Aimee’s GD Blog

A place to share my work and thoughts

Reading #3 Audience As Co-Designer April 28, 2009

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 11:14 am

questionnaire1Audience as Co-Designer is a process by where the designer or design team steps back as the prominent idea maker and the audience is put in the position of the designer. This is done to put the cultural views and influence as the primary focus of the design campaign. The designer or team becomes the collaborator and support system for the audience co-designer.


Research methods such as surveys, questionnaires, and focus groups are used to collect the data necessary to pinpointing the needs of the target audience. When doing research for another country outside the U.S., the same methods or ideas won’t always translate to the needs or ideals of that country’s design problem. In-house research centers and virtual design studios are a great way to find that country’s cultural differences and needs for their problem solving.


Providing the audience/user groups with a formatted design process (as shown in the article) was a great tool in the development of their ideas. The students in the design lab used a process notebook as the form to develop and weed out the weakest ideas. The Kenyans were taught the design fundamentals. Through communication with their peers, the Kenyans developed their own sets of promotional campaigns for their problem. A series of interviews from actual victims were important to the campaign. They told the stories of 2 women who were treated unfairly because of their unfortunate circumstances. Now these women travel around, share their stories, and help promote the services of the HIV/AIDS foundation. The design sketches made by the audience participants were given critique from their peers in the development of their designs. These suggestions were used in some of the final promotional materials.

This process seems to be a great way of getting much needed information and input from an audience we (the designers) would normally not be able to get through traditional research means. It also enforces the importance of the audience as the final user of a campaign. We should always remember the audience and their needs or viewpoints of a campaign so we can make the best an strongest designs we can.



I’m so excited! April 17, 2009

Filed under: Aimee's News — Aimee @ 9:08 am

Hello all,

I have just found out that one of my designs was picked by a local medical clinic for their new aesthetic medicine office. I have never had anything like this happen before. It’s nice to feel that sense of acknowledgement after so much hard work. Thank you to all who have been so suppotive and encouraging these last couple of years.



LEGOs Are Not Just For Kids April 16, 2009

Filed under: 470 Projects — Aimee @ 4:56 am

As of this morning I have now changed my Term Long Project. I decided to direct my efforts to something that is closer to my heart, LEGOs!


I love LEGOs! I am what those in the community would call an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO). I’m also one of the rarer forms of an AFOL, I’m a female. We are the minority in the community. I want to design my project around the rest of us in the AFOL world. I don’t have the actual statistics yet but, the LEGO community is primarily adults (male). More kids are getting into LEGO because of all the pop culture licensed sets like Star Wars, Harry Potter & Indiana Jones. They are not my focus. I want to show the OCD world of the adult collector. By the end of all of this, I’m hoping I can assimilate more of you into the collective.


For my research/historical reference I am planning to build a LEGO time line out of actual bricks and pieces. I am going to include dates and the significant milestones of the company. The landmark releases of important pieces, sets, and mini-figures (mini-figs). If I am lucky I will actually be able to bring it into class for you all to see.

My audience participation/interaction will revolve around me bringing in an assortment of bricks and pieces in multiple colors and  set up a space in one of the rooms to host a group build. I want to make it graphic design related, so I was thinking about creating a dinensional typeface or a more conceptual piece for all of you to build. There will be no preconceived instruction booklet, just your imaginations. If anyone has a suggestion for something you would like to see built out of LEGOs, please post a comment. I will photograph the event and get feedback from everyone who participates.

My deliverables list is way too long and varied. I need to priortize my plans. At this point there will be T-shirts with witty taglines and images, PSAs about the dangers of letting kids have your LEGOs, posters with a Greenpeace spin on them, buttons, bumper stickers, etc…sculpture

I also want to present LEGO as an art form. There is more to them that just opening a box and making a pre-planned set designed by the big brain people at LEGO headquarters who need degrees from MIT to work there. There are only a handful of people in the world who are licensed by LEGO to build models, sculptures, and re-creations of famous works of art and make a living off of it. These guys make the most amazing sculptures from the humble LEGO brick.

Well, there it is my rough plan for my term long project. I look forward to see what all of you think. I think it will be a ton of fun.

By the way LEGO means Play Well. That is my little contribution to you all, play well.



Reading #2 Dada, The “Anti-Art” April 15, 2009

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 7:51 pm

first-dadaDada or Dadaism is an art movement that began in Zürich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement involved visual arts, literature, poetry, art manifestoes, theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the classic standards in art through anti-art cultural works.

Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media. The movement influenced later styles like the avant-garde and downtown music movements, and groups including surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme, pop art, and punk rock.
Many Dadaists believed that the ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ of bourgeois capitalist society had led people into war. They expressed their views in artistic expression that appeared to reject logic and embrace chaos and irrationality.

According to its members, Dada was not art, it was “anti-art.” For everything that art stood for, Dada was to be the opposite. Where art was concerned with traditional aesthetics, Dada ignored aesthetics. If art was to appeal to sensibilities, Dada was intended to offend. Through their rejection of traditional culture and aesthetics the Dadaists hoped to destroy traditional culture and aesthetics.

Later, the movement was described as “a phenomenon bursting forth in the midst of the postwar economic and moral crisis, a savior, a monster, which would lay waste to everything in its path. It was a systematic work of destruction and demoralization…In the end it became nothing but an act of sacrilege.”



Everyone Can Draw April 11, 2009

Filed under: 470 Projects — Aimee @ 7:32 am

After a long trying process I think I have finally come up with a term long project! Yippee! How many times have you heard peope say “I can’t draw”? I know I’m one of those people who does not have the best drawing skills. Whenever I come up against the blank page and I have to sketch something out, my mind goes blank. The signals from my brain don’t make it to my hand and the pencil.

l40135Well, here’s the theory. Everyone can be creative and draw. My plan is to come up with a series of pages that have swatches of color or patterns on them that do not have any kind of outlined shape like a coloring book for example. It will be a reverse of a coloring book. Each page will be different and start from a really basic grouping of multiple colors and get more complicated. More complicated groupings of color or patterns and make some of the color combinations more muted or monochromatic. The user would come up with their line art with what they see within the spaces of the color or pattern. Each of these pages would hopefully build up someone’s confidence in their drawing skills to when they get to the end of the book and face the last page that is blank, they won’t be intimidated by the blank page. I would end up making a book of these pages and packaging them with a few simple drawing tools; a pencil, marker, crayon, charcoal, and a piece of graphite. All these tools would be black.

darthandleiacoloring-1With a standard coloring book the lines and spaces are already defined for you. I want people to define their own creativity and not to be frightened by a blank page. I think this could be a fun experiment, it will be interesting to see what kind of images people come up with. This could be a program for people of all ages. The deliverables could include the book, t-shirts, custom pencils or pens, a pencil cup for storage, a large scale poster of a page posted in the hall for anyone to come up and draw on. For more user research, I could take the pages to community centers that have drawing classes and leave them with the class along with a feedback page. This program would introduce the 5 basic elements of design: line, color, shape, texture, and space.

I’m still flushing out the rest of the concept, but I think it is a good start. If anyone has any questions or comments, please leave leave them for me.



Reading #1 Loving Laura More April 2, 2009

Filed under: 470 Readings — Aimee @ 12:36 am

Laura Lark, Bread Face, 2007

Laura Lark, Bread Face, 2007

Andrea Grover met Laura Lark in a Houston art class in 1995. She was standing in for a model that did not show up. During the session she kept looking in on Laura’s sketch of her. Sometime later they bumped into each other at the grocery store and from then on they were friends. Over time Andrea was able to get an idea of Laura’s life from the bits and pieces she would tell her.

It wasn’t until around 2002 when Laura was doing the “assignments” from the site created by Portland State Instructor Harrell Fletcher. The site is made up of different types of assignments that are meant to be completed and posted back to the site for responses. There are social interactions, fun creative projects, and uplifting stories that anyone can participate in and share their experience.

Finished product for LTLYM #1

Finished product for LTLYM #1

Laura started with assignment #1 by taking a child’s clothing item and making it adult size. She ended up making an adult sized footie pajama. She did many of the other projects and then she got to #14, write your life story in less than a day. After she wrote her amazing story and posted it back to the site it was so well received, that Harrell created a new assignment based on it. This new assignment’s (#22) criteria was to take a part of Laura’s life and reenact it and post the video to the site. The impact of this assignment was so huge, it went international and people from different countries were participating.

Sections of the LTLYM site, assignments #14 & #22

Sections of the LTLYM site, assignments #14 & #22

After the overwhelming response to the project, Harrell contacted Andrea, who was running a theater at the time, and created an event where the submitted videos would be played and the audience members were encouraged to read sections of the story out loud. The evening was a huge success.

Since then Laura has had gallery showings of her own all over the country and world.

Primp Indigo Installation Lawndale Art Center

Primp Indigo Installation Lawndale Art Center


Welcome! April 1, 2009

Filed under: 470 Projects — Aimee @ 10:09 am

Welcome to This is my first post. I’m brand new to the blogging world. So bear with me as I get the hang of it. I hope you enjoy the posts to come.