Design

I love making stuff.  One way I really enjoy learning is through designing and building things with my hands.  When building, I quickly find out: what works well, what does not, and what tools one might need.  I am forced to think about what to do next and how to change my strategies as I encounter problems or unfamiliar situations.

Mr. Fox Gardening

I love the word design (especially used as a verb).  I think all the meanings are awesome and deserve to be practiced regularly.  Notice the similarities between scientific investigations:  Purpose, Plan (Procedure), Sketch (Diagram), Funtion (Results).

Merriam-Webster Design: transitive verb (bold and italics added)

1: to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan :devisecontrive

2  a: to conceive and plan out in the mind (he designed the perfect crime)

b: to have as a purpose:intend (she designed to excel in her studies)

c: to devise for a specific function or end (a book designed primarily as a college textbook)

3  archaic: to indicate with a distinctive mark, sign, or name

4  a: to make a drawing, pattern, or sketch of

b: to draw the plans for (design a building)

How cool!  You could combine the meanings into:

Planning something distinctive in your mind,  sketching it out, and creating something that functions and serve a purpose. 

I hope all of you have many opportunities to really engage in designing something.

Questions:

What have you built that you really enjoyed working on?  What made it fun?

What would you like to build if you had the time and materials?  What makes you curious or interested in this product / subject?

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About adamfox711

Middle school science teacher at Escuela Campo Alegre in Caracas, Venezuela. My wife teaches elementary art. I have a three year old daughter and one year old son.

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97 Comments on “Design”

  1. Gabriel C Says:

    I have built a tree house with my friend. I really liked it because we had a lot of fun making the house, and we made it our own. We had fun in it. We had a fridge full of coke, and an iPod touch. It was really fun.
    If I had the time and materials to build a house, i would do it. It would be fun because i would get to watch it develop and watch people move into it.
    -Gabriel c

    Reply

  2. Patrick D Says:

    I built a snowboard but it broke because it was made out of wood and it didn’t slide good so I fell and the snowboard rolled away and when I found it, it had broke. I enjoyed making this because I like snowboarding and inventing things that I can use.

    Reply

  3. Manuel G Says:

    I when was 6 years old santa brought me a huge ferrari lego car. My step dad and me bult it in a week. It was really hard but I enjoyed building it.

    I still have it but now I have it in a crystal trasparent box.

    Reply

  4. Andrew W Says:

    One project that I have really enjoyed building was a crossbow made of a ruler, a clothes hanger, a piece of string and a clothes pin.
    I would like to make a railgun that would be used like the CERN only it would propel metal objects at much higher speeds and colliding them. This could be used for some way to simulate high speed plane crashes which would be awesome.

    Reply

  5. Nicolas Y Says:

    I really enjoyed working on my UDK Machinima project, I liked the challenge of having to figure out how everything in UDK works.

    If I had the time and materials I would make a game using an engine that is not UDK, I’m interested in this product because its something that you can modify to your liking and you can add virtually anything you want.

    Reply

  6. Alicia NC Says:

    1) What have you built that you really enjoyed working on? What made it fun?
    I enjoyed building the garden and it was fun because we could plant sweet corn and squash. I saw a earth worm when I was planting.

    2)What would you like to build if you had the time and materials? What makes you curious or interested in this product / subject?
    I will like to build a house if I had time and materials to do it. I am interested in this project because you could design, how it will look and what kind of materials to use.

    Reply

  7. Sebastian C Says:

    in the winter of 2012, my friend and I made a small den. it was made fully of fallen branches, boulders and vines. it had a natural refridgerater, as there was a gap between two rocks were it was about 8 degrees celcius. we put snacks in there, and whenever we wanted to escape the hubbub of the loud family, we would go there, as it was hidden.

    Reply

  8. Mafe R Says:

    1) I remember when I was little y built kind of a city with my big brother. It was kind of hard because I was little but my brother used to build the parking’s and houses and my nanny would help me build a huge hotel. What made it fun was that I spent a lot of time with my brother and nanny, and it ended up being entertaining.

    2) If I had the materials and the time I would build a tree house or a house because I would build it with my brothers and be able to design it and choose how I would like it to look in the inside and outside.

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      Mafe, that is awesome. Working on something with people you enjoy spending time with is one of life’s great pleasures. I hope you enjoy working with your friends here at ECA as well and appreciate the time you guys have together! Also, eventually I hope you find a career where you can do the same thing : )

      Reply

    • Danielle J Says:

      That’s cool that you built a house with your brother! I’m sure it was lots of fun! Tree houses are really cool too, and I agree that it would be good that you can choose what to do.

      Reply

  9. Emily B Says:

    A few years ago I built a puzzle that was sphere shaped. It was really hard because to get the pieces together you would have to push hard even though they fit together. It was fun because it was challenging. I would make a house. With help obviously, but I think it would be fun.

    Reply

  10. Mateo M Says:

    1) This winter, I got a huge lego R2-D2 to built. I worked on it all christmas day until I finished it. Its head rotated 360 degrees, A third leg came down when you pulled a button, and it came with a fake saw, and a fake universal computer interface arm. What made it fun was having to think how I would build it and how it would look at thé end of the day.
    2) If I had the materials to build anything I would build a working lightsaber. This projected is interesting to me because since I saw Star Wars, I always have wanted to figure out how to make my own lightsaber to slice stuff.

    Reply

  11. Harry L Says:

    1) When I was little me and my cousin was trying to make a boat out of bamboo that can fit two people. I took us half a year to make it because bamboo was really hard to cut and it is really hard to tie them together. It was fun because we sometimes use the bamboo to fight with each other.
    2)If I had the material to build a ship that can also be a submarine, it will be a lot bigger than the Titanic, so lots of people will travel by my ship and I will earn a lot of money.

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      Wow, half a year! I love the determination and perseverance. Way to stick with it! I went on some bamboo rafts when I visited Yangshuo. They were super cool. Your future sub ship sounds awesome. Just remember to hire me as your captain ; )

      Reply

    • Andrew W Says:

      Nice Harry, I always wanted to build a raft or something. And that boat of yours sounds cool, I would travel on it if you gave me a friendly discount!

      Reply

    • Priyanc P Says:

      Nice Harry, Did it take you half a year because of school or was it that hard. I will also try to make something like that

      Reply

  12. Anna H Says:

    1) When I was little I build a ‘fairy bed’ to put out in the woods at our cabin. I was very proud of it, because I believed that I was doing a great deed to to the ‘fairies’. What I found difficult was getting the fabric evenly across the wood, although I had fun designing the bed.

    2) If I had the material and time, I would build a tree house, because I think it would be really fun to design and build. Also, when it is done I would enjoy hanging out, and spending time in it.

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      That is super cute. I will have to remember to have Vivian make a ‘fairy bed’. Hopefully you get a chance to make a tree house.
      Check out these cool treehouses: http://pinterest.com/dan330/cool-tree-houses/

      Reply

    • Mari Says:

      Anna, I think that it is really nice that you wanted to help the faries when you were little. One of my choices of building things are tree you too because like you i like designing and building things.

      Reply

    • Danielle J Says:

      That’s so cute that you wanted to help the fairies! It sounds cool because you built it with fabric and wood. I love tree houses too! They are fun to hang out in, even though I never had one. I wish I could’ve built one when I was little!

      Reply

      • Emily B Says:

        I remember making little places for the ‘fairies’ to rest. Even my little sister thought I was crazy and she was like 3 at the time.

  13. Danielle J Says:

    1) I haven’t built too much, but I remember when I was little, my brother’s friends, my brother, my dad and I built something that we added on to our playground in our backyard (I think it might have been a slide or something). From what I can remember, it was really fun because we were all playing with each other and we got to use stuff we thought was grown-up stuff, like nails and hammers and everything, and we would have sword fights with the pieces of wood that we used. 🙂 🙂

    2) If I could, I would want to build a water park, because they are really fun to go to. It is awesome to hang out at them with your friends, and a lot of people would go to it because everybody loves water parks! It would be awesome!

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      Playing with “grown up” tools is fun. You should ask your dad for a power drill 🙂 Just think you could hang up your own pictures, redesign your closet… Water parks are awesome. Check out these sweet water parks

      Reply

    • Riko Y Says:

      To build a water park is a great idea Dani 😀 If you get to make them, try to invite me there, and lets hang out!!

      Reply

    • Luis T. Says:

      Building playground parts is a real fun thing to do. I remember once not actually building a playground part but trying to fix it, and it was really fun.

      Reply

  14. Joy P Says:

    For a school project I had to build an “Ergonomic Chair”. It came pretty well and the teacher ended up using it as her desk chair.

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      Where is MY chair? I have been sitting with lower back pain all year when you could have hand crafted me an ergonomic desk chair : ) Also, please reply with what you would like to build.

      Reply

      • Joy P Says:

        You can BUY or BUILD the chair yourself. I also would like to build some shelves for my room, I don’t have a place big enough to put all my stuff.

    • Riko Y Says:

      I think I need the book shelves too… (If it fit in my room). And I wanted to sit on the chair that you made 🙂

      Reply

  15. Riko Y Says:

    1) When I was little I build a little chair that the little kids can sit on with my dad or with my grandfather. I don’t remember how did I build it, but I remember it had cloth or something over them.
    2) I build a pencil stand in art class when I was in Japan and I was in 3th grade. We used a wood and I painted them with every different color. It was hard because if I wanted the little piece of wood, I had to cut them by my self.
    3) If I had a material to build something, I want to build a case that had lot of shelf. Because I want to have a place to put my accessories in.

    Reply

  16. Ines Says:

    I agree Mr. Fox. I also love to design. I make drawings of dresses or buildings. I guess to design you must have creativity and imagination. In your head you can imagine somthing and when you put your mind to it and work you can make it. Your small idea could turn into somthing big and famous. I think that is my favorite part of design how you can start with an idea and turn it into something real.

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      Great comment! Creativity and imagination are very important. As you become busier and busier with school and life try and always have something that allows you to be creative and use your imagination. Too often we get overwhelmed with things we need to do and don’t spend enough time developing the things we love doing.

      Reply

    • Luis T. Says:

      I agree with you, the funnest part is when you see your idea turn into a famous design that is used around the whole world

      Reply

  17. Valery Says:

    I think that design is a way to express how you feel or how you are. Notice that every design has its own touch, something to make it unique, something that only that specific designer has. I think it is pretty amazing how that is.

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      That is right. Great designers produce things that are noticeably their own. Maybe someday people will say, “That is a Valery design. I can tell by the artistic flair. Her personality is woven in this piece.” What would you like to design or build?

      Reply

    • Mafe R Says:

      I really like what you said, design is a way to express how you feel or who you are. And yes, every designer has its own touch

      Reply

    • Ines Says:

      I do like what you mean when you say that every designer leaves their mark. I guess that is why people go to specific designers for different occations.

      Reply

  18. Alana Says:

    I also love design. I especially love what you mentioned that when someone is trying to make something and it doesnt work they have to challenge themselves to create a new way that might work. My dad is an architect, so I notice that every house he designs has his own modern twist.

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      That is really cool. That is how great things get made. Taking something, improving it, and making something new and special. Design is all about the iteration process. Making something, watching it fail, trying again and again, until you succeed. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

    • Ines Says:

      I agree with you Alana. It is fun to challenge yourself to be persistent and keep trying to make something work.

      Reply

  19. Daniela J Says:

    1) In a camp I built a table the you can fold up. I was fun because I got to paint it and decorate it, and I love painting! I also built a thing to put my earrings on and a little box.

    2) I would like to build a house, since I’m tired of living in an apartment all my life. If I built a house, there would be some kind of secret room inside my room….I would probably build a big park in my house. It would be divided in two, and one side would have some kind of net all the way around it. I would put my birds inside that so that they can’t escape. The other side would be a park for my cat.

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      Sounds like you should be a zookeeper : ) I like the secret room idea as well. You could also paint an enormous jungle mural for your aviary.

      Reply

    • Mari C Says:

      Daniela, those things you built were probably very challenging, but did you actually build them yourself?
      That house you want to build sounds awesome. I wish I lived in a house like that! 🙂

      Reply

  20. Luis T. Says:

    Not so long time ago my family back in Colombia owned a house up in the mountains, and so usually what my cousins and i did to have fun is we actually built our own play house just outside the house. We usually didn’t finish it so when we had to leave we destroyed it, but once we worked all afternoon, and out of materials we found laying around like sticks and leafs we finally finished it and is still there for us to play in. If i had to REAL materials i would actually hire my cousins and work in our own super amazing play house/house to hang around, with air conditioner, TV, and lot’s of other “details.” :3

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      The play house is still standing? Those are some sturdy sticks. Building houses and shelters must be hard wired in our brains. Everyone seems to love building forts, playhouse, or shelters. Now if you get trapped in the wilderness you will know how to build a shelter.

      Reply

  21. Priyanc P Says:

    1) Once I built a dog house with my friends for my friend’s dog. It was fun because it was challenging
    2) If I had all the materials and time then I would have built an ultimate dog house with lots of rooms and fun areas which would be really big

    Reply

  22. JulioC Says:

    1) I built a house with my father for my dog, i really enjoyed it because I never built something like that.

    2) If I had all the materials to build something I would like to build a little house near from the sea, so I could go to the beach every weekend!

    Reply

  23. Daniel M Says:

    Well in the old days back in Peru I remember i build a tree house with my dad. It was a 3 month project that paid off. Until a day a very humid day maked it all slipery and I sliped and broke on of the supporters fell and made the tree house fall.

    Reply

  24. Mari C Says:

    I have built a whole Lego city by my own. I built a mall, houses, a school that had classrooms, a park and a airport. It was very fun because it is something challenging that make she use my imagination 🙂

    If I had the time and the materials i would build a roller coaster. I would choose this because i love roller coasters and i think it is fascinating how it works.

    Reply

  25. Giovanna T Says:

    When I was in Colombia and Italy, my brother and I would make pillow forts and pretend that we were in teletubbieland! In portugal I had a friend and we would make forts out of pillows and chairs and blankets. As a child I loved to make lego houses and decorate dollhouses and things. I used to love having little small parts, and putting them back together. In the future, I would love to make a wooden dollhouse, or maybe a dog house.

    Reply

  26. Malik.A Says:

    Last year here I built a replica of a treasure box with my dad and it was fun because we did it together and we had to do three models because the first two didn’t work. If I had the time and the materials to build something it would be a musical an instrument because then when it is done I could play it and it is really cool because then I could make a whole collection.

    Reply

    • adamfox711 Says:

      I like that you didn’t give up after the first two failures. Way to stick with it. What kind of treasure box was it? How big?

      A hand built musical instrument collections sounds awesome. I say you go for it. I remember when I was in elementary school I built a rubber band guitar our of a shoebox, paper towel roll, nails, duct tape, and rubber bands. It was sweet. Shamefully, I never went on to learn how to play the guitar

      Reply

  27. Aliana L Says:

    I had build a doll with my cousin which older than me, rags and many stuff like that, I failed the first time when i did it but my cousin help me, and I still have the dolls. Also, I had build a glove, ya, only one with my 2nd grade teacher when I was in Venvezuela. I like doing stuff like this.
    If there’s enough time and materials for me, I would like build a toy dog with my cousins.

    Reply

  28. 18simonb Says:

    I build a wooden glider (plane) it was fun because we made it and also it was fun to fly, to see something that you’ve created fly :).

    I think I would like to build a maybe a bout or an air plane with motor. Something I would really like to build it a weather balloon and put a camera to see space. It would be so cool. I made me curious because I have always wanted to film space myself.

    Reply

  29. Mariana C. Says:

    1)What have you built that you really enjoyed working on? What made it fun?
    1) When I was living in Brazil, I helped my mom to built the flower garden, it was very fun because I saw the plant growing each day and the flowers blooming.It was awesome when I saw how beautiful they became after putting water on them every day.

    2)What would you like to build if you had the time and materials? What makes you curious or interested in this product / subject?
    2) I would like to build a tree house, because I would like to know how it feels “to live in a tree”.

    Reply

  30. Ale M Says:

    Something I have built that I really enjoyed working on was a tree house. I think what made it fun was that it was a project that I did with my friends. Something I would like to build is a car, because it would be awesome to drive something you built.

    Reply

  31. ignacio Says:

    that was a very inspiring post mr fox I play a game which is kind of based in the design

    Reply

  32. Ximena Says:

    I built a tree house years a go and I enjoyed it a lot i love building things and when I was little I went to the company of building with my uncle cause I used to love to build things… I would like to build a house with glass all around and will be cool

    Reply

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  1. My Mentors: My Dad | Mr. Fox - February 7, 2013

    […] all of the wonderful comments on the Design Post, I noticed how many of you mentioned working with family or friends as a key piece of your […]

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