ayana airakan-mance | design : speak

Spring 2010 Final Project: Nice Work Once Again From Multimedia Content + Form Class

Posted in Commentary, Design Education, LinkedIn, Process, Teaching by ayanaairakan on 2010/06/04

This is my first time writing in depth about my Multimedia Content + Form students’ final project work here on the blog.

The Multimedia Content + Form class introduces the fundamental design process as it pertains to the creation of multimedia products/titles. Students will develop an understanding of the function and importance of visual elements and design principles in multimedia through handcrafted and computer exercises and projects. A survey of multimedia and its artistic and cultural relevancy will also be covered through lectures and student presentations.

Students gain an understanding of fundamental design principles and devices for expressing ideas visually. They learn technical, conceptual and problem-solving skills and how to constructively critique their own and others’ work. They are introduced to design processes, typographic and layout applications, print, and digital vocabulary. They learn about software and hardware applications in multimedia, and industry standards.

For the final project, students have the choice to design screens for a web site (12), or a DVD or Game title (8). They demonstrate an understanding of application of the design process using the design principles. In addition, they had to assemble their work in a process book where they showed their topic, visual and user profile research and their final screens. The students this semester, as those of previous semesters demonstrated great skill. Here are a few samples from this past semester’s, Spring 2010 Final Project work and process books:

Process Book Pages

© 2010 Lina Chang

© 2010 Sharla Hee

© 2010 Sharla Hee


© 2010 Scott Benoit

© 2010 Haven Langhout

© 2010 Carlo Montemayor

Macworld 2010 | Will I Attend 2011?

Posted in Commentary, LinkedIn, Macworld by ayanaairakan on 2010/02/14

I made it to the second and third (final) days of Macworld 2010’s Expo here in San Francisco, and found myself feeling a bit melancholy upon seeing the sparseness of the crowd. I arrived just after 11:30 am, which meant I missed Guy Kawasaki’s talk, to my chagrin.

The complete expo was in the North Hall of the Moscone Center using maybe only a third the size of past Macworld Expos. Conferences were held in Moscone West. On Friday, (my first day), I walked the whole expo floor. Microsoft had the largest booth, though it was maybe a quarter size of what it had been at past expos. I gleaned no new information from one of the representatives when I inquired about a 2010 version of MS Office. The highlight at the booth was the “live” MS Office application icons.

I then visited the BusyCal booth which is a calendar that syncs with ICal, and seems to fix all the interface changes Apple had made to iCal with the launch of Leopard. Made me happy that I was still running Tiger on my Macs. Nice application though. They also make BusySync. I continued next to the booth of the OmniGroup-the folks who make Omnigraffle, OmniPlan and more idea and workflow tools. Nice wireframe templates, but still nothing new. I then walked the whole expo floor and saw nothing else that peeked my interest, except the earbud pouch that was a frivolous $4.00 purchase. I think I’m going to pass it on to the daughter of friends.

I did check out Macworld’s Best of Show presentation which featured two companies who develop for the iPhone. Not really my interest.

It was nice to run into my friend Lorca from SF State University who let me pick his brilliant brain more about my using Google Voice. Thank you Lorca. I also bumped into Ray Holbert, a City College of San Francisco faculty alum and friend, who was there with other CCSF colleagues. Also was glad to run into and catch up with Simon Udell and dear friend. I took his Architectural Rendering classes at CCSF a “few” years ago. That was nice.

I left the expo around 3:30 pm feeling I hadn’t really connected.

Today, Saturday, the 13th, I returned around 12:20 pm and had a great conversation with Lola, who was attending the User Conferences. She was having an excellent time at the conferences and felt that the expo being so small did not impact on her experience. This was encouraging. She reinforced my feeling that the conferences are perhaps the way to go if I attend next year. The early purchase of the User Conference was $175.00. That’s doable.

I arrived in the expo at 12:50 just in time to line up for the iPad panel that Macworld, successfully, in my opinion pulled together in three days. Great insight was shared by Macworld’s Jason Snell as MC, Dan Moren, Ted Landau, Ryan Block and Andy Ihnatko. I still feel the iPad isn’t top on my list of next purchases, but the panel did help me see more clearly its draw as a viable tool for many. Several on the panel felt that the education sector good get on board with the advent of allowing students to access textbooks via the iBook application.

Although I missed “The Russell Brown Show” featured today and always wonderfully staged by Adobe’s Creative Director, Russell Brown, Jr., I was glad to see he was here.

Saw Ray again today, along with another CCSF colleague, Jerry Lum and his wife. (CCSF was out in force, hmm.) We all seemed to share the same sentiments about Macworld Expo 2010–small, somewhat disappointing, wondering about next year.

Not only did the hard hit economy, have an impact on this year’s expo, but I feel that there is no longer the driving need for the next, best, great thing every year. There’s more of a sense of finding products that can be used over a greater period of time hence having greater value to the consumer.

Well, all-in-all, Macworld 2010 was a mixed bag for me, but I do feel I will check it out again next year, but this time I’ll add in a conference.

Would love to hear the thoughts and experiences from others who attended. Please post a comment.
Thanks and cheers.

Noted: Why We Should Teach Design Early | Blog | design mind

Posted in Commentary, Design, Design Education, LinkedIn, Noted by ayanaairakan on 2010/01/14

“Designers, through training and experience, develop a different lens through which to see the world. They move through spaces, environments, and systems, making observations and developing insights about what works well and what doesn’t. They then use those observations and insights to create innovative solutions for everyday problems. If design is the crossroads of beauty and purpose, design thinking is the intersection of creative and analytical thinking.

But when do we learn how to think like a designer?” – Rob Stokes

Read full article here: Why We Should Teach Design Early | Blog | design mind.

Nice article from Frog Design’s blog.

Noted: A discussion on the new logo for the Oakland Museum of CA @Brand New.

Posted in Branding, Commentary, Design, Noted by ayanaairakan on 2009/12/10

What do you think?

Join the discussion at: http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/more_oak_less_cal.php

Also let me know what you think by adding a comment here as well.

Will Design Students Find Work After Completion of Studies?

Posted in Commentary, Design Matters, LinkedIn, Teaching by ayanaairakan on 2009/08/10

GD Studio 1 students are doing great work. They’re really a good bunch. I’m starting to wonder, given the current state of the economy, what future in graphic design do they have. Most certainly, students must be great designers, demonstrating fully, their understanding of the design fundamentals and their application. They also must be well versed in design for interaction as well as print. Please share your thoughts with them.

“Value” Is Once Again Driving Design

Posted in Commentary, LinkedIn, Teaching by ayanaairakan on 2009/06/24

In recent blog posts and articles designers and business people have been writing about garnering, what I call, “value” in what we create. This word value has finally come to the forefront again of many discussions, both within design, business, and design education communities.

All this buzz around once again putting value in what designers create to the top of the discussion is very exciting to me as a design educator. Over recent semesters, I’ve found it rather difficult in conveying this need to students. One of the reasons that comes to mind as to why this was happening is the desire and perhaps in some cases, the false perceived need in some companies minds to imitate or copy products and services that have been commercially successful in the market place. Hence, students seem, to just want to imitate or copy what has already been done. Innovation and thought seem to reside on some other planet for many students.

With the need to garner “value” in what designers create and companies market again being seen as critical, I now have tools that I can use to guide students to this framework of thinking.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

What Do Designers Think About The Concept of Personal Branding?

Posted in Branding, Commentary, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2009/06/02

While at WordPress’s WordCampSF, I heard a really great talk by Dave Gray of Xplane | The visual thinking company. In that talk, he mentioned David Armano of Logic + Emotion. Last year David Armano did a presentation on the concept of personal branding at the Chicago Convergence Conference where he stated “The hallmark of any brand is authenticity . . .”. He then proceeds to speak on the advent of personal branding. Here’s the video of his talk.

Personal Branding-Brand U.O, David Armano, Critical Mass

My question: How does the concept of personal branding come into play for graphic and other design professionals, both on a personal level and when dealing with clients?

I most certainly am using social media to gain more exposure through the use of specific types of blog postings, tweets and status updates; and when I meet clients or potential clients, I am very aware of the visual representation I want to present.

What do others think of this? Are you more aware of the need to present or create a very specific brand for yourself, and do you incorporate this concept as part of the design strategy for your clients?

Fast Company Magazine related article: The Brand Called You. http://bit.ly/Yvl8 (Great find by Arne Van Oosteram of designthinkers . Thanks Arne.)

How Valuable Are Old-School/Traditional Design Skills Today?

Posted in Commentary, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2009/05/22

Inspired by LinkedIn’s Communication Arts Group’s discussion forum post:”When you learned to work on a computer, did you take classes or teach yourself?”, I want to pose the question: How valuable are traditonal design skills like thumbnailing (preliminary sketches and verbalization), and marker and paper comping? Are they still being used today? Are they being taught in design programs today? Join me in the discussion.

Designing Cross-Culturally

Posted in Commentary, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2009/05/05

Oftentimes, I hear the need to design for a cross-cultural audience. Given that the world, has become a “small” place relatively speaking, and pop/current culture seems to manifest similary thoughout this world (example: jazz/hip hop/literature/fashion), I’m asking myself, what is a cross-cultural audience?

Paul Bennet TED Talk: Design is in the details

Posted in Commentary by ayanaairakan on 2009/04/09

I found this talk inspiring and addressing my Twitter post asking: Is the application of the design process dead?