Before Piaget’s work, the common assumption in psychology was that children are merely less competent thinkers than adults. Whereas in reality, young children simply think in a different way to adults. Because children have a much more limited vocabulary than adults, in replacement for words they communicate via creativity such as drawing.
As a task, we were given drawings created by children and we had to analyse them estimating why we thought the child had drawn the character in that.
Why I thought this character was drawn in this way;
- This character was given wonky eyes so that it had the capability to look all over the place so that it could take extra good care of you.
- He’s a cowboy but he’s sad because he doesn’t have any arms, therefore he can hold a lasso or a gun.
- He’s shaped like a boat so that he can float on water and the bumps on his back are seats for children.
- He’s green because its a camouflage colour so he can hide from bad guys.
This week I collaborated with another Product design student for the first time in order to design a product which involves technology which encourages children to go outside instead of staying inside of computer devices. The Video above explains our idea.
We only realised on presentation day that our idea was clearly unoriginal and predictable since several other groups has done very similar ideas. Because of this I wouldn’t want to take this idea any further and wish I pursued another idea which may have been more wacky but a the same time never thought of before.
Duchamp M explains in his written work ‘The Creative Act’ that a designers ‘intentions’ of a design idea ‘and its realisation’ can be very different. This is because everyone’s cognition is individual as explained by Piaget, therefore everyone views things in different ways, and consequently creates a multitude of varying opinions and views. This can also be related to product design because, someone may look at a design for a table and think it is aesthetically beautiful but then another individual could see the same design and despise its aesthetics. A designer would have to consider this idea during their design process.
This theory is great when relating to children, since it is based on ones visual. A child ‘Looks and recognises before it can speak’ (Berger). Therefore they pay greater attention to the wonders of the world’s aesthetics. For example, if you were to show an adult a box, all they would see is a box, but a child will see the potential for things such as a rocket ship or a car. And the way the child interprets the object given to them is affected by what they know, what they believe and their life experiences, which relates back to Piaget and the theory that very person has an individual cognition.
I was travelling on the train recently, and there was a little girl sat on her mums lap holding an empty Capri Sun packet. The girl then began to pretend that the capri sun packet was a note pad, that the straw was a pen, that she was a doctor and her mum was her patient. This is one example of how peoples cognitions work differently especially in relation to children,
For this weeks ‘Beauty’ weeks I produced a model out of Das clay which at first I was somewhat excited to do as I have not experimented with this material before when making a product. Once attempting to manipulate the clay I realised it was difficult to achieve the shape desired with the clay alone so I incorporated metal piping in the centre of the model to act as support. I used water to help soften the clay to create a smoother surface and then once it was left to dry over night I created a gradient from blue to white using acrylic paint.
At the start of the week I felt very confused on how to start the project as I usual follow aesthetics after function and the product having no function at all left me clueless. To help me think I began a spider diagram centring with the title ‘What I think is Beautiful’. There were many things that I stemmed ideas but the two things that I felt most seemed most beautiful to me was Water and the female form, therefore I attempted to incorporate these two into one final design. I googled pictures of both water and the human body and created a mind map as inspiration and then began to sketch up ideas.
To begin I shall first discuss what Rudolf Arnheims theory of ‘Visual Thinking’ involves. Arnheim argued against the theory that communication via the use of language was the most efficient means of idea generation, but instead each individual’s fives senses combined are what creates a person’s life experiences which affects the way they think ‘nothing is in the intellect which was not previously in the senses’. Arnheim believes this is why every individual approaches problems and jobs in an individual manner.
Arheims theory of Visual Thinking relates strongly to the subject of Product design. This is because each individual designer had their own thinking style, therefore they all work differently. Even if there are similarities in their final design concepts they will not look identical due to the fact that nobody has had an identical life experience. To put this into context, if you had asked a group of Product Designers to design a kettle, every kettle will have a method of switching on and off, a power source, a spout to pour the water, a handle and a body. Yet each designer would have approached the aesthetics of the kettle differently, therefore there would be many original designs due to the theory of ‘Visual Thinking’.
In conclusion, Visual Thinking is crucial in the Art and Design industry in order to involve a range of different perceptions, which will lead to a range of different ideas creating a sense of originality, and this will also increase the likely hood of development which enhances the artists or designers chance of having an improved outcome for their final design.
For the Transbranding week I decided to design a Crocs suitcase, as Croc has a very distinct design style which would be suitable for applying to another object other than the typical form of a shoe.
I created 20 different prototype out of blue foam using hot glue and the hot wire cutter, the purpose of these models were to experiment with the form, shape and dimensions of the product. I borrowed a pair of my brothers Crocs to use as a guideline while making the prototypes, and then afterwards I compared the final prototypes back to the Croc shoes in order to clearly see which shape is the most similar to the style of Croc.
If I were to further this design process I would next wish to complete a scaled down prototypes of this design and experiment with the use of different materials which are suitable for a suitcase to be made out of and also has the same aesthetics as Crocs.
“All Crocs™ shoes are uniquely designed and manufactured using proprietary closed-cell resin, Croslite™, a technology that gives each pair of shoes the soft, comfortable, lightweight, non-marking and odor-resistant qualities that Crocs™ wearers know and love.” In an ideal situation I would try to use the material ‘Croslite’ although Crocs have “exclusive rights to the proprietary foam resin called Croslite”.
I would also like to produce functioning prototypes so that I can experiment with the movement of the wheels, zips and the handle. I would also like to design the inside of the suitcase as I have done no work into this and it is an essential part of the design of any suitcase.
Before I begin my short essay I shall first define what is meant by the terms ‘Hylomorphism’ and ‘agencies’. Hylomorphism is ‘the theory that physical objects are composed of matter and form’, whereas agencies are a combination of different aspects which leads to an ‘active operation’. Ingold, a British anthropologist is a strong disbeliever in the Hylomorphic model and believes that instead, agencies are involved.
The debate I will be having within this essay is whether the subject of ‘Product Design’ is Hylomorphic or is instead involved with Agencies. After a period of thinking about the possibilities of different groups of agencies within product design, I came up with a variety of combinations such as ‘the pen, the paper, and then the idea’, ‘the materials, the tools, and then the manufacturer’, and ‘the client, the designer, and the product’, although I believe that the three main agencies in Product Design would be ‘the Designer, the Idea, and finally the finished Product’, this is since you begin with the designer within the Design process and then the idea acts as the driving force which leads to the finished product.
Although product design can also be thought of in relation to the Hylomorphic model, this is because it is very much a subject with extreme interest into the properties of different matters/materials and how they can create differing functions and forms.
Overall, I must disagree with Ingold’s belief of agencies, since I believe that in regards to Product Design, the Hylomorphic model is more relatable since it is a subject which is very such focused on ‘physical objects’, ‘matter’, and form.’