Josef Albers design pedagogy
Although the works produced as a result of his classroom methodologies seemed more Like works of engineering and art, his careful training allowed his students to develop a design process which was not merely guided by the desire to express, but was also founded In planning to a meticulous extent, expansive exploration and thoughtfulness in materiality, so that these creations could exist with economical aptness. It can be said that his approach on learning by doing encouraged independent and open-ended experimentation.
Till this very day, this method of learning in higher-level institutions is seen as key to developing design skills as well as analytical and critical thinking In students. He was Interested in sleeplessly things. Through restrictions, he enabled his students to explore ways and means of being creative, of which wouldn’t be possible had they been given the freedom to use anything they wanted to. As such, he thought them how to see what was around them and to utilize these things most efficiently, creating innovative designs. Materiality was a key focus of his teachings.
I found It very Interesting how he would push his students to dig deeper in studying the material properties, characteristics and surfaces so as to come up with design solutions that would combine materials, working with their properties, rather than merely building with them. Even in exploring the external appearance of a material, one could possibly discover so many more hidden possibilities the substance could possess. In exploring material, he stressed on the need of being economical, on labor and budget. Labels definition of the measure of art was the ratio of effort to effect.
Here, we are reminded of the notion that more is less. As such, we see a lot of his students’ work being made out of paper. Yet they were able to transform the material into standing voluminous objects, introducing the dormant 3-dimensional aptitude of paper. This sense of thriftiness enabled his students to squeeze potential out of the Another thing that strikes me about Labels is that he reveled in the element of reprise. He was always looking out for his students to be bringing something new to him, perhaps in discovering a property of the material previously unrecognized.
He always encouraged innovation, in the sense of bringing to the limelight previously unnoticed potential of a substance. Such experimentation was not focused on creating perfect and complete work, but to explore the inherent possibilities of using a material in creating finished work. I sometimes find it difficult to work in such a way where I am compelled to let the material properties take lead in order to discover ewe facades to their characteristics, instead of manipulating these properties myself with a design focused approach.
However, Labels forward-looking experimentation greatly inspires me and challenges me to develop a more keen perception of sight and touch when exploring materiality physically, allowing experimentation to take the front seat in steering the design process. His teaching approaches may not be for everyone, but embedded within them are values and techniques that I believe are applicable to everyone who is in the course of learning how to be creative in coming up with solutions to their surroundings.
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