hey all I am looking for words that describe form. not sentences. just words.
IF YOU ARE READING THIS NOW i KNOW YOU CAN THINK OF AT LEAST ONE SO THERE BETTER BE AS MANY RESPONSES ARE INQUIRIES!!! to start:
I would like to develop a huge list here. If anyone knows of a website that already does this (concisely) please let me know.
yes one drawing is worth a thousand words and all of those words can be different. form is a visual language. many people don’t speak the language and there are many different interpretations and understanding of that language with many different cultural expectations. command of interpretation hinges on a designers command of the language that it is translated into. developing a vocabulary to describe your intent benefits you and your clients and brings focus to design endeavors.
likewise, it helps the designer to get out of the designer trap to understand the core expectations of the end user and not the singular desires and personal affections of the designer.
and last but not least in a less designerly manner of speaking, don’t be a sh*t. developing ways to talk about form makes designers more effective and relevant to the outside world. that is why there are crits in school. like it or not dealing with the outside world is a reality.
btw, I am not a teacher, I am not a student, I am a professional building a list for an idsa workshop. if you would like you can come. It will be at 3pm friday the 20th at the IDSA Midwest Conference, Kohler, WI.
yo, thanks for the words.
question for you since you are a moderator.
I have a list of about 200 words from email chains to friends.
Is there a way we can post them on core in a more concise manner than the blog allows?
can’t almost any adjective be used to descibe form?
obviously just a short list from all possible adjectives I found on the net…
what is the point of developing such a list? More interesting I would think would be a word/visual dictionary with pictures of a shape/form/design and an adjective to describe them. Would be interesting to see how different designers describe the same form.
In an slight tangent to this, anyone have good juicy designer-ism form descriptions? ie.-
a foowear first pullover (that didnt turn out so hot) that a colleague described as
“an alien-impregnated potato with laces”
PS. this thread reminds me a little bit of the previous design-ism thread i started with the quote “talking about design is like dancing about baking”.
Now when is someone going to add definitions to the words? Any word can be used to describe form, detail, surfaces and lines used in a design, but they are just as often mis-used or at the very least, mean something different to different people. I remember many times hearing people say modern in place of contemporary or free-form in place of organic. They all should mean something very precise, if the words are to be useful at all!
Would be interesting to see how different designers describe the same form.
Dead right. Whenever we create Moodboards on for ongoing projects we post them onto our intranet which is shared with our offices in Asia, US and Europe. This way we get to see three different interpretations of words like ‘robust’, ‘dynamic’ or ‘masculine’, and it often gives a brief insight into how the different cultures interpret the words.
Because we designers are so visual, I find Moodboards (or style-boards) a better way to define a word, particularly if you are trying to explain visual features or expressions.
I remember many times hearing people say modern in place of contemporary or free-form in place of organic.
Researchers spend a lot of time battling with this problem, and I’ve often seen very confused focus-group results because of this. Here are some common misused adjectives thrown around the focus-group room when describing a design:
“Classical” or “classic” (used in the same way referring to anything geometric or old).
“Traditional” (read: old-fashioned, conservative, generic. A focus-group favorite).
“Modern” (usually nothing to do with the art movement, and often not contemporary in the way we see it either…)
“Geometric” (Applied to anything they don’t like including organic forms, ie. “it’s too geometric for me”)
“High-tech” (generally used negatively, often followed by mentions of ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Jetsons’ by fellow focus-group attendees)
and my favorite, “Ergonomic” (usually referring to an obviously unergonomic design that has finger-grooves, soft grip or some other pseudo-ergo-semantic.
This could produce a very interesting book. An adjective dictionary exclusively for designers, each word matched with a page or two of works of architecture or products that exemplify a specific word’s characteristics.