Design Exercise: All Things Red

carefully arranged small bits of colored plastic trash

Stuart Haygarth, “Tide Mark,” detail, plastic trash

Who hasn’t created a collection of favorite things?

For this exercise I ask that you make a collection of objects and images that are variations of red. Make sure to include fully saturated reds and ones that are desaturated. Include shades and tints (in chapter 7 of Design A Beginner’s Handbook we explain all of these terms).

installation of red objects

Cildo Meireles, Desvio para o vermelho, I: Impregnação, II: Entorno, III: Desvio, 1967-84, varied materials, photo: Pedro Motta

Find a compelling way to present your collection.

Make a list and brainstorm options for presentation. Don’t place any limitation on your ideas. At this stage, anything is possible. Mounted on the wall – in a line, as a grid? Displayed like a butterfly specimen in a shadowbox? Kept in a cabinet with display drawers? Attached to a garment? Photographed and made into a book? Animated and made into a video? Turned into a hanging mobile? Made into individual paintings displayed together?

book cover and drawings

Margaret Kilgallen, book cover and selected pages,“Sweet Bye and Bye”

Once you’ve come up with your list ask yourself, what skills do you already possess? Do you have carpentry skills? Know how to sew? Have experience with stop-action animation? Use what you are good at. Keep refining the list until you have a developed presentation idea. Save those other ideas and use them as a guide to new skills you’ll need to acquire in the future.

Edit and add to your collection so that it fits your presentation.

Consider photographing the final piece and sending us a copy to share on our Facebook page.

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