A Primer for Object Language

By David Teubner.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Industrial design students begin their education learning the fundamentals of artistic composition. They next learn how to draw with correct perspective and shading, often by studying simple forms and existing objects. At the intermediate level, they are suddenly confronted with the task of creating objects of their own invention–objects that are no longer artistic expressions but designed and manufacturable products. It is my experience, teaching at this level, that this is a leap that students struggle with. Lacking a transitional methodology, the students have a hard time delivering much more than a single, simple solution. The form generating methodology that I offer my students solves three problems. First, it encourages them to begin their project by providing a simple starting point that defies procrastination. Second, it presents a step-by-step process, utilizing verbal modifiers, that encourages them to generate and evolve many ideas from that single point of departure. And third, at each step of the process, it reinforces the concepts of visual language that all manufactured objects share.

Keywords: Form Generation, Visual Language, Visual Semantics

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.85-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 13.098MB).

Prof. David Teubner

Assistant Professor, Design Department, California State University, Santa Ana, CA, USA

David Teubner received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from California State University, Long Beach and graduated magna cum laude. He received his Masters Degree in 2006. His thesis subject was “Form Generation Methodologies” about which he is currently writing a book. His first, design job was as an animator at a studio that specialized in educational films. He later worked both in advertising and marketing as a graphic designer and illustrator. He has been a political cartoonist and also drew a syndicated cartoon strip. He is a videographer and has written, directed and edited industrial and educational media. He has done Concept Design for motion pictures. He has been a member of the design faculty at CSULB since 1992 and an Assistant Professor since 2005. He is currently the Industrial Design Program Coordinator for CSULB, and Vice-Chair of the Industrial Designer’s Society of America, Los Angeles Chapter.