Today I was very pleased to be able to start the foundation course. I was expecting to feel quite anxious when I entered the studio however it ended up feeling like a very comfortable environment to work in. The tutors set out their expectations of us and for the year which made me feel motivated. I felt that today was very productive in that I used various skills both independently and collaboratively in a group.
We were given our first project brief called 'The Ideas Factory' which involved an '-ism', 'process' and 'material' to help generate ideas. The three words I received were 'Utopianism', 'wrap' and 'water'. Initially I felt slightly intimidated by the combination of words and how I was going to address each element (especially since I like designing physical objects with a function or purpose as opposed to a conceptual and abstract piece). To overcome this challenge, I had a group discussion with my peers and unpicked each word through mind-mapping. Through these methods, idea generation was made less daunting and easier. Most importantly, I realised that it's easier to develop initial concepts through discussion. My peers' knowledge and questioning helped me to look at my ideas from another perspective, make alterations to sketches and to clarify my thoughts.
I think that I struggled with the '30 minutes, 10 drawings' exercise in the sense that I didn't manage to reach 10 sketches and began to struggle to come up with more ideas. Despite this, it has taught me (alongside the artists' and designers' research presentation) to not be so precious with initial ideas and sketches because they are not final outcomes, they are part of the process. I found that if I was too concerned with the concept being 'perfect', the flow of ideas was restricted. I think I need to be looser, more free with my thoughts and to not believe that all concepts have to be practical in this project. The exercise also taught me about time management. I need to be time efficient and not get caught up in one idea when exploring and experimenting with concepts. If I'm not strict with myself, I won't be forced to explore other avenues which could possibly lead to a more successful outcome. In the future, I am going to make the effort to be more disciplined with time management so that I can produce more concepts and sketches to then select and refine the best ideas.
Today we presented our 'Ideas Factory' work to our groups; giving and receiving feedback in order to improve our work further. Later on in the session, people were randomly selected to present their work to the whole class. In hindsight, I think it would have been beneficial for me to have put myself forward to present my work. I am a talkative person and have presented many times before joining UAL, however I didn't feel confident enough to put myself forward as I was in a new environment and with new people. In the future I think that I should push myself a little further as it would help to strengthen the weaker areas of my work. After the presentations, our work was displayed to the whole foundation course. I was able to look at sketchbooks from different specialisms which was useful as I saw how I could compose my work in different styles and I could get inspiration for new ideas.
As a whole, I enjoyed the 'Ideas Factory' despite it being a little daunting in the beginning. I found it quite useful to work in a small group to bounce ideas between each other and to get advice as to how to develop my work. I decided to develop my concept about water storage in an urban Utopian landscape because it was the idea that I was most passionate about. The concept also was multi-purpose and tied into my geographical knowledge, particularly about sustainability, so it seemed the most interesting to me. I feel like my sketch book communicates my idea well but could do with some more research to support it.
This week has been very exciting for me as its a fresh start and a new opportunity. I have liked having a project for a week as opposed to months and months because it has kept me motivated and focused. It has definitely shown me how to work in a more efficient, productive way and has encouraged me to not be so precious about work when I am in the process of creating a final piece.
I didn't really know what to expect for the 'Explore it' project but I was looking forward to trying something new. I was worried in the beginning that I wouldn't be able to come up with many ideas but I found that my brainstorming had improved and I surprised myself with the amount of sketches I produced.
I enjoyed exploring Archway and completing primary research. Georgia and Marion got us thinking and questioning more about the presentation, appearance and the manufacturing process of fruit. Before today I would not have thought about the topic in so much depth so it was interesting to observe everyday objects from a new perspective.
Model making was a great way to test out my designs. My designs were mainly inspired by the form of the fruit, storage and practicality. I think that my lemon model was more successful than my tomato models because it was more aesthetically pleasing due to its simplicity. I think that i could develop my initial tomato model by creating more and having a collection of tomatoes instead of just one, however, I found the process quite fiddly. I would improve my second tomato model by using a different material as opposed to just masking tape and string to create a more aesthetically pleasing piece.
I enjoyed the group project more today as it was easier to develop ideas as a team instead of struggling to agree on one design. I noticed that we sketched our ideas as we talked about them in order to actively make alterations as we went along: something I haven't really done before. I found this to be a very quick and easy way to work, especially having more brains to fuel the idea generation and development. We dealt with time management very well because we were able to continue with improving our watermelon model even further within the hour. In hindsight we could have made our design more complex but we felt that the simple design was the most attractive.
I'm looking forward to starting a longer project as it means that I can explore the brief in more depth. I am thinking of going down a spatial route and looking at how light infiltrates into a space. The sketching exercise at King's Cross was really useful for finding a variety of forms and patterns to inspire ideas. Due to the time restriction, I was better at producing more work and searching for more things to observe. I think next I am going to mind map my ideas and select which observation ties in best with each idea to reach a final idea.
Day 13 - 15: 1/10/18, 2/10/18, 4/10/18
Before continuing with 'The Ideas Factory' we practised our sketching skills. We drew pasta using three different drawing methods: negative, contour and tonal (only using mark making and without outlines). I struggled with this as I am more of hands on person as opposed to a sketcher however, I enjoyed the exercise nonetheless. I think more practise would be of benefit to refine the skill and to boost my confidence in that area. To do this I am going to do quick, timed sketches of everyday objects and of the local environment to also work on time management.
I then continued to develop my response to the project brief by creating a visualisation through collage along with a 3D model. I enjoyed this as it made my concept clearer to explain and easier to alter.
At the end of the day we displayed our work for everyone to see and I had the chance to look at other people's sketchbooks. It was interesting to see other people's way of working and how they compose their work in their sketchbook. It was very beneficial as it gave me ideas and showed me the standard of work expected.
The 'Build it' day project was fast paced and energetic. In groups, we created structures made from bamboo sticks and cable ties. I liked working in a group to some extent because it was useful to practise how to communicate my thoughts to others and to instantly start modelling. At points the group was dominated by some individuals which was challenging at times, however we overcame design disagreements by experimenting and trying out everyone's ideas. This was beneficial because I learnt how to make compromises, to understand that other's ideas may work better than my own and to see from different perspectives in order to keep pushing towards a final design. I enjoyed creating a model on a larger scale because it gave me a greater understanding about space and I liked being able to walk around and in between the structure. Afterwards we covered and sketched our structures. The sketching exercise was quite challenging for me again because I really had to focus on scale and accuracy, however, I think that I am making progress in this area.
The tutor's presentation encouraged me to ask questions about spaces and structures (Who? What? Where? Why? Is it an installation or is it architecture?). It was interesting to unpick and analyse each element (lighting, material etc) that goes into design and how each one can create a different mood or atmosphere. The presentation also forced me to think about the stakeholders involved in architecture and how that affected design. This was well shown through designers' visualisations and gave me inspiration for my own.
This weekend was the 'London Design Festival' so I visited the 'Design Junction' tent along with some of my peers. This was very useful in terms of both the new 'Illuminate' project brief and in choosing which pathway I would like to follow in the future. The show had a wide variety of lighting which were useful in generating ideas for the upcoming project. The only limitation that I found was that light was only explored through product design as opposed to jewellery and spatial design. Nonetheless, the event gave me inspiration for form, structure and material.
At the event I managed to have an in depth conversation with ceramicist Emma Alington, who is a previous CSM student. It was really interesting to talk to her about her experiences within the creative industry and how she is developing her ceramics brand since leaving university. After having the conversation, I see a potential future in ceramics, however I would still like to explore other areas within 3D design. I think this was my first real experience of networking as she kindly said that I could contact her for advice or if I had any questions about the specialism. It gave me a real confidence boost and gave me a taster of networking for the future.
I found it very beneficial to visit Design Junction as a group because it meant that we could discuss what we saw, how we could use our observations and allowed me to understand other people's perceptions of the work.
Today was useful in coming up with more designs and being placed into groups with people who were dealing with the same design areas. I was in a group with people looking at light in spatial design. I was able to discuss my ideas with my peers and they gave me suggestions as to how to improve them. However since having the group discussion it has made me realise that my work is more product based rather than spatial. I think I need to do some more research to clarify my thoughts and designs a lot more.
We were set to independently complete our project for tomorrow as we did not have to go into studio today. I struggled in the beginning to get started but once I did, it was easier to get into the flow of things and I was able to stay focused. I think for the future I need to start my work sooner rather than later to avoid stress as I experienced some printing difficultly and it was too late to use any of the university facilities. The day has taught me how to manage my time more efficiently and how to stay motivated.
To begin with, I wasn't that enthusiastic for 'Wear it' as I was for the 'Build it' project. However, the designers' work shown in the presentation was intriguing; it forced me to think about the symbolism that each accessory has or why it has been created as opposed to just being a decorative piece.
In the brainstorming and sketching phase of the session I feel like I again struggled to communicate my ideas purely by sketching (I need to practice drawing figures also). It was only when it came to the model making that I became the most enthused about the project. I found it easier to use materials to communicate my idea as it was easier to show scale and to adapt my piece.
It was good to see the work that the whole group had produced at the end of the session because there was a variety of designs to give me inspiration and to see the brief from a different perspective. It helped me especially to get new ideas as to how I can use materials in a different way.
Today I visited a Victorian terraced house in Crouch End as part of 'Open House London' where the owner had added a contemporary kitchen extension in order to create a brighter and more open living space . Unlike yesterday, I was able to see how light is used in terms of architecture and spatial design in a domestic environment. It was fascinating to learn about the process of the development and the methods used to create a bigger space. After having visited the house, I am considering interior spatial design as a potential pathway to follow. I find it very intriguing how people interact with space and objects so it was great to see architecture on a more domesticated scale.
We continued with developing our designs today and had a mini crit in groups with Marion to see how the project was progressing. My crit did not go as I expected which in hindsight was very beneficial to my project. Having had the discussion I came to realise that my ideas, despite being initial, were quite weak and needed refinement. Initially, I did feel like my confidence was a little knocked as I felt that I was working hard. But after thinking about it, it has made me realise that I need to push myself a bit further or at least work more efficiently to get the best results. Marion made me realise that I shouldn't settle for less and to keep going to create more interesting designs and ideas. Furthermore, that it's okay to not get things right the first time, but to backtrack, spend some more time on research and idea generation and to have another go. I think that I am still learning to adjust to the way of working but it has clarified what is expected of me and has given me more to think about.