Sunday, December 21, 2008

Simpsons QOD

-Sir, I think you've gone mad with power.
-Of course I have. Ever tried going mad without power? It's boring; no one listens to you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Simpsons QOD

-Unfortunately the Ribwich will no longer be available. The animal it was made out of is now extinct.
-The cow?
-Close, but you're way off. Think more legs.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So here's what happened...

My last post was a tad brief, so, even though "brevity is the soul of all wit," here's a better explanation of what happened.

I was extremely confident coming into critique on Tuesday. I felt like I had a unique design and a unique rationale for the decisions I made. Anyone from studio who reads this, please do not take offense. In no way am I trying to say that other projects were bad, because they weren't. I simply feel that my concept stood out in that its sustainability was not something that you could only talk about or just slapped on for decoration.
I did not present a computer that happened to be part of a sustainable system or had regular materials replaced by recyclable ones. Sustainability was the at the soul of my project and was instantly recognizable by the consumer.

I have always been comfortable presenting my work and, due to what I felt was a unique perspective on a computer's sustainability, this project was no different. I feel like I was clear and succinct in my delivery, and was well prepared for the questions to come. When they did come, however, I was not given a fair opportunity to justify my decisions. Granted, because I knew these questions were coming I could have tried to illustrate them more clearly, but I felt confident in my ability to explain them.

Such was not the case. I spent the majority of my critique time going back and forth, courteously, with one person. He misunderstood what I had said; thus, I misunderstood what he had asked. Once it was cleared up and I began to answer his questions, he interrupted me. Not once or twice but three separate times. In the past I have fallen into the trap of becoming defensive during my critiques, and I took extra care to make sure that it did not happen this time. I had justifications ready, and for some reason he was not interested in hearing them.

This went on for most of my allotted time, leaving roughly 30 seconds for the other four critics to speak. I felt cheated not only out of a genuine critique, but also out of my entire presentation. I was not able to expound on my major talking points due to the disrespect of one individual. It is one thing to do poor work and be called out on it. It is quite another to be well prepared and made to look as if I did poor work.

We soon took a break. I went for a walk. The best way to describe my emotional state was "rage pissed." I was punching walls, swearing under my breath and completely devastated. What I didn't realize until later was that "my" critic was not from HP. I missed introduction because my model, which had been completed four days earlier, decided to break three times that morning. I was relieved that our sponsors were not the ones responsible for debasing my presentation, but, again, I felt cheated out of the opinions I really cared about.

Shit happens. This is last round of bitching you will hear from me. I hate to lose, and this project now looms as a large mark in that column.

Tomorrow, now yesterday, was indeed another day, and some of the pain has lifted. As with all deep wounds, however, I'm not sure this will ever heal completely.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You have got to be fucking kidding me

Critique went very bad this morning. I have no problem with someone challenging my solutions; it's why I'm in school. But when I have an answer prepared and am interrupted while delivering it, I lose all respect for my critics. I knew what they were going to ask, prepared justifications and wasn't allowed to present them. BULLSHIT.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Challenging the designer's Hippocratic oath

What will happen when I have to design something that I morally oppose. Here's the situation: I am doing branding work for a consultancy and am given the task of rebranding Phillip Morris cigarettes. The goal, obviously, is to capture market share by creating a fresh, positive brand image. How can I justify doing this work? Moreover, how can I even do a good job? As a professional designer it is my duty to provide my clients with the best solution possible. But what if I don't? What if I give them a solution that they like, but that is designed to fail? It sounds like sabotage, and it is. Call me an idealist, but I cannot find any honest rationale for effectively completing this type of work. I cannot sell a brand that I believe to be evil.

What if I have to design for a product or brand that is only a little evil? Where do I draw the line? I guess it is a question that can only be answered when the moment arrives, but I dread the idea of abandoning my principles for a paycheck.

Doctors swear an oath to heal all people, good or bad, to the best of their ability. I am glad that I, as a designer, have no Hippocratic oath because I can see myself breaking it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Roger Ebert explains the degredation of American society

As you could have guessed from my earlier posts, I love movies. Watching them, thinking about them, remembering them. In the process of acquiring my current taste in film, I have become an admirer of Roger Ebert. Though he tends more towards the center of my love/hate scale, his wrinting is always succint and insightful, exploring the true values of a film. Ebert provides his readers with more than a plot synopsis and a thumbs up or down. His reviews often include commentaries on our society and a film's place in it. He invokes a consideration for film as art, a notion that seems to have been forgotten by the studios and the public alike.

Roger Ebert recently posted an article on his blog expounding upon his disdain for the contemporary movie review. Moreover, he expands this into a critique on American writing and culture. I
constantly complain about the ignorance and downright stupidity that is invading the minds of Americans today; I'm just glad someone with actual writing talent has put it down in words.