11/09/2017 // Ideas Factory
The day was filled with important notices and information which allowed me to familiarise with timetables, Moodle and, most importantly, Workflow and documentation of work. This helped me to feel more prepared for the future amid the confusing first couple of weeks of the course.
For the first project we were divided into small groups and given three words to initiate research. This included an '-ism', a material and a process, mine being:
Upon first inspection of these words, me and my group were unsure of their relationship to one another, yet as we discussed and brainstormed ideas the links between them became clear. Whilst we used the internet as a tool for quick research into Futurism, we largely spoke of personal experiences and associations to the words, leading to more abstract conceptual ideas as to how they connect. Some ideas included the link between the geometric formations of ice and the geometric qualities of modern structures, ice as a physical/visual representation of the past and how this contrasts the future, and also the emotional fragility of hiding in modern life and the fragility of ice itself. From this I learnt how valuable personal responses are to inform and initiate different strands of research.
We then were given a quick visualisation drawing task where we were asked to create designs/concepts for buildings that linked to our three words (either in how it looked or the function of the building itself). I found that working so quickly to produce concepts was quite challenging as it required me to think of ideas in a short space of time and meant I could only document the most important visual aspects of the buildings. Yet the pressure of time was useful as it forced me to present ideas that I may otherwise have doubted, meaning I could be more creative and abstract. Next time I would try to overcome the initial hesitation during the task which caused me to waste time I could have otherwise used to produce more concepts.
The plan for the next session is to continue to research the words more closely using multiple outlets and resources for our research, incorporating books/journals from the library.
12/09/2017 // Ideas Factory
Today me and my group engaged in research using books/ journals in the library in order to closely investigate our '-ism', material and process, focusing on each word individually. Initially this was a challenging task, as researching each word individually proved to only lead to vast and vague strands of information, seemingly lacking any sort of connection. Yet, as me and my group continued to read and collect books across the library, we came to realise that the words not only interlinked and bounced off of one another, but also sparked exciting ideas and concepts. These concepts included the idea of modern surveillance and the inability to 'hide' due to invasive modern technology, and also the fears surrounding advances in technology and how ice can reflect this as a material.
Using library resources, I particularly focused on finding out more about my material (Ice), and found interesting ideas about the deep associations and reliance of humans on ice and the prospect of our future impact on the environment. In addition, my research triggered thoughts about the way in which ice transforms, subject to the environment, to water/steam and how this can reflect humankind and 'hidden' appearances.
Throughout today I also familiarised myself with the library as an essential research tool in addition to the internet, aiding my understanding of the alternative methods of researching. However, trying to find books relating to our process, 'hide', proved difficult as upon searching this word not many books came up. Perhaps we should have searched up other words relating to hide rather than the actual word to combat this issue. I plan on doing this tomorrow when I further my research.
During our research we started to bounce back and forth with ideas that could link and express our three words in a visual form. Initial ideas included that of an installation piece using light cast onto large icicle formations, which would emphasise their glass-like, transparent quality and cast shadows to obscure the viewers perception of the space. This links to the glass structures of the urban city, expressing the hidden mystery presented by the modern world. We also discussed the possibility of a garment, which would play off of the geometric formations of ice, creating shapes to hide and obscure the body in ways that would reflect the cubist style of Futurist works. We plan on discussing more ideas tomorrow after researching more thoroughly.
As a group we worked well at dividing up the task, yet more communication is needed in order for more ideas to be generated. Next time we will come together and discuss our individual aspects of research for a longer period of time to cohesively compile our thoughts. We also need to focus more closely on our process word, which seems to be the most difficult to find research materials for.
In preparation for tomorrow I will research more into the ideas behind Futurism and also any artists of interest that can provide inspiration. I will also brainstorm ideas relating to 'hide'.
13/09/2017 // Ideas Factory
In continuation of the library research, me and my group focused on gathering information to aid our idea development. Specifically, we focused on the process 'hide' as this presented the most difficulty when finding research materials and books in the library. While originally it was challenging, we came to the conclusion that searching up associations to the word 'hide' may be more useful when refining our search and finding research materials, and we instead searched words such as 'camouflage', 'shadow' and 'mask'. Through this I learnt the necessity of more abstract thinking when approaching research, and I also found that my research became a lot more interesting and complex as a result. Searching up such words led me down different avenues of thought, for instance 'mask' made me think about disguise and the idea that 'not everything is as it seems' within society. Furthermore, 'shadow' made me think about obscurity, and I began to think of concepts that incorporated the projection of light onto ice to create shadows to 'hide' areas from the eye.
This research then sparked more thorough conversations around ideas and concepts to bring all of our words together. Through the more abstract strands of research we were able to formulate more abstract ideas, thus making it more exciting and rewarding for all group members. One idea included that of weaving into paper using wool to represent an iceberg, which when rotated would reveal a man's face thus expressing the idea of illusion and concealment in association to 'hiding'. We then thought about taking this a stage further as a large-scale installation, in which the viewer could walk among large ,futuristic metal wire structures that would present the same idea. Throughout the day I learnt the importance of pushing ideas past their conceptual limits, in regards to this project, to reach more creative and impactful outcomes.
Although initially it was difficult to bring all of the words together, we came to realise their connections are all very relevant within modern life and, particularly, our own personal experiences. Therefore, by the end of our session, we were able to generate multiple potential ideas for concepts.
14/09/2017 // Ideas Factory
I have been developing my ideas in response to the brief given on Thursday, where I have to create 5 ideas associated to my words and relating to:
- Creating a concept for an animal
- A concept easy to make
- A concept out of budget
- Something impossible
Although I missed the crit session on Thursday, I have continued to expand on my ideas and thoughts that I have gained from the group work earlier in the week. Despite it being out of my control, missing the group crit session meant I lacked the feedback from my peers which would have been valuable for my process and reflection. However, it has taught me to be more self-reflective on my ideas, constantly questioning my work as I go. This is helping me to become more critical of my work and think about which idea is the most successful and impactful to develop into a final project proposal.
Since the last group session at the library I have continued to research individually, specifically in relation to artists whom work with ice, which has provided visual inspiration that has supported my sketches. As this project has progressed I have become more involved in drawing to help visualise my ideas, rather than focusing so heavily on notes, despite them still being of use. Upon constant reflection I feel that working large scale works best with my material and process because this best presents the enormity of ice structures themselves. Also, I want to convey the impressive quality of icy landscapes and feel that this would work best on a large scale. This means I will be developing on my installation ideas for a potential project proposal.
I next plan on developing my final idea in depth from the many ideas I have accumulated along the week. My aim for my final idea is to incite a realisation within the viewer towards the state of modern society; I seek to encourage a higher sense of consciousness amid the human destruction of our environment and ourselves. This builds on my research surrounding futurism and surveillance, and I seek to make links to how this is not only destructive on ourselves but also on our environment.
15/09/2017 // Ideas Factory
I reflected on my previous design idea sketches and developed the idea I felt would work best. I decided to expand on my installation idea, not only as the size is able to convey an impactful message, but also because of the ways the viewer could interact with the piece which would encourage a realisation within them.
The idea is for a large installation of an iceberg structure, made from fragmented shards of glass, which on the surface appears as ice but beneath is made up of machine parts and circuit boards, lit from within. The iceberg is suspended from the ceiling and can be viewed on two levels; the 'surface' level and the 'hidden' level by having two viewing platforms. This plays off of the notion of the 'tip of the iceberg' being the only thing visible to the eye, highlighting the hidden destruction between humans and nature and also the hidden control of technology within the modern world. However, by allowing the viewer to see beneath the 'surface' I am trying to incite a realisation and a greater sense of consciousness within them, as they are able to see what is 'hidden' in everyday life. The use of glass and metal, and geometric shapes, gives futuristic contrast to the natural beauty of the iceberg, making the viewer question the future of man's influence on the planet and the future of technology itself.
I created final sketches and detailed notes on the ideas behind the piece. In some ways, due to the very ambitious nature of my idea, it was difficult to visualise the piece. Yet I was able to overcome this challenge by researching visualisation materials and taking pictures of the inside of machines which I could use when sketching. It is important to note that this idea links to the brief of creating something 'out of budget and impossible to create' meaning I acknowledge it would be a difficult idea to construct.
In comparison to working in a group, I feel that working individually has allowed me to follow the medium I feel works best to convey my three words. However, the conflict of interest that sometimes arises in group work is important, as it means more critical thinking occurs in relation to the ideas. Next time I will try to have more peer feedback to help me with my process.
18/09/17 // Collection Project
As part of the first day on the Fine Art rotation we were introduced to our project for the week, which is centred around 'Collection'. I found the concept of collection very intriguing, as I see the process of collection as something that reveals what we value and what we consider important, making it a very personal process.
We began with forming a group collection centred around our keys, where the whole group came together and thought of ways of arranging and organising the keys to present different forms of information to the viewer. We arranged the keys by making associations, for instance, categorising the keys according to the amount of keys in a set. We then thought of the importance of placement and layout in presenting the information, realising that separating the keys equal distances apart made it much more visually pleasing and easy to process. What I found most interesting when looking at the collection of keys was the insight I gained into the person behind each of the keys, for example I noticed only one set had a car key, giving the impression that most of the collection belonged to younger people. I was able to learnt through this exercise the different ways to approach presenting a collection, which is equally as important as the content of the collection itself.
We then completed two short exercises where we created collections related to the human body and the space around us. I created quick sketches to visually present a collection of hairstyles from other people in the room, as I was particularly interested in the way people's hairstyles were a from of personal expression directly connected to the body. I then focused on collecting textures from the space around me as I found the room to be full of interesting surfaces. These surfaces were interesting to me because they enhanced a very plain and ordinary space into a more exciting sensory experience. I found the quick pace of the exercise quite challenging as it meant I had to formulate and document ideas quickly, however it also meant I was able to think creatively and work spontaneously with ideas.
Following on we were sent to curate collections from outside around Archway. Me and my group went to the local park, documenting collections through photographs while also physically collecting items to form collections. I developed a series of collections, including:
- Autumn leaves
I initially found the task quite challenging, as when looking at my surroundings I found the options of what to collect quite mundane and unoriginal. While the task helped me to start becoming more analytical of my surroundings, I felt quite detached from the content of my collections. However, due to the fact I found it hard to find interesting content for collections from my immediate surroundings, I was forced to think more creatively about how I could systematically approach the process of collection itself. With my leaf collection I focused on collecting solely red-toned leaves, hoping to convey the energy I feel within the autumn environment because I see red as a lively and intense colour, therefore creating an interesting contrast with the fact the fallen leaves actually signify their death. Furthermore, with my graffiti collection I aimed to not only photograph the graffiti but also the environment in which I found it because I wanted to create a visual depiction of Archway high street without overtly photographing the street. The graffiti was especially interesting to me as it visually presented the character of the area and it leaves people's personal stamp on the surroundings.
The biggest challenge with the leaves was actually deciding how to organise them, not only to make them visually coherent, but also to convey the message of time passing with the changing seasons. In order to organise them I decided to create a system of ordering the leaves according to their tonal quality, starting from the deepest reds at the top of the page and becoming progressively lighter. The choice of a white background served to intensify their vibrancy. My peers gave feedback on my work, acknowledging the vibrancy of the red leaves and the contrast to the fact they are in the process of dying. They suggested I could create further collections to categorise other coloured leaves, creating a collection within a collection. The idea of a 'collection within a collection' is interesting to me because it reflects the way in which all things/objects are always a part of a wider idea, and the way in which collections are complex and often present more than one idea.
They felt that my organisation worked very well on a plain background. While I felt this worked well, I feel the impact would be greater on a larger scale. Perhaps a larger collection displayed on a white wall would be better, as the lack of the boundaries of a page would create a never-ending quality, much like the never-ending pattern of the seasons passing. With more time I would have experimented with this on a clean wall in the studio.
As I was not personally connected to any of these collections I have decided to focus on a collection I have already accumulated over time to develop - receipts. The theme of time-passing and conveying this through a collection, much like the leaf collection, is still a theme/ idea I want to investigate. I feel that receipts are particularly engaging, as they don't only document the passing of time, but also they act as documentation of personal consumption. I see the idea of 'you are your consumption' as opening up higher levels of thought about what we value and what defines our identities, while linking it to a very everyday object otherwise seen as scrap.
Speaking to my peers, they were also very engaged by this subject, offering suggestions as to wider themes I could link to, such as the power of the media in influencing our consumption. I was also given suggestions about how I could organise the receipts, for instance I was told that it would be interesting to place faded, older receipts next to newer ones to create a large contrast between time. I think this is an interesting idea because it is a simple way to visually convey the way in which receipts document time, and also the faded receipts would show my personal interaction with the collection itself.
I will continue to develop this idea in the next session.
19/09/2017 // Collection Project
Developing on from my idea for my collection of receipts, throughout today's session I focused on the methods of presentation and organisation. Initially I had a discussion within a small group to gain feedback on how they perceived the content of my collection, revealing the many ways in which my work can be interpreted and also providing useful reactions that could spark ideas for how I could present my collection and to what effect. From this exercise, and throughout the day, I built my understanding of how outside perceptions of my work really alter its meaning despite what I intended for the work to present, which I think is valuable to note within the process of making itself. I came to see that they viewed my collection as a documentation of what I am interested in and also my buying habits within the wider consumer sphere. They were particularly intrigued by the longevity of my collection (which spans across three years), and the personal quality this adds to the documentation.
We then discussed possible methods of presentation with one another, and I came to the conclusion that chronological systemisation of my collection transforms it into some sort of narrative, presenting a period of my life and my consumption. My immediate idea included taking the key information from the receipts (dates, items, price) and compile this into one long, unbroken set of text in an attempt to re-contextualise and remove the differences between each item. By taking the information out of the receipts I aim to give the information value, and the fact that it was initially a scrap receipt ceases to be of importance. I experimented with this idea by handwriting out the key information from the receipts across a section of a page. When receiving feedback from my peers they noted the success of this form of presentation as the never-ending flow of information created a sense of bombardment that is similar to how one feels with the pressures of consumer culture. Perhaps next time I would try typing up the information to see how this would have a different effect on how the text is received.
I then looked at other ways I could present my collection, turning to using space to convey a particular message relating to the subject. I tried organising the receipts chronologically onto a wall using tape, specifically placing the collection in the corner of a room to signify the idea that receipts are seen as scrap and therefore disregarded by most people. However, by spacing out the the individual receipts and giving the viewer the opportunity to process all of the information it gives the collection significance, while the contrast fit he tape to stick them up maintains the informality of the setting. I think the relationship between the space and the content reveals another layer of depth within the collection and makes it more interesting for those who view it as it relates the insignificance of the receipts to an insignificant location.
I also experimented with the traditional formal presentation, like archives in museums, by organising the receipts equally apart on a clean white table, inviting the viewer to inspect and therefore give value to the collection. One of my peers noted the success of this format as they felt it transformed the original subject into something of importance.
Lastly I presented the receipts in a large bunch, layering them on top of one another using tape and sticking it to the wall at eye-level. This created juxtaposition between the informal presentation, signifying the receipts are scrap, but inviting people to interact and therefore sort through the information themselves. While this worked, I was given feedback that the impact would be greater on a larger scale, perhaps with multiple stacks of receipts, as the longevity of the collection was lost in one pile. I also agree with this, and if I had more time to expand my collection this would be a plausible idea.
Reflecting on my work I realised the concept of the collection as a narrative was very interesting and had potential. I think it is interesting because receipts are often thrown away with little thought, but actually are a very personal documentation of a person's lifestyle and concerns. This idea of transforming the ordinary is inspired by my research surrounding Martin Parr and his collection of 'boring postcards', although my collection is not intended to be humorous. I continued to think of the ways I could develop this through other forms, such as 3D rather than just an illustrated form. I began to create a small cube with a peep-hole through which all of the inside was visible and covered with the text from the receipts. This was supposed to create an overwhelming feeling within the person interacting with the cube, to reflect the fear related to consumption, yet my peers found it hard to process the information on such a small scale. To tackle this I created a cuboid shape with a larger opening for viewing the text. I continued to experiment with boxes and viewing formats, and plan on making a larger box for the final presentation.
I also experimented with how I presented the text, looking at how typing up the narrative could change the visuals and therefore change the impact on the reader. I came to realise that by experimenting with fonts and sizes I could loosely mimic the image of a barcode with the information from the receipts. This idea, too, has potential; perhaps I could include the barcode on the exterior of the box to use the entirety of the structure to present my work.
20/09/2017 // Collection Project
After reflecting on the small mock-ups of the boxes I made yesterday, which re-contextualised the information from the receipts to transform the presentation of my collection, I began to develop this idea on a bigger scale in preparation for the final presentation tomorrow. Having experimented with both hand written and typed text I realised that the hand written text gave a more personal touch to the piece, conveying the narrative and my connection to the collection much more strongly. I decided to keep most of the text standardised by using the same pen, as this made the information a lot more difficult to decipher in an attempt to make the viewer feel overwhelmed by the collection. However, on the base of the box I used a thicker pen in areas to highlight the prices of the items, creating a break to allow the viewer to still process the information and therefore give it value. I assembled the box initially with quite a small opening, but upon feedback from those around me I realised this obscured the information, thus making it more difficult for the viewer to interact with the piece. To tackle this I cut a larger opening to make the information more visible.
I also wanted to incorporate the idea of the barcode onto the box in some way, as a representation of the 'data' of the receipts themselves and as a visual description of the collection (much like a receipt describes the object it is on in some way). In order for the barcode to 'represent' the collection I condensed all of the information from the receipts, by typing it up, into a form that visually resembled a barcode to then place onto the box itself. I placed the barcode on the front of the box, at the bottom/centre, much like how a barcode is placed on a receipt to link to the content of the collection.
I am contemplating physically presenting piles of receipts, in chronological order, on top of the box to add more of an interactive element to the presentation. This would enable the viewer to both experience the bombardment of the information inside the box and capture the longevity of the collection to enhance the narrative. However, I will be asking my peers for feedback on this tomorrow as I don't want to take away from the interior of the box itself, nor do I want the collection to become lost in the various presentation methods.
21/09/2017 // Collection Project Final Day
Today I had to think about the final presentation of my collection piece within a whole group exhibition, particularly focusing on the method which would reinforce the ideas behind the collection and allow the viewer to best interact with the box. I initially considered placing the box in the centre of a table with an all white surface, with the physical receipts displayed in chronological piles to flick through around the box. However, when re-considering this idea I realised it posed problems as the box would not be displayed at eye-level, therefore making it hard to view the interior of the box itself. I also realised that presenting the physical collection of receipts alongside the box would take away from the idea of the box itself, as the focus is on the collection of information rather than the receipts themselves, and would take away the ambiguity that forces the viewer to question the piece.
I then re-considered how I wanted to present my box, and came to the conclusion that nailing it to the wall at eye-level would enable the viewer to interact with the box and peer inside it to fully experience the bombarding amount of information. I decided to place the box on a wall with a wooden texture to create a contrast with the all-white interior of the box, thus making the internal information stand out and draw in the viewer to further inspect it. However I realised that the lighting within the room, despite placing the box beneath a source of light, meant that shadows obscured the information within the box. To tackle this, I bought a small LED light and cut a small opening in the bottom of the box to thread the LED through, creating a source of light at the base. This improved the visibility of the information while also making it jump out to the viewer.
We then split into groups for our crit session. During the beginning of the crit we were instructed to leave the rest of the group to interpret our collection, without explaining our intentions. I learnt how vital it is to consider alternative interpretations in order to step outside of myself when creating a piece of work, as a work is perhaps not always perceived in the way it is designed to be. I noted down the feedback of my fellow group members, which were:
- Samo - He was really interested by the simplicity of the presentation, but how the work was still very present and engaging. He interpreted the box as a sort of 'TV', with the information reflecting the way in which he feels brainwashed by the media and consumerist system. He saw the use of a box unconventional, as usually a cardboard box is something which would be overlooked, reinforcing the idea that 'you can't judge a book by its cover'. He liked the fact it was placed on wood, and suggested that the interior information resembled a bible script for the modern consumer. In his opinion, the artificial light made the work appear soul-less and this intrigued him as he still felt the collection was something anyone could relate to, presenting a sort of 'silent chaos' of the modern world. Despite others opinions, he liked the informal presentation and obscurity as it forced the viewer to figure the piece out, but he suggested that I could have placed a crumpled receipt to represent 'my life' instead of the barcode on the front of the box.
- Vivian - She saw the presentation in the cardboard box very fitting to my collection as its disposable which reflects the act of buying itself. The bombardment of information made her think about the idea of gratification within modern society, where the act of constant buying provides only short bursts of happiness, but leaves a constant emptiness within life. Due to this, she felt the rough finish of the box with the exposed tape was necessary to reflect the idea that receipts are disposable, like happiness. However, she was confused by the barcode on the front, and needed an explanation for her to realise it was intended to represent a barcode. Instead, she suggested I should make some aspects more bold and perhaps run the barcode across the bottom of the box rather than just at the centre, as she overlooked it by focusing on only the inside of the box. She also suggested that instead of just having bold text on the base I should randomise it as it appears out of place and confuses the message.
- Sim - She appreciated that the use of text was very overwhelming. She felt confused as the information was very hard to process, but she noted that she liked the effect this gave. She also liked how I condensed all the text into a barcode as it linked to the content of the collection well.
- Anne-Marie - For her, the fact there were actually no receipts made the piece all the more interesting, and she liked that the viewer would have to question and read the text to actually realise the content of the collection. She was also confused by the bold text only being on the base, and felt that the barcode needed to be refined.
In response to this feedback I feel that the presentation of my collection was successful in the way that it conveyed many of the messages I intended it to. I find it interesting that, while I would have wanted to refine the box further to make it more polished, other members of my group really liked the informality of the cardboard and exposed tape and felt this matched the idea of a 'receipt'. This was interesting to me as it really highlighted that you cannot predict how others will interpret your work. Perhaps if I had not been limited by materials and time I would have liked to have more refined lighting inside to illuminate the text better, as I felt the lighting was very hap-hazard and did not have the strength I wanted it to. On a larger scale I think this could work as a room where each wall is covered in text, so the viewer could walk around the space and experience the overwhelming nature of the information more intensely.
Today I visited the 'Medicine Man' exhibition at the Wellcome collection in hopes of developing my understanding of how collections, especially large scale collections such as this which are developed over a lifetime, are curated and presented. I was particularly interested in the longevity of the collection due to my own ideas for my receipt collection, which with more time I would have liked to collect on a large scale for greater effect. I was intrigued by how eclectic and multi-faceted the collection was because of the way this made the collection simultaneously personal and public, with the obscurity of each object somehow reflecting the interests of Henry Wellcome himself while also reflecting whole cultures and attitudes towards health and the body.
Visiting this exhibition broke down my perspective of formal presentations, as I realised that while objects could be seen as valuable and glorified in glass cases they were equally as valuable when I was able to interact with them in some way. Perhaps by presenting items in drawers this actually made them more precious and 'valuable' as I was actively finding the objects, rather than having them all directly presented in the open.
This made me think further and re-evaluate how I could present my collection on a large scale, perhaps having a large room with each wall covered in text along with glass cases in the centre to glorify the mundane receipt. Alternatively, I could present a large amount of receipts in a vertically reaching pile as a sort of sculpture in the centre of a white room extending to the ceiling, in which I invite the public to rummage through and realise what information they value, all the while visually presenting the extent of consumption in a physical form. This idea of what is presented as 'valuable'/ how to present a 'valuable' object is something that interests me because of the way it challenges human behaviour and thought, and this is an idea I could potentially explore in later projects.
25/09/2017 - 'Poetic Cardboard' // GCD
As part of a one-day project entitled ‘Poetic Cardboard’, within the pathway of Graphic Communication Design, I worked in a pair to create a visual language to present the two words ‘Psychological Projection’. We were briefed to use the medium of photography and/or moving image to present our ideas.
Initially, I individually brainstormed around the word ‘Projection’ in order to develop ideas that I could then expand on, and also to develop a personal interpretation which is essential in the design field when approaching a brief. While I first thought about the word ‘projection’ I thought very literally in terms of physical projection onto surfaces/the body, etc. However, I then began to think of alternative meanings, such as the ‘projection’ of oneself within everyday environments and also how you can create a ‘projection’ for the future. When paired up with another student with the word ‘psychological’, I felt that the idea of how you project yourself seamlessly combined the concept of projection with the inner psyche and the external body, thus creating a ‘psychological portrait’ of an individual.
Together we thought of a variety of methods with which we could visually communicate our combined words, but due to time constraints and also limitations with materials we had to simplify ideas. Our idea was to create a series of images, visually presenting a psychological experiment, exploring the way in which people project themselves onto their external environment. We wanted to incorporate some form of standardised identification to contrast this assigned identity with the identity they chose to project themselves. I was inspired by the approach of photographer Richard Mosse, whose work presents a dichotomy between artistic photography and documentary. I felt that by documenting a psychological experiment through photography created that interesting relationship between artistry and professional documentation.
Initially, we wanted to capture both people from our immediate surroundings and people from outside, but felt that this would pose problems with standardising our imagery to look like an experiment, as it would be harder to settle on one standard location and identification method. Thus, we came to the conclusion that, under the circumstance, we would use only students as this would mean we could use a standard white backdrop and the student IDs to create a cohesive visual language, solving this issue.
While working we found it difficult to form a standard environment for people to be photographed. We found a white wall, and experimented with paper and writing a student ID, taping it to the wall at different heights beside where a person would stand. However, we found this was not impactful enough and was easy to overlook in the final image because it was too small and not bold enough, therefore meaning the message we would want to convey would be lost. We also had the challenge of creating a fitting background and initially used white paper to create less of a break between the white wall and the floor. Yet we found this still did not work well enough as the white of the wall and the white of the paper were too mismatched. To solve this, we turned to digital editing in photoshop, creating a solid background and converting all the images to black and white. Not only did this solve the problem of the background, but by converting everything to black and white we realised our images became more impactful because the eye was drawn to body language and silhouettes rather than distracting colours of clothing. This also gave it a more professional finish that mimicked a professional experiment. Furthermore, when editing we found that typing out the student IDs had a much better effect as the standard text gave a more serious visual outcome (compared to handwritten). We layered this behind the body at temple level because we wanted to obscure the standardised identity, to convey the power of how an individual can stand out within a system.
We presented the images in a final grid format, which we then received feedback on in the final critique. People were interested on our alternative interpretation of the word ‘projection’ and felt that our simple visuals and approach was successful at conveying the individual differences from person to person, essentially creating ‘portraits’ of each individual within a combined collection. They also felt our photographs were professionally executed, therefore making it seem standardised. I feel that the way in which people interpreted our final image proved we executed our idea well and conveyed our ideas quite obviously, making our work understandable to a wider audience. However, I was not completely happy with the final presentation of the images, because when placed in a grid format the differences between the images became clear, e.g. different toned backgrounds, making the images less standardised. I felt that because of this, the idea of the images being a psychological experiment could have been conveyed better if all of the images were more identical. Yet, others liked the differing tones and felt this gave more character to each image.
One thing that was not successful was our time-keeping, as we were behind on the deadline to upload our final image for the crit. Next time, we could spend less time editing individual images to leave a longer period to compile our final image. This would not only have meant we could meet the deadline, which is essential to any design field, but also we could have better executed our final image and made all of the images more similar in tone. Perhaps, to develop on this idea, we could photograph a more extensive amount of people to really create the idea of the work being a documented experiment, including people from outside to explore projection in a larger context.
How does a design context change the nature of our work?
The context of the our words, ‘Psychological Projection’, caused us to reconsider the direction of our work multiple times before finalising an idea. The word ‘projection’ at first limited to us to the idea of using ‘projection’ as a way to present our work. However, we then thought beyond this to how we could seamlessly link it to the ‘psychological’, thinking about projection of our personalities and how this links to the physical and the mind. We were obviously limited by time and resources, as the project was only one day, and this also changed the nature of our work, forcing us to simplify ideas and make use with little/basic materials. We turned to our surrounding environment, photographing students around us. Perhaps if we were to work on this again it would be interesting to photograph people on the street, as this would create a visual portrait of a wider community and create more diversity.
How might we evaluate the success of our work?
The success of our design, and whether our work projected the narrative we desired, could be determined in peer reactions and feedback. As our work was a compiled series of images, the way in which we visualise our ideas would have to be cohesive and impactful; the images must speak for themselves. Whether our images convey the idea of a psychological experiment and encourage thoughts around the idea of the ‘projection’ must be obvious when the images are viewed together and individually, and this can be determined when showing others our work.
What potential role or function might your work have outside this project?
The way in which we shot our images came across in quite an editorial fashion, and we felt that the aesthetic of our series could match something used in marketing/advertisement. The idea of how you ‘project’ yourself is something that is tailored to the fashion industry, and I feel that the full-body shots perhaps lend themselves to fashion advertisement as a result. Alternatively, the way in which the images act as personal portraits of each individual could link to wider thoughts and campaigns around self-confidence and personal expression in the modern world, and our work could perhaps provide the function of spreading such messages in a wider campaign context.
How did our own lives and experiences inform our work?
When initially presented with my word ‘projection’ I drew solely off of personal associations to inform my thinking. While ‘projection’ in a literal sense links to the medium of projection, I associated the idea of how you ‘project’ yourself in an everyday context as this is something I find very interesting. I am intrigued by the way clothing is in essence a ‘chosen skin’ by which you define yourself, and this project built on that idea by photographing body-language, etc, in full-body images.
What did I learn from the success and failures of others?
During the critique at the end of the day it became clear, upon observation of others work, that simplicity worked best. If too many elements were introduced into an image, the message that the image was intended to convey became unclear to me, thus making it unsuccessful in what it set out to do. As the brief was to create a ‘visual language’, sticking to more simple ideas, but executing them in personal and striking ways, was the most successful approach to the task. In addition, the images that somehow interacted with the viewer in some way seemed to have a better effect, e.g. through humour, as the personal element meant the audience was more connected to the storytelling and therefore the ideas behind the piece.
26/09/2017 - 'Lost Letters' // GCD
Today’s one-day project was entitled ‘Lost Letters’, targeted specifically at illustration and printmaking, which required us to visualise and produce illustrations relating to individual letters of the alphabet. As these letters were isolated from the rest of their alphabets, and they all varied in typeface, we began to focus solely on the shape and form of each letter; we then manipulated each shape in a way to create an image, perhaps transforming them into characters or incorporating them into landscapes, etc.
I was provided with the letter ‘A’ in a bold and thick type. Immediately we were required to brainstorm ideas in a short space of time regarding ways we could transform this letter within an image. Certain limitations were in place, one being that we could not alter where the letter was placed on the page (in the centre) and the other being that we could only work with red, black and white (negative space of the paper itself). I found these limitations made the task more challenging, as I had to mould my design around the brief in a more specific way while still trying to maintain a creative idea. However, I felt that this forced me to become more creative in how I approached my letter, and I began to rotate the letter to transform my perspective of the ‘A’ in a way that removed it from its original context in the alphabet. I also found the fast pace of working quite hard to adapt to, as it meant I had to become less careful and detailed with ideas, but soon found it meant I approached my process of working in a more bold and simple manner to convey messages in a more direct way. During the final critique this proved to be a successful approach, as simple yet striking images had impact on the viewer.
I was inspired by the designs of Noma Bar, as he really considers use of space, colour and shape in a simple yet powerful way. His work is incredibly clever to me, as his limited shapes mean every aspect of his work is considered for what it can provide in the final image, making his final product very striking. I wanted to approach my work in a similar way, limiting shapes and designs to something basic to make my image clear , with the intention for audiences to understand what I intend to convey.
I initially toyed with the idea of transforming my ‘A’ into characters, or somehow making them interact with characters, but found that this was less successful as the illustration would be very much in the centre of the page. I felt that a greater use of space would be more effective at creating a balanced final image. I then developed an idea to combat this, which would incorporate the ‘A’ within a suspension bridge, using the page to create a sense of perspective with the intention to immerse the viewer upon looking at the image.
I stuck to using very limited, liner shapes to convey the industrial qualities of the bridge, and tried to use the colours in a way that would create perspective by using black to suggest a foreground and red for things further in the background. My peers felt that this was very successful and the image really created a sense of perspective due to the angles within the image. Yet, at the end of the day when looking at the work of others I felt that the illustrations that were really impactful used more print within the image, creating a more ‘complete’ final illustration. While I intended for my image to be simple, I felt that perhaps my work could have been enhanced by having a background colour and using negative space for things in the background (such as the buildings on the horizon). I felt that I did not fully consider the amount of white that would be within my final image after using such limited shapes for printing black and red. Next time I would perhaps spend slightly longer planning out alternative designs for my final idea to fully consider all possibilities before settling on one. I feel if I did this I may have realised the incomplete nature of my design.
At the end of the day specific works were selected to identify successful approaches to the task. Something that all the designs shared were an appreciation for space. Specific pieces that were more character based were really successful, in my opinion, as they really created a sense of personality by incorporating humour, fun and movement into their designs. As a result I felt I connected to these images, which is really important in an industry like illustration which is intended to interact and come into contact with people. Those that incorporated pattern were also successful, and importance of ‘craft’ became clear; those where the stencil was carefully cut in preparation for printing came out more polished and professional. In this way, the element of care when creating is essential. Something that was notably unsuccessful was the use of words within the illustration. In many cases, the image itself is powerful enough to convey the message and if text is used it should still add to the final piece. If the text is simply distracting it became clear that is made the image itself less powerful.
We then cut our designs out of red and black card, meaning each individual piece could be moved to create a stop-motion animation. I felt that the graphic nature of my design translated well into the medium of card because of the bold and striking shapes I could cut. I placed the pieces on a white background to create the negative space. I sought to create a sense of storytelling within my animation, coming up with the idea of tracing the process of the bridge ‘falling down’. I was also drawn to this idea as I wanted to deconstruct the shapes of my design even further, breaking them apart to transform the image so the viewer would reconsider the relationship between each shape within the design. I added humorous music to the final animation to create a fun contrast with the falling bridge because I wanted to interact with the viewer in some way, which I felt was enhanced by incorporating sound. I feel that the animation therefore gives my image more personality, as when viewed only as an image the effect is quite harsh and geometric. Because of this, I feel that the way my work translates across the different mediums is interesting.
After particularly enjoying the 'Lost Letters' project I continued to develop my ideas on how I could transform my letter 'A' from its initial context and form into an image. I worked with the restrictions of black, white and red, and worked in acrylic paint to replicate the bold colours of print to develop three further ideas in my sketchbook. After seeing other people's work during the critique and realising the success of using the whole of a page to create a more impactful composition, I worked on how I could incorporate my 'A' into characters and scenes with a more playful approach. I feel that my designs were perhaps more successful this time around as I really considered the way in which I could use each colour to indicate something within the image, for instance to create a sense of depth or to create pattern which then made my final image more bold and interesting. I sought to incorporate simple shapes to compliment and enhance the bold 'A' at the centre of the page, but also experimented with patterns such as stripes to bring an element of complexity to my work. If I had more time I would have liked to explore these designs through screen-printing.
Through this process I was able to build on my ability of transforming an original image into something completely different, and I feel that my designs were more informed because of the critique in the previous session.
28/09/2017 - Site-specific Type // GCD
The project today relied on and challenged my ability to observe the space around me and question what I would previously overlook, as the brief was to create a typographic intervention within a space. I was required to find spaces around Archway campus that I found interesting and then to introduce type within the space to respond to it/ transform it in some way.
Initially I created quick observational sketches of spaces around me in order to get a feel for the space from different perspectives to aid my generation of ideas. I was intrigued by multiple spaces, including areas that are mundane and overlooked and also spaces that create a sense of perspective in some way. For instance, I was most drawn to two spaces when deciding on a final idea. One was an everyday space next to a door which acted as a mere passageway for students. What really stuck out within the space was the objects that occupied it, including a bin and a dustpan and brush, and also the hexagonal indentations within the concrete of the wall itself because of the subtle geometric pattern they created. I was drawn to the mundane and 'ugly' nature of the objects and began to think of ways I could brighten up the space/ make it something for people to engage with in a humorous way; I made associations to the phrase 'been there done that', and thought about using a play on words with 'been' and 'bin' to convey a message about keeping spaces clean and throwing away rubbish. I felt that the play on words would encourage a more relaxed approach to clearing up after oneself as something that is familiar/ a subconscious act in a humorous and playful way that would liven up the space. However, upon receiving feedback I realised that the core message of the image was lost in the sarcastic tone of the phrase, and this meant it did not translate to the idea that people were being encouraged to throw away rubbish but that instead it was giving off a sense of carelessness that contradicted the intention.
As a result of this feedback I decided to develop an idea surrounding the second space that intrigued me the most, which was a shelving unit in the outer seating area of the lower floor. This space interested me because of the different planes that appeared when viewing the shelves from side on, which I feel I could make use of to create perspective and an interactive type installation which would appear only when the shelves were viewed from the side. Inspired by images of anamorphic typography by Axel Peemoeller because of the way the designs utilised different planes within architecture to made a 3D type appear 2D when viewed from a specific vantage point. I sought to create a similar effect with my type, as to be seen it must be viewed from a certain perspective. The meaning I wanted to convey through doing this was the idea to look closer at one's surroundings, never taking things at face value, an idea that is at the core of artistic thinking. That's when I thought of the phrase 'made you look', which I decided conveyed this message in a playful way. I felt that this playful tone worked well with the space because the shelves themselves reminded me of a children's playhouse due to the sliding shelves and cubby holes that characterised it. When viewing the shelves from straight on the message is hidden, but when students pass through the space, thus viewing the shelves from the side, the message become clear. I hope this makes people look again at what was otherwise a sparsely decorated object in a space.
I decided to use a bold type using the colours Burgundy and yellow. I cut the letters from coloured card which I then stuck inside the shelving units. I chose the Burgundy to intensify the letters as the dark tone would contrast the lighter toned wood, and I then wanted to incorporate bright yellow details to create patterns on the letters that would reinforce the sense of fun in the message. While I feel my choice of bold type worked well to make an impact and draw the attention of the viewer, I did not anticipate how long it would take to hand-cut each letter in a uniform way and therefore I was unable to incorporate the amount of yellow detail that I initially planned to. As a result, I had to limit the yellow to the word 'look' only in order to meet the deadline. The lack of yellow, in my opinion, means that the fun, decorative element of the phrase has perhaps not been conveyed adequately. However, in some ways I feel that by using yellow only on the word 'look' it serves to emphasise the deeper message behind the text that you should 'look' closer at things around you.
One thing I did not anticipate was the need to adjust my design as I could not reach the top shelves (they were out of reach). As a result my text became skewed by the differing angles of the shelves, making the phrase slightly harder to decipher. Next time I would consider how I could incorporate the text further, experimenting with different layouts to try and combat this which I did not have time to do in order to meet the deadline.
How well did you manage your time today? Did you achieve what you set out to do?
I feel that my time-management is definitely an aspect to work on coming away from this project. While I was successful in finishing my installation, I had to sacrifice aspects of detail that I wanted to incorporate across all of the letters. However, I feel that my choice of type, phrase, and interaction with the space all worked in a clear enough way that the overall effect of my piece and message I wanted to convey still came across.
Did your decisions help or hinder the communication of your message?
I think my choice of space and use of humour worked well at communicating my message because of the way it forced the viewer to re-think about how they observe a space and interact with their environment. I feel that the funny tone presented this message with a light-hearted, conversational approach that would suit the age group of those encountering the space, and it also maintains the relaxed atmosphere of the seated area surrounding it (designed for students to be able to socialise in). I feel that my choice of colours helped the message, with yellow being bright and playful and the Burgundy acting as a bold, eye-catching colour (but not being as plain as black). Perhaps the use of polka-dots as a pattern made the word 'look' harder to decipher, and next time I would consider another pattern, e.g. stripes, that is easier on the eye.
Throughout the day I built on my research by visiting the library at King's Cross. Earlier in the week I had been particularly inspired and drawn to the work of Noma Bar, and by visiting the library I was able to see his work first-hand in his book 'Negative Space'. From doing this I was able to deepen my understanding of his work, as I realised while going through his illustrations that he particularly uses his clever and bold visual language to communicate and bring awareness to big ideas and issues. This has inspired me because I no longer see the possibility of an image to be visually pleasing and clever in isolation, but in actual fact images always communicate larger ideas either consciously or subconsciously, and can be enhanced through consideration of design.
I also continued my research on integrating type within spaces, in particular obscuring type following my interest in anamorphic type during the one-day project. I am curious about the possibility to force the public to decipher the information they read, inspired by the Utrecht School of Art Educational Guide seen in 'Tactile - High Touch Visuals' by Die Gestalten Verlag, because of the way this can empower people to either bring or raise awareness to issues and ideas.
The letters I created on Thursday were of particular interest to me, and I wanted to look at the ways I could transform these into new images, separating them from their original use. I was especially drawn to the simple form of an 'o' from the word 'look', which I then incorporated as a starting point for an illustration (similar to the 'Lost Letters' project). This time I restricted my colours to those on the original letter, Burgundy and yellow, and then pushed myself to create an expressive and bold image with little detail. I worked the 'o' into an open mouth of a character, having a humorous effect that I feel was successful at producing an eye-capturing final image, forcing the viewer to 'look', reflecting the original word in which the 'o' was part of.
02/10/2017 - 'WEAR IT' Project// JFFA 3DDA
The brief today was focused around the concept of what it means to 'wear' something, and we were required to create a theatrical and exaggerated accessory, in response to three words as stimuli - 'surround', 'suspend' and 'support'. Initially we brainstormed ideas and associations around the three words, words which we would then attempt to visualise and somehow incorporate into our designs. I was incredibly interested in the concept of enclosing and restricting the body in some way, hanging items off the body in order to extend the body and create a sense of theatre, because of the way it challenges our interaction with accessories as something pleasant and enjoyable. These ideas sprang from my brainstorms around 'surround' and 'suspend'. Following this I created 10 sketches of designs for each word, ten minutes per word, to quickly generate ideas for development.
Three ideas in particular were notably successful and had potential for further development, and I presented these to a group to receive feedback on what was working and what was not. Firstly I thought of creating a belt-like accessory located in the centre of the torso which would extend outwards with large straps to be held and interacted with by others. Through this idea I sought to capture the idea and feeling of 'entrapment' through encircling the person wearing the belt both through the physical material of the belt, which would extend, and through the presence of the people surrounding them. This would also challenge the notion of wearing jewellery as being something personal by transforming it into an interactive experience where many people could experience the belt, but from an external perspective. My peers felt this idea was interesting due to the way in which 'wearing' almost became a performance.
Secondly I had an idea of experimenting with how jewellery is supported and interacts with the body, thinking of having an accessory that would surround and enclose the head and would be supported in the mouth. However, when faced with limited materials and time, my peers felt this would be hard to execute in a way that the piece would remain structured, and also they felt it may be difficult to find a material suitable for the mouth.
My third potential idea involved extending and distorting the form of the arms through a sleeve-like accessory that would suspend from the shoulders. My peers felt this would be the most successful as they were intrigued by the way it made them think about the weight and tension of the object and what it feels like to 'wear' something. However, they felt it may be more interesting to have only one arm piece as this would make the person wearing it more aware of how it restricts their movement. Yet, when creating this piece I found that creating only one sleeve made it difficult to keep on the body, and I combatted this problem by creating another simpler sleeve to create a balance in weight that would allow the piece to stay on the body.
When faced with limited time and materials I faced many problems with executing the piece. I chose to work solely with white card and masking tape as I felt that the thickness of the card would allow for me to create structured circular forms that I could link up to create a sleeve, which would visualise the idea of 'wrapping' the limbs and encircle the arm to create restriction and discomfort. I also thought about adding string to hang from the card so that when the arm was in motion it would create a theatrical effect through sound and movement, however I reflected upon this when faced with time constraints and realised it may in fact hinder the simplicity of the circular forms. I wanted to create many intricate links and layers with paper for both arms, but upon receiving feedback I decided to create one sleeve which was simply a plain cone shape to create a contrast, and I felt that the 'blockiness' of the arm as a result conveyed a sense of weight to the piece that emphasised the sense of restriction and elevated the entire piece.
What were your thoughts about the JFFA presentation?
I was intrigued by the conceptual approach to jewellery, which I had never before considered. The presentation of ideas such as the physical sensations of wearing jewellery, the permanence of jewellery and how jewellery can interact with the body all fascinated me as it made me reconsider the worth and value of jewellery/accessories and how wearing it can actually make us reconsider our relationship to our body and our movement. I was intrigued by the subtle use of negative space and how this can actually be used to form the basis of a jewellery item, seen in the image of Naomi Filmer's work. I was drawn particularly to the expressive and theatrical pieces of jewellery that created awe and amazement, such as with the intricate work of Maiko Takeda. These are ideas I then wanted to incorporate in some way in my own design, experimenting with how items can restrict and surround the body to make us reconsider the movement of our body in a large scale, exaggerated way.
Were you able to produce ideas quickly for support, suspend and surround?
Initially I was able to generate ideas quite quickly, but when reaching the 5th/6th idea I began to become stuck and unable to produce new ideas. To deal with this issue I began to replicate ideas that were working, but in different formats/ with alterations. I also began to simplify and deconstruct ideas to form new ones, allowing me to use existing ideas but manipulate them and transform them into a new creation. This worked well because it allowed me to develop new viewpoints on ideas that were already working.
Did your drawings communicate your ideas/designs or did you have to explain them? Why?
While some of my more developed drawings were able to convey my ideas clearly and simply, such as with the sleeve idea, others which were less developed had to be explained more thoroughly. Perhaps in an attempt to generate many ideas quickly I sacrificed the detail/ annotation that would allow others to be able to interpret my sketches, meaning my sketches were only useful to me. Next time I would try to develop certain sketches, perhaps presenting one idea in different formats/ perspectives to give people a better idea of what I was trying to communicate.
How did you find working with the restricted materials and time?
I found the limited materials pushed me to think creatively about form and structure. It meant I started creating shapes in simple ways, in ways the materials would permit, but then I built these up to develop a more complex outcome. However, I found the time limit very restricting, and I found that my final piece was perhaps less polished than I may have hoped, as I had to sacrifice details to enable me to still have time to photograph my work well. With the time I had to think quickly while making and develop better judgement towards processes that were working and those that were not working, meaning I was more critical throughout my process. This analytical thinking enabled me to meet the deadline while still adequately presenting my idea.
Were you able to present your final piece on a model? Were the photographs successful?
I managed to photograph my piece on a model against a black background. I chose a model wearing dark clothing as my accessory was all white, and I felt that the contrast with both the clothing and the background really served to emphasise the accessory itself and make it the sole focus of the images I took. I directed my model to pose in ways that would communicate an idea of the accessory having weight, such as through arching the back and leaning forwards towards the camera, to emphasise the idea of restriction and the extension of the arms themselves. I feel that this was very successful due the drama it created which reinforced the theatrical element of my accessory.
What would you do differently?
Next time I would try to manage my time slightly better, as initially I was slow to start the process of making as I hesitated on the technical aspects of making. If I had dived straight into the process I may have overcome many challenges sooner, thus meaning I would have had time to develop my outcome and perhaps extend the sleeves further in the way I desired. If I were to have no restriction with materials I would want to construct the piece out of thick wire and metal, along with leather straps across the body, to convey the idea of being 'trapped', caging the body. This would also give the piece literal weight and discomfort to really challenge body movement.
03/10/2017 - 'USE IT' Project // 3DDA
Today's one-day project involved re-designing an archetypal object within design and our everyday lives - the chair. It is an object we encounter often and are very familiar with, yet it has many variations and can be thought of as complex in its functionality and use. We were required to re-imagine the basic chair that occupied our room, an adaptation of the 'polypropylene chair' designed by Robin Day in 1963, by making observations from our surroundings as to how people interact with chairs; from these observations we then developed ideas of how we could add to the chair or manipulate the chair based on an observation of interest.
From creating quick sketches of people around the Archway campus and how they used chairs, or abandoned the chair entirely to sit/rest on other surfaces, I became very curious towards the 'spread leg' posture that many people commonly adopt when sitting. I was interested in the way that this gesture is almost universally known, and subverts the original design of the chair where one is meant to seat with their legs facing forward. I wanted to adapt the chair to make this position more comfortable, seeking to improve the everyday experience of those who encounter the object.
I developed a series of designs surrounding this purpose of making the 'spread leg' more comfortable and of ease to the sitter, but while doing so I began to think of the posture from a different perspective - the negative attitude to the 'spread leg' as something rude and uncomfortable to those in a social situation. Thus I developed another design to prevent this posture/ restrict it, while maintaining comfort for those who choose to do so. The design involved two pivotal sides to the chair, that act as legs and hold the chair up, which can be moved into different angles through a mechanism at the back which would then lock the sides into place. To make this more comfortable I thought of incorporating a curved design where the knees would overhang when in the 'spread leg' position. By having pivotal sides this would allow the user to control the amount they could extend their legs depending on the social situation.
Upon peer feedback they felt that this idea was my strongest as it sought to confront a common and uncomfortable occurrence in social situations, and they were amused by the concept. They noted that the curved design was a clever addition as it still allowed for comfort and created a sense of freedom for the sitter despite the restricted sides.
While creating the prototype I faced problems with the material I chose to use and found it difficult to develop a smooth curve. This is due to the fact I chose a sturdy brown card, with the intention of structure and support to hold the chair up, and therefore I altered my design while working with folds to open up and close to allow for space rather than a curved area. I feel like this did hinder the aesthetic of my final outcome, but perhaps with more time I could have tried different materials that may have made this work. With no limitations I would perhaps use wood, which I could manipulate into a smooth curved shape, to develop the sides. I also decided to use bamboo sticks to elevate the sides and allow for a sense of space, rather than the sides entirely closing off the sitter. However, this led to my prototype becoming less stable, and with more time I would develop further prototypes to amend this.
Did you find observation a useful research method? Would you use it again? Why?
I felt that observing the behaviour of those around me really helped me to understand and analyse the ways in which we interact with chairs and the act of sitting on an everyday basis. I think it helped me to reconsider the purpose a chair has and the ways in which a chair can either hinder or help a person do something, such as using a chair for storage or as a table. From these observations I was able to visualise first-hand the ways in which I could alter the design of the chair to alleviate problems/discomfort, or to transform the function of the chair itself. I feel that I would use this method again during my process as it really allowed me to get to grips with function, material, and the user themselves, which is essential in the design industry where you work 'outwards' (for people). This first-hand research brought me into direct contact with the brief, rather than viewing the chair as an abstract object in isolation.
How did you experience of the PD+C area compare with your expectations? Which pathway are you considering?
Initially I held pre-conceived ideas around product design as something very practical and functional, an while it can be this it is also much more; I didn't realise the conceptual possibilities within product design and the very human element at the core of the design. I was fascinated by the way product design can be executed very simply but present ingenious functions, and the aspect of observation is something I am really interested in because of the way it allows for products to integrate within universal experiences and give the products a 'life'. This human contact and design for the people is something which draws me to the graphic communication pathway, which I am currently considering, and I seek to communicate both on a personal and a large scale through developing a visual language/narrative.
Throughout today I worked on my visualisation of my finished chair within context. I chose to approach this through collage, bringing together secondary images of spaces with primary images of my chair and a model which I could layer to create a scene, demonstrating the feel and use of my chair. I sought to visualise the function of my chair to really emphasise the way that people could interact with it.
I felt that the concept of my chair worked well within an informal space due to its humorous undertones, and so visualised it within a personal living space and a public, yet casual, co-working space. I felt the minimal design of my chair lent itself to a modern aesthetic, and the light coloured card I used worked well in light and open spaces, therefore I tried to find images of areas that would match the intentions and designs of my chair. I found this quite challenging as I was limited in the imagery available to me when searching online. Perhaps I could have took my own imagery of spaces to really tailor them and have control over what I would want/ wouldn't want in the space. However, I feel that I was still able to show the function of my chair well by presenting the way in which it moved at different angles in the separate visualisations, giving more understanding of my idea. To improve my collages further I feel that I could have built up different materials to demonstrate the textures and materials of the space itself, as my final images appeared quite flat. Alternatively, editing using computer software may be another consideration to make my visualisations more realistic.
05/10/2017 - 'BUILD IT' // 3DDA
The project today, entitled 'build it', involved the creation of experimental structures using only bamboo sticks and tape, working in small groups to continually reconfigure space, shape and form. Initially, in groups of three, we created two shapes which we then combined to form a new structure. My group communicated that we wanted to stick to triangular forms as these are the strongest shapes, agreeing that this would provide a stable foundation structure for when we would build it up throughout the day. We approached connecting the shapes in a way that would create a low, long structure; we were interested in the way a structure could occupy a large surface space, thus we decided to keep our structure low and long as opposed to building vertically. While constructing we realised that by playing with weight and elevation we could create a sort of rocking motion in our structure which was interesting as it transformed a static piece into something interactive, questioning the relationship between people and architecture and what function it serves.
Throughout the process of making we constantly reflected on the success of our structure and we came to the conclusion that limiting the form to solely triangles prevented us from experimenting with shapes and the interaction between shapes in order to create new spaces.As a result we decided to incorporate a pentagon shape to create variation and to challenge the direction our making was taking. I think this not only created a more unconventional structure, but it also provided a larger surface area for a stable base.
We then joined with another group to combine our two structures, again transforming the shape and dynamic. We decided to team up with a group who had previously built quite a vertical structure, which when combined with our relatively low-lying one elevated the entire structure into something a lot more exciting in the way it became multi-faceted and complex. I thought, while our structures were quite different, we were able to integrate them well with one another. I was intrigued by the complex formations and hidden spaces/cubby-holes that appeared once both structures came together. This had a confusing yet beautiful effect in the way it had lots of aspects to focus on simultaneously. I also felt this made the overall structure quite playful, and when visualising it as a structure in context I felt it may work well as a children's playhouse. Alternatively, on a large scale I feel like it could function as a community living space due to the interconnected spaces and the opportunity to develop them into individual residencies within a unified whole.
When working as a team we came to a difficult point when building. After combining our structures we felt stuck with imaging new ways to challenge and develop what we had. However, we solved this by finding new ways to connect the sticks, such as having parts of sticks jutting out rather than enclosed with tape. From here our structure really grew and I learnt the importance of not settling with something as 'finished' as there is always room for development.
I was inspired throughout the making process by a discussion that the whole group had in the morning presentation. This involved debate around the boundary between architecture and fine art, or perhaps more so the lack of a boundary. I wanted to explore a structure in a sculptural way and evoke an emotional response, things normally associated with fine art. I found working in a group enabled my ideas to become more creative as everyone could offer different perspectives to the model.
In the critique we received interesting feedback on our structure. While we saw our structure on a large scale as a building, others could visualise it in an interior space as a piece of furniture, where lighting could be used to amplify its qualities. Some saw our complex shapes as something resembling molecules and joining particles, reminding them of scientific diagrams, which I found intriguing as it presented quite a technical perspective, while I previously viewed it as quite playful. Another person noted that the formation resembled a bird, which was a very intriguing perspective as it transformed our man-made structure into something quite gentle and free, while it had many enclosed and caged shapes. This feedback led me to re-think about how the structure could be visualised.
What was new and interesting and why? What was not, and why?
What I found most interesting was the conceptual and experimental approach to structures and how we perceive them in time. This is because it challenged my perception of architecture as something technical, bounded by societal restrictions. Yet, throughout the day I realised the infinite possibility when creating a structure, subject to gravity, and that the only restrictions are those created by your own imagination. What I didn't like as much was the final task in which we had to cover our 3D model to create a sense of space. The lack of time led to the approach being quite rushed and final model lacked as a result, and I felt that with more time I could have considered space further through creating more folds in the wrapping.
What could you adapt/develop for future use? How would you change it?
With more time I would have liked to create this at a larger scale to fully appreciate the complex spaces within the structure and give greater impact (although this is something I could achieve through visualisation). I feel that the overall finish could have been greatly improved as the tape used to connect the sticks was roughly applied and, therefore, distracted from the shapes themselves slightly. I would also want to retry the covering exercise with different materials such as plastic wrap or tracing paper to explore material and the effect it gives in a structure. I feel this would also pose questions about longevity, as material is crucial to sustainability.
Upon viewing others work in the critique I realised the potential of exploring movement in the model, and perhaps I would want to explore how weight and pressure could be used in the final model to create a sense of motion within a static object.
Following yesterday's 'build it' project I developed visualisations of my structure to give it a sense of scale and context, transforming it from its abstract sculptural form into something with a function. Following the visualisations of my chair from the 'use it' project, I decided to approach my visualisations in different ways to explore the effect I could achieve in different mediums. Firstly I used fine liner to draw and illustrate a visualisation of my structure as a large community residency, with the interior spaces being divided up into individual private residencies within a larger community. I tried to communicate a sense of material through my choice of line, trying to indicate the sustainability of the building both in its material and its function of saving space as a community living area, presenting the structure as built out of wood. I also incorporated figures and a skyline in the drawing to give perspective and scale to the structure. I feel that this visualisation worked really well at conveying the use of the building, and perhaps with more time I could have developed this further digitally to give a cleaner finish.
I also thought about how I could draw onto a printed image to visualise my structure within a space as a children's play area. However, while working with black marker I realised this did not present the idea in a clear way and it could have been more successful if I had used another medium such as paint, or different colours to make the structure stand out. Developing on from the idea of printing imagery, I brought together secondary imagery of places and people along with first hand images of my structure to make a collage visualisation piece. I also incorporated hand-drawn elements to develop a sense of space and surroundings around the structure. For this collage I visualised my structure as a performance space/theatre due to the angular shapes which gave quite a dramatic and artistic effect that could match the function of the building. I think this collage was successful as it incorporated real imagery to give a sense of realism and the sense of scale has been executed rather accurately. While initially I felt the black background of the structure contrasted too much with the rest of the collage, upon reflection I think it actually works well at emphasising the structure as the focus of the image.
Overall I feel that my structure works best as a large-scale building due to its angular, sculptural form which would have a lot of impact within the surrounding space.
09/10/2017 - 'YOUR SURROUNDINGS' // Fashion & Textiles
The focus of this one day project was on taking shapes from our surroundings that we personally had an opinion of (like, dislike, etc), through observational drawing and documentation, that we could then translate onto the body to distort it through consideration of form, structure and silhouette.
Upon initial observation of the surroundings around King's Cross I was inspired by the geometric shapes and complex structures, particularly the contrasting soft curved and sharp cubic shapes because of the tension this created in the environment, and I explored this through different mediums in sketches. I tried to convey both a sense of shape and texture both through my line quality and the my choice of medium, for instance when sketching scaffolding I chose to use a thin fine liner to convey the complex, interconnecting shapes of the metal, while I used a thick black brush pen to show brick and intense shapes. By layering these mediums I learnt the ways I could convey information about material and form in 2D drawing. I also tried to work in experimental ways, such as sketching with thick electrical tape, which forced me to simplify forms and really focus on shape. I think this was a particularly successful approach as it forced me to not focus on sketching detail, which was not the focus of the brief, and instead I began to look for forms and shapes within the environment which would directly inform my 3D work onto the body later in the day. However, while working I didn't manage my time well enough as I took too long on the initial sketches, meaning my later sketches were more rushed and I couldn't convey all the information I wanted to. Next time I would have structured and divided my limited time to ensure I would not labour over one sketch exclusively and instead develop a variety of successful sketches as a result.
We then extracted shapes from our sketches to apply in a drawing exercise, in which we had to explore the shapes and their individual identities through size, medium and orientation. While working I began to feel limited by my mediums and felt that the line qualities were too similar. Firstly, I swapped mediums with another person to create variation, but I still felt this was not enough variety and thus I physically cut into the page I was working on to create my desired shape. I feel that through the exercise I was able to develop an understanding of how media and shapes interact with one another, and it made me consider composition and balance on the page in an abstract and free way. I also feel this helped me to loosen up my drawing, and I began to become less careful with my drawing, which is essential when documenting my thought-process and ideas.
The three shapes I initially chose to inform my 3D mock up, constructed on a small scale using three cut-outs to produce an enclosed form, were very limiting as I felt that they did not have enough variety; they were mostly straight edges which restricted me when constructing. As a result, I found it difficult when connecting edges to create interesting shapes and I felt that this made my 3D model quite compact and unexciting. As a result I chose three distinctly different shapes when working on the body, trying to choose both curved and angular edges to allow for interesting connections. It was challenging at first to work directly onto the body as I not only had to think of how the shapes could link but also how I could distort the body in a way that was not merely 'wrapping' body parts. However, when I began to extend outwards from the body itself I felt I really began to achieve interesting formations that seemed to exaggerate the body. I was able to achieve quite angular forms that jutted from the shoulder and neck/head. Upon feedback I realised the importance of not always focusing on the front of a piece, as what the tutor found most interesting was the way the dramatic shapes were only visible from the side. I feel that the extension and volume I was able to achieve translated well in the drawings we created after, which focused on silhouettes. I think I could have improved my consideration of line strength when creating continuous line drawings to convey the different materials and differentiate between the body and the adornment piece, as my lines were often only one weight/ thickness, etc. To improve, I could have used a gentler hand for the body while applying more strength to communicate the abstract shapes of the paper, therefore visualising the 'identity' of the piece itself.
10/10/2017 - 'Your Data' Project // Fashion & Textiles
Today's project was centred around a collection of personal objects, grouped together from what I and three others brought in, from which I created observational drawings and collage pieces focused on mark making and texture. In the final portion of the day I then extracted six interesting areas/patterns from my drawings and explored these on acetate and through a series of projections.
The first exercise involved grouping and ordering the items in different ways on a table, finding interesting compositions to work from. Initially, my group explored the relationship between the objects in a randomised way through interlinking aspects of them, balancing items and tying items together creating a dynamic composition as items jutted out and layer upon one another. We next tried other, more systematic, ways of ordering and arranging the items, such as by colour, type of item and hardness of material. This enabled me to develop more of an understanding of the connections between seemingly unrelated objects, all having a personal meaning to each group member but coming together in a united 'identity'. However, we decided that our initial arrangement was the most successful because it had a sculptural quality to it due to the balancing objects that created elevated shapes, and we chose to work from this for the first set of drawings.
Whilst drawing we were required to create a frame through which we would view our collection of objects. This forced me to view only a section of the arrangement, and therefore I began to focus on shapes and textures rather than the objects themselves. I tried to translate this through the media I chose and the types of marks I was creating, such as using soft pencil to represent a fluffy teddy bear, and thick marker for the leather of a shoe. This contrast between line quality and media created energy within my drawings which I feel was successful in the way that it described the objects without actually visually representing the entirety of the object; the object itself may be obscured as a shape but the textural quality of its surface tells something about its identity. This exploration and experimentation with mark making is something I continued to develop throughout the day, as with each drawing I began to deconstruct the objects through using only dots, zig-zags, thick/thin line, etc. As I progressed I was able to loosen up my approach, and in my final observational drawing I aimed to avoid outlines altogether so that each object was only a texture to represent them. This was challenging to me as I had to question - what marks would best represent this object/material? This transformed the way I viewed the objects, abstracting them from their initial form into only surfaces and shapes. This progression in my mark making helped to create abstract drawings from which I could develop six patterned designs to project onto the body/into my sketchbook.
I also feel that I was able to improve my consideration of texture, and the ways I could represent texture, in a collage exercise early in the day. This involved physical materials, meaning I had to think of ways I could fold, crease and manipulate different papers, tape, etc, to visualise a segment of a drawing. I particularly enjoyed this because of the way I was able to physically use material, and through touch I gained insight into how I could represent textures just through mark making in my later drawings. If I had more time I would have liked to create more collage pieces to explore texture in areas of my drawings.
As a group we used yarn to bind our objects into a sculptural form. We were restricted in where we could hang our objects, and thus we were drawn to a wooden frame in the room which we could use as a solid structure to weave the yarn (and our objects) around. This created a web-like quality to our sculpture that was interesting because of the way it crushed and manipulated each item to transform their shapes. We balanced this frame from the table to the wall, creating a horizontal plane, which allowed us to work from different perspectives when drawing, such as directly beneath the structure itself. This worked well as it meant we could really get close to the objects and observe their textures.
When working onto acetate I wanted to explore how I could represent the different line qualities and marks from my drawn designs through using a mixture of tape and marker. I worked onto clear plastic, and used tape for bold and strong lines, whereas I used a thinner marker for more delicate and intricate details. This created an intriguing tension and contrast that made the projections more powerful. As I developed I began to think of ways I could incorporate coloured acetate and layering to add complexity to the projections, and to explore the relationship between different lines and textures. I think my final projections were successful in the way they explored complex layering, which created a busy and confusing effect that I feel was quite intriguing. The contrast between the blocks of shadow and thin lines of shadow created a sense of energy in the patterns, and I feel they could translate well into designs for interiors. Upon viewing peer work I noticed that using collage with different papers onto the acetate worked really well when projecting as it had a ghostly, faded quality. If I had more time I would have explored this on my own acetates, and I would have also liked to use stitch and pierce into the plastic to see what effect this could give.
Have you changed your perception of what textiles is? If so, in what way?
Before this project I did not consider how experimental the approach to creating new patterns and designs for materials could be. I realised the importance of mark making and drawing to develop ideas and how this approach allowed for spontaneity, making the design process more exciting as it focused on 'discovery' through observation rather than the limitation of our own imagination. I did not consider this explorative aspect of textiles, as I thought it was limited to physical materials and processes.
What are the benefits of working in pairs/ together?
By working with others I was able to develop more ambitious ideas, such as with the creation of the sculpture where group discussion enabled us to realise the possibility of using the wooden frame. This meant I did not settle on my first idea, and instead worked collaboratively to develop many ideas, each idea becoming more abstract and exciting. Working with others also helped to inspire my individual work, as by talking about ideas in a group I was able to see what was successful and what was not which informed my own making process.
I continued to explore textures and patterns through collage, inspired by the collage exercises in the 'your data' project, working from one of the six designs I picked out from my drawings. I tried out using more unconventional materials, such as foil, to achieve different textural qualities and also thought about how I could fold and pleat tape to create an uneven surface that would reflect the mark making in the design. I began to think of ways I could represent blank space within a design through incorporating flat colours using card, and I found this was successful at creating contrasting textures and surfaces within the collage. I was really interested in the idea of building up layers of textures and marks and so incorporated drawn elements with bold black marker, which I think worked well at emphasising the different materials in the collage.
Thinking again about layering, I took the acetates I completed yesterday and looked at how I could layer these within my sketchbook to create an image/ design. While my designs were quite complex and busy when layered, I experimented with how I could layer orange acetate to highlight/focus a certain area. I think this was successful at making the design more coherent despite all of the contrasting marks.
Inspired by research on textiles artist Liz Nilsson, I am beginning to think about the potential for layering patterns and textures within a physical space, rather than just on a flat page. By presenting texture and pattern in more of an installation piece I think this would create an interactive experience of the materials, enabling people to appreciate all the mark making and details which become lost when stuck down onto a flat page. This is a potential idea for tomorrow, where we will bring together all of this work into a final piece.
12/10/2017 - 'Your Interpretation' // Fashion & Textiles
The morning session was heavily focused on fashion illustration, involving a series of quick and experimental drawings working from classmates as models, exploring the ways in which we could use mark making and materials to communicate something about fabric/ a garment. Throughout these exercises I drew on my understanding and experimentation with mark making and line that I had developed earlier in the week, specifically thinking about how the choice of media I used when drawing could communicate texture and the identity of a material. I felt that my decisions with using contrasting mediums and colours worked well within my illustrations as they served to communicate the garment not only through shape but also through texture, and the contrasts created an energy within my work that meant each drawing was fresh and different. I made sure to keep switching up my approach to materials so that I could remain experimental, rather than remaining focused on one way of working/developing a 'style',which I think helped to make my drawing loose and unrestrained. I made the decision part way through the drawing exercises to stand while drawing, allowing me to become more free and bold with my mark making.
One exercise I found particularly enjoyable was where we were responding to music because I feel that it made me really consider the ways in which I could manipulate my line work to convey a different emotion/quality. For instance, softer music meant I worked with more fluid and flowing line, whereas quicker beats meant I used jagged or broken lines to reflect the rhythm of the music. Furthermore, I began to make links with how I could apply different line to different areas to represent a certain fabric, meaning my illustrations started to communicate in a more direct way even if they were just silhouettes.
An exercise I was challenged by was one in which we had to draw moving models, as this required me to capture details, shapes and movement in a very short space of time. The rapid pace at which I had to draw meant I could only capture certain elements of a figure, meaning my work became very fragmented. However, I feel that this fragmentation really conveyed a sense of movement, even if the figures themselves were indecipherable. From this exercise I realised the importance of being direct when trying to communicate something, becoming more bold with how I drew as there was so little time.
The afternoon session involved working in groups to collaborate in making an outcome that responded to the work created throughout the whole week. After discussion, my group identified that what we most enjoyed throughout the week was the collaborative drawing and mark making exercises, and so we decided to bring together layers of mark making and patterns on a large sheet to create a new 'material'/ texture which we would then hang and extend from the wall. Although initially we thought about working our mark making piece onto the body, we realised that our approach to form the large sheet around the body limited and restricted us, and so we re-thought our idea as more of an installation piece on a wall. We cut into and worked onto the surface of the paper with collage to create texture that integrated into and reflected our mark making, which I think was really successful at making our new material more interactive and less flat. When suspending the sheet from the wall we decided to drape the paper over a chair and bend and contort the paper to make it appear as fabric. Not only was this successful at representing fabric, but it also gave the paper a life and sense of movement that intensified the mark making on the surface. Feedback from others highlighted the success of the draping of the sheet, which people found to successfully present the qualities of the paper itself which was folded/crumpled around objects.
During the exhibition of everyone's work at the end of the day I realised that many other groups had also focused heavily on mark making in their pieces, but all where executed in very different ways. One I found particularly interesting was a group who came together to develop a large scale 'graffiti' piece on a sheet on the wall, then working in the space around to develop a scene which was taped off. This then served as a backdrop for a series of photographs exploring the body in relation to the surroundings. Their final presentation then worked this sheet onto an actual live model in the created scene with the photographs presented along side. Their idea was based on bringing together many different disciplines, representing the vast interests of the group, to create something new. I felt that their use of many mediums and manipulation of their original drawing into many forms was a very unique way of presenting this idea. I liked the idea that their original piece could be viewed in many different ways, which differed from my groups' outcome.
Can you define the processes used across the fashion/ textiles discipline?
The use of illustration and mark making to convey ideas, and to develop ideas themselves, was integral to both fashion and textiles. This use of mark making displayed the importance of understanding texture and shape within fashion and textiles, and how observational drawing can spark new ideas for patterns and designs. Also, being informed by personal surroundings and experience is clear across the discipline, all the while collaborating with others to bring together ideas.
How did you apply these to your creative development?
I applied a consideration of mark making to all of the drawings throughout the week, and as the week progressed I developed more understanding of how I could communicate through drawing. This really inspired me, and therefore culminated in the final outcome on Thursday in which we layered group mark making with collage to create a new material.
Describe the collaborative exercises throughout the week. Was it a positive learning experience?
On Monday we worked collaboratively to work onto the body and in group drawing exercises to explore mark making. On Tuesday, we worked in groups to bring together our individual objects in a sculptural piece, which we then drew from. On Thursday we worked together to model and style each other for our drawing exercises and then worked in groups to come up with a final outcome in response to the week. Through working with others I think I was able to become more ambitious and creative with ideas, as by working together we were able to achieve more. I also was able to see how other people perceived their surroundings, inspiring my own idea development. In the final group work on Thursday it was quite challenging to bring together all of our interests into a piece we would all be happy with. I felt that while working there was conflicted interests and ideas about presentation, however through discussion and constant evaluation throughout the process we came to an outcome that we were all happy with. I think by working equally and collaboratively we were all able to bring something we wanted to the piece, and through having an open mind we were accepting of different suggestions and ideas. This made group work a more positive experience.
Today I reflected on the work I have created across all the different disciplines, thinking about what has worked well/not, where my strengths lie and what I am interested most in preparation for diagnosis. Looking back, I feel that I worked well during the graphic communication week as I was forced to stick to a brief, and by having so many restrictions I felt compelled to become more creative in my approach. Something I have been really interested in during the past week, fashion and textiles, has been developing a sense of communicating through drawing and mark making, and while before I did not realise my interest in materials and textures I now feel inspired to explore the qualities of materials in both a 2D and 3D sense. Upon reflection, I realise I did not enjoy the product design or architecture work as much as I didn't feel personally connected to the projects.
I visited the House of Illustration, hoping to gain insight into how illustrators communicate through their process of drawing. I was particularly intrigued by the Jaqueline Ayer exhibit, 'Drawing on Thailand', due to the bright bold colours she used in her work and detailed patterns when layered on top of one another. I was inspired by how her work communicated character and culture, representing real-life while remaining beautiful and intricate. The way in which she was inspired by her own surroundings in Bangkok makes the work very personal, and inspires me to think about how a lot of creative work springs from the self. I felt a sense of movement from her work that gave her drawings life. From this visit I was able to see the different visual languages of illustrators and ways they were able to create life and character within 2D drawings, providing inspiration for my own drawing.
16/10/2017 - 18/10/2017
On Monday I had my progress tutorial in which I was able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of my work so far one-to-one with a tutor. I was able to identify that, while my written work is very thorough and relevant within both my research and my reflection, my writing can become quite dense and hard to process. In order to solve this problem me and my tutor discussed forming some sort of key, where I can colour code/ use different fonts/ font sizes to break up large sections of text into easily identifiable areas of information, for instance having a different colour for when I write about the success of a final outcome, etc. Furthermore, my research work could be added to through incorporating more interviews of artists and designers/ reviews of exhibitions I have been to so that I can have alternative viewpoints on work I see, giving myself a more critical understanding of work in context.
With the tutor I discussed my creativity in response to a brief, which helped me to further solidify on my preference of Graphic Communication Design for my specialist area. My tutor noted the graphic way in which I present work in my sketchbook and how this curriculum area suits my strength in 2D design. Overall, Monday helped me to both confirm my choice for specialism and evaluate my working process and how I can improve this for future projects.
Following on from my tutorial, across both Tuesday and Wednesday I acted upon the feedback I was given. I re-assessed the presentation of my workflow pages, incorporating more colour coding, helping me to understand how I can make my ideas more clear when put into writing. I also continued to work further on illustrations associated to the 'Lost Letters' project, which I previously found so fascinating. I worked with different letters to create small-scale ink illustrations that had a more fun approach. I thought about ways I could repeat the letter throughout an illustration to give it a stronger identity, and I also explored how I could almost camouflage the letter within an illustration by obscuring it within the design. Within these illustrations I decided to only work with black ink, meaning I could only create variations in shades of grey, black and using the white of the page. This restricted me further so that I considered the shape of the letter more closely rather than the colour palette. Overall I think these were successful as I was able to bring together what I had previously thought about with use of space and shape into considered and decorative illustrations that really held the letters integral to the image.
After finding out my diagnosis into the Graphic Communications area, I began my research in relation to the 'INTERACT' Project next week. I visited the King's Cross library to start my research using the books suggested in the bibliography. Starting with the text 'Guerrilla Advertising: Unconventional Brand Communications' by Gavin Lucas and Michael Dorian, I began to think about alternative forms of advertising used by brands that simulate some sort of interaction with the public. I was especially intrigued by campaigns which capitalised on their environment, considering the visual characteristics of a space/ object which could be manipulated to convey a brand's required message. In particular brands that created/ simulated an environment, such as the CSI advertising campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore, seemed particularly successful to me due to the way they interacted with consumers to reconsider their environment and what is real/ what is not. This led me to think of the power of temporary installations and how this can encourage participation, sensationalising a message as a result and meaning it can reach many people.
This sparked my own analysis of the immediate space around me, and how I come into contact with branding and advertising and how successful their methods of communication are. I realised that 2D forms of communication such as billboards and posters are essentially 'tuned out' of my mind as they are so prolific within the environment, meaning they usually lack impact and a memorable quality. Again, this triggered thoughts about how temporary pop-up forms of advertisement create intimacy with an audience that draws all their attention, meaning they are remembered. Therefore, this highlighted to me the importance of engaging an audience in order for them to really comprehend and process a message.
I started to photograph examples of graphic communication within my surroundings, and this is something I will further develop over the next few days.
Following on from yesterday, I began to photograph my immediate surroundings further. I came to the realisation that advertisement is not only present in a formal format, e.g large scale billboards and posters on buses, etc, but also it is ever-present in an informal format through posters and signs pasted on shop windows/ on lamp posts, etc. This form of communication has a very different effect as it relies on a consumer to be engaged in the environment, for instance actually entering the shop, to notice the advertisements it displays. This contrasts that of larger billboards which can draw the attention of the eye through a considered use of colour and bold text/image. This emphasised to me the importance of the environment and surrounding space when communicating to an audience.
I further brainstormed how I come into contact with graphic communication on a daily basis, starting to think about symbols and signs which direct me and the impact this has on how I behave according to norms and rules. I also began to think of how brands are communicated on clothing I wear, instilling a sense of identity within me. The idea of how graphic communication influences behaviour is something I wish to explore further, as this is something which can be used to raise awareness and act upon large scale issues. I find it fascinating that my behaviour and the information I process is almost all subconscious in the way that it is communicated throughout my environment. This subtlety, and the way in which messages can become more powerful through blending into the background, is an interesting concept to me and something I will think about further within the project next week.
23/10/2017 // INTERACT PROJECT
At the beginning of the day there were group discussions around the research we had been gathering over the past few days, which gave me an insight into the observations of others in regards to interacting with graphic design in their daily lives. I was particularly interested in the way others identified the success of interactive museum exhibitions, in particular one girl had visited the science museum and realised that a lot of interactive activities were used to enhance learning for small children, for instance interacting with physical moving objects to move an image on a screen. This was interesting to me in the way that it made the communication of information more memorable and therefore successful. I was also intrigued by the observations another person had made involving interactive shop displays/window displays, for instance she found that a cosmetics shop allowed for consumers to test products within the window display through touch. I was intrigued by this because of the way it altered our perception of the brand into something positive due tot he positive interaction we would associate with it. Through this discussion I became aware of what made interactive experiences more successful; the ability to interact through multiple sensory experiences (touch, smell, sound, etc) enhanced the way in which information was processed and remembered. Reflecting on my own observations, I realised the differences between passive and active interaction and found that many of my observations were more passive.
As part of a pair, I was required to respond to a quote randomly assigned to us, thinking of ways to visualise and create an interaction with the public exploring our associations to the quote. The quote me and my partner got was the following:
'Nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all.'
Immediately we began to think about the concept of value within modern society, especially how the value of something alters depending on its context and the platform in which it is shared, for instance a photograph on social media may have less value than that of a physical photograph. We were especially intrigued by the question of what least matters to someone, as commonly one is asked what is most important to them, and by questioning this we were then giving that something value. From this we thought of our own perception of what makes something valuable, and discussed how the act of protecting and encasing something therefore gave it value due to its intangibility.
Continuing this train of thought, we initially toyed with the idea of observing how we could make a meaningless object valuable through encasing it in a see-through box and securing it with a chain, which we would then place into two different environments for people to interact with. The first environment would be a busy, compact environment, we were thinking the archway canteen, and the next would be a large open space. This would then perhaps alter the way people interacted with the box. The trigger for the interaction would be a provoking question - 'how far would you go?', which would hopefully encourage people to face the challenge of obtaining this meaningless object, both observing what it is they value and whether a meaningless object can matter to someone depending on the context in which it is presented. This idea posed many issues, the main one being how we would chain the box to make it immovable from a surface, as someone could just take the entire box and defeat the purpose. However, we realised that through trying to control the interaction we would therefore be unable to reveal the true behaviour of those interacting. Speaking this through with the tutor, we were given feedback on our first idea. We realised our idea had no motivation for the individuals interacting, there was no incentive to obtain a meaningless object, and we began to question whether any sort of interaction would be documented. Although it was noted that our ideas surrounding value were very intriguing, this visualisation was unsuccessful at inciting any sort of interaction at all.
We reflected on our initial brainstorm, and began to explore another question we had in response to the quote: Does something still matter if it has no purpose? We then developed a second idea involving two groups and two interactions, which we would document through film, in which people would interact physically through an instructed action. This action would essentially be meaningless, however we sought to give this value and make it matter in some way. We thought of the concept of questioning, and how when we question an action (becoming conscious of it), the action automatically matters. Therefore, our idea explores this by having two scenarios, the first being a series of written imperative actions in a clear bowl for people to choose (e.g. 'jump'/'spin') which they would complete with little context and understanding. The next scenario, with a different group, would be a similar concept but instead of imperatives the actions would be phrased as questions (e.g. 'can you touch your nose to your elbow?'). We felt that by instructing through a question those interacting would feel that their actions would have more value, showing less confusion, becoming clear to the viewer through the documentation of our film. We seek to trigger this interaction through a sign with the phrase 'what matters?', hoping to draw people's attention and make them reflect on what they are instructed. We feel that this idea poses less practical problems than our initial , but tomorrow we hope to refine this idea and receive feedback through our tutorial with a tutor. I think this idea evokes very interesting questions about what we value, and whether what we value has to have a purpose for it to matter, revealing interesting depths within the human condition. I think the way in which the interactions are split into two contrasting situations is going to be more successful and have more impact in conveying the importance of questioning an action rather than having a single interaction, as the film will hopefully depict interesting variations in how people complete their action as a result.
24/10/2017 // INTERACT PROJECT
During a tutorial me and my partner were able to explain and receive feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of our proposed idea. After explaining our concept and plan, our tutor felt that the concept and philosophical aspect of our exploration (does something still matter if it has no purpose?) was very strong. She felt intrigued by the way in which our question could all be brought back to the very basic concept of meaning, specifically 'what is meaning?' However, she felt that our interaction needed a way to record people's responses; instead of simply having the audience interact and engage in an action by picking it out of a bowl, she suggested we then provide follow-up questions and a series of answers to choose from which would make the audience question the purpose of their action and what it meant to them. We felt this would make our interaction more powerful and less vague so that the audience were able to grasp the concept behind our idea, and also it meant we could physically represent the internal questioning that would occur within audience members following the interaction. Furthermore, I found that while explaining our idea me and my partner had some discrepancies between our understanding of the quote, and so following the tutorial we came together to re-evaluate what we wanted to get out of our interaction and the aim of our exploration.
Upon thorough discussion, we came to the conclusion that it would be most effective to record people's answers to a couple of questions after they complete an action verbally, meaning we could overlay the audio with our visual footage to create a dynamic and interesting video for our final product. We realised that having people write down their response would mean we would need to limit responses in some way and, as our idea is so philosophical, this would hinder people from fully explaining their personal response to what makes something matter to them and compels them to complete the action. Yet, throughout the day as we set up our interaction and engaged with audience members we noticed that the questions we were asking were not communicating our intentions very well. For instance we started by asking people, 'does questioning something make it matter?', however this made some people confused and we noticed their responses did not relate directly to the action they just completed. We are continuing to revise this process of questioning, and will set up the interaction again tomorrow to try out different questions for more effective responses. Perhaps asking 'do you think your action had a purpose?' and 'do you think something which has no purpose still matters to you?' would encourage people to question the idea of what matters to them, coming to the conclusion that in fact nothing may matter at all (thus bringing it back to our initial quote).
While filming we encountered problems with the success of the overall interaction. Due to limitations on the king's cross site, we had to reconsider the placement of the table, moving it to the side so it would not obstruct the walkway. As a result, we felt that people were not engaging as much in our interaction. In addition, when we stood directly by our interaction with a camera we noticed this was quite intimidating and meant people were reluctant to approach the table, and so we continually altered our approach and eventually realised that recording on our phones more subtly from further away meant people were more comfortable and willing to interact. Some people would simply read an action and not complete it, which is also an interesting finding and still of value to our video as it suggests that an action with no purpose is therefore meaningless to complete (for some people). This is revealing interesting observations about the differences between what matters to people and compels them to complete a meaningless task (a.k.a a task with no outcome/reward/incentive). We concluded that it would be useful to return to the site and set up the interaction again tomorrow at a busier time, e.g. during lunch, when groups of people would be more likely to engage. This also allows us to trial out different questions and reflective methods to get more suitable responses for our aim. Following this we will edit our footage to complete the final video for the presentation.
I feel that a successful aspect of the day was the way in which me and my partner worked cohesively as a team, and I felt that our communication and discussions were very useful at identifying and resolving problems that arose throughout the process. We were able to split tasks and come together to analyse what we felt was working/not, making sure to take into account each other's opinions. I realised the importance of communication when working with another person, especially when an idea involves big concepts which are interpreted very differently from person to person.
25/10/2017 // INTERACT PROJECT
My partner and I aimed to complete our final edited video today in preparation for the presentation tomorrow. After evaluating the drawbacks of our questioning yesterday, we re-approached the way in which we would get responses from those involved in the interaction. We set up our interaction again, and this time asked more focused questions in relation to their action; Do you think your action had a purpose? Does something which has no purpose still matter to you? This was much more successful in making people reflect on what compels them to complete an action despite it having no purpose, encouraging people to think deeper about what it is that matters to them as an individual.
When editing our footage we found that alternating angles and having a mixture of shorter and longer clips meant that the video remained engaging and interesting, which is something we continually questioned throughout the process. We felt that keeping the video interesting was especially important as this would mean our audience would be able to process the message of our interaction more thoroughly, beginning to question within themselves the purpose of an action. As a pair we concluded that keeping our video just under two minutes was most successful at displaying a varied amount of interactions, yet it was not too long so that is would become disinteresting. Throughout our footage we decided to disperse our questions (in text) that we asked, giving context to the overlaying audio while also provoking the audience. We particularly liked the effect this had, thus we decided to end our video with an open-ended question for the audience: does something need to have a purpose to matter to you?
I feel that the final video is successful at conveying our intended message, as by seeing people's interactions we begin to question what compels them to engage despite the lack of incentive or purposeful outcome. I feel that this opens up wider questions that directly link to our quote and philosophical thinking, and this is enhanced by the overlaying audio in which we get to hear personal responses to the interaction. I especially feel that the use of multiple angles keeps our video dynamic and intriguing to watch, and I also feel it gives our video a more polished and professional finish. In addition, I feel that the way in which some clips depict people ignoring the interaction/ passers-by is significant, as this observation reveals another layer of what matters/doesn't matter to certain people; for some individuals there is perhaps no compelling aspect to a purposeless task and thus they do not interact. Overall, I feel that the interaction served to open up further questions within me about what matters to people, rather than reaching a conclusion/answer. However, I feel that perhaps there is not a succinct or conclusive answer to such a question, and my intention to observe whether people are compelled to complete a purposeless task was still met.
Next time, I feel that it would be a good idea to plan our response questions more thoroughly initially to prevent having to set up the interaction twice. This would perhaps mean we would have to discuss further in the initial stages to make sure we are communicating in the way that we intend to an audience. I also feel that the video could have been improved by having less shaky footage, perhaps using a tripod, to give a more polished finish and easy-viewing experience.I also realised, through observing my peer's work, that when an interaction involved some sort of playful question or fun collaboration presented on a larger scale it was more successful as it attracted more people's attention.
Overall, through this process of engaging with an audience through interaction I learnt the importance of being clear in how I convey a message, as it is easy for a message to become skewed through communication. I also deepened my understanding of how having an active role in a situation can make people conscious of a certain message being communicated, and how interaction is a powerful tool for challenging people's perspectives and enabling information to be remembered.
26/10/2017 // INTERACT PROJECT
1) How did you approach working as a pair and what effect did this have on your work?
As a pair we worked collaboratively across the entire project, helping each other and splitting roles equally when it came to filming and editing. As neither of us had a particular strength in video editing, working together while editing allowed us to support one another and work more efficiently to create the final product. I felt that we were able to communicate well throughout the process as we worked so closely together, and this meant we were both able to give input so that the final video presented our intentions in the way we desired. By maintaining good communication throughout we found we could identify problems and work to solve them quite confidently while working, and we were both comfortable with identifying anything that we were personally unhappy with to come to a conclusion as a team. Overall I think this made our work more clear in what we were trying to communicate and therefore meant that our final video projected our vision as a pair quite successfully.
From this team working experience I was able to learn the value in clear communication when working collaboratively, and the importance of integrating aspects of each individual's vision in order to come to a conclusion that both team members are happy with. I also learnt that sometimes it can be more beneficial to work alongside one another as this gives an alternate perspective on what you are individually working on so that strengths and weaknesses in the work can be evaluated.
2) How did you adapt to working in a public space and what did you learn from interacting with the general public?
Initially I felt quite intimidated to work in a public space as many uncontrollable variables in the environment made it quite an unpredictable space, e.g. I couldn't control how people would react to our interaction for our specific intention. However, throughout the process I was able to appreciate the individual interpretations people had of our work as this allowed for interesting observations to come across on video. From these interactions I learnt how important it is to be clear in the way that you communicate a message to an audience, as people's differing perspectives can mean a message/intention can become obscured, for instance we initially did not have any sort of instruction for people to immediately complete the action so they would become confused and not interact at all. I also learnt how active interactive experiences have a deeper impact on people, as people digest information better through doing, and how introducing play into the communication of a message makes it more approachable and engaging.
3) What strategies did other groups use that were particularly effective and why?
I feel that interactions that occurred on a larger scale were more successful at attracting people to get involved, such as one group who used a large roll of paper for people to lie on, then drawing around their bodies to build up an image. By working on a larger scale it sparks people's interest, and having a larger amount of participants meant the interaction came across less staged or forced, creating more genuine responses to stimuli. I also realised that, in terms of documentation, videos that were particularly strong used sound/ music to accompany visual footage and set a tone/ enhance their message to the audience. One particular work that I though was successful at doing this was a pair whose interaction involved creating glamour within an everyday situation through placing a red carpet in a space, seeing how people would respond. I thought the editing in this video was particularly strong, as the footage would intertwine with the beat of the music and therefore set a playful tone that reflected the fun nature of the interaction itself. To me, this communicated the message behind their interaction much more clearly and made their documentation a lot more engaging as a final piece.
During the critique me and my partner were able to see how others responded to the intentions and the success of our interaction. People felt that the use of a question on a sign was successful at drawing people's attention to the interaction, as it provoked passers-by and sparked an interest in the jar on a table, rather than having just the jar which would be overlooked. They noted that our interaction heavily relied on the confidence of participants in how far they would engage with the action, and thus felt our choice of location at King's Cross was well thought through due to the willingness of art students. In relation to the documentation, one girl felt that the ambiguity of the beginning of the video was successful as it meant the audience too felt confused by the purpose of such actions. Yet, she felt that the use of the audio and text throughout the video meant our ideas became clear, and this development of understanding was powerful to her. In order to make our idea clearer, some suggested that we would actually show clips of what people picked out from the jar to give the audience an understanding of the action they were completing, as sometimes they were quite subtle in the way they completed their action. Others felt that perhaps this could come across simply through having more people participate and document this on the final video.
Overall I feel that our video was successful at presenting our idea as the audience were able to grasp our concept quite easily. I was intrigued by the way people interpreted the ambiguity of the beginning, which I never before considered, and reflecting on this I feel that the ambiguity enhanced our message by putting the audience in the perspective of the person completing the action (they too would have felt confusion due to the lack of a purpose to the action).
To gain first-hand experience of a large interactive installation I visited the Tate Modern to see the Hyundai Commission 'Superflex: One Two Three Swing!' I was inspired by the way the interaction involved the whole space to guide people through all of its elements, and I feel that the close connection between the ideas of motion and the site itself, historically a power station, was very powerful at conveying ideas about energy and collaboration. Upon viewing this interactive piece I reflected upon my own; I feel that perhaps working at a larger scale has more potential to create more opportunities for interaction, and this could have been something to consider if we had more time within the project. By seeing this interactive piece I also realised the influential power of play, and how introducing play into an interaction compels people to interact, and so I feel this is something that was successful within my own interactive piece.
I also visited Hiroshi Sugimoto's exhibition 'Snow White', which I felt linked closely to the next brief entitled 'White Space'. I feel that not only did this exhibition explore the ideas around capturing imagery in a single frame, embedding it into our visual memory, but I also felt that it presented the way a collection of images become almost 'white space' in our mind in a world saturated with image. The powerful visual of the blank white illuminated screen in abandoned theatres sparked my interest in what remains of an image after it disappears and exists only in our memory. This questioning of the longevity of images in the modern world is something I will continue to consider in my initial research, and this is something to keep in mind when I apply my own ideas about white space into the world.
30/10/2017 // WHITE SPACE Project
1) What part of today's 3 tasks did you find difficult and why?
What I found most difficult today was the process of reintroducing the shapes we identified out of our first set of photos back into the environment, thinking about ways to interrupt/ remove/ highlight aspects of the surrounding space. This was challenging for me as two out of the three shapes I chose were quite organic, making them difficult to integrate within a space as they seemed out of place. However, I then used this to my advantage, finding that the shapes could be put in a space to specifically obstruct information and obscure an original image. In this way I was exploring how taking something away from the surrounding space through introducing white space could focus the eye on things that would otherwise be overlooked. This concept of realisation of what pre-exists in the environment is something I came back to later in the day when brainstorming for my manifesto, as I feel this is an important way that white space can be integrated in the environment to provide clarity in busy modern society.
The third shape I had was a long, large scale rectangular strip, which I found particularly hard to photograph within the surrounding space because when overlaying it in spaces the outcome became flat and simplistic. As a result I developed the idea of using its simplistic form as a strength within my photographs, experimenting with how I could place it within an environment to conform within what is already happening in the surrounding space, e.g. on the road to mimic the painted white lines that guide drivers.
2) What lesson did you learn from following the process we set out?
Through following the quite experimental and unpredictable process of finding shapes of white space, creating them out of material and reintroducing them in the environment in some way I was able to learn the value in remaining experimental in my approach to white space. I found that by building my understanding of white space through constantly evaluating my surrounding space I was able to develop a more personal interpretation of white space that was unique from first-hand experience, rather than relying on my initial preconceived ideas of white space is. This resulted in more interesting work that did not rely on cliches, and I was intrigued by the very different responses that all my peers had. I also learnt the successfulness of working directly from the environment, directly drawing influence from my immediate surrounding space, because I found this challenged me to look closer at mundane things to reinterpret them, and this is when my work became exciting to me.
3) What effect does formulating a manifesto or statement of intent with rules have on you as a designer?
I find that by creating a series of rules and restrictions to follow in my creative process it forces me to evaluate and analyse my intentions and the values behind my work (while still being ambiguous enough that it does not point me in any particular direction for an outcome). It makes me re-evaluate myself as a designer from an outside perspective so that I consider what impact I want to have on an audience who sees my work. As a result I am beginning to think about how what I produce as a designer can have a wider message and ethos behind it, to which other people can become inspired and follow also. Furthermore, I feel that by having restrictions before even considering an outcome it solidifies my own personal interpretation of white space, meaning I am clear in what I want to get across in my work.
31/10/2017 // WHITE SPACE Project
Following some group critique on the manifestos we created I realised that while the design of my manifesto began to reflect the content in quite an interesting way I could develop this further by using design to illustrate meanings in much more powerful ways, in a sense creating a character for the manifesto so that it speaks for itself. For instance, I used layering and transparency within the title of my manifesto to obscure the word 'see' behind the words 'how to' to indicate that one must look closer to realise what already exists on the page. I also chose to use a gradient effect from grey to black to visualise this process of realisation, as what exists in the environment metaphorically becomes more obvious as one follows the rules of the manifesto. However, from looking at peer work I realised that the space of the page could have been used in a much more abstract way to convey the meaning behind the manifesto; one particularly strong example was one in which the design rejected all traditional formats in what would conventionally make a good design to make the viewer uncomfortable, reflecting the content of their manifesto relating to white space and discomfort. I feel that I could improve the design of my manifesto by using design strategies to indicate some of my rules rather than just having them as text, for instance the rule 'zoom in' could be illustrated by literally enlarging all aspects of the design or, alternatively, having the text really small so one must 'zoom in' to read it. From seeing others work I was able to appreciate the way in which design can intensify a message and give a piece of work a clear identity to reflect its content, and I will consider aspects of my design to change and improve as a result.
Following the creation of my manifesto I began to evaluate my environment to consider how I could apply my rules and restrictions towards an outcome. I became particularly interested in the concept of repetition representing white space in a metaphorical way, as repetition creates a sort of blank state in the mind, and wanted to explore this by focusing in on and drawing attention to mundane spaces by physically reproducing aspects of their form to create repetitive patterns. I initially thought about illustrating this, but then thought it would be much more successful to physically use material to cut shapes and integrate them in a space to emphasise a repeating pattern, as this would allow me to explore materials and how I could subtlety create interventions in spaces. My idea developed to the creation of a series of images, looking at how I could repeat forms and shapes of mundane spaces to draw attention to them (realising what already exists in the environment).
I created a few tests to try out ways I could approach this idea. I started by looking at a drain in an outside space and used masking tape, because I was interested in its temporary nature, to continue the formation of the drain itself to extend within the environment. I sought to approach this with careful attention to detail, with the duration of the repetition relying on the amount of gaps in the original drain shape, as I felt this would give a precise finish and uniformity to the final images that would indicate the pattern in a more powerful way. I think this approach was very successful, in particular due to the way I photographed the intervention as it drew attention to the mundane drain pipe while still remaining discreet in the surrounding space.
I also tested out repeating more organic shapes in formations that would indicate a pattern and therefore draw attention to something overlooked in a space. I came across a crumpled piece of paper in a clear area of the floor, which I then repeated and recreated using tracing paper to create a pattern to draw attention to it. However, I feel this was not as successful as the shapes themselves were not uniform, and this confused the pattern and made it less clear in the final image. Reflecting on this, I feel I will focus on repeating patterns that already exist in quite uniform objects as this emphasises a sense of mundanity and creates a better sense of pattern.
From the tutorial with a tutor I was given feedback on my idea. The concept of repetition and uniform patterns within mundane spaces was very intriguing to the tutor, especially in the way I had quite a discreet approach. However, while I originally contemplated working on quite small scales to reflect my manifesto rule to 'zoom in', the tutor felt that perhaps I should explore having a few different scales to see what effect this could give. Following this feedback, I have begun to consider how the size of an object in a space could determine the scale of my work, as I feel this would portray an interesting and thoughtful connection between a design and the space it occupies.
Progressing on from this, I am specifically interested in exploring the materials I can use and how this will photograph differently depending on the space; in particular I am drawn to the possibility of using transparent/see-through materials such as thin plastic or clear tape to see how I can involve shapes in an environment, but not disrupt it.
01/11/2017 // WHITE SPACE Project
As I continued to create interventions in spaces, through drawing attention to pattern and form of mundane objects, I realised that the way in which I photographed them was critical in determining the success of my final images. While photographing, I experimented with different angles and framing, playing around with how much of the surrounding area I would incorporate and what effect this would have on perception of scale. I found it particularly difficult to photograph smaller interventions, as I found that their subtlety was hard to convey on camera. However, I experimented with how I could capture their scales; in one image I photographed a larger surrounding area to exaggerate the small scale of the intervention and in another I zoomed in (following the rules of my manifesto), which exaggerated the small scale as something much larger. I think this manipulation of scale through photography was particularly successful within my images.
Throughout this process I realised that what was most important for my work was to draw inspiration directly from the environment I selected for an intervention. For instance, I really evaluated the material and colour of the surrounding space, and this influenced what material I would use for my intervention. One which was particularly successful was one where I repeated the indented forms on a radiator, as I chose to work in a clear plastic. I thought this was very successful as both the radiator and surrounding space were white, and by using such a transparent material it had a very subtle effect at creating a repeating pattern while still being visible enough on camera. I really liked the effect this had as although the cut out shapes I incorporated in the space were quite large, the material I chose to work in meant that the intervention was subtle and therefore did not disrupt what already existed in the environment, which linked back to the ethos of my manifesto.
Overall I think my final selection of images I produced today were successful in reflecting my manifesto due to their simplicity and I feel that, as a result, this minimal finish was quite powerful at making me look closer at the mundane in my surroundings. I feel that I could continue to develop this process of repeating forms within an environment, perhaps pushing it further by working at larger scales to see what impact this could give. I would also want of further explore using more transparent materials as I think this had a great effect when photographed.
02/11/2017 // WHITE SPACE Project
When considering how to present my best five images for the crit session I thought about the size of my images, how I would present them together/ alone and in what arrangements, etc, carefully evaluating the way in which the images are presented can enhance the white space within them. I initially thought about printing my best five images A4 sized and presenting them on one large sheet of A1 white paper, but then I felt that printing the images A4 meant some of the more subtle details were harder to see and I ended up printing the images A3 sized. I also reconsidered grouping my images on one large sheet as I felt this reduced the impact of each individual image, therefore I came to the conclusion that mounting each image separately would best present the images and keep quite a minimal approach in line with the values of my manifesto. Overall I think my choice of presentation was quite successful, as during the crit people felt that the individual images had a lot of power despite their minimal approach. I thought that the white space that existed around each image on the individual white sheets helped to draw out the white space that I placed within the environment, therefore enhancing each image.
I think my final images were effective in how they photographed white space within everyday environments, as I felt this challenged people's perspective on the mundane. I think the simplicity of the photography emphasised this, and the result, when presented, was actually quite striking.
During the group crit session I received some interesting feedback from my peers. Many felt that the simplicity of my manifesto was reflected visually in my final outcome, one comment particularly felt that the rule to 'zoom in' was effectively portrayed through the way the viewer had to actively search for the white space in some images. While I felt that the design of my manifesto was quite simple and therefore reflected the aim of being minimalistic and discreet, some of my peers felt that the gradation from grey to black in the text detracted from the minimalism and it could have been simplified further. Acting on this feedback, I want to reconsider the design of my manifesto and experiment with the different ways I can present my rules in other ways that are perhaps even more minimal, perhaps removing some text and visualising some of the rules through the design itself. A common response to my final images were that they were very compelling despite their simplicity, or perhaps due to it, and the way in which the white space was photographed was very striking despite being so mundane. One person felt that the way in which they had to search for the white space was quite confusing, however it was my intention to maintain a subtlety within my approach that was in line with my manifesto (to involve, not disrupt an environment). One comment I found very interesting was that by making the viewer search for the white space it created a sort of interactive experience. I found this interesting as I never before considered my still images in a way that could create interaction.
Speaking about my work with the whole group, I was able to see that people appreciated the fact I focused on quite linear patterns as it emphasised this sense of repetition and mundanity. Someone commented that the fact the subject matter was quite 'boring', essentially, was very compelling. The tutor was drawn to the way in which I photographed the interventions, as by incorporating a lot of surrounding space it situated my interventions within everyday experiences. He also noted that he could see my images progressing on to becoming a larger series of work.
Reflecting on this feedback I feel that my images were successful in reflecting the values of my manifesto and also fulfilling the initial brief to activate white space within our daily experience as an alternative form of communication. From what people said about my sketchbook, perhaps I could document my process in a clearer way and this is something to consider for my creative process in the future.