Thursday, February 9, 2012

Site Redesign Study for Next Vista for Learning

Above is an image of a site redesign study I am working on with the education non-profit, Next Vista for Learning.  As this non-profit expands its library of student created videos, contests, and collaborations with other non-profits, we have an opportunity to revisit how the site is presented to the public. We are envisioning reorganizing the visual so that the key components of the videos, speaking engagements and contests are most prominent.

We are hoping to launch the new site design the evening of March 4th during the Annual Awards Night for Next Vista for Learning. This event will be hosted by the Krause Center for Innovation and will recognize student contributors of educational video content to the Next Vista for Learning online video library.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bus Wraps of Seeking Shelter Design Challenge

There may be an opportunity to create bus wraps with the 01 Art & Technology Network and the Santa Clara VTA to promote the Seeking Shelter Design Challenge. Above is my first concept sketch for these. It includes patterns created by 6th grade students in Alum Rock, San Jose and 5th grade students in Cupertino California. The idea is that there would be multiple buses with these wraps and each bus would feature different student patterns and bus shelter designs. QR codes would link to project site where the student statements on their patterns and structures could be read.

Currently, innovative bus shelter design is being explored by many urban planners and I want to engage youth in this conversation of how can a bus shelter become community hub of a different sort. Two days ago I brought slot cards into four Fifth Grade classes of 33 and we explored making bus shelter models in groups. We discussed working with plane geometry shapes and creating solid geometry forms We discussed the designers Ray and Charles Eames and discussed personal space/public space in the context of a brainstorm on built structures in our communities. We then compared and contrasted with the brainstorming done by students in Azerbaijan on the same topic.

Next students will discuss patterns in Voicethread with students in other States and students will create bus shelters in Google SkechUp and share designs to a Google SketchUp Warehouse collection.

If bus wraps are made, they would be coordinated with the launch of the Design Challenge which would invite more schools to participate in the Slot Shelters project this coming academic year.

If you are an arts educator interested in this project please visit the Slot Shelters site to get a feel for the project and then fill out the Google Doc form below.

More Reflections on Shelter Installation

I have been meeting and contacting fabricators to identify materials to make a temporary outdoor modular art installation to launch the Seeing Shelter Design Challenge. This installation is really an exclamation point and question mark in the landscape to get people thinking about designing, brainstorming and building bus shelters that have greater functionality for the community. Some materials I am now thinking of are: window screen netting, cardboard tubes, polygal (light weigh translucent honeycomb plastic sheets) and vinyl decals shapes inspired by student pattern reflections.

At night, the installation will light up and one outer wall will become a wii interactive surface with Google SketchUp projected for the public to experiment with.

The installation needs to tie into the web based component of the project in a compelling way. The modular shapes units of the installation are the same as those that will be in a downloadable ISSUU catalog kit for Slot Shelters on the project site that students can print out. I am envisioning something like this ISSUU idea flipbook by MIO Culture  

In the design challenge starting in September student will first create prototypes from the modular units from the ISSUU magazine and submit images of their 3D slot card concept studies of bus shelters to the Slot Shelters Project site. These will be peer reviews and voted on for best concepts. The second phase of the project will invite students to create bus shelters in Google SketchUp and submit to a Google SketchUp Warehouse collection. There will be winners of this phase of the project selected by design professionals.

It is really interesting to meet with fabricators. I love to see their prototyping design process and creative use of materials. One great group I met with is The Monkey Wrench Group. Another amazing group is Because We Can.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thoughts of Spring

Last Wednesday I visited the John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek to see the installation of my mixed media sculpture, Thoughts of Spring. I enjoyed working with Roundtree Visuals to create this installation. Below are some images of the work installed in the 3rd floor lobby entrance to the pediatric wing. The installation is 38" x42" x 1.5". I used mostly chopstick sleeve wrappers, origami paper, and Chinese preserved fruit wrappers. A few Chinese tea wrappers and Japanese seaweed snack wrappers are included as well. Some fragments carry special meaning to me as they were from engagements with friends and family. This hospital is really beautifully designed and I was lucky to have a bit of a tour of the new wing. The interior bamboo garden was really lovely. As I was photographing the sculpture, a new mom and baby were rolled by with extended family in a celebratory mood. It was such a great feeling to know that this piece is in such a special setting.