My goal is to design things so connotative that they can immediately evoke a feeling, time, and place. I want people to see something I’ve made and immediately associate it with a lifestyle, a culture, or a story.
I believe in simple, clean, minimalist design that offers a twist or is accomplished in a slightly different manner. As I was thinking of what image I could create to represent myself in design, I thought of Cloud Gate, also known as The Bean, which is a simple and sleek structure that reflects what is around it, but in a distorted way. When one looks at their reflection in Cloud Gate, they see a distorted and warped image. The ever-constant Chicago skyline and the sky above are also warped by the polished stainless steel curves of The Bean. This experience is what I strive for in my own designs. I very much appreciate the power of simplicity and minimalism in creating powerful aesthetics, but I also recognize the importance of adding features that are unique or surprising in some way. I think that The Bean exemplifies my design philosophy in a very material way. I also decided to create a graphic of my name in simple black and white with a variety of crazy and loud fonts. Here, I feel like I was able to retain my commitment to minimalist aesthetics while adding something unique and unexpected in the fonts that are used.
#whatIvegot: LL Bean Boots, Warby Parker, Google Zeitgeist, Apple iPhone, Lululemon
My WIGs have followed this framework in varying ways. Warby Parker Eyewear, the iPhone, and Lululemon definitely fulfill the aesthetic and meaning level. Warby Parker’s hip and simple frames offer consumers the hipster lifestyle. The iPhone’s clean and minimalist design coupled with its immense popularity of its brand make it desirable because people want to be like their friends and family. To not have an iPhone is to be different and essentially undesirable. There is a hidden meaning in the iPhone’s brand. Lululemon offers consumers the yoga lifestyle filled with health, wellness, and spirituality. By wearing Lululemon yoga pants, one can achieve all of their health and spiritual goals. The Google Zeitgeist video is beautifully made and really focuses on the emotional level to draw people in. In its tear-jerking references to the moments of the year, both happy and sad, Google connects with the viewer on an emotional level and reminds us why Google is more than just a search engine. The LL Bean boots represent a New England, snowy, rainy lifestyle. Many students, like myself, never owned a pair of rain or snow boots before coming to Harvard and having a pair of bean boots makes one feel “New England.”
Challenge 0: Contacts Case
In my Challenge 0, I think I focused on the aesthetics and the emotion most. I didn’t really have a meaning that I wanted to flesh out, but the bright colors of the contact lens case called me and the bright colors also brought to mind feelings of excitement, joy, and happiness.
Challenge Half: Wine 101
In Challenge Half, I once again focused on improving the aesthetics of the “Wine Essence Kit” but I also focused on creating a meaning that would be coupled with the product. To have a “Wine Essence Kit” was to be a connoisseur of wine and a master entertainer. In paying the $70 for Wine 101, one can learn the intricacies of wine and impress their friends and family. This level of social sophistication also applies to the emotional level of product appeal because when one is lauded and respected by friends and family, feelings of happiness and success often follow.
Challenge 1: Life Story
In Challenge 1, my partner and I first came up with an idea that fulfilled the levels of meaning and emotion. Life Story in itself is an extremely emotionally charged immersive experience and by the end of this experience one should be able to experience a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from growing closer to another person and gaining insight into themselves. In terms of how we designed our advertising materials, we focused on simple, attractive aesthetics so as to not take away from the power of the experience itself. The framework states “it is the interpretation of an event (or product), rather than the event itself, which causes the emotion. With this in mind, our poster was effectively a small peek into the experience, so that the experience could really speak for itself.
Challenge 2: The Hardline
In Challenge 2, my partner and I created a character that you wanted to be. Amal is a high-powered, successful, barrier-breaking female. She exudes intelligence, sophistication, and confidence. Her aesthetic is steely and dark and she has a fast paced, hard hitting lifestyle of meeting deadlines, winning international architecture competitions, and wining and dining with the social elite. Amal is all a person wants to be a—a boss (for lack of a better term) in every aspect of her life. And yet, as the show unfolds we will find that this is somewhat of a façade and that Amal does have internal problems that she has yet to deal with. This character development humanizes her and will allow viewers to connect with her on a personal, emotional level.