Monday, February 15, 2010

My Sophomore Class at Pratt

I currently teach a Sophomore 3-d Design (Industrial Design) course at Pratt Institute. I follow a curriculum that was set in place and developed by Rowena Reed Kostellow. When learning music, you learn notes and chords to compose melodies and music. The Pratt 3d department aims to educate its students in the basic notes and chords of three dimensional visual abstraction to compose visually designed symphonies.  This semester deals with convexity.

Rowena Reed Kostellow described the problem as follows:
    "The exercise in convexity is based on organic form and undertakes an exploration in depth of the subtle and involved relationships between the axes of large forms and the expanding planes of the surfaces, and the sensitive lines of the final configuration. This experience often leads to quite beautiful sculptural forms and can help you achieve a high degree of sensitivity and control of organic volumes.""Convexity is the expression of positive volume or form pushing into negative space. (Concavity is the expression of negative space pushing into positive volume or form.) The characteristics of convexity are weight and bulk. We study convexity and concavity separately and as we learn about one, we learn about the other.""Our study of the relationship between the axis, the mass and the outline is an exploration of how the mass creates surfaces and how the surfaces result in a silhouette. It’s the opposite of defining volume the way you learned to do it in grade school. Conventionally, we define shape from the outside in by drawing the outline and filling in the space. This problem comes at it from the inside out."
Expression, patience, and visual control dominate their hands and minds. Over the course of the semester we will sketch, analyze, develop, refine, and complete in plaster one organic form.  Alongside the organic form the students will abstractly sketch(3d) in fabric with the intention of developing a soft counterpart to the plaster form. This class gives me the opportunity to bring my personal experience with fabric and form in to the classroom and give the students a crash course introduction to soft design.  I will be taking pictures throughout the semester. (There will be pictures of Karen Stone's class, she's next door!!!)


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