Author Archive

Learning to sketch

Posted in 06.Design Thinking & Sketching on February 19, 2010 by Anna Mansour

In the midst of pizza last wednesday, we somehow got into a discussion about how one learns to sketch or draw, and how learning earlier in life can affect drawing perspective later. Sketching can be grounded in specific principles and practices when one has a background in drawing. For example, isometric drawing is when you represent a 3-dimensional object by drawing parallel lines and shapes. I use this technique when I am sketching or trying to convey an idea. I know when to draw parallel lines etc. to achieve the desired shape. Another technique is to decompose what you’re trying to draw into shapes, or blocks of colors or shading, or simply ‘drawing what you see’.

Before we talked about it, though, I hadn’t consciously realized that others might not know these techniques (or think about an ‘approach’ when starting to sketch), or how much I apply when I am sketching or drawing. Yet these principles can be really valuable to someone who doesn’t really draw but needs to convey ideas at their job. Like Suwa said (What do architects and students perceive in their sketches? A design protocol analysis), “…sketches…, as external representation, allow for reflective conversation.” To me this signifies the importance of early education in the arts. They can empower people with another way to convey the jumble going on in their heads.

Aaron vs. Humans

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22, 2010 by Anna Mansour

While we can debate whether or not Aaron is an ‘artist’ or whether what he (he, for the purpose of this post) produces is ‘art’, there are a few characteristics he has that distinguish him from human artists.

– Aaron – seemingly – does not develop over time. Although he produces a different piece every time, there is no evidence that he learns from his prior work or experiments to create a new form of art. Typically, a human artist will change over time, learning new techniques or growing bored of a particular style, for example. Aaron will remain the same kind of artist until somebody changes his programming.

– As someone mentioned in class, Aaron cannot make judgments about his own work. He cannot look at a figure he has produced and decide that he actually doesn’t quite like the way it turned out. When human artists are painting or crafting, they can look at their works in progress and judge whether it pleases them and change what they are doing. Perhaps, as we saw in the Picasso video, one form produced will remind the artist of another thing and inspire a new direction.

– Aaron does not seem to have complex underlying goals, other than to produce the piece according to his program. Though one might argue that Aaron does have a “need” for expression (driven by his programming), he does not have political or personal messages to convey.

Presumably, some of these characteristics would be reconciled with more advanced AI technology.