Thesis Reflection Week 2

Posted by on Jan 16, 2012 in Blog | No Comments

For my thesis class we have to do a reflection paper once every two weeks talking about what we have done and how we reflect on it. Instead of doing the writeup and handing it in, I think that blogging about it will be way more beneficial for people around me who are curious about what my thesis is actually all about. Compared to the huge semester summary that I did in a blog post, I think making it into these smaller chunks will shed more light onto what I have done.

On another note, I feel more inclined to make a blog post than a writeup that is only seen between my prof and me.

As my first semester ended, I knew that I had a lot of things to think about for my second semester. In my final talk with my thesis professor, a topic that came up and really hit me hard was what I wanted to say through my thesis. My actions in the first semester can certainly be classified as one big exploration. All I did was to play around with the possibilities of what I had at hand. The actions that I was doing did not have any specific goal other than to stay in the explorative realm.

The holidays had given me ample time to think about what kind of message I would voice through my thesis. I was trying to boil down the reasons why I wanted to join rapid prototyping into my thesis and what I realized was that my mindset had already created an apparent connection between the two. That graphic design is swiftly evolved beyond the use of paper and ink; it’s forced to absorb a magnitude of technologies, which then again pushes the occupation into many directions. Some of these technologies include 3D printers, lasercutters and CNC machines.

Throughout the summer, I was fortunate to also get a number of books that I want to read through as the semester goes by. Compared to my last semester where I my literary part was somewhat haphazardly put together, this time around I will be ready for it.

As a student studying graphic design and a print shop monitor, I certainly am aware of the important relationship designers have with their printers. When we design something, the final output has to take into many different factors created by the chosen method of production. Printing a poster has to take into consideration like color correction, paper stock and size restrictions. As we become more experienced, we learn to push the limits of our tools. An example that I did was this typographic poster where the size restriction seriously limited the effectiveness of my poster. What I decided to do was create tabs that I ended up sewing together, increasing the size of the poster beyond the restrictions of the printer.

As many graphic designers are pushing the boundaries when it comes to paper prints, I realize that together with the influx of new technologies at our disposal comes the same opportunity, which is to push the machinery and their outputs to their limits. Another reason this opportunity has only recently emerged can be attributed to the fact that these technologies have infiltrated the school systems, giving students a chance to use them at a reasonable price. At OCADU, our rapid prototyping room includes a CNC machine, lasercutter, 3D printer and 3D scanner, which are all at the student’s fingertips with the right knowledge.

An assignment that we on our first class was to get back into the groove of making things again. With the winter vacation, many of us still need to rev back up again and I think just forcing us to make something is a great way of getting back into it. What I wanted to do was to take a used book and transform it into something else.

I was not sure what this “something else” would be but I thought that it would somewhat work out in the end. As I was looking for a used book to buy, a book called “A Wallflower Christmas” popped up and shablam, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to somehow create a flower out of the book and that’s what I did! Through folding and cutting, I transformed a section of the book into a flower. Since this assignment was just to get us back into the “making” mode, I didn’t forcefully make it encompass my thesis. However, when I think about what I did, it really does relate to my thesis. If I interchange the folding and cutting actions with a new technology like the lasercutter, it would become an exploration of the new technology through printed media. This is how i ended up creating, which represents the book and its content. Down below are some process photos of what i did with the book.

After the critique we had today about the form that we created, the Wallflower Christmas flower that I made lacks in a key department, and that is to actually represent the my thesis. What I need to get going, is to actually have these down and dirty relationships with the machines I want to speak about. That is certainly a job for these two up and coming weeks!

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