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.
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?
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.
…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:
…but having read it, there isn’t much here that actually analyzes form, it’s more of a biography.
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.
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…