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My Little Black Sketchbook: My First SQVID November 29, 2009

Posted by mgodoublems in Drawing.
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I have been reading The Back of the Napkin – aptly subtitled ‘Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures’.  It discusses visual thought and the utilization of napkin-sketches to get a point across.  At one point, the author talks about SQVID, his method for developing visualization skills.  It involves drawing ten separate drawings of an idea to help you develop the idea.  He includes an exercise in Chapter 6 to develop your first SQVID.  I have included mine below the jump, with explanations. I apologize if the images aren’t the best quality.  They were taken with my 1.3MP iPhone camera.

SQVID is an acronym that stands for:

Simple-Elaborate: A simple drawing vs a drawing that involves a step back.  Can be how zoomed in or how complex, depending.

Qualitative-Quantitative: Drawing for quality and characteristics vs drawing for quantity and statistics.

Vision-Execution: Drawing end product vs drawing how to get to end product.

Individual-Comparison: Drawing one method of doing things vs drawing multiple methods in a comparison.

Change-Status Quo: Drawing what things would be like if they were different vs drawing the current situation.  The D actually stands for Delta, hence the first word being change.  Isn’t that awesome?

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My Little Black Sketchbook: Introduction November 29, 2009

Posted by mgodoublems in Drawing.
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I bought myself a sketchbook today.

My Little Black Sketchbook

Which is good, because I have bought myself two drawing books over the past two days.

The Back of the Napkin – Dan Roam

Keys to Drawing – Bert Dodson

I will be going through both of these books.  I am currently reading The Back of the Napkin, and Keys to Drawing will be a sort of persistent thing throughout the end of this semester and through most off the next.  Expect a bunch of sketches.  Unfortunately, I am mostly using my 1.3MP iPhone camera instead of scanning or a real camera, so they may not look the best.  Eventually, I may upgrade my iPhone or figure out where my regular 6MP camera is.  Since I am currently traveling, iPhone it is.

I am also introducing a new Post Title Monicker: “My Little Black Sketchbook”, which is kind of self-explanatory.  Every one of these posts will have something to do with my sketchbook.

Concrete Theory Lacks Stickiness November 27, 2009

Posted by mgodoublems in Book Analysis.
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I have just finished The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell.  My second book in as many weeks by him.  This book, as with all of Gladwell’s books, has been remarkably thought-provoking.  Gladwell is an author of such talent that I am disappointed that I did not pick up his books a few years ago, when I was first prompted to by one of my professors.  He takes concepts that are impossibly large and makes them relatively simple to fathom, and I will gladly add this book to my permanent bookshelf.  I feel that I have been building a book collection that I will continuously reference from this point forward.

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Concrete Theory Strives to be a Spime November 26, 2009

Posted by mgodoublems in Book Analysis.
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A month or so ago, I read a book called Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling.  This book is very broad, and for the most part deals with easily-understood topics, though there is a definite point where it reaches into the imagination concerning the future of thought organization.  Shaping Things divides society into technological epochs, and explains how they mesh and where society is going and must go for the next evolution to happen.

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Concrete Theory Exists in Two Dimensions November 24, 2009

Posted by mgodoublems in Book Analysis.
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I just recently – today, on my flight back from an interview in Chicago (which went well) – finished reading Flatland, by Edwin A. Abbott.  Professor John Marshall recommended this book to me, and it is a truly remarkable analogue of some aspects of modern society for having been written in – get this – 1884.  I’ll explain why.  I won’t cover everything, but I will attempt to touch on the larger analogues.

The book is extremely abstract, and heavily influenced by  the author’s choice of vocation – Abbott was a clergyman.  However, it was somewhat heretical, and definitely can not be considered to be a ‘religious’ book by any means.

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Concrete Theory Thinks Without Thinking November 22, 2009

Posted by mgodoublems in Book Analysis.
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One of the things that I intend to do is take whatever books that I have finished reading and tie them in to the big picture.

I recently finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink.  For those of you who don’t know who Malcolm Gladwell is, he has written four books, The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw.  He also writes for The New Yorker and has his own Blog. I am currently reading Tipping Point, but I am going to make a point of not talking about books that I haven’t finished yet – without going cover to cover, I feel that I am not of enough authority on a book-based idea to speak of it.  I have also read Outliers, but do not have my copy at school with me, so I cannot make a post that directly references it until I am at home for Christmas.

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Concrete Theory Dreams of Sustainability November 22, 2009

Posted by mgodoublems in Design.
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[Editor’s Note: This is copied nearly directly from my course blog.  However, it is fairly standalone without outside explanation.  I have taken out some course-specific notes and added other things to help it make more sense.  Even as such, it is still a little choppy, but it gets the point across.]

To me, sustainability is key to any design. I don’t want to design something that won’t last, and not just in the sense of physical robustness. I attended the annual SME international conference in Denver, CO earlier this year, and listened to the collection of talks on sustainability. This entire argument is grounded in a presentation given at the meeting by Rod Eggert, head of Mineral Economics at the Colorado School of Mines, though it is modified to fit the context of design instead of Mining.

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Concrete Theory Introduces Itself November 22, 2009

Posted by mgodoublems in Uncategorized.
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Hello, and welcome to the grand tour of consciousness that I have titled Concrete Theory.

The idea is to solidify my abstract thought through the medium of this blog.  Hence the oxymoron.This blog will focus on a wide variety of topics, barely outlined for your convenience in the FAQ.  To start with, I will be moving a couple of posts over from a course blog that I have written.  This blog is not course related, and is something that I intend to carry with me beyond school.

Enjoy the ride.