Contextual practice

3/10/19 -structure and form -SCULPTURE

Sculpture today was very free and liberating creatively in comparison to the other workshops we had had, especially product design, because it had no constraints. We chose cards at the start of the day that were meant to match our personality which we then implemented in our sculptures. Mine were “energetic” and “controlled” which were very contrasting yet they ended up creating very dynamic and interesting forms. When choosing materials from archway’s scrapyard I didn’t keep my card-words in mind and chose intuitively. Instead I simply picked out forms that sparked ideas in my head or had some sort of potential. Later on during the day I started being more selective by collecting a contrast of very energetic/crazy forms and controlled aligned structures. I found the experience of experimenting with 3D techniques very enjoyable especially without planning/designing first. This I had never really experienced as I usually go through the design process myself in the tasks I am given. Working without an aim or an objective really made me just go for ideas spontaneously and listen to what my brain was telling me to do naturally. It was also nice to play around with materials and structures physically without knowing what was going to be made. This resulted in a lot of my pieces being created through chance and accident.

Some of my sculptures by the end of the day weren’t linked to my words anymore. However I don’t think this matters as the words for me were just starting points to get me thinking in a three-dimensional way and to get the ideas rolling. Overall what I took from this day is that you don’t need an actual plan when creating. Sometimes it is even better to just create spontaneously without a sense of knowing where your creation is going.

2/10/19 -structure and form -CONTEXTUAL PRACTICE

Today’s contextual practice looked at the structure and form of very common everyday-life objects such as a recyclable coffee cup I brought in. We questioned every single aspect of the object we had as everything is designed with a particular form/structure to work around a function or to look aesthetically pleasing. My coffee cup was created from paper and plastic in order to be recycled and had a series of dips and ridges in the removable lid to fit ergonomically around the mouth when used. Today I learnt the difference between form and structure. Form is the general area which defines the space of the object whilst structure is the actual construction and design of the object created for a purpose. 


1/10/19 -structure and form -PRODUCT DESIGN

Today I found it challenging yet fun working with more constraints than usual. With limited time, materials and objects to work around, designing became a lot more intuitive, where whatever was thought of was quickly proposed on paper. These constraints actually made it easier to generate ideas compared to an open task as I felt more comfortable documenting any ideas that came to mind. With a vaguer task I would have been more selective with my proposals. Working with the smaller foods like the tomatoes and lemons was much easier than the melons as they were lighter and easily held by much less material. The melon was challenging to design around however I was happy with the final outcomes produced from today. The product design/ceramics pathway turned out to be as I had always imagined with designers simply creating around a particular object with a very particular process. 

30/9/19 -structure and form -YOUR INTERPRETATION

Today explored fashion illustration and textile design, taking different fabric patterns, collage and life drawing and putting it all into one. Drawing using single line and using our weaker hand made us illustrate figures and fabrics with more fluidity whilst a time limit for our sketches produced more spontaneous mark-making. My drawings were more confident from today’s workshop because of this however I disliked how limited we were in our style as we stuck mostly to single-line. I was drawn to use a wider range of materials and drawing mediums due to this. 

The group critique was very beneficial, displaying our strengths and weaknesses and seeing other people’s approach to the tasks opened as all up to new ways of tackling the restrictions given to us. I found our concluding installation successful. We taped the subject to a wall and documented the look before and after they fell from the wall, giving us 2 parts to our final piece. Our work has a direct link to Italian artist Mauricio who similarly suspended an individual on a wall using masking tape. His works are often questionable and thought-provoking taking objects and placing them in very unusual situations or settings. 

26/9/19 -Body and function -YOUR SURROUNDING

Today’s fashion workshop followed an interesting procedure by drawing everyday shapes and structures around archway and transferring these silhouettes onto the body using paper cutouts. The psycho-geography of the structures around me informed my experimentation in class, with certain edges and surfaces expressing different moods and styles when placed on the body. Considering my own thought process during today’s workshop, I realized that it is okay to be lost, not knowing where your ideas are heading. By drawing the buildings and structures around me without knowing what use they would have later on, it allowed me to be more open to several different approaches. I mostly enjoyed the experimentation part, playing around with the paper cutouts  and then seeing how they could fit around the contours of the body. I found that the more rounded, curved and flowing shapes fitted best and ergonomically worked best around a figure which I experimented around with. The harsher and more jagged-edged forms looked interesting in 2D but when connected together in a 3D form, were harder to apply in a fashion context.


25/9/19 -Body and function -CONTEXTUAL PRACTICE

24/9/19 -body and function -DO UNDO REDO

I found today the most exciting out of all of the workshops I’ve experienced so far. By exploring fashion communication the pure absurdness and creativity was really enjoyable as it allowed us as students to really go crazy with our ideas.

Working in a team was inspiring today as it helped give our group a lot of different ideas and character in terms of the looks we created. It allowed us to combine our different approaches to make experimental looks. Although mine and one of my group mate’s styling ideas were very contrasting, we managed to morph them together in a single outfit, creating a very dynamic and hybrid outcome. 

Photography played a huge role today as I found out that there are so many ways you can capture the human body even with the use of props, setting and simple camera angles to create the desired outcome. Certain objects used in shoots supported a sense of a narrative or a lifestyle, the same way as colour pushed the observer to feel a particular mood or feeling. I observed other groups using photography strategies that usually complimented the main factor of the styling. For example for a bottom-heavy fit, an extremely low angle was chosen to amplify the absurd proportions in the picture. I found our group very successful in this workshop as we explored various materials and ended up with a range of multiple outcomes.

19/9/19 -language and interaction -SAY IT LOUD

Today’s typography workshop had a very thrilling start with the whole class exchanging phone numbers with a random stranger. A 30 minute conversation about fear with another individual was converted into a typographic communication which I found to be a very unusual but interesting process. I responded to this by highlighting words and phrases that either stood out to me or were successful in explaining ‘fear’. I decided to present my typography in a sink as my medium as I felt that my phrase “you’re running out of timeee” fit well with water running down a drain. I photographed the lettering as one piece and then made a video of the individual letters being swept away by the tap water.

For my text I made the decision to use capital letters as my typography piece was more of an outcry from the people. Using capitals would make it more impactful and powerful. The black colour and sizing was necessary as it had to fit in the sink and stand out in comparison to it’s white surface. I feel like my final design conveyed my message successfully as the sink as a medium with the flowing water acted as a metaphor alongside my typography. 

I saw another student’s work that stood out to me as they used multiple mediums to portray their message. Taking societal problems based on sexual orientation, they projected their message and also painted certain parts of it on T-shirt’s which were worn by different individuals. The composition and use of several materials I found very effective.

23/9/19 -body and function -WEAR IT

Today we started ‘Body and Function’ by looking at fashion accessories. This encompasses jewellery and footwear design. I enjoyed this day as I got to experience a full design process in which we had no restrictions or rules to follow. We started by sketching thumbnail ideas and proposals based around the words: suspend, cover and surround. The second half of the day included us making our designs using materials found in the classroom. I found this practical element quite challenging especially when making 3-dimensional forms that had to fit will with the body. However I ended up creating a piece that was successfully ergonomic and looked as I had imagined before I had made it. I was frustrated by the lack of materials and colour options we had but that was normal as we were only creating a basic concept of our designs. 

18/9/19 -language and interaction -CONTEXTUAL PRACTICE

17/9/19 -language and interaction -MESSAGE VACUUM

Today’s workshop explored 4D Fine Art which is an interplay between artistic experiment, media and technology. Prior to this day I didn’t even know that 4D was a pathway for art and Design. I found the use of my smartphone as a medium very interesting as there were so many possibilities in terms of photography and moving image which I could play around with whilst creating my pieces. Not only is there so much you can do to take a photograph, but also so many ways in which it can be viewed. With the use of social media and the internet a piece of art can reach and have an impact on a much faster audience in such a small timescale. With the use of a gallery you instantly filter out a huge fraction of the population that will actually go and physically see it. However if art is shared through new technology the world can instantly see it at their fingertips. 4D has advanced my understanding of how a camera lens observes the world around us, not only as a way of capturing an image but also as a way of making an impact on society by sending a message or making a statement.


16/9/19 -Language and interaction -BUILD IT



Today our project brief was to create geometric structures from equal sized bamboo sticks. Our group’s response to the task was creating three different forms and connecting them all together with longer sticks. We ended up creating an irregular elongated tunnel-shaped form which sat on the ground. I found that triangular based structures seemed to be the most stable however a contrast between geometric and irregular shapes stood out to me as most visually appealing.

Working with a team was interesting as we gathered together so many ideas and concepts from the strange form we had just made. However I would have rather finalized the project independently as I prefer to follow through with my own vision once I’ve found it. Feedback from our peers made it clear that our structure was impactful due to its scale. However it was clearly too complex and a more simple and dynamic design would have probably been more effective and visually appealing. 

I ended up turning our complex geometric mass into a greenhouse-like conservatory used for growing ecosystems. The proposal included it having a controlled microclimate that would be regulated by certain triangular panels changing shades and hence letting different levels of light in. I feel like my design is quite appropriate for the future with effects of climate change rising, certain countries will not have the right conditions for growing certain plants/foods/resources.

Overall I really enjoyed the creative process in this day and found it enjoyable because of the openness of the task. The fact that we were left the freedom to turn the geometric form into whatever we wanted appealed to me.


12/9/19 -Surface and meaning -REVELATION OF ERASURE

Today’s workshop was related to Fine Art and was all about erasure. After being told to bring in 10 images, we then had the task of ‘taking away’ from those images in some way to create art. This got me thinking creatively as at first glance at the instructions there weren’t many options I could think of. I ended up finding multiples of ways you could ‘take away’. This could be by scratching, cutting, painting over, collage or even rubbing with water. I found that looking around at my peer’s work really helped me in this workshop as it opened me up to so many different processes that other people had thought of. This day was crucial for me in realizing that it’s so important to sometimes step back from your own work and be inspired by other’s.


11/9/19 -Surface and meaning -CONTEXTUAL PRACTICE


Today’s lesson was about thinking further into the meaning behind advertisement. Tasks during the day pushed me to question the purpose of every scenario in a common advert and the effect it has on its audience. 

After brainstorming some key words from chosen ads, we concluded the lesson with some creative writing, creating some form of narrative from our main words. 

Creative writing can assist creative practice as it flows very naturally. It allows you to explore different ideas and concepts very intuitively in a stream of consciousness in which you subconsciously link things. I think that this idea of ‘doing’ instead of thinking can be a vital factor in the creative process as it allows you to experiment more and try new things you wouldn’t normally attempt. 

From the lesson we gathered that our perception and understanding of objects can be easily altered through visual and physical methods used commercially in industries. In advertisements the use of specific colours, fonts, materials and textures can make you have a different view than if you saw the actual product in person. Colours have general associations and represent certain moods or feelings in our society which can have an impact when trying to sell to a target market. 

10/9/19 -Surface and meaning -YOUR POSESSIONS

After today’s lesson my perception of textiles really changed. I thought that textiles was simply just working with yarn and wool to make different aesthetic materials used for Fashion and clothing. I found that in reality Textiles is a whole new art form that takes experimentation of different materials thatbcan be used to create a statement. I found this out especially through making sculptural pieces from our objects we had to bring in, which I didn’t think ‘fit in’ to the textiles pathway.

I enjoyed how we took something quite traditional such as observational line-drawing and applied it to fashion, observing how it would look as a graphic on clothing. This showed me that there are many different ways in interpreting Textiles as a direction of Art and design.


9/9/19 -surface and meaning -LOST LETTERS

Today’s screen printing got me thinking in a very graphical sense. After being given a number to work with, we had to create an illustration/design around it to create an image. I felt like I was able to adapt my idea and visual language to the screen print process effectively as I ended up using the negative space created from my number to create a fairly intricate design. I was restricted by the boundaries created by my character, so the design of my final print was not exactly how I wanted it, but I was still happy with the outcome. The biggest challenges during this workshop was figuring out how the different tone layers would work in my image. Especially with mine using the negative space around the character, it only made the use of several layers even more confusing. In the end I managed to overcome this and was left with a fairly clean print. Overall a fun workshop.

5/9/19 -Ideas Factory

Today we presented our project ideas to our groups and had a chance to look around at the other diagnostic and specialist classes work. The different approaches taken from the other areas inspired me to present my work in a more varied structure. It was also interesting to see how the 3D specialist students went about the task compared to the graphic communication and fine art students. 

I really enjoyed the presenting part of the project as you could see all the different ideas that everyone had come up with from the 3 words that we had all got. I found it really helpful as well as exciting as everyone commented on eachothers work, giving comments on things they especially liked and constructive criticism. This feedback helped me realise the strengths and weaknesses of my approach to the task and gave me more of an idea on how to tackle future projects.

Overall I wasn’t very happy with my project as I think I could have utilized the words more or explored more concepts. I enjoyed the task given and thought it was very interesting but after seeing everyone else’s sketchbooks I am ready to encounter the next few projects with more insight and a more confident drive. This next week I will keep better control over my time management as I have learnt from this first week of university on how to manage all my errands. 

4/9/19 -Ideas Factory

Contextual practice is important as it allows us to think about tasks and processes in a completely different way. Today thinking about unrealistic and fictional situations got us thinking very openly and creatively about design ideas or even concepts that we would never think of. Overall Contextual practice will help me alongside my studies and practical work by pushing me to think with different perspective and no limits which is important when in such a progressive and technologically forward society.

3/9/19 -Ideas Factory

Working as a group allowed us to share all our different ideas and proposals in the first stage of the project giving a wider range of possibilities for our final outcome and allowing reflection and feedback.

The work progressed in the project brief from basic 2D sketches to a more complex 3-dimensional form which expressed a more realistic and practical idea of the final piece. 

Having only a random material, process and ‘ism given to us was challenging at first with the limited amount of freedom. However it got me to think in a more expressive and creative way to invent a design that included all 3 aspects.