pamphlet bound sketchbook made from a single folded signature of cotton rag paper, most likely Arches 88. this one is from the fall of 2013. each year — since 2004 — I teach a class to our first year graduate students called Digital Design Concepts. the first project of the first day of class is a “do as I do” workshop in the hand-building of a sketchbook. for many it is their first sketchbook. for almost all it is their first glimpse at transforming materials into a useful physical tool for thinking. they are all asked to inscribe the first page with the phrase “design is an iterative methodology”.
I bring in a variety of paper stocks and ask that the students touch, fondle, and caress them. they are given a choice about which paper they would like their sketchbook to be made from. we’ve found this exercise is a useful framing for the digital and the virtual. here notions of craft and process and practice are introduced. there is also something important about the exposure to fine materials contrasted with an attitude that resists allowing those materials to be treated as precious which will inform students moving forward. this attitude from the arts and crafts is something we want to conserve in the face of relentless technological change.