Graphic Communications

We like something because it makes sense. We get it.
I was just in a senior architecture studio pin-up, where the class was looking at each class member’s analytical drawings of a croissant. Each student had been asked to convey the ‘croissantness’ of a croissant; his or her choice on type of drawings, models or video. There were photographs of mixers, plans, sections, and elevations of the croissants, and sequential drawings of rolled up triangles. The student had to stand next to his or her set of drawings while the classmates interpreted the drawings. The exciting moment arrived when one person said’ “I like the drawings on the left. Why? Because they make sense.”
As designers, we like to make sense out of things, solve problems, provide solutions. I had a studio critic who explained it slightly differently – “Architects provide order out of disorder.” As architects we use graphics – our drawings and models – as the language of communication. What Makes Sense?
The VRC blog will revisit the issues of communication throughout the semester so welcome back!

In the meantime check out this website:

http://flowingdata.com/2012/04/27/data-and-visualization-blogs-worth-following/

Prezi Helpful Hints

For those of you who missed the ‘How to use Prezi’ sessions, here are some links to information on building a strong Prezi. Start on the Prezi website prezi.com and click on the learn tab. On that page there are video tutorials, as well as three sets of Cheat Sheets based on skill level.  The Cheat Sheets are very helpful.

This link shows you how to access and then move through a finished presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n7v5hdtmYI&NR=1

This link shows a very well put together Prezi, used in a class presentation. Although 10 minutes long, it shows a great way to build a canvas, with strong flow, and good visual presentation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPh2Nl9AAPE&feature=related

Resources in the Visual Resources Collection

The Visual Resources Collection has various items for student use, besides images. All of these items must be signed out, and should be returned in the same condition that you received them. All items can be borrowed by the hour or overnight. Future Blog posts will focus on individual items, with pictures!!

  • Point-and-Shoot Cameras. We have two Panasonics and one Nikon
  • Video Cameras.  We have two Canon Vixia digital video cameras
  • Flip Video Cameras. Two hour maximum recording time; often used as a voice recorder
  • Clear Plastic Sheets for scanning delicate drawings in the DOC scanner. Approx 22″ x 30″
  • Tripods
  • Dollies with Wheels.  Tripods may be put on these.
  • Photographic lights for model photography
  • Flat panel TVs connected to Macmini computers.  You may also connect your laptop to the TV
  • LCD Projectors that connect to Laptops
  • Laser Pointers
  • Powerpoint Remotes
  • Copystand with lights to photograph delicate drawings and very small models. Make an appointment to use this.

How to Photograph Architectural Models

It is important to photograph your models soon after you complete them.  Drawings generated digitally can always be saved – in multiple places – but models have a way of getting dusty, losing parts, or molding in your parents’ basement. Therefore you should photograph models pretty much immediately after finishing them.  Whites will be whiter, columns will be straighter, and windows less finger-printed now, as opposed to a few weeks from now. And, if you leave them in the School studio space, they will get thrown out!

Plan view of model photography set-up

Plan view of model photography set-up

Model Photography basics: Click on the link to download the PDF instructions.

How to photograph models 12_13_10

A few things to keep in mind:

You can use a point and shoot camera, you dont need an SLR (single lens reflex) camera.  Always use a tripod. This will give you sharper pictures than any handheld shots.

Use two lights; one is a direct light source, and the other will be indirect.  The direct light source acts like the sun, lighting your model from a particular direction.  The indirect light acts as atmospheric, reflected light, and keeps the shadows on your model from being too dark.

Light colored models will look best on a black background.  We have black cloths in the Visual Resources Center, that students may borrow. See the next blog post for other amenities that students may borrow!

Let’s Talk ARTstor

Let’s Talk – starting on Tuesday October 11th, the VRC will be conducting weekly conversations, demonstrations and collaborations focused on digital media, teaching tools, university resources and your suggestions.

We will start off with “How to Navigate Artstor – the Basics” On Tuesday 10/11 from 12 to 12:30, and again on Friday 10/14 from 12 to 12:30.  Please meet in 1115, the Media Lab.  Artstor has over 1 million images available for use in lectures and research.