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AGO’s Best & Worst April 20, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer5 (makeup): Experiencing AGO, Exercises , add a comment

The Toronto AGO gallery attracts many people around the globe every day. The subject matter distributed within its walls carries history and foretells wisdom by the work of unique artists. More than 79,000 creations of artwork are kept and viewed by various collections. These collections range from pieces of European Art to Contemporary, Canadian, British, American, and French work. This list is endless and grows quite rapidly. There is a grand diversity in which people are naturally drawn to. No wonder AGO is so popular!

I have had the pleasure to visit the AGO gallery many times throughout my first year at OCAD. I have studied its paintings, photos, sculptures, styles and various mediums used throughout the artist’s collections. In doing so, I have learned plenty of information and come to establish my opinions as to what I like and dislike about the AGO gallery.

In my point of view, the best aspects of AGO must include the following: magnificent architecture, spacious rooms, classy décor, and of course the artwork itself. The architecture is very intriguing and creative such as one of the staircases located in the center of the gallery. The staircase spins towards the top as a cyclone. Very cool! Majority of the rooms that hold artwork are very grand in scale and create a very airy atmosphere. The gallery itself is very taken care of and clean. Visitors appreciate cleanliness. I admire the fact that multiculturalism is respected. The art stored in this gallery is made from many aspiring and talented artists all around the world! I adore looking at it. The social and cultural diversity amongst visitors is also perceived.

In the contrary, an issue I do have is that many artworks do not exemplify an explanation as to what a certain object, painting or picture are presenting. The deep meaning or message is probably the viewer’s obligation to figure out or think about using personal knowledge. But honestly speaking, some artworks are really tough to figure out. An example would be a metal spoon and chair I viewed at the AGO a couple days ago at the structure department. I really had no clue as to what the display meant. A handy solution would be to place a small description as to what the artist was trying to convey in their art piece. With such statement the viewer can think about what they themselves thought, the artist’s message and the public’s opinion.

Also, I agree with Christina Dery, the gift shop is way too expensive!

The AGO gallery holds many memories and future experiences that are very important to me. It’s a place of history, education, tradition, confession, story-telling, survival and most important, adventure!

Written by Mag M.


Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE!, Exercises , add a comment

I found Activate! to be an event where many unique and talented people came together to establish a fun yet interesting experiment. The sense of partnership in our community brought out excitement, motivation and intrigue into the project. Support and initiative played an important role in managing such a collaborative booth which I must say looked awesome!

In my point of view, the best and not-so-good qualities of our Activate! show must have included the following…

The attractive colorful design of the Chaordic Collaboratorium booth was visually appealing. The visceral effect of the neon colored papers created interests that pulled viewers in. The cycle of the experience itself was a bit confusing. The users did not quite understand the linkage of Chaos to Order. The topics in the booths were narrow. I believe that if the topics were much grander in the sense of allure then the users would come up with stronger ideas. The magazine cut-outs were engaging and questioned the audience. Inside of our booth the components of light, sound and touch were visceral aspects that intensified the atmosphere of chaos leading to order. Attraction, engagement and creativity played an important role in making this process work. I am very proud of our booth and ambition we all contributed to making it great.

One of my favorite booths would be the one named “WTF?” The slogan or phrase was very catchy and automatically made you think and wonder what the point of this was. This was very successful in engaging an audience.  The circus-like fun colored tent consisting of red and yellow inspired me to go and check out the experience. The “What the Fact” phrase made me laugh!

The Mood- Cubed Box Booth made me a bit confused and the process was infinite. It took a while. The visceral points should have been more clarified and exciting in my opinion. The brown box underneath the die was visible and lacked a certain sense of sophistication. The design wasn’t that good. I am 5’9 and trying to get underneath the box was a bit of a struggle. It did not make me feel as excited as I probably should have been.

Generally, The Activate! project was very amusing and I had a great time working with our class. I never did this type of project before and now must say that it was a totally great experience! 🙂 🙂

The Best and the worst of Activate April 8, 2010

Posted by Junbo Dong in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE! , add a comment

The Best and the Worst

It’s quite interesting to attend such an activating movement. We work together, practice and participate together. I have learned a lot through the practices in this process.

What’s the best?

The best for me is the project, “thought pop” that’s close to the coffee room. The reason why it succeeded is its pretty device, agreeable host and  clear concept. Firstly, the decoration of the project is very attractive and lovely. The man-made elegant flower ornaments and the painted clay pots displayed a comfortable feeling to viewers. I think that they placed the used pallets as their foundations. It is a smart idea of using wastes as it’s eco friendly. Also, it gave us a bit of taste of country style. Secondly, the host group of the project was great. They gave clear directions to the users and asked us if we wanted join the extra lucky draw. Lastly, the metaphor of the project is lucid. The user would have a random note from the broken balloon after popping one. It could be an idea, a thought or an interesting thing. You can keep the note to yourself or let the host staple the note to the board, they would then write a new note to put in a new balloon.  I lean towards seeing a thought or an idea which would put you into an unknown situation. Then your new note is the connection, relate the next user and wait him/her to find a new idea from you. The player is the part of the project. He is not only a participator, but also a connector. The interactions from the host to player and the player to the next player are fascinating.

I think our project was also one of the best. We created two rooms to represent different metaphors: chaos and solution. The closed atmosphere made it attractive to the players and filled them with curiosities, so they would want to participate. The project uses multiple media to help creating the metaphors. The interaction is meaningful to the user. I think we can improve the material and the aesthetic aspect of the project.

What’s the worst?

I think the worst is the white box near the entrance. As a matter of fact, I do not know the purpose of the white box. No host and no instruction near the box. Some sound can be heard when you pass through the box, but the sound is not very clear. I think that is another part of the project mood boxes. I found out that was an image catcher inside the box at last. However, I still have no idea what the intention was. I think it needs some instruction or host to tell user what is the purpose and how to play the project. Additional, if it would show some feedback to make a circle then it will be a better one.

Don’t Judge March 5, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

It Feels Good To Feel

The Problem

To create a prototype that examines how a user reacts to certain fabrics once felt and how to distinguish between the real deal and false pretenses.

The Object

A fabric storage game machine that ejects a piece of unique various fabric onto the palm of the user. The user must guess the exact type of fabric.

User Scenario

As the brave user walks towards the box, the buttons flash with a fiery red tone. They capture the user’s eye by the numerous fabric names written, such as cotton, polyester, silk, tissue etc.  The user is intrigued…thinking, “What is the point of this prototype? “ It looks like a cash register. The buttons stand out on a bubble and the slot submerges underneath. The user with anticipation clicks the “Start” button and realizes that a piece of material has been shown in the opening tray. While, picking it up, the user wonders what type of fabric it might be. Gradually wondering if the fabric feels soft, or rough, or texturized… the user presses the “silk” button. Suddenly a green screen shows up on the tip of the register reading “Try Again!” The user is in deep thought. There are many outcomes to choose from.

Whether the user has experience or not in the field of material, this evocative prototype will always leave you feeling and wondering what fabric’s name truly corresponded with its actual feel. You can never be too sure… whether it’s in this game of fabric testing or in the game of life.

Mixed Feelings March 4, 2010

Posted by Talia Claire Dimerman in : Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

The Problem:

To create a prototype of an interactive art piece that takes in user input and creates an output that corresponds to the user’s choice of affect.


To mix different coloured and textured feeling-pieces in a bowl, as one would mix a salad.

Each colour is symbolic of a different feeling, and each texture can instinctively be associated with that feeling too.

User Experience:

The user holds a salad tong in each hand. She serves a healthy serving of colourful and textured feeling pieces onto her plate. Each piece’s colour and texture reflective of the feeling it symbolizes.

The user pulls a sharp red feeling-angry piece from her plate, examines it, and inwardly reflects about a time during which she experienced this feeling. She then pulls a fuzzy yellow feeling-happy piece from the plate and it reminds her of a time when she felt happy.

As she examines several other feeling pieces from her plate, she sees that many are stuck together. The user realizes that rarely do people feel any one feeling in isolation. For example, a child whose parents are divorced, usually feels a mixture of relief, anger, fear and frustration all at once – the feelings sometimes difficult to pull apart, or to separate from one another. Even after experiencing the death of someone you love, one may feel a mixture of both deep pain and relief that their loved one has been freed from pain and suffering.

So, it is normal that feelings are often mixed, and even stuck together at times.

After the user has examined several pieces, and reflected upon her personal experiences, she walks away reassured that one is not always able to separate one feeling from another.

User Scenario: Mystery Silver Box March 4, 2010

Posted by xy07hd in : Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

User Scenario
You enter a room; you see a chair in front of a table and a box on top of the table. When you walk closer to the table, you feel that you have to pull out the chair and sit on it because you are the only one there, and you feel as if you know what to do with the chair. When you sit on the chair, the silver color box on the table comes to your attention. The height of the box is from your chest to your shoulders, and the width is from your one shoulder to the other. While looking at the box, you see two holes in the middle of it, and it looks as if you can fit your hand in them. When you try to see what’s exactly in the box through the two holes, you see nothing but darkness. Then suddenly, you see a sign telling you to put your hands in the holes and reach to the end of the other side.

You put your hands in out of curiosity, and as your hands are going in, you, the user will feel uncomfortable, unsure, and unsafe. While this is happening, you start losing your sight because you cannot see where you hands are going touch. A lot of thoughts are running in your head right now; What if something bites me? What if something is in there? The only thing available for you to figure out the situation you’re in is by using you sense of touch, sense of smell, sense of feel, and sense of hearing. That is a metaphor of blindness, without the sight, you require the other sense to help you locate your position and ensure you are not in danger.

Finally, you reach end of the box and nothing special happens, and the things you expected to happen were just your imagination. You feel saved, so you move your hands around in the box, and you feel relieved, protected, and secure.
After performing this activity, the user will think this is nothing special and just walk away. Actually, just after a few seconds of performing this exercise, the users will have already experienced the situation of blindness when there is no vision.

Facing Fears & Overcoming Adversity January 24, 2010

Posted by Talia Claire Dimerman in : Exer1: Avatar , 1 comment so far

Talia’s Avatar.

Hi everyone! My name’s Talia Dimerman – I’m in first year Graphic Design, and live in Thornhill, ON. A fairly small and safe community, compared to venturing out downtown into a mass of people and new experiences – so I feel as if I’ve come a far distance both literally and metaphorically this year. In my every day to day life, my friends and family would say that I’m this cute, somewhat shy person (not that anything is wrong with that!) This avatar however depicts another side of me that is fiery and strong, and able to face fears, and overcome adversity. With a glint of fire in my eyes, bold red lips, red smoke coming from my nostrils, streaks of purple and green in my hair. We can call myself a half mermaid, half warrior princess. ;P The light glistening from the surface of the ocean represents the light that keeps me going – reflective of overcoming the obstacles I’ve had to face in life – including having to deal with Scoliosis since the age of thirteen. Having to wear a back brace for three years made me a stronger, more mature person, and so I feel ready for whatever comes next in my life.

I have been interested in the dramatic arts since a very young age. I took Speech and Drama lessons and passed Trinity College exams for 7 years, thinking my future would involve acting or teaching Drama – hence the drama faces tattoo. The musical notes faintly in the background are representative of my incredible love for music, all genres included (minus rap). Really anything that has a good beat to it. I’ve always wanted some sort of streak in my hair, I guess you could say to make a statement, make myself unique and stand out amongst my fellow competitors in the design industry. However now I realize that I need more than just a streak in my hair to do this. My  image shows a shark looking to eat me, however I show my teeth and scare him off so he ends up swimming off into the distance (to the right). I have learned that when you face your fears head on, they often go away. In time, I will make my mark in this profession and show off my talents – even if it means having to fight off a few sharks in the process!

On a final note, if you haven’t seen Avatar in theaters, GO SEE IT! I’m telling you, it’s incredible. I watched in 3D and I don’t think any other movie from now on will be quite the same.

My cousin Josh...


My cousin Josh and I playing around with camera en route to African Lion Safari!

**Credit to Falln-Stock for use of Smoke Brushes Set 1 in Photoshop: http://www.falln-stock.deviantart.com/

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