Archive for ‘4. Design Thinking’

May 6, 2012

Evolving Shapes

by amobramaein

An interesting article on the usage of genetic algorithms to generate shapes.

May 4, 2012

29 Ways to stay Creative

by adhishbhobe
April 30, 2012

Design of World Trade Center Site Memorial

by Neha Gupta

Michael Arad, the architect for World Trade Center Site Memorial was a Georgia Tech Alumni and he gave a talk regarding the designing of the memorial. One of the major theme of his design was that he wanted to commemorate the absence of the towers. The design instantly makes sense as it relates loss with absence, which is an universal expression of loss.

Above is the completed memorial with museum still under construction.

This paper describes the process of architectural design. The paper says that design constraints evolve with each iteration of the design. It further says that initial design constraints are few in number, so architect selects an initial design based on individual choice and initial constraints, but with the first design itself the constraints evolve. So the paper describes an evolving process of architectural design wherein the constraints help in creation of a design while a design evolves the constraint through design appreciation.

Micheal Arad describes a slightly different process of architectural design. He had the concept of building a memorial using the theme of absence, two years before the competition was announced. He had made some initial sketches of the design as he was personally interested in building the design. After the competition was announced, he just elaborated his initial design. Although the minor changes were made in the design once the construction began, but there was no evolution in the basic design. Another striking feature of his design is the simplicity with which it conveyed the message.

April 24, 2012

Lateral Thinking

by garimaraina

A major force in British creative thinking is Edward de Bono. Although Maltese in origin, de Bono has doctorates from both Oxford and Cambridge and is most famous for his addition of the term ‘lateral thinking’ to the English language in his 1967 book, ‘The Use of Lateral Thinking’. Since then, he has written around 40 books on creativity and thinking. This article is a whistle-stop tour of some of his more notable methods! Here is the link! Enjoy!

April 22, 2012

How are comics a metaphor for screen interfaces, whether that’s games, multimedia, or the Web?

by nketas

I started reading the books ‘Understanding Comics’ & ‘Reinventing Comics’ as part of my masters project on designing comics. I found that the book became relevant not only to that world, but first to interface design, then to web design, then to game design. And as I talked to more and more people , I found basically that I was becoming very interested in it and that people in their respective fields were becoming interested in the book. The great irony of course is that Understanding Comics doesn’t mention computers once.

When I wanted to know more I came across a video of  2 hour long interview from 2002. Here’s an excerpt of interview witth Scott McCloud .

McCloud: Most people’s ideas of how the book was relevant to digital media weren’t the same ideas as mine. They focused on certain chapters of the book dealing with the ways we process certain imagery. For instance, in chapter two I talk about the combination of very cartoony characters in very realistic environments. This was an idea that a fellow named Bumgardner picked up and created a chat interface called The Palace. He’s been quoted as saying that pretty much came from an idea in Understanding Comics.

It’s strange, that wasn’t really where my focus was. My focus was back at the beginning of the book where I talk about definition. I was interested in finding out how comics would evolve in a digital environment. And I was finding some very exciting stuff when you take that idea of comics and drop it into a new petri dish.

But this wasn’t what people were picking up from the book. They were talking about the nature of cartoons, and they were talking about the combination of words and pictures. That one comes up a lot. And they were comparing the experience of surfing the Web to the alchemy that occurs between the panels.

Sims: I recently had an experience where I was trying to explain a Sunday comic to my 3-year-old daughter, and it was a two-row Sunday comic. And I understand where the geography was when someone on the lower panel looked to the left and they were actually looking at something that in the layout of the page is in the upper right. But it did take some time to explain it to someone 3 years old. And it made me think that there’s some complicity between the comics and a reader, that we’re going to start at a baseline, that you’re going to understand this much, then I don’t have to explain it to you again.

McCloud: Yes, it is a deeply collaborative art, even for a very sophisticated user. It still requires a much more conscious participation than, say, film. Film also requires a series of still images, but we string those images together involuntarily. Even somebody who is not at all sophisticated in film will still see that motion.

Whereas somebody who isn’t steeped in the protocol of comics, will approach that page as a collection of still images until they understand that as you move across that page, you’re actually moving through time.

What’s interesting is that printed comics require a fairly sophisticated protocol. They operate on this idea that as you move left to right or up to down, you’re moving forward in time.

But you have to actually have a pretty sophisticated notion of when to go down, when to go to the right. The panels are all sort of jumbled together. And it’s easy when you’re looking at the Sunday page. When you’re looking at a lot of modern comics, though, the panels are in almost a jigsaw puzzle fashion, and you have to have a pretty complex understanding of where to go next.

The funny thing is that in studying comics as this simple idea of sequential art. I found that there were a lot of comics that predate print. Of course, obviously not called comics. But, if you take comics as this idea of placing one image after another to tell a story, a kind of temporal map, really, that as you’re moving across the space you’re moving through time and using that to tell some sort of story, you can actually find examples of that going back. …

Sims: The Bayeux Tapestry.

McCloud: The Bayeux Tapestry, Trajan’s Column, certain Egyptian wall paintings, not hieroglyphics—people often misunderstand me there, I’m not saying hieroglyphics are comics—and pre-Columbian picture manuscripts are very much comics. And the more you look at them and actually read the things, you can see that they’re using the exact same visual language. The only things missing are really quite superficial, things like rectangular panel borders and word balloons—although even word balloons go back hundreds of years. But the funny thing is that the complex reading protocol that print demands from us in comics is absent in all the pre-print versions. Because in all these proto-comics, these ancient comics, the idea was much, much simpler than that. Just that whatever moment you were on in time, the next moment was right next to it. You mentioned the Bayeux Tapestry, that’s just one long straight line. Trajan’s Column, you move in a spiral up that stone column. In pre-Columbian picture manuscripts, it’s a little jumbled, but what you actually do is move in a backward zigzag, all the way back through this long screenfold, really something like a mural, although it can be folded like a book.

They approached this simple idea of sequential art with a very open-minded and simple approach of simply saying, if space equals time, then the more time you need, the more space you give it. So Trajan’s Column, if you wanted to tell a story ten times as long, you’d need a column ten times as high. Or the Bayeux Tapestry would have to stretch all the way across Europe if you wanted to tell a story that long.

But there’s a limitation to physical matter. There’s not a limitation to the length of these constructs in a digital space. And you can actually reclaim some of that magic from pre-print comics in a digital space, get the best of both worlds. Because I think in some ways we actually betray the strength of comics when we chop it up, slice it, and dice it to fit into these flat and rectangular wood pulps we call books. I think in some ways we’ve actually done the idea of comics a disservice by cutting them to fit.


April 22, 2012

Typoflat – experimental typefaces & then some

by nketas

I came across this website when one of my hipster friend insisted that I take a look at it. (I would mention his name, but you’ve probably never heard of him). TypoFlat is a personal & experimental project of designer Branislav S. Cirkovic ( In his own words,  The idea of TypoFlat  is to have this free flow of creation where no clients or money are involved, just a pure passion for creation and form experimentation. Now that we have the official statement, Its time to rant about why i like this particular website and how it relates. This experimental project is an attempt to validate an idea which emphasizes one view on creativity. The idea of creation as a free flow process without secondary or external constraints. This is also resonates in one of McCloud’s famous quote: “Art, as I see it, is any human activity which doesn’t grow out of either of our species’ two basic instincts: survival and reproduction

I wish Mr.Cirkovic all the very best.

April 5, 2012

Augmented Reality Eyewear

by jbrazelton

Google has announced that they have began to do test on augmented reality glasses called Project Glass. The device will eventually be able to send messages, take photos, share to Google+, see the locations of friends, view maps, get directions, set calendar reminders, and more.

Click here for a video of how they envision the product to work.

For more information about the new product click here.

February 27, 2012

Some cool sample content from my recent video project

by jarradr

An excellent example of the intersection of two of my passions (education and psychological thriller movies) and yet another instance of my project being used in ways that I had not intentioned, due to the creativity (there’s that word again) of the Georgia Tech student population.

There are a few things going on here. First, I’m not sure if you’ve seen the movie Memento, but here is a brief trailer (please excuse some of the language):

After watching that, check out this video done by a student in the Physics class into which I integrated my video idea last term:

I love it.
Next, please check out the other videos by clicking on the C21U link found beneath the video. Note, though, that these are but a few of the videos submitted by students during the course of the project. Some are extremely creative but, for one reason or another, did not get submitted for the competition. Here is another video produced by the same production “team.” Note: the student actor was the star, but his roommate was the cameraman and actually did all of the hard work; how else would this guy have written a problem on his back? I shudder to think about which of them might have written the problem on his upper thigh (just jokes).

Some interesting points that come out of analysis of this portion of the project are:

1. Noting that their classmates have to rank the videos, is it better for students to produce content that is academically relevant or simply amusing?

2. One perspective of student-developed video requires that students “teach the underlying concepts” while others simply involve the presentation of problem solutions. This project, in particular, has shown how different these two notions can be.

3. This is the first project that I completed using a video-hosting service other than YouTube. The Digital Media tool lacks some of the interface options (annotation, user-prescribed graphical hit-counting, etc) but it allows us to present the videos to a Tech-only audience. The videos entered into the TechBurst competition, therefore, had to be re-produced from the original raw files, in many cases. The difference between the two programs, and the corresponding affects on the producers and consumers of video content, is important to consider.

February 27, 2012

video project with Physics 2211 course

by jarradr

Background: my research looks at the integration of asynchronous video (and specifically student-developed content) into the classroom. As such, I’ve worked with several Tech faculty members to put together projects integrating a video “requirement” into their course. One such project was Professor Greco’s Physics 2211 class (478 students) whereby students were asked to submit a videos several times throughout the term and also to watch 4 of their classmates’ videos and assign rankings to them. The rankings were then associated with points via an algorithm I wrote and embedded into the class T-Square site and the top 15% “point-getters” would receive extra credit for that round. This gave the students an incentive to produce quality videos. Furthermore, the fact that the students had to watch each others videos meant that the professor did not (which would have been a daunting task in a class of 478).

Though the prof was not required to view all video content, an important aspect of this idea is the fact that he could at any time he chose to. That is, if he found, by looking through exam results, that a particular student was lost on the Chapter 8 materials, he could look at the stream of videos submitted by that student to see exactly where they went off track. The also keeps the students “honest” to a certain extent, since they never know when the prof will decide to take a look at their submissions.

One important element whereby this project differs from others on which I’ve worked integrating video into GT courses has to do with the video-hosting interface. This project uses the Digital Media tool, specifically designed by CETL to work within the T-Square environment. Past projects all used YouTube. Some advantages of YouTube include the fact that the most students were already familiar with the interface, the ability to annotate the videos, and the ability to make the videos “portable” by creating an email-ready link. I chose to work with the Digital Media tool in this instance because I wanted to work with CETL to customize an interface specifically for use in the education space, and I wanted to be able to authenticate access to the videos based on official Georgia Tech credentials. In my data analysis, I am looking at the number of people who view certain videos, as well as the number who create, so it is also helpful to isolate use to a GT-only population. While the main project focus looks to see the impact of the creation of the video on the developer, further research will look at the affect on the viewers.

As always, CCDC input/feedback/suggestions are appreciated!

February 27, 2012

Summary of Research on the Classroom Use of Asynchronous Video and Other Technologies

by jarradr

My research specifically involves multimedia technologies, especially shared video, as tools for the enhancement of teaching and learning in STEM fields.

Typical projects involve giving students (in Calculus 1 and 2 courses) the opportunity to make up for points lost on quiz/test questions by having them create YouTube videos of themselves completing similar problems and ‘teaching’ the underlying topics. To analyze the effects of the videos, we would look at how the students performed on the same concepts when tested on them during the Final exam. That is, the scores of students who ‘failed’ at various concepts during the term but submitted an appropriate video would be compared with scores of those who failed but did not submit a video.

In addition to the audio/visual content produced, students would be encouraged to make the video segments ‘information dense’ using some of the features currently available. For instance, step-by-step problem instructions could be displayed at the bottom of the screen, using YouTube’s annotation feature, and viewers would be able to leave their questions in the comments area as well as within the video itself, thereby encouraging updates to the annotation and/or further videos.

The videos themselves, once determined to be acceptable, would be maintained on a website for use by future students. This will allow us to capture further data concerning those students who watch the videos and the corresponding benefits, if any. The main motivations for this study are the assumptions that having to ‘teach’ the material encourages/requires a much deeper understanding and also that there is educative value to be gained by the peer perspective with respect to teaching and learning in STEM fields.

Expanding on these topics, further research involves teacher-developed videos, and I’ve been working with Dr. Damon Williams at CETL on several workshops and with his Summer Learning  Community ( Planned research also involves online tutoring systems (including video-chat, wimba tools, etc.).

Benefits of the [interactive video] research would include:

1. Diverse perspective: Peer-developed videos allow students to approach the material from different avenues. Having a concept explained by the professor is one thing, but having it dissected and explained by someone who just learned it could be quite powerful, I would suggest.

2. Depth of review: Students viewing both instructor and peer-led videos will be able to rewind, pause, and skip-through the videos as they seek out the most salient points and those which caused them the most confusion.

3. Interactivity: Students will see each others questions and comments. This will also result in the placement of updated annotations throughout the video, allowing it to ‘grow’ with each piece of feedback received.

4. Availability: The videos will be available 24/7, unlike most other academic support resources.

5. Variable Formats: It is interesting to note some students state they ‘learn’ better when they can see the ‘teacher’s’ face. Some presenters, however, may be hesitant to have their face published on the internet, and would prefer to ‘pen-cast’ their presentation of the material. Diverse teaching/learning styles also play a large role. The varying format allows for beneficial flexibility.

6. Breadth of subjects: I’m focusing on Math and Computer Science now, but am currently communicating with several departments at Tech. The ideas here would be relevant to all STEM fields.

7. Privacy/Data Tracking: Videos would be coded as private and only be viewable after authentication. This will allow us to better track the data corresponding to who is watching the videos, so as to determine the impact on different populations.

8. Legacy: As we continue to suggest and require the videos, the corresponding Video Library will become more diverse in its subjects, formats, and presenters. Since the concepts are not substantially changing, students taking Math Math 1501 in Fall 2013 could conceivably benefit from videos made in 2010.

9. Assessment: The videos could be used as tools for assessment for the tutor, teaching assistant and other student assistant positions on campus. For example, a portion of the interview process could involve the submission of some videos showing the person explaining some complex concept to an imaginary ‘tutee.’ Using the videos instead of personal meetings allows assessors much more flexibility, as they correspond with larger numbers of and more geographically diverse groups.

There are also benefits specific to my role as Academic Support Manager at OMED, as I to focus on methods of engagement of and providing academic support for under-represented populations in STEM:

10. Identity impact: There are a growing number of YouTube videos available covering various Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts, but the presenters are mostly white males. Diversity could be very beneficial here. It is beneficial for Black male students, for example, to see Black males handling high-level concepts in a different courses.

11. Active Learning: The process of creating the videos (and, thereby ‘teaching’ the material) allows the students a deeper interaction with the concepts involved. With respect to our target populations, this can be used both to promote and socially reward those members of the community who have a particular proficiency and to identify areas where academic support is most


12. As has been noted for years (,%20digital%20immigrants %20-%20part1.pdf) the extent to which young people (students in particular) are being raised as natural consumers of digital information is constantly increasing. The recent trends show that African-Americans and Latinos are the main users of social networking sites ( This research looks into ways we can continue to engage the populations in ways that are relevant to how they live and learn today.

CCDC Feedback is appreciated! I think this should fall within the realm of Creativity… what do you think?