Wednesday, July 16, 2008

michael a. salter

this course was delivered in a unique, one-week intensive format. besides a few trips to the dollar store we were working constantly in our new studio at the white stag building in portland for 8-9 hours per day. I wrote up the course as;

"All materials and objects for study are to be acquired form a typical Dollar Store. Each student is to develop iterative functional product design solutions born from a select few items of their choosing. This course employs the current fascination with the 'hack' concept. As a consumer culture with retail markets flooded with product choices, designers inevitably now see these flush product markets as rich sources from which to develop new designs. Mass production technologies and innovations have eased the flow of products into the consumer markets so much so that we now have this new pool of materials, forms, and objects to design from and with. Our current design culture is familiar with sampling, appropriating and adaptation. We now address the loaded issues of designing with design and co-opting the results of the entire design and production formula for our own hand made means. This is a course about creative design problem solving with a series of parameters uniquely presented by the Dollar Store product choices. This is also a course exploring the ability for innovation to elevate the common to a bright and poetic place, and a simple study of home goods gone mad. As production throughout the globe saturates our consumer culture with goods, this course employs a conscious awareness such consumer goods, their value, and their potential. "

the results were great, granted we had this newly renovated, beautiful space in downtown portland, on the fourth floor with a view of the river...but we only had dollar store items to research and experiment with for our designs. I am michael a. salter and this blog shows images from my 'dollarstore-hack' students. I am an Associate Professor of Digital Art at the University of Oregon.

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