Design Thinking Chapter Questions

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Please answer the questions for each chapter and section in essay form. Always keep the following general guidelines in mind;

  • What caused this style, movement or innovation to occur?
  • How does the effect of this person, place or thing influence design today?
  • Was this innovation an example of design leading or following the general thinking of the time?
  • Design works should be analyzed formally with reference to their particular cultural, social, political, religious and/or technological contexts—the Zeitgeist—of the time.

Discover designers who have practiced the art of visual communication by transforming how we engage with each other and the larger world in new and exciting ways.

New processes, strategies and technologies are invented. Historical precedents are reevaluated and critiqued. Innovative storytelling and narrative techniques are formed. How have designers actively reshaped the creative process and as a result re-directed currents in contemporary culture, and the meaning of design in general?

From an awareness of style, and close scrutiny of exemplary visual communication, your answers should provide a written perspective on human development by critically analyzing historical examples and develop informed judgments about their meaning
—Apply Design Thinking.

I am interested in your opinions based on your ability to reason. Your success is largely determined by your ability to cite specific historic examples to support your viewpoints and then interpret their larger meaning and impact on design and culture. This will require you to look beyond just the object examples and instead interpret their greater meaning and impact.

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Please send your essay responses to bdeboer@pacific.edu. Be sure to include the phrase “Design Thinking:” plus the chapter/section title in the subject line of the email.
(i.e.. Design Thinking: Arts & Crafts Movement).
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Arts & Crafts Movement

  1. What were the major events or innovations that influenced the origin of the Arts & Crafts Movement? In other words, why did the A&C movement begin?
  2. What are its defining characteristics?
  3. Give at least two examples of major inventions/accomplishments (not graphic design accomplishments) that occurred during the late 19th century that exemplify a change or shift in the general way that people lived their lives.
  4. Give at least two examples of design inventions/accomplishments that occurred during the late 19th century that exemplify a change or shift in the general way that people lived their lives.
  5. Describe the accomplishments of one designer from this period.

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Art Nouveau

  1. What were the major events or innovations that influenced the origin of Art Nouveau? In other words, why did Art Nouveau  begin?
  2. What are its defining characteristics?
  3. Is Art Nouveau an example of design thinking/innovation leading or changing the way the world thinks or instead an example of design following or responding to other events, innovations or trends? In other words, did the work of designers during this period have a direct effect on others and change the way they lived their lives?
  4. Describe the accomplishments of one designer from this period.
  5. What is the connection between Ukiyo-e and Art Nouveau?
  6. How is Jugendstil similar to Art Nouveau and how is it different?—compare and contrast the two.

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Genesis of 20th Century Design
  1. How did the work of Frank Loyd Wright and also the Four (organic design and invention of new form) contrast with the ideas of Historicism and ultimately redirect the entire concept of design?
  2. What were major characteristics and and forces which influenced the designers of the Vienna Secession and their work?
  3. Peter Behrens is recognized as the first industrial designer. How does his work relate to “…the relationship of art and design forms to social, technical, and cultural conditions”?
  4. Explain the concept of “Form Follows Function“. Give examples of how/why this design direction begins from this or earlier chapters and compare this direction with contrasting design philosophies or styles.

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A New Language of Form

  1. Characterize the graphic look of Russian Constructivism. What specific things did designers such as El Lissitzky do to get their message across to their primary audience?
  2. How did the design philosophy of the Bauhaus relate to the zeitgeist of post-WWI Germany? How does this philosophy relate to the zeitgeist of today in the US?
  3. Give two examples of Bauhaus designers who were known for their invention of, or experimentation with, new techniques in graphic design. Describe those innovative approaches.
  4. Explain the design thinking expressed by the phrase “Less is More”. Give examples. Compare and contrast with earlier design directions.

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The Bauhaus

  1. The design philosophy at the Bauhaus was first represented by the slogan, “A Unity of Art and Handicraft”. This was later changed to “Art and Technology, a New Unity.” Explain and give examples of what this shift in design thinking represents.
  2. Characterize the work of either one of these designers; Herbert Bayer or Moholy-Nagy.
  3. Describe “The New Typography” as developed by Jan Tschichold. What are some design characteristics that typify this new look and, what shift in design thinking does this typographic design represent?
  4. Looking back at Art Deco, compare and contrast Cassandre’s work to that from the Bauhaus.

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The Modern Movement in America

  1. How was avant garde idealism and theory of European design reinterpreted and applied in the US between the two World Wars?
  2. How did the collaborative design process work in publication design in US magazines of the 1930’s?
  3. How did advertising change because of Walter Paepcke and the Container Corporation of America?
  4. Information graphics, new approaches to map making, and visual presentation of complex data systems are examples of design applications where their primary purpose is to make information easy to read. How did the works of Ladislov Sutnar, and Herbert Bayer influence these new and innovative directions?

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International Typographic Style

  1. How were theories such as Art Concret and Semiotics applied in the Swiss style in Basel, Ulm and Zürich?
  2. What is unique about the typeface Futura? What does this typeface design represent in terms of design thinking?
  3. Josef Müller-Brockmann’s use of the grid became the standard for organization in layout design thinking. Cite specific examples from his work and describe his innovative approach and reasoning behind it’s use.
  4. Why and how were the contributions of the international typographic style particularly influential in communication in countries with large bilingual populations?

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The New York School

  1. What did Paul Rand mean by defining design as, “An integration of form and function for effective communication?”
  2. Using one of the following, (Alvin Lustig, Bradbury Thompson, Otto Storch) describe the influential role of the art director.
  3. The integration of a single image with an engaging slogan/tagline and meaningful use of white space are some of the characteristics of modernist advertising design. Comment by comparing and contrasting modernist advertising with earlier advertising examples from designers Lucien Bernhard, Lester Beall and Herbert Matter.
  4. Herb Lubalin’s typographic work represents a sensitivity to letterform exploiting the expressive possibilities of typographic illustration and nesting/arrangement among others. Discuss how his choices of typeface combinations, manipulations of existing typefaces or combinations of the variables weight, size and spacing result in new ways of communication of a concept beyond simple readability.

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A Global Dialogue

  1. How do symbols, metaphor and context play a vital part of the visual language of the conceptually based image? Cite examples to support your opinion.
  2. Since the mid-1960’s, design has sought to be a major communicator of global dialogue, expressing issues of multinational importance, melding the stylistic looks originating from a variety of cultural roots, and giving clarity to a complex variety of information by showing relationships and interdependency. Advances in technology happen with greater frequency and with development requiring international expertise. Style is fleeting, difficult to distinguish from fashion or fad. It is also increasingly less unique or identifiable/namable as a specific movement. Choose an influential event, designer, style, movement or period of time from the last 50 years and characterize the Design Thinking that made that design event particularly influential. How did it develop? What did it look like? Did it lead or follow other world thinking? Was it Historicism  or new form?
  3. Choose an influential event, designer, style, movement or period of time from the last 100 years and characterize the Design Thinking that made that design event particularly influential. How did it develop? What did it look like? Did it lead or follow other world thinking? Was it Historicism  or new form? Using examples to support your opinions create a 10–15 minute PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to illustrate your thoughts and present this to the class on Friday the 7th.
    (this presentation cannot be on the same topic that you chose in answer to question #2 above)

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