As an art educator, you are likely to be more consciously aware of design in your environment than the general public. Design is a word that is bantered around quite a bit in art education, but its meaning depends on the context, on whether it is used as a noun or a verb. One of the best broad definitions I have found for design is from Shakuro, a digital design agency: ‘Design is picturing things using the imagination.’ How can your students create good designs sparked by imagination?
Nancy’s T@B camper on the road in Colorado.
How much of what you create, purchase, or surround yourself with is influenced by design? As an example, the deciding factor for my husband and me in choosing the T@B camper you see on this page was definitely its sleek and colorful design. It makes us happy just to look at it! Our previous camper was an Airstream; again, we chose it for its design.
What does design look like in the art room? We are all familiar with the elements of art and principles of design, but I think of those as components used for organizing and creating works of art. One of the best broad definitions I have found for design is from Shakuro, a digital design agency: “Design is picturing things using the imagination.” We all know that good design is sparked by imagination.
In this issue, our studio lessons address design through a number of approaches. At the elementary level, Leigh Drake’s “Elements & Principles Scavenger Hunt” (p. 30) describes a time-efficient way to cover the building blocks of design using photography and an interactive website, and Jane Montero’s “Opening the Door to Digital Design” (p. 34) details creating notans (designs that explore positive and negative shapes) using Google Draw. At the middle-school level, Melody Weintraub’s “Design Boards” (p. 27) connects linear perspective and interior design. At the high-school level, Kasmira Mohanty’s “Isometric Interiors” (p. 15) explores creating the illusion of form on a 2D surface by means of Adobe Illustrator, and Rachel Wintemberg’s “Cereal Box Design” (p. 32) is a deep dive into typography, photography, cartooning, and logo and game design.
How can your students create good designs sparked by imagination?
Art teachers spark students’ imagination with several approaches to design and introduce them to design-related careers. Young students recycle vinyl records into functional embellished sculptures, elementary students capture the elements of art and principles of design through digital photography, middle-school students master linear perspective drawing and create design boards for a celebrity or fictional character, high-school students design isometric digital rooms with depth and dimension, and more.