A design project’s aesthetics and cultural impact are usually the primary consideration as to the effectiveness and quality of a designer's approach to problem-solving. What is often overlooked in these perspectives are the various preliminary approaches that designers employ—how do we visualize and ultimately share our ideas with others?
Within design education, projects are usually conceived to help expose students to the “design process,” an often-complex journey of experiments and discoveries. This process helps guide students in the creation of future successful design solutions. With the progress of the digital experience (PowerPoint presentations, iPhone apps, and Virtual Reality), the art of the sketch seems to be a casualty of the current state of the design process.
What can we learn from a sketch? Is the sketch a dead art form, forever packed away in folders or archives never to be seen again? Or, can we reevaluate its historical contributions in the design process and creation of artful typographic syntax and hierarchy, image creation, and narrative development?
Most often, these small, thumbnail sketches speak only to a limited audience (Art Directors, other designers, or only the designer themselves) and, therefore, usually have a limited impact. But, in the hands of a skilled and creative designer, these sketches can mean the difference between success or failure, the green light, or the idea being squashed.
As a supplement to several educational design projects, this collection attempts to expose students to the value of the simple pencil sketch. How can we use the sketching process to encourage young designers to visualize away from the computer and avoid the digital “sameness” pervasive in our visual world?
This collection attempts to chronicle the process of various designers and their projects (both large and small, complex, and simple) and presents their approach to preliminary ideation through the sketching process. The collection includes thumbnails, photographs, color studies, line reductions as well as the completed project in hopes of revealing The Value of a Simple Sketch.
Willi Kunz, (1943 - ) Swiss-born Kunz, played a significant role in the introduction of the new typography developed from Basel to the United States, where he currently lives and works.
Dan Friedman, (1945–1995) noted American graphic and furniture designer and educator. One of the significant contributors to the New Wave typography movement.
Painter Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) was the leader of the Dutch De Stijl movement, where he implemented an extreme visual vocabulary consisting of planes of primary colors, simplified right angles, and linear accents.
Tom Engeman, (1934 - ), American designer and Illustrator who has designed and illustrated several stamps for the United States Postal Service, including the Flags of Our Nation forever stamps and the 150th Anniversary of the Smithsonian commemorative stamp.
I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring neighborhoods. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about making maps as well as listen to the read aloud How I Learned Geography. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.
If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.
Resources and directions for middle school Greek vase art project.
- On a piece of orange construction paper draw an outline of a Greek vase, (or vessel, pot, jar)
- Cut out your vase.
- Choose a story or image from ancient Greece. Examples include greek myths, Olympics, and battle stories.
- In the center of the vase use a black sharpie marker to illustrate your story.
- On the neck and base of your vase use at least 5 of the patterns to decorate. (2+ on neck,3+ on base)
- Finally, glue your orange vase onto a piece of black construction paper
- Save the extra orange paper that you cut away for decorating the edges like a mosaic alternating with white.
Native American Beading: Examples, Artist Interview, Demonstration and Printable Instructions for Hands-on Activity
This collection looks at examples of bead work among Native American women, in particular Kiowa artist Teri Greeves, and helps students to consider these works as both expressions of the individual artist and expressions of a cultural tradition.
The collection includes work samples and resources, an interview with Ms. Greeves, demonstration video of how to make a Daisy Chain bracelet, and printable instructions.
Women’s Right to Vote
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
The suffrage movement of the mid-nineteenth century, recognized today as the first wave of “feminism,” continues to influence and inspire the ongoing struggle for women’s rights. Many of the methods and strategies of our early pioneers serve not only as inspiration, but, as a model for effective communication that is still relevant today.
“Man was given an eye for an ear.”
— Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage
The pioneers of the suffrage understood the power of the visual message. Their use of color, branded collateral, such as badges, banners, ribbons, and the promotion of their political messages, through the traditional means of posters and postcards, drew attention and created a precedent for protesting copied around the world by other political movements, including today.
These pioneering women used simple language and ‘conversations’ in an attempt to educate people about the injustices of the legal system. These messages were often hand generated in a vernacular manner. The poster, in particular, proved informative, accessible, and an effective medium for the dramatization of a specific point of view.
This collection serves as a brief visual research of language and methods of communication of the suffrage. Through a formal and conceptual investigation of hierarchy and composition using the timely messages of the suffrage, students will explore the process and historical method of poster making, the letterpress printing process.
Students will explore the vocabulary of the Women’s Voting Rights Movement through a series of typographic letterpressed permutations. Students will identify and explore themes that are different, as well as those that have remained the same for any disenfranchised individuals in the United States.
Each student is to choose one of the quotes provided in the presentation or find a relevant quote of the time. This will serve as the content for the typographic studies. Depending on the students’ concept for the poster, additional research and text may be required.
PHASE 1: Typographic Interpretations
Design a poster representing one of the historic statements of the suffrage. Your poster can remind people of the amendment’s original purpose and importance and/or raise awareness about a particular issue related to the amendment. There are plenty of high profile issues in the news now that directly relate this amendment. Your audience is college students.
“ All typefaces serve fundamentally the same purpose: to communicate. The purpose behind the communication –
for example, to inform, to entertain, or to persuade – is expressed, in part, by the typeface chosen. As the
communication objectives change, so might the typeface.” – Willi Kunz
Typographic Process and Checklist
1 review content – reading/understanding.
2 search for inherent structure/patterns/rhythms within the text.
3 develop preliminary plans for hierarchical structures.
4 sketches – create quick but meaningful “road maps” of your thoughts.
5 develop concepts of “center and support” configurations.
6 construct preliminary, secondary & tertiary alignments.
7 form constellations that house sub-thoughts within the text (grouping info.).
8 consider/reconsider overall composition while thinking about “activating the edge.”
9 play against the viewer’s expectations.
10 legibility (clarity and efficiency in reading) vs. readability (pleasure and interest in reading)– Willi Kunz
PHASE 2: Type & Image Interpretations
+ Integrate text + image using the four methods described in the book Type, Image, Message by Skolos + Wedell
+ Recognize the design opportunities that come with using type as an image
Type, Image, Message by Skolos + Wedell
Separation, Fusion, Fragmentation & Inversion
Separation – when the type & image operate independently. Reinforce messages. Type spaces & image spaces.
Fusion – when the type and image blend to form a unit. Type & image connected by perspective—blend 2 plus things that aren’t usually associated. Conceptually connected. Political or poetic statement. Metaphor
Fragmentation – when the type & image disturb or disrupt each other. Torn, divided, uneven, disparate. Scale, color, complication. Unpredictable, random, animated, energized message.
Inversion – form of fusion when type & image trade places & the type takes on pictorial properties or the image takes on type qualities. Harmonious. Type as photo, or hyper-realistic. Letters as frames for images.
• Two 14 by 17 inch letterpressed posters. One typographic solution. One type and image solution.
• Printed in 2- 3 color
• Quote selected must be included (but does not need to be the primary read)
Assistant Professor | Art Department | Pace University-NYC
This collection explores Leutze's Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way as well as other images in connection to westward expansion,
Who were the winners of Manifest Destiny, and who were the losers?
Students will explore images to look for clues to this question.
This is a project for my online US history class. Which is about certain artifacts in the 1920s-30s.
Welcome to the Grade 4 Beliefs Unit Collection. Please enjoy. Below there is information about:
- How the lesson was used specifically at Washington International School (WIS) in Washington DC in 2019
- The role of STEAM at WIS
Additionally, within the collection, the markers will help guide the teacher through each component. The collection is broken up into: Educating the teacher team (preparing for the unit), STEAM teacher resources, Student activities, and Student learning extensions.
Enjoy and all feedback is welcomed.
Washington International School is an International Baccalaureate (IB), Primary Years Program (PYP). I am the STEAM Specialist who integrates 21st century skill inquiry projects, hands on science and engineering, and digital tools/technology. This collection is to support many teachers who will contribute to content for this unit. The Language specialists, art teacher, design technology, STEAM Specialist and physical education.
STEAM at WIS:
My role will be to host an experience that role-plays early civilizations and their interactions with sun, moon, and stars. Students will interpret their experience and create a piece of art that demonstrates their translation of the experience. The follow up will be to help the students connect their experience with ancient cultures. Then, the conversation will further develop to challenge the students to think how science changes our understanding of our universe. The overall theme is to encourage students and give them confidence to explore various belief systems, challenge their own understanding of the world through their beliefs, experiences, and science.
These exercises scaffold learning to align student inquiry to the Social Studies standards:
- Distinguish between personal beliefs and belief systems (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)
- Define the elements of a belief system (creed, codes of behavior, rituals, community.) (AERO CC+ G5 p22 4.5.f)
- Identify the major religions of the world in terms of their beliefs, rituals and sacred texts. (referenced: AERO CC+ G6 p30 4.8.f)
- Reflect upon how beliefs affect the individual and society (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)
Important to know: The teachers at WIS took the students on two days of field trips to visit various areas of "worship" in the DC/MD/VA area: Buddhist Temple, Mosque, Jewish Temple, Catholic Church, and African American Christian Church. Students had worksheets to complete for each location that included observations of icons, the use of shapes in the visual devotional symbols, and to draw the various religious icons. After, they engaged in discussion about their experiences. If your school does not have the ability to do an elaborate field trip like this, we recommend having devotional leaders and/or parents visit as subject matter experts to demonstrate their systems of faith, icons, devotions, and symbols.
- I used this collection to train the teachers about the new thinking routines (Beginning slides)
- There are samples from students learning about Sun, Egyptian use of sun in their beliefs (art and architecture)
- Students looked at Egyptian sun use and modern NASA sun data to inspire them for their STEAM Challenge
- Their STEAM Challenge was to create a pyramid (cardboard) with a devotion (clay), and decorate with sun symbols (crayons/markers).
- Our students just completed a cardboard challenge (Cain's Arcade - check out on Youtube) so they were cardboard construction "experts". Therefore, they only had 40 minutes for their challenge. You will need to either have a lesson on cardboard construction before, or give them more samples and/or time. Hypothetically, this could be a 1/2 day project for students.
- The goal is then for students to look at other cultures and other NASA data (Incas (or other Native American tribes) African Tribes, and/or Australian Aborigines, etc. and have them do the same STEAM challenge (format) by creating a model structure decorated by symbols inspired by both indigenous symbols and modern NASA data (sun, stars, planets, or Earth's Moon). Therefore, they will have a "Maker Collection" that demonstrates various engineering styles as well as belief systems.
International Baccalaureate Transdisciplinary Unit of Inquiry: Who we are. Beliefs - An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships, including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Central Idea: Humans have common beliefs that attempt to answer life’s big questions.
- The main line of Inquiry this collection will align with is: Global religious beliefs and practices
The following subject teachers plan to do the following:
- Art = Beliefs and metaphors with clay
- Digital Technology = Building sacred structures
- STEAM = Engineering and Science of sacred structures globally and historically
Global thinking routines: Step In, Step Out, Step Back; Beauty and Truth; Unveiling Stories
STEAM Challenge: Students can further their inquiry from ancient beliefs with their experiences with modern organized religion into modern spirituality by analyzing the exhibition for Burning Man Festival. Students will complete a STEAM Challenge to build their own sacred structure that honors their own belief systems.
This collection will be used for a gallery walk, to introduce students to some of the big ideas in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House.
Climate change is a huge issue facing our society. Our students have expressed tremendous concerns about the global impact of the climate crisis.
As part of this learning lab, student teams are tasked with designing and prototyping an alternative energy solution for NYC.
Before embarking on their own designs, students will use the resources to learn about earlier climate campaigns, what scientists and engineers are doing today and will explore models, prototypes and solutions that are already existent.
Dolores del Rio was a Mexican born film actress who stared in many Hollywood films beginning in the 1920's. She was one of the first Latin American movies stars in Hollywood and was renowned for her skill and beauty. She began her career in the silent films of the 1920's and 1930's and successfully adapted to the talking films of later decades. This collection asks the student to consider the significance of her role as an early icon of biculturalism and complete an exercise in perspective taking.
Information adapted from The New York Times obituary on Dolores del Rio, April 13, 1983. Retreived from https://www.nytimes.com/1983/04/13/obituaries/dolores-del-rio-77-is-dead-film-star-in-us-and-mexico.html
Introductory Activity: Print image cards for small group collaboration. Students will sort images into three categories:
- Representational Art (realistic imagery)
- Abstract Art (recognizable imagery that does not reflect actual appearance)
- Nonrepresentational Art (does not represent a depiction of the physical appearance of people or objects)
Formal Analysis Activity:
Choose a few images to compare and contrast: How did the artist use line, shape, color, balance, repetition, or overall composition to convey
- The illusion of movement or rhythm
- Visual tension
- A mood or feeling
NOTE: pdf file of these images is meant to be printed front-to-back so that citations will appear on the reverse side of each image.
One of the oldest handbuilding techniques is coil building. Although coil pots are common, they can be very unique.
This collection focuses on using primary resources from the Smithsonian Learning Lab to help students examine how activism is viewed in our country.
From the First Resource: Today, our nation honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a stoic leader during a tumultuous time in our nation's history who brought about significant positive change by pursuing civil rights for Americans of color. However, MLK's activism was not beloved by an entire nation during his lifetime. We can explore the sacrifices he made in his endless pursuit of civil rights, his mistreatment by the systems he spoke out against, and the patterns that have been applied to contemporary activists now.
In this Collection, students will choose art to help generate a second piece of original flash fiction.
Flash fiction - which is limited to 750-1500 words - is uniquely useful to developing writers because it allows them to practice their writing skills over a number of shorter pieces. The artwork is of great purpose to creating Flash Fiction because it can provide a writer with three of the five essential elements - Setting, Situation, Sensory Detail - as identified by Katey Schultz of the Interlochen College of the Creative Arts. Another useful resource is found here.
Use this collection to help jumpstart your brainstorming process. As you examine how two designers went from brainstorm to final product, you'll practice three brainstorming strategies:
- Generating as many ideas as you can
- Keeping the flow going by saying "Yes, And..."
- Generating new ideas by combining 2 existing ideas
This is a collection of images that represent urbanization, immigration, working conditions, growth of industries, and technological innovations after the Civil War.
In this collection, the Smithsonian Transcription Center and the National Museum of American History's National Numismatic Collection invite you to help transcribe the languages recorded on historic Chinese Banknotes. This work will help ensure that researchers around the world can more easily find and use these collections.
Collection includes: instructions on required and optional steps for transcription, translation, and transliteration; links to the Chinese Banknote transcription projects on the Smithsonian Transcription Center website; and more.
Keywords: currency, money, Chinese language, NNC, NMAH, American history, East Asian history, foreign language
The Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection (NNC) is America's collection of monetary and transactional objects. This diverse and expansive global collection contains objects that represent every inhabited continent and span more than three thousand years of human history.
Established in the mid-19th century, several of the earliest additions to the NNC were artifacts from Japan, Korea, and China, including coins and medals gifted to President Ulysses S. Grant from Japanese Emperor Meiji (received in 1881) and the 2,025 East Asian coins, amulets, and notes from George Bunker Glover’s private collection (received in 1897). These donations were the foundation of the NNC’s East Asian holdings, which continues to grow with new acquisitions, such as the Howard F. Bowker collection in 2017.
During 2017-2018, the NNC digitized more than 8,000 of its East Asian Coins, making them publicly accessible and available for research worldwide. The NNC is now working to digitize 6,000 Chinese notes and paper transactional objects that range from the Ming Dynasty to the present day.
One of the main challenges to the digitization process is the transcription of several Asian alphabets, which would increase accessibility and searchability for the many items in this collection. Sometimes this can be done quickly, but often the process is too lengthy for NNC team members to complete while moving the project forward efficiently. In order to continue to share these objects rapidly, we need your help!
The digitization of the East Asian coins and Chinese banknotes would not have been possible without the generous support of the the Howard F. Bowker family and Michael Chou.
For full instructions, please see this page on the Smithsonian Transcription Center website.
Lake Tahoe has become a symbol of the controversial balance between preserving and expanding into natural systems. Tahoe’s clarity has also been decreasing since at least 1968; down from 100 feet of visibility to about 70 feet nowadays. Fine particles from urban expansion is one of the main causes, as well as the introduction of invasive species. These photos and questions will help students to understand some of the reasons why Tahoe is becoming murkier. They can provoke relevant ideas about how to slow that loss of clarity down or even reverse it, so that future generations of people and native species can enjoy and rely on this magnificent lake, just as we have done in the past. Simply click the paperclip in each image to see the prompts pertaining to each photo. This collection is ideal for a discussion-based lesson.
Students will survey the pieces in this collection and make connections between the pieces and the attached poems.
With a small group, they will read and explain their assigned poem. Then, they will select a work of art that they think BEST represents the poem from the five suggestions. In their presentation, they will explain the poem to the class, and they will explain their choice of artwork, specifically explaining what criteria they used to make their selection. Students complete the activity by selecting the best poetry/art pairing and explaining their reasoning with evidence from both pieces.
The following collection contains a possible lesson plan with ideas on how to use the resources. The collection consists of information that identifies the bravery and contributions of Native American Code Talkers.
This Learning Lab Collection focuses on a single Buddhist object from the National Museum of Korea. Students will formulate questions about this work of art using Project Zero's Layers Visible Thinking Routine. They will investigate answers to their questions by researching the exhibition website and engaging with videos, virtual tours, and other digital resources provided.
Tags: Art; Buddhism; Korea; Project Zero; research; National Museum of Korea
About the exhibition:
Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece
September 21, 2019–March 22, 2020
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
A single object—a beautiful gilt wood sculpture of Gwaneum, the bodhisattva of compassion and the most popular deity in Korean Buddhism—is the focus of this loan exhibition from the National Museum of Korea. Carved in the late Goryeo period (918–1392), this crowned image is now known to be the oldest surviving gilded wood figure in an informal pose. Its posture, with one leg raised and the other lowered, is associated with the deity’s dwelling place, where he sits calmly on rocks above the crashing waves of the sea. The same subject in a similar pose was common in devotional paintings, such as the hanging scroll of Suwol Gwaneum bosal (Water-Moon Avalokiteshvara) now in the collection of the Freer Gallery.
Sacred texts and potent symbolic objects were sealed inside this hollow religious sculpture when it was first placed into worship in the thirteenth century. The practice of adding dedication material to a Buddhist sculpture during consecration ceremonies was believed to transform it into a living body. Recent research conducted by the National Museum of Korea provides new information about this rare sculpture, its hidden contents, and the special rituals that surrounded image consecration in Korea centuries ago.
We thank our colleagues at the National Museum of Korea for sharing their research and facilitating this exhibition.
What stories do the animals on the American Trail at the Smithsonian's National Zoo tell? Students will use the Project Zero Global Thinking Routine Unveiling Stories to uncover and consider the complexity around conservation. I asked students to consider more than just what is the initial story. I wanted to know what they thought the human and world stories might be. With the success of these animals I wanted students to also consider what the new and untold stories that might remain. The Unveiling Stories thinking routine is a great way to explore the complicated stories of the gray wolf, bald eagle, beaver, North American river otter, and wood duck. #goglobal