Month: November 2012

Engineer versus Artist/Designer

Job searching is taking first place in anxiety-inducing daily activities (class work is second). I’ve applied, emailed, updated portfolio, revised cover letters again and again, updated resumes to no avail. I’ve only had one successful hit out of applying for nine positions thus far. Gah!

Despite studying 3D animation, I want to work in graphic design. Easier said than done because there are so many talented designers coming from prestigious art schools. Here I am, an artist at an engineering school. There seems to be such a rift between the engineers and the artists at the Institute. After thinking about the differences, I realized that there are more similarities:

1. We work in groups. From hanging out with engineers, I’ve noticed how often they are required to work together. Freshman year, my friends had to take a Bryer-Miggs personality test for their Introduction to Engineering Design class. Once classified, they were put into groups of four, in which each group had different personality types (randomly placed). Despite some conflicting types, this class was an example of real-world situations.

2. Art is a science and science can be an art. Art really can be a science when it comes down to precision of pixel width, typeface hierarchies, 3-D model specs, and everything else. Science is art when the scientist’s work evolves into passion.

3. Engineers, once they’ve gotten past memorizing equations and theories, design solutions. Designers, once they’ve gotten past design foundations, design solutions. Civilization has progressed, in my opinion, because of two things; innovation and art. Engineers invented the wheel. Artists documented history on cave walls.

4. Both designer and engineer need to be people-persons. I have an acquaintance who is an insanely smart aerospace engineer, has the best academic credentials and scores but cannot interview to save his life. His ego gets in the way. He’ll work for NASA once his head fits through the door.

5. Designers depend on engineers. Engineers depend on designers. Neither is replaceable. I worked for an engineering company specializing in automated test equipment. They knew nothing about graphic design or design foundations. They valued my opinions and insight by trying to learn design lingo and taking notes on my design process. I learned a lot about their process, as well. Designing marketing collateral for these engineers came down to collaboration. They knew I knew my trade as they knew theirs. There was a mutual respect.

That’s my list so far. I’ll keep thinking up more similarities. I wish the engineers here wouldn’t  sneer at us art kids! Just because we don’t take Thermals and Fluids or Numerical Computation doesn’t mean we aren’t worthy of respect. There are different kinds of “smart”. We are more similar than we think.

Origami Veggies

Food deserts are a major problem for low-income families like those in north Troy, NY. A food desert simply means that fruits and vegetables are difficult to access in particular regions because grocery stores are too far away and a lack of personal/public transportation. Working to provoke discussion and knowledge about where to find veggies and educating the public on nutrition, my group held an origami workshop at The Sanctuary for Independent Media. We design origami vegetable paper with fun facts and where to buy each respective vegetable. We aimed the activity towards kids and families. We all had a ton of fun!