When trying to come up with ideas for my summer project I thought about the fact that I was leaving in a month or two and thought about what I would miss most when away at university (as I am living in halls this year). I found it far too hard to narrow it down to one thing, realizing that I wouldn’t just be missing objects that I would be leaving behind me at home, but also the texture of the carpet and the view from my bedroom window and the smell of nail varnish from my mum’s work room (she’s a work from home beautician). So I then decided that there was no other option but to take my house with me, a bit like a snail or a hermit crab. So from this I made a box out of mdf board and recreated the interior of my house inside it, also including inspirations from some of my favourite artists such as Ai Wei Wei and Jenny Saville by hanging some of their work in the hallway. I’ve designed it so I can put my head inside it and can then turn it around to get a 360 degree view. To make this I used a mixture of photo collage and acrylic paint with a bit of wall paper, fabric, battery run fairy lights and some cocktail sticks. This kit is based on the concept of familiarity and escapism rather than practicality, and I plan to use this whenever I feel homesick and need comforting during this these first few months away from home. I then decided to simply take an object from each room in my house, one that relates directly to the room’s function, for example a stapler from my dad’s office and an ornament from the living room.
Although so far I have only done one day of the Visual Communications pathway I can already feel myself getting stuck into the project. When looking through my news paper for an article I wanted to spend all week working with, I first considered the main headline “French will cash in on nuclear power deal”, but I felt that all oh my projects so far have been dealing with pretty heavy, serious topics (with the exception of 3DD) and I decided that actually I wanted to create something a little more light hearted this week. So with this in mind I settled on a headline titled; “10 things you must never say to a pregnant woman.” Here are my two A1 typography outcomes with quotes from this found article:
My favourite font outcome is definitely the one used on the quote “Do not drunkenly slur how wildly sexy you find pregnant women while fondling her abdomen.” This was my free hand experimentation and I definitely feel that it was the most successful as tracing over letters limits the character and the impact of the words when trying to tell a narrative. I feel that the imperfect nature of this typeface also helps with the humour that I want to inject in this project, as I can see that this would not be such a success if I was dealing with a really serious news article. This font is something I have been experimenting with for a while, always using it for titles in A-level sketch books as it can be kept very simple, but with the added 3D effects and range of font types it really comes into it’s own personality. Although I have not yet had an opportunity to start researching contemporary practitioners for this project I feel already that Katie Moross’ typography work would be really useful for me to look at as her work is very lively and fun, in this example here she manages to pack personality into each of the band names without any aid from colour or imagery.
Our brief at the beginning of this project was to produce a short animation with the title of: Time. My group decided that we should focus our animation on the effect that time has on a cityscape. This idea originally came to me after thinking about a book I had when I was much younger called ‘A street though time’ which illustrated the change that took place over one area of land over 12,000 years, showing the transformation from an untouched landscape to the man made metropolis. Obviously only having a very short amount of time to complete this project we realised that we should limit ourselves to a smaller time frame in order to complete the animation to a good standard. With this is mind we decided to focus on the change of the London skyline over the past 400 years, documenting from the Tudors, the Great Fire and Industrial revolution to the blitz and modern day skyline. Looking back at Danny Boyle’s representation of London’s changes in the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony really helped pulling this piece together, as I feel that Boyle managed to create an entertaining and educational show whilst also respecting historical fact. Looking at a range of artists and animators also really helped with the medium that we worked in, as each different section was created in a different way from the previous one to portray the radical change in the skyline. Because of this we ended up working with different materials ranging from collage and drawings to Photoshop and talcum powder. Although this was very tricky and has resulted in our animation being very loosely pieced together I felt that this was really beneficial to our group as we learnt about how diverse the medium of animation can be. One animation that I found particularly inspiring during this project was Futuristic Film Noir – Renaissance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ETpnDRWJ88, this is what largely inspired our night scenes. It was particularly useful in helping us realising that we could create really impressive night time skylines very simply by applying bold white lines onto black paper, which is the method that we chose for the Great Fire of London section. Despite no one in the group having made an animation before I think we have done a good job considering the time restraints also and I enjoyed creating something in a completely new media.
During my 3DD rotation I decided to research Thomas Heatherwick’s work, initially because of the range of projects that his studio deals with. When looking at his ideas I was most impressed with the way he approaches each different project with a completely original idea. There is no sense of style within his work, no aesthetic hint that ties all of his designs together instead you can recognise a Heatherwick design by the pure originality and innovation of it. Heatherwick has said “It would be funny to limit yourself to one invention, which is a style, and repeat that. I have a sense of how life goes very, very fast, so it’s a waste to repeat yourself.” I actually find this idea very inspiring, I love the thought of creating radically different things with every project and not just sticking to the same format every time, approaching each project with enthusiasm to create something completely different from the last.
Heatherwick studios work on large scale architectural projects usually, but have also recently re designed the Classic London Busses. This idea of Re-design was what I wanted to focus on for this project as I decided I felt much more comfortable improving a current product, than trying to come up with a completely new one. I also felt that it would be much more sensible to focus on a small scale crisis’, so this is how I started my design process, by looking out for every day crisis that effected me. These ranged from spread able butter not being very spread able at all (therefore ruining your perfectly prepared sandwich with unwelcome lumps of lurpak), to not being able to use your hands for up to half an hour after applying nail varnish and not being able to change your bed sheets without having to get inside the sheets and physically holding the duvet corners in place. In the end I decided to re-design a bath/shower mat that allows the fabric to dry at a much faster rate (I have recently moved into accommodation with 8 other students with only one shower and I am fed up of having to walk out onto a cold, soggy bath mat). Although this is clearly not the most exciting or original idea, I feel that looking at Heatherwick’s work helped me come up with a creative and innovative solution to an every day problem.
This week I focused on playing around with new materials and techniques for my project ‘Traces’. These experimentations were inspired in particular by Max Ernst who pressed paint between two surfaces for inspiration for paintings and also Lucy Skaer, in particular her piece ‘chair’. I created these experimentations by dipping some of my own belongings from my survival kit in acrylic paint and then rolling them on tracing paper and then folding the tracing paper in half so that the colours and shapes mixed together. I experimented with drawing over these shapes to give them more definition and importance, which I liked but it also took away from the interrogation of the objects which can be seen there naturally. During this project I have also been inspired by Alan Curall’s video: lying about things to make yourself seem more interesting. I experimented with this concept also as I wrote out the history of my objects, talking about where I got them from and what else I did that day or even who gave it to me and how I felt about that person. For my final piece I hope to make a piece that incorporates both these techniques. I think it would be interesting to have the objects really detailed history next to a print of their form, as viewers will only able to see what they can do abstractly and understand their history but will never get to see the actual objects itself, thus focusing on the sentimental importance of the object and not its materialistic qualities. At the beginning of this project I was pursuing an idea about traces of people’s cultural heritage, but after experimenting with new materials and techniques I felt that it would be better to simplify my aims and instead let myself enjoy experimenting. As it was only a week long project I feel that this has been quite successful, but if I were to develop this further I would like to have a stronger meaning behind the piece and I feel that cultural heritage could work really well with this concept and technique.
This is my final outcome from the Fashion and Textiles rotation. In my synopsis I decided that the world was recovering from a nuclear war, and a hundred years on the only place for human life to survive is in the jungle as this is the only place with any natural resources left. This scenario meant that I had to create an adornment that would camouflage in such a place but also be useful for carrying particular items such as a knife for protection and water for survival. So my outcome was made from a belt with crisp packets and other useless pieces of rubbish attached (these would be used as the pockets) with a mesh of leaves covering the torso also. This design did not work as I had hoped, the leaves were a very difficult material to work with and the metal mesh I used to stick them on was very uncomfortable for the model, it was also very hard for him to move around in so if I were to do this project again I would have thought more carefully about my use of materials. Looking at Aitor Throup’s for this project really inspired me to push my ideas that little bit further to come up with something a little more experimental rather than completely practical. Although Throup is considered “Britain’s most interesting young menswear designer” he is very much anti-fashion and approaches his projects in a more conceptual manner. This really is what makes me relate to Throup as I have no particular interest in the Fashion industry as it largely baffles and aggravates me, meaning that I had little enthusiasm about researching contemporary practitioners for this project. Throup has been an exception to my dislike of fashion designers because he does not limit himself to the fashion worlds six month life cycles, making his work consistently exciting and different.