Gifting Design


This project experiments with physical and virtual form and space. It is about creating a gift for an upperclassmen in a specific design discipline. It studies what it means to be a gift and the relationship between a gift’s package and content. Through a combination of 2D and 3D materials, a gift is created based on researched info about the recipient as well as a quote about design. Through that combination, the assignment builds an experience for the recipient from transmission to unwrapping, and finally to utilizing the gift.

“Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.”

–Irene Au

The video is the package and the playlist is the gift.


The quote by designer Irene Au, “Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks” speaks of how design is concreted in everyday objects but can be ignored by the population due to its efficiency and harmony. Her humorous comparison of the refrigerator functioning juxtaposed to it not functioning reflects on how design is not necessarily meant to be flashy or overwhelming, but can be simple. In similar matters, my gift is simply giving time and comfort to my recipient, Jack during the pandemic. To build upon Au’s words, the video ends with its “breakdown”, proving that function is essential to creating meaning (reminiscent of McLuhan’s “medium is the message”). The gift is a playlist packaged in a short animation and claymation. The purpose is to provide  music emoting quarantine sentiments. The songs are about loneliness, boredom, positivity, and hope. It is designed to send the message that no matter what one feels right now, they are not alone, and society will endure. The animation provides an invitation to join me in listening to Bob Marley and the Wailer’s “Three Little Birds”. It is me virtually spending time with the recipient. Through the use of movement, the video will give a first-hand perspective. The switch from shape to form signals the transition from arriving to socializing. This is done through the use of 2-dimensional drawn animation and 3-dimensional clay stop-motion film.  The most challenging aspect of this project was creating that transition between mediums in order to incorporate the Spotify playlist logically. The music is a lasting gift, one he can reuse, share, and build upon. It is an odd time in every community, making it an ideal time to spread positive, connection, and support.

  1. Chose a quote
  2. Developed a playlist
  3. Planned and created the animation
  4. Planned and created the claymation
  5. Record and implement audio
  6. Successfully transported to my recipient
This list capture the key message of each song I hope to share. Each song also is one I personally enjoy, or is considered a classic amongst generations. I kept the playlist short as to not overwhelm my recipient.
The animation is based on my house’s structure. I wanted my recipient to feel they were being invited over. I chose to keep it black and white until the clay to show highlight the vibrancy of life. The various sketches were created on Sketchbook and animated on Adobe Photoshop’s timeline tool.
I used Easy-Mold clay and stop motion photography to create the short video. The background is a backdrop I made out of bristle paper, and the lighting is a desk lamp. In total there is around 400 frames. Although this is my first claymation, iMovie and practice made it simple to complete it.









I recorded all sounds in my house including: coffee pouring, walking, Tv static, and white noise. Using iMovie’s audio edits, I modified the recordings below very slightly.



For more about the process for the Gifting Design project follow this link: