5 Week Project. Self directed project.
Today was my first tutor session of the summer term, and was actually quite excited to start a new project especially a 5 week one. Yesterday I was looking for ages to try and find where the brief and guide was to download but sadly couldn’t find it so I was behind it when we started. First of all we started by going through the brief and looking at the guide book. The brief in summary is to create 13 pieces, the same, and manufacture them and sell them in a shop at the end of the five weeks. One will we keep for our portfolio so effectively selling 12 items. With the talk a lot of people, I guess including myself was really caught up with the idea that we would be selling these items to the general public, so the desirability of the products was a main concern. I really like this though, as I feel that is a big concern with all designers, its all well and good having a well thought out piece of design, thats a great concept, but if it isn’t desirable then know one will buy it… (but apparently we shouldn’t worry too much about if it sells or not…) I feel that this project will link up nicely with my context studies and I’m looking at Aesthetics and what actually makes “good design”.
First of all we had to write out as many inspirations we could think of on yellow post it notes, such as designers, artists, theories, processes, pieces of design etc. Next on the orange post it notes we had to write what we thought constituted as good design (literally my context project). Lastly we had to write down our concerns in design. It was really hard to just think on the spot of things, so I feel that my topics or post it choices were solely based on my context project as I was just doing it the day before. So I feel that I really need to revisit this process and think and expand the influences and considerations/issues.
From the list of post its we had to reduce them to four, and then reduce them to two from each category. Once we selected our six, we had to then explain what we chose and why. I chose;
– Hand lettering; Its a craft/skill that I don’t possess (I think thats the wrong spelling/grammar) and I really admire the work and the skill involved creating beautiful type.
– Form follows function; I follow this design theory, I make sure that my content influences the visual/outcome.
– Ethics; I feel that it is important that as a designer you use your skill to make positive changes.
– Purpose; All design should be created for a reason, without reason, concept, opinion there is just a shell of Aesthetic.
– Consumerism; This also links with ethic, as a designer we may at some point have to create communication that is used to sell something so we have to think about what is being sold something people need or genuinely want rather than just trying to make meaningless profit.
– Aesthetics; Connected with purpose. Without a real concept or idea you just create a piece of art, you are designing purely for the eyes and not the mind.
These all have the similar or connecting views. From this I had to then let another student pick what they felt was the most important issues. For me they chose, Form/Function, Aesthetics and Ethics. I then had to come up with an idea that linked all three of these issues. This was actually really difficult and all I managed to come up with was a booklet/guide for other designers that told them how to be an ethical designers, and it would be produced using vegetable inks and recycled paper.
After this we were allowed to go back to our post its and create something new, as in a new arrangement of issues. I decided that I would choose Hand Lettering, Consumerism and Communication. From a bit more consideration Hand lettering turned more into Hand Made. I feel that with design, especially a lot of digital work it is hard for people to see and understand the amount of time and effort a designer has spent on a piece of work. Where with hand crafted work it is more obvious of the labour spent on a piece. Which then brings up the issues to do with does somethings Hand Made qualities force some kind of value on the piece whether it has a concept or not (Aesthetically speaking).
There is a balance that needs to be address between having something that is visually appealing as well as it having the content to back it up. Just because something is well thought out and has a strong opinion behind it, it doesn’t mean the piece has to be ugly. Also I feel consumerism fits into this as the idea of the shop is that the item has to be desirable, therefor do people buy things because the concept or purely because the way it looks, does the content of a piece make the item more desirably?
This work shop has bought up a lot of questions but at the moment I feel as though they are all mooshed together and a clear idea, concept, message is in there somewhere but I just need to decode it some more. My next step is to read through all the guide book, highlight important texts or quotes that I find appeal to me and the subjects I have spoke about. As well as revisit this thought process of making post it notes and then linking them together and forming something smaller from them. Also to look at all spectrums of ideas and finial pieces.