Thursday, January 31, 2013

Career Goals + Plan of Action

I've kind of always seen myself wanting to be a collaborator, a designer, a thinker, a maker, a do-er. I have aspirations to work for a company that values what they make just as much as why they make. I have for a long time wanted to become a creative director either at an ad firm or a larger branding house. Ultimately a very realistic expectation of myself is to live comfortably, supporting myself by doing something that I am passionate about. As of late (past year or so) I have been following Australian design and culture. I never had the chance to study abroad (something always came up) and find that post-graduation is as good of a time as any to pick up and follow a dream career in another country. I have aspirations to start up/own a restaurant or two as well as collaborate on a mens boutique. For that matter, I should tell you that I am really passionate about furniture design and would love nothing more than spending my days making furniture. As far as advertising and design in the states I've considered Mcgarrah Jesse in Austin, Barkley Boulder, DMH Kansas City, Pentagram Austin, Pentagram NY, and VSA Chicago.

If I had to lay it all out it would Ideally go something like this:

Jump straight over to Australia after graduation, with a 1 to 2 year working VISA. If that didnt pan out I wouldnt mind staying in Kansas City to grow and use my experience to springboard me over to Australia. I've invested a lot of time and effort into networking here in KC and have become really fond of the creative community. I can also see VML version turning into a VML london or VML australia position. If at some point australia is no longer a priority and After staying in Kansas City for a while and paying off some student debt, I would use the experience to go to MJ in Austin or Pentagram Austin. Perhaps after that I would cash in on my time and apply for a group creative director position at a firm. (partner or exec creative director wouldnt be so bad either) By this time i would have Established a base in the creative industry enough to feel comfortable dropping it to open my own shop. A shop that is into multiple disciplines. Itd be a small place that would focus a lot on branding and brand experience. I'd use a part of that shop to make a production area for all kinds of stuff. At some point there would be a collaboration to open a restaurant and a men's shop.

My plan is loose, but I do have one thing in the cross-hairs, Hard work and success. I am all over the place but the main thing that I've always told myself is to be open and that being uncomfortable isn't a bad thing. I am willing to go with the flow and stay open to any opportunity in order to progress in my career. I honestly feel that my ambition will allow me to do whatever I want. Its a matter of figuring out when I want to do it.

I just want to be happy doing whatever i do, dammit. A soul sucking job is not a life long goal of mine. I want to explore. I want to work hard. I want to survive. I want to succeed.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Degree Project Week 1

This week was highly focused on research and revisions to my proposal. Initially my question was, "how can environmental typography emotionally improve the life of those living in Kansas City?" I have since revised it as, "How can temporal typographic messaging, in context with its environment, begin a conversation of optimism and hope that resonates with our community?"

I've gathered some research on Kansas City's demographic.
Population: 463,202. 432,449 in households, 9096 in group homes, and 4958 institutionalized.
As a whole, Kansas City is 34 years old. (age median)
Not speaking in numbers, what I've gathered as a whole about Kansas City is that its very eclectic. One side of town can be completely different than another. For instance, the crossroads is a vibrant, growing community rich in the arts. Westside is a slow up and coming community with a lot of spanish and artistic flair. The east side has a reputation of crime and poverty but certainly isn't a wholistic representation of the community. My goal for this weekend before starting week two is to get out and observe. I plan on riding the bus all over town, taking pictures, following people, talking to people. Doing some initial internet research on methodologies of design research, design anthropology and socially driven design has led me to a few exercises I want to try out in the field.

I am looking back onto UX and plan to utilize some of these methods:
  • observations
    • fly on the wall - unobtrusively observe
    • shadowing - follow subject as they go about routines
    • undercover agent - observing while posing as someone normal in their environment
    • don't dress to impress, blend in with the environment. bring props if necessary.
    • observe without being too noticeable 
    • camera phones are good for inconspicuously snapping photos
  • interviews
    • directed storytelling - ask subjects to tell stories or about moments
    • unfocus group - assembling a group of experts in a field to explore the subject from different viewpoints
    • keep an open and nonjudgemental mindset
  • self-reporting
    • journals
    • photo/video journals
I've been listening to Dori Tunstall podcasts and lectures

Degree Project Process PDF layout

Base Grid

Monday, January 28, 2013

Degree Project: Day 1

Whew, it feels good to be back. I left last semester explaining what I wanted to explore in my final semester with Matthew Hoffman and in mind. The work created through the course of ten years with thousands of collaborators with one universally true message has and can resonate with cities around the world. Designing for good has become a passion of mine that I want to dive into for thirteen weeks for my degree project. As Matthew puts it, "This may not change the world, but it can change someones world." So I am asking myself:

How can temporal typographic messaging, in context with its environment, begin a conversation of optimism and hope that resonates with our community?

Wish me luck.