Core Design Program

Process Board Information and Guidelines

Think of the process board as a conversation between you and the portfolio reviewers that allows them to understand how you think, how you make decisions, and how well you responded to the DSN S 102 assignment objectives. Remember that the reviewers won't have witnessed each stage of the project and won't be able to tell from the final piece just how much effort and good thinking went into it. In this sense, the process boards are similar to the presentations you've made in class at final critiques, when you've succinctly explained to the jurors what you intended, what you tried, and how you arrived at the final decisions.

The process board(s) should accomplish several things:

  • Clarify your understanding of the project by describing what you were asked to learn, and how you approached that learning objective.
  • Explain (with visual information) the research you did and the visual sources of inspiration you considered. Be clear about which were required sources vs. which are unique to you (i.e., everyone looked at assigned precedent examples, but what additional sources did YOU look at?)
  • Document the various stages of project development, with clear explanations of how YOUR experiments and solutions are unique.
  • Include self-critique. Why did some ideas NOT work? Can you recognize situations where you were taking the wrong direction? The reviewers want to know that you can learn from your failures as well as your successes.
  • Show that you tried more than one idea, and explain why you selected the one that was developed for the final solution.
  • Remember that the reviewers will see your portfolio as a series of stacked pages. They won't know, for example, how you intended your sequential section pages to be presented. Explain things like this on the process board.
  • If there was a written component in a project (like the tool essay in the pattern project, for example), briefly summarize or excerpt your writing and include that on the process board.

Guidelines in setting up the process boards:

  • Prioritize clarity and highlight the ideas at work in your projects.
  • A collage or cut-and-paste method of presenting the elements is fine; there is no expectation that you copy or scan everything onto a single surface. Just make sure the elements are well-adhered to the page and are in no danger of falling off as the pages move around.
  • Your self-assessment notes and explanations of sketches should be typed so they're easy to read. DO NOT go smaller than 9-point type. Use a standard, readable font (NOT a script, decorative, or ultra-bold font). If there are brief handwritten notes directly on the sketches, they can be included, but lengthy handwritten notes should be typed to ensure that the reviewers can read them.
  • Give the board titles and subtitles so that we know which part of the work is "early ideas" and which part constitutes "refinement."
  • The board should be clean, well-organized, and complete. It should NOT incorporate extraneous elements that merely decorate the page and/or distract from the content of the work.
  • You can use your original sketches—cut from sketchbooks—or good quality copies of them. Keep in mind that originals may be too big for the space you have. For team projects, use copies of the originals. Consider making color copies of sketches that have finely detailed pencil work.
  • In addition to sketches, the "refinement" stage might include photos of rough models.
  • If you haven't yet documented your process work, you're asked to develop this documentation now, looking back on the assignment and how you solved the problem.