will look at the role of design in the world around us. Our emphasis will be on features, feel and function of design. We will consider why some designs work well and others work poorly. We will think about how and why things are designed in particular ways. We will look at design choices from various perspectives.

The broader goal of this class is to develop and refine skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond. We will work on discussion skills, presentation skills, analytic skills, and writing skills.

If you're curious, you can explore various design topics or look at student blogs from previous years by following the links at the right.