During the past few semesters, I have done a lot of work in design thinking. For my final project for MTH 495, I decided to follow the design thinking process.
Before I began the project, I had to consider the ‘users.’ For this project, the users were my fellow MTH 495 classmates who are all math majors in a class about the nature and history of math; and myself, a fellow math major and an art enthusiast.
After considering my audience, I decided that I wanted to create a painting of a timeline collage of the history of math. I wanted to work on a project that I knew I would enjoy working on, and that I could connect to the content of the course.
For my project, it made the most sense for me to combine the ‘Ideate’ and ‘Prototype’ stages. I reflected on what concepts that we discussed in class I could include in my painting that would create visual appeal. Then, I created a sketch of each of these concepts. I cut out each sketch and stuck tape on the back so that the pieces would be easy to manipulate into possible prototypes. Here are some of the prototypes I came up with:
I spent the majority my time working on my project at this stage. To begin, I drew the outlines of each of the shapes on canvas, using a ruler as a straightedge. Then, I consulted with an artist that Professor Golden connected me with on Twitter (Paula Beardell Krieg) on how I might create a sense of direction in my painting. She suggested that I create a sense of movement through time by altering both line and color. I decided to create the illusion of direction in my visual timeline by gradually increasing the weight of the lines from left to right, and also by gradually darkening the color of the shapes from left to right. My goal in varying line and color was to help guide the viewer’s eye through the timeline.
Once I filled in the line and color of each object on the canvas, what was left to do was to create the grid in the background. At first, the grid occupied only half of the canvas, stopping abruptly in the center of the canvas, which created a feeling of disconnect between the left and right sides of the painting and ultimately detracted from my goal of creating direction. After brainstorming with my roommates, who are graphic design majors, we came up with the idea of adding a “fall-off” effect to the grid on the left side of the painting. Not only does the ‘fall-off’ effect connect both sides of my painting, but it also reflects the idea that math has evolved over time.
Here are some pictures I took over time as I worked on the painting:
The Final Product: