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Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Shape of Design (Book Review)

I had the privilege to read Frank Chimeor’s book, The Shape of Design. I was one of the 2,109 people who pledged support to Frank Chimero’s kickstarter project. Frank had raised $112,159 of his $27,000 goal.

I like to consider myself an artist or author. However, I don’t feel like I’m either of these in a way, despite having created several art projects and self-published books.
I felt Frank’s book would help him learn more about design.

My personal opinion: the hardcover, size, and shape of Frank’s book isbeautiful.

The content is fairly simple.

The three main parts of this book include:

Part I: The song

Part II: in-between spaces

Part III: the opening

Here are a few of my favorite lessons I gained from the book. The song must be sung. As an artist/ book creator, I must create books. The bigger question isn’t the How. It is the Why.

Why do I (Danny Pettry) create/ design books?

My projects need to have a connection with the audience. They need to be moving like the “share” button on facebook. The book needs to be complling enough to move from one person to the next. The reader/ audience must have empathy and a connection with it. I must work hard at my project. In a way I need to be obsessed about it. My labor will be a gift to the people who see my work.

All projects were first an original concept in someone’s mind. Some examples include: the Golden Gate Bridge, the logo on a cereal box, the stars and stripes on the flag. Someone had to think of the design in their mind first and then go about creating it so the rest of the world could see it. The work must be created. The song must be sung.

I [Danny Pettry] personally think all people have something to contribute to the world. Each person has their own talent or unique abilities. It could be anything: photography, dessert making, cake decorating, painting, woodwork, car detail, and so much more. Find your talent and go to work at creating it.

I [Danny Pettry] work as a Recreational Therapist. Even a profession can be based on design.

Here is the Recreational Therapy process:

a. Assess the individual to determine her strengths and treatment needs. Start building rapport with the person. Take a holistic approach. Understand the person’s strengths and limitations in social, physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and leisure functioning. This assessment can be based on interview with the individual, a review of the person’s records, and contact with the person’s family members/ friends/ and co-workers (if there is a Release of Information to contact these people).

b. Planning is the next step. This is like design. The recreational therapist works with the individual to develop goals. These are images of a better future life. The recreational therapist also works with the individual to develop measurable objectives that will help the individual to get from where she is now to where she wants to me.

c. Implementation is the third step. All the planning in the world is fruitless unless a person takes action. The recreational therapist goes to work at providing interventions that will assist the person in meeting her goals. These interventions vary based on the individual’s needs. They also are limited to the recreational therapist’s competencies and experiences. A recreational therapist might provide: social skills training, expressive arts, physical strength building, self-esteem building, anger management, depression support, and so many other activity-based interventions. These are often in group settings, but sometimes in individual sessions with the individual.

d. Evaluation is the final step. This is where the recreational therapist and the individual both take a step back to look at the final work/ or progress. How well as the person met her individual goals? Has she succeeded? Is there more work to be done?
For more information on Frank’s book, go here:

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For more information on Frank’s book, go here:

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