Friday 5th February 2016
I visited the Saatchi Gallery where I saw the Champange Life exhibition.
The exhibition only featured female artists.
The portraits by Jelena Bulajic were beautiful because they were so detailed that they looked real. She captured every wrinkle and crease in the skin which actually made ageing to be something beautiful rather than something to try and prevent in our society which promotes cosmetic surgery as a way of achieving beauty. I also noticed that she uses an unusual variety of different materials to create such intense detail such as ground granite and ground limestone. These add more depth to her work, as does the largeness of each piece which encourages you to stand up close to the piece.
I found Bulajic's work to be emotive and it reminded me of the superficiality of society, which has encouraged one of my themes for unit 7 to be 'beauty' because I think it is a topic which is so prominent at the moment in media and youth culture. These portraits left me questioning the ideals of beauty and expectations of image.
Another piece which stood out to me the most was the bobbin and thread sculpture by artist Alice Anderson. The pieces were so large that it actually felt a little intimidating to enter the room. The spheres circumference is 200cm and the bobbin is 350 x 248 x 248cm which must be almost 10 times bigger than its actual size.
I also visited some furniture and design stores such a B&B Italia and The Conran Shop to see what type of themes they were using in their stores as they are based around lifestyle and decor. I noticed that the colour palettes in both stores were very neutral and earthy which also links in with my theme of beauty nicely because it is suggestive something natural and organic, which is what we strive to achieve in unnatural ways.
Sunday 7th February 2016
I did some further research into both artist I looked into from both of the exhibitions I visited. I realised that in both artists bodies of work they had pieces which related to both of my themes. This was really useful because it meant that I could cross-reference certain image. For instance, Jelena Bulajic's portraits of older generation fits into my theme of 'beauty' because it clearly links to image, however I also believe it to fit into my theme of 'journeys'. This is because I associate her work with ageing which can be interpreted as a physical change and personal journey for everyone individually.
Similarly, I noticed that Saul Leiter had a collection of photographs in an exhibition called 'Finding Beauty' which has a selection of women which have been photographed and then painted over. My initial reaction to the pieces is that the paint is there to enhance their beauty by injecting vibrant colour into the images making them more eye catching. However, Leiter could also be making a criticism of societies idea of beauty and mocking the industry; having worked as fashion photographer in his career he may be satirising the serious world of beauty.
I also have looked into the work of Barbara Kruger who works on a large scale, much like Jelena Bulajic. I think that her work has a more immediate effect on the viewer because of her use of bright red in contrast to the muted black and white imagery. I have chosen to look at Kruger for the theme beauty because I believe that her use of text and captions directly comments on society and social constructs. This relates to the theme of beauty because within the industry it can be argued that women are made to want to look a certain way, which also ties in with the idea of false representation as women aspire to be a retouched and photoshopped model on the covers of magazines which is an unrealistic goal.
In relation to my theme of journeys I have looked at Harry Beck who designed the tube map. The modern tube map is designed around his simple topological style and it is a map I refer to on a daily basis. Beck is a designer who I feel has benefited me which is why he came to mind, as I take a journey into central London on public transport most days. What stands out the most to me with his design is its simplicity in regard to its graphics and also its functionality. In many ways I believe that the tube map is designed with The Bauhaus ethos of 'form follows function'.
Tuesday 9th February 2016
I have chosen the title to my project to be City Mapper because I want to explore commuters within the city and their behaviours which involves researching the concept psychogeography. As well as looking at maps of the underground and parts of the city.
The workshop we did in class today broke down the research into three stages:
- Primary (commuting/travelling)
- Secondary (artist research and gallery visits)
- Secondary (looking at theories and methodology of artists and concepts)
This has helped me to find a place to start my research, for example I will begin with primary research recording my journeys into London and observing other commuters and what they travel with.
For secondary research I will look into the artist Patrick Keiller as well as looking into Harry Beck and iconic tube map.
The final step will be to research onto the methodologies of chosen artists and inspiration in order to understand their process and theories.
Sunday 14th February 2016
I visited St Pancras International Station and took photographs of the people within this space, I tried to take into account the way the behaved and what they carried with them and how they moved in this space. I chose to look at this space in particular because it is a place where commuters travel through for work and also tourists who are travelling into London, as well as people travelling form London to Paris via the Eurostar.
In terms of what people had with them, most common was a smaller sized suitcase as well as some form of hand luggage, which would often be hooked over suitcase handle resting on the top, which made it easier to carry and also provided a free hand.
In this space there was a sense of urgency as there were people constantly passing through and moving around, however, in contrast to this there was also a lot of people seated and waiting.
Tuesday 16th February 2016
I visited the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. This was really useful because I found out more information about Harry Beck, a designer I am interested in. I also got to see the 'Night Shift' exhibition which was interesting to see. On of the maps in this exhibition changes from a night map to a day map depending on the angle in which you were standing because it was made from a holographic film.
I also went to the 'ARAM' furniture store, which I really enjoyed as it was filled with all the iconic chairs. It was also interesting to learn that in the basement they had their offices for spatial and interior design, where they sell to large businesses, such as Westfield shopping centre.
Thursday 18th February 2016
Of or in the form of a diagram:
'a diagrammatic representation of the system'
I came across this word as a description of the London Tube map.
Sunday 20th February 2016
I started to document my research in my sketchbook.
Tuesday 23rd February 2016
Working in our groups we were presented with a research workshop.
We had to use our collection of image and arrange them into groups. We started of by dividing them into train stations, such as Kings Cross and Brighton Station, however we soon realised that this was much too broad and we weren't learning enough from the pictures as there was not enough diversity. Therefore, we came up with a range of new themes, like signage, texture, behaviour which gave us a variety of ways to split up the images that were also more interesting. It also made us notice the smaller details within the images, which we had previously ignored such as the patterns and texture on the trains and the signs which weren't always written but made into a pattern, like the yellow line on the platform floor which warns you not to stand over it.
After grouping the images into the new themes we went back in with the stations, and oddly enough many of the images were grouped into their specific stations.
We used a grid method with an x and y axis. we had four headings; 'visually quiet', 'visually busy', 'noisy and busy' and 'quiet and waiting'.
This task was particularly helpful when organising my photographs into more useful research as the diagrammatic composition gives me a more practical analysis of my data.
Thursday 25th February 2015
We got into our groups in the morning and mapped out our walking tour, looking back through the videos I recorded and discussed what we noticed and how we could document this data in a more visually clear way. I chose to use a close up image of the mapped out route which I then split up on a timeline which as cut down into sections describing the atmosphere and my surroundings. It is important to find new ways of presenting data and information which is both interesting but also provides me with somethig compelling to explore and analysis further.
From the data I presented in my sketchbook I noticed that there was always more movement and overcrowding around the stations because this was somewhere where people were constantly arriving and departing and so the motion never stopped. In fact if you were to stop and stand by a station entrance you would create a blockage and there would be a build of people, which would in fact cause more overcrowding than before.
We also did a group 30min drawing workshop in order to start putting down any ideas. I noticed that I focused on looking at how to improve the interior of a train in order to make it more tidy and organised, as I noticed the masses of newspapers, which often involve them being left on the chair or the floor. However, what was evident was the routine of SHARING and REUSING which I feel are positive habits adopted by the public.
Tuesday 1st March 2016
I watched a TED Talk by Tony Fadell, 'The first secret of design is noticing.' The talk focused on the word 'habituation', which is based around the idea that humans 'encode the everyday things we do and turn them into habits, which we no longer pay attention to or notice. This can be perceived as bad since it can stop us from noticing the problem that once made us feel frustrated or annoyed and as a result stops us from resolving the problem. This has made me realise that in order to uncover and solve a problem I need to pay closer, but broader attention to what people do when they travel and how I can improve their experience by making it easier or more enjoyable.
the main tips in his video were to:
- look broader - (which I will do by looking at different types of transport)
- look closer - (pay attention to the small details too)
- think younger - (by being more inquisitive)
Thursday 3rd March 2016
On my journey home I was observing the people around me not he train and I noticed one man struggling to eat his peanuts which were in a small plastic packet.
This reminded me of the Ted Talk I watched by Tony Fadell and his anecdote about the sticker on the apple because it reminded me of the struggle of getting a plastic packet open, only then to find it has split down the middle causing its contents to fall out. Also, having to scoop the food into your hand (which is probably not the cleanest) and then into your mouth! And don't forget keeping this split packaging sealed in your bag to avoid everything spilling onto your bag or pocket.
I feel like this process may be something we have habituated to.
However, It is very common for people to have food 'On The Go' (new project title) and so I think packaging would be interesting to look into and it also fits into my brief as my aim is to enhance the travelling experience in a functional way.
Saturday 5th March 2016
I visited the Royal Academy of Art and saw the Ann Christopher exhibition. what drew me to the exhibition was the use of lines, which reminded me of the tube map. I also liked the limited use of colour in her pieces as she predominantly used black over a white base. What was also interesting was the addition of strips of cut paper which she layered over the drawn lines. However, the wasn't completely stuck down and slightly lifted from the corner adding a 3D element to her work.
Tuesday 8th March 2016
Today I did a paper folding workshop, working from Paul Jacksons book: Folding Techniques for Designers. This was useful in showing me different folding techniques as a way to inspire idea development. I found this to be helpful since I am looking into packaging and want experiment with interesting shapes and forms. I used card a paper to experiment with and found that the paper worked more successfully because it was thinner and more malleable therefore easier to work with. I also found that scoring the fold lines made the holding much more precise and neat which gave a more professional looking finish, whereas when I just folded the paper it wasn't always as exact and straight.
The paper folding was much more challenging than I expected it to be because it was very fiddly and required patience.
The designs I found most interesting were the ones which could be compressed and expanded because it played with the volume, which is interesting in regards to packaging.
Friday 11th March 2016
I started doing lots of secondary research because I wanted to see what was already on the market and also what materials I could use which were eco friendly.
I looked at two opposites designs in terms of their sustainability. The kinder egg for example can be regarded as unsustainable because of all the different components and stages of its product lifecycle. Throughout each of theses stages a high use of energy is required making it unsustainable, especially when most of the product ends up going into the bin and having to be disposed of. Whereas, the KeepCup for example is a sustainable design since is a product which replaces the use of polystyrene and plastic cups and can be reused, which cuts out some of the stages of the product lifecycle, therefore reducing its carbon footprint.
Over a year, use of a KeepCup reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 92% compared to disposable cups.
There is enough plastic in 20 disposable cups and lids to make a small KeepCup
I want to produce packaging which cuts down the product lifecycle in order to reduce the amount of raw materials being used and also reduce green house gases.
I also looked at potential materials I could use which are are more sustainable that plastic and card. The plant based material hemp is now being more frequently used and I noticed how versatile it is because it is used in furniture designs and sunglasses frames. This is a really interesting material because it also comes in various forms such as paper sheets, it can be compressed and set in resin to form a strong form and it can be moulded. As well as its versatility it is sustainable because it is plant based and it is recyclable and can be biodegradable.
Monday 14th March 2016
Todays workshop was NARRATIVE IN DESIGN. The aim of this was to help define the use of narrative and also to help look at our projects from a different perspective in order to generate new ideas or modify our design work in progress.
Narrative - 'evokes more meaning and emotion than bare facts.' Steffen, 2009 & Lloyd 2000)
- 'a natural way to exchange information.' (Kearney 2002)
I found the workshop to be really useful because the tool kit which included various cards: who, where, when, why and what, which helped to break down the idea of a narrative and how it works in relation to the designer and the product as well as the user and the product in simple terms. Also, I enjoyed working in a pair with someone from Architecture because it encouraged sharing ideas and thoughts creating more room for new interpretations. It was also helpful to apply the tool kit to our own project as I was able to break down my idea into the five categories and see what I needed to give more thought. For instance, I found it a bit confusing 'when' the narrative will be used; either in the design process or in the user experience.
Thursday 24th March 2016
The MAKE IN A DAY workshop has been the most useful yet because it involved getting various objects and materials and making sketch models from them to give a 3D visualisation of the product. I used a retracting tube with a lid attached to show how the water bottle could be made smaller as the water is drunk.
Another design I modelled was using three polystyrene balls joined together with a small lid on the end. The shape mimics the molecular structure of H2O which gives a nice connection to the theme of water.
Thursday 24th March 2016
I decided to develop my water bottle design based on the molecular structure of water. To do this is got into the ceramics workshop and made a a plaster mould to experiment with various different materials in that particular shape. To make the mould I had to do it in two parts.
- I used clay for the base which I moulded around my sketch model.
- I then put up wooden blocks around it to make a wall around the base
- This contained the plaster which I poured over the clay and the model tin order to get an impression.
- To make the second mould I used the first half of plaster with the model inside an made another wall around it out of the wooden boards. I then put vaseline and sort over it so that the plaster wouldn't stick to the first half, which I poured over and left to set.
- Once it was all completely dry I peeled the two part mould apart, cleaned it up and left it to dry.
Thursday 7th April 2016
I have looked at drinks packaging on the market. I found the Capri-Sun packaging the most interesting to look at because it was the only drink I saw to be sold in supermarkets to not be designed in a carton or bottle style container. The unusual design of the Capri-Sun drink is that the exterior is malleable, unlike the rigid exterior of cardboard and polypropylene, which is most commonly used in drinks packaging. I also like the fact that the packaging went completely flat once it had been used which suggests that it is space saving, however, the Capri-Sun packaging is not reusable.
Monday 11th April 2016
REFLECTIVE REVIEW WORKSHOP:
In my group of four we were given the task to reflect on tutorial advice, technical guidance, group workshops and time scheduling. Dissecting each of these themes was helpful for reflection because it enabled us to discuss the pros and cons of this past working year and also showed us how much we have learnt from this foundation. I personally feel that this year after reflecting on partly today, has been so useful in introducing me to more materials and processes, which I was unaware of before, such as using slip casting to make models for my final piece. This method is particularly useful because it is fast drying and so you are able to make the 3D object with all its details in a short amount of time once the plaster mould has been made. Furthermore, working in the ceramics workshop making plaster mould has been extremely useful and it has helped me to experiment further because with one mould I am able to try out a variety of different plastics such as latex and silicone to develop my final design idea.
We also have a writing task which requires us to reflect on the four aspects of the course:
- Tutorial advice, Technical guidance, Group workshops,Time scheduling
Having a class discussion on all of these topics clarified any uncertainty as I was able to hear a variety of responses from my classmates which will help me to write it up myself.
EXPERIMENTING IN CERAMICS WORKSHOP:
In the afternoon I went over to the ceramics workshop to experiment with different materials using the plaster mould I made. I first made a slip cast model because it has a fast drying time which means I could get more than one material experimentation done in the day. The slip worked really well in taking the form of the mould, however, it picked up all of the details like the scratches and marks on the mould and so the finish wasn't as smooth and clean as I would have liked. Therefore, an alternative method I was advised to try instead of using a plaster mould was to make a vacuum formed mould which will have a much sleeker finish.
Once I had taken out the ceramic cast I realised that since all of the edges are rounded there is no way for it to stand and so it just lays on its side. I pressed the middle of the second sphere down to create a flat surface on one side which enables it to sit upright.
I did the same process as slip casting but with latex in order to achieve a flexible form. The difference with using the latex was that it was a much thinner consistency and it also took longer to dry. Therefore, I had to do four layers of the latex, but to speed up the drying process I used a blow gun to heat up the mould. I definitely think that this a more suitable material for my water bottle design although I have yet to take it out of the mould so I am unsure of its thickness. There is a possibility that it will be too thin and flimsy which will cause it to collapse into itself.
What I learnt from my experimentation is that my mould an cast is too small and so I need to a large model to cast for my final piece. I want it to be about twice the size as it is not a throw away bottle like the Evian drop bottle for example which is designed for only one use, I am designing a reusable bottle and so I think it needs to be much larger.
Wednesday 13th April 2016
I went back into the workshops today to remake my mould which I made incorrectly yesterday. Today I made sure to check that my mould halves matched up from when I started making my piece. the good thing about remaking my mould was that I knew each stage of the process so I was able to make it before the workshops had closed and also had extra time to cast my silicone in my mould.
I have never worked with this material, and although the method of casting is fairly similar to the other materials I was working with when making test models and experimenting, it still took me a while to familiarise myself. On first attempt I mixed up too much silicone and found that a lot of it went to waste because it dries so fast, within 3 mins, and so it because unusable. The silicone dried up in a clump at the bottom of the mould because I took too long to mix and pour. Therefore, I know that for the next time I have to work really quickly when pouring the mixture in and out of the mould and also mix up less at a time so that it doesn't get wasted.
Friday 15th April 2016
I took my cast out of the mould. I found that it didn't cover the entire mould and so there was a hole in my water bottle. This is a really big issue because there cannot be any weaknesses in the material because the water cannot leak. I think it is important that for my next attempt at casting I rotate the mould as I put the silicone in and out so that it forms a thicker cast which is also formed the whole way around.
Monday 18th April 2016
Banner Text Workshop:
I took the third cast out of the mould. This has worked the best so far because I feel as though I am becoming more skilled at casting the silicone. There was only a small hole in the cast which I was able to fill with more silicone by painting it on from the inside. However, I did find that the thickness of the cast wasn't entirely even which could be due to pouring the silicone in and out of the mould to create layers.
Another issue I came across was the lid on the bottle. I cast around the top of an Evian bottle and planned on using the screw cap for the lid, however, the lid didn't screw onto the silicone. This means I have to rethink the lid design of my bottle, so I went out and collected several different objects and materials which I can turn into a suitable top. Because of the material I am using to make the water bottle it is hard to use a screw cap with it, so instead I am going to experiment with a mechanism which can be pushed into the top, like a plug.
Although my water bottle didn't cast as perfectly as I would have liked because it isn't completely even, I do think that it could work for the photographs on Thursday, however, I do want to continue to cast into my mould and try to get it perfect for assessment and for the exhibition.
Thursday 21st April 2015
PHOTOSHOOT at KINGS CROSS
Initially for the shoot I filled up my water bottles with water so that they would be weighted enough to sit, however I did find that even with the water in them they were not as stable as one of my previous models. I also found that they leaked which was not ideal for the shoot because I didn't want to ruin the paper screen, therefore I emptied the water out and dried them. I chose to use both of the water bottles because it means I could put them into more interesting positions as they could lean on each other for balance as well as show more than one angle.
It was also suggested by Kathleen that I add a brightly coloured juice lid over the top of my current lid to inject a pop of colour to the picture and also make it look more obvious that it is a bottle. This is because some of the opinions I got with the current white screw top lid is that it looks surgical, rather than playful and fun. At the beginning the though of changing my design scared me and I had reservations about using a plastic bottle lid because I didn't want it too look badly finished. Although, reflecting back on my pictures, I do think that using the yellow bottle llid was the best option for my design and I am glad I listened to the feedback I received because I feel that it gives the piece more life and character.
Overall, I have really enjoyed the photoshoot day and believe it has turned out really successfully.
Saturday 23rd April 2016
I have glued down the yellow lids to the white screw tops on my bottles to make then really secure and a permanent finish to my design.
Tuesday 26th April 2016
Today I completed all of my work ready for the hand-in deadline tomorrow.
Saturday 6th February 2016
I went to the Photographers Gallery and saw the Saul Leiter Retrospective exhibition. I really enjoy looking at his photographs because they feel like they are happening in front of you. He captures people as they are doing something simple like walking down the street or crossing the road, as well featuring various means of transport such as trains, cars and taxis. This is what inspired my theme of 'Journeys' for the Unit 7 project.
'Photographs are often treated as important moments, but really they are little fragments and souvenirs of an unfinished world.'
This quote really stood out to me because I feel like his photographs spark great curiosity as they only capture a small part of a moment or a persons journey. Leiter took photographs around his neighbourhood watching the people patiently, which I find extremely relatable because in many ways as a design student I am having to observe human behaviour.
Some of my favourite prints include:
- Don't Walk, c.1952
- Red Umberella, c.1995
Monday 8th January 2016
After speaking to Kathleen about my two themes I noticed that the theme 'beauty' is too abstract for this project as it doesn't allow for much observational research, which makes it difficult to explore and test in regards to primary research, making it very limiting.
Although I am choosing to continue the project with the theme of 'journeys', I am aware that it is very broad and so I am looking into changing the title to something more specific which will give my brief more direction.
Possible Title Names:
- 'mapping journeys'
- 'mapping cities'
- 'city mapper'
Today we focused on the context of our themes, involving both the physical location and the ideological concept.
We worked in groups picking apart different aspects of the briefs, simplifying them an then relating it to our own work. This was useful because it helped me to identify all the different parts which I need to consider to make up my brief. For example, I need to look at the historical context as well as the art and design context. By pin pointing these aspects of my theme it has helped me to figure out which research tasks would be useful to carry out to get in depth and useful information, such as recording my journey on public transport and visiting the London Transport Museum.
Wednesday 10th February 2016
I completed my design proposal draft. This really helped me to focus on what I want to explore within my research as I had to write a a brief summary on by project concept and description.
Thursday 11th February 2016
I had my Chelsea Up event at Kings Cross
I also had to read over my design proposal and then submit the final draft on moodle.
Friday 12th February 2016
I picked up some books on Harry Beck and the tube map to inform my research on commuting in London. Harry Beck was one of the first designers to simplify the tube map. What was most interesting to learn was that he set himself limitations and rules, similar to the way I had to work on the Ceramics 1-100 project. Before, the map consisted of curved lines whereas one of Beck's restrictions was to only use lines of 90° and 45° lines. This way of working appeals to me because it means you have a guideline to design by and provides a structure, although I did learn that in some cases the rules were broken slightly and the 45° lines were changed to 60° angles to accommodate the growing tube lines and overcrowded map. Even though the map is entirely geographically correct it is very practical and provides a clear guide for everyone using the tube. I am drawn to functional and practical design which is why I have chosen to look at Harry Beck's designs.
Saturday 13th February 2016
I visited the Museum of London. In the museum I came across two maps of London which provided me with a great contrast to Harry Beck's tube maps. The first map I saw was 'A Map of London and the Adjacent Country 10 Miles Round, 1748', which documented rural London. The thing that I noticed about this much was the insane attention to detail and it is said to be one of the 'most accurate maps of London'. However, because it contains so much information I don't see how it could be useful for someone to use to navigate which brings up the argument of something that is accurate and detailed may not be as useful as something which is simplified and less accurate, like Harry Beck's tube map for example.
Monday 15th February 2016
I documented my journey into Central London through taking photos of each stage. What I noticed was the difference in the amount of people who travelled on the overground in comparison to the tube, which was always much busier. I also made note of the different times in which I travelled in order to get an idea of when it was busiest on the trains.
Chingford Overground at 12:41 - the train was almost empty
Victoria Line at 13:01 - the train was fairly busy with about half of the seats taken
Piccadilly line at 13:15 - the train was full with many people standing
Victoria Line at 20:21 - the seats in the train were mostly taken and only a few people were standing
Wedneday 17th February 2016
I have carried out some interviews with different people who use public transport, primarily trains to get some information on different peoples experiences and view points. I asked a variety of questions including if people find the transport system to navigate, how often they refer to maps for directions and what they always have on them when travelling.
This is to give me an idea whether people have similar answers in regards to their daily commutes which will help me to an uncover any issues.
Friday 19th February 2016
I have began looking into the concept of Psychogeography and have started reading Merlin Coverly's book (Psychogeography) exploring different theories and pschogeographical works by various artists.
'…psychogeography provides us with new ways of apprehending our surroundings, transforming the familiar streets of our everyday experience into something new and unexpected.'
Monday 22nd February 2016
Shaped like a lentil, especially by being biconvex:
This word describes the way the night tube map works which I was in the Night Shift Exhibition as the display changes between two different images.
Today we were put into our themed groups and had to allocate different positions for each other within the group. Although we have decided that we can help each other out with all of the positions I am the main spokesperson which means I'll have to feed back to the rest of the group in class. I will also be looking at the materials library for new and exciting materials which would be suitable for my team to know about. Since we are a small group of three we have decided not to have a team leader.
During research week I was beginning to doubt my project and worried that it would be too limiting just looking into London train travel. However, after having a tutorial I have been given new and interesting ideas to explore within my subject area.
I am going to focus more on looking onto different people's experience on trains to get a variety of first hand perspectives. The idea of looking more deeply into what people do is also something I will continue to research.
Wednesday 24th February 2016
I did a walking tour in central London, which was inspired by the book 'Psychogeography' written by Merlin Coverly. Part of the concept of psychogeography is looking at the way people behave in relation to their environment, 'the changing moods of the street.' I decided to start in Oxford Circus a busy and congested area and walk away from it in the direction of Notting Hill Gate to Portobello Road, which is a fairly straight line.
I did it once in the morning, where I noticed that most of the people were working people as the crowds moved quickly and it wasn't overly busy. As I walked through Marble Arch and along Hyde Park the crowds got smaller and the roads became much quiet. As I reached Notiing Hill it bean to get a little busier although not as busy as Oxford Circus.
I travelled the route back later on in the afternoon and noticed it had become busier with more tourists. However, walking along hyde park down Bayswater Rd it was still very quiet. I think this is because the area itself is much quieter than both Notting Hill and Oxford Circus which are much more built up with shops and restaurants, in contrast to the park and some hotels which line Bayswater Road. Therefore, I think that our mood does change in regards to the environment because in Oxford Circus people are rushing and noisy, whereas when walking alongside the Park people go at a slower more calm pace.
In the book it also mentions to record the journey and I chose to video certain points along the way, mainly to show the different pace in which people were travelling at and how busy it was. I have chosen to document this data in the form of a map and a timeline in my sketchbook to visually analyse this information.
Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th February 2016
I spent the weekend working in my sketchbook.
Monday 29th February 2015
After having my progress tutorial I realised that I needed more direction within my theme to pursue, which was also the reason my bibliography was lacking. I have been finding it difficult to get a range of secondary research and have only focused on two designers/artists up till now.
Kathleen mentioned that in order to make my research more focused I need to give myself an aim in which I am designing for and a question to answer within my proposal as a way of narrowing my research down.
To do this I will use the grid method form the research task and labelling it with four titles.
- less useful
Wednesday 2nd March 2016
I revisited the London Transport Museum to get some observational drawings done as well as catch anything I missed last time. I noticed the textiles section and expanded my research on Enid Marx who designed the 'moquette pattern for London Transport Upholstery.' I really liked the way she worked in watercolour first when drawing up the design.
I also wanted to look at other modes of transports aside from trains, and so this museum was really useful to look at buses and bikes too, as a way of broadening my research.
In the afternoon with my group we did an observational drawing task on the circle line where we sat on the train and drew people. I found this quite a challenge because it was hard to find things to lean and keep a steady hand because the train did jolt. Although, taking the time to draw someone rather than taking a photograph meant that I really had to pay attention to the details therefore analysing them more closely. One thing I did notice was that people tended to slouch into the seat and lean on the walls, poles and seats in the train, which gave the impression that people were tired or maybe even slightly bored.
Friday 4th March 2016
We made arrangement with my group for Monday to be in the plaster workshop as we are in Archway.
- we will make clay tiles covered in cling film
- we will then go to the station and press the clay tiles into the different textures and patterns to get an imprint
- then we will go to the plaster workshop and make ceramic impressions from the clay
I think that this will be useful to take a closer look at the environment surrounding trains, and it also links with the work I have done related to the patterns and textures on the train.
Monday 7th March 2016
I was in the workshop with my group for the entire day. We started off using clay to make tiles which we then pressed into the walls and floor of the Archway Underground station in order to get a relief of the textures and prints. Using clay for this was great because it picked up lots of the detail, so when we went to pour the plaster over the top of the mould to make the texture into a solid form, it picked up all of the detail. We decided to work with plaster because it is a fast drying material which enabled us to work with the plaster tiles on that same day.
To further our use of materials and experimentation with the textures we also vacuum formed the plaster tiles with both transparent and opaques plastic sheets. The opaque plastic worked better because it showed the details more clearly.
This was a useful workshop because it has extended my exploration of the textures and prints and allowed me to look more closely at the underground station. Also the vacuum formed shells gave a better sense of what the prints could be used for in regards to packaging.
Thursday 10th March 2016
We had a workshop were we worked in pairs for the entire day learning about each others project and working on new ideas inspired by their topic of choice. This was refreshing as it provided a break from our own projects as we had to generate ideas for something different. I worked with Lisa who is also looking at travel, but she is looking at bags and luggage specifically, whereas I am looking at packaging. This was useful because she was able to give me feedback and constructive criticism on any gaps in my research as well as new ideas to look into, such as making the packaging collapsable in order to back it smaller in size after it has been used. Products like plastic tupperware and plastic water bottles keep their shape even if they are empty and so this is interesting to look into forms which can be adapted once they are empty.
Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th
I worked in my sketchbook to document my research and generate some initial designs and and also did more research into materials and designers.
Thursday 17th March 2016
I had my tutorial with Kathleen today. She made me question what direction I want to take my project sinceI was feeling a little demotivated and felt my research was lacking something interesting to help inform design ideas. The main thing that I got out of my tutorial is that I should be designing something that reflects my opinion. Therefore, I shouldn't be designing food packaging since I do not think it is entirely appropriate to be eating on the trains as it creates mess and smells which can be unpleasant when travelling. By designing food packaging for travelling 'on the go' I would be contradicting that opinion of mine as I will be encouraging eating on the trains, and so I want to continue with research and alter the direction of my project.
Although I feel worried about exploring another direction for my project I think it is necessary for me to come up with a more interesting and innovative idea, and also one that I feel I can fully support.
Friday 18th March 2016
I researched into silent etiquette which is apparent on all means of public transport. We have an understanding that on public transport there is a certain way to behave, for instance we know not to speak loudly on the phone or we wait to let people off of the train before getting on ourselves. One of the campaigns I came across was the 'Better Travel' campaign. One of the posters commented on 'smelly food' eaten on public transport, which also comes under this theme of silent ettiquete. This helped me to realise that I want to change the direction of my project from food packaging. I found this to be areal turning point within my research an I once again feel interested and engaged in my project research.
Furthermore, TFL did a series of poetry advertising these etiquettes to make people more aware of their behaviour in regards to others on the trains. They put posters put up in train carriages which I really like because the poems made it an amusing and engaging way of getting people to adhere to these etiquettes.
'We love those papers you get for free but, we're sure that you'll agree, that love very quickly turns to hate if they block the doors and make us late.'
Saturday 19th March 2016
Another campaign TFL did in collaboration with Evian was the Carry Water and Travel Better London campaign, which involved giving out free bottles of water to commuters in order to remind them to stay hydrated when travelling, especially during the Summer months.
This reminded me of the conversation I had in my previous tutorial and confirmed to me that going into the direction of food packaging wasn't the right direction to take for me. I want look into designing a container or bottle to encourage taking a drink when travelling.
TFL JOINS DANONE IN GIVING OUT BOTTLES OF EVIAN ON THE TUBE, 23 July 2014 (TFL article)
Monday 21st March 2016
HAT DE BONO WORKSHOP:
This workshop gave me a more critical insight to my work. The workshop consisted of different coloured hats used to encourage different ways of analysing and critiqing my work. What I found most useful was the hat which motivated me to design ideas which contrasted to my previous designs. This helped me to redirect my my project into a more interesting route because there was no pressure to have to design something which I had to make so I could be as creative and imaginative as possible. One of the ideas I came up with involved a vending machine which contained small shots of water which could be received in return for recycling newspaper. This concept gives people an incentive to recycle as they get water in return for recycling a newspaper, which causes mess on the trains.
Overall, I do think that this workshop was useful because helped to broaden my creativity and push to come up with a variety of new ideas and also break down my ideas to make sure that I look at it from a range of perspectives.
Tuesday 22nd March 2016
I made sketch models and drew up a visualisation for the vending machine concept on the undergrounds in order to further develop my idea which I designed in the Hat De Bono Workshop. From developing this idea I came up with a collapsable milk carton in order to save space in the bins. However this lead me onto the idea of focusing on looking at size and volume. It came to my attention that water bottles remain the same size whether they are empty or full, therefore they take up the same amount of space. I feel like this is something which I could include in my design in order to make it more interesting as well as tackle an actual problem.
Wednesday 23rd March 2016
We had a lecture on Unit 7 Exhibition and Assessment which informed us on all of the upcoming Deadlines, which was helpful with time management and knowing what I need to prioritise, which is definitely finalising an idea and starting to make.
Friday 25th March 2016
I found a material very similar to bubble wrap which is used as protective packaging as it is filled with air. I cut the tops of the airbag to let the air out and filled it with water. This felt really unusual and made me think about the texture of water bottles. Similar to the design of the Capris Sun packaging the airbag filled out to a fuller more rounded shape when fun, but shrank and became flat once it was emptied. This also reminded me of the molecular structure of water because of the way each section was linked together.
As the plastic airbag was made out of a flexible, thin plastic it felt squishy and malleable to the touch which also made me think about the texture of the water bottle design in relation to its functionality.
I want my water bottle to be flexible and malleable so that when it is empty in someones bag it takes up as little space as possible.
Monday 4th April 2016
I looked into making my water bottle out of glass, however, as it is a rigid and fragile material it is not very functional in relation to its purpose. Since the water bottle is designed to be used whilst travelling I need it to be made out of a durable, resistant and tough material. Also, as I want the piece to be space saving and change in size I need to choose a retrial which malleable and flexible, and preferably a type of plastic.
Friday 8th April 2016
I have been looking into plastics such as latex and silicon which are ductile and bendable which means that if the bottle is empty they can be squashed into the users bag without breaking. This also means that they will tale up much less room than a normal plastic water bottle which is rigid.
Saturday 9th April 2016
I visited the 4D Model shop. I went in there with some of the characteristics of I need from a material. My water bottle is designed to be be flexible, but it also must be tough and hard enough to hold its shape. I was told to look at the rubbers and silicone materials because they were the the most flexible materials. However, the issue I came across was the drying time. Since the cast will have to be made with rotational moulding, which I will I will have to do all by hand, I needed to find something that drys very quickly, similarly to slip casting. However, this would also mean that I have to compromise on the hardness of the material, as the tougher silicones take hours to dry.
If I want something very fast drying and so I was advised to look into buying a resin. However, this meant I would have to compromise on the flexibility of my design, which completely defeats its design purpose and function, which is why have decided to try out the silicone material first.
In addition to looking at using rotational moulding by hand, I also thought about making the silicone cast in two parts by brushing on the silicone in layers and leaving it to dry out. Although, this would mean having to join the two halves together which would ensure a seam line, which is not something I want.
Therefore, I was advised to go for the Transit 20 Platinum Silicone (1kg). This takes 35 minutes to dry which is the most imprortant reason for choosing this particular silicon. It has a Hardness Shore of 20. I would have preferred to go for a harder shore value so that it would be more solid and dense, but I think that choosing a silicon instead of opting for the resin was the more appropriate decision, despite having to go for a material which is more of a risk.
The silicone is also transparent which I think is appropriate for my product, however, I can add a pigment if I decide to.
I will experiment with the material and try and get it to work for my design.
Tuesday 12th April 2016
I filled the latex bottle with water and found that it sat up really nicely rather than lay down on its side because of the extra weight that the water added. Therefore, there is no need to redesign the bottle to have a flat base because when it contains water it can sit upright. This is really good because it keeps the design really simple but also makes the bottle slightly more versatile.
I had to make a larger model using polystyrene balls (60mm x 2 and 80mm x 1) and the top of an Evian bottle because I think that my previous latex and ceramic casts I made were too small for my water bottle design. To make the mould I had to cut each of the polystyrene balls into halves and glue them down onto separate pieces of wood in the same position. I then had to go into this model with clay and fill in the gaps to join the balls together, which I then vacuum formed. However, I found that the first attempt wasn't very good because the plastic gathered at some parts of the mould creating crease marks. I learnt that this happened because I didn't put enough clay on the model and so when I went back over it and re formed the plastic over it the second time it worked much better and there was no creasing. I chose to make the mould out of the plastic because I wanted to cast in a rubber materials and it wouldn't stick to it and the finished piece would look much cleaner in a plastic mould because it doesn't pick up as much of the finer detail, unlike the plaster mould. I also had to make a wooden part to the mould ! the same shape as the plastic vacuum to add greater strength and stiffness in order to ensure the casting material doesn't leak out of the mould. I used a jigsaw to cut out the two wooden parts and placed them over either parts of the vacuum formed plastic. However, when I tried to put the two parts of the mould together they didn't fit which set me back an entire day of making as I have to make the entire mould again tomorrow. Although, I did learn that I must constantly check that my piece fit and match throughout the making process so that this doesn't happen a second time!
Thursday 14th April 2016
I recast the silicone into the mould and left it to dry over night. The challenging aspect of recasting the mould is putting the two mould halves back together in exactly the same position and then getting the screw holes lined up. Also, because the plastic is opaque I can't really see through the plastic to align the shape up exactly and so I just have to try my best to match it up by looking into the pouring hole of the mould.
I also went down to the computer workshop because I wanted to add in some CAD models of my work and so I stated using Google SketchUp although, I am not very skilled however, I have been enjoying learning new techniques on the program. I also think that making them on CAD shows how the mould and the cast fit together really clearly.
REFLECTIVE REVIEW Monday 18th April 2016
Reflecting on my research in Unit 7, I started with primary research which consisted of collecting photographs around train stations and the tube, as well as photographing people to analyse. My theme of travel was particularly good for primary research as I am constantly having to commute. For secondary research I enjoyed visiting museums, gallery's and stores for inspiration which I found them useful because it helped with market research. I went into my theme not knowing what I wanted to design which was what enabled me to organically develop ideas and show progression within my work.
I found the tutorial advice very helpful because they acted like mini deadlines ensuring that I kept my standard of work up throughout the unit and kept me focused. The tutorials also forced me to look at my project with a holistic approach as I would constantly be confronted with questions and problems to solve about all aspects of my project by the tutors. However, sometimes tutorials could be challenging because at the start of unit 7 I felt like I had to convince the tutors of my travel theme, because it is very broad and I was warned that it could be difficult to find niche within this broad theme. In addition to tutorial advice, the technicians also provided extremely useful technical advice because they were able to introduce me to new materials and processes such as casting silicone, which I had never done prior to this project.
The Hat de Bono workshop and Make in a Day workshop were both very useful to take part in because they both allowed me to come up with new and exciting ideas by looking at more project from a slightly different perspective. The Hat de Bono workshop allowed me to quickly generate as many new ideas I could think of in 10 minutes, which I was then able to further develop. My favourite workshop was the Make in a Day workshop because I felt no pressure to produce something which was fully functional or aesthetically pleasing so I felt I had complete freedom, and I also found it useful to be working in 3D.
Making and experimenting with different materials to make sketch models really helped me to develop my ideas. This is because I am able to visualise the designs in 3D, which I can then improve through drawings and even more sketch models, which I think is clearly reflected in my sketchbook. I am designing a water bottle which was inspired by both my research analysis and also experimenting with AIRplus, which is plastic packaging. This was inspired from my research because I started to look into different types of food and drinks packaging in fast food places around train stations. To make my final piece I have chosen to use silicone because it is a very durable material, flexible and also transparent. This is important because I needed the bottle to be malleable as I designed it to be flat packed. The making process involves two parts: constructing the mould and then casting into the mould with silicone to make the water bottle flat packed as it can be squashed down when it is empty taking up less room in a bag.
Casting with the silicone was difficult because it was a completely new material that I have never worked with before and so I had to make a few cast to familiarise myself with it. The reason I found it so difficult to work with was because it has a very fast drying time which is why it is hard to work with.
Overall, I have really enjoyed working on my project because I feel like on the whole I felt focused and enthused about my theme of travel. Even though, half way through I did find myself becoming a little lost in the in the broadness of my research, however, I did end up changing direction slightly by moving into packaging, which I think was a good choice for me because it helped me to refocus onto a topic within my theme which is more niche.
Tuesday 19th April 2016
Today I chose to attach the screw top lid which I could attach to the main part if the bottle with more silicone. I did this by measuring a small amount of silicone and then leaving it to get tacky so that the consistency isn't runny and doesn't drop down the side of the bottle. I used a paint brush to get a more precise application of silicone.
However, before attaching the lid to the bottle I cut down the thread of the plastic screw part because it was too long and so it took too long to wind it all the way down, which was unnecessary. I also neatened up the edge with a file. In addition, I spray painted the lid white to give it a cleaner finish, although the finish is slightly uneven and bumpy so I may decide to take the layer of paint off.
I also made another cast of my mould to see if I can get it to look more even in texture, which will give it more of a professional finish.
Wednesday 20th April 2016
I took my most recent silicone cast out of the mould and it actually came out even better that the last one I made. There were no holes in this cast which was really successful and means that there are no weaknesses within the making of the bottle. I also found that the thickness of the bottle is more consistent as there are fewer drip marks. I think this could be due to the technique I used when casting this mould, which involved rotating the silicone within the mould whilst pouring it out to get a more even coating. I used the same lid to finish the bottle as last time because I thought it reflected the simple and minimal aesthetic of the rest of the bottle. However, I chose not to paint this lid because after comparing the two I feel that the plastic finish looks more professional as it is shiny and smooth.
Friday 22nd April 2016
I continued to work on my A2 sheets on InDesign.
Monday 25th April 2016
To day was the first day of the exhibition build. Initially I thought that my bottles would be displayed on the table, leaning on one another. However, I am going to be hanging them because we found that they blended in a little when on the table. Also by hanging them I think that it makes them more interactive because people can squeeze them and feel them, which will actually get the product across more clearly, in my opinion.
I also got all of my A2 sheets printed.
I had a tutorial with Pauline to go over my evaluation which really helped me to stick within the word limit. During the tutorial Pauline noticed that my phrasing is often better when I say it than when I write it, and so Pauline encouraged me to say what I wanted to write down before actually writing it. This helped me to have more fluency in my written work overall.