Pdp

Over the past weeks I have been researching into various subject areas,and the main one that stood out to me was my relationship with objects. Following previous ‘Meshwork of object’ constellation sessions I was inspired to write about our relationships with objects, after taking a trip to Cardiff museum. Whilst walking through the museum I was interested in seeing how each object had a meaning that was given to it by its creator and how it’s placement within that exhibition was considered.

This then inspired me to think of how the different materials used for different objects also contribute to how humans interact with them. The nature of some materials can draw individuals to have a closer connection with the object. For example if an object was created using a material such as bubble wrap some people would be more willing to interact with it, because the material is usually associated with something fun. The same goes for materials which are soft/smooth, these materials are more desirable and make people want to touch them. On the other hand, objects which have a hard or rough exterior might be less desirable to people and therefore fewer people will want to interact with them. Therefore, you see that materials play a large role in our relationships with objects, as we are more likely to want to interact with something soft over something with a hard/ rough exterior.

Whilst walking through the museum I was interested in the process behind each object, its background, why it was created and why they had chosen to present that object in a way so that it wasn’t interactive anymore. Each object has a meaning to why it belongs, they exist so that we are able to use, move and explore them, so I want to explore why exhibition spaces go against the purpose of an object, therefore exploring the restricted relationship between humans and objects within an exhibition space.

Moving on from this, I decided to look deeper into the different themes that develop from this subject. I decided to look at my subject area and what was important to me. I use technology every day in my subject and in my social life, and I thought it would be interesting to research further into our relationship with those technological objects.

For my dissertation I have decided to explore our dependency on technological objects, discovering why we become so dependent on those inanimate objects. As technology grows It becomes harder to understand what technological objects might represent, for example, considering how our perceptions have influenced the way we consider objects and how they define us. Objects control and restrict us in many ways which leads me to discover how our experiences affects the way we create relationships with objects or is it the material of objects that makes them more intriguing.

My relationship with technology has definitely grown since starting in university, I have become more dependant on it in my work, my designs, social life and keeping in contact with my family. My reliance on these objects inspired me to think how people gain relationships with ‘things’ from previous experiences. However, even though technology makes my day-to-day life easier, I argue that the use of technology is restricting my creative freedom, for example, there is only so far you can modify designs on the computer, however creating something by hand, you are able to create work that is personal to you and that shows your individuality.

After researching further into different theories it’s become clear that,  technology is controlling us and the way we perceive things. As technology continues to develop, our relationships with these objects becomes even stronger. We are much more vulnerable when it comes to technology today, we rely on it to save our lives, keep track of our health or rely on technology for our emotional connections to others. I am also intrigued to discover what effect technological objects have on art and design, which again has developed from objects controlling and restricting us in many ways.

Before going into depth about the subject I am writing about I decided to give a brief overview of the relationship between humans and all objects. Using research and theories discussed by others I have discovered that all objects have a purpose, which is given to them by someone or a previous experience. Through this people are able to make connections with those objects, for example, if I was to walk into a room some everyday objects have no particular interest to me, so they would just remain in the background. However it is important to consider how those objects might have a purpose to others, for example, a packet of cigarettes wouldn’t grab my attention because I’m not a smoker, but to someone who is, that object would have a purpose.

After writing the proposal It was interesting to see how you as an individual can develop an emotional attachment to a particular object, where others might not have, for example, the background and previous experiences, leading the individual to develop their own personal interest. As we discovered the space I became aware that my fellow peers had different opinions on the objects/ artworks which reflected their practice.

I have found it challenging to create a structure in my work and  I also found it difficult to create valid arguments without starting to discuss other themes that were similar. Before starting on my dissertation I want to collect many more references that include similar theories to my subject, so that I have a better coverage of opinions. This will make my work much more effective and interesting.

 

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Marrakech – Reflection

I was apprehensive but excited to join the trip to Morocco. Before going I decided to do some brief research into some of the places we would visit on our trip, such as the ‘Bahia Palace’ and the ‘Saadian Tombs’. The place I was most excited to see was the Majorelle Gardens, after reading about its brief history.  The building and gardens took 40 years (1886-62) to create, by the French painter Jacques Majorelle. The garden covers two and a half acres of land, and is filled with exotic plants, trees and pools decorated with water lilies and lotus flowers. What makes it so exciting and unique is the vibrant primary colours. The blue paint used on the buildings is called the “Majorelle blue”, making it unique to this site.

I was  surprised to see how busy it was on the streets and in the different sites. On the streets  you are overwhelmed by the different smells of spices, dust and food cooking. When you visit the square, you can hear the snake charmers and their instruments and the sounds of people talking and cars/ mopeds massing and beeping. Different to the outside, the sounds from inside the buildings are much more tranquil. You can hear birds chirping and fountains dripping and the light sound of Moroccan instruments playing in the background.

Everything I experienced in Marrakech became part of the inspiration for our project. I was most inspired by the variety of colours and smells, and thought that they would be really interesting to experiment with in my project. I wanted to use these senses to come alive in the book, and give whoever’s looking at it a brief experience of the smells and sounds of Morocco.

Whilst in Marrakech we decided to re-group, so that we would be working with others who had similar ideas. I was put into a group with Maris, Freya and Nuw, and we all wanted to focus on the senses. Whilst in Morocco we came up with the idea of designing a book which would include fabric, dyed using the dyes we bought in Morocco, some would even be infused with spices, orange blossom and argon oil. The book would also include some pages of interesting artworks, sketches and patterns that we were inspired by in Marrakech. We also wanted to have the sounds we recorded in Morocco playing as you look through the book. We had the idea of using an ‘Ipod’ so that you could listen to the sounds through headphones.

After returning home, we had a group discussion and gave everyone a specific role, making sure that everyone could experiment with media from outside their subject. My other role was to create the element of touch in the book, by using my sewing machine. Maris’ role was to create a typeface that would correspond with the editorial and the ‘book of senses’. Nuw and Freya’s role was to dye the fabric and stitch.

Personally I think we worked really well as a group. Even though we did most of the work in our own time we always kept in contact over social media. We would always keep each other up to date on the things we were doing. As well as this we all had our own style of work which showed whist we were putting the book together. before our presentation we all got together to put our work in the book.

Freya decided to cover the book in fabric, that was dyed using some of the colours we collected in Morocco. In Morocco we bought several powdered colours such as, ‘the colour of Marrakech’, ‘Saffron’, Indigo and the poppy colour. Most of the colours worked really well to dye the fabric, however the indigo didn’t take as well as we thought, however it left a subtle tint on the fabric. Whilst in Morocco Freya, Nuw and myself also bought some mint tea, argon oil and orange blossom essence. We decided to use the oil’s to infuse the different fabrics and decided to use double-sided tape to stick the tea under the fabric. Whilst putting the book together we decided to create labels giving instructions for example, “smell here” or “touch here”.

For the element of ‘touch’ there are many different textures within the book, including the disposable images. As part of my role I decided to buy some thread and an embroidery kit and started stitching over the printed images. For example, one of the images was of a large lantern, the picture was quite dark and didn’t highlight the detail that was on the lantern so I decided to take some yellow thread and stitch the outline. Another example was a picture of a plant pot in the Majorelle Garden. Instead of creating an outline of the image I decided to re-create the tile pattern on the image.

Overall, I think that the project turned out better than expected. We were quite apprehensive at the start of the project that our work wouldn’t be enough to fill a book and that our work might not be compatible. However our designs worked really well and we were able to portray most of the senses. We wanted the book to be a celebration, that didn’t have a structure like most books. Whilst in Morocco we decided that everything was so hectic that this was something we needed to show in the book.

If we had more time to create the book we would definitely consider taking it further and possibly creating it on a bigger scale and experimenting with different techniques from outside our subjects. As well as this we would have liked to have experimented with sugar paper, infused with oranges or the spices so that we could have covered all five senses.

 

 

 

AYSC – Reflection

I was apprehensive about starting the AYSC challenge over the 5 weeks as I had never done product design before, however I was excited to start. In the first week I was introduced to subjects such as ergonomics and anthropometrics, I found these to be quite difficult as I have never created work in 3D before. We were given partners, from different subject areas, with whom we would be creating the chair.. We were introduced to our client, the Ceramics lecturer,  Matt Thompson, who we interviewed to get a better idea of his interests. The main interests we discovered were that he enjoys cycling and other outdoor activities, his favourite colour is  blue and we found  that his children are very important to him. Using this information we started designing our chair.

I  have definitely learnt various new skills from this project. Within Graphic Design I am used to designing work in 2D so starting to think in 3D was a challenge. However after having help from some product design students I started to become more confident in the subject. I enjoyed putting the chair together however at some points I did feel slightly helpless when it came to creating the parts. However I was confident in my partner and he was very helpful explaining how everything worked.

Overall we were very happy with the chair when It was completed. We were able to test it to discover that it was more comfortable than it looked! I am very happy with how the tubes work to hold your weight, whilst also giving a slight element of surprise as you sit on it. I am happy with the chair’s unique appearance and it looks exactly like we had imagined. On the other hand if we were able to re-create the chair we would have made it slightly bigger, as it was cut slightly smaller than we had hoped. As well a this we could have experimented with pulling the inner tubes so that they were tighter and more consistent, so that it’s slightly more comfortable on your lower back.

Within my subject area I am used to working with others to create my work, so I was happy working collaboratively. It was interesting to see how others work in their subject, for example how their work is more hands-on whereas my work as a Graphic Designer is slightly more computerised.  Personally I thought that my partner and myself worked together really well as we had plenty of ideas to share and got things done fairly quickly. At first I found it difficult to incorporate my graphic design skills into the work, however I was able to come up with some ideas that would help the appearance of the chair. James, being the product designer definitely took on the role of making sure everything worked as it should.

I have learnt many new skills over the past five weeks, such as woodwork, using tools, developed my communication skills, working under pressure and time management. I will be able to use these skills in my future projects.

 

PDP

My constellation was ‘The Meshwork of Objects’ with Jacqui Knight. I was apprehensive but also curious to start. In the first session we briefly discussed what we were going to be learning over the following weeks. We had an induction to ‘The meshwork of objects’,  Transdisciplinarity perspective and our relationship with objects, subjects and ‘Thingness’.

In the second session we discussed, “What is Structural Materialist Film?”. In the session our main focus was ‘exploding the black box of cinema’ where we  looked at examples of structural materialist films that point to film as material and create handmade films to understand the ‘thinglyness’ of film, it’s ontology and also how the apparatus works together with the film material to provide an interpretation of the objects. As well as this we experimented with how the apparatus changes our perceptions of objects and what it means for scientific experiments or objective knowledge.

Before this session I had no understanding or knowledge of materialist/ structural film’s. I learnt that the films are usually short, experimental and Non- illusionist. They don’t usually document a narrative or follow a set of actions and usually show relations between segments, from what the camera is aimed at and the way that ‘image’ is presented. As well as this I learnt that you also get a sense of the camera person, where the camera becomes an extension of the body, as if you’re watching from the camera man’s perspective.

Similar to my ‘New Materialism’ constellation sessions with Dr Martin Woodward, it was interesting to see how objects within film also become extensions of your body. It reminded me of the extract from Pallasmaa’s ‘The Working Hand’ which explains that, a painter paints by the means of the mind rather than the brush as a physical object. Throughout the session, my knowledge and understanding of how the object becomes a part of our body, and shapes our creative practice.

I also learnt how you can identify a materialist film by looking at examples of work such as ‘Berlin Horse, by Malcolm Le Grice, 1970‘ where you see a film of horses becoming more and more distorted throughout the clip. I believe that the films make you feel rather confused, similar to ‘Fluxus’, short films with moving images with distorted and annoying sound effects. It was interesting to see how you can identify structural films by the imperfections, usually the creator’s aren’t interested in removing scratches because it shows the process of the film going through a projector. They’re also not interested in taking out grain, dust and hair that get stuck in the emulsion.

I enjoyed this session as I learnt about a topic I had never come across before. With Graphic Design I usually focus on topics surrounding my subject so it was interesting to learn something about a subject outside my course. I’m not usually drawn to film, as I have never had the chance to experiment with the equipment or materials so It was exciting to be able to try something new. I definitely felt as if I learnt a new set of skills from this session which I am excited to bring into my work as a graphic designer, such as experimenting with using handmade films in some of my future projects.

Another session that inspired me was based in Cardiff Museum, where we were put into groups and told to wander around the museum and find an object/ artwork that stood out to us and inspired us. We were told to discuss how the object had been presented and what inspired us to choose it. I enjoyed this session as I believe it related to graphic communication, understanding how to place objects so that they provide an experience for the viewer, similar to how as a graphic designer you must design your work so that it suits your client.

It was interesting to see how you as an individual can develop an emotional attachment to a particular object, where others might not have, for example, the background and previous experiences, leading the individual to develop their own personal interest. As we discovered the space I became aware that my fellow peers had different opinions on the objects/ artworks which reflected their practice.

The two sessions inspired me to think about how objects are presented within exhibition spaces and the relationship between the creator and the viewer, which I will discuss in my formative essay.  I will be discussing how objects are presented and curated so that they provide an experience for the viewers. As well as this I will be discussing examples of exhibition spaces and objects that have been presented in creative and interesting ways, the physiology behind exhibition spaces/ colour and commercial/ online spaces.

This constellation has not only been useful, but it’s inspired me to consider other subjects outside my course. It has helped me within my practice to think about the way I create and to widen my research topics. The sessions have definitely inspired me to think ‘outside the box’ when starting on projects and how my piece of work affects others. I will definitely be applying this to my work in the future. I will explore the many ways I could include film within my practice and consider how the objects we use become an extension of the body.  I am now considering how others go about presenting their work and how I could use inspiration from others so that my work can be presented in a better way.

Introduction to branding

Last Tuesday was our first day back at university so we were introduced to what we would be doing over the next couple of weeks. We started by discussing what makes a good brand and how it can be useful to evolve a brand so that its more appealing to the customer. Within this discussion I learnt how it’s important to consider what impression you want to make on the customer and how your brand appeals to your target audience. Another important point to consider was the practicalities of developing a brand, again finding a way to perceive the brand so  that it appeals to the target audience.

To get a better understanding of how branding for a particular target audience works, we were given a page full of different ‘lip balm’ packaging from existing brands. Our task was to explore their brand values. We had to find the unique selling points within the product which indicated who was the target audience, for example one packaging was designed with bright colours and a swirly typeface which showed that it’s target audience was most probably for younger people. However another example was a ‘dr organic’ Pomegranate lip barm. It was clear that the company had very different brand values to the previous balm, this brand wanted to show how it’s product was created with antioxidant properties of ‘Organic pomegranate’ and that their balm was moisturising and soothing. Looking at the brand values shows how the ‘dr organic’ balm appeals to a much older target audience, for people who want a more luxurious and reliable product.

We then moved on to looking at the company ‘easy’ and how their brand identity works to engage their customers. The use of the colour orange was defiantly a big part of how people recognise the company and they have used this by setting their logo on multiple platforms such as easy jet, easy hotels, easy boats, cars and buses, easy terminals and even easy pizza!

Our task was, in groups of 3, to choose an example brand and present its visuals on an A3 sheet. for this task I worked with Ellie and Maris and as a group we decided to base our research on the company Virgin media. Our general knowledge of ‘Virgin’ as a brand was that it has many different platforms and that it’s reliable and affordable. Similar to the company ‘easy’ Virgin uses the colour red as one of its main brand values. The company is also recognised by its large ‘V’ in the logo.

After collecting a handful of images showing the brands visual identity ( shown below), we learnt how the brand makes you consider its different qualities. As a group we decided that the values included being high quality, reliable and customer friendly because of the sponsoring of ‘V festival’.

fullsizeoutput_3a3

From this I have learnt how important it is to consider the common themes behind each brand and their power over the customer. It’s important to consider what type of impression you want to make on your target audience so that it gives a sense of the brands personality.

 

 

Neil Hubbard – Heatherwick Studio

On Friday we had the privilege to listen to Neil Hubbard from Heatherwick Studio discuss the projects his company has completed or is currently undertaking. He also spoke about his background and how he got to where he is today. The Company is based in King’s Cross, London and is a made up from a team of 200 Architects, Designers and Makers. He definitely has a clear passion for what he does within the company, from designing outstanding architectural buildings to designing the Olympic Cauldron in 2012.

“Create the problems and then solve them”

throughout his talk he gave us many key points to consider whilst working for any company, as well as discussing his most popular projects. I found the talk to be very inspiring and made me consider the amount of work and research that is put into the different projects.

The project that stood out to me most was the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, based in Laverstoke. The Company was given the task of creating a new distillery in the South of England, they found it challenging as many of the local people were concerned about keeping the building’s heritage. The company wanted to use the project to show how the distillery process worked, so they came up with the idea of developing two glasshouses attached to the building, one of them would be tropical and the other Mediterranean. The heat from the distillery would be then used to create the hot conditions within the glasshouses. I found the design process to be very interesting, he showed us a variety of different styles of how they wanted the glasshouses to look before finding the one that suited it perfectly. The site also straddled  the River Test, so they made plans so that the new glasshouses would be placed in the river.

“The brief is all the inspiration you need”

After hearing about the design process for  this project it made me think about how much detail the company takes into consideration whilst designing different things and how they adapt the brief slightly to make it more interactive, exciting and unforgettable.

Another project that really stood out to me was the copper cauldron used in the 2012 Olympics. They had looked at all the cauldrons created in the previous years and none of them really stood out, it was more about how it was going to be lit up. So the Company wanted to create something bigger and better that people would remember for years to come. They  needed to create something that would represent all countries coming together in unity. They decided to create copper petals, each engraved with the name of the country it represented and the petals would all be lit up individually and  rise until all of the petals are brought to the centre.

Detail was definitely one of the main things used to create the cauldron, all the pieces were considered and used to represent, making this piece unforgettable and outstanding. Therefore I have learnt the importance of knowing what and who you’re creating for and how important it is to create something unforgettable so that you can guarantee that people will remember you!

Tips:

  • Read the brief OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
  • Find new from the old
  • Set up the problem and find the solution
  • Know your context
  • ZOOM IN, ZOOM OUT
  • Make it real
  • The importance of making is to find the idea!

I really enjoyed listening to Hubbard’s talk and really inspired me to think that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Heatherwick Studios have created so many incredible projects, some that you might think are impossible. I have learnt that if you share your ideas, no matter how big or small and work effectively with others then there is no limit to what you can create!

 

Ephemera Project

Task 1 – Text Block

This morning we had three different tasks to complete, but first we had a brief recap on the different terms to use in our work. For the first task we were given a piece of text which we then had to set into a paragraph taking into consideration the leading, kerning, tracking, justification and rag. This was a very simple but interesting task as it made you consider the different elements to make a perfectly structured paragraph. From the task I learnt that it is important to consider the line length, which is the maximum length of a single line of text before the next word in a sentence ‘wraps’ onto the next line underneath. I am happy with the spacing between each sentence, however the line length is slightly untidy as some of the sentences are longer than others. This causes the paragraph to look uneven, and whilst reading the text it is a fact that the eyes can only focus on a line of text for so long before the fatigue kicks in and destroys the reading process.

Examples of different layouts 

Task 2 – Layout/Editorial pt.1

The second task today was to create four different layouts using the magazines or newspapers. We had to create two portrait and landscape symmetrical layouts and two portrait and landscape asymmetrical layouts. However due to lack time we only got to do three of these layouts.

I started by cutting out a heading, sub heading, an image, and a block of text from the newspaper provided. I then decided to experiment with the different layouts, once I was happy with the layout I would then glue it to the A4 paper, taking into consideration that the elements can overlap.

The first image below is an example of an asymmetrical portrait layout. All of the elements are staggered on one side of the page. I decided to place the heading on its side, going up the left hand side of the paper so that it catches your eye. If I would have created this layout using columns, the large image would be slightly out of the grid system therefore it makes it an asymmetrical layout. For the second piece I wanted to create a symmetrical landscape layout, using a larger image. Instead of using one straight heading I wanted to experiment with cutting the letters and placing one lower than the other, and I think that this has worked really well. However the last layout is definitely my least favourite. For this I wanted to create the layout so that they were symmetrical, but this didn’t go to plan as I had another block of text which made the layout slightly more asymmetrical.

Task 3 – Layout/ Editorial pt.2

Following task 2, we then formed pairs to discuss and make notes on the qualities of each layout. We also had to re balance the elements and show how the layout could be improved. We then had to choose one of the three designs, photocopy it and then re build the layout on the basis of our discussion.

Considering the aesthetic and the power of white space I decided to play around with the elements on my partner’s work. I thought that the original image (The top first image below) was very interesting and left plenty of white space, however my only concern was that the image and the heading didn’t look as if they were meant to be together. So I decided to bring the image closer to the text and place the heading above. I thought that this worked really well at first, but after a while it started to look off-balance so I then decided to move the heading to the side of the image and I was really happy with the outcome.