Designer Toys: Not Just for Fun

DC munny design

As we’re starting a new term today, it’s usually the time to look for ways to kick start our creative batteries. Often, stepping away from the computer is a first step, and I am a huge fan of do-it-yourself products like Kidrobot’s Munny and MUNNYWORLD vinyl figures. They allow for creative expression that is completely independent of the reliance on plugins or digital filters. These vinyl figures also look great for decorating workspaces that designers spend so much time at.

This is a vinyl figure I recently customized. In terms of process, I normally start with a list of key ideas to help me focus on what type of character I’m designing such as cute, grotesque, robotic, etc. Following an image search to create an inspiration folder and a visit to an art gallery or book store, I’ll sketch ideas out using a template of the silhouette of the blank vinyl figure. After a few pages of thumbnail sketches, I will proceed with the actual application. Even though it is nerve-wracking, I enjoy the challenge of drawing directly with pigment liners pens without using pencil guides. It is difficult, but I try not to worry about making mistakes.

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DD/EBM Motion Machines

Collaboration is one of the main approaches we use at VFS, and term one allows students their earliest experience in managing the complexity of working in teams. The Motion Machine team building exercise, which is part of the Project Management course, introduces students to team dynamics in a fun and challenging way. A twist on this day was the integration of a new Entertainment Business Management class into the teams. This was a great icebreaker for the students from the two programs to get to know one another in a team setting.

Inspired by a Rube Goldberg machine, the students are given a box of dollar store items and the objective of keeping a marble in motion for as long a time as possible, with it ultimately landing into an egg cup. The teams work to create the best contraption that meets the design objective. At the conclusion of the exercise, the students are tasked to review the experience and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their team designs. They’re also asked to describe the level of participation among team members and outline what process they went through to resolve design decisions and any issues of conflict.

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Digital Exquisite Corpse by Macarena Poo Garcia

In term 5, students partake in a surrealist exercise called Exquisite Corpse. It’s an experimental exercise that happens in Experimental Practices. This is a course that began my teaching career at VFS and this is the longest running assignment I’ve ever set. (And maybe the most fun because I selfishly get to take part!)

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Big Idea – The Finish Line

Team 7Degrees

From (Left to Right): (Back) Bill Sun, JK Shin, Scott Dutertre, Cesar Martinez, Kyle Vandekleut, (Front) Macarena Poo, Patricia Birch, Kris Roberts, Breanne Jansen. 

With Term 4 already begun for DD26 we’ve now had some time to digest and reflect on all the hard work that went into last term. Without a doubt Term 3 was the most demanding 7 weeks we’ve experience thus far at VFS and the “BIG IDEA” project played no small part in that reality. The BIG IDEA course demanded our very best in a number of different capacities. It forced us to focus our energies on the core of what we needed to communicate. It required a great deal of patience in properly handling the dynamics of group collaboration. And it introduced us, in a very real-world type scenario, to the realities of client-work.

If you missed our mid-point reflection for this project be sure to check out that article HERE.

We’d like to share with you the result of all our hard work.

On behalf of Team 7Degrees, here is our final result: DECIDE

DECIDE Microsite