A room with a view

This post is for the Alternative History Image assignment in the DS106 assignment bank.


The image is a picture of the High Line in New York City.  Opened in 2009, the High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.  In the background, the twin towers of the World Trade Center can be seen.  The image was created as if the World Trade Center was intact.  If the towers had never been demolished in the terrorist attack, they would probably still be a standing symbol of Global trade, freedom, and American technology looking down on the streets of New York City everyday.

The image of the High Line was chosen for its scenic view and rooftop garden feel.  Within five years after its opening, it has become one of New York City’s top main attractions.  If the twin towers were still standing today, they would be in the top five of the tallest buildings in the city, and most likely within view of pedestrians enjoying this elevated walkway.  This imaginary image was constructed to provide a positive outlook on New York City.  As a result of the terrorist attack, over 2600 people lost their lives in the World Trade Center alone.  If the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 had never occurred, then New Yorkers and the world would still have their original symbol of American confidence and optimism standing high in the sky.

The featured image was created by first selecting an image of the World Trade Center twin towers discovered from the search engine google.


Next, a photo of the High Line was selected.


Using Adobe Photoshop, the buildings in the background were removed to create an empty sky.


This building was added to another layer.


Lastly, the World Trade Center twin towers were cropped into the picture and the building was added back on top of it.  The image of the towers needed to be blurred a little to be evenly transposed.



Wish you were here!

This post is to fulfill the Destination Post Card assignment from the DS106 design assignment bank.  It is worth three stars.


The image of the post card is an aerial view of New York City in which the World Trade Center twin towers are prominent.  Since both the North and South towers are intact, this image was taken prior to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.

Use your words carefully

This assignment is to fulfill the Character Word Cloud task found in the DS106 design assignment bank.  It is worth 2 stars.

A word cloud is “an image composed of words used in a particular text or subject, in which the size of each word indicates its frequency or importance.”

The chosen theme for this assignment is the depiction of the World Trade Center in New York City.  The texts are transposed into a column shape, indicating the high-rise and perpendicular aspects of the twin towers.  In this image, “Tower,” “Manhattan,” and “New York” appear to be larger, indicating the significance of the desired effect.   Altogether, the collection of words chosen for this assignment are ones used to describe the actual structure of the building itself, and not of the tragedy or aftermath that occurred during the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.


Celebrating fifty years of Modern Design

What if the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 never happened?  What would the World Trade Center Twin Towers look like today?

This book cover is a hypothetical depiction of what the World Trade Center in New York City may look like if the original twin towers were still standing today.  Background history of the World Trade Center was researched on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey website.  With the finalization of the North Tower in 1970 and the South Tower in 1971, the year 2020 would mark the 50th anniversary since the completion of the World Trade Center.  In this day in age, it is easy to imagine that the structure would have undergone multiple modernization and redesign efforts to achieve energy efficient goals, implemented the latest technology enhancements, and aided in helping to create a sustainable environment to lower Manhattan.

This book cover adaptation was selected as an alternative to the tragedy of the terrorist attack.  The attack that occurred on September 11, 2001 was a very traumatic and horrific experience for everyone involved and was one of the most profound of our time.  The basis behind this adaptation is to provide a sense of pride for the city of New York.

Step by step tutorial

The book cover template in Canva.com was utilized in the completion of this assignment.

book template screen shot

Next a template was selected.  Canva offers many choices of templates to choose from.  This one in particular was chosen because of its streamlined effect and modern feel.

Origional Book Cover layout

By double clicking the text box, the contents can be modified accordingly.  However in this assignment, the font, size, and placement of text remained the same for consistency.

text box

A second page was added.  The purpose of this page is to provide a narration of the story.  On the left hand side, the “text” tab was selected to insert a text box on the second page.  “Open Sans” font and “white” font color was selected to provide uniformity to the title page.


An image of the World Trade Center Twin Towers was found using the google search engine.  It was then uploaded to the Canva media file.  On the right hand side, the “arrange” tab was highlighted.  By choosing the “back” option, the uploaded picture was used as the background.



On the second page, a solid background color and white lines were added to harminize with the background of the first page.

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Presenting the final product:

Celebrating 50 years of modern design

Page 2










Hunting for the perfect design

The fundamental elements of design are the building blocks that help determine how successful the design is.  They can provide a starting point to the creative process of the designer, who can in turn influence a product that may become appealing to the consumer.

Whether or not a person may realize, design concepts can be found in everyday items, advertisements, or even in buildings.  Listed below are a few examples of the basic design principles that one may encounter on a daily basis:


Alignment is the adjustment or the connection between the components of a design.  This advertisement was taken outside of a Food Lion grocery store.  The way the wording is arranged in the top-half creates an appealing look due to its symmetrical and organized nature.  The initial message of “Earn Rewards” flows down to the next statement of “On Top Of Your MVP Savings,” in a cohesive and structured manner.


Repetition is the action of repeating a word, phrase or even imagery.  This advertisement displays a repeating pattern of the word “Two” to establish consistency and a straight-forward message.  It is also creating a rhythm geared towards consumers who may be driving by and do not have much time to absorb the message.


Hierarchy is visually emphasizing the principle message in the design. This advertisement is showing emphasis on the word “FREE” by using larger font than the secondary message.  By doing so, the communication and the goal of the ad is clear.


The same ad is also displaying the concept of contrast – which is the juxtaposition of opposing elements.  The usage of yellow and black helps to guide the viewer’s eyes to a key aspect of the design – the notion of a free wiper blade installation (with the purchase of wiper blades.)


Color is light reflected off objects.  This packaging is exhibiting very strong and vibrant hues such as pink and red to create emotion and visual interest.  It is used to emphasize the description of the beverage, which is a “lip smackingly tropical pale ale.”


Space is the area around or between elements in design.  This is a church simply called “The House.”  The designer has chosen to keep the signage minimal and simplistic much like the overall building.

These are just a few examples of some of the design concepts.  Other concepts include proximity, which is the relationship between elements, and balance, which is the weight distributed throughout the design by the placement of elements.

Romance in the Making

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines romance as a “love story especially in the form of a novel.”  This ties into the story genre selected for the class assignment.  The picture below was taken in the car while waiting at a traffic light.  It is considered to be a favorite photo because of its simplicity.  There was no need for a gigantic backdrop, and the message behind the photo was meant to be an effortless gesture of love and appreciation.

Love stories can often lead to happy endings which may be celebrated in front of close friends and family, or perhaps between the two partners themselves.  In any case, the chosen location where a couple decides to profess their love to one another, may be a central role in defining the atmosphere of their wedding.

Not all couples choose to say their vows in front of a large crowd in an extravagant venue.  Others may decide to skip the expensive options and opt for a more intimate and secluded location.  The pictures shown below are examples of alternative peaceful settings where a couple may decide to exchange their wedding vows.


“Compromise is a virtue to be cultivated, not a weakness to be despised.”

From Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 1 Episode 21: “Liberty on Ryloth”

Although wedding ceremonies are important, it is the marriage that counts the most. However, a marriage may require compromise between the couple in order to resolve conflict.  The pictures below portray a situation where compromise was necessary.

Thinking about Photography

This week was challenging and educational, with lessons focused on enhancing critically thinking as it pertains to photography. The class was asked to review various suggestions on improving photography skills, with the goal of telling a story in a visual form.

After reviewing “tips for better photography,” a few points that resonated were:

  • Pay attention to the moment:  Exercise patience, be observant, and study any patterns that may emerge, which may culminate in achieving the desired photo.
  • Change your perspective and create depth:  By varying distances to the subject, this may create contrasting views and dimensions, which can alter the mood of the photo.
  • Consider being more selective:  Think carefully about the shot, and the preferred outcome.

As part of this assignment, the class was asked to observe a gallery of choice in Abandoned America.  The gallery chosen is titled “Religious and Residential.”

This photo was taken from “The Ascension of Our Lord Church (2014)”

This photo utilizes the idea of framing a shot from a different perspective.  In this shot, the ceiling and the floor of the church are displayed, both of which are fractured and damaged.  By highlighting the mangled areas in a wide frame, the photographer is able to capture a sense of abandonment and despair.

This photo was taken from “Yellow Dog Village (Matthew Christopher 2004-2015)”

The photographer has chosen to depict depth, which gives the viewer a sense of desertion.  By photographing the wall in this close proximity, the separation of the drywall is highly visible, and the structure appears to be crumbling.  The photograph feels post-apolcalyptic, as it presents the idea that the building has been abandoned for numerous years, due to a catastrophic event.


An additional requirement was to participate in a fifteen minute photographic scavenger hunt. These photos were taken near the Lesner Inn, a waterfront event venue and catering facility located in Virginia Beach.

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This location was chosen for its ample parking and proximity to the Lynnhaven Inlet.  The initial location was originally the Virginia Beach boardwalk, however due to parking restrictions, the Lesner Inn became the sensible choice.

This experience was extremely enjoyable.  The photo illustrating abstract was one in which the goal was achieved.  The camera was held close to the object, which was a gold anchor located in front of a building.  Also the picture of the scaffolding on the side of the Lesner Bridge was a fun way to portray complexity.  The expansion project of the Lesner Bridge began in June 2014 and by the looks of it, construction is still underway.  In addition, the picture of the bush blowing in the wind gave the appearance of an animated object.

The picture thought to be the most inventive was the photo of the interesting shadow.  The photograph appears to be the shadow of a palm tree. In actuality, it is a shadow of a light post merged with the shadow of a tree branch.