Thursday, February 18, 2010

Week 7: Identifying Bad Designs

Go to the website link provided by the side (in Design Sites). Take a moment to study the products and situations that are listed in the site. These are some typical examples of designs or situations that are badly-designed, and might lead on to rather unpleasant product or usage experiences by the users. Based on these examples:
  • Showcase a few products or situations that you can use and highlight as an example of something that is badly designed, whether be it a product, or a situation
  • Put these as a blogpost in  your personal ADMT blogs.
  • Place the link/s to your posts in the comments section of this post
  • Remember to include these items in your blog post:
    • The problem (product or situation)
    • Proposed solution
    • A picture or pictures of the product/situation (do remember to quite your photo sources if they are taken from some other sites!)
    • You can use this mechanical pencil example as a guide
  • Deadline: By Tuesday, 23rd February, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Week 7: Reminders

Just a gentle reminder on 2 things:
  1. Upload your selected photos into your personal ADMT blogs, together with your selected theme, and the reasons why these photos are selected to be featured
  2. Updates from week 6; for each group, please remember week 6's work on restating your problems as statements. I will follow up with each individual group during the next lesson this week!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Living Climate Change Video Challenge

There is an interesting international video challenge competition that I find to be very interesting and relevant to our theme on 'Environment'. I thought that I might want to sound all of you out, in case you are interested. The deadline for this is also just nice for your ADMT project. Do take a look at the Under-18 category of the competition in the URL below. If you or your group are interested, do pass me your names.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Week 6: Your Environmental Challenge - Brainstorming/Ideation

Restating your problems
In week 4, your group would have worked on coming out with 2 key problems and 3 key areas that you would want to work on as your environmental challenge. Before you start to brainstorm on ideas for probable solutions to these problems, please restate your problems as a challenge or a question. For example, if your problem is:
'To encourage students to recycle'

you can restate your problem as 

'How can we encourage SST students to recycle 
their water bottles?'

The idea here is to be as specific as you can on the intended challenge. This will then allow you and your team to be more focused on your challenges, and your intended solutions.

By using any of the ideation methods that have been taught in class, ideate as many possible solutions as you can to each of your problems. Tabulate these solutions if you can.

Week 6+7: Basic Photography - Your fortnight 'assignment'

As part of your assignment on photography over the next 2 weeks, I would like each of you to choose just one of the following themes below:
  1. Family Ties
  2. Perspectives
  3. Emotions
  4. Motion/Stationary
  5. Nostalgic
  6. RED!
Take as many pictures as you want of any of the given selected theme that you have chosen. Apply the basic knowledge that have been taught in class in your pictures. Choose between 8 to 10 of your best pictures in class and showcased them in your personal ADMT blog, together with some explanation of why the photos were chosen for the given theme. You are also expected to do a short presentation of your selected photos in class.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Week 6: Basic Photography: Lesson 3-The Diagonal Rule

The Diagonal Rule states that a photograph looks more dynamic if the objects fall or follow a diagonal line. The diagonal line doesn't have to be an actual line and it doesn't have to be a straight one. It could be the edges of a river, the top of a forest, or even an imaginary line connecting the different objects in the scene.

One side of the picture is divided into two, and then each half is divided into three parts. The adjacent side is divided so that the lines connecting the resulting points form a diagonal frame. According to the Diagonal Rule, important elements of the picture should be placed along these diagonals. Here are some pictures as examples:

Article and pictures taken and adapted from:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Week 6: Basic Photography: Lesson 2-The Rule of Thirds

The ancient Greeks are amongst the first to realise the more pleasant effects that a visual presentation using the rule of thirds would present. Hence most of their works of art uses this rule in its visual presentation. In fact the rule of thirds are amongst the first few rules that are taught in basic photography classes.

The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. As follows.

As you’re taking an image you would have done this in your mind through your viewfinder or in the LCD display that you use to frame your shot. With this grid in mind the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in as you frame your image. Not only this – but it also gives you four ‘lines’ that are also useful positions for elements in your photo.

The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines that your photo becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that when viewing images that people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot – using the rule of thirds works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it.

In learning how to use the rule of thirds (and then to break it) the most important questions to be asking of yourself are:
  • What are the points of interest in this shot?
  • Where am I intentionally placing them?
Once again – remember that breaking the rule can result in some striking shots – so once you’ve learnt it experiment with purposely breaking it to see what you discover.

Week 6: Basic Photography: Lesson 1-Knowing your focal point

It is important in basic photography for you to be able to know what are the focal points of the photos that you are taking. Are you taking a single subject matter or a group of people engaging in a certain activity? The reason why a focal point is important is to allow your viewers to maintain their focus on the intended subject matter. Hopefully the ideas and messages that you would want to show, highlight or put across in the photos would be put forth across successfully.

For example, compare the 2 pictures below:

 Picture 1

Picture 2

Which of these pictures would show more clearly the idea of students being engaged in an IT-based activity?

6 Techniques to Enhance the Focal Point in an Image
A focal point can be virtually anything ranging from a person, to a building, to a mountain, to a flower etc. Obviously the more interesting the focal point the better – but there are other things you can do to enhance it’s power including:
  • Position – Place it in a prominent position – you might want to start with the rule of thirds for some ideas.
  • Focus – Learn to vary your depth of field to blur out other aspects in front or behind your focal point.
  • Blur – If you really want to get tricky you might want to play with slower shutter speeds if your main subject is still and things around it are moving.
  • Size – making your focal point large is not the only way to make it prominent – but it definitely can help.
  • Color – using contrasting colors can also be a way of setting your point of interest apart from it’s surroundings.
  • Shape – similarly contrasting shapes and textures can make a subject stand out – especially patterns that are repeated around a subject.
Keep in mind that a combination of above elements can work well together.
Lastly – don’t confuse the viewer with too many competing focal points which might overwhelm the main focal point. Secondary points of interest can be helpful to lead the eye but too many strong ones will just clutter and confuse.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 5+6: Ideation - 'Shape Borrowing' slides

The slides that I presented on the topic of 'Shape Borrowing'

Week 5+6: Tools for Ideation

This week, we are going to cover a little bit on some of the tools that can be used for Ideation (and Brainstorming). Ideation is an important component for any problem solving situations as it allows one to look at possible solutions, and then after considering all possibilities, is then able to make a decision on the most appropriate solution/s. In previous lessons, we have learnt 2 tools that could also be used in an 'Ideation' context, namely the 'PIES' and '5W+1H' methods. For the next fortnight, I'll be covering 3 types of ideation techniques that you can use to generate ideas, and possibly solutions. They are:
  • Morphological Analysis
  • Shape Borrowing techniques
  • SCAMPER (which is the acronym for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to other use, Eliminate, and Rearrange/Reverse)
Please do some basic research on these methods before my presentation so that we can go through some activities and exercises in class.

FYI, the diagram below gives you a good idea of how the problem solving process (and the project) is supposed to developed across the entire Semester.