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April 24, 2006

Student Show Brochure Designs

Here are designs I created for the 2006 student exhibiton that is held by UMD and the Tweed Museum on campus. I am very pleased with all the designs I created. Eventhough none were chosen to present the actual event, it turned out to be a fun design and type excercise for me. The first design here is meant to represent that all the work done in the show is created by UMD students, so I went for a an approach that stated "Homegrown Art and Design" which appeals to more of the student body than the outside community.

Game Symposium

The Game Symposium at UMD was a great way for people who are interested in all forms of games to come together and chare that common interest and ideas about games. The was a nice mixture of games that included board games and interactive video games. For the Game Symposium, I submitted an assignment I created for my Interactive Design 1 course with Mariana Waisman. The assignment was to create an interactive experience that was based off of a story. I choose to do “Jumanji�, by Chris Van Allsburg. My goal was to turn the experience of reading the book into a game itself. I did this by breaking the story into phases that you would encounter as you play the game, and read along with the book. Here is my design brief that I submitted with the assignment:

The story of “Jumanji� was originally written as children’s story, which contains black and white illustrations that were well sketched. I wanted to take the original story and update it by creating interesting visuals that kept with the black and white theme, but represented a newer generation of art and design. The message of the story originally is for the entertainment of mainly children. The story I created follows the original, and the message is the same, for pure entertainment. However, I tried to break away from the target audience of children, and focus on older teenagers and adults who have probably already read the story. I chose to do this because I could leave certain sections out of my site, and the target audience would still understand what was going on because they have already read the story. Plus, it would hopefully give them a brand new experience and another way to enjoy the story all over again. So again the message I am trying to portray for the audience is that of entertainment. I feel I accomplished this message by implementing a few key objectives. First of all, I wanted to create all new and interesting visuals that were much different than the original book. My Visuals were still black and white like the original, but I tried to give them a harder edge, by making the visuals very contrasted and give them sharp lines, unlike the original which has some very soft pencil that’s almost dreamlike. Also with the visuals, I created more intense situations that what are represented in the book. I wanted to create these intense, almost scary scenes, because I felt that they would appeal better to the older audience that I am aiming for. Another aspect I used was sound. I feel that the sound I used in the site just added to the overall feel and in a way brings the game and the jungle to the computer. As well as keeping the site moving along at a good pace so the viewer does not get bored with the site. Another aspect is thought was a good addition, was that of the navigation and structure of the site. I wanted to create a very original navigation system, where in the viewer would feel as though they are actually playing the game, and that each time the “rolled� the dice, a random page would appear. I felt this idea added to the message by creating a site where in the viewer actually gets to play along with the story. I feel that I created a solid design that would entertain many people, which was my ultimate goal with this project.
This project for the most part turned out just how I envisioned it would be, except for minor changes due to time constraints and my knowledge of flash. I have learned many things through doing this assignment. I feel the main thing I learned with this assignment, which applies to all my design work, is choosing what is important for me to include to get my message across clearly to the viewer, within a reasonable amount of time. Essentially, this idea applies to time management and the ability to create your message without going overboard. On top of that, I have very much increased my knowledge of flash by just doing a piece on this large of a scale, which included a lot of trial and error for what works and what doesn’t in the software. There is really only one major thing I think I would change and that would be to include more dialogue and plot from the original story. I feel by doing that would increase my viewers, because more people that have not read the original could enjoy my site without missing anything from that original plot. Other than including more plot and dialogue, I don’t think I would anything differently if I were to recreate this site. I feel that I accomplished my message, and created and a good site structure with interesting visuals and original navigation. Also, I feel that I kept my ideas in check, and did not go to overboard with what I could accomplish with my skills and the timeline I was working with. All in all, I am very pleased with the site that I created and I feel that it represents the original story and what I have learned in this class, which the viewers will appreciate.

Check out the actual game I created online!!!

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In a Continuous State of Becoming

This article discusses the ideas of creating a design culture that thinks in directions, especially looking and thinking forward with design. The author of the article, Veronique Vienne, focuses the article on how design should be made for "tomorrow". She emphasizes that the things we create as designers will need to "sustainable". We will also need to consider the entire life and process of the project, from conception to completion. For example, Vienne cites a current project by Victor Chu, in which he developing a cell phone casing that is biodegradable and contains plant seeds, which can be planted after the phone is out of use. She also mentions that remanufacturing, which involves using previously assembled parts to make new products, will take over recycling. According to Vienne, what this means for us as designers is that we must think of ways to create good that can be both assembled and dismantled simply. We can use this idea of remanufacturing to design products that are more universal, and streamline so they can be applied to as many good as possible. The main idea I feel the author is trying to express is applying the ideas of "green" design and living, to essentially corporate America. Not that they should make computers out of tree bark, but that the thought of "remanufacturing" allows for only a certain amount of small products to be made, which can be applied to many different goods, which will in turn drastically reduce the mass production and waste that we live with now. I feel this idea could get to the point where you have one small machine the runs almost everything from your car, to the microwave, to an airplane. By lessening the amount of products we create, we will essentially create a society the functions much simpler and is easier to maintain.
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April 17, 2006

ABXRR (Anti-biotics Resistence Resistence)

For this project, we hooked up with Jamie Harvie to create and develop an identity piece for a new health concious campaign, focusing on the harmful effects of things such as chemicals, and the overuse of anti-biotics in our society. He first presented us with a name for the campaign, this being the Anti-biotics Resistence Resistence. This title was in reference to the over-use of anti-biotics in our society to stop things such as bacteria and disease. However, this overload in turn makes us more resistent to those anti-biotics, and eventually make us immune to the anti-biotics, so when we actually are sick the anti-biotcs will not be able to work because we have become immune to them. ( Stick with me ) Essentially, we are unknowingly being pumped with anti-biotics through things such as food, to the point that they will become useless in times of actual sickness.

Project: ABXRR
The title was shortened to just "ABXRR" for the logo, and other visual reasons. The next step in the design process was to create a logo that would illustrate the ideas behind the resistence. We began by creating thumbnails and sketchs and sharing ideas. We were pulling from many influences and styles ranging from illustration and cartoons, to graffiti and propaganda poaters. We finally settled on a logo that represented almost a mix between military and science lab. The type is set in Stencil and the "X" in the middle of the design is represented using a very organic bacteria strand.
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