Graphite to Gigabyte Design Process

September 25, 2020

guest post by Melissa AJ Dysart

Can you picture it? If not, you might not be able to model or build it.

From graphite lines on paper, to building blocks, to an immersive 3-D environment, without an understanding of the importance of making an idea visual and tangible early in the ideation process you might find it difficult to construct a building, assemble machinery or well, design, engineer, plan . . . anything.

Dysart blog post_2As technologies become progressive through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it's important to maintain a balance between high tech and historically proven methods for getting ideas out of your head and into reality. Whether on paper with a pencil or software on a computer, tinkering with the idea begins when it's out in the world.

Do not doubt the doodle or tame the tinkering. Because these useful tools create a critical connection between technology and seemingly antiquated methods like drafting, sketching, or doodling. If you think a hands-on approach, by way of doodling or building-blocks, has gone the way of the dodo bird, you may miss out on important connective devices that you cannot plug into a USB port. Because by disconnecting every so often from this handheld, smart-phone world, you open up another realm of exploration in your own mind.

Dysart blog postTinkering is beneficial at any age or career field. From my dad, the farmer, tinkering in the barn to assemble parts that kept equipment running, to my own fiddling around with crude, paper cup mock-ups to figure out how to digitally draft a structural model for an art installation at Crystal Bridges, hands-on exploration connects form and function, and concept with reality. 

Because software is just one tool to tackle 3-D, an individual must also possess the ability to input the correct data. Otherwise, it is nothing more than trash in and trash out. Consequently, a 3-D model that may be impressive on a computer screen but cannot be built in reality.

Allowing a playful nature of learning through the use of sketching, building, and other interactive activities, a foundation of knowledge is built. Critical thinking skills honed, by the ability of an individual to kinetically learn with tangible methods of success and failures, eventually translating into a digital 3-D world.

Because with the ability to utilize your superpowers of "tinkerization," you too can build anything that you can imagine. 

About the author

Melissa AJ Dysart is a life-long tinkerer who learned the value of playing around with ideas, fixing things, and hands-on exploration growing up on a Northwest Arkansas farm. 

Her experience in design, architecture, engineering, and construction provides a unique perspective on the interplay between each discipline and also the importance of creativity at the intersection of graphite lines on paper using "ol' school tools" and cutting edge digital technology.