Doug Wheeler: A Master of Light

Yesterday, the New York Times ran a fascinating article entitled, Into the Heart of Lightness, about the founder of the Light and Space Movement, Doug Wheeler. In this far-reaching article, Randy Kennedy talks about Wheeler’s career highlighting his ‘infinity environment’ exhibit that ran at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao several years ago which featured “a light-saturated, all-white, rounded room with no corners or sharp angles, rendering viewers unable to fix their eyes on any surface”. The exhibit is simultaneously like experiencing sensory deprivation and is also highly tactile. If you’re interested in learning more about Wheeler, he has a an exhibit currently at New York’s David Zwirner Gallery where at the age of 72 he will be exhibiting for the first time in many years, transforming the space into a sterile white vacuum. And you can read about his recent retrospective at MOCA (the Museum of Contemporary, Art Los Angeles).

How Not To Have Sex With Geese: UX Perspectives with Peter Jin Hong

Peter Jin Hong, a graduate of the digital Design program, has carved out an incredible career for himself since leaving VFS. His resume includes the highest profile agencies, such as Blast Radius, Tribal DDB and Organic, and currently sees him holding the title of User Experience Designer for Google+ Photos in San Francisco. As part of his artist in residence visit, Peter gave a presentation to the students. The content was riveting. But what he did after the presentation ended was even better.

Peter is a humanist. He designs from the perspective of enriching the human experience. This came through in every aspect of his presentation. He chose to stand away from the podium, presenting in front a black background with minimal images and text behind him. He simultaneously unraveled a mystery about his own personal experiences (including a horrible but life-changing motorcycle accident) while providing interesting and relevant information regarding the science of how people interact with and react to the world around them. The presentation culminated in showing us how these narratives apply to the work that he does on a daily basis as a user experience designer.

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Designer Resolutions

Normally, in our line of work, when we think of resolutions, we think of the ones that have to do with screens. But, on January 1st, our thoughts turn to the more aspirational resolutions — what will we do during the next year to improve ourselves and the lives of others? We polled our faculty and here are some of the design-oriented resolutions on their list for 2012…

  • I resolve to be more focused on the type of client I pursue by emphasizing the value of my process and results (i.e. research, listening, thinking, and strategy) more than sexy tactical executions (i.e. design and production), and committed to saying “no” more frequently when the fit isn’t ideal or the client/project doesn’t contribute to my own strategic positioning.
  • Stop designing chairs!
  • Refresh my typography knowledge
  • Enhance my Photoshop skills
  • To catch myself why I gravitate towards my knee-jerk design choices. Tried and tested doesn’t mean the best choice.
  • Utilize more strategic frameworks, such as the Kano Model developed back in 1980.
  • Embrace the idea of a minimum viable product instead of pixel and code perfect work.

Have you considered setting professional resolutions for yourself? If so, feel free to share in the comments.

Here’s to an amazing 2012!

Tim Rolls Joins Our Team

We would like to welcome a new instructor to the team — Tim Rolls. Tim is a Cinema 4D guru and will be teaching 3D Graphics 1.

Tim’s design career started with a childhood Lego obsession. His passion for creating led him to study Exhibit Design at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. There, he learned to take virtual concepts and translate them into real world experiences. Since then, has worked with world-class brands like Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Telus, and Bacardi.

Besides client work, Tim recently founded a design collective in Vancouver called Art Not Ads, focused on beautifying public spaces through community projects and public art installations.

Tim brings his unique perspective to Digital Design at Vancouver Film School to help students produce meaningful experiences.