Saturday, 20 September 2014

Form and the art of eating together

So I'm back from the Eurobike, back into giving workshops, and excited to share some workshop wisdom...

Form is a class in the foundations year of design school. Form, Color and Space...

(In writing this I realize that what I actually wanted to talkabout, 3-dimensional form, is what the foundations year of design school called space. But whatever. I'll stick to my guns and call it FORM despite the 3rd dimension.)

...ahem. So Color, Form, and Space are the three segments of the first year of design school, and with much of this first year I really didn't get the point until after graduating.

The Space segment included a project that involved creating a block of nicely shaped wood. That's it. Just taking some nice wood and cutting and sanding around until it's nice. Seems simple enough. It isn't. Mine turned out looking like a potato. I couldn't tell the difference.

Low and behold nowadays I spend my time teaching people how to take a piece of bamboo, putty it, cut it and sand it till it looks nice. That's it. And sometimes I explain it just like that.  "this is your head tube joint, just sand around till it looks nice" I say, as a a sort of test. To pass this test,  you simply have to say "Ok no problem " then spend the next hour filing and sanding and cutting till your head tube joint looks nice. Simple as that.

The more realistic answer is,  "eh,  say what now? What do you mean with 'nice'? Give me some real guidelines here! " and then I bust out with the red marker and a stencil and give a real explanation. That IS what the customer paid for. After all,  the whole point is for the workshop customer to learn some theory about 3-d form.

But sometimes, JUST SOMETIMES, I have someone who says, "Ok, no problem " and spends the next hour producing a beautiful,  expertly crafted 3-d shape in the form of a head tube joint. And a good many of these people have zero experience with any type of sculpture or craftsmanship. They have never studied design. They have never before used a rasp. They SHOULD have no idea what they are doing. And yet,  the result is as good as I can do myself.

What does that mean?

And then, sometimes... JUST sometimes I get someone who not only has a good feel for 3-d form, but also has a detailed concept of exactly what they want their 3-d form to look like and comes with sketches, knowledge and expertise. Sometimes this person has even done the space lesson of design foundations and had gone on to finish his degree and persue a career as an industrial designer. And sometimes this person is named Benjamin Drossel.

And sometimes Benjamin Drossel excersises his secret superpower of teleportation, as evidenced by this miraculously timed photograph...

For good or for evil... Or just to get the last bit of sauce...

And so it is, that a collaboration begins between the ozon cyclery and designer Benni Drossel... Stay tuned for the results...


Dearest reader,  one again a year old draft of a post, forgotten and unfinished. Just FYI, Benni made perhaps the most beautiful bike ever to come from our workshop, and we collaborated on the design for our bamboo cargo bike. We 3d cad modeled both, entered in the bamboo transportation design Competition 2014 in Korea, and lost to a very questionable entry that had little basis in reality.  Nonetheless a self gratifying project slated to be continued this winter,  when Benni and I both have some free time. 

Ps. Apparently the blogger app doesn't have the function to control text formatting,  which is why I'm stuck in centered text mode.  Entschuldigung!

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