Getting to know your Client or Zen and the Design of Homework Desks the Precursor
By Centennial Middle School, January 28, 2009
- Middle School
- Social Studies
120 minutes for classroom activities
Students will be involved in initial design exercises in order to prepare them to design their own desk.
Visual Arts Standard 1. Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes related to the visual arts Standard 2. Knows how to use structures (e.g., sensory qualities, organizational principles, expressive features) and functions of art Standard 3. Knows a range of subject matter, symbols, and potential ideas in the visual arts Standard 4. Understands the visual arts in relation to history and cultures Standard 5. Understands the characteristics and merits of one's own artwork and the artwork of others
Students will gain an understanding of design education and Roman design through exercises that will introduce them to the design process.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection: Greek and Roman history: Fibula: an early safety pin Mosaics: https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/mosaics_gallery.shtml Arch of Constantine: https://sights.seindal.dk/sight/299_Arch_of_Constantine.html
- felt-tip pens
- colored pencils
- metallic colors
- white drawing paper
- design process: a systematic problem solving strategy, with criteria and constraints, used to develop many possible solutions to solve a problem or satisfy human needs and wants and to narrow down the possible solutions to one final choice
- prototype: a standard or typical example
- ergonomics: the science of the design of equipment, especially so as to reduce operator fatigue, discomfort, and injury
- aesthetics: a philosophical theory as to what is beautiful
- geometric: of, or relating to geometry; increasing or decreasing in a geometric progression; using simple shapes such as circles, triangles, and lines in a decorative object
- fibula: an ancient Greek or Roman brooch
- mosaic: art consisting of a design made of small pieces of colored stone or glass
1. Tell students: Understanding a client is one of the most important facets of design. You will be introduced to three different Roman design objects. You will discuss how and why each of these objects address the needs of the user (individual or societal, utilitarian or practical, or ornamental, etc.) 2. Explain to students that: Rome was a city of contrasts. There were magnificent public buildings, baths, and parks, but there were also narrow streets crammed with shabby dwellings. The Romans were a practical-minded people. They were more interested in such things as engineering, law, and government than in art. Romans, did, however, make some very important contributions to the world of art and design. You will discuss three of these: The fibula, mosaics, and the Arch of Constantine:
- Fibula: The early Greeks and Romans did not have buttons, snaps, and zippers. They used a pin called a fibula, which is like an early safety pin. It usually consisted of a straight pin that coiled to form a spring. The metal was then curved back over itself to form a bow and a catch-plate to fasten the pin. Early fibulas were very simple in design, but later pins were heavily ornamented. The metal bow of the pin was made wider and thicker. Some pins were covered with swirls, interlacing lines, and other geometric designs. In some, tiny rows of animals were attached to the bow of the pin. In others, the bow itself was made in the shape of an animal.
- Mosaics: As a way of expressing their ideas and feelings, Romans created many mosaics on walls, furniture, sidewalks, and other surfaces. Some mosaics showed colorful patterns of geometric and organic shapes. Others conveyed realistic stories about people, events, places, and animals. Like most modern mosaics, those from ancient Rome were made of tesserae. These small bits of materials such as glass colored tiles, or pieces of marble, were glued onto a flat surface such as wood or cement. The spaces around the tesserae were filled with grout, a plaster-like substance. Many Roman mosaics were so finely constructed that the various shades of tesserae showed shadows of objects.
- Arch of Constantine: The triumphal arch was a monument built to celebrate great army victories. The largest ever built was the Arch of Constantine. The round arch was used by the ancient Romans purely for decorative reasons. The structure uses three round arches. The emperor and his officers would ride chariots or horses through the large center arch. Foot soldiers would march through smaller side arches as the people of Rome cheered.
- Name the object and its purpose.
- State the time period it was designed.
- Why was the object designed?
- How was it used?
- Who created the object?
- Was the object used to identify social position or status?
- Is the object designed to contribute or to enhance forms of play or entertainment?
- Is the object a representative design form of the Roman culture?
The determination of success for this lesson will be if the student can transfer this knowledge of design into their final design of their desk; and if the student can indicate knowing the importance of understanding the client you are designing for.
Enrichment Extension Activities
Please note the across-the-curriculum footnote mentioned previously.