Friday, February 17, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

SX: Formal explorations

After going through Joseph and I's original idea of shadow and light, and the attractive-ness of light is to people, we came upon the idea of "community" So our monument turned into a monument dedicated to the idea of bringing unexpected people together. So, a monument to Community. Above are some ideas for our final monument formal qualities. Joseph will post his sketches to his blog, here.

The idea of our monument is to show the of community through light. So on our small elevated hill the light would react to the visitor, then another visitor, then another...hopefully the idea would then show that the more we get together, the brighter things will be.

My personal favorite is the last idea, it's just the sleekest, and simple...Doesn't take away from the idea. It gets the meaning across. The idea of light, and then also protection for the wind, or other weather obstacles.

Friday, February 3, 2012

DP: Day 1

This is going to be a lot more challenging for me than I thought it would. I mean, I knew it would be challenging, but when I started to try and to design something today it just seemed like I put so much pressure on myself. And that's not what this exercise is about. So, I went with my one of my first ideas on this run...Holden Caulfield refers to almost everything as "phony". Girls are phony, boys are phony, "it's" phony. He has a lot of animosity towards the people he's around everyday.

Within this poster I wanted to keep it simple. I'm sure it has something to do with it being my first one, and me not wanting to over-work it, or just do something to far, where it wouldn't even relate back to the book. The reason I chose to juxtapose the word "phony" and blonde hair is because, a lot of the girls I know with blonde hair dye it that way; it aint real people. I think this also gets at the idea of what traditional beauty is to people, but in reality what we think is beautiful is fake, or should I say, "phony." 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Catcher in the Rye

I'm not really sure where to start this blog post, considering that my idea has somewhat shifted a bit, yet again. Although, it has the basic ideas there still. I want to continue with my idea of making, and making a lot. I met with Kidwell, Jamie, and Marty about my idea change. They liked it, but had a lot of questions and essentially helped me form a new approach for going about creating something in a new "style". 

I think where people were getting lost in my idea before is when I mentioned specific designers that have influenced me. By choosing specific people to be influenced by, it could be seen as copying, or getting "influenced" too much. So...going forward I can reference them, but I don't think I will be so attached to their style or process. Rather, I will look at principles or techniques within graphic design that I have been taught within the passed two and half years. 

Next is content. I need to have something to design about. I proposed the idea of it being about me. Things I've wanted to say, or do but just don't have the courage to actually do it. Then the question comes: Who would your audience be? ...that was a stumper...ME! and people like me...who could relate to those sayings and situations?'s a stretch. So I moved on to something that I, personally, have related to in the past and really love; J.D. Salinger's book "The Catcher in the Rye". 

"The Catcher in the Rye" has so many topics and themes that I have personally felt either recently or in the past. I remember how much I enjoyed reading the style of this book. It is so sarcastic, and witty. The themes of the book are catogorized as: teenage confusion, angst, alienation, language, and rebellion. With that comes sadness, innocence, relationships, anger, etc... Quotes and situations from this book I think will give me a lot of inspiration, and make me excited about the content of the posters I'm wanting to make, because everyone can relate to Holden Caulfield in some way or another. 

This brings me to my answer to how I'm going to go about doing this project. My plan is to essentially, make. Make something everyday. Show it on my blog, and move forward with the next piece the next day. After I get my schedule really hammered out this may make more sense. But, essentially the first third of the process I will just make something everyday...the second third will be about mixing and matching different designs here and there, everyday....possibly make more everyday as well. Then for the final couple weeks is to really finalize items to make them into a great series of images/posters/whatever they will end up being. I'm really excited about this idea, because it will be me in the mind set of not being so attached to my work, and let me make more mistakes. I just have to let go and create. 

As of right now I'm trying to finish re-reading the book, I was already in the process as the school year started, so now I have a reason to actually finish a book finally. I've pulled quotes and situations from the book that I like/interested/relate to and have started a file. My first official day designing something everyday will be tomorrow (Wednesday). So get ready. Open to any thoughts. 

"Holden believes that to be a "catcher in the rye" means to save children from losing their innocence."

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Blog

For those that somewhat keep up with this blog that I've been posting on since I was a sophomore in the design department here at KCAI, I wanted to link you to my new blog for my degree project.

Here I will keep updates on my process for my degree project.
I'm going to try and post to both, but just in case, I'd go to that one if you're more interested in seeing Degree Project process. :)

Degree Project: Initial Question

When we as Seniors were asked to write about our Senior Degree Project I was overwhelmed. I mean, I'm sure everyone in the class was. All I knew was that I wanted to do something I would love, be proud of and not get tire of it over the course of the semester. At the time I was in a quilting class in the fiber department, so while this brainstorming session was going on I was immersed in this different culture and loved being in it. I really always have so I thought at the time I'd want to show the skill and interest off in a self-initiated project. 

Way back when, in December I stated my question of: How through graphic design can I utilize typography and coded language through quilting and traditional fiber processes? 

I'm not at all saying that people weren't supportive in this idea/question of my exploration, but I could sense some confusion and possibly some worried faces for me. So, I re-evaluated. I trust the opinions of my professors and peers, and if they think there is a problem with what I'm doing, I'm more than willing to look at the conflict more and figure out another way of going about what I want to do. With that being said, and after a 6-week break of an intense school schedule I have changed my degree project question. Which, I'm excited about. 

Throughout my time here at, KCAI I've been introduced to so many new things that I sometimes don't know what to do with myself. But, there are certain things that stand out to me and that I'm attracted to. These "things" I'm talking about also stand out to a larger public as well. So what is it about that particular piece that people like? Why is that poster more successful than the one next to it on the wall? We as human beings are all different, and are aesthetically attracted to different types of colors, objects, shapes, forms, etc. But, why? 

I consider myself new to the design world still, because I've only been really exposed to it within the past three years, since I transferred from JCCC. Or at least was aware of my exposure to it. So through out my time there are a few designers that have "tickled by fancy" so to speak. One of them being, Dan Funderburgh. Funderburgh is a Brooklyn based illustrator, artist and wallpaper designer. He got his BFA at KU actually. His work is inspirational to me because of the detail and consideration he puts in his imagery and pieces. He plays with visual puns and metaphors a lot, there's a slight sense of humor in his work that I appreciate. Another person that has caught my attention is Jason Munn. Jamie Gray showed us his "Small Stakes" book with music posters he designed awhile back. Almost all posters have visual rhetoric involved, which I love. I've always liked to figure out what images try to say through semiotics, so he really has stayed with me as someone to reference in the future. He definitely has this power with simplicity, that I think is tough to acquire. My last person I'm going to talk about is Jessica Hische. I remember when I would gather images to put in my "man, that's awesome" folder and didn't know who designed what, and most of the lettering images turned out to be hers. She definitely has a style and it stands out. I like that about her. 

So, you're probably getting bored and wanting me to get to the point already. Here I go. After really looking at my portfolio and all the work I've done over the years I feel like I'm lacking in a certain department, and that's form. I want to take advantage of this project to fit that missing part in my body of work, and really make it *~*~*~*~*SPARKLE!*~*~*~*~*.. To start I felt that by exploring and breaking down certain designer's processes and approaches that I enjoy I think is a good place to start. I mean, the best way to learn is to study, research, and practice, right? I'm still having a lot of trouble forming a question without it sounding selfish. But, here you go: 

What can I, as a graphic designer, learn and discover about the current formal qualities and design approaches within print media? 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pro Practice: Career Goals

Within the past couple months I have been really thinking hard about this. I've wondered where my "fit" would be. Where I would find those perfect pair of jeans, or boots?! (that's obviously a metaphor, and a joke). After considering my love for pattern, and my interest in fibers...along with my love for design and all that it offers inside and out I know I want to be somewhere that I can show my skills and be happy doing so (that's probably way too obvious, I'm mean...who wouldn't want that?)

Although, after thoroughly reflecting on my interests and qualities that come with both my design and design thinking I think that I would really like to end up somewhere within the fashion/retail business. Dealing with brands has always seemed like a opportunity to show so many fun and exciting ideas within promotional items as well as the brands themselves. I have a love hate relationship with branding...but it's mostly love (no doubt). The reason I say fashion/retail is because I feel that's where my love for patterns have come from. Either from a skirt I wore growing up or envying the wallpaper my grandmother had in her house.

I honestly don't like making this blog post because I feel I have to pin point my interest so that I can filter what to look for when I'm out in the real world looking for a career. I mean, what if I really don't fit into the category of branding? It's a tough thing to put yourself out there like this, I feel. I mean I feel confident in my decision...but that doesn't mean I'm going to get THAT job, I may end up in something completely opposite like working at a grocery store. It's good to have goals, but thinking that I'm going to reach that goal right out of school is quite overwhelming. Anyway, moving on...

One more thing...
I know I'm probably being too critical of this assignment as far as thinking that I'm actually going to reach this goal by the time I graduate. I know it's a process, and I need to keep reminding myself of that.

So. How am I going to reach this, you ask? Right now I've been pin-pointing brands that I've enjoyed throughout my life...those brands I wish I could afford and those ones that I wear or surround myself with everyday. And another side note when I say fashion/retail and retail I have a broad scope of what that means...I'm talking clothing, furniture, appliances, etc. Making a list of brands and possible firms/companies that design for those brands is key. Then getting my name out there for them to see what I can do, and why I want to be apart of that world. That means, making contact. And then, making more contact. Network. Use my recourses that I have built for myself, as well as use KCAI and all the amazing professors that they provide in the design department (I also utilize the word "use" in the kindest way possible :) ) . The world is small, people.

I know that Chris doesn't like the word "apply"...but let's use it for now. Applying for positions you may not think you can get is okay too. You never know what they are looking for. They may shut you down right away, but if that brand I want to REALLY work for is looking for a senior designer...I'll probably still try...I mean what's the harm? (Would they really think I was silly for applying to that even if I don't FULLY meet the requirements?)

I feel like I've gone on for long enough...more later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Design Systems: A breakthrough

I'm not exactly sure what has been going on with myself this semester, but I feel like I've digressed in progression of being a Senior. Whenever I would think about branding class I would get so excited about what I wanted Pot Pit to be, but for some reason could never put it on the page. No matter how many different approaches I took at rendering, or organization of objects.
So after my mid-semester crit and a good sit down with Kidwell I think something definitely clicked. I had just too many ideas about what I wanted this rebrand to be, and could NOT get them straight. But, after fixing things here and there, then mixing all my three ideas together I think I finally have something, and I'm quite proud of it. Now...I just need to apply them to all the goodies that come along with a brand. Here is a little bit of process that has gone on within the last two weeks.
Above this image are some new signatures that I experimented with. And this image is one of the initial web-page ideas...

 Right about here in the process is where I started questioning the my entire idea of where pot pie was I started over with my brand-mark.

 And here is where the revelation happened. It was the probably the most relieved I've felt in a really long time. Showing the contrast I have withint he type represents the contrast I have within my attributes that I want Pot Pie to be.
 As well as here...the contrast is elegant but, comfortable and a bit silly/goofy.
I also addressed my color palette. I felt that the color palette I had before was a big melancholy, so hopefully adding red and brightening up the other colors will help that.

Different type....
And mixing my ideas from previous stages together I think really helped. I love the wood texture so I decided to utilize it after all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dematerialization of Screen Space

"The Internet is all these: a kind o chameleon-like civilization that seems to perpetually remap its identity in response to the ever-changing demands of a mercurial market. In a world in which everything is customized, even our boundaries are on the move."

This statement resinated most with me, i'm not exactly sure why,  besides the fact that is SO true. Being a designer on the brink of media being the way of doing most everything is quite fascinating. I grew up with this vital time of where media has changed so much, but I wasn't exactly saturated in it as much as the kids are today. It's just interesting to me considering that the generation growing up now is called the "me" generation because of all this customization and knowing that they can have it their way. Considering this element as a graphic designer we have to make that experience just what they want, and if it isn't what they want, we need to make it so that they can have it their way (just like sonic, at least I think that's the correct reference).

MX: iphone scenario

Polititeens iPhone Vocab

This is the iphone app where my balloon 3d sketching comes into play. The beginning frames are pretty static. But, keeping it simple at first then getting more complex within the system I think will be a good plan due to how diverse our application is. Especially considering the size of the iphone.

Within this version I addressed a lot of the changes that were brought up in last class to my ipad scenario, so hopefully it's a much more concise aesthetic. I tried to play with type and color more. Getting more yellows besides just the golden one was important, which I think helped a lot.


After meeting with Marty and considering our production time and how much we actually committed to producing at the beginning, we re-evaluated what we would then have as our fine 6 scenarios, versus our final 8.

We will have two hubs, two iphone and two ipad scenarios.

iPhone: Currency Comparing and Political Ling
iPad: Step Back (Past political campaigns of the past game) and participating in a debate.
Hub: Signing up for a debate/adding and saving information for the debate and Going over the top 10.

I feel much more at ease, even though I just lost one scenario...but it will definitely help consider time restraints and really tightening up our aesthetic.

Friday, October 14, 2011

MX: Step Back Game, Scenario 1

iPad Scenario 01: Polititeens

Having a go with a scenario through and through, while using our design standards was definitely needed. Although, within this specific scenario I feel that I'm still really stuck in box land. I'm not sure why, or what needs to happen due to how simple this game is. But, using more layers and transparency I think will help a lot. Also figuring out how to use type in a more dynamic way, so that it's not so repetitive. We want this to be fun, not rigid.

The home page I feel is getting there. The jumbled up part of the system I think is coming through. I'm still not sure if there needs to be a note on the front page to indicate that the larger the image is the more views it's getting. This will help with showing trends and whatnot through our entire system when that need calls.

As Ian and I were working on these throughout the week, we both felt we were struggling with box land, so that's something to address ASAP. Saturday and Sunday, here we come!

Monday, October 10, 2011

MX: Polititeens

 Class last Friday was a lot of fun, considering all activities involved. But, most of all I really enjoyed the brain activity that happened. When building these structures something clicked in the brain that hadn't yet happened, and if these renderings of that clicking don't look as good as they should, doesn't mean they won't.

Here to the left is my first structure I built when 3D-sketching. It was meant to represent sorting. So there are specific steps and ways of someone getting deeper and deeper into richer information. When building this, the structure could not hold all the weight I was putting on these plastic straws so it started to do this balancing act when I held it up to show...then from there on we got our first idea of how to render our homepages...shown below.
 Here is how I was representing the way our vocabulary feature works. There is one word, and different users can make their own definition and then get rated on how well they defined the word. The balloon= word. Then the purple dots=people's definitions. As you can see the purple dots are different sizes, so that represents the feedback and rating system the other users did on the word.
 Here is the first attempt at handling the mobile balancing act on the ipad. I'm not sure how well this is working, or if it is even working at all...but I still really like the idea of switching out information based on how much people are reading the content involved.
 Going off of the mobile idea I had this idea of a slot machine, and how when you turn it you never know what is going to match up. So considering the two sided political stances, such as liberal and conservative I thought it'd be interesting to see the juxtaposition with stories aligned with other stories. So ideally there would be a button to mix them up, and they would all roll and then land on different top stories, spotlighted students, and anything that would be going on during that day (i.e. debates, events, etc.)
As far as the iphone goes, I still have one more screen to explore with this one. Here is the balloon idea rendered out in photo shop. It still looks very 2D, so working with shadows and light I think is where it needs to go. I do however enjoy the way the scale is working, especially within the typography, because if the definition is one can read it, so they'd have to investigate further.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Visual Advocacy: Ivanhoe Further Research and Plan

Walter May Interview:
We began the informal meeting with Walter May by reviewing our project idea with him and telling him a little more about what we had in mind for the empty lots in Ivanhoe. Dina Newman also sat in on the meeting.

Questions we asked:
What lots would be available and safe for setup?
How many total lots does the Ivanhoe Foundation own?
Is there a map we could get a hold of?
Which block leaders would be available and want to get involved?
Do you have lawn equipment we could use to clean up the chosen lot for the prototype?
Is there any organization in particular that we should get involved with?

What We Found Out:
The Ivanhoe Foundation owns most of the empty lots on Woodlawn and many in back of the center on Highland St. It is difficult to get past the loitering issue in using the empty lots. That’s why basketball courts aren’t put up. They have a project going on right now with a local artist, “Shane” who works on “Ugly Houses” by putting art on the boarded up buildings using painters and graffiti artists. There is one at 31st and Holmes. There would be a lot available for us to use at 3703 Highland St., which is right behind the Nutter-Ivanhoe Center. The organization is tearing down the house beside the lot as well as taking down the chain-link fence that surrounds it. This demolition should happen within the month. This lot would be safe for us to use for setup and prototyping. We have their permission to use it for the project just as long as we let the foundation know when we will be there so that they know it isn’t someone “dumping” on it. We considered using the wood from the house being torn down next to the lot, but Walter told us that all of the good wood from the houses is given to Habitat for Humanity and the rest is demolished. He also put us in contact with Douglas Bowl who keeps maps of Ivanhoe. He ensured us that Douglas would have detailed information on every part of Ivanhoe, including a map of specific blocks (information we would like to use in the project). Also, we learned the block leader for our given lot is Pam Sweeney and we were also given contact information to speak with her about helping out or becoming more acquainted with the neighborhood.

We met with Lea Griggs from the sculpture department at KCAI to talk about building our objects to put in the lots. Although he said he could not help us out this semester, he did give us a few more people to contact at KCAI as well as some locations we could find and re-purpose materials (i.e. KC Steel, Asners Junk Yard, Liberty Wood, Make in Wesport, or using old wooden palettes). This step did not necessarily help with the interest in collaboration so we are continuing to look on craigslist for objects we could use in our prototype.

From here, our plan is to pursue the new contacts and prepare for an actual prototype. This means construction and planning of the lot objects. In addition to that, we have begun designing a new map, survey for residents of the area, as well as sketching out our prototype ideas.

Plan for the Past Week 9/26-9/30Things to be Accomplished:Sketches
Secondary Research
Rent video camera to document process/setup
Yolanda—talk about girl scouts
Vector map
Pick location and photograph “before”
Meet and discuss lots with Walter May
Continue framing pesentation

Collaborate:Sculpture Department
Urban Youth Center

Planned Prototype:Grill
Picnic Table

Here is the Map of the first quadrant that our prototype lot would be. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

MX: Wireframe Presentation

Political Division and Collaboration

Monday, September 26, 2011

Branding Pot Pie: Visual Directions and explorations

Above is my corrected objective with my corrected brand attributes that I would like to high light throughout the process.

The First three initial attempts...during this time I knew I wasn't doing what I wanted to do, and I was getting too caught up with color and everything coming together too seamlessly. So I decided to take a step back and explore further in black and white. This way was much more simpler and definitely worked more in my favor. They still aren't where I'd like them to be, but it is a much better start than what I had before (above.)

Starting some style sheets...


Typeface chocies?

After meeting with Kidwell several times I realize that I need to move on and start applying these elements to objects so I know how well it will work or not work.

Branding: Pot Pie Initial idea and concept

PotPie Rebrand Presentation

Ivanhoe: Problem and Proposed solution

Initial Ivanhoe Proposal

Thursday, September 15, 2011

MX: Conceptual Thinking

Where do I find Sources? (Websites, News Sources, Television shows, newspapers/magazines?) 
User inputs interests by tagging, and marking what they would like to filter out. Through this, they would then be able to see a list of sources that address the issues they first tagged. To get into user to user interaction, seeing your friends sources that they use would also be helpful. So being able to relate and add your friend's sources would also be available.

Where can I find the top ten current events?
When finding a hard list of main current political events going on can get frustrating. So through having   a section to be able to always go to and check what the top ten current events of the day are would be available.  When checking this list, the user then can click on one current event then see all the stories and information attached to see why it a main current event. As to how the interface sorts through this information, it can be a rating system to see how many people have read/appreciated that article/source/event.

How and where can I register to vote?
User selects voting icon, then inputs where their location is. After inputing their location it then loads all possible places to register to vote. As well as showing them how to register on line, through a specific step by step key to a already filled out form, so they feel less intimidated to start a blank form.

What are some popular political campaigns of the past?
Through a search engine, the system would have a very nice photo gallery space where the user can swipe through with ease, and by clicking on one campaign, it flips the piece over and gives the back ground and history of that campaign specifically.

What are the current currency rates?
When being in a store, such as a grocery or retail store, the user can scan the object and then see what that object would cost in other countries. This then would give them an idea of how much the dollar is really worth. After this action is finished the user can save it's search, so it's easy for them to go back and see what it may have been worth in a jif.

What are the main political parties views?
This part could possibly have an interactive game involved, such as a quiz or word puzzle to see certain differentiating words that describe each political party, therefore the user isn't just reading the information, they are interacting with it on a fun level, so hopefully it would be more fun to remember. This would also have a more list format of events that could relate to a high school student and see why each party is separated.

How can I communicate/get in touch with someone with similar views like me?
One way could be almost “dating website” worthy. Decided by how you filled out your profile and everything else you do, users could be suggested to you who both share the same opinions, as well as users whose views are opposite theirs. The opposite users should be recommended as well to help fuel discussion and growth among the community. The community can’t grow if liberals stick with liberals, conservatives with conservatives, etc. But along with pretty much everything else listed below. Through going to the same events, posting on the discussion boards, video debates, etc.

How do I become apart of/join a political event? / What political events are out there to join?
An ever updating feed from the different parties’ websites listing all of the events they each have coming up. A list that they can sort through by party, location, free/paid, type(fundraiser, rally, etc) and other ways. They could also see what events their friends are going to and if they decide to go to that one as well, the friend(s) who are already going will be notified that a friend has joined them. It could also show how many other people from the entire community are going. This could be one touch point to get the user in contact with others with the same views.

When they’re on the list of upcoming events it could tell the user if they have to sign up on the website to attend or not. If they have to sign up the website it could send them to the page to fill out that they’re going. If these websites are working in cooperation with the community there could be a way(button, etc) on their website to automatically sign them up for event and unlock special things for the user. Discounted rates if it’s a paid event, free shwag, unlock badges (like foursquare or others). When you sign up on the website and it’s working in cooperation with the community, it could automatically add you name to the list of attendees on the community’s website. If there isn’t a way/need to sign up you could simply click on “Attending” on the list which would add it to your profile. You could recommend the event to friends and others who you think would be interested in going.

At the event they could check in with their iphone application. You could post a quick update with the check in through twitter with a special hashtag, or on your profile in the community. It could show you how many others have checked in and who they are so you can find them and connect with them.
After the event you could post a review of the event on the page about how it went, post photos of the event on your page and tag the event in them. Possibly, the more events you go to, the more you could unlock in the community. You would have to check in at the actual event for it to count, however. The more events you go to, the more points you get. The more people you invite to events and that actually end up going gets you points. If you get enough to go to events, maybe get a special status “Influencer” or something.

How do I join a parties campaign? (e.g Obama's Campaign)
The different campaign parties could have public profiles in the community, or public pages for people to access. On the pages, the users could get information about what public figure’s stances are on different topics, videos of them, where they’ll be speaking at soon, events they themselves will be going to, and other information on them. The figure’s campaign could use the page to try and persuade the users to join them through posting about topics that high schoolers are interested in, or topics that directly affect them. There could also be a section to tell the user how they could help with the campaign if they join(or even if they don’t join), wether it be calling houses, volunteering at the local campaign headquarters, or volunteering at an event for them.

If the campaign is working in cooperation with the community, the user could possibly join the campaign right on the profile page in the community, or take them to the campaign’s website with a way to automatically sign up with their account from the community. They could give the user discounted membership rates, or maybe even free memberships and/or other things to encourage the user to join their campaign. Possibly even give them other things for joining, unlock special badges, etc.
By joining the campaign, their profile in the community could change somehow to recognize their support for that specific candidate. Give them a badge to put on their profile. They could recommend the campaign to friends who they think would be interested in the campaign. The more they volunteer with the campaign, or interact with it, or spread the word about it, the user could become a representative of the campaign in the community. They could have special access to things to thank them for their support. The more they interact with them, the more points they could get to unlock badges and other things.

How can I contribute to the communities discussion/event? / How can I bring awareness to something that I want to advocate?
There could be numerous ways to contribute to the communities’ discussions. There could be some sort of a message board / chat system that anyone could join. The message boards could be split up by topic(debt crisis, gay rights, specific public figures, etc) and have sub discussions going on about them. It should be a space where everyone who wants, could join in the discussion about any topic.
There would have to be a way to monitor activity on the message boards. It could possibly be a mixture of things. It could be self-monitored by the users. They could flag posts and/or people who are abusing the boards by attacking others or posting too many entries on topics. There could also possibly be some automatic things that happen. A user can only post one or a certain amount of entires on any one given topic per day, or after every x number of people. Someway to let everyone be heard equally. The more someone posts on a specific thread, the smaller their posts become so the ones who only post once or twice are seen among the other, more talkative people.

The more users post on the message boards, the more they would be seen. Their posts on the boards could lead to their profile. The user’s profile could house a multitude of things about the user. It should have a picture of them, their political stance. How they feel about specific topics, or show the topics that they’re interested in. This could be determined by what topics they contribute to on the message boards the most, what events they go to, and what political party(ies) they join. Their profile could also show, with much attention, anything they are advocating that they posted themselves.

On the message boards, there could be a place for users to start their own threads on topics that they feel need to be addressed. It could be anything they wanted, as long as it was relevant to (first and foremost) the community, to politics, and more than just themselves and/or a few of their friends. There would need to be someway to make sure this happens. Maybe they have to submit it and wait for it to be peer reviewed by 5 or 10 other users who aren’t their friend before it gets put up, or something like that.

There could also be video discussion/debate chats that happen live with video cams between multiple people. There could be specific topics that will be given the chance to video chat about. They would be prearranged for a specific time and topic, and people could RVSP to the events. The debates/discussions could be limited to a certain number of people who could participate in the actual event, but anyone could view the discussion as it happens. Like with Google+ hangouts, there could be a way to automatically highlight the person who is talking. There could also possibly be a time limit for everyone. Once they’re highlighted, they have 5 minutes to speak their side before it moves to the next person, and everyone has to go once before the user could go again. Though, again, there needs to be some way to monitor and flag people who are abusing it. The debates could possibly even be recorded and automatically posted to the community. Possibly, the more video debates you do, the more points you gets, which could unlock badges. When you do debates, people debating and watching can vote for you if they believe you have thoughtful insights and bring something extra to the discussion. But, at the same time, the more video debates you do, the less of a chance you get to do them. Users could have a timeframe to apply to be a part of a video debate and then the people who get to participate are chosen semi-randomly. The more video debates you’ve done, the less of a chance you have of being chosen, but the more votes you have, the chance you’ll be chosen will rise again.

How can I show I value someone's opinion?
When people post on the message boards, there could be a way for people to “+1” them(or something of the like). The more a post gets +1’d, the more attention is brought to it and the user. either through it being bigger than others, or highlighted somehow in the thread. If a user and their posts get enough recognition they could be highlighted somehow for being a vital part of the community. There could be one(or more) person on the front page being highlighted for that day for the involvement they have in the community.

There could be many ways they could got up there though. They could be up there for the reason above, or they could be recommended by other users. The users could recommend other users and give a brief explanation why they believe their should be highlighted. They could even possibly be highlighted because they’ve posted something to the boards that users feel need even more attention. It could be another way for people to advocate ideas or goings-on. They could also be recommended for the work they’ve done around the community, ie, a user is an active and thoughtful video debater constantly bringing ideas to the discussion that others deem highly important and thought out.

The idea that users who arent necessarily the most active users, but bring a high level of discussion and thought to the community should be highlighted. Not saying that highly-active members shouldn’t be highlighted, but content over count should also be taken in account.

How will the debt crisis effect me in the future?
There could be the idea of the message board(stated above in the “How can I contribute to the communities discussion/event? / How can I bring awareness to something that I want to advocate?” section) and having threads dedicated to the discussion of one topic, say the debt crisis. There could be a thread under every topic for the discussion of the users of how they believe this affects them now and how it will affect them in the future.  But there could be much more than that.

I wonder if there could be individual pages/sections that are multifacted and house all of the most up-to-date articles found on the web on specific topics(the biggest topics, or all topics). The bigger topics would obviously have more information on their page(s) but they could have more features than the smaller topics. They could be the topics with the video debates. The live debates could be viewed on the topics page, as well as archived video debates on the same topic. Both the bigger topic pages, and the smaller topic pages could act as an ever-updating stream of links to articles being published on the topic. The pages could pull from major news sources, focusing on finding articles posted most recently. All of this to help the users form their own opinions of how they believe topics will affect them in the future, and not just tell them the “correct answer” when there never is one.

How can I keep up to date on political terminology?
There could be a processor intensive program running in the background of the entire community collecting words used throughout the community, and maybe even beyond, and compile a list of the most popular terms from what they find. It could be sorted many different ways(how new are they, what do they mean, etc) It could also be user edited as well. Users could put their own definitions into the system (a la Urban Dictionary & wikipedia) and other users can vote if they feel the definition is right or wrong. The more information the users put in there, the more complete the dictionary will be. there could also be a web-based visual part to this. Something that shows the inter-connectivity of the words to other words and ideas that help the users figure out what words mean, as well as giving them synonyms and other such things.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


So here's me and my team: Kelsey, Bethany and I. Aren't we cute?

We decided to team up, because we were all really interested in the same topic, which is creating a space for people to come together; young and old. Have something there for everyone to participate in. This brings in the idea of Pop-ups, and how that could revitalize the community, and really attract different types of people to come and see what is there for that week. The details are really broad right now, but I'm really excited to see where this goes. Due to our group being on the larger side, we all really want to make this an effective and diverse system/space/idea. More on research and contact to come.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reading Response: Satirical Graphic Design

It's really interesting to see how fair back in history satirical commentary of social issues goes. Seeing graphics from the French Revolution for some reason really set with me. I remember back in one Jamie's Visual Language class we went through how posters through history were very coded with symbols and clues to what the poster really meant to the people. I mean comparing those times to now it's not hard to believe that the people had a hard time trying to show and express their opinions to a wide audience. I think  now it's much more accepting to be more in your face about social issues, because people's tolerances have raised quite a bit. I went to the Russian WWI Poster exhibition this summer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Museum and it was filled with satirical messages and caricatures dealing with Hitler.

 This exhibit was interesting because seeing how the people viewed the issues that were going on was refreshing.
I really enjoyed this poster because of all the different "utensils" that are used to attach the creepy hitler man. Artists, journalists, the Army etc.. It shows a since of community coming together for a cause. In which relating to the readings that were given they all had something to do with a ban of people coming together to fight for a cause they believed in. It's quite inspirational to see this happen. I really enjoyed the reading about the BPP and the newspaper and posters that were made for the cause. Seeing the symbols embedded and the relationship it made with each other was very deep and emotional. To connect and relate is very important.

Monday, August 29, 2011

MX: Gen. X Politics Summary Sentence

Creating a safe environment for diverse (political preferences) Advanced Placement students who are wanting to hold and share an opinion, and be properly informed about current political contexts. 

MX: Gen. X Politics

  • research/brainstorming activity parameters
    • sharing events directly effecting you
    • learning about events in other countries
    • vote on the most pertinent events
    • pick out an event that intrigues you and learn more about it
    • talk with someone in a different country about whats going on with him/her
    • record video of yourself talking about whats going on in your town/city
    • research what people are talking about and come to class talking about it
    • if its a gradeschool setting, teachers could relate current events to every subject they’re teaching
    • be able to pull out the non-biased facts
  • physical boundaries
    • one school
    • interschool
  • equipment
    • computer
    • ipad
    • iphone
    • classroom
    • other emerging technologies
      • video chat(vlogging)
    • interschool
      • space to meet in with other school
    • one school
      • classroom to meet in
  • what & who’s involved
    • students
    • teachers
    • spreading of current knowledge & events
  • demographics
    • high school students
    • ages 14-18
    • girls and boys
    • all nationalities
  • wants and needs of the individual and community
    • inform people of whats going on in their community
    • having a safe, unbiased space to research and learn
  • symbols, icons, tools, markers, etc

  • motivation for participation
    • stay informed of whats going on
    • rewards system
      • points
      • ranking
      • spotlight of most actives
    • help bring attention to communities in need
    • good grades
      • grading system
  • initial questions
    • interschool or singular school?
    • focus on a small demographic?
    • focus on particular current event?
    • what should our boundaries be?
links about current events & high schoolers