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Innovative Teaching Ideas - Technology

A Device for Demonstrating Orthographic Projection (1992)

This class assignment outlines a procedure for converting a three-dimensional object orthographically to specific drawings and establishing actual dimensions. It employs a transparent Plexiglas cube to help students understand positions of coordinates from front to back, and auxiliary views or oblique positions which appear foreshortened. The class assignment includes directions for creating the transparent device. 

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Physical to Digital

Students are required to study the work of a selected sculptor, drawing from it three keywords that guide the design of their project. Their "site" for the project is a 12"x12"x24" envelope, within which a 6" cube must be somehow suspended. The cube may be expressed or implied within the envelope; however there must be no question as to its location and orientation. The overall sculpture must contact all surfaces of the envelope and incorporate specific software commands that have been previously instructed.

Students must first sketch a design solution, then fabricate a physical model, and finally replicate the physical model in a digital environment. They present the thread of consistency from the inspiring artist’s work through the final solution, and in the process gain familiarity both with working in a simultaneously physical/digital workflow and with the specific commands and sequences of the software.

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Tech Talks

Design technology is rapidly evolving, and design educators are preparing students for an unknown future. In this changing environment, the ability to learn how to learn is paramount. Yet, students often come to technology courses desiring stepby-step instruction. While seemingly efficient, this approach used exclusively would impede a student’s ability to critically assess how a tool might be used and its appropriateness for the task at hand. This simple activity builds student awareness surrounding software/product offerings, provides opportunities for dialogue regarding the future of design, and offers design educators a continually updated list of emergent technologies. This project asks students to seek out and assess software programs, technology applications, and peripherals by considering how the products could be used within the profession of interior design. Outcomes from their explorations are shared in class, and student notes (taken during the presentations) serve as a resource to both students and educators alike.

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