Albers Meets Van Gogh

After viewing the Albers portfolio and doing Albers studies on the Albers iPad app, I prepared a vector drawing of a famous painting (Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles, 1888.). Each student colorized it differently, with a limited color palette of their own, resulting in a broad range of outcomes. In this way we learned how color combinations can affect the perspective, mood and feel of a composition.



Bedroom in Arles, 1888, by Vincent Van Gogh


We weren’t the first to reinterpret the Bedroom; Roy Lichtenstein had done it in 1992.



Cameo: Draw to Cut

How can you turn a flat drawing into a 3-dimensional composition? How can modules be put together to create larger objects? In this project, students learned basic shape drawing commands in Illustrator and proceeded to cut their drawings on the digital paper cutters called Cameos. After connecting their shapes into larger clusters, they photographed them against black or white backgrounds. Check out the fun results!

Make it Move

Students first used the Spielgaben kits and paper grids to create animated gifs exploring the grid, modularity and motion. In addition, they applied the Gestalt principles of composition, including the figure/ground relationship, similarity, closure and multistability. For homework, they used materials of their choice with the paper grids to build even more complex animations.


Sarah Wong, Morgan Hartsfield, Kaylee Falasco and Jules Song


Mia Karlin-Capello, Sun Woo Kim, Eva Massey and Holly Cerna



Tianyi Ba, Qiuyu Jenny Wu, Zoey Yang



Connor Ranft, Zion Douglass, Lily Sparks, Anthony Kim


Tori Vandervest, Lianne Pflug, Iris Hughey, Katherine Charney


Liz Printy

Make an App

After studying “good” and “bad” interfaces, students worked in teams to design apps of their own that responded to various problems in their lives. One group made an app that would track packages with ease. Another proposed an app to teach each other cooking skills. Still others made apps to build communities around shared interests, such as musical theatre, art appreciation and love for dogs. The concepts were prototyped using InVision, a free online tool for building web and mobile mockups.

Students loved the immediacy of being able to thumb through their mockups on their phones. They felt this assignment was familiar, close to their real lives, and they appreciated being asked to think in these contemporary terms.



Color, Text and Context, part B

Project #7
Color, Text and Context B

The class was given one more week to advance the projects. The final Color, Text and Context project produced more effective results. The iteration required for the second work promoted further investment in the final work.

Jung Hye Woo_text-color-contextHaileyKim_text-color-contextMia Smith_text-color-contextEldridge_Olivia_text-color_contextElle aschaff_text-color-contextKatie Choi_text-color-contextSofia Tuomala_text-color-contextYeoeun_Kim_01Yeoeun_Kim_03stella kim_text-color-context 02stella kim_text-color-context 01stella kim_text-color-context 03stella kim_text-color-context 04kurt fitzgerald_text-color-context

In closing, the last assignment segment acts as continuity from the first assignment. In Spring 16 Elements 2 will approach color, light, and content more specifically. Once the 3D printers are an option, students will be working with digital workflows again to build conceptual character designs using 123D Design, and exported STLs to 3D print.


Interfaces – multiple conversions and platforms

Project #5

Students were prompted to use Adobe Illustrator to generate a line base drawing, a vector artwork. This was then saved as an .SVG, which was imported into, where it was converted into an.STL file for 3D printing. The .STL was then saved and imported into Photoshop’s 3D layer mode for integration into a layered image with dynamic lighting.

This project required:
Interface navigation
Web Based program
Photoshop use
Multiple conversions of digital artwork file to make a final work
Iteration of digital files in multiple formats


robinson_kyla_sidewinder_01aschaff_sidewinder1aschaff_sidewinder2aschaff_sidewinder3Suwan_sidewinder_01Suwan_sidewinder_02kim_hailey_sidewinder_01Kim_Stella_SidewinderWoo_Junghye_sidewinder_01hansen_finn_sidewinder_01hansen_finn_sidewinder_02hansen_finn_sidewinder_03Yeoeun cho_sidewinder_01smith_mia_sidewinder_01Eldridge_Olivia_SideWinderKurt Fitzgerald_sidewinder_01

Collaborative Stop Motion Animations

Project #4 Modular Collaborative Stop Motion Animations
Students were prompted to use the Froeble block system and stop-motion animation techniques to record video using a camera, working collaboration in small groups.

This project required:
Using a camera to shoot video
Control of artificial lighting
Photoshop use
Adobe Premier video editing
Modular use of Froeble block system
Collaborative, group project dynamics
Stop-motion animation techniques
Video post production collaboration