Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What Do Creative Humans Do In School?

What Creative Humans Do In School
When I saw the Barcode Transformation ds106 design assignment I immediately gravitated to it. After reading Ken Robinson’s, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education,I have come to understand the typical public school system as a concept emerging from the modern/industrial era. Ken Robinson also refers to “No Child Left Behind,” and high stakes testing that is part of the current educational landscape for K-12. He even refers to the barcode system and children viewed as products with an expiration date. Ken goes on to describe people as creative human beings that would be best served under an ‘organic system’ rather than a robotic, industrial system. So in response to finishing “Creative Schools” I created this illustration with a propaganda feel utilizing the barcode assignment on ds106.

For the past three weeks, I have been totally immersed in the narrative of Ken Robinson. I’ve watched his videos on TED and I’ve listened to podcasts and various other interviews in conjunction with listening to his audio book “Creative Schools.” Needless to say, I’ve been imagining the industrial educational system in my head as gears, assembly lines, and barcodes. So when I set about to create this illustration, I looked for art inspiration and assets that felt industrial. I was able to find some vectors of the figures and the school house on shutterstock for download. The gears I created myself in Adobe Illustrator along with the text, barcodes, and overall composition. I set my composition to A4 setting to create a mock-up as a magazine spread. In a way, this combines elements of other design assignments to make a more comprehensive project. Here is a brief tutorial on how to make a magazine layout as A4 size. Basically, the assignment was rated 2.5 stars so I needed to bump it up some.

The composition came about by playing with the various vector shapes, scale, color, and contrast to get the desired layout. The biggest chore was using the pathfinder tool to crop out the ‘barcode’ lines on each figure. The pathfinder tool is sometimes picky about how shapes are separated and combined to trim, divide, merge, etc. I found the trim function in the pathfinder palette to be most effective, although there were some stray shapes generated. I just deleted any unnecessary artifacts and re-ordered the layers over the other element to get the ‘crowd’ look. My favorite part of the barcode elements is how the figures sort of dripped down into the area where the serial codes are implemented, along with, the ‘standardized tests’ text that is combined with numbers. Overall this was another really rewarding assignment that delivers meaning to my focal topic ‘the importance of creative arts in education.’


Aronica, Lou; Robinson, Ken Ph.D. Creative Schools the Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education. 2015. Narr. Robinson, Ken Ph.D.
Tantor Media. May 8, 2015. Accessed June 20, 2015. Digital File.