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10 out of 101 Design Basics – Sylvia’s Paper world

Homework n. 10

Design 101,

Design 101,

Question of the day: What about being a paperdoll?

Actually, what came into my mind first was the song from Pippi Langstrumpf from Astrid Lindgren:

2 x 3 equals 4
widdewiddewitt plus 3 equals 9 !
I design my own world – widdewidde how I like it …
Hey – Hey – Pippi Langstrumpf – she makes, what she likes.

Thinking about my own world I came up with a forest, because my name Sylvia derives from sylva = the forest. Besides that, after evaluating my own skills recognizing my limitations I thought that cutting out some trees was manageable and appropriate to my own abilities 😉

Design 101,

Design 101,

Besides that, the Palatinate forest is not only the biggest coherent forest here in Germany or even Europe, but also a great place for walking or running.  It’s lovely and a good compensation to my often stressful everyday school life.

Sylvia’s forest

Sylvia's forest

Sylvia’s forest


11 out of 101 Design Basics – The visual recipe

Homework n. 11

Design 101,

Design 101,

Question of the day: Is it a product or a process?

Cooking is both. Cooking is a process, which is most fun doing it with others. The kitchen is for me the most important place in the house, the center of the house. It’s a eat-in kitchen with chairs centered around the cooking area. But its great fun, even if I do the cooking, so to say front-cooking I can still chat with my friends.  Cooking results of course in a product, and it is true that when the process is good the product is often good as well, or you try again, because practice makes the master.


Lat week we were asked to share a picture of our recipe. I guess I misunderstood something, but seeing the great designed recipes from others inspired me to the visual representation of my Chelsea buns.

This Thursdays task is to represent the recipe in a visual and interesting way. Having discovered Vine, a cool recording app I thought that might be an interesting idea.  I even used Vine recently for an application. The free version gives you 6 seconds  and if you already think that 140 signs in Twitter is tricky, then try Vine, its real fun 🙂

Follow this link to watch how I prepare coleslaw. In case you cannot watch it please access the short vidoe on my Twitter account.


8 out of 101 Design Basics – Another quiz, another challenge

Homework n. 8

Design 101,

Design 101,

Question of the day: Design. Which are the boundaries?

This week, you will be taking all of last week’s challenges to a higher level of complexity.

Day 5 question was “Am I able? Well, already last week I hit the wall and felt not always able. But talking about walls – the fall of the Berlin Wall should give me confidence and I isn’t design about challenges, constraints and leaving our comfort zone. I just thought I could stay in my comfort zone a little longer 😉

Already Neale Walsh said:

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and that’s where the magic (design) happens.

However, the purpose of the MOOC is not about feeling comfortable, but to be challenged, to go beyond and to conquer new frontiers and become better.

Design 101,

Design 101,

7 out of 101 Design Basics

007 /101 Greetings from Bangkok

Watch our video, relax and enjoy…  Relax and enjoy sounds really great for a sunday and the video is really good, like all the others



Design 101,

Design 101,

In my previous job as a home economic teacher, teaching as well handicrafts and sewing, I was always on the search for good ideas. Every time I saw something in a magazine or during window shopping or on the market I used a notebook to I cut and pasted or write down my observations and instructions and also (tried) to make sketches. Things changed since that.  Modern smartphones make it easy to simply take a photo and if desired upload it directly to a platform. Like describe in the video “Photography is magic” and that’s my main tool of observation and documentation. Talking about platforms, I wished I would have known e.g. Pinterest a lot earlier. It’s a great resource for inspiration and I wish I would have more time to try out all the great DIY (Do-it-yourself) ideas that I pin.




6 out of 101 Design Basics

Homework n. 6

Think of on object you really like. Take a photograph of your chosen “thing” and explain why you like it.

Design 101 -

Design 101 –

My favorite object(s)

My favorite object is a cup/mug. They come in different form and shapes and you can fill them optional with tea or coffee, though the latter is preferable 🙂

P1020656 P1020665

The content of a cup matches good with e.g. chocolate or cake. And a filled cup also warm your hands during the cold season.


This cup is also nice and fortunately things changed 😉

640 KB should be enough for everyone. Bill Gates, 1981

640 KB should be enough for everyone. Bill Gates, 1981

5 out of 101 Design Basics

Homework n. 5

Learning in Mali. Greetings from Bamako. Today’s task is to make a mask the represents me.

Design 101 -

Design 101 –

Question of the day: “Am I able?”

The answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no. At this dark and grey time of the year I feel increasingly unable 😦

Design 101 -

Design 101 –

As the idea with Paul Munchs “Scream” was already used by another participant I had to think about something else that represents me, something more positive. This is how I came up with my idea for a “mask”.

I’m definitely a summer person. I love the warm weather, I love all kind of water sports and I love to be out in nature and I also love that the days are so long, giving you the possibility to be more active. That’s how I came up with my summer mask consisting of butterflies and a flower. Later on I thought I could have also put on my diving goggles and my snorkel. Well, next time 😉

My Summer-Mask



Design 101 -

Design 101 –

  • Well, because this is our homework 😉
  • it facilitates creativity
  • it enables conversation
  • It’s fun

4 out of 101 Design Basics

Homework n. 4

What dish do you like most? Prepare and cook.

Design 101 - Homework 03 Postcard

Design 101 – Homework 03 Postcard

My favorite dish

P1010412I love yeast dough. It not only tastes good, but the preparation is easy and I love to knead the warm dough, contrary to the cold shorcrust. I think that’s because I often have cold hands and the warm yeast dough is too comfortable to handle. Already as a child I loved to bake, mainly with yeast dough, preparing buns or e.g. apple or plum-cake with crumbs or sponge flan, e.g. for a strawberry flan – yum, yum.

Below is the recipe of Hefeschnecken, like we call them in Germany. Try them out and decide yourself if you like them. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Chelsea buns - Hefeschnecken

Chelsea buns – Hefeschnecken


Recipes from around the world

Todays homework was really fun and as a former home economist, I felt on the safe side. However, far more enjoyable was to scan through all the great recipes the other MOOC participants provided. It would make a wonderful cookbook with 27.000 favorite dishes.

3 out of 101 Design Basics

Homework 003

Today you are a bird. Take a sheet of paper (maximum A4 size) and represent yourself in a three-dimensional object.

Design 101 - Homework 03,

Design 101 – Homework 03,

My origami crane watching the video


How to build an origami crane

Design 101,

Design 101,

Let me tell you, folding the crane took some doing. I was completely lost with the instruction provided by the daily letter, though I have to admit the fault was absolutely on my side. Fortunately, there are a lot of video tutorials out there which helped my to finish my origami crane. As always it was fantastic to see how all the other participants did and how they translated the homework. My absolute favorite was a tissue crumpled into the form of a bird, real art and a nice interpretation of the homework 😉 Unfortunately, I could not retrieve the post from more than 100 pages, that’s the bad news doing that course with another 27.000 participants.

Letter of the day

The daily letters not only give instructions what to do, but they tell stories and provide good advice. Below is an extract from our third letter, that really moved me.

Design 101,

Design 101,

Design 101,

Design 101,

2 out of 101 Design Basics

Welcome back to Design 101

You really have to love this MOOC 🙂 Each day we receive a very creative, funny  postcard-video with our homework. Normally homework is nothing that you want to do, but with this great presentation you are eager to start right away. As a teacher I should consider to design the homework as well in such a creative way to activate my students 😉

Design 101 -

Design 101 –

Yesterdays homework was to ask a friend to take a portrait picture of ourself and then to take one of ourself. Additional we were asked to make a sketch out of the portrait.

A sketch!

Horror, me and drawing a sketch, a no go. But, after what I heard in the video postcard:

“They don’t have success unlike they have fun what they are doing. To conquer your fear, do not sit at home, get out and get busy. “

I thought I’ll better get busy and open my gimmickry. I thought about what I did as a kid and copied from a photo and finally altered it with an image editing program. Here is the result.

Sylvia-Sketch_s Munch_thescream scream-scary-movie-mask

However, it somehow reminds me on Edvard Munch’s painting “The scream” or “Scary Movie” 😉

Taking a photo of myself wasn’t the problem, thanks to the self-timer of the camera. I edited it additional with Photoshop using an art filter.


Well, homework 02 finished. Not necessarily the work of a designer, but I tried. If you want to see far better photos and sketches, it’s still time to sign in Design 101 and take a look yourself.

Enter Design 101 (Design Basics)

In the last exercise before the course officially started today we were asked to design a threshold to Design 101 and comment  on it. Here is door to enter the course.

Door to Design 101

Door to Design 101

Great launch of Design 101

Today started with another great video,  like the one Design 101 applied for the MOOC Production Fellowship contest and made it under the top 10 courses. The video definitely attracted my attention so I gave the course my vote and signed in on the German MOOC platform that I introduced in the first part of my series MOOC around the World that I wrote for MOOC News & Reviews. About 27.000 other participants seems to be similar attracted to Design 101 led by Stefano Mirti.

Design 101 or Design Basics runs from 28.10.2013 – 20.01.2014.  During that time participants will be challenged with 101 exercises and we are expected to spent about 8 hours work each week. Reading that I felt quite overwhelmed to spent 1 hour for this course each day, but to quote out of our first letter:

“We need to learn to organize our time. Controlling time is the best way to reach Sunday fine and dandy”.


Well, let’s hope for the best and that I am capable to organize my time. But, I am in cheerful spirits, because the MOOC is far from ordinary. The postcard-video’s are extraordinary, so are the letters and even the e-mails are exceptional. Take a look yourself at the extract from our first letter we received.


I never thought that the font Courier New and a ruled paper can look so good and can be used in such a creative way. So much creativity is infectious and you simply have to join in.

There is still time for you to join in as well. Course language is English.

101 post will follow 😉