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Form Sensitivity-How to make co-workers aware

Postby devonshire » September 25th, 2017, 12:33 pm


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I work with a team I like, but trying to discuss the lack of form sensitivity one co-worker has falls on a deaf ear. I believe this lack of awareness comes from the overuse of CAD to design, rather than including many form studies and hand sketching.

So I am looking for suggestions on group form sensitivity training that is offered by schools, artists, design groups. Sometimes I feel the sensitivity should be innate, but I realize that may be arrogant or unsympathetic to those learning.

Your thoughts?

Re: Form Sensitivity-How to make co-workers aware

Postby MK19 » September 25th, 2017, 1:41 pm


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Without examples of work, which would expose you, I would say it's pretty impossible to devise whether you're being subjective with form or genuinely have a point to make.

Re: Form Sensitivity-How to make co-workers aware

Postby yo » September 25th, 2017, 1:52 pm

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Do you have the same boss? Have you spoken to him or her about it privately?

Re: Form Sensitivity-How to make co-workers aware

Postby FH13 » September 25th, 2017, 5:53 pm


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That's something that has to be learned and practiced with time. And yes, the overuse of CAD early on will hinder the form exploration...you can always see it in student portfolios.
Have you tried showing him/her what you are talking about with examples maybe mood boards showing similar products?
Is your assessment that he/she A) cannot achieve the design sensitivity you are looking for or B) Just doesn't care?
Maybe limit the use of CAD in the early phases?

Re: Form Sensitivity-How to make co-workers aware

Postby maryhaugen » September 25th, 2017, 10:14 pm


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I think you may need help from your manager. Try to tell her/him

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Okay so im gonna ask a few questions and play devils advocate.......

1. what is the persons background
2. what is the person role
3. what is their work history
4. How have you tried to communicate to them

5. is it simply your opinion that they dont understand for,
6. what is your role in relationship to him
7. how are you defining their lack of form understanding
8. what type of projects is the person working on
9 what is your boss's back ground
10. how do we know your standard for acceptable form should be the standard


If you can provide answers to these questions i believe the forum can provide you considerably better insight and potential options to the problem.

Re: Form Sensitivity-How to make co-workers aware

Postby MK19 » September 26th, 2017, 9:44 am


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cwatkinson wrote:5. is it simply your opinion that they dont understand form

7. how are you defining their lack of form understanding

10. how do we know your standard for acceptable form should be the standard

Exactly what I am trying to ask.

Re: Form Sensitivity-How to make co-workers aware

Postby frdiby » September 26th, 2017, 12:09 pm

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I just visited a studio that had developed a system to facilitate form finding discussions. Their system broke down form discussions into reads - 1st read, 2nd read, and so on. The 1st read was silhouette. The last had to do with the tactile nature of the surface. Everything else was in-between. Maybe you can create something similar, make some simple illustrations to demonstrate, and use it to encourage constructive discussions on form.

Re: Form Sensitivity-How to make co-workers aware

Postby frdiby » September 26th, 2017, 12:18 pm

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...also, when you say "form sensitivity" are you talking about the emotional reaction to form composition? If so, creating mood boards and discussing how the designs on those boards express a certain mood could also be a helpful exercise in your team. It sounds like a quick review of 1st year 3D composition where you explore how to express different emotions and ideas with form could be helpful too. I kept my 1st year composition workbooks just for that.

There's also this book:
https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Design- ... +of+design
...but having read it, there isn't much here that actually analyzes form, it's more of a biography.


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I think you talk to your manager. Your manager will speak privately with him / her.

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That form sensitivity is pure training based on focused processing and gradually opening your awareness.
For some that works faster and more intensely than for others and then intrinsic motivation plays a large part.
Engineers and designers often come from completely different backgrounds. The best designers have done so much explorations with sketching and foam/clay that they develop a tactile intuitive sense for good form that they can after some years do this all mentally and concurrently work in CAD. If someone is 'skipping' this form exploration and starts building in CAD anyway, it is advisable to have them work together with a designer so the designer chiefly defines the form, while the CAD engineer fine tunes and translates it to production files. The mutual exposure opens a sensitivity over time, it does not come quickly.
http://www.designsoul.nl
Designsoul - Product Design & Visualisation

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I also wonder if the designer has strengths in other areas that the rest of the team doesn't? That balances out the team as a whole? I'm used to working in teams where everyone has their 'T', and not everyone is good at every area of design. Sometimes accepting that somebody is better than me at different aspects of design as a whole forces me to get input from others who are much stronger in different areas...


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