Posts Tagged ‘design education’

My PENSOLE Experience by Barbieswaggkid

Wow, I do not know of any better experiences I have had in my life than the one I had in Portland at PENSOLE.

Arriving in Portland I was very excited, and Portland was everything I expected it to be… besides the rain.  I arrived in Portland about midnight and I could already tell that I was going to like it there.  I immediately fell in love with the town the scenery was beautiful.  The people dress dope and have some amazing sneakers on their feet.  I couldn’t wait to get off the plane to take the train since I had never ridden one before, but that would have to wait for the next day since I had missed it.

The first day I arrived late to class, since I have no sense of direction, and was greeted by Dwayne.  I became excited when I found out that the man shaking my hand created, my favorite sneaker competition of all time, Future Sole.  Dwayne teased me about being late but let it slide the first day.  Then he made an announcement that for every min we are late a push up would have to be done.  I was never late again.  Later he told us the reason he does this is to teach us time management.  If you are 15 min early you are on time, If you are on time your late.

I was expecting a class full of men, but was surprised when there was another girl.  The footwear industry is mostly male dominated, so going in I knew that I would have to be focused and dedicated.  What I liked about our class was that I never felt out of place.  Everyone treated each other like we had been friends for years.  We were in class a lot together but when we weren’t in class everyone would still meet up to go around Portland and do various activities together, like going out to eat, the Nike art show, or meeting up to go over our sketches for feedback.

The thing that I enjoyed about Dwayne the most was, he was down to earth and honest with us.  He was always there willing to help, no matter the time.  I appreciate and respect the feedback he gave and the lessons he taught.  He put us in front of other well-respected people, in the industry, that normally we might never have met.  He is serious about us succeeding and wants us to be even more serious about it.  Dwayne was hands down a great teacher and mentor.

While at PENSOLE I learned so much.  From my classmates I learned, when you’re working on a project by yourself it’s only your thoughts and ideas going into it, but when you have other designers with different thoughts and creativeness helping you out it is great.  They help your mind reach a whole new side to your project.  So many ideas are floating around, some good, some you appreciate but may not use, and some ideas make you say “Why didn’t I think of that”.  It also teaches you to take criticism.

Dwayne also taught me a lot. One of the first lessons that he taught was how each shoe has a story.  There is a reason for the colors, the sole, the design; everything has a purpose.  I had NEVER thought about that before.  Before coming to PENSOLE, when I wanted to draw a sneaker I didn’t think about a story and what it’s purpose would be, I would just draw.  So seeing it from his side taught me to be more serious about my designs and just “think”.  Another thing Dwayne taught us, was that a lot of times people don’t think about and understand what they are about to draw on paper.  The first week before we began drawing Dwayne just had us think about our designs.  Think about what type of products are needed.  What purpose is our design going to be used for?   We spent a lot of time thinking about it so when it was finally time to draw, we already knew what we wanted to do, and half of the process was done.

I had a great time in Portland, great time w/ Dwayne at PENSOLE and my PEN TEN classmates!!

If interested in attending PENSOLE be sure to check out the latest class PENSOLEOGRAPHY.  adidas will provide scholarships for up to 12 hand-selected aspiring footwear designers to experience PENSOLE’s rigorous “learn by doing” curriculum, where students are assigned  projects to develop from idea to final concept while working in a team environment.

Submission Deadline: May 13, 2012 11:55 PM GMT

visit http://www.mesh01.com/forms/competitions.aspx to learn more

 

 

Ramp “Connect. Elevate”

 

 

When you graduate college and receive your degree magically you know everything needed to know to be a designer.  Right? …No?  The world of design is constantly changing and evolving with technologies and things like social media.  Even for experienced designers, you either keep learning or get left behind.   But, where does one go to continue learning and developing their skills?  I mean it is not like we are all looking to get another degree, we just want to keep expanding our skill set.

The best way to continue learning is via a mentor.  It is always a good idea to surround yourself with people that have more experience or are more knowledgeable.  Nothing beats hands on learning especially from a friend or colleague.  If you are with out a mentor in a particular area, perhaps you do what I do, turn to books or the internet.   There is another way.

When I was in Portland last I met with Janene Larson the founder of Ramp, a Learning Resource Center for brands where curriculum can advance professionals working in the Product Creation Process.  Ramp addresses the educational needs of professionals in the Product Creation Process through offering Professional Development Training specific to the sportswear industry. Ramp classes provide students a holistic perspective of the product process from product brief to consumer.  The “Ramp Way” is anchored by the need for DESIGN, MATERIALS AND MARKETING to work together in the creation of successful product lines.

“I founded ramp in 2011 as a learning resource for my peers and those entering the complex active brand industry to master the BUSINESS SIDE OF DESIGN.  I have worked globally with multiple categories in footwear, apparel and accessories at both Nike and Adidas. Whether working in Adidas Basketball, managing key accounts for Nike and adidas or as a Global Merchandiser for Nike, I was always looking for the “Playbook” onhow to do my job.

 How do you write a line plan? Where did that trend come from? What does our consumer think? What am I supposed to do with that information? Forecast?  Based on what?  Why do people get so amped up about sneakers anyway? Why are Design and Marketing always fighting?

 Well there really is a method to the madness. I founded ramp as an avenue to share what I have learned over the last 19 years of launching products into the marketplace with a few mistakes and a lot of successes. The key is to keep learning ALWAYS and as soon as you think you got it, it is time to dig deeper and share what you know with others.”  - Janene Larson/Ramp Founder

 

The Ramp Approach

Ramp has partnered with the most experienced and respected industry experts in the Sportswear Brand Field (from Nike, Adidas, Jordan, Auto Brands to name a few) to teach the line planning process, color and trend theory, consumer culture, material process and more.  Classes are taught at the epicenter of Active Brands in Portland, Oregon at the PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy.

What You Learn

Upon completing a Ramp training course, a student will understand the needs and objectives of DESIGN, MATERIALS AND MARKETING in the product process and each departments role in creating a deep connection with their consumer.

  • Align your goals with the rest of your organization
  • Understand the process and your consumers expectations
  • Master the role of Color & Trend in the success of products
  • Anticipate the needs of Design for inspiration and accurate problem solving
  • Appreciate the role of Product Briefs as the agreement between Design, Development and Marketing

Instructors include some names that I am sure many of you are already familiar with.

DʼWayne Edwards – Pensole Design Director
Suzette Henri – Material Technology Goddess
E. Scott Morris – Designer/Inspiration Cultivator
John Knight – Consumer Research Guru
Michelle Battista – Trend & Merchandising Expert
Dee Wells – Sneaker Culture Historian
More to Come…

“This is what I promise you.  You will learn from the best in the industry skills you need to be better at your job, gain an understanding of the perspectives of your Design, Development and Marketing teams and learn how to use information to influence your product success in the marketplace.” – Janene Larson

Check out some of Ramp’s upcoming classes

  • COLOR APPLICATION & MERCHANDISING – Michelle Battista – 4/19
  • CONSUMER RESEARCH THAT MATTERS – John Knight – 4/20
  • PRESENTING AND DEFENDING YOUR PRODUCT LINES & DESIGNS – E. Scott Morris – 4/30
  • REALITY VS. MYTH – THE STORIES PRODUCTS TELL – DʼWayne Edwards/Dee Wells – 5/3
  • MATERIAL EDUCATION – Suzette Henri – 5/4

Register @: www.ramppdx.com/classes

Visit http://ramppdx.com/ to learn more.