Glossary

  • Aesthetic

    Definition

    The visual appearance of something usually in relation to specific tastes.

    Example

    Nathan’s instagram feed has a gothic aesthetic.

    Also known as

    Look of something, style.

  • Ambitious

    Definition

    An idea that is demanding and/ or complex and requires much skill and effort to complete.

    Example

    Her idea to build an igloo was ambitious given she had no experience building anything.

  • Analog

    Definition

    A physical or mechanical process or technology. Often used to contrast to a digital process or technology.

    Example

    A mechanical watch vs a digital watch.

  • Analyse

    Definition

    To study or examine something in detail, in order to discover more about it.

    Example

    In order to understand her style I needed to analyse as many of her artworks as possible.

  • Aotearoa

    Definition

    North Island - now used as the Māori name for New Zealand.

  • Ascender

    Definition

    In typography, the upward vertical stem on some lowercase letters, such as h and b, that extends above the x-height is the ascender.

  • Asset

    Definition

    Part or component used to build an outcome. Generally something such as an illustration or image.

    Also known as

    Component.

  • Asymmetrical

    Definition

    When graphics and text are not equal on both sides of a central line, a design is said to be asymmetrical.

    Also known as

    Unequal, imbalanced.

  • Cognitive

    Definition

    Conscious mental activity such as; thinking, reasoning, or remembering.

  • Component

    Definition

    Part or aspect of something larger.

    Example

    There are many components to a photography shoot. E.g. Lighting, props and assistants.

    Also known as

    Piece, aspect, asset.

  • Computational

    Definition

    The act of calculating for a specific purpose.

    Example

    She needed to use computational thinking to set up the laser cutter with the correct settings and configuration.

    Also known as

    Calculating, figuring.

  • Conscious

    Definition

    Perceiving, apprehending, or noticing with a degree of controlled thought or observation.

    Example

    He was conscious that his words sounded angrier than he had intended.

  • Contemporary

    Definition

    This refers to something happening currently and of the current time. However. it is important to note when discussing ‘contemporary art’, this is often referred to as art produced in the second half of the 20th century or in the 21st century.

  • Context

    Definition

    The situation within which something exists or happens, and that can help explain it.

  • Contextual

    Definition

    Could refer to anything from the circumstances, theme, society or time period.

  • Creative heritage

    Definition

    Your personal art, design and creative background. This includes your cultural heritage; and is often made up of things we take for granted.

    Example

    Cooking was something he had always enjoyed and do with his father. It was an important part of his creative heritage.

  • Critical

    Definition

    Exercising or involving careful judgment.
    Adverb: critically.

  • Digital artisans

    Definition

    Artists, designers and makers who follow the digital handmade movement to create their outcomes.

  • Digital Handmade movement

    Definition

    The use of handmade or craft based practices in combination with digital technologies and/or fabrication techniques to produce works of art and design.

  • Double colonisation

    Definition

    This refers to the stance of a woman of colour in the post-colonial world. Suggesting that women of colour are oppressed by a colonial power as well as the patriarchy.

  • Evolved

    Definition

    Changed or developed over time.
    Past tense of evolve.

  • Extend

    Definition

    Push ideas past the obvious conclusion, usually through research and experimentation.

    Example

    He was able to extend his ideas by experimenting with some new printing techniques.

  • Fabricate

    Definition

    To create or build something.

    Example

    They were going to make a shelf, which they would fabricate out of plywood.

    Also known as

    Construct, manufacture, produce.

  • Fiddly

    Definition

    Something small that is difficult to physically handle.

    Example

    The clasp on the necklace was small and fiddly.

    Also known as

    intricate, awkward.

  • Field

    Definition

    Specific area of study, interest and/or practice.

    Example

    Woodblock printing.

    Also known as

    Discipline, specialism, domain.

  • First generation

    Definition

    Referring to someone who is the first generation of person(s) to be born in a particular country, (meaning their parents were born in a different country).

  • Form

    Definition

    The shape and structure of an object. Can be used to describe three dimensional space or volume.

    Example

    The steep contours of the building highlighted it's unusual form.

  • Hunt and gather

    Definition

    To go out and actively seek images and information to help inspire the creative process.

    Also known as

    Design research, design reference materials.

  • Identity

    Definition

    Identity is who you are. How both yourself and others view/understand you.

  • Identity politics

    Definition

    Refers to a group of peoples shared ideas/experiences based on culture, ethnicity, nationality, religion, race, sexuality, etc.

  • Indigenous

    Definition

    Produced, growing, living or occurring natively or naturally in a particular region or environment.

    Indigenous is a term that can be used when referring to ethnic groups that were first inhabitants of a place. Māori are the Indigenous people of New Zealand Aoteroa. This is why when referring to Māori art/design practices, the word indigenous can be used.

  • Intersectional feminism

    Definition

    A theoretical framework underlining that women experience/ practice/ understand feminism in different ways based on their own culture, race, religion, etc. Intersectional feminism aims to be non-discriminatory.

  • Justified

    Definition

    Supported by a reasoned argument.

  • Makers

    Definition

    Anyone who creates something, usually in a creative context.

    Also known as

    Artist, designer, artisan, craftsperson, creative, technologist.

  • Media

    Definition

    The materials or medium you use to make something.

    Example

    Media can include things like; pastels, airbrush, colour pencils, collage, marker pens, paint, gouache, card, and digital media.

  • Milestone

    Definition

    A significant stage or event in the development of something.

  • Mode

    Definition

    The tool or method used to communicate and/or capture something. It often refers to the way of doing/ performing a task.

    Example

    Modes can include things like: digital applications, photography, image manipulation, animation, models and the range of conventional drawing and sketching methods.

  • Movement

    Definition

    A 'movement' is a style or overriding inclination within art or design that upholds a specific philosophy or ideal. It is followed and promoted by a group of artists for a defined period of time. This way of working is guided by established philosophies, stylistic choices and often reflect the over all cultural context of a time.

    Example

    Andy Warhol was part of the 'Pop Art' movement which combined popular culture with fine art. Art/design from this movement often made comment on the consumer culture of the 1950s.

  • Muse

    Definition

    A muse is an inspiration for some kind of creative expression.

  • Objective

    Definition

    Expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations.

  • Orientalism

    Definition

    A term coined by Edward Said is a way of seeing from a Western perspective which frames the Asian continent, Asian culture and Asian people as different or ‘other’, in relation to Europe and the U.S. It is often met stereotypes that the ‘Orient’ is uncivilised, compared to its Western counterparts.

  • Performative

    Definition

    This relates to creative performance and expression in the arts.

  • Postcolonial theory

    Definition

    “Post-colonialism is simply a lens through which we study literature that is set in colonised countries or deals with post-colonial issues. These issues include, but are not limited to, issues of identity, culture, politics, and economics”.

    Source

    Study

  • Re-generate

    Definition

    Reconstruct ideas through experimentation in order to extend them.

  • Resonate

    Definition

    Something that you respond to and are drawn to.

    Example

    The colour of the painting really resonated with her.

    Also known as

    Striking a chord, sitting well.

  • Scale

    Definition

    The size of an object or element, often in reference to a defined measure or context.

    Example

    The scale of the poster made it impossible to ignore.

    Also known as

    Size.

  • Self-portrait

    Definition

    A rendering (drawing, painting, photograph, etc) of yourself or representation of yourself.

  • Shape

    Definition

    The form or condition in which an object exists or appears.

    Source

    MoMa Glossary

  • SOPs

    Definition

    Standards Operating Procedure. Established ways of doing something within trade and industry.

  • Stimuli

    Definition

    Plural of stimulus. Things that will help to spark ideas and creative motivation.

    Example

    She had gathered a wide range of stimuli to help spark her imagination.

  • Subjective

    Definition

    Modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background. A concept based on a persons’ feelings, opinions or tastes.

    Example

    Saying ‘abstract art is subjective’, means that abstract art can be liked by some and disliked by others based upon personal opinion.

  • Theoretical research

    Definition

    Beliefs/ideas that are backed up by theoretical research/evidence.

  • Tikanga

    Definition

    Correct procedure, custom, habit, lore, method, manner, rule, way, code, meaning, plan, practice, convention, protocol - the customary system of values and practices that have developed over time and are deeply embedded in the social context.

  • Tool

    Definition

    Tools that are available to you. These can be skills and people as well as physical and digital tools.

    Example

    He was lucky enough to have access to a master illustrator to help him develop the skills in his personal tool kit.

  • Trade

    Definition

    An occupation requiring manual or mechanical skills.

    Also known as

    Craft.

  • Translate

    Definition

    To take ideas in one form/ media or style and make them suitable for another.

    Example

    To translate a pencil sketch into a digital vector.

  • Typography

    Definition

    Typography is the design of words and letters.

  • Unpack

    Definition

    To pull apart and analyse something.

    Example

    He had to unpack the design brief to help him understand what he was being asked to do.

    Also known as

    To dissemble and get your head around something.

  • Wallpaper

    Definition

    1. Paper often coloured and printed with designs and pasted to a wall as a decorative covering.
    2. A picture or design displayed on the background of a computer screen or cell phone.

  • Whanau

    Definition

    Extended family, family group, a familiar term of address to a number of people - the primary economic unit of traditional Māori society. In the modern context the term is sometimes used to include friends who may not have any kinship ties to other members.