Monday, September 24, 2007

Designers/Artists-in-Training - Response

I truly appreciate the pearls of wisdom being shared here. Sketching and reading- owning your drawings, your intentions and your books! Makes good sense.

I have always kept scrapbooks - clippings from magazines of jewelry I like, fashion that strikes my fancy, pictures/words that resonate and might one day make it into a collage for a friend or family member. The sketchbook seems like a maturing of that interest, making the designs my own, creating new unique designs.

The Art of Innovation Chapters 4-6

I absolutely love reading about innovation. The techniques of brainstorming and prototyping while working in groups or teams are exciting and energizing. As they are described, they sound fun and creative and like self-generating powerhouses, with each team member sparking off the other. There seems to be a whole set of group dynamics that teams (or at least team leaders) must be aware of and able to optimize, so as not to have counter-productive conflict, distraction, or blocking. There has to be a degree of mutual trust and a willingness to share ownership of ideas.

Funny enough, typically, kids are funneled through the secondary school system, enduring 12 years of systemization, standardization, discipline and a general stifling of creative thinking in favor of memorization and regurgitation. Free flight of ideas is generally discouraged. Instead, students are rewarded for copying classical patterns and inhibiting their behavior so as not to present any problems. Group work is generally frowned upon, so students can be strictly graded and judged on their independent thoughts and work product.

So, how ironic it is to find this group creativity technique of brainstorming to be valued in the workplace and marketplace. The "two heads are better than one" philosophy inherent in this technique is a skill that has to be learned, with ingrained habits having to coincidentally be unlearned.

The "rules" of good brainstorming include quantity rather than quality, suspension of criticism or judgement, welcoming unusual ideas, and synergistic building upon the ideas of others. None of these new groundrules are woven into the fabric of my education, nor into the substance of my work habits. Sad, really, to think of all the lost opportunity throughout my school career to have learned and practiced and incorporated fun, creativity, and energy into what I learned and how I learned. Just think how much more productive I could be in design, if I didn't have to un-learn self-sabotaging habits like self-criticism, censoring, self-consciousness, suppression, inhibition, embarrassment, etc. The things that helped me get through secondary school are now obstacles to my free and open expression.


Hello everyone...just wanted to let you know a little bit about the Metals & Jewelry club (if you didn't already know about it) and wanted to give you a heads up about all the cool stuff we have coming up!

We had our first meeting already but don't worry, it's not too late to join! Our next meeting is October 1st at 6:30 in CA 2006. At our first meeting we had elections for officers, talked about all of the perks you get from being a member, went over the budget, talked about possible field trips, workshops, speakers, and a holiday sale among other things.

So let me get to the fun stuff...
Sep 30 - Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair in DC (
Laura and I are going to be driving so if you want a ride contact one of us. There will also be a sign up sheet posted
on the door outside of CA 2015 I believe, you might want to ask Rebecca for details.
We will be leaving at 10 am and coming back by 5 so people can make it to the studio if they need to work

Oct. 1 - After the club meeting at 6:30, there is a Gocco workshop at 7:30 in 2015. I'm not sure who is leading this
workshop, so again, you might want to contact Rebecca!
For more info on Gocco visit this link:

Oct. 12 - Life Near the Bone at the G-Spot Gallery. This is April's exhibition so everyone needs to go check this out!

Oct. 19 - Earwire and pinback workshop from 12:00-2:00 in CA 2015. Rebecca is taking the time to learn the proper
techniques and wants to show us all how to make these! Bring wire (20g half hard, sterling)

Oct. 25 - Workshop on photographing your own work in CA 2006 led by Rebecca.
Make sure to bring some of your work and your own camera!

Nov. 9-10 - Philly Museum of Art Craft Show! This is going to be sooo much fun! We will all be riding together, leaving on
friday the 9th, sleeping over, and coming back saturday night!

Nov. 19 - At 7:00 Rebecca, Laura and I are meeting in CA 2006 to make a banner for the club. Anyone is welcome to join!
We'd love your help and design ideas!

There is soooo much more that we are going to come check it out at our next meeting Oct. 1!

There is only a $10 fee to join and for that you get access to a special cabinet with all kinds of fun tools that aren't in the DePatta, informative speakers, awesome workshops, fun field trips, the ability to participate in the holiday sale to make some money and get your work out there, and best of all it's an easy fun way to get involved and get to know alumni and students involved in the jewelry and metalsmithing program here at Towson!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Droog designs that resonate with me...

Continued research on Droog....

OK, so I’ve had a change of heart……

I’m afraid I may be becoming a Droog addict!

I’ve done some more research and checked out multiple websites and have come to understand that dry (Droog) can be funny, witty, clever, imaginative and quite fertile. I see the pragmatic value in minimalist, recycled-oriented, practical, form following function design. I also see the artistic value in this sort of self-effacing design – thinking outside the box while using the box to help you think, if that makes any sense.

Here's some of the sites I've visited, as well as some pithy quotes about Droog.

1) DROOG - "creating innovative concepts that change perspective. Our products and projects connect with the individual, the user. They deal with slowness, memories, nostalgia, re-use, craftsmanship, nature. They generate experience, interaction, participation, products that are easily to comprehend, have meaning, tell stories; products that are meant to be cherished and not discarded without thought.",rb=rb.php?f=21&s=1a&l=20)

2) What is Droog? "The criteria are flexible and shaped by developments in product culture and the designers’ own initiatives,” states Droog. The only constant is that the concept has validity today; that it is worked out along clear-cut, compelling lines; and that product usability is a must. Within this framework literally anything goes.

Droog was different. It shared the simplicity of minimalism and its careful choice of materials, but deployed humour – albeit a dry or ‘droog’ humour - to strike an emotional bond with the user. Rudy Graumans’ 85 bulb chandelier is an inspired example of lateral thinking in design, but it is impossible not to smile at the verve with which the designer transformed an everyday object like a standard light bulb into a spectacular chandelier."

3) Droog Design - "The use of industrial and recycled materials is emphasized by this Dutch design firm established in 1993. "The Droog collection features over 180 designs by over a hundred designers, in the product categories of lighting, furniture, tabletop, kitchen, bathroom, accessory and various. Droog products are chosen or commissioned based on the curatorial criteria laid out by founders Renny Ramakers and Gjis Bakker. They need to combine functionality and conceptual clarity with a keen expression of awareness of cultural and technological references and contexts." Some examples of their products: Birdhouse by Marcel Wanders, 2005; 85 lamps chandelier by Rody Graumans, 1993; Treetrunk Bench by Jurgen Bey, 1999; and Heat wave electric radiator by Joris Laarman, 2003.",+ikea+and+droog&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=34&gl=us

4) "Droog is a brand and a mentality: design of products that do what they should and think about why they’re doing it in the first place: function? fun? wit? criticism? All of the above?",+ikea+and+droog&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=47&gl=us

5) "Droog Design is an international platform for innovative design. By its mission and activities Droog aims to stimulate creation, innovation and cultural debate. The gallery from Droog Design, droog@home, offers young (inter)national design talent a stage, and enables the public to be introduced to the most recent developments in the field of conceptual design."

Monday, September 3, 2007


Who's who at Target and what's their profile?
Target is a chain of discount department stores that carries clothing, shoes, jewelry, drugstore products, bed and bath items, kitchen supplies, sporting goods, toys, automotive supplies and a limited number of grocery items. They differentiate themselves from competitors like Walmart and K-Mart by offering more upscale and trendy products at low cost. They tend to attract younger customers than their competitors because they have many exclusive deals with various designers, including Isaac Mizrahi, Mossimo, Merona, Cherokee, Libertine, Xhiliration, Swiss Gear, etc.

Why should I care?
Places like Target make designer clothing affordable and accessible. As part of the urban sprawl that we call shopping, Target stores at least don't sell tobacco or fire arms, and try to focus on selling higher-end products at low prices, rather than cheap merchandise at discount prices.

Good and Bad Design on Flickr

To view my photos and comments on good and bad design in Target, please go to this URL:


Droog Research

Droog seems a lot like Ikea products to me. Scandinavian, different, useful, and stylish in their simplicity. But there are so many random products that I still don't get a total sense of what Droog really is. The design of their pictures featuring their various products seem so cutely contrived.....white on white, Asians in strange poses, etc. Different definitely. But weird! And the whole concept of Droog seems awfully contrived to me - like they invented a market and then made it an exclusive club. Almost like creating a mentality to market their invention. They claim to not be interested in production or profit but I'm suspicious.