Artful Design Chapter 3 Response

I would like to respond to three of the principles described in the Artful Design Week 3 response. Reading this, I thought this chapter was an especially useful guidance as we are creating the Audio-Visualiser as our very first project.

Principle 3.12. Aesthetics: “Make me feel something!”

Reading this, I recalled the moment when in class we all discussed our favourite films and songs, the ten-out-of-tens. I talked about Parasite, some people talked about songs by SZA and Post Malone. The common element between these vastly different pieces of art is that they all made us ‘feel’ something.

Personally, as a lover of classical music, I believe that this comes from the intentionality to convey something. As the artist, the designer, or even a great performer, there is a sense of outreach, the call for communication in the act of creation. For example, while listening to Scriabin’s Sonata No. 5, I was reminded of Nietzsche’s discussion of the Ubermensch and eternal return, from the structure of the sonata. I later discovered that Scriabin was a great admirer of the philosopher.

But we don’t need to even look as far as some of the history’s greatest works to see an implementation of this principle. The galactic spiral photo album Ge discussed both in the class and in this book really made me feel something.

The album embodies Principle 3.10. Visualisation yields understanding and Principle 3.3. Imbue personality. I felt an inevitable sense of sorrow while looking at the design. It evokes an earlier principle of creating calm, as the ever rotating album in space. It yields the understanding that each individual person is a microcosm in themselves, and as the universe comprises its billion stars. After all, all of us are a collection of memories, mundane or special, but mostly mundane.

Further, while it could have been a regular photo album, the everlasting motion really gives it a personality. The fact that our past, the memories that we freeze through photography, remain as facts of this universe, and it goes further away from us every day, no matter how much we hope to grasp onto our most precious memories.

Principle 3.16. Originality is recombination. While the metaphor of individual person as a small universe may be a cliche, the execution makes it beautiful. It is the act of curation, like how, for example, Murakami Haruki’s great book Kafka on the Shore takes many inspirations from great Greek tragedies, yet still narrates a version of Oedipus through recombination of it with musical references, a modern Japanese setting, an element of fantasy and philosophy.

I hope to reflect further on these principles and create a design that yields understanding, something that has personality, a story to tell.

This has been an incredibly difficult project for me, due to my lack of experience with Unity. I tried GameObject matrix as well as the method of creating new array of game object per update, which did not create the history of my spectrum.

But it was at the end, very fun, trying to learn about different aspects of Unity, including VFX, shader, animation, and etc. I hope to be able to incorporate them into my final submission.