lim jia sheng,

.Design Principles
::weekly[1] & exercise[1]

lecture: Introduction

In this live class, we were introduced to Dr. Charles. He started the class with a few routine explanations for the MIB & E-portfolio. The meat of the lecture however started with his explanations of design elements.


(Atomic) Design Elements


      • properties:
        • position


      • properties:
        • position
        • rotation
        • length

shape (/plane)

      • properties:
        • position
        • rotation
        • length
        • width

volume (/form)

      • properties:
        • position
        • rotation
        • length
        • width
        • depth
Figure 1.1.1, Illustration of Design Elements, 2/4/2021

Here on out, it started out a pretty fast paced lecture regarding four main components, putting together the atomic design elements into something more abstract; more whole.


Conceptual Elements

    • To create illusions
    • It is the pointer/reference to the idea
    • Is not "visible"
The lecture followed explanations regarding perception and illusion. There was a simple illustration of a very simplified "cat", as well as an explanation regarding how "volume" is formed (pun intended) through using lines as well as shapes. The non-linear usage of the design elements to form something higher in the "dimensional" hierarchy was super interesting to me, as that's something so obvious and abundant, but not at all immediately obvious. 

      • Lines can be joined together to form illusions of volume.

Visual Elements 

    • To make illusions real
    • It is the pointer/reference to the object itself
    • Describes/shows what is not "visible"

Another example of illusions were the perception of "visual weights", as demonstrated through the use of basic shapes in a frame. The part that intrigued me the most in this section, was how weirdly weight was parsed in the mind, consisting of clumped base widths, real world parallels, arrangement crevasses, etc.

      • The created Conceptual Element(s), can then be "upgraded" to a "visual" volume by filling the lines in to make shapes; "upgraded" to a Visual Element(s)


Relational Elements

    •  The interrelationship between items

Then, the lecture consisted of relationships between the elements and the frame. A few examples talked about consisted of relational rotation, and relational positioning. This mostly describes a group of objects that have properties which are related to one another (eg. clump of circles, series of squares with incrementing rotation). This also continues from the perception part of the lecture, where objects in a series or group can be arranged in ways that create movement, volume, and different visual weights.

Next, there came some teachings about "space" (teaching about the relationship between objects and their space/shape, eg. CSS top, bottom, left, right). The frame of a space was emphasized, as that was what creates a space. A space can be created by creating a subset from another larger space, or by subdividing the space itself.

      • The created Visual Element(s), can be "upgraded" to have interrelationships by creating a matrix/series of the elements and basing one or more of their properties off of the previous index; "upgraded" to be Relational Elements

Practical Elements

    • Something that's observed & analyzed 

Illusions then bring forth the meaning underneath it. A Superman book was brought out, and the illustration's intentions were dissected — going through things such as its eye contact, pose, and colour choices. This, and naturally the function of the design, became key points in how the true foundation of said design is laid; how one design would deliver its punch and payload.

      • The created Relational Elements, can be "upgraded" to have something to be observed and analyzed by changing its composition to embed meaning and serve a function/intent; "upgraded" to Practical Elements.