December 09th, 2019
Today is the last day of the class and the final week of fall classes. This class seemed to fly by much faster than the others. I think enjoyed all of classes this semester, however this one surprised me on the very first day. I honestly had no idea what it was going to be about, it just fit my schedule. When Royal explained what the course that lay ahead of us, I was intrigued. I thought “this will be great experience for me.”
I chose to do something about architecture because I don’t really know anything about it, and I saw this as an opportunity to learn about something that affects me every day of my life. It’s a pretty big disappointment that I couldn’t find any architects that could make time for me. I lost count of how many meetings I scheduled with how many architects, only to have them disappear at the last moment. I was really looking forward to learning and writing about something new. Not only anew topic, but a new format of writing.
I have to say this fruitless pursuit did dampen my enthusiasm. I pushed ahead anyways and talked about my own curiosities and thoughts on architecture, it’s future, and how that relates to Milwaukee. I don’t expect anyone to find much inspiration in the ignorant ramblings of a student, but who knows maybe someone will get an idea from it. regardless, I certainly enjoyed the curriculum and soft-spoken wisdom of Royal. I am thankful for the time he gave us and the and the new acquaintance.
A new direction
I moved forward without with a self-driven topic on future ides for architecture. I think considering how structures may change with new technologies in production is interesting. I hope it proves to be an interesting. Perhaps it can spark some conversation or new ideas with the reader. I have heard back recently from an Architect that I had previously been hoping to get an interview with, as well as a connection with another architect. I think I will be reaching out to them and getting advice on how I can alter my current draft to include some architectural facts.
It seems that I will be going this one alone. I will be doing my own rapid research to provide information on the topic of how architecture plays a role in the lives of Milwaukeeans. I have reached out to multiple architects in the area, with no luck getting in interview. Failure on five accounts to be exact. I’m not surprised, they are very busy professionals after all. At this point I intend to deliver something and there is no more time for dilly dally, so I have spent the past few hours compiling some articles to read through. This will hopefully inform me enough that I can answer some of those questions about architecture, such as how it plays on our sensory and in our social classes. The direction of this writing will most likely change. This of course depends on what information I can dig up in this short amount of time.
Looking for new insights
It turns out it can be pretty difficult to get time with an architect. I had a phone interview lined up, but due to my own work schedule I did not make the call. After a couple of failed attempts to reschedule I've decided to look for a new recipient for my interview. It looks like I may be in luck, and Have a friend that could connect me with another Milwaukee architect. I will of course continue to look for more architects, just in case this one doesnt work out. Worst case scenario I have more than one person and I get more information. For now this is where I stand and I guess we'll see how this unfolds.
I want to learn about the many elements that an architect must synthesize when designing a building. What are those things that must be considered in order to successfully splice their vision into the existing landscape? How has this changed over the years? Why has it changed? Are people changing the future of their habitat, or are the structures we building changing us? “We shape our building, and afterwards they shape us” (Winston Churchill). We’ve been submerged in these structures for so long now we don’t notice the details of there making. The details that influence our subconscious.
Everyday people become more and more concerned with the well being of the environment, and architects have become specialists in this field. Since they have such a massive impact on the population it only seems appropriate. What techniques are being implemented to lower environmental impact? How do they plan to evolve them going into the future? Will these changes impact our lifestyle, or will they go completely unnoticed? How can I as a product designer play my part in helping to usher in these changes?
Milwaukee is an old city and has not seen much change in the past few decades. To many this is a large part of the charm. It displays its history proudly. Unfortunately, the city of neighborhoods to many has an uneven distribution of wealth. Few live with abundance while many go without. From the well to do neighborhoods like Third ward to the tent community below the overpass. Does past architecture in Milwaukee play a role in this imbalance? Do the architects of today see an opportunity to for a new future for Milwaukee? Who better to ask than a Zimmerman, architects that have been working in Milwaukee for several generations? I am in the process of setting up an interview with Kurt Zimmerman, who I believe is the perfect man to go to with such questions.
Professionals to interview
I would like to interview an architect for my piece. One who has been working in Milwaukee for a while and is knowledgable on the topic of clean energy. I think that I could gain great insights of the city of Milwauke from someone who has a hand in building the city. An architect is creative, and influential on a grand scale. In looking for how they influence the city I feel that I can also find a link to industrial designer. Products are very focused most of the time, so how does that influence people like archtects who have a broader. How can that help me, a student of Product design, see a bigger picture. What is the future of clean energy? What can a procuct designer learn form an architect to help them do their job better?
Analysis of artist Bios
The cover page image is a great representation of what kind of work your about to investigate. The backplate color chosen is representative of the content displayed. It seems a bit stark against the black and white images. It also dominates the landscape of the webpage by quantity and I notice my attention shifting to the negative space often. The bonfire paintings are beautiful but tend to get lost against the backplate. The “spartan” approach to the website is understandable in that it wished to keep the artwork at the forefront of the readers attention. I think that the website could benefit from some minor graphical implementations that would help focus the page. The organization by category is wonderful and easy to use. The artwork itself is fascinating. I grew up in and around the woods, so it brings me great joy to get lost in Todd’s work. I’ve viewed several times over, both admiring the skill and yearning to return home. The point that Todd places the viewer at allows me to get a sense of being right there while he paints it. Perhaps it’s his goal to put the viewer into the environment; to allow them to enjoy a beautiful scene as he did.
As for the bio, it’s a nice balance of describing his work as well as listing his accomplishments. I think it’s one of the more impressive sounding of the lot that I looked at. I certainly appreciate the clear labeling of “about / CV” I dint see anyone else doing that. The photo chosen for this isn’t one that evokes emotion. I’m curious about the reasoning behind choosing that photo.
This Blog post of Todd’s has a nice layout, the white background is working well. It almost gives a sense of sunshine to the page along with the content. I like the contrast of super clean and simple with spots of complex organic imagery.
I think the white background, simple type face, and beautiful little bird in it nest icon are all well balance. The length of the bio seams to be consistent with others I viewed. Again, there is a balance of personal information, description of his art, and a few notable pieces of work. I like the inclusion of a childhood photo; I think that shows both a strong sense of pride and humor of one’s self.
I like the incredibly simple layout of this site. Icon, small grey header, no sub-header, and prefect grid of artwork. Anything else on this page would be too much if paired with this portfolio. The work is so intricate and colors so saturated that a square with a date is as much as they need. I love seeing the Eaoa Andrews outright defiance of material properties, perhaps this is because it’s a welcomed break from industrial design mixed with my long-time fascination with Hieronymus Bosch.
Michelle, “wolfskulljack,” brings something a little different to my research. The website wields a heavier graphic layout. I think this can be a risky thing to do depending on the type of art you are promoting. Regardless I think she does it very well. The creature lurking behind the slash in the page creates an instant emotional response; preparing you for the journey through Michelle’s work. Moving to a white space with in the black backplate was, I believe, a smart choice. Paired with the simple grid blocks this make the artwork much easier to focus on. I appreciate the details that show the care the artist takes in presenting themselves. The white spaces top and bottom keep parallel to the diagonal “slash” header. The body of work being introduced and concluded with monotone illustrations.
The bio for this artist also sets itself apart from the others in that it chooses to sway towards an emotional story telling not just through words, but also a sequence of photos that show the real-life inspiration to the artwork. I think this is simple, yet very powerful. Instead of a long list of academics and shows, the artist tells a more personal story.
It doesn’t surprise me one bit that Matthews “about me” is the longest of any artist bio I’ve looked at. This artist’s life is full of adventure and I’m sure it was a struggle to say everything in such a small frame. Nevertheless, it accomplishes it nicely. It leaves one in awe of the artist, which is what it should do. Something I haven’t seen yet is the use of a new paragraph to list out the academic accomplishments separately. I think it works nicely by giving the reader a chance to digest the awesomeness, and then button it up with the business.
This site as well, follows the simple monotone, sans serif header on a white background. The artwork presented in a grid of blocks. Not once did any of the sites using this format feel generic. It’s a format that works well, and the artwork is allowed to do its job. I can tell very clearly that the artist carefully selected the images to start off on the home page. It’s a very diverse body of work and makes me want to dive deeper into every page. The perfect teaser I would say.
A lotta white space, simple header. Simple playful typeface and logo in primary colors. Easy to use single bar menu. Large image advertising top story of the day. Wrap around ribbons help select stories pop from the page, by breaking the uniform border. This ribbon helps to add dimension to what seems like a fairly flat page. Not sure of the purpose of such a large side margin but with the large number of articles per page, combined with the mass of white space, it feels like scrolling through advertisements. I suppose this simple layout may be convenient for a casual reader. As a new viewer it doesn’t feel engaging. Part of the excessive and irregular negative space seems to be from an attempt to maintain a grid system, while compromising with varying article preview sizes. The page ends with a large colorful collage of Milwaukee icons. This footer is the best part of the page, and probably the least seen.
This site remedies some of the previous ailments my reducing the side margin size and adhering to a formula for article previews. The implementation of hierarchy follows this simple formula as well, with a dominant main story, followed by subdominant, and finally submissive articles. Unfortunately, the size change is the only technique implemented to achieve this, and thus leaves the page lacking any visual interest. Finally, it’s a shame that the publications own title is submissive to an advertisement placed in the header.
Simple and recognizable header and menu. Although black and white, it seems to stand out more than the others. Possibly the care put into the logo design, placement and sizing. They do not rely on a color to do that work for them. Meaningful and contained advertisements precede the articles in a way that isn’t imposing. Starts with large window, that cycles biggest stories. I think this is a nice way to prevent clutter. Secondary articles are vertical along the side of main articles. This flows nicely and presents a lot of information in an easy to digest manner. There is a sub menu that intersects the page in a clean and decisive manner. This makes it easy to move between segments of the page. This is like a visual “click” to change slides, but with the benefit of a continuous flow. This is followed by a change in format to a grid of evenly sized article previews. In this format it is understood that the reader has moved on and would like to sift the miscellaneous section for something of their own personal interest. The page goes begin to fall apart the further down you go. Preview sizes, advertisements, and other bits of information become inconstant and seemingly “slapped” onto the page.
Very clean and organized layout. Purposeful use of brand color throughout the page. Informative footer. The use of a grey margin space prevents a feeling of empty space. The contrast brings out it’s function as a border as well as keeps a focal point on the articles. This seems to be the most successful at hierarchy and organization without losing visual interest.
My name is Collin Sutton and I was born in Fawn River township. I grew up simple, rummaging around the countryside, exploring the rivers and forests on my free time. My interest in art came from my mother and father both. My mother was a sign maker and my father, before I was born would sketch and draft. I learned the importance of working and contributing to the community from working alongside my grandfather. Instead of pursuing art I got an education in healthcare. While I was working in surgery I learned, from interacting with medical product representatives, what kind of impact I could have on the world if I applied my artistic abilities to product design. Today I am a student at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and studying product design in the hopes that I can continue to make a meaningful impact on the world. Although I myself am not a writer, I do appreciate writing greatly. I believe it is possibly the best way for anyone to learn about others as well as themselves. I think written words allow an individual to project the most honest example of one’s intentions. I'm not an artistnor am I a writer, I am a builder with a passion for problem solving.
Me, Michigan Winter 2017, Making tea