Formstorming: Robert T. Hartley

What is form storming? Princeton Arch Press describes form storming as the “act of visual thinking, a tool for designer to unlock and deepen solution to basic design problems.” The goal of form storming is to get creatives to think outside of the box, to further their design concepts avoiding creating basic art and to engage in different perspectives. Many creatives are encouraged to do this as when great design helps the viewer to makes sense of the creation.

There are roughly three methods of form storming. One being “One Hundred Iterations.” Where the creative tried to generate multiple iterations of one subject digging deeper past the general narrative of the topic. Looking at color, icons, index, and symbols. The second one being “Dailies.” There is an exercise where the creative engages in a daily activity where they create a consistent design or stick to one subject and create different designs. The last method of frame work is the “Alterego.” This is where it recommends the creative to develop a fictitious persona that amplifies, undermines, or rediscover an element of themselves and then to design through the lens of that character.

Gee’s Bens Quilt Project uses form storming as many of their quilts are called “my way” quilts where you can see that their quilts are guided by a faith in personal vision. Where unexpected designs are created through cultural, environmental, or personal experiences.

As you can see with this quilt, for the creator to make this, they had to look at the idea of quilts from a different perspective. What’s the goal of the design, where can a rhythm be identified, where does the visual balance exist? Those are the questioned that were asked when the artist created this piece.


String-Pieced Quilt
Loretta Pettway


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