Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saint Ursula Villa: Day 2

Dear Parents,

Thanks to Wednesday's snow day, Friday marked our second day of Design Genius! We had a wonderful time developing prints and patterns to help our Design Targets.

Part II: Thinking Like A Designer (continued from Monday's class!)

4. Ideating Prints
In our groups, we learned about three types of prints: those made out of shapes (like stripes, zig-zags, and dots), those made out of motifs (like soccer balls, cats, and music notes), and those made out of text, or typography. Like real designers, we took turns ideating, or drawing out a lot of ideas quickly, with these types of prints.

5. Revising Our Prints
We starred our favorite ideations and took time to discuss which design elements (like color, shape, or motif) were working and why. Then, we took time to draw out larger, revised prints; we spent more time on these to make sure they looked really good!

Check out some of our work!

On Monday, we'll learn how our prints will become real products. Please check back soon!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Saint Ursula Villa: Day 1

Parents of SUV 4th Graders:

I was thrilled to have the honor of working with your child today! The Villa has so many creative, intelligent, talent kids; as a Villa graduate myself, it was great to be back!

Today was the first day of our project—your child is well on the way to becoming a Design Genius! Here's an outline of the material we covered:

Part I: Introduction
            1. About The Project – The “Who”: 
We got to know each other! The students decorated name tents and shared their favorite colors and animals with me. In turn, I shared a little bit about myself and my work as both a student and a designer. 
            2. About The Project – The “What” And “Why”: 
We discussed the goal of the project: to solve a problem with a real-life print or pattern that will be turned into a tangible product! We established that, while sometimes it seems like adults have all of the answers, students are capable of coming up with design solutions that might be more creative and exciting. 
            3. Project Groundwork – Emotions: 
We laid a foundation for our design work with an understanding of emotions. We discussed how situations may make different people feel different emotions, and we understood that people exhibit emotions in a variety of different ways. 

Part II: Thinking Like A Designer
            1. Dividing Into Groups:
We understood that all good designers work in groups, using a "two heads are better than one" mentality to leverage different strengths for a stronger end result. 
            2. Empathetic Listening – Defining The Problem:
In our groups, we read a journal entry by one of four fictional peers (you can read them here!) We used active listening to gain an empathetic understanding of our Design Target, realizing the situation he/she is facing and the emotions that he/she is experiencing as a result. We also gained understanding of his/her favorite colors and activities. Then, we wrote a Problem Statement to clearly define our Design Target's problem and establish the goal of our creative process. 
            3. Defining Our Approach:
As a class, we discussed the power of print and pattern by examining shirts with several different prints, from silly to sophisticated. We talked about the emotions these prints evoke and understood that they have the power to turn our negative emotions into positive ones—if we are nervous or anxious, for example, and then put on a silly shirt, our entire attitudes could change. This will lay the groundwork for Wednesday's class!

I'm looking forward to joining your students for exciting rounds of print and pattern design on Wednesday. Please check in for updates!