Give and Take: CORE WORKSHOP: Critical design thinking

Being able to refresh my mind with this subject again was very rewarding and constructive. Going through the basics, and defining what critical design thinking was about, I’ve come to learn that it involves: Knowledge, analyse, comprehension, evaluation, breaking down and reflection. Being able to reflect and go through a series of process helps to gain an understanding of the work or objective that may occur or at mind.

From this, I may have to consider engaging myself more with the work set and the projects I’m involved in and setting more tasks or a time table to let myself be able to be more organised and co-operative with the tasks at hand.

Task 1:

Connecting the dots!


A tricky, but fun task. We had to connect them all in five strokes/lines.

The later tasks were very straight forward, but before I did find them just as tricky, due to over thinking about the idea and going for a very simple design for the book. Afterwards, I decided to just be more creative with the outcome of the book by making it a book that folds out in to many books on the inside.




Zines. Zines. Zines.

Returning to this project again, the class broke up in to groups of 12.. or well, our group had about 10 or 11… actually, I’m not too sure on that. I’m not getting too in to that, or why it was like that…

The Zine project, I would have to say has been one of the most relaxing and exciting rotations so far, besides the Poster and Mark making project. It was engaging, challenging and I have picked up so many techniques from it. It’s taught me that I need to think more about a certain issue or subject, in order to depict it in one image or a line of text. I also have an inkling that I may want to come back to creating zines again in future, as we’re now on another new project to do with Music, I had so many ideas for songs that I wanted to work on, but I only had three to choose from.

As for the group task, it was to get our filler pages together in order to create one big Zine. It was quite a difficult trying to get everyone together, so we could discuss it. I need to come clean about this, it has been bothering me as I brood about it, but I think if we co-ordinated a little more as a group, discussed it and made a better plan, it wouldn’t take so long to get such a simple thing completed. I told myself that in my head repeatedly. On the other hand, the task wasn’t so simple as it seemed, as everyone’s zine page was very unique in their own way, there were some in colour, some in black and white, photographic and even hand drawn. They had to slot in together, otherwise it wouldn’t make such a successful zine.

We laid out our pages on the table; carefully we began to move each page around in an order to see if it would fit. Took a while, but we got there. Eventually. It would’ve been nice to see the final thing all together though. That was the only disappointment.

Over all,  it’s so nice to have a group task again, it’s been a while since we had one and I wouldn’t of mind re-doing the zine page again in future, or possibly continuing it or even linking it in to our current poster project.

Zine project update

After building up my idea and drafting out sketches for my zine project, I have come to one outcome for my front and back page, and my inside page. Previously, I started to discuss my ideas and the suggestions I had been given from Sara about making the lines or the objects appear to look hand drawn in pencil. I did a little research and tested my first idea.

I wasn’t too pleased with it in the end. I spent an hour working on it; I thought it looked pretty cool at first, but you know, when you finish something you have spent a while on; it looks good, you go away for a while and come back, then it looks completely the opposite to how impressive you thought it was the first time? I had exactly that.


The lines weren’t to how I wanted it to be. The outcome most likely came out like this because of my scanner; it’s not a very good one and occasionally it has a mind of its own.

In spite of this happening, it could be possible that this outcome ended up like this due to it being drawn out smaller.

I tried again by drawing the image out, but this time, I made it bigger on the page and instead of scanning it, I took a photograph.


It’s so much better in my opinion. It reflects on the progress I’ve made in my sketchbook and in the plans, I kept the shadows that were captured too.


As the second test was successful, I followed the same method as that again, but with the front and back page. I wanted to keep to the idea of pencil lines and making the pages with the scribbles and hand drawn marks.  It would’ve been better if my camera was able to capture at a higher quality; the lighting in the room was a lot brighter and if I avoided casting a shadow over the paper.

I may consider scanning this in again, but with a different scanner next time to see how it comes out. I would like to continue this in future, just to see what else I could do with the subject of zines and my chosen focus of ‘It’s never the end of the world’.

Visual ideas update #1

I took it up on myself to update one of my previous answers that I illustrated by hand by then taking it in to an art tool software called ‘Sai paint tool’. I don’t always get a chance to play around in this program often, due to lack of spare time, but it always comes in handy for me when I want to draw or/and colour some things digitally. It’s variety of settings, textures and brushes allow you to do practically anything you want with it and it’s easy to use.

By taking this forward, I considered using colour to help the image express more emotion, than just simple facial features and text. Colours can often be used to influence emotion, or depict them, for example, red can resemble anger, love, strength and power. Van Gough is another great example of an artist who uses colour to bring out specific emotions or expressions by the use of his colour pallet.

I played around with some more thicker brush settings with a medium-flat brush and sprawled over a few colours. In my honest opinion, this experimentation has seemed to work the way I wanted it to.


Visual ideas

Following a brief I was given, I was able to answer five of the questions given:

  1. How do ideas become visual? Through thought and seeing it. Ideas can always come to our mind through thought and visuals. Others can give communicated ideas as well.

Using my pen and pencil, I marked out a draft. We can see visually with our eyes and the ideas form in our minds. I thought I would try and play around with this idea in a similar way to how I did with the fanzine.

2. How do they communicate with us? Through media, publication and other ways of communication based art- Newspapers, posters, art pieces and TVs etc.

3. What do we take for granted? Everything. We also take TOO MUCH for granted.

4. Who can make design? Everyone and anyone who wants to make a design.

5. How do emotions take shape? Gradually.

Critical thinking — 2/2

Welcome back to another update on the Critical thinking rotation. This time I’ll be quickly whizzing through the last half of the work I’ve accomplished so far for that week; I would like to also let you all keep in mind, that this is a on-going project, so it is not totally complete yet.
I would also like to put forward what I had discussed yesterday; I started to talk about the subject, and my thoughts on the term ‘Critical thinking’, I mentioned that for the fanzine project, I would narrow the theme down to Ethics and the saying ‘It’s not the end of the world’.
Actually, talking about this saying, it could of been stated in so many ways, but I found myself stuck with a similar saying which highlights the wrong doing, but then ends in a positive outtake: ‘If it’s wrong, only YOU can change it.’
it’s quite a true ethic which I look up to and follow myself. I had a quote from a manga series that particularly influenced my style of writing and drawing now, and it goes like this ‘Dream exist to be realized. If you don’t do it, who’s going to?’. It’s true. Not only when you find yourself stuck or hoping to do something that seems impossible; only you can be the one to accomplish the thing you want to achieve. No one else. It’s you who has to pick up those pieces at the end of the day.

Taking this idea forward, I got some ideas down. I wanted to do something humorous, or try to play on the word ‘change’. Change can mean plenty of things, depending on the person using it. Change can be money, change can mean a process or form that is different from it once was. I had three things I wanted to do for this, but I had to consider that it needed to make sense to almost everyone who was going to possibly look at it.
So, the idea of having someone in the drawing go to a change exchange store was out of the picture.

Rubbers/Erasers are often use to erase the mistakes we make and I thought this could possibly be a good method of communicating to the person looking at it. I had some advise from Sara about considering the style of text and making adjustments to the hand, to make it look as if it’s hand drawn to fit in with the idea. This was pretty helpful advise because it opened my thoughts on how i could think about publishing this; I need to keep in mind of how I’m going to do this. I was planning on producing the text in the screen printing room, or drawing it down and scanning it in for Photoshop. On the other hand, I could link this project back to what I’ve learnt in mark making and use mediums such as, charcoal or pencils.

This saying wasn’t the only one I had; I also had another saying I wanted to work with, but coming up with ideas was tough. I did, however, make a very draft ideas, but really, the first idea stood out in my opinion.