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Posts Tagged ‘design thinking’

THE JEWELRY DESIGNER’S APPROACH TO COLOR:

Posted by learntobead on February 14, 2021

Learn To Adapt Basic Concepts In Art When Making Jewelry

PREVIEW MY ONLINE VIDEO TUTORIAL:

https://so-you-want-to-be-a-jewelry-designer.teachable.com/courses/the-jewelry-designer-s-approach-to-color/lectures/21825453

Jewelry creates a series of dilemmas for the jewelry maker — not always anticipated by what most jewelry makers are taught in a typical art class.

That’s the rub!

Painters can create any color and color effect they want with paints.

Jewelry makers do not have access, nor can they easily create, a full color palette and all the desired coloration effects with the beads and other components used to make jewelry.

Jewelry is not like a painting or sculpture that sits in one place, with controlled lighting, and a more passive interaction with anyone looking at it.

Jewelry moves with the person through different settings, lighting, times of day. Jewelry sits on different body shapes. Jewelry must function in many different contexts. Jewelry serves many different purposes.

People use and understand colors using their senses. These perceptions among wearer, viewer and designer include:

(1) The Sensation Of Color Balance

(2) The Sensation Of Color Proportions

(3) The Sensation Of Simultaneous Color Contrasts

Better designers are able to manage these sensations. They do so, in major part, by relying on a series of color sensation management tools.

We review these in great detail in this course.

In this course, you will learn some critical skills for jewelry designers that you will want to know…

  • How to pick colors for jewelry, and how this differs from picking colors as a painter
  • How to adapt basic color concepts in art when making jewelry
  • How to recognize the differences between universal responses to color from the more typical subjective ones, and what better designers do about this
  • How to manage the sensation of color within your pieces to achieve your designer goals

You will learn to make smart choices about color when designing and making jewelry.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.
Of special interest: My video tutorial THE JEWELRY DESIGNER’S APPROACH TO COLOR

8 Lesson Units
1 1/2 hours of video plus practice exercises and downloadable information .pdf files
$45.00

___________________________

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.
Of special interest: My video tutorial THE JEWELRY DESIGNER’S APPROACH TO COLOR

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color: Video Tutorial Preview

Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry: What Works!

What Glue Should I Use When Making Jewelry?

Why Am I So Addicted To Beads?

A Very Abbreviated, But Not Totally Fractured, History of Beads

The Martha Stewart Beaded Wreath Project

When Choosing Colors Has You Down, Check Out The Magic Of Simultaneity Effects

The Use of Armature In Jewelry: Legitimate or Not?

Pearl Knotting Warren’s Way

Organizing Your Craft Workspace…Some Smart Pointers

You Don’t Choose Clasps, You Choose Clasp Assemblies

Know Your Anatomy Of A Necklace

Mini Lesson: Making Stretchy Bracelets

Mini Lesson: Making Adjustable Slip Knots With Thicker Cords

Mini Lesson: How To Crimp

Mini Lesson: Attaching End Caps, Cones, Crimp Ends

Mini Lesson: Flat Even Count Peyote

Mini Lesson: Ndebele Stitch

Mini Lesson: Petersburg Chain

Mini Lesson: Right Angle Weave

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Everyone Has A Getting Started StoryThe Nature-Inspired Creations of Kathleen

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Lampwork Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Crystal Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Seed and Cylinder Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Choosing and Using Clasps

How To Design An Ugly Necklace: The Ultimate Designer Challenge

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Stringing Materials

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, color, creativity, design theory, design thinking, jewelry design, jewelry making, Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

RESILIENCY: DO YOU HAVE THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL EVERY DESIGNER MUST HAVE?

Posted by learntobead on January 2, 2021

HOW RESILIENT ARE YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL, A PROFESSIONAL, AND A BUSINESS?

Guiding Questions:
 (1) What does it mean and require for you to be resilient as a jewelry designer?
 (2) What does it mean and require for your jewelry design business to be resilient?
 (3) What does it mean and require for you as an individual to be resilient?
 (4) Why is it important to be resilient?
 (5) How do you manage resiliency?

Abstract:

Resiliency is a form of power. It describes our ability to bounce back from overwhelming challenges. It is necessary for survival. Organizationally. Business-wise. Professional-wise. Psychologically. It should be at the top of the To-Do list for every designer and for every design business to be resilient. There are always unexpected disruptions. Sometimes these disruptions are negative; othertimes, positive. All present challenges and opportunities. We want to be able to manage vulnerabilities, absorb stress, recover critical functionality, and continue to survive and thrive when our circumstances change. We want to be able to find, evaluate, negotiate and grab opportunities before they disappear or become unattainable.

Over The Course Of My Business

I have been in the jewelry design business for over four decades. There have been many ups and downs. For most, my business and my skills were resilient enough to keep things afloat until they found their footing again. But not always.

There’s the ever-present business cycle which fluctuates between prosperity and recession. There are changes in fads, fashions and styles, manytimes leaving me with some dead merchandise, a rush to design new styles of jewelry, and the need to change my inventory of parts. A few years, brooches are the hot item; then, all of a sudden, brooches are out and bracelets and rings are in; and, on and on. One color like blue is in, and then it is not. Occasionally, I needed some retraining in new techniques which became popularized. Then there was the slowly increasing shift from brick and mortar businesses to online ones. I had to develop the knowledge and skills to put part of my business online.

At one point, for eleven years, my business was located downtown Nashville in a historic district. It was full of mom-and-pop shops, from rock shops to junk stores to small boutiques and restaurants. It was an exciting place. Too exciting, it turned out. The large corporations decided to move in — Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood, Wild Horse Saloon. To accommodate them, the city renovated the district. Part of this renovation included removing over 6,000 parking spaces within an 18-month period. Parking costs skyrocketed from $2–3.00 to $15–20.00. People stopped coming there to shop. Things changed so fast, I had to maneuver out of my lease, and put my business into bankruptcy.

Nashville’s downtown was hit by a tornado. The tornado landed one block from my shop. I could see it from my doorway. It left an unbelievable amount of devastation and debris in the downtown.

The Nashville economy was booming for a while around 2005. Unemployment was below 2%, and I was unable to fill two staff positions.

After the 2008 financial crisis, my business spiraled downwards, at times dramatically, for the next 10 years, before I regained some level of control. When the 2020 COVID pandemic struck, there were 3 months where people had to quarantine themselves, and my business dropped to nothing. For the next year, I had to let all my staff go, and curtail my business hours. I had to maintain a level of inventory and a mix of products which customers wanted with little money coming in.

Then, there are always those moments when you need a good back-up strategy, such as when internet and wi-fi services fail, and you depend on these to process sales and credit cards.

When we think of ourselves as designers, and think about the design businesses we lead or participate in, we need to add resiliency as an important factor — and, I think, the most important factor, — among design sense, creativity, skill-set, marketing and selling, which support our success.

RESILIENCY: What Is It?

Resiliency is a form of power. It describes our ability to bounce back from overwhelming challenges. It is necessary for survival. Organizationally. Business-wise. Professional-wise. Psychologically. It should be at the top of the To-Do list for every designer and for every design business to be resilient.

There are always unexpected disruptions. Sometimes these disruptions are negative; othertimes, positive. All present challenges and opportunities. Changes in fashions, styles, fads and tastes. Changes in technology and equipment. Changes in competition. The world changes whether it is in a direction we want or not. We want to manage these disruptions gracefully. We want to recover nicely. We do not want to fail, but if we do, we want to be able to pull our life, our emotions, our businesses back together again.

Resiliency means doing enough things right. It requires some leadership and self-direction. It requires that we continually reflect on what we do and the positive and negative consequences which follow. We want to be able to manage vulnerabilities, absorb stress, recover critical functionality, and continue to survive and thrive when our circumstances change. We want to be able to find, evaluate, negotiate and grab opportunities before they disappear or become unattainable.

Types of Resiliency

Changes and disruptions affect us on many levels. It affects our businesses and organizations. It affects our professional development. If affects us emotionally and psychologically. As professional designers, we need to come to recognize how resiliency plays out and how it should be managed at each of these levels.

(1) Business and Organization

(2) Professional

(3) Psychological

Whatever level, resiliency should be understood as a process involving all aspects of the organization, the professional self and the individual self.

(1) Business and Organizational Resiliency

The business and organization must be structured in such a way as to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and adapt to sudden disruptions so as to survive and prosper. They must protect the organization as a whole as well as the people who work within it from the overwhelming influence of risk factors.

This translates into every design business needing to have people and systems set in place so that the business can re-act to a disruption as it occurs, pro-act to prepare for any disruption before they cause a problem and create a solid systems foundation, and post-act to overcome any disruption.

From a business standpoint, re-act resilience (adaptive), pro-act resilience (anticipatory), and post-act resilience (robustness) should be built into the following business prerequisites:

1. Access to designer expertise and skill-sets, particularly if current staff may need to be furloughed or let go

2. Staying competitive by maintaining control over risk and costs, including a functioning accounting system, and efficient/effective management over risk assessment, costs and returns on investment

3. Compliance with client expectations and any government rules and regulations

4. Protecting any intellectual property and data

5. Readiness to respond to changing market conditions, which may involve increased research and development costs, developing new ways in response to new competitors and competitive pressures, and creating new ways of linking up your products with potential buyers

Business Continuity vs. Business Resiliency

When you are scouring the internet for ideas about how to make your business more resilient, you need to differentiate between business continuity and business resiliency. Both involve processes for creating systems of prevention and recovering, dealing with environmental threats to the company. Both deal with preparedness, protection, response and recovery.

Business Continuity focuses on what the organization needs to resist one-time crises. These are things put in place to maintain the capability of the business to continue to deliver products or services at acceptable levels following a disruption. These systems and skill-set foundations are able to continually define the market and market conditions, assess risks and impacts, implement controls, adjust training and awareness, act in accordance, and monitor the evolving situation. Continuity deals with crises one by one as they occur.

Business Resiliency is a more strategic approach for dealing with larger, perhaps more desperate in the moment, crises. Resiliency deals with what the organization needs to continuously anticipate and adjust.

(2) Professional Resiliency

As a professional designer, you also need to have re-act resiliency, pro-act resiliency and post-act resiliency. Your current skill-set may get out of realignment. Your client may have changed their thinking midway through a project. The company you work for may have had to let you go. Some major changes in technology or fashion or style may be occurring. Some of the colors, objects, computer code — you get what I mean — no longer exist, are outdated or sun-set’ed.

You may have hit a wall or some other unknown or unfamiliar situation with a project and are uncertain how to proceed. Your work may have been handed over to another designer, or you may have been required to work with another designer, and you do not share ideas, values and objectives. You need to cope with rejection and dismissal.

Designers depend on the responses and reactions of clients to determine the degree to which their projects are seen as finished and successful. There can be a lot of misunderstanding here. The things they design must be both functional and appealing, and this is not an easy task. Often the design process is one of fits and starts, evaluation and re-evaluation, some tweaking, some adaptation, and some trial-and-error. We design over a period of time, sometimes anticipating that the environment will change and the client may change, but oftentimes hoping these will not.

This is why building in a professional resiliency matters so much for designers. It reduces the uncertainty. It reduces the struggle. It enables us to maintain a positive outlook. It enables us to create, to push boundaries, and to get things done on time, acceptable to the client and the situation.

Buzzanell describes five different processes which professionals use when trying to maintain resiliency –

· Crafting normalcy

· Affirming professional identity and Can-Do attitude

· Securing communication networks

· Putting alternative logics to work

· Downplaying negative feelings and emotions, while reinforcing positive ones

Towards these ends, the resilient designer strives for a high level of literacy in all aspects of design. This involves becoming fluent with all the types of tasks and skills involved. This involves an expectation that learning is a continual, lifelong endeavor. This involves a level of comprehension about what goes together well, and what does not. This involves developing a high level of flexibility — what I call, having a Designers-Toolbox of fix-it strategies handy. And this involves getting very metacognitive — that is, fully aware — of your thinking and motivations.

(3) Psychological Resiliency

As a human being, a major crisis may shake you to the core. It may increase your level of self-doubt and self-esteem. It may make it difficult to cope emotionally or to quickly regain your composure and sense of self-worth. You may lose control or motivation over your design work.

Psychological resilience is when you use your perceptual, cognitive, behavioral and emotional resources to promote your personal worth and assets, and minimize negative emotions and stressors. Psychological resilience allows you to maintain calm, to reflect clearly, and to develop a plan of action, minimizing any future negative consequences. While some individuals can handle greater stress than others, everyone needs to develop within themselves this ability to be resilient.

It is important for any individual to recognize when their psychological resiliency is threatened. People respond to adverse conditions in three ways. Can you recognize these reactions in yourself?

1. Erupting with anger (and it’s important to note that anger follows fear)

2. Imploding with negative emotions, perhaps becoming paralyzed to act

3. Simply becoming upset

Only the third response — simply becoming upset — will allow the individual to become more resilient and promote well-being. They are able to change their current pattern of behavior to better cope with the disruption. Otherwise, coping mechanisms tend to be rejected, ignored, or misunderstood. Psychological resiliency requires that coping mechanisms be intentional, not instinctual.

Resilient designers resort to these psychological resources:

1. Maintaining some emotional detachment from the project, and not taking things personally

2. Seeing critique as a positive resource, rather than a punishing one, and recognizing that you won’t have all the skills or all the answers at all times

3. Reframing things when the initial conceptions of problem or solution no longer serve their purpose, in realistic terms and practical follow-through

4. Recognizing that everything done is a learning experience and a developmental investment in yourself in some way, and never a waste of time and resources

5. Knowing when enough is enough, or, similarly, knowing when to say No!

6. Finding a passion for their work in design which is inspirational and motivational and keeps them engaged

7. Knowing productive things to do during “down-time”

8. Having a sense of self-esteem and self-worth, projecting a confidence in the work, even when that work is questioned or where it is difficult to measure its success

9. Having an ability to communicate and be heard and understood about how problems get defined, skills get applied, and solutions get developed and implemented

RESILIENCY: How Do You Manage It?

One way to visualize how best to manage your resiliency is to group all the activities which need to get done into these four categories:

1. PLAN

2. DO

3. MONITOR

4. ACT

1. PLAN

You create accessible databases, reports, lists and the like about equipment, inventory, supplies and suppliers, costs and revenues, location adaptability or alternative and feasible locations if you have to move things, and backup systems for documents, documentation and inventory supplies.

2. DO

You quantify in dollar terms the risk of loss in inventory, personnel, equipment, and the like. You define and measure

a. impacts
 b. threats
 c. impact scenarios
 d. recovery requirements

3. MONITOR

You put into place ways to monitor risks and responses. You create trigger systems which alert you, preferably with some good lead time, when disruptions are approaching, occurring, cascading out of control, and when responses are stumbling.

You maintain strong networks of communication with colleagues, suppliers, clients, and other related businesses.

4. ACT

Building resilient enterprises and professional lives is not a one-shot, one-time thing. It’s a continual process. It is something you always need to be acting on.

Strategic things to embrace:

Redundancy: some duplication
 Diversity: some variety
 Modularity: some insulation of each thing apart from all others
 Adaptability: some ability to evolve through trial and error
 Prudence: some sense that if anything plausible could happen, it probably will
 Embeddedness: some alignment of business, professional or personal goals with the systems and activities within which these get put into effect

Resiliencies strategies will require leadership and decisiveness in order to be put into place and managed day-to-day.

They may require taking an active, not merely a passive, response in shaping the future environment in order to create and exploit new opportunities to flourish.

They may require greater communication and collaboration with other businesses and professionals, in order to increase a broader, more collective resilience and a greater sharing of risks and rewards.

RESILIENCY: Why Is It Important?

Resiliency is a company’s, a professional’s and/or an individual’s capacity to absorb stress, recover critical functionality, and thrive as circumstances change.

Resiliency is especially important these days because of how rapidly global markets, distributional channels, technology, access to resources, and skill-set foundations change or develop, get disrupted, and redevelop.

Too often, designers and the businesses they work for focus on short term results — the number of designs sold, the number of current and new clients, the returns on investments. And too often, the paramount concern is stability and stasis. There is too much devoted to making things predictable. There is too much of a Have-Design-Will-Travel mentality.

Resilience requires a multi-timeframe outlook — short, medium and long. There most likely will need to be some inefficiencies in the short term so that the long term challenges are not too disruptive. It is highly unlikely that the design which worked today will still be workable tomorrow. Resiliency anticipates that things will be unpredictable, changeable, unknown, even unlikely. Significant consequences will present themselves, but you will not know it until you are faced with them, and you will have to adapt to them and recover, in order to survive.

Managing for resilience will require a mental model of business which embraces complexity and uncertainty and the here-to-fore unidentified. It must interrelate all the functional human and technical systems which come to bear during any design process.

On the personal and professional levels, resiliency can keep you from feeling helpless and paralyzed. It can motivate you to keep going, be decisive, and overcome obstacles. It can provide more clues to you, faster, more readily, more frequently about how to approach the unknown or unfamiliar, be flexible, and fix things.

A more resilient organization or individual can provide a competitive edge over other businesses or individuals unprepared to meet various contingencies. You can become better resistant to withstand any initial shock. You can be more agile in your responses. You can respond and recover smarter and more rapidly.

RESILIENCY: How Do You Become More Resilient?

There is no single strategy for making organizations, professionals or individuals more resilient. However, we can know those things which enhance resilience and to which you can work into your own business, professional or personal life.

To become more resilient, basically, you need to seek advantages in adversity. Towards this end, you will need to continually invest, in an integrated and coordinated manner, with concurrent attention to both management and creativity requirements, in these five things:

(1) Infrastructure (technology, inventory, accounting systems, displays, systems structure and analysis)

(2) Knowledge (technical skills, marketing and other business skills, risk assessment, criticality, reflection, metacognition, prediction, anticipation, leadership)

(3) Relationships (establishing trust, credibility, legitimacy, visibility, ways to communicate and dialog, collaboration, ways to sell)

(4) Assessment (measuring fluency, flexibility, adaptability, diversity, capability, cost/benefits, redundancy, modularity, embeddedness, prudence, and critical responses)

(5) Attitude (always designing with the end user in mind, and developing a change- and developmental-mentality and culture within your organization or professional network)

A continual series of incremental investments, implemented as a framework and as an integrated strategy, will usually be more cost-effective in the long run than any one-shot response to a sudden and overwhelming change or disruption.

____________________________________

FOOTNOTES

Bergman, Megan Mayhew. “Why people in the US south stay put in the face of climate change,” The Guardian, 1/24/2019, 2019.

Bruce, Christina. “What does it mean to be a resilient designer?” 10/12/2019.
 As referenced: 
 https://uxdesign.cc/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-resilient-designer-90bf81d110cf

Buzzanell, Patrice M. “Resilience: Talking, Resisting, and Imaginging New Normalcies Into Being,” Journal of Communication. 60 (1): 1–14, 2010.

Buzzanell, Patrice M. “Organizing resilience as adaptive-transformational tensions,” Journal of Applied Communication Research. 46(1): 14–18, 1–2–2018.

Fredrickson, B.L.; Branigan, C. “Positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires”. Cognition & Emotion. 19 (3): 313–332, 2005.

Cocchiara, Richard. Beyond disaster recovery:

becoming a resilient business. An object-oriented framework and methodology

IBM Global Services, October 2005.

Goodman, Milo. Adaptability as the key to success in design. 1/13/18.
 As referenced:
 https://medium.com/gymnasium/adaptability-as-the-key-to-success-in-design-ea64c1ed4044

Masten, A.S. “Resilience in individual development: Successful adaptation despite risk and adversity” pp. 3–25 in M. Wang & E. Gordon (eds.), Risk and resilience in inner city America: challenges and prospects. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1994.

Padesky, Christine A.; Mooney, Kathleen A. “Strengths-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Four-Step Model To Build Resilience,” Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. 19(4); 283–290, 6/1/2012.

Reeves, Martin; Whitaker, Kevin. “Strategy: A Guide to Building a More Resilient Business,” Harvard Business Review, 7/2/2020.

Reich, John W.; Alex J. Zautra; John Stuart Hall. Handbook of Adult Resilience. Guilford Press, 2012.

Siebert, A.I. The Resiliency Advantage. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, (2005).

Wagner, Mindy. Bounce Back: Become A More Resilient Designer. 1/30/2013.
 
 Zautra, A.J., Hall, J.S. & Murray, K.E. “Resilience: A new definition of health for people and communities”, pp. 3–34 in J.W.Reighc, A.J.Zautra & J.S.Hall (eds.), Handbook of adult resilience. NY: Guilford, 2010.

__________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

______________________

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

JEWELRY DESIGN: What You Need To Know About Sizing

Posted by learntobead on October 30, 2020

Abstract:

To look great in a piece of jewelry — whether a necklace, or chain, or pendant, or bracelet, or ring and the like — people should look to the face, the neck, the wrist, the finger, the body type to get the right fit and look. There are often two main reasons why people do not wear their jewelry. First, it doesn’t work with their wardrobe or skin tone. But second, it doesn’t flatter them because of the silhouette, volume and length. Learning both about standard sizing and sizing customization measurement rules are critical for any jewelry designer.

SIZING

To look great in a piece of jewelry — whether a necklace, or chain, or pendant, or bracelet, or ring and the like — look to the face, the neck, the wrist, the finger, the body type to get the right fit and look.

There are often two main reasons why people do not wear their jewelry. First, it doesn’t work with their wardrobe or skin tone. But second, it doesn’t flatter them because of the silhouette, volume and length.

When designing a piece of jewelry, it sometimes is helpful to make the size of the piece adjustable. This is usually accomplished with the design of the clasp assembly, such as adding a chain extension, or having 2 or 3 button loops.

Necklaces[1]

There are many standard length options for necklaces for women. If you have a narrower or wider neck than average, you may have to adjust these standards. If you have a longer or shorter neck, you might prefer a particular length over another.

When choosing a size, start with your neck. Narrow, thin necks might prefer shorter lengths. Thicker, fatter necks might prefer the medium size lengths.

Next, consider your upper torso. If the necklace length will place the necklace over your breast, be sure it flatters your appearance.

Third, consider your height. Short women are usually overwhelmed by longer lengths. Taller women sometimes look funny with short lengths.

Last, consider the shape of your face. Faces are usually described as oval, round, square and heart-shaped. Oval faces can wear any length. Round faces do better with longer lengths, and silhouettes that take the shape of a “V”. Heart-shaped faces do better with shorter lengths, and silhouettes that are curved. Squarer, more rectangular faces do better with shorter lengths and rounded silhouettes.

For men,

Bracelets [1]

Usually, with bracelets, size is less an issue than with necklaces.

Measure the wrist at the wrist bone, using a piece of string or tape measure. If you use a string, it’s best to use a bracelet sizing cone to determine the actual wrist measurement. If you like your bracelets to be somewhat loose, add ¾” or 1” to the measurement. With larger beads or adornments, the linear length against a ruler will have to be larger than the actual size of your wrist, since these larger components will pull the bracelet further out from your wrist as you wear the piece.

For women, most wear between a 6” and 7” length.

For men, most wear between a 7” and 8” length.

But obviously, there will be some deviation from the typical, because not everyone is a standard size.

Also, some people like to wear their bracelets tight to their wrist, while others like to wear them somewhat or very loose on their wrists.

For bangles, it becomes important to anticipate the width of the widest part of the hand for which the bangle has to slide over.

This bangle formula works in general, but, again, everyone’s hand-width and wrist size will vary.

Rings [1]

Rings sizes are standardized and unisex, running in numbers (whole sizes and half sizes).

For women, standard size is 7, with the range from 5 to 9.

For men, standard size is 10, with the range from 8 to 12. Wider rings on men tend to run smaller in size when worn.

But again, as with necklaces and bracelets, people’s finger sizes will often vary from the standards.

Also, fingers swell and contract in size, depending on the weather, heat and humidity, or how active a lifestyle some has, or with age. Some people prefer to order a ring size a half size larger to accommodate these kinds of things.

________________________________________

FOOTNOTES

1 REEDS JEWELERS, Jewelry Wise, “Choosing the Right Necklace Length For You”, as reference

http://www.jewelrywise.com/just-for-you/article/choosing-the-right-necklace-length-for-you

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry: What Works!

What Glue Should I Use When Making Jewelry?

Why Am I So Addicted To Beads?

A Very Abbreviated, But Not Totally Fractured, History of Beads

The Martha Stewart Beaded Wreath Project

When Choosing Colors Has You Down, Check Out The Magic Of Simultaneity Effects

The Use of Armature In Jewelry: Legitimate or Not?

Pearl Knotting Warren’s Way

Organizing Your Craft Workspace…Some Smart Pointers

You Don’t Choose Clasps, You Choose Clasp Assemblies

Know Your Anatomy Of A Necklace

Mini Lesson: Making Stretchy Bracelets

Mini Lesson: Making Adjustable Slip Knots With Thicker Cords

Mini Lesson: How To Crimp

Mini Lesson: Attaching End Caps, Cones, Crimp Ends

Mini Lesson: Brick Stitch

Mini Lesson: Flat Even Count Peyote

Mini Lesson: Ndebele Stitch

Mini Lesson: Petersburg Chain

Mini Lesson: Right Angle Weave

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Everyone Has A Getting Started Story

The Nature-Inspired Creations of Kathleen

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Glass Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Lampwork Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Crystal Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Seed and Cylinder Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Choosing and Using Clasps

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

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HOW TO DESIGN AN UGLY NECKLACE: The Ultimate Designer’s Challenge / You Be The Judge

Posted by learntobead on October 25, 2020

One of our The Ugly Necklace Contest Winners

Abstract
 
It’s not easy to do Ugly! Your mind and eye won’t let you go there. We are prewired with an anxiety response to help us avoid things that might harm us. So, it turns out, it is easier to design a beautiful piece of jewelry than an ugly one. Designing an ugly necklace, then, presents the designer with the ultimate challenge. To achieve a truly hideous result means making the hard design choices, putting ourselves in situations and forcing us to make the kinds of choices we’re unfamiliar with, and taking us inside ourselves to places that we are somewhat scared about, and where we do not want to go. The International Ugly Necklace Contest, first announced in 2002, and held 10 times since then, was one of the programs we launched as a way to reaffirm our beliefs in a design-oriented, theory-based, professional craft education curriculum. This article discusses the idea of “Ugly”, and provides some clues to designers about achieving it.

At the end of the article, you are given the chance to review and judge three of the submissions to The Ugly Necklace Contest — How Ugly Are They? You decide.

HOW TO DESIGN AN UGLY NECKLAC:
 The Ultimate Designer’s Challenge

Can you put together a well-designed and functional, yet UGLY, necklace? What kinds of things might you do if you were trying to design a necklace that is ugly, hideous, unsatisfying and what have you?

It’s Not Easy To Do Ugly!

Your mind and eye won’t let you go there. As research into color and design has shown, your eye and brain compensate for imbalances in color or in the positioning of pieces and objects — they try to correct and harmonize them.

You are pre-wired with an innate fear and anxiety response to subconsciously avoid anything that is disorienting, disturbing or distracting. You are genetically predisposed to avoid things that might hurt you or kill you, like snakes and spiders.

Moreover, necklaces are arranged in a circle. The circle shape itself errs on the side of beauty, and anything arranged, ordered or organized, such as the component parts of a necklace, will err on the side of beauty.

Because of all this, beauty is the norm. It is easier to design a beautiful necklace than an ugly one! How about that! Any jewelry designer who attempts to achieve “Ugly,” has to have enough control and discipline to override, perhaps overcome, intuitive, internally integrated principles of good design.

To achieve a truly hideous result means making the hard design choices, putting ourselves in situations and forcing us to make the kinds of choices we’re unfamiliar with, and taking us inside ourselves to places that we are somewhat scared about, and where we do not want to go.

– Can I push myself to use more yellow than the purple warrants, and mix in some orange?
 
 — Can I make the piece off-sided or disorienting, or not have a clear beginning, middle or end?
 
 — Can I disrupt my pattern in a way that, rather than “jazz,” results in “discord?”
 
 — Can I work with colors and materials and patterns and textures and placements and proportions I don’t like?
 
 — Can I design something I do not personally like, and perhaps am unwilling, to wear around my neck?
 
 — Can I create a piece of jewelry that represents some awful feeling, emotion or experience I’m uncomfortable with?
 
 — Can I make something I know that others won’t like, and may ridicule me for it?

Because answering questions like these is not something people like to do, jewelry designers who attempt to achieve “Ugly,” have to have a lot of control and discipline to override, perhaps overcome, intuitive, internally integrated principles of artistic beauty.

The best jewelry designers, therefore, will be those artists who can prove that they can design a truly Ugly Necklace. These are designers who can break the boundaries of form, material and technique.

What Is Ugly?

Some The Ugly Necklace Contest Submissions

We often like to say that beauty (and by inference, ugly) is in the eye of the beholder. But once we utter that phrase, we deny the possibilities of design — and the perspective from the eye of the designer. We refuse to accept universal understandings of beauty and appeal. We take away much of our power to reflect and evaluate and judge. We leave too much to the situation, and too little to our abilities as jewelry designers to translate inspiration into aspiration into finished designs which emotionally affect those around us.

As designers, we like to think we are capable of designing something beautiful. As teachers, we like to believe we are capable of training someone to be a better designer — one who can more readily choose colors, patterns, textures, forms and arrangements — in universally pleasing ways. As a discipline, we like to think of good design as resulting from sets of learned information, insights and behaviors.

Some The Ugly Necklace Contest Submissions

Different people interpret “Ugly” in different ways. Some might focus on the ugliness of each individual component. Some might use materials they feel convey a sense of ugly, such as llama droppings, or felted matted dog hair, or rusty nails, or cigarette butts, or a banana peel. Some might focus on mood and consciousness, and how certain configurations of pieces and colors evoke these moods or states of consciousness. Others might focus on combining colors which don’t combine well. Still others might focus on how the wearer’s own body would contribute to a sense of ugliness, when wearing the piece, such as the addition of a “Breast Pocket” which would lay just below the woman’s breast, or peacock feathers that covered the wearer’s mouth, or the irritating sounds of rusty cow bells, or the icky feeling of a rotting banana peel on the skin. Still others might view Ugly as a sense of psychological consciousness, such as being homeless, or an uncomfortable transition from adolescence to adulthood. For some Ugly might mean politically ugly, like Saddam Hussein of Iraq, or the trans-fats associated with fast foods.

It is not enough just to string a bunch of ugly beads on a wire. Ugly pieces do not necessarily result in an ugly necklace. Actually, if you look at many ugly pieces or components, once they are arranged and organized, they no longer seem as ugly anymore. Organization and arrangement contribute their own qualities and sense of beauty which transcend the ugly parts.

Adding to the fun (?difficulty?), designers want their ugly necklaces to also be functional and wearable. This goes to the heart of what jewelry is all about. Otherwise, they would merely be creating sculptures. The parts and techniques used to design an ugly necklace must also anticipate functional requirements. Otherwise, the piece of jewelry becomes a failure not only as a piece of jewelry, but of art, as well.

About The International Ugly Necklace Contest

The Ugly Necklace Contest, first announced in 2002, and held 10 times since then, was one of the programs Land of Odds-Be Dazzled Beads launched as a way to reaffirm our beliefs in a design-oriented, theory-based, professional craft education curriculum. The Contest was conceived as a fun way to break students out of the traditional craft mold, and get them to think, ponder, and translate their feelings and perceptions of what is UGLY into an organized and functional necklace design.

We made the contest international. We launched it on-line. Our goal was to politely influence the entire beading community to think in different terms and to try to work outside the box. We also wanted very actively to stimulate discussion about whether there are universal and practical design theories which underlie beadwork, and which can be taught.

Can you really design UGLY, or is UGLY merely in the eye of the beholder?

Four conceptual precepts underlying the creation of the Contest itself included:

1. The Necklace should be Ugly, yet still function as a piece of jewelry.
 2. Better designers will demonstrate a degree of control over achieving these ends.
 3. Better designers will show a sense of how both the larger context within which the jewelry is worn, as well as the overall effects of the wearer wearing the piece, will increase the piece’s Ugliness.
 4. Better designers will have an intuitive design sense; best designers will show some strategic control over the design process.

Our judges evaluated each Ugly Necklace submission according to 10 jewelry design criteria (See Below), and scored each criteria. Each criterion was weighted equally. The 10 necklaces with the highest average scores were selected as our 10 semi-finalists.
 
Ten Semi-Finalists were picked. They were asked to submit the actual necklaces to us, to be put on display at Be Dazzled Beads. We took images of each one — a full frontal image showing someone wearing the piece, a close-up, and a close-up of the clasp assembly. We posted these images, along with the poems, on-line (now on display here) so that visitors to the site could vote for the winner and runner up. The winner got a $992.93 shopping spree on the Land of Odds web-site; the runner-up got a $399.07 shopping spree on the web-site.

NOW, You be the JUDGE!

Below, I present three very different Ugly Necklace submissions. Each artist submitting their necklace must include the following in their packet:
 
 1) At least 4 images (front, back, someone wearing it, detail of clasp assembly)
 2) A poem where they get to put into rhyme the kinds of things they were thinking when they made their various design decisions
 3) A list of materials and techniques.

Some of this material is provided below to assist you when scoring each piece.

And you might want to take some aspirin first. It’s difficult to get your mind to evaluate things opposite to how you normally would do it.

The Judges Criteria

Each necklace is scored on 10 jewelry design criteria.

1. Overall Hideousness (first impressions; piece has noteworthy 
 elements which slant your impressions toward Ugliness)

2. Clever Use of Materials (something about the materials chosen 
 contribute to a sense of Ugliness)

3. The Clasp Assembly (any creativity applied here?)

4. Color Principles (the more violations, the better)

5. Balance or Arrangement (the more violations, the better)

6. Rhythm and Focus (the more violations, the better)

7. Orienting (the more disorienting, the better)

8. Parsimony (adding or subtracting 1 more element would make the 
 piece more appealing, satisfying, even beautiful rather than more 
 ugly; artist achieved maximum ugly effect efficiently and 
 economically)

9. Wearability (piece must be wearable; extra points if the wearing of 
 the piece makes the piece even uglier)

10. The Poem (expresses artist’s intent; artist shows power to 
 translate intent into Ugly)

The Criteria In More Detail

1. Overall Hideousness (first impressions; piece has noteworthy 
 elements which slant your impressions toward Ugliness)

The idea of “Noteworthiness” is key here. Noteworthiness means the extent the artist took something ordinary and made it extraordinary.

The best examples were the unexpected use of familiar materials. For example, felted dog hair shaped into beads; llama droppings, colored and drilled to be used as beads; a toothbrush used as part of a clasp assembly; a banana peel used as a pendant drop.

In some cases, the artist tried to make the necklace into a political statement, such as the Saddam Hussein necklace with bullets and pink shoes; or the glutenous fast food necklace with the gummi hot dog and gummi bun as the clasp.

In many cases, found objects, insignificant on their own, were organized to call attention to special meanings, such as the grenade box found among shells at the beach; or the remaining parts of a cat along with the chicken bone that led to her demise; or plastic jewels that seemed electrifying to the designer as a young girl, and so not as an adult.

Other things the judges look at include the clasp assembly, the artist’s anticipation of the effects of wearing the piece, the overall goals of the artist with the piece, and their first reaction to the piece.

2. Clever Use of Materials (something about the materials chosen 
 contribute to a sense of Ugliness)

In too many cases, the jewelry artist chose ugly pieces and assumed that a necklace made of ugly pieces would itself be ugly as well. But as you can see from the images on this web-site, this strategy does not work well.

The artist has to have a deeper understanding of why the materials are ugly. The artist also needs to stay focused and strategic enough in the design process, so that she or he maintains this sense of ugly as the necklace gets organized.

For example, one necklace used felted matted dog hair, and made beads out of this. This was a start at a clever use of materials. But once strung into a circle, the necklace looked like something someone might actually wear.

A necklace of cigarette butts, again once organized into a circle, doesn’t look quite as ugly. In addition, the necklace over-used cigarette butts — too many — which started to make the necklace a bit boring. While “boring” might take us in the direction of “ugly”, in this case, it diminished the power of the cigarette butts to make a statement about “ugly”.

This criteria looks at the total picture. Not just the ugliness of each individual piece. But also the degree to which the assembly of pieces maintains this sense of ugliness. The concern here is “design-cleverness in the USE of materials”.

3. The Clasp Assembly (any creativity applied here?)

A better clasp assembly is one that seems to be an integral part of the necklace, not just an after-thought or add-on. It should anticipate how it contributes to the ugliness of the piece, how it re-affirms the artist’s concept and goals, and how it adds to the wearability of the piece.

Successful Clasp Assemblies:

A gummy hot dog closes into a candy gummy bun

There is an elaborate strap, zipper, and suspender toggles system as the clasp assembly. With different configurations of parts, the necklace may be worn as a choker, a back pack, a wrap, a fanny pack, a clutch, or a traditional over-the-shoulder and around the neck necklace.

A troll doll is the clasp. One end of necklace string is tied into a loop and wraps around the left hand of the troll doll. The other end of the necklace string is tied into a loop and wraps around the right hand of the troll doll. The two hands of the troll doll push apart to open up, and push closed to secure the necklace.

4. Color Principles (the more violations, the better)

The degree the piece violates good principles of color. This might include using colors in incorrect proportions; or which violate color schemes; or violate rules of dominance/submission; or disturbing arrangements — vertical vs. horizontal, shading and tinting, sharp vs. blurred boundaries, placements and balance, projecting forward vs. receding; or violating socio-cultural rules and expectations.

This is self-explanatory. For example, the appropriate proportions of yellow to purple should be 1:4, meaning in any grouping of 5 beads, 4 should be purple and 1 yellow. When you deviate from this, your piece gets uglier.

COLOR THEORY discusses the use of the color wheel to select colors that work together within a “scheme”. There are many schemes, including Analogous, Complementary, and Split Complementary. An ugly necklace would select colors that violate this scheme. This might mean selecting colors that do not fit together within a scheme. It might mean using the wrong proportions of color within the scheme. It might also mean violating expectations about which colors should and should not predominate within the scheme.

5. Balance or Arrangement (the more violations, the better)

This is self-explanatory. Does the placement seem satisfying, such as a graduated necklace that starts with smaller sizes, works up to larger sizes in the center, then works back down to smaller sizes at the clasp? Or, not?

When looking at the piece, can you see alternative arrangements that might make the piece look even uglier?

Another aspect of bad balance and arrangement has to do with “dimensionality”. This is the degree, whether the piece is flat or 3-dimensional, that this is satisfying, or not. For example, a flat loomed piece with an extra large button clasp on the top of it, would probably be less satisfying than one with a smaller clasp on the end of the piece. Dimensionality can also be created through mixing beads or objects with different finishes, like mixing glossy and matte. An ugly mix somehow would feel dissatisfying.

6. Rhythm and Focus (the more violations, the better)

One of the goals of the jewelry artist is to motivate the viewer to take in, experience and appreciate the whole necklace. One of the major techniques is to create a rhythm with the patterning of the beads, and to create a focal point. This influences the viewer’s brain/eye to want to see each part of the necklace from beginning to end, and then come to rest.

An ugly necklace, would either have no rhythm or a boring rhythm or a nauseating rhythm. An ugly necklace would either have no focal point, or have a focal point that is in a very disorienting or disturbing place on the necklace, or be very disorienting or disturbing in and of itself.

7. Orienting (the more disorienting, the better)

Jewelry plays a critical psychological role for the viewer in a room or in a space. It orients them. It is one of the important things in any person’s visual environment that lets the person know what is up and what is down, and what is right and what is left.

The natural state in life is to be dis-oriented. It takes walls and ceilings, trees and horizons, things with clear right angles, clear perpendicularity, obvious horizontal and vertical planes, to enable us to orient ourselves within any space. Otherwise people would fall down, lose a sense of how to turn or position themselves, or feel paralyzed.

The wearing of jewelry plays a critical function here, in that it visually establishes for the viewer appropriate horizontal and vertical lines and planes. If you see someone with their earring dangle at a 90 degree angle, or their necklace turned around so that the clasp is showing when it shouldn’t — you know how uncomfortable this makes you feel, even wanting to cringe. And you know you want and need them to straighten things out. This jewelry is dis-orienting you, at a time when you subconsciously rely on it to be orienting.

If this wasn’t important, things like the odd-angled dangle wouldn’t bother you….But we know that it does.

8. Parsimony (adding or subtracting 1 more element would make the 
 piece more appealing, satisfying, even beautiful rather than more 
 ugly; artist achieved maximum ugly effect efficiently and 
 economically)

Once the artist has made their point, they don’t need to keep making it. For example, one entry used plastic trolls to create a sense of Ugly. There were over 20 on the necklace, but in their particular design, 6 or 8 were probably sufficient to make the point. The additional trolls served no other purpose in this piece. Just throwing in a lot of ugly pieces doesn’t necessarily result in something that is uglier. The additional trolls could have been used to make additional design points, but they were not. Instead they added a sense of repetition and disinterest.

A necklace of felted dog hair beads was a very clever idea. It was over 36″. No other design points were made, so an 18″ necklace of felted dog hair beads would have been as good as 36″. In a similar way, a very long necklace of cigarette butts would have been equally as good, or better if shorter, since no other design points were made.

9. Wearability (piece must be wearable; extra points if the wearing of 
 the piece makes the piece even uglier)

From a design perspective, Jewelry is Art As It Is Worn.

In other words, you can only appreciate the artistic qualities and sensibilities of any piece of jewelry only when you see it worn — as it moves with the body, as it conforms to the body, as it enhances the wearer’s sense of self, and the viewer’s sense of the situation and context.

In our contest, we set the rule that the piece has to be Wearable.
 This rule tends to make it more difficult to achieve “Ugly”, but we’ve had some clever submissions that succeed here.

Some examples from our entries:
— Peacock feathers that would fill the wearer’s mouth
 — An over-the-shoulder necklace that struggles to stay on the shoulders
 — A breast pocket strategically placed on the tip of the breast
 — Bloody teeth or a rotting banana peel meant to be worn against the skin

To the judges, wearability means that there should be clear evidence that the designer anticipated where the parts came from, and where they are going to, when the piece is worn.

10. The Poem (expresses artist’s intent; artist shows power to 
 translate intent into Ugly)

The poem must relate to the piece. It should clearly explain the artist’s goals and concept. It should detail the artist’s strategies for making the design choices she or he did.

The judges ask themselves, given what the artist wrote in the poem, to what degree have they successfully created an ugly piece of jewelry?

Your Turn

Use the scoring sheets below to evaluate UGLY NECKLACE #1 and UGLY NECKLACE #2 and UGLY NECKLACE #3.

Or even try your own hand at designing an Ugly Necklace. Can you do it?

UGLY NECKLACE #1: Brings Me To Tears

UGLY NECKLACE #2: Oooh! It Smells!

UGLY NECKLACE #3: Venerable Spirits

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

___________________________
 
 FOOTNOTES
 
 
Deeb, Margie. The Beader’s Guide To Jewelry Design: A Beautiful 
 Exploration of Unity, Balance, Color & More. NY: Lark Jewelry & 
 Beading, 2014.

The International Ugly Necklace Contest, sponsored by Warren Feld Jewelry, Land of Odds, Be Dazzled Beads, LearnToBead.net. As referenced:
 
http://www.warrenfeldjewelry.com/wfjuglynecklace.htm

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

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Part 4: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS:  THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Does The Designer…

Posted by learntobead on October 16, 2020

Practice-By-Design Series

Image by Feld, 2020

How Does The Designer Construct Shared Understandings?

A key part of the designer’s role is to interact with the various clients in such a way that construction of the relevant knowledge — assumptions, perceptions, expectations and values and desires — results in shared understandings. Not as difficult as all these big academic-type words sound.

The design process should be partly seen as creating a learning environment. The collective goal of this environment is to elicit shared understandings and feed back this information into all the choices involved with the design.

Design requires that works and words connect. As soon as we look at a design — even initially when that design is merely a fuzzy concept — we impose words on it. The words come from many sources. The designer. The critic. The teacher. The client. The buyer. The exhibitor. The seller. The collector. The user. The student. The public. The intents of imposing these words are myriad. Design triggers words. The designer needs to manage them.

Dialog has to happen between the designer and self, the designer and client(s), and the designer and all the audiences of the client(s) — either real or imagined. Dialog involves

– Brainstorming

– Exploring points of view

– Challenging perceptions

– Delineating options

– Evaluating the risks and rewards associated with each option

– Anticipating consequences

– Expanding ideas and perspectives

– Sharing experiences and feelings of connection to the project

The specific skills the designer applies include active listening, emotional reasoning, questioning, observing, probing, wondering, thinking out loud, synthesizing, connecting, creating, recognizing, interpreting, pushing and pulling.

The designer needs to know answers to these types of questions. When asking questions, if at all possible, the designer wants to frame them in such a way that they force choices. Examples of forced choices include things like,

– either / or

– this or that

– prioritizing

– grouping

– categorizing

– if this, then what

– organizing and arranging

– timing

– specifying criteria for evaluation

So, the designer might want to ask things like:

· What to do and What not to do

· Why this is important and necessary, moreso than what other things

· Why the client needs the designer to do this but not that

· To what degree the piece or project will impact the client under a list of different circumstances

· How and why the client values the designer’s work as well as the finished design above something else, like some other designer’s work, or not having the design at all

· What criteria the client will use to know that the finished design will have the intended value

· What alternative ways might the finished design be valued

· If any task or process or design element can be different or better?

A dialectic occurs to the extent that all parties actively listen to one another and think out loud. The design process needs to be welcoming. It should feel emotionally and cognitively comfortable. People should be free to express thoughts and free to disconnect from them when they change their minds. In a progressive and successful dialog, the participants will begin to shift their assumptions, expectations, perceptions, and values and desires, as necessary for the design project to proceed.

As the design process unfolds, then, all decisions, actions, words, focus and the like derive from these shared understandings. These shared understandings encapsulate ideas about possibility, purpose, and project criteria. They lay out what the designer and client(s) want to do, where they want to go, and how they will do it to the satisfaction of all.

The finished design serves as a permanent record of meanings — those shared understandings — — negotiated and conveyed by the designer and all the collaborators along the way. As a permanent record, it implicitly documents action, purpose, value and desire. It represents a narrative measure of how risks have been traded off with rewards.

The finished design only serves as this permanent record to the extent that the design has been introduced publicly in a such a way that its shared understandings are revealed.

The permanency of this record may be ephemeral and only last for a short time. Although the design itself is fixed, interpretations of the shared understandings underlying it may still change with the different contexts and situations or timeframes users of the design find themselves. The designer’s job, even after completing the piece or project, may never be completely done.

Importantly, all this communicative interaction is how design significantly differs from art or craft. Design is a lived experience.

The designer should be able to

· Distinguish the ideal from the real.

· Be aware of the interplay of the designer’s reactions and those reactions of the various client audiences.

· Discern intent and value, and the degree they are sufficient and enduring, as these evolve over the course of the design process.

· Specify tasks to be done which are truly supportive to the process of design management.

· Create a design process which, in effect, is a learning environment, conducive for the identification, negotiation, development and decision making which revolves around shared understandings.

· Improve their accuracy in becoming aware of client assumptions, expectations, perceptions, and values and desires.

· Distinguish options regarding form, content, materials and approach, assign measures of risk and reward to each option, and prioritize them in line with developing shared understandings.

Effective Risk Communication

One way to define the designer’s role is to view it as risk communication. Effective risk communication involves understanding people and issues. This means an ability to elicit assumptions, expectations, perceptions and values and desires. This means an ability to clarify options. An ability to either soften or intensify. An ability to organize and guide. An ability to prioritize, group, categorize, select among options. An ability to coordinate and resolve. An ability to maintain consistency over what could be a long period of time. An ability to share expertise and insights. An ability to restate things in measurable terms — exact numbers (10 hours of work) or relative concepts (slightly longer than the last project).

The client’s opinions are influenced by trust in the credibility of available risk information. This could relate to little things like identifying why one color might be a better choice than another. This could relate to bigger things like identifying what location sales should occur which might be better than another. Or like what to perform better in-house, than not.

There are many such risks which must be assessed, measured, conveyed and agreed upon in the design process, including, among others, …

· Making tradeoffs between beauty and function

· Resolving conflicts between designer values and desires with those of the client

· Over-doing or under-doing the project

· Choosing the wrong materials and techniques

· Mismatching materials with techniques

· Determining a stopping point for the project

· Incorrectly anticipating the context within which the design is to function

· Managing the design process over a period of time, without losing motivation, commitment or focus

· Handling budgets, administration, marketing tasks

How is this trust established? First off, the designer’s competence and expertise should be on display. Next, the designer should be able to demonstrate empathy, honesty and commitment. The designer should be able to delineate options for each task or goal. The designer should be able to understand and accept the developing assessments of risk in the choices to be made. The designer should be able to explain why something would not be a concern. Finally, the designer should be organized and prepared, a good communicator, and show a willingness to coordinate or collaborate, if need be.

Designers, then, communicate the levels of risk involved with any choice. All choices have consequences. Making one choice usually negates the opportunity for making alternative choices. Subsumed within any choice are sensations about workability, implementability, worth, some measure of risk relative to some reward. The choices could be about selecting materials or techniques. They could be about which design elements to use, and which ones not. They could be about which tasks to perform and when. They could be about criteria for determining whether a project should be judged finished and successful.

There are some keys to successful, adept messaging about risk. These include,

· Having a clear purpose and educating others about the purpose (both designer’s and client’s), how these relate to assumptions, expectations, perceptions and values, how to gain consensus

· Reducing all possible options to three or perhaps four major ones

· Supporting the pros and cons for each option with two to four facts

· Being up-front about uncertainty and possible consequences

· Detailing and explaining your preferences

· Explaining important conclusions about possible impacts with supporting reasons and details

· Tailoring the language to the client; working with the client to translate possible risks into language and measurements more familiar to that client

· Identifying things not yet known, such as having to learn techniques, or finding materials, or developing new forms or arrangements, or specifying a time frame for when you might be finished with the project

· Linking the project to past experiences or other things which the client might feel connected

· Asking the client to pre-test things and provide feedback and evaluation

· Keeping in regular touch with the client

· Being prepared for skepticism, controversy, misunderstanding, miscommunication or misdirection

· Being flexible, open to new ideas, and ready to suggest alternative solutions and ready to negotiate

· Not overlapping design projects; keeping things separate and compartmentalized

· If the overall project is especially large, breaking it up into a series of smaller projects; the project should be small enough so that risk and reward can be easily assessed and measured, and choices can be concise

· Having clear criteria for evaluating the project (and its continued value to and desirability for the client) at each increment of the way; allowing the criteria to grow, change and evolve, as necessary, without fostering disagreement

Designer Thinking: 
 Literate, Fluent and Flexible in the Discipline of Design

When designers think like designers, they demonstrate a degree of leadership skills which goes a little beyond those of basic management. The fluent designer has the courage to have a vision and the wherewithal to stick with it until it is a finished product design. That designer has the courage to help others share understandings about the vision and how it will fit with their desires, as well. And that designer brings along that Designer Toolbox of strategies for adapting to unfamiliar or new situations.

Designers literate in design create learning environments within which communication and dialog flourish. These environments must allow for the free-flowing exchange of ideas, the expression of feelings and thoughts and values, and the emergence of shared understandings.

The fluent designer attaches concepts to design elements. Meaning to compositional arrangements. Transforms assumptions, expectations, perceptions and values and desires. Comfortably adapts to new or unfamiliar situations. Anticipates the future, and strategically brings this knowledge to bear when defining current tasks and setting priorities. Is very aware of their own thought processes and is not afraid to share them, modify them or completely change them. Or, conversely, to respond to or re-shape those of others.

Designers literate in design are metacognitive. They are aware of their thinking and how their thoughts play out and impact any situation. They are aware of how their own thinking and their client’s thinking is reflected back in the things they have designed. If the designer does not provide a sense of the underlying intellect in their designs, others cannot appreciate or anticipate what the designer was trying to accomplish.

Fluent designers are sensitive to what knowledges and skills they currently possess, which ones they do not, what ones they need to learn to complete the project at hand, and how to go about learning these.

They are critical in that they recognize the tradeoffs between risks and rewards of any choice — large or small — that they make vis-à-vis any project. They are able to articulate their critiques and raise questions about the project or process.

Relinquishing Your Design To Others: 
 A Rite Of Passage

One of the most emotionally difficult things designers do is saying Good-bye! to their designs as they hand them over to their client or otherwise expose their work publicly. The designer has contributed so much thinking and has spent so much time to the project that it is like ripping away an integral part of your being.

This is the moment where you want to maintain the conversation and engage with your audience, but look at this from a different perspective. Your relationship with your design is evolving and you need to evolve with it. Its innate intimacy is shifting away from you and getting taken over by someone else.

But you still have needs here. You want that client to ask you to design something else for them. You want the client to share your design with others, expanding your audience, your potential clients, your validation and legitimacy as a designer. And you want to prepare yourself emotionally to take on the next project.

Relinquishing control over your design is a rite of passage. At the heart of this rite of passage are shared understandings and how they must shift in content and perspective. Rites of passage are ceremonies of sorts. Marking the passage from one status to another. There are three stages:

(1) Separation

You pass your design to others. You become an orphan. You have made a sacrifice and want something emotionally powerful and equal to happen to you in return. Things feel incomplete or missing. There is a void wanting to be fulfilled. You realize you are no longer sure about and confident in the shared understandings under which you had been operating .

(2) Transition (a betwixt and between)

There is a separation, a journey, a sacrifice. The designer is somewhat removed from the object or project, but not fully. The shared understandings constructed around the original project become fuzzy. Something to be questioned. Wondering if to hold on to them or let go. If they remain relevant. Pondering what to do next. Playing out in your head different variations in or changes to these shared understandings. Attempting to assess the implications and consequences for any change.

These original shared understandings must undergo some type of symbolic ritual death if the designer is to move on. Leverage the experience. Start again. As simple as putting all the project papers in a box to be filed away. Or having a launch party. Or deleting files and images on a computer.

(3) Reincorporation

The designer redefines him- or her-self vis-à-vis the designed object or project. The designer acquires new knowledge and new shared understandings. There is some reaffirmation. Triumph. This usually involves a new resolve, confidence and strategy for starting new projects, attracting new clients, and seeking wider acceptance of that designer’s skills and fluency in design.

The designer has passed through the rite of passage. The jewelry or other designed object or project has been relinquished. The designer is ready to start again.

But as a designer, you will always be managing shared understandings. These most likely will have shifted or changed after the design is gone. And new ones will have to be constructed as you take on new assignments.

About the Shared Understanding Series…

For any design, it is a long journey from idea to implementation. This journey involves different people at different times along the way. People will not use a design if their agendas and understandings do not converge in some way. They will not buy a design or contract with the designer unless there are some shared understandings about what should happen and when, what will happen, and what the risks and rewards of the finished project will be. Shared understandings are about recognizing intent and risk. Design is both an outcome as well as an instrument for new shared understandings, new relationships, new behaviors, new reflections. As such, any design represents a commitment to a conversation — between designer and self and designer and client. The conversation allows for the management of shifting assumptions, expectations, perspectives and values. Better designs show the designer’s conscious awareness of all the things affecting shared understandings.

Continue Reading With…
 PART 1: What Are Shared Understandings?
 PART 2: What Part Does The Designer Need To Know?
 PART 3: How Assumptions, Perceptions, Expectations and Values Come Into Play?
 PART 4: How Does The Designer Establish Shared Understandings?

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

______________________________
 
FOOTNOTES

Adamson, Glenn. Thinking Through Craft. 2007.

Baker, Jamie Feild. What is Shared Understanding? 6/24/2009. As referenced:

http://reverbconsulting.blogspot.com/2009/06/what-is-shared-understanding.html

Bittner, Eva Alice Christiane, and Leimeister, Jan Marco. Why Shared Understanding Matters — Engineering a Collaboration Process for Shared Understanding to Improve Collaboration Effectiveness in Heterogeneous Teams. Year: 2013, Volume: 1, Pages: 106–114, DOI Bookmark:10.1109/HICSS.2013.608.

Canel, Melissa. The Role of Perceptions in Conflict. April 9, 2016. As referenced:

https://prezi.com/auvtd6yylkkf/the-role-of-perceptions-in-conflict/

Cheung, Chung Fai. A Connected Critic: Can Michael Walzer Connect High-Mondernity with Tradition? Understanding, 2006. As referenced:
 http://www.emonastery.org/files/art/critic/2understanding.html

Clark, Garth. Shards. Ceramic Arts Foundation and Distributed Art Publications, 2003.

Cooper, J. David, Robinson, M, Slansky, J.A., and Kiger, N. Literacy: Helping Students Construct, 9th Edition, Cengage Learning, 2015.

Dunlop, Cole. You Are Not Worried Enough About Perceptions and Assumptions. May 7, 2014. As referenced:
 https://www.authoritylabs.com/worried-enough-perceptions-assumptions/

Feld, Warren. Backward Design Is Forward Thinking. 2020. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/@warren_29626/backward-design-is-forwards-thinking-design-in-practice-series-6f9a9f4f8cd9

Feld, Warren. Jewelry Design: A Managed Process. Klimt02, 2/2/2018. As referenced:
 https://klimt02.net/forum/articles/jewelry-design-managed-process-warren-feld

Hector, Valerie. The Art of Beadwork. NY: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2005.

Kroeger, Andrew. Prevent Conflict By Knowing Your talent’s Needs, Expectations, and Assumptions. n.d. As referenced: https://leadthroughstrengths.com/prevent-conflict-knowing-talents-needs-expectations-assumptions/

Mausolf, Judy Kay. How To Avoid 4 Communication Pitfalls:
 Assumptions, Perceptions, Comparison Expectations and Commitments. Spring, 2014. As referenced:
 https://www.practicesolutionsinc.net/assets/docs/communication_pitfalls.pdf
 Progressive Dentist Magazine
 
 Mazumdar, Pravu. All Art is a Critique of Reality. About Critique. Interview with Pravu Mazumdar. Klimt 02, 6/25/18. As referenced:
 https://klimt02.net/forum/interviews/all-art-is-critique-reality-about-critique-interview-pravu-mazumdar-carolin-denter?utm_source=phplist908&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=Criticism+is+not+the+application+of+a+norm+to+judge+a+work%2C+but+a+mode+of+cooperation+with+the+art.+All+Art+is+a+Critique+of+Reality%2C+the+new+klimt02+interview+about+critics%2C+with+Pravu+Mazumdar…+and+much+more.+Klimt02+Newsletter+423

Murray, Kevin. US VERSUS THEM IN THE CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY WORLD, 06/18/2018. As Referenced:
 https://artjewelryforum.org/us-versus-them-in-the-contemporary-jewelry-world

Norbeck, Edward. Rite of Passage. As referenced:
 https://www.britannica.com/topic/rite-of-passage

Ravick, Joseph. The Role Of Assumptions, Perceptions And Expectations In Conflict, n.d. As referenced: https://adm.viu.ca/workplace-conflict/assumptions-perceptions-expectations

Saylor Academy. Understanding Culture, Chapter 2. 2012. As referenced:
 https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_leading-with-cultural-intelligence/s04-understanding-culture.html

Skinner, Damian. ALL THE WORLD OVER: THE GLOBAL AMBITIONS OF CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY. 6/15/12.

Schultz, Quentin. Servant Leadership Communication is Shared Understanding — Not Transmission, Influence, or Agreement. 9/25/17. As referenced:
 https://quentinschultze.com/communication-is-shared-understanding

Spool, Jared M. Attaining a Collaborative Shared Understanding. 7/3/18. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/@jmspool/attaining-a-collaborative-shared-understanding-dc70cf03f98f

ThoughtWorks Studios. “How do you develop a Shared Understanding on an Agile project? 2013. As referenced:
 http://info.thoughtworks.com/rs/thoughtworks2/images/twebook-developing-a-shared-understanding.pdf

Unumeri, Godwin Ogheneochuko. PERCEPTION AND CONFLICT. Lagos, Nigeria: National Open University of Nigeria, 2009. As referenced:
 https://nou.edu.ng/sites/default/files/2017-03/PCR%20276%20PERCEPTION%20%26%20CONFLICT_0.pdf

Verwijs, Christiaan. “Create shared understanding with ‘What, So What, Now What’ 8/4/2018. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/the-liberators/create-shared-understanding-with-what-so-what-now-what-6dda51d5bcf9

Vilajosana, Lluis Comin. Connotations and Contributions of the Maker: The Value of Jewels. 6/26/18.

Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design, 2nd Edition, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005.

Yusuf, Bulama. Understanding Shared Understanding: 5 Ways to Improve Shared Understanding in Software Teams. 12/8/2019. As referenced:
 https://dev.to/bulsyusuf/5-ways-to-improve-shared-understanding-in-software-teams-1f62

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

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Part 3: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS:  THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Assumptions…

Posted by learntobead on October 16, 2020

Practice-By-Design Series

Image by Feld, 2020

The Primacy of Subjectivity

The designer needs / wants / demands some level of acceptance by the client for the design. It is important to anticipate and assess how the client will form an opinion and make this kind of judgment.

For the client, some things will be accepted as true and right without proof. We call these things assumptions.

Other things for the client must be interpreted as to what they mean — a mental map or impression. We call these things perceptions.

The client will also have certain beliefs about what will happen or should have happened. We call these things expectations.

Last, the client will have certain preferences about what will or should happen which motivate the client to make certain judgments and take certain actions. We call these things values or desires.

Clients Have Opinions and Judge

We all know this. When we first meet the client, they have opinions about us and judge us. As we are working on the project, they have opinions about us and judge us. When we hand over the project to them, they have opinions about us and judge us. This is OK. This is natural and to be expected.

· Do they like it or not?

· Is it exciting to them or boring?

· Ugly or pretty?

· Useful or not?

· Worth it to them or not?

As a designer who wants people to wear or use your designs, sell your designs, exhibit your designs, buy your designs, share your designs with others, then you need to understand how your clients form their opinions and make their judgments. You need to understand the implications, consequences, impacts, effects and affects this all brings to your designs and your design process. You need to begin to formulate how you will incorporate these understandings into your design process. And you need to figure out how you will influence their understandings so that they will recognize your skill and worth as a designer. All this is essential to the design process. It should be stating the obvious that things go awry whenever the interests of people are incompatible.

One cautionary note: Your clients will probably have a certain naivete. They may know little to nothing about design, construction, selection of materials and techniques, compositions and arrangements of design elements — everything you know a lot about.

Will they appreciate the difference between hand-made and machine made? Will they be accepting your choices about what to include and what not to include? Will they recognize good design and be able to differentiate it from bad? Will they demand of you a higher level of fluency in design and motivate you to meet high expectations?

The better designer will look for ways to bring the client into the core of the design process. The designer will signal to the client that design requires some communication and conversation. The designer will take time to educate the client. The designer will guide the client through the process of eliciting assumptions, expectations, perceptions and values and desires. The designer will identify the emerging shared understandings and incorporate these into decisions about selecting materials and techniques, arrangements of objects within a design, and specifying tasks to be performed.

Assumptions

Our ideas and intents are supported by our assumptions about the world around us. Some assumptions are learned through our history and experiences. Some are taught to us. We take assumptions as givens and usually are unaware of them as we apply them. Except when our assumptions lead us on a path we do not want to travel.

Assumptions save us time and effort. As truisms, they allow us not to have to test and validate every little thing that comes our way. But they also can negatively affect our relationships, business or otherwise. We make assumptions about other people’s behavior, other people’s intentions, and our own behavior and intentions, and our assumptions can be off the mark. We may be laying a flawed foundation for our understanding of the relationship.

We need to identify and check our assumptions. We need to give our client the opportunity to identify and check their own assumptions. All this has to occur while developing a common, shared understanding of the design task at hand.

So, you can ask the client directly,

What do you want this piece or project to do for you?
 What do you see me doing?
 How familiar are you with the design tasks involved?

Assumptions are one of several things underlying client judgments. Let’s talk about Perceptions.

Perceptions

Perceptions are ways of regarding, understanding or interpreting something. Perceptions are subjective, and each person has their own subtle differences, even when responding to the same design or event. In fact, different people may have very different perceptions about the same design or event. Their assumptions, expectations and values may further color their perceptions.

Each person filters their perceptions with each move, each conversation, and each situation. Such filters may contingently alter perceptions. They may result in selectively perceiving some things, but not others. In design work, our clients might selectively focus on brighter lights, louder sounds, stronger odors, sharper textures. Selective perception can add some more muddiness to the interaction and finding and developing the shared understandings necessary for success.

Adequately sharing understandings within a situation and among the people in it depends on the amount of information available to each person and how correctly they interpret it. Perception is one of the critical psychological abilities we have in order to survive in any environment.

The designer needs to be open to understanding how the client perceives the design tasks and proposed outcomes, and to adjust their own perceptions when the management of the relationship calls for this. There is no formula here. Each situation requires its own management strategy. Each designer is left with their own inventiveness, sensitivity, and introspective skills to deal with perceptions. But it comes down to asking the right questions and actively listening.

How does the client begin to understand your product or service?
 Can the client describe what they think you will be doing and what the piece or product might look like when finished?
 Can the client tell you how the finished piece or product will meet their needs and feelings?
 Can the client tell you about different options?
 How will they interpret what you want them to know?
 What impressions do you want to leave with them?
 Do they perceive a connection between you as a designer and your design work as proposed?
 What levels of agreement and disagreement exist between your perceptions and theirs?
 Can you get at any reasons which might explain their perceptions, and any agreement or difference?
 Can you clear up any misperceptions?

Expectations

Expectations attach to perceptions. These are predispositions to perceive things in a certain way. They explain why people are more likely to prefer one interpretation or explanation over another.

Clients will have expectations about what the designer is like as a person. What the designer does. How the designer interacts with other people. How the designer sets a value and prices their work. What kind of ongoing information we will get. What the finished product or project might look like. How useful that product or project might be.

When expectations are not met, there is a sense of frustration. Even paralysis. There might be feelings of disrespect or disregard. Why didn’t the designer do what was expected? Why am I unhappy with the finished product or project?

As with assumptions and perceptions, the designer needs to define a management role for him- or herself relative to client expectations.

Was the designer aware of the client’s expectations?
 Was the client asked about their expectations?
 Was the designer skilled enough and insightful enough to meet those expectations?
 Was it in the client’s interest to steadfastly hold tight to their expectations, or to modify them?

Values and Desires

Values and desires are motivational. They signal a predisposition to act. They are a measure of the tradeoffs between the risks involved and the expected rewards. A social or economic calculation. A cognitive evaluation further affecting behavior. As such, they are a form of understanding.

Values and desires have a great impact on the assumptions people bring with them to the situation, and which ones they do not want to challenge. Values and desires have a great impact on the expectations people have, and which ones they want to prioritize. Values and desires have a great impact on the perceptions people have of the world, and which perceptions they want to act on.

Values and desires have two key components — the contributions of the designer and the motivations of the client. First, there is the value the designer places on the work, given the resources involved, the time spent, the skill applied, and meanings represented in the piece and importance to the designer. Second, there is the value the client places on the work, given their assumptions, perceptions, expectations, previous experience, and the socio-cultural-psychological context they find themselves in.

People project their feelings and thoughts and sensitivities onto the designed object, whether it be jewelry, an interior design, or a digitized representation online. These projections, however, can have many roots. Self-esteem. Self-expression. Social advantage. Tool of negotiation. Power.

Values and desires sometimes are expressed in monetary terms. Such and such a thing is priced at some dollar amount or assigned some worth also in monetary terms.

They more often are expressed with words. We hear words like beautiful, satisfying, appealing. And other words like ugly, boring, scary. Or phrases like worth it, I want it, I want to buy it, I want to collect it. Or more phrases like the designer’s pieces are in demand and rare, or the designer spent so much time creating the design, or the object contains several rare jewels.

Sometimes the meanings associated with these words are relative, comparative or proportional. That is, they reveal more about values and desires. We hear phrases like more satisfying, not as ugly as…, rarer than…, not as large as…, takes longer to make, about half as bright, and so forth.

Values and desires, then, involve direction (positive or negative) and intensity (a lot, somewhat, or a little). Both designer and client, more often than not, have to filter their assumptions, perceptions and expectations a bit and sensitively trade-off various assumptions, perceptions and expectations each brings to the design situation. They do this by establishing value and desire. They establish value and desire by communicating about risks relative to rewards.

Communicating about risks and rewards takes the form of (a) identifying various design or design process options, (b) talking about their pros, cons and consequences, ( c) attaching a sense of measurability (absolute or relative) to each option, and (d) selecting preferences for what should happen next.

About the Shared Understanding Series…

For any design, it is a long journey from idea to implementation. This journey involves different people at different times along the way. People will not use a design if their agendas and understandings do not converge in some way. They will not buy a design or contract with the designer unless there are some shared understandings about what should happen and when, what will happen, and what the risks and rewards of the finished project will be. Shared understandings are about recognizing intent and risk. Design is both an outcome as well as an instrument for new shared understandings, new relationships, new behaviors, new reflections. As such, any design represents a commitment to a conversation — between designer and self and designer and client. The conversation allows for the management of shifting assumptions, expectations, perspectives and values. Better designs show the designer’s conscious awareness of all the things affecting shared understandings.

Continue Reading With…
 PART 1: What Are Shared Understandings?
 PART 2: What Part Does The Designer Need To Know?
 PART 3: How Assumptions, Perceptions, Expectations and Values Come Into Play?
 PART 4: How Does The Designer Establish Shared Understandings?

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

______________________________
 
FOOTNOTES

Adamson, Glenn. Thinking Through Craft. 2007.

Baker, Jamie Feild. What is Shared Understanding? 6/24/2009. As referenced:

http://reverbconsulting.blogspot.com/2009/06/what-is-shared-understanding.html

Bittner, Eva Alice Christiane, and Leimeister, Jan Marco. Why Shared Understanding Matters — Engineering a Collaboration Process for Shared Understanding to Improve Collaboration Effectiveness in Heterogeneous Teams. Year: 2013, Volume: 1, Pages: 106–114, DOI Bookmark:10.1109/HICSS.2013.608.

Canel, Melissa. The Role of Perceptions in Conflict. April 9, 2016. As referenced:

https://prezi.com/auvtd6yylkkf/the-role-of-perceptions-in-conflict/

Cheung, Chung Fai. A Connected Critic: Can Michael Walzer Connect High-Mondernity with Tradition? Understanding, 2006. As referenced:
 http://www.emonastery.org/files/art/critic/2understanding.html

Clark, Garth. Shards. Ceramic Arts Foundation and Distributed Art Publications, 2003.

Cooper, J. David, Robinson, M, Slansky, J.A., and Kiger, N. Literacy: Helping Students Construct, 9th Edition, Cengage Learning, 2015.

Dunlop, Cole. You Are Not Worried Enough About Perceptions and Assumptions. May 7, 2014. As referenced:
 https://www.authoritylabs.com/worried-enough-perceptions-assumptions/

Feld, Warren. Backward Design Is Forward Thinking. 2020. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/@warren_29626/backward-design-is-forwards-thinking-design-in-practice-series-6f9a9f4f8cd9

Feld, Warren. Jewelry Design: A Managed Process. Klimt02, 2/2/2018. As referenced:
 https://klimt02.net/forum/articles/jewelry-design-managed-process-warren-feld

Hector, Valerie. The Art of Beadwork. NY: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2005.

Kroeger, Andrew. Prevent Conflict By Knowing Your talent’s Needs, Expectations, and Assumptions. n.d. As referenced: https://leadthroughstrengths.com/prevent-conflict-knowing-talents-needs-expectations-assumptions/

Mausolf, Judy Kay. How To Avoid 4 Communication Pitfalls:
 Assumptions, Perceptions, Comparison Expectations and Commitments. Spring, 2014. As referenced:
 https://www.practicesolutionsinc.net/assets/docs/communication_pitfalls.pdf
 Progressive Dentist Magazine
 
 Mazumdar, Pravu. All Art is a Critique of Reality. About Critique. Interview with Pravu Mazumdar. Klimt 02, 6/25/18. As referenced:
 https://klimt02.net/forum/interviews/all-art-is-critique-reality-about-critique-interview-pravu-mazumdar-carolin-denter?utm_source=phplist908&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=Criticism+is+not+the+application+of+a+norm+to+judge+a+work%2C+but+a+mode+of+cooperation+with+the+art.+All+Art+is+a+Critique+of+Reality%2C+the+new+klimt02+interview+about+critics%2C+with+Pravu+Mazumdar…+and+much+more.+Klimt02+Newsletter+423

Murray, Kevin. US VERSUS THEM IN THE CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY WORLD, 06/18/2018. As Referenced:
 https://artjewelryforum.org/us-versus-them-in-the-contemporary-jewelry-world

Norbeck, Edward. Rite of Passage. As referenced:
 https://www.britannica.com/topic/rite-of-passage

Ravick, Joseph. The Role Of Assumptions, Perceptions And Expectations In Conflict, n.d. As referenced: https://adm.viu.ca/workplace-conflict/assumptions-perceptions-expectations

Saylor Academy. Understanding Culture, Chapter 2. 2012. As referenced:
 https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_leading-with-cultural-intelligence/s04-understanding-culture.html

Skinner, Damian. ALL THE WORLD OVER: THE GLOBAL AMBITIONS OF CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY. 6/15/12.

Schultz, Quentin. Servant Leadership Communication is Shared Understanding — Not Transmission, Influence, or Agreement. 9/25/17. As referenced:
 https://quentinschultze.com/communication-is-shared-understanding

Spool, Jared M. Attaining a Collaborative Shared Understanding. 7/3/18. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/@jmspool/attaining-a-collaborative-shared-understanding-dc70cf03f98f

ThoughtWorks Studios. “How do you develop a Shared Understanding on an Agile project? 2013. As referenced:
 http://info.thoughtworks.com/rs/thoughtworks2/images/twebook-developing-a-shared-understanding.pdf

Unumeri, Godwin Ogheneochuko. PERCEPTION AND CONFLICT. Lagos, Nigeria: National Open University of Nigeria, 2009. As referenced:
 https://nou.edu.ng/sites/default/files/2017-03/PCR%20276%20PERCEPTION%20%26%20CONFLICT_0.pdf

Verwijs, Christiaan. “Create shared understanding with ‘What, So What, Now What’ 8/4/2018. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/the-liberators/create-shared-understanding-with-what-so-what-now-what-6dda51d5bcf9

Vilajosana, Lluis Comin. Connotations and Contributions of the Maker: The Value of Jewels. 6/26/18.

Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design, 2nd Edition, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005.

Yusuf, Bulama. Understanding Shared Understanding: 5 Ways to Improve Shared Understanding in Software Teams. 12/8/2019. As referenced:
 https://dev.to/bulsyusuf/5-ways-to-improve-shared-understanding-in-software-teams-1f62

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Part 2: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS:  THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Does The Designer…

Posted by learntobead on October 16, 2020

Practice-By-Design Series

Image by Feld, 2020

What Kinds Of Things Does The Designer Need To Know?

The designer needs to be able to assess and manage shared understandings all through-out the design process. The designer needs to …

(1) Be clear about the role designers should play, and how to relate to the client

Design is an occupation in the throws of becoming a profession. “Design” and the designer role are claimed by three very different perspectives — what are called paradigms — about what the designer role should be about. These ways of looking at things come down to whether designers see their roles as craft, art or design. This can make it a little confusing about how the designer should go about assessing and managing shared understandings, and how the designer should relate to the client. To do so successfully, the designer may have to change their preferred paradigm, that is, how they think through what they should do.

(2) Be aware of the primacy of subjective experiences

How people interact with designs is very subjective. The designer can predict some universal understandings about color, object and placement. But the designer also needs to be prepared to ferret out those subjective assumptions, perspectives and values of the client (and the client’s various audiences).

(3) Be familiar with how designs have shared understandings, and why the development of these shared understandings is a social process

Conception, creation and implementation do not occur in a vacuum. They emerge as part of a social process. The recognition of a design — what it is, how useful it is, how enduring it is — is not wholly determined by that design’s objective characteristics. It is jointly determined.

Designers Operate Within One Of Three Professional Paradigms

There are three different paradigms or approaches within which designers operate — Craft, Art or Design. Each paradigm is very coherent and rule- and expectation-bound. Each is a standard perspective and set of ideas.

Each approach seeks to provide the answers to the question: Who Am I As A Designer? Each approach steers the designer to play out their role differently. Each approach leads the designer to make different assumptions about the process, what skills and abilities need to come to bear, how to approach and interact with the client, and how to evaluate the success of the outcome. Each approach provides guidance about the outcome the designer should strive for.

Designing is about making choices. Each approach gives you different advice about the norms for acceptable conduct. It is important to be aware of all this, and if you are to develop the necessary skills and insights for assessing and managing shared understandings, you may have to change the paradigm-perspective you have been operating under.

THE CRAFT APPROACH

By far, the most typically-encountered approach is called the Craft Approach
 The design process here is very mechanical. Tasks are reduced to step-by-step instructions, almost like paint-by-number. Things are very systematic. There is a clear beginning where you start your project, an organized middle, and a clear end when you finish it. Tasks are specified and carried out generically, that is, applied similarly over many design projects. The primary focus is on getting the job done with some attention to beauty and appeal.

The Craft Approach assumes:
 
 1. That the designer is either born with creative talents or not. Creativity is not something that you can learn.
 2. The only thing that matters in design is to complete the task.
 3. Designing is something anyone can do. It requires little to no specialized knowledge that must be garnered through a professional degree program.
 4. In unfamiliar or new situations, there are no issues of adaptability. There is sort of a Have-Design-Will-Travel mentality. 
 5. Disciplinary literacy and fluency result from repetition and practice. The designer learns to be able to produce the same object over and over again.

Some consequences:
 

 a. Since the singular goal is to get the job done, little thought or concern is placed on anticipating consequences and responding to them as they arise.
 
 b. Appeal and beauty are primarily based on simply completing the project — no matter how it looks or feels or holds up with wear or use. It is assumed the project will be functional.

c. The designer is taught to start with a set of instructions, flow-chart or a pattern, and follow these mechanically. The instructions are assumed to be written correctly, need no further clarification, and should not be altered.
 
 d. The better designer is one who has done more and more projects.
 
 e. Easy to define an acceptable outcome — completing the project instructions from start to finish. It is assumed that there are few compositional issues, and that the project will be appreciated universally simply because it has been completed.

THE ART TRADITION

A second approach designers gravitate towards is the Art Tradition. The Art Tradition believes that the designer needs to learn a set of rules that can be used to apply to any situation where you are making designs. It is less important that you follow a set of steps. It’s more important to know how to apply art theories — things like color, perspective, dimension, pattern, texture, balance, harmony, composition and the like — to your project at each stage of the process, whatever that process is, and wherever that process takes you.

These art theories detail what defines successful (and unsuccessful) manipulation of design elements — universally and objectively — within any piece of art or design. There is some acknowledgement that subjectivity influences perceptions, but this is minimized. The focus, is instead, on universally accepted ideas about harmony in design. Design is seen as either a subset of painting or of sculpture. It is not seen as having its own discipline and medium, with its own special rules, theories, techniques and approaches, apart from those in art. Design is judged apart from the setting in which it is put into use.

What is nice about the Art Tradition, is that the goal is Beauty and there are issues of choice to be solved. The designer is not encumbered by having to follow specific steps or patterns. Nor is the designer encumbered by the structural and functional properties of all the pieces she or he uses — only their beauty. The designer does not have to compromise Beauty for Functionality.

The Art Tradition assumes:
 
 1. While different people have different creative abilities, everyone has some creative ability, and can be influenced in how to apply these creative talents.
 2. What matters in design is how you approach the process. It is irrelevant whether the designer is deliberative or spontaneous. It does matter whether the designer has applied the rules intuitively and correctly at each increment of the way. The end result will be a very beautiful piece of jewelry.
 3. Design as art is really a form of sculpture or painting, and should be judged by the rules of sculpture or painting. The focus is on how you think through the process and make it intuitive. 
 4. The designer can achieve universally-accepted combinations and arrangements of design elements incorporated into any specific design piece or project.
 5. Disciplinary literacy and fluency result from rehearsing theories and applying them over and over again until they become intuitive for any design choices you make.

Some consequences:
 

 a. Little thought is given to issues of wearability or usability or durability.

b. The beauty of the design is as if it had been painted or sculpted. This is paramount.

c. The designer is taught that design is a matter of making choices, there are smarter choices to be made, and there are consequences when making any one choice. There is recognition that the designer may need to adapt to new or unfamiliar situations.

d. Design requires professional training and development over time.
 
 e. Success results from universal understandings about how design elements should be combined and arranged so that they are harmonious, preferably with a bit of variety.

f. The full attention is on managing composition. Little attention or concern is placed on managing construction.

THE ART AND DESIGN PERSPECTIVE

A third approach to design is called the Art and Design Perspective. This paradigm recognizes the importance of the Art Tradition, especially in understanding the design process as the culmination of a series of choices, each sensitive to the context within which they are made, and each with elements of risks, rewards and consequences. This approach adds, however, to the types of choices the designer is seen as making beyond those involving beauty and appeal. These include such things as functionality, usability, durability.

· Design creates its own challenges which the Art Tradition either ignores or cannot meet.

· Designs function in real (or virtual) 3-dimensional spaces, particularly sensitive to position, light/shadow, volume and scale.

· Design must stand on its own as an object of art, while simultaneously interacting with the people around it while they are using or utilizing it. Design alters people’s relationships to it in the moment, across situations and settings, and over time.

· Design has to succeed where the responses to it are primarily subjective, even quirky. It serves many purposes for many wearers and viewers and users and responders. Some are aesthetic. Some functional. Some social, cultural and/or psychological.

In the Art and Design Perspective, designers learn their roles developmentally. That means, certain steps and rules should be learned before others, and that continual learning keeps building upon itself. While many designers initially learn their profession in a more shot-gun, less-than-organized way, it is necessary for them to, at some point, return to some basics and begin that developmental, hierarchical process. Only in this way will they truly begin to comprehend how everything interrelates and is inter-dependent.

There are many things to know and learn that present themselves in the design process — some art, architecture, engineering, behavioral science, social science, psychology, physics, mechanics, planning, marketing, administering, many techniques, many different materials, perhaps some computer coding and technology management, and the list goes on. The only way to become to become fluent in design is to gain an intuitive understanding how all these things are integrated, inter-related, and inter-dependent. That means developmentally learning how to become a design professional.

Designers work backward. That is, they first assess the shared understandings of all their clients involved, and how they anticipate the design project will be understood as finished and successful. Then the designers begin to clarify what tasks they need to perform to get there. How deliberate they are in specifying and following through on the ordering of the tasks to be performed will vary, depending on their personality, experience and comfort level. They may not do everything a full scientific management approach might suggest if there is no cost-benefit in the use of this time and the materials; that is, if their assessment of shared understandings informs them that particular tasks are unnecessary to do.

The Art and Design Tradition assumes:
 

 1. Everyone has creative abilities, but for most people, these need to be carefully groomed and attended to developmentally. Expressing creativity is not a matter of turning a switch on and off. It’s a process that can be influenced by ideas and situations. The challenge is to teach people to become more intuitive in expressing their creative abilities and ideas.
 2. What matters in design is that your project be judged as a work of art. In this case, the definition of “art” is specific to the design, in anticipation of how it will be used or utilized. Design can only be understood as “art” as it is put into use.
 3. The end-user — the wearer or viewer, the buyer, the seller, the exhibitor, the collector, the student, the interactor, the inhabiter — responds to design mostly in a very subjective way.
 4. Disciplinary literacy and fluency result from continual learning, rehearsing, and applying sets of integrated skills in different situations.

Some consequences:
 
 a. This approach focuses on design issues. Beauty and appeal, along with functionality, wearability, durability, context, movement are all key considerations in selecting parts and interrelating these parts in a design. Very concerned with how you select parts and materials.
 
 b. The beauty of the piece involves its construction, its lay-out, its consistency with rules of art theory, and how it holds up (physically and aesthetically) as it is worn in different situations. The focus is on how you organize your construction, piece by piece.

c. The jewelry designer is taught that design is a matter of making choices, there are smarter choices to be made, and there are consequences when making any one choice. Choices involve making strategic tradeoffs among appeal, functionality, and contextual relevance. There is recognition that the designer may need to adapt to new or unfamiliar situations.

d. Design requires continue professional training, development and re-training and re-development over time.

e. The full attention is on managing composition, manipulation and construction, and making hard choices where strategies conflict.
 
 f. An acceptable outcome is one where the design maintains a sense of itself as art, as the piece is worn, inhabited or otherwise utilized. The piece or project should feel finished, usable and resonant to its intended client audience. The piece or project should reflect the designer’s hand while at the same time reveal its intimacy with the client.

The Universal and the Subjective

In design, we play with, organize and arrange design elements and objects, some of which are universally understood, like color schemes, and others in which clients respond to in very subjective ways.

For things universally shared and understood, we do not have to take the time to delineate and convey all the relevant information. Some of the relevant information is already understood. Designers do not have to spend a lot of time trying to anticipate and assess these universal and shared understandings.

These universals typically are predetermined. Sometimes by biology where our brains are prewired to either approach or flee. Universals are things which we approach. Other things we might have to interpret and figure out, perhaps deciding to flee. Othertimes, by culture or society, where we learn automatically to recognize various symbols, objects and meanings, and play out certain roles. And, yet, still othertimes by psychology, where we make certain assumptions, interpretations and value judgments where we accept things as fact without needing further proof.

Most things we will encounter, however, are not universals. They are subjective. Our work, our interactions with clients, our marketing our products and services all revolve around interpretation. Interpretation is subjective and judgmental.

What designers do need to figure out, when working with any client, is how that person’s assumptions, perceptions, expectations and values will impact the design process and the resulting piece or project so designed.

About the Shared Understanding Series…

For any design, it is a long journey from idea to implementation. This journey involves different people at different times along the way. People will not use a design if their agendas and understandings do not converge in some way. They will not buy a design or contract with the designer unless there are some shared understandings about what should happen and when, what will happen, and what the risks and rewards of the finished project will be. Shared understandings are about recognizing intent and risk. Design is both an outcome as well as an instrument for new shared understandings, new relationships, new behaviors, new reflections. As such, any design represents a commitment to a conversation — between designer and self and designer and client. The conversation allows for the management of shifting assumptions, expectations, perspectives and values. Better designs show the designer’s conscious awareness of all the things affecting shared understandings.

Continue Reading With…
 PART 1: What Are Shared Understandings?
 PART 2: What Part Does The Designer Need To Know?
 PART 3: How Assumptions, Perceptions, Expectations and Values Come Into Play?
 PART 4: How Does The Designer Establish Shared Understandings?

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

______________________________
 
FOOTNOTES

Adamson, Glenn. Thinking Through Craft. 2007.

Baker, Jamie Feild. What is Shared Understanding? 6/24/2009. As referenced:

http://reverbconsulting.blogspot.com/2009/06/what-is-shared-understanding.html

Bittner, Eva Alice Christiane, and Leimeister, Jan Marco. Why Shared Understanding Matters — Engineering a Collaboration Process for Shared Understanding to Improve Collaboration Effectiveness in Heterogeneous Teams. Year: 2013, Volume: 1, Pages: 106–114, DOI Bookmark:10.1109/HICSS.2013.608.

Canel, Melissa. The Role of Perceptions in Conflict. April 9, 2016. As referenced:

https://prezi.com/auvtd6yylkkf/the-role-of-perceptions-in-conflict/

Cheung, Chung Fai. A Connected Critic: Can Michael Walzer Connect High-Mondernity with Tradition? Understanding, 2006. As referenced:
 http://www.emonastery.org/files/art/critic/2understanding.html

Clark, Garth. Shards. Ceramic Arts Foundation and Distributed Art Publications, 2003.

Cooper, J. David, Robinson, M, Slansky, J.A., and Kiger, N. Literacy: Helping Students Construct, 9th Edition, Cengage Learning, 2015.

Dunlop, Cole. You Are Not Worried Enough About Perceptions and Assumptions. May 7, 2014. As referenced:
 https://www.authoritylabs.com/worried-enough-perceptions-assumptions/

Feld, Warren. Backward Design Is Forward Thinking. 2020. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/@warren_29626/backward-design-is-forwards-thinking-design-in-practice-series-6f9a9f4f8cd9

Feld, Warren. Jewelry Design: A Managed Process. Klimt02, 2/2/2018. As referenced:
 https://klimt02.net/forum/articles/jewelry-design-managed-process-warren-feld

Hector, Valerie. The Art of Beadwork. NY: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2005.

Kroeger, Andrew. Prevent Conflict By Knowing Your talent’s Needs, Expectations, and Assumptions. n.d. As referenced: https://leadthroughstrengths.com/prevent-conflict-knowing-talents-needs-expectations-assumptions/

Mausolf, Judy Kay. How To Avoid 4 Communication Pitfalls:
 Assumptions, Perceptions, Comparison Expectations and Commitments. Spring, 2014. As referenced:
 https://www.practicesolutionsinc.net/assets/docs/communication_pitfalls.pdf
 Progressive Dentist Magazine
 
 Mazumdar, Pravu. All Art is a Critique of Reality. About Critique. Interview with Pravu Mazumdar. Klimt 02, 6/25/18. As referenced:
 https://klimt02.net/forum/interviews/all-art-is-critique-reality-about-critique-interview-pravu-mazumdar-carolin-denter?utm_source=phplist908&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=Criticism+is+not+the+application+of+a+norm+to+judge+a+work%2C+but+a+mode+of+cooperation+with+the+art.+All+Art+is+a+Critique+of+Reality%2C+the+new+klimt02+interview+about+critics%2C+with+Pravu+Mazumdar…+and+much+more.+Klimt02+Newsletter+423

Murray, Kevin. US VERSUS THEM IN THE CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY WORLD, 06/18/2018. As Referenced:
 https://artjewelryforum.org/us-versus-them-in-the-contemporary-jewelry-world

Norbeck, Edward. Rite of Passage. As referenced:
 https://www.britannica.com/topic/rite-of-passage

Ravick, Joseph. The Role Of Assumptions, Perceptions And Expectations In Conflict, n.d. As referenced: https://adm.viu.ca/workplace-conflict/assumptions-perceptions-expectations

Saylor Academy. Understanding Culture, Chapter 2. 2012. As referenced:
 https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_leading-with-cultural-intelligence/s04-understanding-culture.html

Skinner, Damian. ALL THE WORLD OVER: THE GLOBAL AMBITIONS OF CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY. 6/15/12.

Schultz, Quentin. Servant Leadership Communication is Shared Understanding — Not Transmission, Influence, or Agreement. 9/25/17. As referenced:
 https://quentinschultze.com/communication-is-shared-understanding

Spool, Jared M. Attaining a Collaborative Shared Understanding. 7/3/18. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/@jmspool/attaining-a-collaborative-shared-understanding-dc70cf03f98f

ThoughtWorks Studios. “How do you develop a Shared Understanding on an Agile project? 2013. As referenced:
 http://info.thoughtworks.com/rs/thoughtworks2/images/twebook-developing-a-shared-understanding.pdf

Unumeri, Godwin Ogheneochuko. PERCEPTION AND CONFLICT. Lagos, Nigeria: National Open University of Nigeria, 2009. As referenced:
 https://nou.edu.ng/sites/default/files/2017-03/PCR%20276%20PERCEPTION%20%26%20CONFLICT_0.pdf

Verwijs, Christiaan. “Create shared understanding with ‘What, So What, Now What’ 8/4/2018. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/the-liberators/create-shared-understanding-with-what-so-what-now-what-6dda51d5bcf9

Vilajosana, Lluis Comin. Connotations and Contributions of the Maker: The Value of Jewels. 6/26/18.

Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design, 2nd Edition, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005.

Yusuf, Bulama. Understanding Shared Understanding: 5 Ways to Improve Shared Understanding in Software Teams. 12/8/2019. As referenced:
 https://dev.to/bulsyusuf/5-ways-to-improve-shared-understanding-in-software-teams-1f62

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Part 1: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS:  THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Are Shared…

Posted by learntobead on October 16, 2020

Practice-By-Design Series

Image by Feld, 2020

How You Are Reflected Back In Your Own Work

A piece of jewelry, a website landing page, the interior of a room, the public face of a building, all these so designed, are objects of beauty and functionality. But they are more than that. Things which are designed are unique forms of artistic expression. They are not stationery in the sense of paintings hung in a museum. They have a different type of relationship with the user or utilizer. They have a specific relationship to the body. They might move with the person, or have the person move with them or through them. They might adjust positions as the person walks, sits, runs, turns, bends, maneuvers. They might relate to clothing and hair styles and dexterity and maneuverability and body shapes and sizes. They might flow through many contexts, environments and situations. Design is expressive. Relational. Both an object and, more importantly, an intent.

Design represents a commitment to a conversation — between designer and self, designer and client, and less directly, designer and all the various audiences of that client. Otherwise people would not use the design. Or influence others to use and buy it. Or bring it into a public space with them. Or interact with it. Or buy it.

That conversation does not happen all at once. It does not start and stop at the beginning of the design process. It does not fully resolve itself even after the piece or project is finished and then used or bought or shared. That conversation continues as that piece or project is introduced to others and they react to it.

The things we design and make and inhabit and wear speak about ourselves as artists and our clients as persons. The designer can be somewhat alone, but never alone. In his or her head, but simultaneously complicit or perhaps collaborative with others, either in reality, or virtually and in the abstract. Design emerges from this dialogue, imaginative or otherwise. And only emerges with some level of commitment to a conversation.

This commitment to a conversation, centered around any piece of jewelry or other designed product or project, then is progressive. It is perspective shifting. It is reflective. It keeps going as everyone who interacts with the design begins to formulate whether they like it or not. Whether it excites them or not. Whether they would wear it or buy it or inhabit it or utilize it or not. Whether it feels finished. Whether it seems successful. Whether it would suit some purpose, or fulfill some agenda. But the shifting perspectives and emerging collective, shared understandings about the design always reflect back on the authentic performance of the designer. Endlessly reflective.

Some designers are very aware of their thinking during their authentic performance in design; others are not. While the former is a more powerful position to be in, all designers will need to figure out — before, during and after the design process — what criteria these various audiences will use to assess any design as meeting their needs, desires and requirements. How do they evaluate a design as coherent, relevant and resonant for them? How do they determine how much the designer’s own design sense contributed to coherency, relevancy and resonance? How do they share these understandings with others as they use and interact with the design publicly? What makes these understandings contagious so that others get excited about the design, as well?

The better designer anticipates answers to these questions. The designer uses this information as evidence in formulating and judging the smartness of the choices to be made when designing and constructing something. This evidence — good, bad or indifferent — forms the basis for criticality. It is a measurement. It states a position and measures the deviation. That criticality guides the designer all along the way from inspiration to aspiration to design to introducing the piece or project publicly.

Evidence in this knowledge-building experience is assessed, managed and controlled. All designers want to get good at this. It is their way of inspiring their clients to recognize the designer’s power in translating thoughts and feelings into design, that is, to reflect back the designer in their own design. We call this coherency. It is their way to excite their clients on an emotional level. We call this resonance. It is their way of influencing their clients to want to wear and buy and utilize their designs. We call this contagion. As the clients use these designs publicly, we also want to get their audiences to see and experience coherency, resonance and contagion.

Design is both an outcome as well as an instrument for new shared understandings, new relationships, new behaviors, new reflections. It is a two-way mirror. It is a catalyst for exchange. It is a marker of validity. Design is a product of creativity. Design is a tool of engagement. Design is a means toward criticality and legitimacy. Better designs show the designer’s conscious awareness of all these things and how they might play out in any situation. Authentic performances in anticipation of shared understandings and with no apologies. That’s the goal, at least.

Why Shared Understanding Matters

For any design, it is a long journey from idea to implementation. This journey involves different people at different times along the way. The designer’s ability to solve what is, in effect, a complex problem or puzzle becomes a performance of sorts, where the designer ferrets out in various ways — deliberate or otherwise — what the end users will perceive as making sense, having value and eliciting a desire powerful enough to motivate them to wear a design, inhabit it, buy it, utilize it, exhibit it or collect it. The designer, however, wants one more critical thing to result from this performance — recognition and validation of all the creative and managerial choices he or she made during the design process.

People will not use a design if their agendas and understandings do not converge in some way. They will interact with the designer to answer the question: Do You Know What I Know? If they get a sense, even figure out, that the answer is Yes, they share understandings! — they then become willing to collaborate (or at least become complicit) with the designer and the developing design.

Sometimes this convergence of understandings and meanings and intents occurs in a happenstance sort of way. But more often, it won’t happen without some degree of assertive leadership on the part of the designer. It is primarily up to the designer to establish these shared understandings. That is, the designer must take the lead to anticipate how they themselves should relate to their understanding of reality. The designer must invite the client to engage. So the designer, too, will ask the same question of the client that the client has asked of them: Do You Know What I Know?

The answer to this simple question — Do You Know What I Know? — is more than how the designer impresses the client and how the client impresses the designer. It is deeper than that. It is not surface meaning. It is not something descriptive. It is something critical. At its core are ideas about intent and desire. Its vocabulary gets very caught up in ideas about risks and rewards. The conversation to establish these shared understandings — we might call this a dance — proceeds on many levels, some assumptive, some perceptual, some through expectations, some through values and desires.

The designer, in effect, bridges the gap between how the designer sees the risks and rewards within any design process and outcome, and how the client might see these same risks and rewards. Both want to assess ahead of time whether the project will be satisfactory, feel finished, and meet their needs and desires. Both want to assess ahead of time whether there will be consequences, and what these consequences might be, should these communications and shared understandings about risk somehow fail or not meet expectations.

The designer wants to avoid any miscommunication. Any frustration. Any discomfort. So an in-depth, intuitive knowledge about shared understandings, how to anticipate them, and how to incorporate them into the design process is necessary for the success of any design.

The designer should not assume there will be shared understandings. The designer should not assume that there will be a pleasant, conflict-free relationship with the client. The designer should not assume that any disagreement or miscommunication will be worked out at the beginning of the process and not have to be dealt with again. Nor, conversely, should the designer assume that any disagreement about elements of the design would negate shared understandings. The designer and client can agree to disagree as long as they share certain understandings.

Shared understandings are about recognizing intent and risk. They are about

· Getting a sense of where the ideas for the design originate

· How the design process is to unfold

· What the design might be able to accomplish and what it might not

· What happens if conditions or intents and desires change over the course of the process

· How adaptable the designer is

· The chances the final design will feel finished and successful

· What criteria the final design needs to meet

If neither designer nor client understand intent and risk as each other sees it, there will be no shared understandings. The design will be ill-defined and poorly articulated. The designer’s performance will be inauthentic. There will be no trust. No legitimacy. No satisfactory outcome.

While the need for establishing shared understanding in the design process might seem obvious, it does not often occur. Designers too often assume this will happen automatically. They present designs as fait-accompli — their success predetermined and prejudged as successful. They lose some level of management control when the client responds negatively. They fail to adapt or become too inflexible when the situation changes. The designs get implemented imperfectly. When the client takes possession of the design, the relationship ends.

About the Shared Understanding Series…

For any design, it is a long journey from idea to implementation. This journey involves different people at different times along the way. People will not use a design if their agendas and understandings do not converge in some way. They will not buy a design or contract with the designer unless there are some shared understandings about what should happen and when, what will happen, and what the risks and rewards of the finished project will be. Shared understandings are about recognizing intent and risk. Design is both an outcome as well as an instrument for new shared understandings, new relationships, new behaviors, new reflections. As such, any design represents a commitment to a conversation — between designer and self and designer and client. The conversation allows for the management of shifting assumptions, expectations, perspectives and values. Better designs show the designer’s conscious awareness of all the things affecting shared understandings.

Continue Reading With…
 PART 1:
What Are Shared Understandings?
 PART 2:
What Part Does The Designer Need To Know?
 PART 3:
How Assumptions, Perceptions, Expectations and Values Come Into Play?
 PART 4:
How Does The Designer Establish Shared Understandings?

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

______________________________
 
FOOTNOTES

Adamson, Glenn. Thinking Through Craft. 2007.

Baker, Jamie Feild. What is Shared Understanding? 6/24/2009. As referenced:

http://reverbconsulting.blogspot.com/2009/06/what-is-shared-understanding.html

Bittner, Eva Alice Christiane, and Leimeister, Jan Marco. Why Shared Understanding Matters — Engineering a Collaboration Process for Shared Understanding to Improve Collaboration Effectiveness in Heterogeneous Teams. Year: 2013, Volume: 1, Pages: 106–114, DOI Bookmark:10.1109/HICSS.2013.608.

Canel, Melissa. The Role of Perceptions in Conflict. April 9, 2016. As referenced:

https://prezi.com/auvtd6yylkkf/the-role-of-perceptions-in-conflict/

Cheung, Chung Fai. A Connected Critic: Can Michael Walzer Connect High-Mondernity with Tradition? Understanding, 2006. As referenced:
 http://www.emonastery.org/files/art/critic/2understanding.html

Clark, Garth. Shards. Ceramic Arts Foundation and Distributed Art Publications, 2003.

Cooper, J. David, Robinson, M, Slansky, J.A., and Kiger, N. Literacy: Helping Students Construct, 9th Edition, Cengage Learning, 2015.

Dunlop, Cole. You Are Not Worried Enough About Perceptions and Assumptions. May 7, 2014. As referenced:
 https://www.authoritylabs.com/worried-enough-perceptions-assumptions/

Feld, Warren. Backward Design Is Forward Thinking. 2020. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/@warren_29626/backward-design-is-forwards-thinking-design-in-practice-series-6f9a9f4f8cd9

Feld, Warren. Jewelry Design: A Managed Process. Klimt02, 2/2/2018. As referenced:
 https://klimt02.net/forum/articles/jewelry-design-managed-process-warren-feld

Hector, Valerie. The Art of Beadwork. NY: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2005.

Kroeger, Andrew. Prevent Conflict By Knowing Your talent’s Needs, Expectations, and Assumptions. n.d. As referenced: https://leadthroughstrengths.com/prevent-conflict-knowing-talents-needs-expectations-assumptions/

Mausolf, Judy Kay. How To Avoid 4 Communication Pitfalls:
 Assumptions, Perceptions, Comparison Expectations and Commitments. Spring, 2014. As referenced:
 https://www.practicesolutionsinc.net/assets/docs/communication_pitfalls.pdf
 Progressive Dentist Magazine
 
 Mazumdar, Pravu. All Art is a Critique of Reality. About Critique. Interview with Pravu Mazumdar. Klimt 02, 6/25/18. As referenced:
 https://klimt02.net/forum/interviews/all-art-is-critique-reality-about-critique-interview-pravu-mazumdar-carolin-denter?utm_source=phplist908&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=Criticism+is+not+the+application+of+a+norm+to+judge+a+work%2C+but+a+mode+of+cooperation+with+the+art.+All+Art+is+a+Critique+of+Reality%2C+the+new+klimt02+interview+about+critics%2C+with+Pravu+Mazumdar…+and+much+more.+Klimt02+Newsletter+423

Murray, Kevin. US VERSUS THEM IN THE CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY WORLD, 06/18/2018. As Referenced:
 https://artjewelryforum.org/us-versus-them-in-the-contemporary-jewelry-world

Norbeck, Edward. Rite of Passage. As referenced:
 https://www.britannica.com/topic/rite-of-passage

Ravick, Joseph. The Role Of Assumptions, Perceptions And Expectations In Conflict, n.d. As referenced: https://adm.viu.ca/workplace-conflict/assumptions-perceptions-expectations

Saylor Academy. Understanding Culture, Chapter 2. 2012. As referenced:
 https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_leading-with-cultural-intelligence/s04-understanding-culture.html

Skinner, Damian. ALL THE WORLD OVER: THE GLOBAL AMBITIONS OF CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY. 6/15/12.

Schultz, Quentin. Servant Leadership Communication is Shared Understanding — Not Transmission, Influence, or Agreement. 9/25/17. As referenced:
 https://quentinschultze.com/communication-is-shared-understanding

Spool, Jared M. Attaining a Collaborative Shared Understanding. 7/3/18. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/@jmspool/attaining-a-collaborative-shared-understanding-dc70cf03f98f

ThoughtWorks Studios. “How do you develop a Shared Understanding on an Agile project? 2013. As referenced:
 http://info.thoughtworks.com/rs/thoughtworks2/images/twebook-developing-a-shared-understanding.pdf

Unumeri, Godwin Ogheneochuko. PERCEPTION AND CONFLICT. Lagos, Nigeria: National Open University of Nigeria, 2009. As referenced:
 https://nou.edu.ng/sites/default/files/2017-03/PCR%20276%20PERCEPTION%20%26%20CONFLICT_0.pdf

Verwijs, Christiaan. “Create shared understanding with ‘What, So What, Now What’ 8/4/2018. As referenced:
 https://medium.com/the-liberators/create-shared-understanding-with-what-so-what-now-what-6dda51d5bcf9

Vilajosana, Lluis Comin. Connotations and Contributions of the Maker: The Value of Jewels. 6/26/18.

Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design, 2nd Edition, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005.

Yusuf, Bulama. Understanding Shared Understanding: 5 Ways to Improve Shared Understanding in Software Teams. 12/8/2019. As referenced:
 https://dev.to/bulsyusuf/5-ways-to-improve-shared-understanding-in-software-teams-1f62

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PART 3: YOUR PASSION FOR DESIGN: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

Posted by learntobead on September 12, 2020

Practice-By-Design Series

Image by Feld, 2020

How Is Your Passion For Design Developed?

I continued working in the health care field, teaching graduate school, doing consulting, government health policy planning, and, my last professional job, directing a nonprofit membership organization of primary health care centers. Working in health care had become such a hollow experience for me, that I jumped off the corporate ladder when I was 36 years old. With a partner, we opened up a retail operation, in Nashville, Tennessee, where we sold finished jewelry, most of it custom made, as well as selling all the parts for other people interested in making jewelry themselves.

My partner was the creative one, and the design aspects of the business were organized around her work. I was the business person. I made some jewelry to sell, but my motivation was purely monetary. No passion yet.

During the first few years, it was painfully obvious that my jewelry construction techniques were poor, at best. The jewelry I made broke too easily. This bothered me. I was determined to figure out how to do it better.

This was pre-internet. There were no established jewelry making magazines at that time. In Nashville, there was a very small jewelry / beading craft community. No experience, no support. So I did a lot of trial-and-error. Lots of experimentation.

In these early years in our retail jewelry business, two critical things happened which started steering me in the direction of pursuing my jewelry design passion.

First, our store was located in a tourist area near the downtown convention center. Many people attending conventions lived in areas, especially California, where there were major jewelry making and beading communities. They shopped in our store, and from watching their shopping behaviors, seeing what they liked and did not like, and talking with them, I learned many insights about where to direct my energies.

Second, I began taking in jewelry repairs. It became almost like an apprenticeship. I got to see what design choices other jewelry makers made, and I looked for patterns. I got to see where things broke, and I looked for patterns. I spoke with the customers to get a sense of what happened when the jewelry broke, and I looked for patterns. I put into effect my developing insights about jewelry construction and materials selection when doing repairs, and I looked for patterns.

No passion yet, but I took one more big step. And passion was beginning to show itself on the horizon.

I was developing all this knowledge and experience about design theory and applications. Suddenly, I wanted to share this. I wanted to teach. But I wanted to have some high level of coherency underlying my curriculum. My budding passion for design saw design as a profession, not a hobby. I did not want to teach a step-by-step, paint-by-number class. I wanted to teach a way of thinking through design. I wanted my students to develop a literacy and fluency in design.

I inadvertently cultivated my passion for design over time. I did not really follow one. It was a journey. My passion for the idea of design did not necessarily match a particular job. I coordinated it with the job I had been doing. And over time, my job and my passion became more and more intertwined and coherent. For me, it was a long process. I honed my abilities. I leveraged them to create value — personal satisfaction and some monetary remuneration. My passion became my lifestyle. My lifestyle resonated with me.

Passion involves deep introspection. It requires you to be metacognitive — always aware of the things underlying your choices. It requires talking with people and testing out how different ideas or activities resonate with you. What do you care about? What changes in the world do you want to make? What is driving you? What if this or that? Are you willing to give up something else for this? Would people respect me if…?

During this journey, you will systematically test your assumptions about what you think your personal sense of purpose should be. For the most part, there may not be a single answer or one that will last forever. But you reach progressive levels of clarity which give you a sense of direction and fulfillment.

As a designer, it is more important to focus on personal connections represented in your passion, rather than on creating some material thing. You can steer your job to spend more time exploring the tasks you are passionate about and the people you like to share your passion with. Look for inspirations. Reflect on what you care about. It is a good idea to know yourself as a designer and why you are enthusiastic about it. Self-discipline and management go hand-in-hand with passion so that you maintain perspective and continue to create designs. You won’t necessarily love everything you do, but your passion will keep you motivated to do it.

It’s a cycle of self-discovery. But don’t sit around waiting for the cycle to show up and start rotating. Keep trying new things. Exploring. Taking charge of your life. Revisiting things which interested you when you were younger. Thinking about things you never tire of doing. Thinking about things you do well. Recognizing things you like learning about.

What If You Have A Passion For Something, 
But You Don’t Do Anything About It?

What if you have a passion for something, but you don’t do anything about it? There could be several reasons for this.

  • You have a good job, make good money, but are not passionate about it
  • You have time constraints
  • You are afraid of change or the unknown and unfamiliar
  • Your family and social network are not supportive
  • You tried something similar before, and were not successful
  • You dislike the people you work with or play with
  • The skills integral to your passion are not in demand or favor; they don’t make you marketable, or sufficiently marketable to earn a living wage
  • You cannot support yourself during the extended timeframe it would take to develop your skills

But, I think, one of the major reasons people do not cultivate their passion is that they do not understand it. It is not a pot of gold on the other side of the rainbow. It won’t necessarily satisfy all your needs. It is a sensation without clear boundaries. It is best expressed among an audience that already is sensitive to and aware of your passion and how it fits with their own needs and desires. It is best expressed in a context in which it is respected.

Developing your passion takes work and commitment. Mastery of design does not spring from discovered passions. Instead, passion provides the motivation for you to learn and grow within the design profession. Initially, you might be pretty bad at professional tasks. They need to be learned and applied, then applied again. Eventually your mastery earns you some satisfaction, autonomy and respect.

What Are The Characteristics of a Passionate Designer?

A prominent country music star and her six-person entourage entered my store. They had heard about our jewelry design work, and were eager to see what we could make for the singer.

She had some specifics in mind. A necklace. It had to be all black. She wanted crosses all around it. Each cross had to be different. Each cross had to be black.

We accepted the challenge.

We began laying out some different ideas and options on the work table. The singer said No! to each idea. The entourage chimed in like a Greek chorus. (Admittedly a little weird and unnerving.) We weren’t really getting anywhere, so we set another meeting date. We would put together more options, and get their opinions. Agreed.

The color of black was easily accomplished. We could string black beads or use black chain or black cord. It would be a challenge to find or design a lot of black crosses, but not impossible.

We put in a lot of hours gathering materials and developing some more prototype options.

The second meeting was no more fruitful than the first. The artist and her entourage could offer no additional insights about what they wanted. Our mock-ups were unacceptable.

We ended the meeting.

We were not, however, going to throw in the towel.

In fact, we were intrigued by the puzzling puzzle put before us.

We decided we needed more information about why this country music artist wanted this necklace, what outfit and styling she would wear it with, and why an assortment of differing black crosses was important to her.

We put on our anthropology, psychology and sociology hats and played Sherlock Holmes. We approached members of her entourage individually. Her entourage was made up of her stylists. We were able to fill in a lot of the blanks by talking with them. She was going to wear this piece on the road, performing in several concert venues. We got into some discussions about her religion, more specifically, how she practiced it. The best way to describe this was a pagan-influenced Christianity. We had enough information to go by. This was particularly important in picking out crosses, and arranging them around the necklace.

They loved our prototype, and we only had to do a little tweaking.

You know you are passionate when you…

1. Start your days early

2. Passions consume your thoughts all the time

3. Get more excited about things

4. Get more emotional, frustrated and even angry about things

5. Take more risks

6. Devote more of your time and other resources to your work — working harder, practicing more, spending more time developing your skills

7. Are eager to share what you are working on

8. Fight within yourself as well as with others (friends, family, clients) about managing the balance between work and everything else

9. Are optimistic about the future

10. Surround yourself with their work

11. More easily accept (and get past) failures and consequences

12. Do not easily give in to criticism or skepticism.

13. Have focus and plan things out more

14. Inspire others

15. Radiate your passions

Three Types Of Passions For Design

There are three types of passions designers might cultivate:

(1) The Passion To Do Or Make Something
 (2) The Passion For Beauty and Appeal
 (3) The Passion For Coherency

(1) The Passion To Do Or Make Something

The designer’s passion is focused on an activity. They believe it is possible to make something out of nothing. Designers do, see, touch, compose, arrange, construct, manipulate. This passion is very hands-on and mechanical. Its drive is orderly, methodical, systematic, and directional.

(2) The Passion For Beauty and Appeal

The designer’s passion is focused on beauty and appeal. They believe it is possible to do whatever it takes to create or develop something of beauty. Designers select, feel, sense, compose, arrange, construct, manipulate. This passion is very emotional and feeling. Its drive follows the senses, the intuitive, the inspiration with an eye always on the ultimate outcome — beauty and appeal.

(3) The Passion For Coherence

The designer’s passion is focused on resolving tensions, typically between the need for beauty concurrently with the need for functionality. They believe it is possible to resolve these tensions. Designers think, analyze, reflect, organize, present, resolve, solve. This passion is very intellectual. Its drive is meaning, content, sense-making, conflict resolution and balance.

Whatever type of passion you see yourself as pursuing, it is passion nonetheless which motivates your creativity and sustains your attention long enough to get something done for someone else and fulfill their desires.

How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

Not every professional designer is passionate about what they do. Nor do they have to be in order to do a good job and make money.

Passions do not solve your problems at work — the stresses, the difficult interpersonal relationships, the need to find people to pay you for what you do. They guide you to better resolve them.

Passions make the work extra special. The work becomes less a job, and more a process of continual growth and self-actualization. Passions help you more easily clarify the ambiguous and unfamiliar. They help you more readily overcome obstacles. They assist you in finding that sweet spot between fulfilling your needs and intents, and meeting those of others who work with you, pay you for what you do, critique, evaluate and recommend you.

Having a passion for something does not equate to having a professional career. Careers don’t necessarily happen because you have a passion for them. But it is great to have your career and passion co-align. You have to build upon your passion, implement it, fine-tune it, and manage it over time.

The secret for successfully bringing all this together — your desires, the tasks you want to do and those you are required to do, the various audiences whose acceptance in some way is necessary for what you must accomplish — is how you manage your passions.

Good passion management results in…

· More work getting done and more engagement with that work

· More work satisfaction and intrinsic rewards

· More self-actualization and development professionally

· Higher levels of creativity

· More trust in colleagues and clients

· More likely to feel purposeful and connected

· More capability in putting your imprint (your artist’s hand) on your work to the point your work is meaningful and acceptable to others

· More fix-it strategies to store in your designer tool box, allowing you to be more adaptable to new or difficult situations

Just like with all good things, too much can be damaging.

Bad passion management could result in…

· Becoming a workaholic

· Having others exploit your willingness to work, do the hard stuff, take on unnecessary challenges and strive for success

· Losing a good balance between work life and personal life

· Suffering burn-out

· Becoming too over-confident, less likely to seek feedback, less likely to collaborate, less likely to seek clarification

· Becoming irritable, stressed, rigid, unwilling to compromise

Again, your passion must be managed. You want balance. You want to set aside times for self-reflection and self care.

Don’t wait to follow your passion. Define and develop it within the context of your professional design career.

While it is not necessary to have found your passion in order to be a good and successful designer, developing your passion for design can be very beneficial and worth the effort. With passion comes greater satisfaction, self-affirmation, creativity and motivation. With passion comes a greater ability to gain acceptance from clients about what your designs mean and can do for them. People are not born with passions. They find them, often in a round-about, circuitous way over a period of time. Once found, they need to be developed, cultivated and managed. And you don’t want to get overwhelmed by your passions to the detriment of balance in your personal and work lives.

Continue with…
PART 1: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?
PART 2: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?
PART 3: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

_________________________________

FOOTNOTES

Chen, Robert. “The Real Meaning of Passion,” Embrace Possibility, March, 2015.
 As referenced: https://www.embracepossibility.com/blog/real-meaning-passion/

Financial Mechanic. “Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Bad Advice,” Published: 05 July 
 2019 — Updated: 23 February 2020
 As referenced:
https://www.getrichslowly.org/follow-your-passion-is-bad-advice/#:~:text=They%20found%20that%20people%20who,interest%20if%20it%20becomes%20difficult.

Fisher, Christian. “How To Define Your Passion In Life,” Chron (Houston 
 Chronicle), n.d.
 As referenced: https://work.chron.com/define-passion-life-10132.html

Hill, Maria. “Are Passion and Creativity The Same Thing?” Sensitive Evolution, 
 11/11/2019.
 As referenced: https://sensitiveevolution.com/passion-and-creativity/

Hudson, Paul. “10 Things That Truly Passionate People Do Differently,” Elite Daily, 
 April 9, 2014.
 As referenced: https://www.elitedaily.com/money/entrepreneurship/10-things-that-truly-passionate-people-do-differently

Jachimowicz, Jon M. “3 Reasons It’s So Hard To ‘Follow Your Pasion’”, Harvard 
 Business Review, October 15, 2019
 As referenced: https://hbr.org/2019/10/3-reasons-its-so-hard-to-follow-your-passion

Koloc, Nathanial. “Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Pretty Bad Advice,” Hot Jobs On 
 The Muse
 As referenced: https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-follow-your-passion-is-pretty-bad-advice

 Millburn, Joshua Fields. “’Follow Your Passion’ Is Crappy Advice,” The 
 Minimalists.
 As referenced: https://www.theminimalists.com/cal/

Pringle, Zorana Ivcevic. “Creativity Runs On Passion,” Psychology Today, 10/2019.
 As referenced: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creativity-the-art-and-science/201910/creativity-runs-passion

Robbins, Kyle. “15 Things Truly Passionate People Do Differently,” Lifehack, 2018.
 As referenced: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/15-things-truly-passionate-people-differently.html

Thompson, Braden. “What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion,” 
 Lifehack, 10/15/2019.
 As referenced: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/what-means-have-passion.html

Unger, Roberto Mangabeira. Passion: An Essay On Personality. NY: The Free 
 Press, 1984.
 Book downloadable: http://www.robertounger.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/passion-an-essay-on-personality.pdf

— — — — — — — — — —

Other related articles of interest by Warren Feld:

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

Part 1: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Are Shared Understandings?

Part 2: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Does The Designer Need To Know?

Part 3: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Assumptions, Perceptions, Expectations and Values Come Into Play?

Part 4: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Does The Designer Establish Shared Understandings?

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PART 2: YOUR PASSION FOR DESIGN: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Posted by learntobead on September 12, 2020

Practice-By-Design Series

Image by Feld, 2020

Where Does Your Passion Come From?

It was always just a whispered aside. Something quiet. A glance in one direction, then back so no one would notice. A comment. And the only comment ever said out loud. But hushed. Always and only in that hushed voice. A voice conveying alarm. Embarrassment. Bravery. Humiliation. Horror. Survival. History. Culture.

“She has a number tattooed on her arm. Did you see it?”

And I had. It was difficult to hide. Everyone spoke with so many gestures and drama, whatever the subject, and the sleeves pulled up on their arms.

And not another word was said about it. It — the situation. The larger situation. I never knew their specific experiences. Nor their views. Nor their feelings. Nor their understandings.

They never shared their terror. Or spoke about their anxiety. Or explained what they thought had happened, or how they had managed to survive.

I could not see anything in their faces. Or their eyes. There was nothing different about their skin. Their height. Their weight. The way they walked. Or talked.

There were those in the room who escaped to America during or immediately after the war. There were those in the room who had escaped similar horrors, but many decades earlier, fleeing Poland and Russia and the Middle East. There were their children. And there were their children’s children, I being one of them.

And while I was only 4 or 5 or 6 years old, I remember the collective feeling — even 60 years later — of the hushed voice and the tattooed numbers. I was never privy to any person’s history. I never heard about anyone’s experience. It was inappropriate to talk about it. But that one memory conveyed it all. The full story. I wrote the full story in my mind. And attached all the full emotions.

Passion Starts With Curiosity

It is the little things that come up every so often that imbues a curiosity in you. That makes you want to make sense of the world. Find understanding. Make sense of things where you do not know all the details. Or where things are headed. But you fill in the blanks anyway. And keep asking questions. To clarify. To intensify. To soften. To connect with other stories your curiosity has led you to.

Passion starts with curiosity. But not just curiosity. Passion is sparked by curiosity, but goes further. It creates this emotional energy within you to make meaning out of ambiguity. For passion to continually grow and develop, such derived meaning must be understood within a particular context, and all the people, actually or virtually present, who concurrently interact with that context, and your place in it.

Passion involves insights. Passion is about finding connections. Connections to insights and meanings. Connections to things which are pleasing to you. Connections to things which are contradictory. Connections to thinbgs which are unfamiliar or ambiguous. Connections to others around you. And finding them again. And reconnecting with them again. And again and again.

Passion requires reflection. It demands an awareness of why you make certain choices rather than others. Why particular designs draw your attention, and others do not. Why you are attracted to certain people (or activities), and others not.

Passion affects how you look at things and people. It is dynamic. It is communicative. It affects all your interactions.

Passion is not innate. You are not born with it. It is not set at birth waiting to be discovered. It is something to find and cultivate.

The elemental roots of my passion were present at a very early age. I was very curious. I tried to impose a sensibility on things. While I wanted people around me to like me, that wasn’t really a part of my motivation. I wanted people to understand me as a thinking human being. And I was always that way.

In some respects, this situation when I was around 5 years old has been an example of the root of my passion. My jewelry designs resonate with that hushed, quiet voice. That voice conveys my intent through the subtle choices I make about color and proportion and arrangement and materials and techniques. I usually start each design activity by anticipating how others will come to understand what I hope to achieve. How they might recognize the intent in my designs. How my intent might coordinate with their desires.

My jewelry designs tell stories. They tell my stories. They tell my stories so that other people might connect with them. And understand my passion for design.

Are Passion and Creativity the Same Thing?

As designers, we bring our creative assets to every situation. But we must not confuse these with the passion within us. Passion and creativity are not the same thing. We do not need passion to be creative. Nor do we need passion to be motivated to create something.

Passion is the love of design. Creating is making an object or structuring a project.

Passion is the love of jewelry. Creating is making a necklace.

Passion is the love of color. Creating is using a color scheme within a project.

Passion is the love of fashion. Creating is making a dress.

After college, I had some great jobs. Lots of creativity. Not much passion.

I was a college administrator for a year. I was hired to organize the student orientation program. As new students arrived at the university in the fall, I created social activities, like dances and mixers and discussions. I arranged for greet and meets in each of the dorms. I worked with each club to generate their first meetings and some of the marketing materials. I set up religious orientations and services for Jewish, Christian and Islamic students. I set up orientations for women’s affinity groups, black groups, latino groups, and many others. I wrote, photographed and published an orientation handbook and a new faces book. I even planned the food services menus for the first week. I did a lot. I loved it. It was very creative.

But not my passion.

I also had an opportunity to become the Assistant Editor of the American Anthropologist for a year. The regular Assistant wanted to go on a sabbatical. The Editor knew me and asked if I wanted to do her job for a year. I edited and saw to the publication of 2 ½ issues. I worked with anthropologists all over the world in helping them translate their work into publishable articles. I loved this job too. I did a lot. It was very creative.

But not my passion.

I decided to pursue a degree in City and Regional Planning. I was getting an inkling that I liked things associated with the word “design.” I liked the idea of designing cities and neighborhoods and community developments. I was intrigued with transportation systems and building systems and urban development.

I was about to enter graduate training in City Planning, which meant moving from where I lived, but a family crisis came up. Physical planning — buildings, cities, roads, neighborhoods — had captured my interest. But I resigned myself, in order to accommodate family needs, to attend a graduate program close to home which emphasized social and health planning, instead.

I got a job as a city health planner, and worked for a private revitalization agency. I assisted in getting government approval for a rehabilitation center. I developed a local maternal-child health system. I organized a health fair. I loved this job. I did a lot. It was very creative.

But not my passion.

As I have come to believe over many careers and many years, the better designer needs both passion and creativity. They reinforce each other. They accentuate. When both are appropriately harnessed, the joys and stresses of passion fuel creativity, innovation and design. Passion inspires. It is insightful. It motivates. Creativity translates that emotional imaging and feeling into a design. Creativity is opportunistic. It transforms things. It generates ideas. It translates inspirations into aspirations into finished projects.

The design process usually takes place over an extended period of time. There can be several humps and bumps. Passion gets us through this. It is that energizing, emotional, motivating resource for creative work. Passion is that strong desire and pressing need to get something done. Passion helps us, almost forces us, in fact, to build our professional identities around that activity we call design.

Passion reveals an insatiability for self discovery and self development. But this sense of self is always contingent upon the acceptance of others. Sounds a lot like the design process and working with clients. You don’t need to be passionate to do design and do it well. You need passion to do design better and more coherently. You need passion to have more impact on yourself and others.

While it is not necessary to have found your passion in order to be a good and successful designer, developing your passion for design can be very beneficial and worth the effort. With passion comes greater satisfaction, self-affirmation, creativity and motivation. With passion comes a greater ability to gain acceptance from clients about what your designs mean and can do for them. People are not born with passions. They find them, often in a round-about, circuitous way over a period of time. Once found, they need to be developed, cultivated and managed. And you don’t want to get overwhelmed by your passions to the detriment of balance in your personal and work lives.

Continue with…
PART 1: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?
PART 2: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?
PART 3: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

_________________________________

FOOTNOTES

Chen, Robert. “The Real Meaning of Passion,” Embrace Possibility, March, 2015.
 As referenced: https://www.embracepossibility.com/blog/real-meaning-passion/

Financial Mechanic. “Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Bad Advice,” Published: 05 July 
 2019 — Updated: 23 February 2020
 As referenced:
https://www.getrichslowly.org/follow-your-passion-is-bad-advice/#:~:text=They%20found%20that%20people%20who,interest%20if%20it%20becomes%20difficult.

Fisher, Christian. “How To Define Your Passion In Life,” Chron (Houston 
 Chronicle), n.d.
 As referenced: https://work.chron.com/define-passion-life-10132.html

Hill, Maria. “Are Passion and Creativity The Same Thing?” Sensitive Evolution, 
 11/11/2019.
 As referenced: https://sensitiveevolution.com/passion-and-creativity/

Hudson, Paul. “10 Things That Truly Passionate People Do Differently,” Elite Daily, 
 April 9, 2014.
 As referenced: https://www.elitedaily.com/money/entrepreneurship/10-things-that-truly-passionate-people-do-differently

Jachimowicz, Jon M. “3 Reasons It’s So Hard To ‘Follow Your Pasion’”, Harvard 
 Business Review, October 15, 2019
 As referenced: https://hbr.org/2019/10/3-reasons-its-so-hard-to-follow-your-passion

Koloc, Nathanial. “Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Pretty Bad Advice,” Hot Jobs On 
 The Muse
 As referenced: https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-follow-your-passion-is-pretty-bad-advice
 
 Millburn, Joshua Fields. “’Follow Your Passion’ Is Crappy Advice,” The 
 Minimalists.
 As referenced: https://www.theminimalists.com/cal/

Pringle, Zorana Ivcevic. “Creativity Runs On Passion,” Psychology Today, 10/2019.
 As referenced: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creativity-the-art-and-science/201910/creativity-runs-passion

Robbins, Kyle. “15 Things Truly Passionate People Do Differently,” Lifehack, 2018.
 As referenced: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/15-things-truly-passionate-people-differently.html

Thompson, Braden. “What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion,” 
 Lifehack, 10/15/2019.
 As referenced: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/what-means-have-passion.html

Unger, Roberto Mangabeira. Passion: An Essay On Personality. NY: The Free 
 Press, 1984.
 Book downloadable: http://www.robertounger.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/passion-an-essay-on-personality.pdf

— — — — — — — — — —

Other related articles of interest by Warren Feld:

PART 1:THE FIRST ESSENTIAL QUESTION EVERY DESIGNER
SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER:
Is What I Am Doing Craft, Art or Design?

GETTING STARTED IN BUSINESS: What You Do First To Make It Official! Design-In Practice Series

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business? Design-In-Practice Series

“Backward-Design” is Forward Thinking: Design-In-Practice Series

Are You Prepared For When The Reporter Comes A-Calling?

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Teaching Disciplinary Literacy: Strategic Learning In Jewelry Design

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PART 1: YOUR PASSION FOR DESIGN: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Posted by learntobead on September 12, 2020

Practice-By-Design Series

Image by Feld, 2020

Can You Really Follow A Passion?

Is it necessary to have a passion?

Sometimes I get so sick and tired of this question. I get perplexed. What does it really mean? What are people really telling me when they say I should follow my passion?

What job or career or avocation should I pursue? Do I have an intense interest in anything? Does anything drive me? Motivate me? Capture my undivided attention? What do I wish I would have done? Or should have done? Or could have done? Is something to do with design the answer? Passion! That word is spoken so often.

Follow your passion! Follow your passion! Follow your passion!

You get told this over and over again so many times that you begin to question whether anyone has ever really been successful, or even been substantially motivated, to follow their passions. Especially those people who tell you to do so — surely, they have not actually found their passion. It seems so hard to find. A good goal, but let’s get real. Insurmountable. There are lots of things I like and get very enthusiastic about, but I can’t say I’m passionate about them. And you can’t forget you have to earn a living, whether you are passionate about what you do or not.

You hear and read about finding your passion, so much so, that you feel if you haven’t found yours, something must be wrong with you. And, certainly you think no one else has, either. The pressure, the pressure. Why is it so important to my family and friends and my inner still voice that I be passionate about something?

Their admonitions take different tones, from command, to pleading, to expressing concern and sorrow, to lowering their expectations for you. You see / feel/ know what they are really trying to say to you — sympathy, empathy, pity — by those variations on the memes they throw at you.

You don’t have to make a decision about a career until you find your passion!

Don’t worry, you’ll find something to be passionate about!

Not everyone finds their passion.

You begin to feel like a failure in life for not finding your passion. Or that so-and-so you went to school with found theirs… and you didn’t.

The only way to stave all these folks off is to get a job that makes a lot of money. Pursuing money apparently is seen as a legitimate substitute for following your passion.

And that’s what I did.

For almost 40 years.

I pursued money.

Until I found my passion.

My passion for design.

Specifically, jewelry design.

What Is Passion?

Passion, I have discovered over many years in the design world, is something key to a more fulfilling and successful career.

Passion makes sense for design.

Passion is an emotion.

Passion provides the fuel firing you to action.

Almost in spite of yourself.

Passion is often equated with determination, motivation, and conviction — all moving you in a particular direction. But these do not adequately capture what passion is all about. Passion challenges you. It is intriguing. It provides the principle around which you organize your life.

Passion is something more than a strong interest. Passion is a bit more energetic, directional. And when you want to change direction, emotionally, passion makes this very difficult. Passion is simultaneously a response somewhat divorced from any reason, but in the service of reason, as well. Once you have it, passion can be very sticky and hard to shake off.

Passion puts you to work. It helps you overcome those times when you get frustrated. Or bored. Or anxious.

Passion reveals what you are willing to sacrifice other pleasures for.

Passion is what helps you overcome those times when you get frustrated when something isn’t working out exactly as you want, or when you are anxious about your ability to do something, or you get bored with what you are trying to do at the moment.

But passion is somewhat amorphous. Intangible. Not something solid enough or clear enough to grab and grip and get ahold of.

Is it Necessary To Have A Passion For Design?

In high school, I decided that my passion would be archaeology. I read books and articles about Middle East history and settlement patterns. I loved the idea of traveling. I loved history. I selected a college that had an excellent and extensive archaeology program.

That first fall semester, I took two archaeology classes. In one of these classes, week after week for 18 weeks, I sat through the examinations and resultant reports looking at the remains of a small grouping of houses in Iran. I saw the partial remains of some walls. An area the remains of which suggested it was a kitchen. And lots of dust and dirt and not much else.

The archaeological reports were each done by teams from different countries. From the scant evidence, the Russian report found the settlement to be communal and socialist. They based their conclusions on the positioning of the walls, the proximity of the kitchen area to the walls, and the remains mostly consisting of chicken bones. The German report found the settlement to be more democratic but still communal. Their evidence was based on the positioning of the walls, the proximity of the kitchen area to the walls, and the remains mostly consisting of chicken bones. And the American report found the settlement to be an early example of democracy and capitalism. Their evidence — can you guess? — was based on the positioning of the walls, the proximity of the kitchen area to the walls, and the remains mostly consisting of chicken bones.

I made a discovery in myself and about myself that first semester of college. Archaeology was not my passion. I changed majors. But still no passion.

I still yearned to be passionate about something, however. A goal. A Task. An activity. A career. Anything. My search took almost another 20 years.

Not having a passion did not affect my ability to work and do my job. But I felt some distance from it. Some disconnection. Something missing and less satisfying.

While it took me a long time to find my passion, for others it happens very quickly. You never know. In either case, passion is not something that falls down from the sky and hits you on the head. It is something that has to be pursued, developed and cultivated over time.

Pursuing your passion has many advantages. When you are passionate about something, you can more easily accomplish things which are difficult and hard. Your work and job and life feel more fulfilling. You feel you are impacting the world around you.

A passion for design enables you to become the best designer you can be. It builds within you a more stick-to-it-iveness, while you develop yourself as a designer over many years, and learn the intricacies of your trade and profession. Having a passion for design is a necessity if you are to come to an understanding of yourself as a professional practicing a discipline.

Passion gives us purpose. It attaches a feeling to our thoughts, intensifying our emotions. It is transformative. Empowering. Passion allows us to realize a vision within any context we find ourselves.

A passion for design allows us to navigate those tensions between the pursuit of beauty and the pursuit of functionality. It allows us to incorporate the opinions and desires of our clients into our own design work, without sacrificing our identities and integrities as designers. In a sense, it allows our design choices to reaffirm our ideas and concepts, tempering them with the needs, desires, and understandings of our client and the client’s various audiences. It allows us, through our design decisions, to manage the vagaries in any situation and, ultimately, to get the professional recognition we seek. However, most of us — including and especially me — have not known how to pursue our passions. And we fail to do so.

Not only should we have to pursue a passion for meaningful work, but we must incorporate our passion into our everyday lives. Passion is not just about ourselves. Passion affects our friends and families and work mates. They suffer or benefit (or both) from our driven selves. Passion affects how we utilize our time. It affects how we see the world, define problems and anticipate solutions.

Passion can be a bitch, and it must be managed. Otherwise, without some ongoing management and a bit of reflection and skepticism, passion can have the opposite effect from what we desire in life. Poorly managed and integrated into our lives, passion can lead to less happiness, less satisfaction, less contentment and less personal growth. In spite of all this, having passion for what you do will result in many more positives than negatives in your design work.

Pursing our passion requires that we bring on our journey these four understandings:

(1) Passion is not innate to the individual. Passion must be developed.

(2) It is not easy to take this journey to find your passion, especially as it gets drawn out over a long period of time.

(3) Passion makes it easier to mediate and sustain our pathways through our interactions at work and through life.

(4) Passion can lead us astray, blinding us to its limits.

While it is not necessary to have found your passion in order to be a good and successful designer, developing your passion for design can be very beneficial and worth the effort. With passion comes greater satisfaction, self-affirmation, creativity and motivation. With passion comes a greater ability to gain acceptance from clients about what your designs mean and can do for them. People are not born with passions. They find them, often in a round-about, circuitous way over a period of time. Once found, they need to be developed, cultivated and managed. And you don’t want to get overwhelmed by your passions to the detriment of balance in your personal and work lives.

Continue with…
PART 1: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?
PART 2: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?
PART 3: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

_________________________________

FOOTNOTES

Chen, Robert. “The Real Meaning of Passion,” Embrace Possibility, March, 2015.
 As referenced: https://www.embracepossibility.com/blog/real-meaning-passion/

Financial Mechanic. “Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Bad Advice,” Published: 05 July 
 2019 — Updated: 23 February 2020
 As referenced:
https://www.getrichslowly.org/follow-your-passion-is-bad-advice/#:~:text=They%20found%20that%20people%20who,interest%20if%20it%20becomes%20difficult.

Fisher, Christian. “How To Define Your Passion In Life,” Chron (Houston 
 Chronicle), n.d.
 As referenced: https://work.chron.com/define-passion-life-10132.html

Hill, Maria. “Are Passion and Creativity The Same Thing?” Sensitive Evolution, 
 11/11/2019.
 As referenced: https://sensitiveevolution.com/passion-and-creativity/

Hudson, Paul. “10 Things That Truly Passionate People Do Differently,” Elite Daily, 
 April 9, 2014.
 As referenced: https://www.elitedaily.com/money/entrepreneurship/10-things-that-truly-passionate-people-do-differently

Jachimowicz, Jon M. “3 Reasons It’s So Hard To ‘Follow Your Pasion’”, Harvard 
 Business Review, October 15, 2019
 As referenced: https://hbr.org/2019/10/3-reasons-its-so-hard-to-follow-your-passion

Koloc, Nathanial. “Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Pretty Bad Advice,” Hot Jobs On 
 The Muse
 As referenced: https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-follow-your-passion-is-pretty-bad-advice
 
 Millburn, Joshua Fields. “’Follow Your Passion’ Is Crappy Advice,” The 
 Minimalists.
 As referenced: https://www.theminimalists.com/cal/

Pringle, Zorana Ivcevic. “Creativity Runs On Passion,” Psychology Today, 10/2019.
 As referenced: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creativity-the-art-and-science/201910/creativity-runs-passion

Robbins, Kyle. “15 Things Truly Passionate People Do Differently,” Lifehack, 2018.
 As referenced: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/15-things-truly-passionate-people-differently.html

Thompson, Braden. “What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion,” 
 Lifehack, 10/15/2019.
 As referenced: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/what-means-have-passion.html

Unger, Roberto Mangabeira. Passion: An Essay On Personality. NY: The Free 
 Press, 1984.
 Book downloadable: http://www.robertounger.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/passion-an-essay-on-personality.pdf

— — — — — — — — — —

Other related articles of interest by Warren Feld:

PART 1:THE FIRST ESSENTIAL QUESTION EVERY DESIGNER
SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER:
Is What I Am Doing Craft, Art or Design?

GETTING STARTED IN BUSINESS: What You Do First To Make It Official! Design-In Practice Series

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business? Design-In-Practice Series

“Backward-Design” is Forward Thinking: Design-In-Practice Series

Are You Prepared For When The Reporter Comes A-Calling?

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Teaching Disciplinary Literacy: Strategic Learning In Jewelry Design

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Major Pitfalls For Designers… And What To Do About Them

Posted by learntobead on September 6, 2020

Practice-By-Design Series

Warren Feld at work, around 2010

For the novice, all that excitement at the beginning, when thinking about designing things, sometimes collides with a wall of developing self-doubt. It’s not easy to quiet a doubt.

The designer organizes their life around an inspiration. There is some fuzziness here. That inspiration has some elements of ideas, but not necessarily crystal clear ones. That inspiration has some elements of emotions — it makes you feel something — but not necessarily something you can put into words or images or fully explain. You then need to translate this fuzzy inspiration into materials, into techniques, into color, into arrangements, into a coherent whole.

You start to create something, but realize you don’t know how to do it. But you want to do it, and do it now. However, to pick up the needed skills, you realize you can’t learn things all at once. You can’t do everything you want to do all at once. That initial excitement often hits a wall. Things take time to learn. There are a lot of trial and error moments, with a lot of errors. Pieces break. Projects don’t gel. Combining colors and other design elements feels very awkward. Silhouettes or structural layouts are confusing. You might get the right shape for your piece, but it is difficult to get the right movement, drape and flow, without compromising that shape. Or you might get the right placement of objects, but difficult to get everything into the frame, without compromising the placements. Things take time to do.

To add to this stress and strain, you need to show your designs off. You might want someone to like it. To want it. To need it. To buy it. To wear or use it. To wear or use it more than once. To wear or use it often. To exhibit it. To collect it. To publicize it. And how will all these other people recognize your creative spark, and your abilities to translate that spark into a wonderful, beautiful, functional design, appropriate for the wearer or user and appropriate for the situation? Things need to be shared.

Frequently, because of all this, the designer experiences some sense of doubt and self-doubt. Some paralysis. Can’t get started. Can’t finish something. Wondering why they became a designer in the first place.

Doubt holds you back from seizing your opportunities.

It makes getting started or finishing things harder than they need to be.

It adds uncertainty.

It makes you question yourself.

It blocks your excitement, perhaps diminishing it.

While sometimes doubt and self-doubt can be useful in forcing you to think about and question your choices, it mostly holds you back.

Having doubt and self-doubt is common among all artistic types. What becomes important is how to manage, channel and overcome it, so that doubts do not get in the way of your creative process and disciplinary development.

8 MAJOR WAYS DESIGNERS FALL INTO SELF-DOUBT

There are 8 major ways in which designers get caught beginning to fall into that abyss we call self-doubt:

1) What If I’m Not Creative Enough or Original Enough or Cannot Learn or Master or Don’t Know a Particular Technique?

2) What If No One Likes What I Make?

3) What If No One Takes Me Seriously As An Artist And Designer?

4) I Overthink Things and Am A Bit of a Perfectionist.

5) How Can I Stay Inspired?

6) Won’t People Steal My Work?

7) Being Over Confident or Under Confident

8) Role Confusion

1. What If I’m Not Creative Enough or Original Enough or Cannot Learn or Master or Don’t Know a Particular Technique?

Everyone has some creativity baked into their being. It is a matter of developing your way of thinking and doing so that you can apply it. This takes time.

So does originality. Originality is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Originality grows in stages. At first, you’ll try different ways of personalizing projects. There are always things you can do to bring some aspects of originality to your pieces. This might be the choice of colors, or using a special component or object, or rearranging some elements in your composition. Again, as with creativity, the ability to be more and more original will evolve over time. It is helpful to think of originality, not necessarily as coming up with something completely new, but rather as differentiation — how you differentiate yourself from other designers.

For almost everyone, you don’t begin your design career at the height of your levels of creativity and originality. Yes, if you look around you, other people are more creative and original than you or have more skills than you. Don’t let these observations be a barrier to your own development as a designer. You get there through persistence and hard work. You handle your inner critic. You may not be there, yet — the key word here is yet. But you will be.

2. What If No One Likes What I Make?

We all have fears about how our creativity and originality are going to be evaluated and judged. We project our self-doubts to the doubts we think we see and feel from others. What if no one wants to wear my pieces, or buy my works, or use my projects?

We can’t let these outsider reactions dictate our lives and creative selves. A key part of successful design is learning how to introduce what we do publicly. At the least, it is the core nature of the things we create that they are to be worn on the body. Design is a very public thing.

Turn negative comments into positive ideas, motivators, insights, explorations. Allow yourself some give and take, some needs to step back awhile, some needs to tweak. Design is an iterative processes. It in no way is linear. Your outcomes and their success are more evolutionary, than guaranteed.

Distressing about what others may think of your work can be very damaging to your self-esteem. It can amplify your worries. Don’t go there.

Don’t become your worst critic.

3. What If No One Takes Me Seriously As An Artist And Designer?

Design is an occupation in search of a profession. You will find that a lot of people won’t recognize your passion and commitment. They may think anyone can design. They may think of design as a craft or some subset of art, not as something unique and important in and of itself. They may wonder how you can make a living at this.

The bottom line: if you don’t take yourself seriously as a designer, no one else will.

People will take you seriously as they see all the steps you are taking to master your craft and develop yourself as a professional.

4. I Over Think Things And Am A Bit Of A Perfectionist

Some designers let a sense that their work is not as good as imagined get in the way. They never finish anything. They let doubt eat away at them.

Perfectionism is the enemy of the good. It’s great to be meticulous, but emotionally, we get wrecked when anything goes astray, or any little thing is missing, or you don’t have that exact color or part you originally wanted.

Go ahead and plan. Planning is good. It’s insightful. It can be strategic. But also be sure to be adaptable and realistic. Each piece is a stepping stone to something that will come next.

The better designer develops a Designer’s Toolbox — a collection of fix-it strategies to deal with the unfamiliar or the problematic.

Overthinking can be very detrimental. You can’t keep changing your mind, trying out every option, thinking that somewhere, someplace there exists a better option. Make a choice and get on with it. You can tweak things later.

Yes, attention to detail is important. But so is the value of your time. You do not want to waste too much time on trivial details.

Be aware when you begin over-analyzing things. Stop, take a breath, make a decision, and move on.

5. How Can I Stay Inspired?

Designing something takes time, sometimes a long time. That initial inspirational spark might feel like it’s a dying ember.

Don’t let that happen.

Translate that inspiration into images, colors, words, sample designs, and surround your work space with these.

Talk about your inspiration in detail with family and friends.

6. Won’t People Steal My Work and Ideas?

Many designers fear that if they show their work publicly, people will steal their work and ideas. So they stop designing.

Yet design is a very communicative process which requires introducing your work publicly. If you are not doing this, then you are creating simple sculptures or paintings, not designed work.

Yes, other people may copy your work and co-opt your ideas. See this source of doubt as an excuse. It is a self-imposed, but unnecessary, barrier we might impose to prevent us from experiencing that excitement as a designer. Other people will never be able to copy your design prowess — how you translate inspiration into a finished piece. That is unique and special to you, and why the general public responds positively to you and your work.

7. Over Confidence can blind you to the things you need to be doing and learning, and Under Confidence can hinder your development as a designer.

Too often, we allow under confidence to deter us from the design tasks at hand. We always question our lack of ability and technical prowess for accomplishing the necessary tasks at hand. It is important, however, to believe in yourself. To believe that you can work things out when confronted with unfamiliar or problematic situations. It is important to develop your skills for thinking like a designer. Fluency. Flexibility. Originality. There is a vocabulary to learn. Techniques to learn. Strategies to learn. These develop over time with practice and experience. You need to believe in your abilities to develop as a designer over time.

With over confidence comes a naivete. You close off the wisdom to listen to what others have to say or offer. You stunt your development as an designer. You overlook important factors about materials and techniques to the detriment of your final designs and products. You close yourself off to doubt and self-doubt, which is unfortunate. Doubt and self-doubt are tools for asking questions and questioning things. These help you grow and develop as an artist and designer. These influence your ability to make good, professional choices in your career.

8. Role Confusion

Designers play many roles and wear different hats. Each has its own set of opportunities, requirements, and pressures that the designer must cope with. It’s a balancing act extraordinaire.

First, people who design often wear different hats: Artist and Designer, Manufacturer, Architect and Engineer, Distributor, Retailer, Accountant, Exhibitor, Marketer and Promoter.

Second, people who design have different needs: Artistic Excellence, Recognition, Monetary Gain, or Financial Stability.

Third, the designer needs to please and satisfy themselves, as well as other various clients.

Fourth, the designer constructs things which need to function in different settings: Situational, Cultural, Sociological, Psychological.

Last, the designer must negotiate a betwixt and between situation — a rite of passage — as they relinquish control over the piece or project and its underlying inspirations to the user (and the user’s various audiences), who have their own needs, desires and expectations.

This gets confusing. It affects how you pick materials and supplies. Which techniques you use. What marketing strategies you employ. How you value and price things. And the list goes on.

It is important to be aware (metacognitive) of what role(s) you play, what goals you have, what clients desires you need to satisfy, in what contexts your work will function, when, and why. Given these things, it is important to understand the types of choices you need to make, when constructing an object or a project. It is critical to understand the tradeoffs you will invariably end up making, and their consequences for the aesthetic, emotional and functional success of your designs.

Some Advice

While doubt and self-doubt can hinder our development as designers, some degree of these may be helpful, as well.

To develop yourself as a designer, and to continue to grow and expand in your profession, you must have a balanced amount of both doubt and self-doubt. Uncertainty leads to questioning. A search for knowledge. Some acceptance of trial and error and experimentation. A yearning for more reliable information and feedback.

Design uses a great deal of emotion as a Way of Knowing. Emotions cloud or distort how we perceive things. They may lead to more doubt and worry and lack of confidence. But they also enhance our excitement when translating inspirations into designs.

· Don’t let your inner doubts spin out of control. Be aware and suppress them.

· Be real with yourself and your abilities.

· Keep a journal. Detail what your doubts are and the things you are doing to overcome them.

· Create a developmental plan for yourself. Identify the knowledge, skills and understandings you want to develop and grow into.

· Remember what happened in the past the last time doubt got in your way. Remember what you did to overcome this doubt. Remember that probably nothing negative actually happened.

· Talk to people. These can be friends, relatives and colleagues. Don’t keep doubts unto yourself.

· Don’t compare yourself to others. This is a trap. Self-reflect and self-evaluate you on your own terms.

· Worrying about what others think? The truth is that people don’t really care that much about what you do or not do.

· Don’t beat yourself up.

· Get re-inspired. This might mean surrounding yourself with images and photos of things. It might mean a walk in nature. It might me letting someone else’s excitement flow over to you.

· Take breaks.

· See setbacks as temporary.

· Celebrate small steps.

· Keep developing your skills.

· Set goals for yourself.

__________________________________________

Footnotes

(1) Henri Neuendorf, A Young Artist’s Brief Guide to Art World 
 Ambition
,
Art World, November 18, 2016
 As referenced: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/4-motivations-that-make- 
 artists-successful-752957
 
 (2) Drew Kimble, Five Fears That Can Destroy An Artist, Skinny Artist, 
 As referenced: https://skinnyartist.com/5-fears-that-can-destroy-an-artist/

— — — — — — — — — —

Other related articles of interest by Warren Feld:

PART 1:THE FIRST ESSENTIAL QUESTION EVERY DESIGNER
SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER:
Is What I Am Doing Craft, Art or Design?

GETTING STARTED IN BUSINESS: What You Do First To Make It Official! Design-In Practice Series

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business? Design-In-Practice Series

“Backward-Design” is Forward Thinking: Design-In-Practice Series

Are You Prepared For When The Reporter Comes A-Calling?

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PART 1:THE FIRST ESSENTIAL QUESTION EVERY DESIGNER   SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER:   Is What I Am…

Posted by learntobead on August 16, 2020

PRACTICE-BY-DESIGN SERIES

Image by Feld, 2020

In order to make better artistic and design choices, the Fluent and Empowered Designer should have answers to 5 essential questions. In this article, I present the first essential question: Is What I Am Doing Craft, Art, or Design?

Jane landed her first real client. She had designed websites and social marketing campaigns for some friends and family. But this was the first real contract. She was excited, as you would expect, and could not wait to begin.

The client was a furniture manufacturing company. They wanted to promote themselves by holding a contest online. It was to take the form of a sweepstakes and furniture give-away. This company had been online for several years, but this was the first contest they had ever done. They wanted this effort to have a huge marketing impact.

The first task was to design a Landing Page for this contest. The page was to coordinate with general look and feel of the company’s website. It should generate excitement about the contest, and persuade people to register their email addresses for future company marketing. It needed to be completed within 6 weeks.

Jane began outlining and sketching some things to share with the client.

· She felt the colors in the client’s logo did not completely work as a harmonious color scheme. So, for the Landing Page, she tweaked them a bit.

· She had posted her draft page on her own website, using her own domain name. She understood that this would be temporary.

· She researched a set of 25 key words relevant to furniture sales. She used these key words to develop three descriptive paragraphs.

· She located the email text-box on the left side of the web-page, and the submit button on the right side, parallel on the page with the text box. The submit button text was SUBMIT.

· She was unfamiliar with responsive web page design, so she did not consider any implications for various browsers and screen sizes.

At the 3-week mark, she met with the client, and presented her work to them. They were not happy. The tweaking of the logo colors did not go over well. They were confused about the domain name. The key words, and subsequent descriptions, did not resonate with them. The look of the Landing Page on a cell phone was very disjointed, and the submit button ended up about 4” below the email text box — not visible without scrolling down.

Jane was at a loss. She did not know what she should do next.

Designers, like Jane, need to learn to think like designers. They need to become fluent in the disciplinary way of defining problems, developing solutions, anticipating the client’s understandings, and introducing these solutions publicly. They need strategies to adapt to changing or unfamiliar circumstances.

However, what all this specifically means, and how all this plays out, gets a bit muddled. There is a lot of advice to sift through. Designers learn what they do from several sources, including teachers to books to online videos. It turns out that what perspective the advisor, teacher, how-to author is coming from affects what they suggest you do. Because of this, and especially because of this, every designer must get straight in their heads that to think like a craftsperson or to think like an artist is not the same as thinking like a designer.

There are three competing perspectives (or what are called paradigms) for how designers should be taught and practice — (1) The Craft Approach, (2) The Art Tradition, and (3) The Art and Design Perspective. Each provides a different set of advice for telling the designer what to do. Each uses different criteria for judging success.

Had Jane been able to answer the question: Craft, Art or Design?, she may have managed the design process much better. She probably would not have hit this wall with the client. She could have come up with ideas to fix and overcome the problems.

Fluency and Empowerment

The fluent designer is able to think like a designer. The designer is more than a craftsperson and more than an artist. The designer must learn a specialized language, and specialized way of balancing the needs for appeal with the needs for functionality. The designer must intimately recognize and understand the roles design plays for individuals as well as the society as a whole. The designer must learn how art, architecture, physical mechanics, engineering, sociology, psychology, context, even party planning, all must come together and get expressed at the point where the design meets the boundary of the individual.

And to gain that fluency, the designer must commit to learning a lot of vocabulary, ideas and terms, and how these imply content and meaning through expression. The designer will need to be very aware of personal thoughts and thinking as these get reflected in all the choices made in design. The designer will have to be good at anticipating the understandings and judgements of many different audiences, including the user and all the user’s own clients.

With fluency comes empowerment. The empowered designer has a confidence that whatever needs to be done, or whatever must come next, the designer can get through it. Empowerment is about making and managing choices. These choices could be as simple as whether to finish a piece or project or not. Or whether to begin a second piece or project. The designer will make choices about how to draw someone’s attention to the work, or present the work to a larger audience. She or he may decide to submit the work to a magazine or contest. She or he may want to sell the work and market it. The designer will make choices about how the work might be used, or who use it, or when it might be used, in what context.
 
 
And for all these choices, the designer might need to overcome a sense of fear, doubt, boredom, or resistance. The designer might need to overcome anxiety, a sense of giving up, having designer’s block, feeling unchallenged, and even laziness.

This makes it critical for any designer, in order to flourish and succeed, to be able to answer these 5 essential questions, beginning with question 1.

Question 1: Should Design work be considered ART or CRAFT or DESIGN?

All designers, whether making jewelry, building buildings, creating interiors, putting together websites and digital marketing plans, confront a world which is unsure whether design is “craft” or “art” or its own special thing I’ll call “design”. This can get very confusing and unsettling. Each approach has its own separate ideas about how the designer should work, and how he or she should be judged.

CRAFT: When defined as “craft,” design is seen as something that anyone can do — no special powers are needed to be a designer. Design is seen as a step-by-step process, almost like paint-by-number. Designers color within the lines. The craft piece or project has functional value but limited aesthetic value.

If following the Craft Approach, the designer would learn a lot of techniques and applications in a step-by-step fashion. The designer, based on their professional socialization into Craft, would assume that:

a) The outlines and the goals of any piece or project can be specified in a clear, defined way.
 b) Anyone can do these techniques.
 c) There is no specialized knowledge that a designer needs to know beyond how to do these step-by-step techniques and applications.
 d) If a particular designer has a strong sense of design, this is something innate and cannot be learned or taught.
 e) There is little need to vary or adapt these techniques and applications.
 f) The primary goal is functionality.
 g) There are no consequences if you have followed the steps correctly.

As “craft”, we still recognize the interplay of the artist’s hand with the piece and the storytelling underlying it. We honor the technical prowess. People love to bring art into their personal worlds, and the craftsperson offers them functional objects which have some artistic sensibilities.

ART: When defined as “art”, design is seen as something which transcends itself and its design. It is not something that anyone can do without special insights and training. The goal of any project would be harmony with a little variety, and some satisfaction and approval.
 
 “Design as art”
evokes an emotional response. Functionality should play no role at all, or, if an object has some functional purpose, then its functional reason-for-being should merely be supplemental to the art. For example, the strap on a necklace is comparable to the frame around a painting, or the pedestal for a sculpture. They supplement the art. The borders, and perhaps the footer and side navigation bars, on a website home page would also be understood as supplemental to the design. As supplemental components, these would not be included with nor judged as part of the design work. In an extreme example, from the art perspective, the beauty, balance and harmony of a website’s appearance should be unencumbered by any considerations of user experience and navigatability.

If following the Art Tradition, the designer would learn a lot of art theories and rules about the manipulation of design elements, such as color, movement, perspective, within the piece or project. Then, the designer would keep rehearsing these until their application becomes very intuitive. The designer, based on their professional socialization into Art, would assume that:

a) Whether the piece or project outlines are clear from the beginning, or emergent or process-like, what is most important is that art theories and rules be applied at each little increment along the way.
 b) The designer as artist must learn some specialized knowledge — art theories and rules — in order to be successful.
 c) The outcomes — either pieces or projects — would be judged on visual and art criteria alone, as if they were paintings and sculptures on display.
 d) While everyone has within them the creative abilities to design as an artist, for most people, this must be learned.
 e) The primary goals are beauty and appeal. Beauty and appeal are typically judged in terms of harmony and variety.
 f) If you have not applied the theories and rules optimally, the piece or project would be judged as incomplete and unsuccessful.

What is nice about the Art Tradition, is that the goal is Beauty. Beauty is achieved through smart choices and decisions. The designer as artist is not encumbered by having to follow specific steps or patterns. Nor is the designer encumbered by the structural and functional properties of all the pieces or elements she or he uses — only their beauty. The designer does not have to compromise Beauty for Functionality.

DESIGN: When defined as “design”, you begin to focus more on construction and functionality issues. You often find yourself making tradeoffs between appeal and functionality. You incorporate situational relevance into your designs. You anticipate what the client (and the various audiences of the client) understands as something which is finished and successful. You see “choice” as more multidimensional and contingent. You define success only in reference to the design as it is worn, placed, constructed or used.

If following the Art and Design Perspective, the designer would have to learn a lot of things. These would include things in art, architecture, engineering, social science, psychology, behavioral science, and anthropology. The designer would develop those professional skills and insights, what we might call disciplinary literacy, so that she or he could bring a lot of disparate ideas and applications to the fore, depending on what the situation warranted.

The designer, based on their professional socialization into Art and Design, would assume that:

a) Whether the piece or project outlines are clear or emergent, what is most important is the ability to bring a wide range of design principles and applications to the situation.

b) The designer must learn a lot of specialized knowledge, some related to art, and some related to several other disciplines, such as architecture and social science.

c) The outcomes — either pieces or projects — must find the best fit between considerations about appeal with concerns about functionality. Functionality is not an add-on. It is an equal, competing partner with beauty and appeal.

d) The designer does not design in a vacuum. She or he must anticipate the shared understandings among self, client and the various audiences of the client about what might be seen as finished and successful. These anticipations must be incorporated into the design process and how it is managed.

e) Anyone can learn to be a designer, but fluency and literacy in the profession involves development of skills and insights over a period of time.

f) The primary goal is to find the best fit between appeal and functionality.

g) The consequences for not finding that best fit is some level of client dissatisfaction.

The Art and Design Perspective is very relevant for the education and training of designers. Here, the designer is seen as a multi-functional professional. The designer must bring a lot of very different kinds of skills and abilities to bear, when constructing a piece or developing a project. The professional has to be able to manage artistic design, functionality, and the interaction of the piece or project with the client as well as that client’s environment. This approach also believes that “Design” should be appreciated as its own discipline — not a subset of sculpture or painting. And that a piece or project as designed can only be understood as these are placed in use.

How you define your work as ART or CRAFT or DESIGN (or some mix) will determine what skills you learn, how you apply them, and how you introduce your pieces to a wider audience. The Craft Approach ignores the need to learn a specialized knowledge and approach. The Art Tradition focuses solely on the artistic merits of the project, and assumes the client will have more passive relationship to it, as if the client were standing in front of the project in a museum. The Art and Design Perspective focuses on how to anticipate shared understandings and incorporate these into how best to make tradeoffs between appeal and functionality.

So, returning to the situation with Jane, she had not yet become fluent in design thinking. She tried to apply art theory to balance the colors in the logo, and that’s not what the client wanted. She had applied the techniques she knew, but did not arrive at an acceptable place. She became stumped about the next steps she needed to take after the client expressed reservations. She was unable to delineate a learning plan for herself so that she could make the web-page responsive. She researched key words without putting them to some kind of reality test with the client.

Many people begin to explore design as a hobby, avocation, business or career. This requires, not only strong creativity skills, but also persistence and perseverance. A lot of the success in this pursuit comes down to an ability to make and follow through on many artistic and design decisions within a particular context or situation. Developing this ability — a fluency, flexibility and originality in design — means that the designer has to become empowered to answer these 5 essential questions: (1) whether creating something is a craft, an art or design, (2) how they think creatively, (3) how they leverage the strengths of various materials and techniques, and minimize weaknesses, (4) how the choices they make in any one design evoke emotions and resonate, and (5) how they know their piece is finished and successful.

Design is more than the application of a set of techniques. It is a mind-set. This fluency and empowerment enable the designer to think and speak like a designer. With fluency comes empowerment, confidence and success.

Continue reading about the Second Essential Question every designer should be able to answer: What Should I Create?

The 5 Essential Questions:
 1. Is What I Am Doing Craft, Art or Design?
2. What Should I Create?
 3. What Materials (And Techniques) Work The Best?
 4. How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?
5. How Do I Know My Piece Is Finished?

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

Part 1: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Are Shared Understandings?

Part 2: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Does The Designer Need To Know?

Part 3: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Assumptions, Perceptions, Expectations and Values Come Into Play?

Part 4: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Does The Designer Establish Shared Understandings?

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

______________________________

FOOTNOTES

Feld, Warren. Jewelry Design: A Managed Process. (2020)

Feld, Warren. Teaching Disciplinary Literacy. (2020)

Feld, Warren. Backward-Design Is Forward Thinking. (2020

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PART 5: THE FIFTH ESSENTIAL QUESTION EVERY DESIGNER   SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER:   How Do I Know…

Posted by learntobead on August 16, 2020

PRACTICE-BY-DESIGN SERIES

Image by Feld, 2020

In order to make better artistic and design choices, the Fluent and Empowered Designer should have answers to 5 essential questions. In this article, I present the fifth and last essential question: How Do I Know When My Design Is Finished?

I taught a bead weaving workshop where my students followed a basic pattern to make an amulet bag. When they finished the bag itself, they were then given free rein on making a strap and adding fringe.

And they went to town. They added some fringe. Then some more fringe. Then some longer fringe. And fringe with more beads on it. And bigger beads. And some tiny charms. And some more fringe.

Yes, it’s fun to create fringes. But the star of the piece should have been the design of the amulet bag itself. Not the fringe. The fringe detracted. It competed. It made the piece feel very overdone. Not particularly artistic, or designed well.

My students needed to think about editing. As they continued to build each component of the amulet bag and its fringe, they should have repeatedly asked themselves would the addition of one more thing make the project more or less satisfying. Designers should be able to answer these 5 essential questions, especially question 5: How Do I Know When My Design Is Finished?

QUESTION #5: When is enough enough? How does the designer know when the piece is done? Overdone? Or underdone? How do you edit?

It is the challenge for the designer not to make the piece or project under-done or over-done. Each and every material and component part should be integral to the work as a whole. Things should not get too busy, or not busy enough. Things should not be too repetitive. The work should feel, not merely coordinated and balanced, but coherent, as well. The work should not convey a sense that you are not quite there yet.

For every design, there will be that point of parsimony when enough is enough. We want to find that point where experiencing the “whole” is more satisfying than experiencing any of the parts. That point of parsimony is where, if we added (or subtracted) one more thing, we would detract from the whole of our design. The design would be less satisfying. Less resonant.

Finding that point of parsimony is also related to anticipating how and when others will judge the piece as finished and successful. And what to do about it when judged unfinished or unsuccessful.

Parsimony vs. Unity/Variety

In art, the traditional measure of completion and success is a feeling or sense of “Unity.” Unity signifies how everything feels all right. All the Design Elements used, and how they were coordinated and placed, are very coordinated, matching, clear, balanced, harmonious and satisfying. I think the idea of unity begins to get at the place we want to end up. But this concept is not concrete enough for me as a designer.

What bothers me the most is that you can have unity, but the piece still be seen as boring when there is no variety. Criteria provided from the art perspective recognize this. But somehow tempering unity with variety starts to add some ambiguity to our measurements of finish and success. Our work too easily can be judged as lacking coherence. This ambiguity is unacceptable as a principled outcome of construction and design.

Another concern I have, is that you can have unity with variety, but, from the art perspective, these assessments rely too much on universal, objective expectations about design elements and their attributes (for example, the use of color schemes).

A lot of client reactions to our work and a lot of our own design decisions can be very subjective. They can be very culture- and context-related. And sometimes, we intentionally want to violate these universal, objective expectations. We want to give a little edge to our work, or a splash of color, or a shout-out. We may find we have limited material resources, or all the colors / patterns / textures which ideally should be used are unavailable to us. We may want to personalize things so people recognize who the designer is behind the design.

Resonance is not about picking the correct color scheme (or any other design element). It is more about how that color scheme (or design element) is used, manipulated, leveraged or violated within the piece. We must not leave the artist, the user, and the situation out of the equation. We must not minimize the artist’s hand — the artist’s intent, thinking, strategizing, arranging, pushing the boundaries, even violating the universal, objective rules.

Design and the act of creation usually demand a series of judgment calls and tradeoffs. Tradeoffs between aesthetics and functionality. Tradeoffs between artist goals and audience understandings and expectations. Tradeoffs between a full palette of colors-shapes-textures and a very limited one.

Any measure of completeness and success needs to result from the forced choice decisions of the artist. It needs to account for the significance of the results, not just the organization of them. It needs to explain the Why, not just the What.

For me, the Art criteria are insufficient when applied to design. The more appropriate concept here is Parsimony. Parsimony is when you know enough is enough. When the finished and successful piece is parsimonious, the relationship of all the Design Elements and their expressed attributes, as understood by designer and client alike, will be so strong, that to add or remove any one thing would diminish, not just the design, but rather the significance of the design.
 
 Parsimony is sometimes referred to in art and design as Economy, but the idea of economy in art is reserved for the visual effects. Design not only pays homage to the visual, but to the functional, socio-cultural-psychological and situational, as well. The designer needs to be able to decide when enough is enough with all these multi-dimensional cues.

The Traps of Over-Doneness and Under-Doneness

Among designers, you will find a lot of over-doers and under-doers.

· There is a tendency of designers to over-do:
 — over-embellish the surface
 — add too much fringe
 — repeat themes and design elements too often
 — use too many colors

· Or a fear or self-doubt causing designers to under-do:

– not sure if someone will like it

– hesitant to push forward too far, for fear of a negative reaction

– uncertain if they can learn a new technique

– feeling choosing alternative colors, materials or techniques by be too risky

With over-doneness comes a naivete. The designer shuts him- or herself off from what should be that inner designer voice warning about parsimony. It stunts your development as a designer. You begin to allow yourself to overlook important factors about materials and techniques to the detriment of your final products. You close yourself off to doubt and self-doubt, which is unfortunate. Doubt and self-doubt are tools for asking questions and questioning things. These help you grow and develop as an artist and designer. These influence your ability to make good, professional choices.

On the other extreme is under-doneness. Often this results from a lack of confidence in our design abilities, including the ability to introduce our work publicly. We question our lack of ability and technical prowess for accomplishing the necessary tasks at hand. We fear we cannot work things out when confronted with unfamiliar or problematic situations. Here, doubt and self-doubt become excuses for less than satisfying results, rather than tools for improvement. Doubt and self-doubt become self-imposed, but unnecessary, barriers we impose to prevent us from thinking like a designer, and experiencing the full excitement of design.

Designers need to build within themselves that key sense of parsimony. Keep things simple and parsimonious. Edit your ideas. You do not want to over-do or under-do your pieces. You do not have to include everything in one piece or project. You can do several pieces or projects. Showing restraint allows for better communication with your audiences. Each work you make should not look like you are frantically trying to prove yourself. These should look like you have given a lot of thought about how others should emotionally engage with your piece.

Many people begin to explore design as a hobby, avocation, business or career. This requires, not only strong creativity skills, but also persistence and perseverance. A lot of the success in this pursuit comes down to an ability to make and follow through on many artistic and design decisions within a particular context or situation. Developing this ability — a fluency, flexibility and originality in design — means that the designer has to become empowered to answer these 5 essential questions: (1) whether creating something is a craft, an art or design, (2) how they think creatively, (3) how they leverage the strengths of various materials and techniques, and minimize weaknesses, (4) how the choices they make in any one design evoke emotions and resonate, and (5) how they know their piece is finished and successful.

Design is more than the application of a set of techniques. It is a mind-set. This fluency and empowerment enable the designer to think and speak like a designer. With fluency comes empowerment, confidence and success.

The 5 Essential Questions:
1. Is What I Am Doing Craft, Art or Design?
2. What Should I Create?
3. What Materials (And Techniques) Work The Best?
4. How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?
5. How Do I Know My Piece Is Finished?

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

Part 1: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Are Shared Understandings?

Part 2: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Does The Designer Need To Know?

Part 3: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Assumptions, Perceptions, Expectations and Values Come Into Play?

Part 4: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Does The Designer Establish Shared Understandings?

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online. Check our my video tutorials on DOING CRAFT SHOWS and on PRICING AND SELLING YOUR JEWELRY.

Add your name to my email list.

_______________________________

FOOTNOTES

Feld, Warren. The Goal Oriented Designer: The Path To Resonance. Art Jewelry 
 Forum, 2018.

Feld, Warren. “Jewelry Design: A Managed Process,” Klimt02, 2/2/18. https://klimt02.net/forum/articles/jewelry-design-managed-process-warren-feld

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PART 4:THE FOURTH ESSENTIAL QUESTION EVERY DESIGNER   SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER:   How Do I Evoke A…

Posted by learntobead on August 16, 2020

PRACTICE-BY-DESIGN SERIES

Image by Feld, 2020

In order to make better artistic and design choices, the Fluent and Empowered Designer should have answers to 5 essential questions. In this article, I present the fourth essential question: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Jason seemed to never be able to get past “That’s nice.” His clients always said, “That’s nice,” and that was about it.

His colors were balanced and harmonious. They fit rules about color schemes and color proportions. His placement of shapes and sizes were always pleasing to the eye. The little bit of math he had to do always checked out. His clients liked him.

They had approved the initial sketches. Their comments were positive. They never complained about his approach. But they were never satisfied enough for Jason to make that final sale.

Even though the feedback always seemed positive, he rarely had repeat business.

He was perplexed, and felt a little defeated.

What was it about his work that somehow fell short?

Jason was stuck with the impression that if someone said they liked something, that this would translate into them doing something more, like buying it. All designers need a firm and comprehensive understanding about the differences among like, need, want, demand, and parting with some money for it. Another way to put this is that designers need to recognize the differences between an emotional response and a resonant one. Designers should be able to answer these 5 essential questions, especially question 4: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Question 4: Beyond applying basic techniques and selecting quality materials, how do I evoke a resonant response to my work?

An artistic and well-designed piece or project should evoke, at the least, an emotional response. In fact, preferably, it should go beyond this a bit, and have what we call “resonance”. The difference between an emotional response and resonance is reflected in the difference between someone saying, “That’s beautiful,” from saying “I need to wear that piece,” or, “I need to buy that piece,” or, “I need to implement that project.” 
 
 Quite simply: If no resonant response is evoked, then the piece or project has some remaining issues including the possibility that it is poorly designed. Evoking a resonant response takes the successful selection and arrangement of materials or objects, the successful application of techniques as well as the successful management of skills, insights, and anticipating the client’s needs and understandings.
 
 
Every designer should have but one guiding star — Resonance. If our piece or project does not have some degree of resonance, we keep working on it. If the process of creative exploration and design does not lead us in the direction of resonance, we change it. If the results we achieve — numbers of pieces made and numbers of pieces sold — is not synced tightly with resonance, we cannot call ourselves designers.

The Proficient Designer specifies those goals about performance which will lead to one primary outcome: To Evoke Resonance. Everything else is secondary.

Materials, techniques and technologies are selected with resonance in mind. Design elements are selected and applied with that idea of Resonance in mind. Principles of Composition, Construction and Manipulation are applied with that idea of Resonance in mind, with extra special attention paid to the Principle of Parsimony — knowing when enough is enough.

People may approach the performance tasks in varied ways. For some this means getting very detailed on pathways, activities, and objectives. For others, they let the process of design emerge and see where it takes them. Whatever approach they take in their creative process, for all designers, a focus on one outcome — Resonance — frees them up to think through design without encumbrance. It allows them to express meaning. It allows them to convey expressions in meaningful ways to others.

This singular focus on resonance becomes a framework within which to question everything and try to make sense of everything. Make sense of what the materials and techniques can allow them to do, and what they cannot. Make sense of what understandings other people — clients, sellers, buyers, students, colleagues, teachers — will bring to the situation, when exploring and evaluating their work. Make sense of why some things inspire you, and other things do not. Make sense of why you are a designer. Make sense of the fluency of your artistic expression, what works, how it works, why it works.

We achieve Resonance by gaining a comfort and ease in communicating about design. This comfort and ease, or what we can call disciplinary fluency, has to do with how we translate our inspirations and aspirations into all our compositional, constructive and manipulative choices. It is empowering. Our pieces resonate. We achieve success.

Resonance, communication, success, fluency — these are all words that stand in place for an intimacy between the designer and the materials, the designer and the techniques, the designer and inspiration. They reflect the designer’s aspirations. They reflect the shared understandings of everyone the designer’s piece or project is expected to touch. They reflect the designer’s managerial prowess in bringing all these things together.

Evoking An Emotional Response vs. A Resonant One

What is the evidence we need to know for determining when a piece or project is finished and successful? What clear and appropriate criteria hone in at what we should look at? What clues has the designer provided to let the various audiences become aware of the authenticity of the performance?

There are different opinions in craft, art and design about what are the most revealing and important aspects of the work, and which every authentic jewelry design performance must meet.

The traditional criteria used in the art world are that the designer should achieve unity with some variety and evoke emotions. These, I feel, may work well when applied to paintings or sculpture, but they are insufficient measures of success when applied to design. Design involves the creation of objects or projects where both artistic appeal as well as practical considerations of use are essential. Unity and variety can feel harmonious and balanced, but yet boring, monotonous and unexciting. Art, in contrast to Design, can be judged apart from its use and functionality. The response to Art can show some positive emotion without the client having to show any strong commitment. Design doesn’t share that luxury.

Finished and successful designed objects or projects not only must evoke emotions, but, must resonate with the user (and user’s various audiences), as well.

Achieving Resonance is the guiding star for designers, at each step of the way.

Resonance is some level of felt energy which extends a little beyond an emotional response. The difference between emotion and resonance can, for example, be like the differences between saying that piece or project is “Beautiful” vs. saying that piece or project “Makes me want to wear it”. Or that “I want to touch it.” Or “My friends need to see this.” Or “I need to implement this at once.”

Resonance is something more than emotion. It is some kind of additional energy we see, feel and otherwise experience. Emotion is very reactive. Resonance is intuitive, involving, identifying. Emotion is very sympathetic. Resonance is more of an empathetic response where artist and audience realize a shared (or contradictory) understanding without losing sight of whose views and feelings belong to whom.

Resonance results from how the artist controls light, shadow, and their characteristics of warmth and cold, receding and approaching, bright and dull, light and dark. Resonance results from how the artist leverages the strengths of materials, objects and techniques and minimizes their weaknesses. Resonance results from social, cultural and situational cues. Resonance results from how the artist takes us to the edge of universal, objective understandings, and pushes us ever so slightly, but not too, too far, beyond that edge.

Many people begin to explore design as a hobby, avocation, business or career. This requires, not only strong creativity skills, but also persistence and perseverance. A lot of the success in this pursuit comes down to an ability to make and follow through on many artistic and design decisions within a particular context or situation. Developing this ability — a fluency, flexibility and originality in design — means that the designer has to become empowered to answer these 5 essential questions: (1) whether creating something is a craft, an art or design, (2) how they think creatively, (3) how they leverage the strengths of various materials and techniques, and minimize weaknesses, (4) how the choices they make in any one design evoke emotions and resonate, and (5) how they know their piece is finished and successful.

Design is more than the application of a set of techniques. It is a mind-set. This fluency and empowerment enable the designer to think and speak like a designer. With fluency comes empowerment, confidence and success.

Continue reading about the Fifth Essential Question every designer should be able to answer: How Do I Know My Piece Is Finished?

The 5 Essential Questions:
1. Is What I Am Doing Craft, Art or Design?
2. What Should I Create?
3. What Materials (And Techniques) Work The Best?
4. How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?
5. How Do I Know My Piece Is Finished?

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

Part 1: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Are Shared Understandings?

Part 2: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN What Does The Designer Need To Know?

Part 3: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Assumptions, Perceptions, Expectations and Values Come Into Play?

Part 4: SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS: THE CONVERSATION CENTERED WITHIN A DESIGN How Does The Designer Establish Shared Understandings?

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

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FOOTNOTES

Feld, Warren. The Goal Oriented Designer: The Path To Resonance. Art Jewelry Forum, 2018.

Feld, Warren. “Jewelry Design: A Managed Process,” Klimt02, 2/2/18.

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