An F/A-18 Hornet aircraft breaking the sound barrier.
Artists, designers, and architects
organize form, placing elements in
relationship to each other in order to
make useful products, meaningful
objects, and ordered experiences.
• Vision is the primary sense involved in
art and design, but three-dimensional
design concerns all the senses
• Haptic, or tactile experiences, involve
the sense of touch and can
communicate how an object feels to
•Acoustic feedback from computers or
kinetic sculpture activates your hearing.
• Some work can even include olfatory
responses, such as your sense of smell.
Design Organizing Form
3D design concerns all the
There is perhaps no frame of mind
more important to design thinking
than attention! Without interest and
care, nothing will happen.
Good design, provocative sculpture,
and magnificent architecture are
achieved by those who are
passionate, visually sensitive,
informed, open-minded, and
Framing Hammer. Vaughan, manufacturer. 18 oz., length 1' 6".
The word design has many meanings.
As a noun, design can refer to the result of the process of design. It can also relate to
various professions such as product design, graphic design, information design, interior
As a verb, design refers to the activity of planning, or organizing.
Before majoring in a specific discipline, most art and design students take basic design
courses in their foundation year.
• 2-D design deals with organizing all that is flat.
• 3-D design covers all concepts relating to form and structure, as well as related spatial
• 4-D design involves phenomena that exist in time, like movement and the sequential.
Most of the seminal ideas taught today in art and
design foundation programs around the world were
developed in the revolutionary, experimental
German design school, the Bauhaus during the
• Prior to the Bauhaus, the training of artists and
designers was an apprenticeship system: students
learned their masters’ techniques.
• The “new” approach emphasized specific exercises
to encourage student discovery.
Artists and designers are voyeurs—the entire world elicits fascination.
Art and design require clear observation.
• Using analytical and insightful skills to see with sensitivity
• Being aware of various viewpoints and changing your place in space
Vertebra section, view 1. Vertebra section, view 2.
Similarities and Differences
Comparison helps us see in context
and make insightful observations.
Analyze these two forms. These lists
are only the beginning.
• Birds as subject matter.
• Reductive forms depicting only
essential features, eliminating detail,
and utilizing an economy of means.
Blue Heron Decoy. 1907.
• Sense of movement: a bird in flight
and one standing still
• Material use: brass or wood
• Number of components: 1 or 5.
• Fine art sculpture versus functional
Bird in Space. 1924. Bronze
4' 2 5⁄16" high.
Artists and designers, much like scientists, are always on the lookout for resemblances and
hidden patterns connecting the world and their work, and within the work itself.
What shape repeats in these different natural forms?
Spiral Nebula (M51).
NASA, Hubble Heritage
Team. 2010. Photo.
Chambered nautilus, cross sectionAfghanistan Markhor
Capra falconeri megaceros. Male.
Creating a variety of forms often involves shaping complex geometries and necessitates
using both vision and touch to test for gracefully flowing form.
Clay model, 2010 BMW 550I Gran Turismo
Clay model, 2010 BMW 550I Gran Turismo
A Shaping Force
All objects exist in relationship to
other objects and to their
environments. Perceived qualities of
objects change when other objects are
placed in proximity or when placed in
a new environment.
• An example of a formal change can
involve a small form looking larger
next to a smaller one.
• An example of a conceptual shift can
be an everyday object taking on
greater philosophical meaning when
recontextualized or juxtaposed
against other forms.
Haim Steinbach. Shelf with Ajax. 1980. Mixed mediums.
Fisher Fine Arts Library Image Collection.
Artworks, architecture, and design
installations made for particular places
are considered site specific.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980–83.
Student project. Professor Matt King, instructor.
Virginia Commonwealth University, Art Foundation Program.
Most art and design foundation
programs are created to teach
students to become informed,
inventive, thinking makers by
• The basics of visual form
• Materials and structural
• The ability to research and
• Visual sensitivity
• Effective communication skills
• An awareness of art and
design history against a global