Sunday, July 01, 2007


You have been hired to be the web reporter for YOUTHNOISE, a website for young people to speak out!

Your boss company, VIRGIN MOBILE USA, wants you to report on a cause that affects teens, since she thinks you know what the 411 is.

She wants you to research and write about a hot cause.
To go along with the report, VIRGIN MOBILE USA, wants you to take a photograph that symbolizes your message about your cause.

Finally, VIRGIN MOBILE USA, wants you to create the page layout so it represents your message!

VIRGIN MOBILE USA is thinking about hiring you as the lead designer for their company. This is a little test to see if you can brand the whole company for them next year. $$$$$$


It is the year 2020. Traffic in New York City has slowed to an average rate of 4 miles per hour. On a busy day you can walk some places faster than traveling by car or bus.

The mayor has had enough and has closed Manhattan to cars, buses, and taxis! As the lead designer for the Department of Transportation it is up to you to decide how people will get to their destinations.

Your transportation system should use at least three modalities for commuters. Design each new transportation device and write a description of how it will operate.

Show a transit map of how the modality systems work together.


Hurricane season approaches. Meteorologists are projecting a record number of storms.

UN Habitats has commissioned you to create a temporary shelter for displaced citizens after weather disasters. Show how these temporary shelters can form temporary hospitable communities. Imagine the camps with hurricane Katrina or the tsunami in Indonesia, or the earthquake in Pakistan.

We will examine some shelters used from around the world for you to brainstorm your own design.
When building your shelter think about: the intended use and duration of the design, the climate, and the comfort of the shelter.

UN Habitats needs to see the following things with your temporary shelter:
• Knowledge of weather elements and their effect on your structure
• Clear use of skin and supports.
• Knowledge of materials and their durability.
• An easy instruction manual for quick set up and explanation of intended use.

DAN STURGES.......the puzzle piece

Dan has worked on the middle piece of the puzzle, the light electric vehicle. His creation, the GEM car, is a cheap efficient "little happy car" as Dan says. By cutting down on size, this vehicle reduces needed space. This alone would increase travel speed in cities.

About a fourth of the cost of an average car and using far less resources, the GEM car could be rented, leased, or shared at an inexpensive rate.

You can either go after the problems of the world, or let them come after you.
-Dan Sturges

DAN STURGES.......the proposal

Dan Sturges pushes for a MULTIMODAL approach to transportation. 'Form should follow function' is Dan's approach. When the function changes, so should the form, or in this case 'vehicle'.

Imagine your commute when the vehicle matches the speed you travel. You could buy a lease to use a three-tier transportation system. Moving from high speed train to light electric vehicle to a segway scooter you could slice your daily travel time.

Just use your cellphone to start and reserve the vehicle. Travel between designated hotspots for easy pick ups and drop offs. Far fetched? Dan doesn't think so.

DAN STURGES.......the big idea

Cities are pretty congested places, they always have been. With all the innovations in technology, the average speed in a city is still 7-10 miles per hour! This inefficient system produces gridlock and is a waste of space. So what is the transportation system of the future?

BANKSY.....the puzzle piece

By using your observation skills you can decode obvious and hidden messages you see everyday.

Can you figure out who a message targeted to? Does where the message is placed matter?

YouthNoise is a website for teens to debate and speak about social change. Do some research and decide what your cause is on the links provided.

What is your MESSAGE? Identify who your target audience is and how you will use your visual tools to persuade them.

You can upload your message to the site.

BANKSY........the proposal

Visual Messages serve different purposes:

Messages tell us something.
Messages identify something.
Messages persuade us to do or think something.

Signs, symbols, and logos are visual tools sending messages and information. These messages are created by designers to influence the public. By decoding imagery and seeing the tricks of the trade, audiences can become knowledgeable about the messages and information they are receiving.

By using irony and juxtaposition, Banksy causes viewers to question the validity of the imagery they are processing.

BANKSY..... the big idea

You are a living, moving, seeing target.

From the moment you open your eyes in the morning till you close them at night, you are a target for messages. Who sponsors the creation of these messages? Who decides where they are displayed?

Banksy is a street and visual artist who plays with these ideas. His work is found in many settings from the streets to galleries and museums. Always challenging mainstream messages, Banksy invites viewers to see the absurdity in images driven by politics and money.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NADER KHALILI........the puzzle piece

Low cost, eco friendly shelters are the domiciles of the future.

Using sand bags filled with earth, SUPERADOBE structures are easy to build and safe. Stacked in coils on barbed ware, SUPERADOBE uses a minimal amount of purchased materials and can be built almost anywhere.

With the ability to be combined with other alternative power and plumbing solutions, soon it may be possible to live comfortably off the power grid.

NADER KHALILI........the proposal

Nadar Khalili believes in building with the stuff of the earth....dirt

According to Nadar....
To build simple emergency and safe structures in our backyards, to give us maximum safety with minimum environmental impact, we must choose natural materials and, like nature itself, build with minimum materials to create maximum space, like a beehive or a sea shell. The strongest structures in nature which work in tune with gravity, friction, minimum exposure and maximum compression, are arches, domes and vault forms. And they can be easily learned and utilize the most available material on earth: Earth.

NADER KHALILI........the big idea

The Big Idea
With the increase of natural disasters due to global warming, more and more people are being displaced from their homes. Our response has been to rebuild these same failed structures.

Nader Khalili builds structures with the idea that they are part of nature. For this reason he uses natural materials and forms prevalent in the environment.