Thursday, 10th September
Ideas Factory Project
My feedback of first day at CSM
Today was the first class for me at Central St Martins. The staffs were introduced us and re-capped about the timetables and students’ accessibility within the CSM. At first I felt really nervous about getting new experiences and challenges in this foundation course as they’re hundreds and hundreds of students that I have to compete with. I usually being a worrier and afraid of not getting things settled. But as I came into the class today it was a complete opposite. I got to meet new friends in my group and began to know more about them within less than 2 hours. We had to get into pairs and introduce one another in class, which was a very exciting thing for me and allows everyone to practice themselves in order to feel more comfortable with the atmosphere and to gain more confidence. For me public speaking is not my thing that I really enjoyed to do but on the other hand it made me feel more confident afterwards and also allow me to get to know more about other people’s interests and hobbies. I really enjoyed it thoroughly during the first morning session.
My first task of today was called ‘Idea Factory Project’. In my group we got Es Devlin, Paper and to inflate. We brainstormed the characteristics of each item dividing it into different mind maps. By discussing opinions and ideas with the group mates I demonstrated other people’s creative thinking, and it taught me a lot how we were able to take personal experiences, knowledge and interests to explain our own ideas and sharing together. For instance we first talked about the functions of paper and then draw out into different arrows of what the paper could be made up of, what are the uses of the paper, and the potential of it; like is it soft and malleable, hard and difficult to manipulate, etc. Then we came up with an idea of a paper box filled with random things such as small light bulbs and then link with the idea of inflation to expand the paper box to make bigger or possibly make it like an explosion with broken light bulbs spread out and then remains it as like a ‘stage’ (relating to Es Devlin’s work). Although this was just a possible idea that one person came up within a group, but I felt it was a very interesting idea of work that is sort of creative and ambitious. However I found it quite difficult for me to come up with a final outcome of idea as the inflation process is something that we need to think about it more broadly, not just things around us. It could be something that is fairly simple that we could not think of – such as the inflation of safety life jackets on flights and air bags, etc. Overall it was amazing to see everyone in group got more deep discussions, there were more and more ideas came up.
Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th September
Ideas Factory - Secondary Research
After the library session yesterday I have carried out my own research at home by brainstorming and noting down general facts about the three elements in my sketchbook. I think having relatively broad background knowledge on the three areas enabled me with the task as I was more able to see more connections between them. The majority of my research this weekend has been done using the Internet, as well as book resources that I have photographed during the library session on Friday. I looked through many websites that are relevant to these three elements and I then tried to create something in my mind that may have impact and challenge my normal boundaries; as I don't have to actually create our proposal.
I started doing research online on some of the designers that are similar to Naomi Filmer’s style of jewellery such as Yoshitoshi Kanemaki, Pablo Reinoso, Wu Mian and CJY, etc. As I think jewellery is always related to various design area, I decided to choose many designers that are focusing not only just jewellery, such as fashion, sculpture, and fine art. This can make me think outside of the box and start to thinking broadly about ideas that come from these elements.
Thursday 17th September
Ideas Factory - Work Presentation & Group Crit
In the morning we were told to summarise our ideas onto 3 sheets of A3 paper in order to make a clear, coherent and give good interpretations of work for others to visualise it. So I spent the whole session creating summary sheets with my rough sketch ideas with detailed annotations and made a collage sheet of my final idea before the presentation at 3pm.
My feedback of day & tutor’s feedback:
I was really anxious at first before I began doing these presentation sheets, as I don't think I got enough experiments, research and drawings in my sketchbook, which may be difficult for others to understand my work. Even though I’ve already got my research and a final idea on my workflow page, I still haven't gotten the grip of creating a layout in my sketchbook which illustrates my ideas and developments clearly. So I asked my tutor for advice and he suggested that my idea worked well with very confident drawings but I need to work more on the body of the sketchbook, providing more research pictures, experimentation and more writing to visualise my idea. So this is something I have to add on in my own time and also in the future for the next upcoming projects.
My tutor also suggested me to make a storyboard of the development of my final idea, which allowed me to open my mind to develop my idea even further. I found that there are more things that can be developed further after I talked to my tutor. It is like an unending process, which makes my project to become more insight and thought provoking. During the class I also found the whole process quite rushed even though I had the whole morning and a bit of the afternoon to work on my final proposal, but I have tired my best to finalise my idea and I believe my idea visualisations work better than it was before.
In the late afternoon we presented our work on the tables for everyone to read through and question.
My feedback on other people’s work:
For me it was rewarding to see all the variety of ideas and interpretations that everyone had come up with. Most of my classmates' works are very impressive, visualized with amazing sketches and annotations step by step. I felt it was really helpful for me to look around the tables and make a critic, a compliment or even some advice to one another.
Peers’ feedback on my work:
- Beautiful drawings, very confident drawings
- Lovely sketches and comparisons to other pictures
- Great sketching: make mind maps more visual?
- Great sketching & brainstorming. I like you idea.
- Loved the objects of magazines pictures – well integrated.
First I was quite worried about my unfinished work but at the end I received some positive comments. After looking at these comments I began to know what I could do more with my next project. Experimenting and creating a good layout of sketchbook is something I need to improve it in the future, such as adding more researches, find out different materials to be stick on the sketchbook as well as creating step-by-step sketches.
Moreover, producing 3D models is another thing that I would like to take a practice as I think it would help visualise my work in real life since writing is not a strength of mine, so 3D models is a necessity.
How did I find the project today?
Overall the whole day was a very new and exciting experience for me. The nervousness I originally had about doing this for the first time wasn't as bad as I expected. I've never had to share my sketchbook to anyone so now I have to keep it in mind that I have to make it presentable and comprehensible to my tutors and peers. I felt this week went really well. I learnt a lot of things and started to get more familiar with the process of work at CSM.
I really look forward to work on the next project next week, which I knew it would be more challenging but fun. But again from next week’s time I will get to work independently instead of being in groups; it just gives me a bit more freedom to go in my own direction and to know my real interest as well in the art world.
My Idea Development sheets
Tuesday 22nd September
Graphic & Communication Day 2 - 'Lost Letters'
What was my idea?
First I chose to work with the N letter and began by sketching ideas for my designs, but my pattern that I intended to create was way too complicated. My design was a pattern of bird wings, which are connected with the two gaps between the N letters, creating a repetition of pattern around N letter. I enjoyed playing around with different variations on this idea at first, and I thought it would come out well on my lino but it did not. After I failed to create my lino, I decided to go back and make a new screen-printed pattern to suit with my N letter.
My feedback throughout the day:
Today’s project was very challenging for me, as it was the first time getting my hands on cutting and screen-printing techniques. I felt nervous all the way through the processes and was afraid that I might not be able to make things right and perfect. I spent the whole morning trying to carve the linocut to create the pattern but it turned out completely wrong. I guess it was my own nervousness that played a big part in the outcome of my disastrous design at the end of the day.
Struggles that I had today. How did I solve it?
Everything was not what I expected them to be. Once I created the lino it turned out completely different and the outcome of my pattern did not look like the shape of a bird anymore. My main problem was when I traced my design down onto the lino, I forgot to make it reverse. So the outcome of my pattern was all the other way around that cannot be connected in the gaps of my N letters on the paper. At this point I no longer had time to change it, so I experimented my lino cut further with black ink. After stamping the letter cut onto the paper, I tried to change some bits of my design again to improve it. However I still felt it did not work at all as I already screwed up my pattern in the first step. Even though today’s outcome was rather disappointing but at least it made me realize that I need extra practice if I want to work with cutting technique again in the future.
What I learnt from doing Screen-printing?
I had learnt that thin paper limited me to creating delicate print, rather lino printing was much more suitable for demanding details and textures. I felt I should have made the bird shape and wood patterns in lino, and created the geometrical shapes in screen print instead.
My Feedback on this project & on others’ work:
When I got to see others’ works, they were very simple yet expressive. Their works really urged me to think in a simpler way that could lead to effective designs. The prints that stuck out in particular were almost always simple, and often had an element of humour in them. This is something that I need to bear in mind when creating other design works in the future.
I have learnt that there is no need to be afraid when creating something too simple as in design less is always more. By making the design too complicated it would only lead people to confusion of concept, thus weakens the quality of the design. I have learnt that I need to change my design perspective into something simpler so that my work can reach people more easily. I definitely want to work with this technique again in the future in order to improve my skill.
Although today’s activity was not my favourite, but I really felt quite proud that at least I could create a piece of work without any prior knowledge in screen-printing.
My Final Design
Monday 28st September (Morning Session)
Fine Art Day 1 - 'Human Being/Being Human' (ARTEFACTS/SUBVERSION)
What have I learnt from today’s approach?
- Today I chose to work with the wine opener as I admired its structure and the way each component is fused together to form interesting figure. The components of this wine opener can also be moved to create motions. I can imagined that the top part of the opener can be pushed up and down, and can also be twisted. The way it moves resembles human actions, with the central top part looking like skeleton and the two sides can be viewed as arms. I am also fascinated when observing the twisted screw that is found in the cock.
- For me, hand-held objects could be viewed in many different ways. At first, I thought of it as a worm or a braid but later it looked more like a DNA structure twisted in the cork. The more I played around with it the more it broadened my imagination, and I really appreciated the fact that such tool can be turned into forms of art without any restrictions.
Possible alternatives that this wine opener can be imagined as:
- I also examined its usage as a tool that, once humans use this opener to open wine bottles, it leads them to drunkenness that easily alters their actions and behaviours. Obviously, it has a huge impact on a large group of people who use it each day.
- At this point, I believe the role of wine opener extends beyond being just another useful tool, but it can also be regarded as object, which has tremendous potential on influencing human’s behaviours.
What have I learnt from drawing a tool?
I felt it urged me to examine further, in terms of materials used, the manufacturing process and the purpose of it. In my opinion, stainless steel is an appropriate material to manufacture this tool due to its durability and hardness. When looking at its function, the study of this wine opener also allowed me to understand manufacturing processes which have many steps including the designing stage, refining stage and perfecting stage so that the tools produced are ideal for human utilisation.
I began to brainstorm ideas concerning the subversion, manipulation and adaptation of the wine opener which led to several ideas:
My Tool - Wine Opener
Subversion of my tool
Monday 28st September (Afternoon)
Fine Art Day 1 - 'Human Being/Being Human' (KINSHIP/DESCENT/TOTEM)
In this exercise we were asked to form a tribe/clan in which we, hypothetically, were dedicated to one cause. Our group developed the idea of how each of us was using Apple devices as our custom tools for tracking medias and keep connections between one another across the realm.
How did I find working as a group?
For me, it was very interesting to engage with the group members to talk about things that we do not normally discuss such as technology and social medias. This discussion brought us in all kinds of moral, legal and existential questions and perspectives. We discussed further about how humans are so attached and plugged into these devices nowadays, and how the connection lines are invisible to human as it runs thoroughly non-stop. I agreed with this idea that it is closely related to contemporary human ritual as we have become so dependent on technology such as the Internet and the ever-growing influence of social media.
Our approach to the totem outcome:
Ultimately we settled on the idea of having four of us sat around the table as an installation to represent our totem. We wanted to incorporate the idea of an invisible connection so we all stayed in silence and being antisocial to one another while leaving the sounds of videos and alerts that came through the electronic devices on. We thought that iPhones and Mac appliances are the best material to represent of our concept. We also used cables and electronic chargers to represent the internet signals and connections that are around us. We constructed these cables by wrapping them around our arms and neck which entangled four of us around the table. Below is an image which represents the concept of our 'totem'.
Peers and tutor’s feedback:
Our peers really admired of how we presented our totem through video calls and sounds. One of our peers said that she loved the combination of sounds that came across all the devices. She noticed the noises of video calls, tapping sounds of keyboards and music, which gives a sense of disruption and irritation. The tutor also gave a very positive feedback to us – he said it was really interesting to see the lack of socialisation and eye contact among us that suggests the idea of humans’ obsessions with technology. Overall the feedbacks were very impressive and I’m very impressed with the results.
My Feedback at the end of day:
Overall, I think the outcome was very successful as the presentation created a very interesting visual focus to the people. I’m very happy that our group came up with this kind of performance, which I’ve never done this type of work before. This is my first time creating a performance art within fine art area, and I really loved doing a mix of installation and performance works. I’m considering of taking this area as my pathway within fine art area.
Our totem design as an installation
Thursday 1st October
Fine Art Day 3 - Development of 'Human Being/Being Human'
On the last day of "Human being/being Human" project, we were set to choose one our strongest responses from the previous days' tasks (such as the subverted tools, artefacts, totems and rituals) and develop it further into a form which we could present to the "Martian" during their visit. In this way, the piece itself will require to be able to communicate effectively on the objective and subjective experience of humanity in itself.
At first I was stuck with the found objects project on Tuesday, as we were not able to finalise our idea clearly at first even though the final outcome was really successful. The project itself was about the idea of entrapment portrayed in a form of sculpture but we all felt it does not really relate to any aspects about humanity at all. So during the day we were so lost with our final idea of presentation and we kept going back and forth between the first and second project, trying to produce the outcome that we thought would work.
Speaking to the tutor, she suggested that we should relate both projects together as the tribe project which we created an installation of electronic devices conveyed much clearer about the underlying idea of human’s connection with technology. At the end, we presented the “ritual” work in the form of sculpture.
How did i find working as a group today?
I found working as a group today really difficult as the actual outcome did not result in the direction we expected. We spent a long time building up our installation work by using cables and wires to create a tent-like structure with a plug hanging above. We planned to get three of us into the tent with laptops and Apple devices – creating a set that is full of wire connections to symbolise human’s dependence on technology. However the tent that we built looked very dull and the cables and wires got entangled really easily.
What have I learnt from this project?
From this trial I had learnt that I need to be more careful and realistic when choosing materials to create installation work. So at the end we decided to change our outcome into another form of installation in the afternoon.
My idea of our Performance Art:
I decided to have my two peers sat on the floor back to back and covered them up with a large white sheet. We decided to use a large white sheet as it works really well to emphasize the form of human body and the physical actions towards technology and electronic devices that are placing in front. Then we let them play video calls on their laptops and wrapped them again with another layer of electronic cables to create the portrayal of overload connections. This installation represents clearly how human heavily depends on technology and the influence it has upon us nowadays.
When the ‘Martian’ observed at our work, he began to hear the noises of video calls, tapping sounds of keyboards and music players that were played continuously from electronic devices, giving a sense of disruption and irritation. Also the two human’s lack of socialisation and eye contact with the Martian also suggests the idea of the physicality of humans’ interaction with technology nowadays. Overall I think the outcome has created an interesting visual focus to the Martian, which can keep the attention of the viewer.
Other people’s Feedback (including a Martian) :
- During the group crit most of people really appreciated our performance and how well we presented the idea about people’s attachment to technology. One peer commented that our outcome 'Represented the current day – how everyone is wrapped up and immersed in technology’…’All connecting with each other but only with technology'. I totally agree because that is what we wanted to present and communicate.
- The 'Martian' questioned if this was ‘Prophesying the future’. For me I guess we were because we were trying to display an exaggerated version of the present to a certain extent. I found 'Martian' comment really thought provoking - it allowed me to consider more about idea that I had never thought of before which I found interesting.
- One peer also questioned about the white sheet that was being used. Although by covering up with a white sheet may not be a good interpretation of a human sculpture but it created a strong visual effect to grab attention from the viewers. So my response is that it was a form of constraint due to us being wrapped in technology, and by having a fabric covered up makes us connected together in contrast to how disconnected we were form the real world versions of each other.
- Last person commented that she 'liked our previous performance more, it seemed brighter to me’ This is not a very positive feedback and I'm not quite sure what this means but I agreed with her comment. For me I prefer our first outcome on Tuesday project as it looked more interactive with how it involved the audience in a isolated scenario,
My feedback at the end of day:
Overall, I believe today was the most challenging day for me so far, as I feel that it rushed due to miscommunication which made it difficult for our group to agree. But the end result was successful in that sense and it evoked that message that we wanted it to. Even though it was my least favourite outcome of this week, but I have learnt a lot from developing the narratives of the work and learn from the mistakes that we had during material arrangement and manipulation process.
Fine Art Group Crit (Last day Feedback)
Tuesday 6th October
3DDA Day 2 – 'Use it'
The project was called 'Use It', and I started with primary research by observing people’s interactions and behaviours to chairs around CSM library and school canteens. I drew various people sitting in different style of chairs:
My views upon my Primary Research:
- I began to notice the different social etiquettes and niceties that occur when people are sitting.
- I appreciated the fact how different forms of chairs (outdoor, rotating chair, etc.) allows people to sit in different postures, and how some style of chairs like bean bags used materials that takes away from its solid structure, giving a person a sense of comfort when working on their own and allowing them to lean backwards/forwards.
- I began to think more about the functions, comfort and customisation when designing a chair in order to meet the requirements of a person who sit on it.
My idea that I had from my research:
I started to concern about students’ enthusiasm and mood upon their working space when they’re sitting on different chairs. I believed that students would have different perceptions on different styles of chairs within the college and therefore they would choose the chair that encourages them to accomplish their work thoroughly, whether its an individual project or a group work. So I felt I wanted to customise the robin chairs that are provided at the college to make it more sort of multi-functional and practical for art students in particular.
I had one design that I liked when it came to the sketch task. This design was a chair with a working table joined at the backside of the chair. The seat allowed the person to turn their body backwards and enabled them to actually work on the table and stretch their legs out through the backside of the chair. I thought this would initially be comfortable and practical for the user as I intended to design this chair for many purposes. It would allow them to work independently as well as to work as a group by adding more chairs around the table.
Problem Solving (Process of making)
As I modelled this chair out of paper, it seemed clumsy and uncomfortable. The size of the table is too small and would not be effective to the user due to its unusual shape and ergonomics. So I improved this design model by making the table slightly longer using paper. Then I folded each side of the paper together to form a table, and then attached the end of paper to the underside of the seat, forming a leg-resting surface under the table. I made the leg rest slightly larger and added straws onto the surface of it to give users more comfort. Here the leg resting could also appear like a sofa that the sitter can go under the table and rest their body or read books, preventing boredom from staying at the same seating position for a long period. The square gap at the backside of the seat can be closed or opened up for the sitter to use for different purposes.
In my view, i think my chair would allow students to interact more effectively, and it looked more attractive with the remaining concept of simplicity of the design. I felt the model allowed me to explore the different possibilities of human’s posture for sitting on my backward chair, and it also helped me realise what the shape of the table should be because of the diagonal legs and has also made me think about how to keep the chair stands properly with stackable quality.
My feedback at the end of day. What would I do differently next time.
The project today was not very enjoyable for me, but at least I gave it a try to ensure my interest. I felt my model was not perfectly made but I liked how the model this time illustrates what I designed. Making the table attached to the seat equally and sticking straws on the leg-resting surface actually spent longer than I thought, so I only managed to complete around 60% of my model. I really wanted to work life size on the actual chair as well but there wasn't enough time.So if I were to develop it further I would work out the size of the table in an accurate measurement so that I do not need to spend more time changing the design at the last minute. By doing this I would also have more time to apply my design on an actual chair at the end of the day.
Furthermore, I would use stronger material like a cardboard for my table to make it stands properly. Overall I really liked my design concept as it reminded me of various things which it could develop into. Although I did not really interested in this particular area that much but I thoroughly enjoyed this project throughout the day and it allowed me to come out from my comfort zone.
Final Outcome (Use it)
Monday 12th October
Fashion & Textiles Day 1 - 'Everyday Shapes'
What I did for this project:
- I looked at many kinds of shapes around archway campus: schools out wall, office windows, bicycles, wooden wall and some trays near the cafe. I used a lot of materials and tapes to create those textures and drawings of the shapes that I found.
- Then we were asked to pick 5 special details of shapes and developed them by highlighting the shapes and enlarging it in detail on a sketchbook. I picked the rectangle shape that I drew from a tray as I was interested in its solid shape and here I began to think about how it can be altered into a different shape.
- I started rotating the shape, altering the edges of the shape into different forms, and playing around with the lines of its shape using different colours and markers that I brought. I then began to get more sense of the purpose of this task as I developed it further. After this stage, I chose 3 different shapes as half moon shape, rectangle shape and windows on building. Then I drew them on paper largely, cut them off and draped them on a partner.
My feedback of my final outcome:
- I think it looks very exotic and extravagant even though it was only made out of paper. It reminded me and some classmates of Alexander McQueen dress from the Savage Beauty exhibition which features a powerful, long wide collar from the top.
- I really enjoyed using a variety of materials as it allowed me to focus more of the colours and form of those shapes and to visualise better than before into those drawings.
- I found this task really challenging, as I had no idea in my head of how I can develop those shape into something different in a short period of time. It was a fast paced task which allowed me to practice my drawing skills quickly and to make quick decisions rather than doing it in a slow pace.
- I found the afternoon part truly fun and engaging because I got to recreate the human silhouette and create a new fashion piece. I have gained more ideas and creativity from studying those shapes and developing it into a new form of structure. I found it really challenging yet rewarding from learning these new skills.
What I learnt from this project?
- I learnt to think more visually how the shape of things that we’re surrounded with or did not think of could influence our work to create a new style of pattern that we transformed from those shapes
- I have learnt that fashion does not have to be inspired directly by the look of an object, but instead looking at a small detail of the garments to develop a design or even a collection of designs.
- Also, this project inspired me to work big because by drawing and making things in a larger scale, I could eventually spot different possibilities and ideas for the proposal that I am working on. It is also much easier to be creative when working big because there is no restriction in terms of space.
Final Outcome - F&T Day 1
Tuesday 13th October
Fashion & Textiles Day 2 – ‘Fashion Illustration’
Today’s project was to draw silhouettes of classmates with eccentric clothing and focusing on certain fabric textures or features of the human body.
My feedback on other’s work:
I was greatly inspired by one of the works from my peer, Mehiko. She created very simple line silhouettes, contrasting with thick, vivid colours such as red and blue. I loved how her pen strokes are very simplistic and straight, and by using bold, vivid colours gave such a strong effect on the body figures and that makes it so stand out from the work.
Evaluation. What I learnt from this project.
First I thought that it wouldn't be too difficult, but as soon as I started drawing, I felt like I was completely wrong. I kept scribbling my drawing and kept lifting my pen while I was drawing. I tried and kept practicing it as the time goes. When looking back at my work, I felt like I need to practice this kind of drawing more under time condition, as it is currently one of my weakest points. I would buy some thick markers and paint pens next time for these types of quick drawings.
In the afternoon session, it was to do with quick collages in sketchbook, focusing on the details of the garments rather than the model’s silhouettes. Again I felt it was not my particular interest of doing collages. I found it really difficult to produce a nice collage work and here I used up too much time deciding what media to use and how I should collage. So my works at the end did not look very inspiring.
However, as time progresses, I began to get some sense of collaging because I felt it expand my creativity through different materials rather than just using a black pen/pencil. Although my outcome today wasn’t quite successful as I originally planned, but I have learnt a lot from practicing these illustration drawings. I realised that doing continuous line drawings was harder than I thought, but it really helped me focus on the details of the object I am drawing.
Tutor’s Feedback. My feedback.
My tutor suggested me to focus more on the outline silhouettes of the models rather than the structure of the body. I learnt that drawing the model silhouettes really helped me to concentrate on the actual shape of the models instead of what I think the body shape is like. I felt it was a very useful skill for me to develop because it would help me to draw faster and draw more accurately in a correct scale. I also found drawing and painting the details very challenging especially under time pressure because I’m usually a slow thinker of trying to figure out how should I draw a certain section perfectly and neatly.
Drawing from a Model
Illustration drawings exercise
Drawing from a Model
My illustration drawing (F&T Day 2)
Friday 11th September
Ideas Factory - Library Research Task
Today I attended the library to do more research on this first project assessment with my group. The task consisted of choosing the books that are relevant to our chosen practitioner, material and process research.
As a group, however, we did not find anything directly on Naomi FIlmer, but we collected many several books about contemporary jewellery designers’ work that contained similar designs and concepts as Naomi Filmer’s wearable objects. For example, Shen Yi’s and Benjamin Lignel’s works also push boundaries between art and accessories. They use inanimate objects which bear numerous, and tangled connections with the lives involved. For me their designs are minimal, yet so meaningful just like Naomi’s works that enable us to visualise life and give a glimpse of the way a person could move his way through life.
What I learnt from doing research?
- I have learnt that a large number of jewellery designers today explore on the sculptural forms and experimental use of materials such as ice, chocolate, glass and rubber. I found it interesting how they reveal emotions and attitudes of a person through jewellery rather than focusing solely on the beauty of the jewellery.
- I admired Shen Yi’s limited use of the materials and structural form of objects. It inspired me to create something that can be interpreted as more than a piece of jewellery but a stand-alone piece of art that can be worn by human.
- Naomi Filmer’s work urged me think differently about jewelleries: the way to make them, the materials used, and the way to wear them.
My group members agree to pick wood as the material. For me, wood would create a sharp contrast with Naomi’s ideas of using flesh objects and anatomical areas of human body which are very flexible and soft, whereas wood is hard and durable. I think it would be interesting to see wooden forms that can be worn attached to human body as jewellery in everyday life.
Tuesday 15th September
Ideas Factory - Development of Ideas
I asked my tutor for some advices and he gave me many comments about how to develop my idea even further. He advised that my idea does not have to be practical for now, and does not have to think about the functionality of the design yet. The main target that the tutor wanted to see is my imaginations, creative thinking and my perspective towards those artists and the research that I have done. I found my tutor’s advices really helpful as I have a clearer picture in my mind and it allowed me to express my thoughts and ideas that I could think of at that moment, and I started to see the connections between them.
Working as a group – Problem solving –
My researches on my three components are: Naomi Filmer, Wood and Wear. In a class we were asked to write down all the key words or concepts that we can pull out from each of the 3 components. I found this really rewarding as it allowed me to make myself clear of what are the key terms that could describe these three components, and it also helped me to refine my idea even further. As a group we listed down some interesting words on a large sheet of paper. First we were a bit struggle with this, as we could not think of the words that would clearly sum up those components. So we discussed together for a while and went back and looked at our research again in order to get it clear our head. By having discussions with my group mates I started to gain more insight of what other people have thought about Naomi and Wood Material differently. It was interesting to see my group mates have different interpretations of the same components and I began to become more interested in the deep concept of these components and realised that there are lots of things that we could relate or connect to one another.
How did I find working within a time pressure?
The next task was to start refining and developing our ideas by producing 30 drawings in 30 minutes.
For me I found this really difficult and challenging as I am normally a slow thinker and it normally takes more than 30 minutes for me to formulate good ideas. I usually liked the way of getting to know with the artist slowly and letting my thoughts take over me. This approach is a new challenge for me, which I think it is a good practice to force myself to generate ideas out in a time pressure regardless of how good or bad they may be. After I did 30 sketches in a short time given I started to become surprised of how fast I was able to develop 30 ideas in less than an hour. Some of my ideas were actually worked and interesting and by doing that it allowed me to draw out those ideas even further.
How my research leads me to develop my final idea?
My final idea that I have pulled out from my research of my three words:
- Naomi Filmer – Wood – Wear - the idea of discomfort, pain and torture.
The impact of Naomi’s jewellery that I felt comes from the feelings it created upon the wearer rather than from the object itself. The feelings surprisingly are not positive but rather can be defined as those of pain and unpleasantness due to the design of the jewellery itself, which is unexpected and secretive in details. This aspect of Naomi’s work has inspired me greatly to come up with an idea to create a wearable object in form of sculpture that made up of matchsticks and scarps of wood pressed into clay mould. The reason for choosing to work with matchsticks and wood fragments is because they are highly combustible to fire. I believe that these highly flammable materials can lead to pain and suffering when the flames become in contact with human body, as well as revealing a sense of suffering and discomfort when people approach to it. When displaying this sculpture in public spaces, once the matchsticks are ignited they will burn the sculpture rapidly with fire in order to create a performance-like effect.
In my opinion, this work will create a tremendous unexpected and special effect on the audience’s feeling while they watch the fire burning as it is the performance which only exists once. Moreover, it is not only because of the colour and form of the object while the flames are viewed but also the simple materials used to create the fire. The sudden response that the audience will get is unpleasant, discomfort feelings and pain sensations that they feel for the situation.
My feedback of day
Today was another challenging day for me at CSM, but I really enjoyed the rest of the day with my group and got a lot of advice from my tutor. I felt more confident at the end of the day when I finally came up with my idea proposal. My feelings at the end were completely different from the start. Before the class I felt nervous and scared of not getting my final idea sorted. It was my first project at CSM so I was not quite sure what are the things that the tutor expected to see from myself, and how will I be able to make my work visualised well. But as I went along I started to understand the work process clearly and I really enjoyed trying a variety of individual approaches throughout the day. I realised how useful the research I conducted was for our lesson today, and it informed out ideas and allowed us to expand on them. For me today was another insightful and rewarding day to challenge.
My plan for Wednesday: to sum up my final idea from the research and prepare my presentation and speaking with the workflow for Thursday.
Monday 21st September
Graphic & Communication Day 1 – 'Poetic Cardboard'
- Today I was introduced to various artists and designers who focus on graphic and communication design, such as Tim Walker, Hussein Chalayan and Madame Peripetie, etc. This session was very helpful for me in gaining a sense of what Graphic and Communication design is actually about. I realised that it is not just about creating works through Photoshop or Illustrator, but also the work must serve the purpose in its field whether in fashion communication, photography or advertising.
- I found a work from Tim Walker really interesting. It inspired me to produce surreal photographs that contain very large-scale objects and dolls in natural settings. It is very exciting to see the collaboration of fashion props and objects that are documented in the form of photography.
What was my idea?
We were given two words namely “philosophical” and “text”, and we had to develop visual language that expressed the conceptual idea of the combined words in the most powerful and memorable way using the medium of photography.
First, we looked at the meanings behind these two words and we found philosophical ideas related to people’s values, beliefs and opinions. We chose to focus on the text by looking at personal significance of handwriting so we approached the public in order to gain personal, unique and insightful opinions from them. We asked several people from different age groups about “what is the meaning of life?” Each person’s comment was diverse and just as unique as their handwriting, appearance and how they spoke. In order to present our findings, we combined these insight comments with photographs of people to create powerful and memorable images, which reflect their innermost thoughts. After this stage of collecting comments and photographs, we spent another hour and a half to create a series of images in Adobe Photoshop and tried to manipulate the typeface, their handwritings and body images together to capture their philosophical thinking.
During this process, I found it quite straightforward to use IT programme to produce our work. My group mates and I produced four images that consisted of a variety of colour fonts, background and a person’s silhouette that are overlaid in order to come up with a series of graphic poster.
How did I find this project?
Today was mostly a positive experience, and we did manage our time well. We were able to integrate both our initial ideas into the final design to make it a success. First I found it really difficult to agree on different ideas as each group member had various concepts and ideas of what the final design would look like in our heads. But later on, we learnt to compromise and came up with the final design together.
What would I do differently next time?
If I had more time to do this task, I would like to develop it further. I would create more images that we have taken and play around the texts as well as image composition in order to make them more insightful. I would also record people’s voice while they spoke about their opinions and then present the final images with sound. I believe it would make them even more expressive.
My Feedback of the day:
I think my final outcome was very successful and well visualised. I have realised that working collaboratively was a valuable learning experience. Even though I personally did not like working with a short given time, but this one-day project task was such an energy booster. It urged me to wrap up the idea, practice my time management skills and finish this task more quickly. I have learnt to lower my expectations towards this project and I felt really challenging but also excited to experience a little bit of panic moments today.
Final Outcome: 'Philosophical' 'Text'
Thursday 24th September
Graphic & Communication Day 3 – 'Typography'
He advised me to experiment with these techniques further with other letters in order to see the extent that they can be applied. As I experiment further I became even more sceptical about the actual structure of typeface, in terms of how to make it look more three-dimensional and how typeface interacts with people and environment.
How my cutting process leads me to develop my final design?
In my first trial I made many different types of paper lettering by mainly using cutting and folding techniques. I liked the way letter is flipped over the line creating symmetric reflection, as it gave a balance and evenness of the letter. So I decided to use this technique for my final type design.
Then I have to name my typeface that relates to the form of my letter and then identify a relevant location to photograph my letter. I call my typeface “flip” because I created the letters by cutting the side parts out using a scalpel and leave the line in the middle which is then fold over in order to create a reflection or a “flip” effect.
My idea when photographing my work:
In order to keep the letter flipping, I was thinking about the wind breeze or air ventilator that could possibly make my letter kept moving continuously and to match my idea concept of “flipping”. So I decided to locate my typeface onto the air vent by the bench that I found on the ground floor on the street inside CSM building.
Once I placed my letters onto the vent, the breeze blown out from the air sieve and my letters were actually flipped over due to the air breeze effect. The air vent created such a powerful impact on my typeface, giving a very good connection point to my project idea. I believe it allows others in my group to see the actual process of how my letters interacted with such location.
What I learnt from this project?
For me this design process was quite straightforward and I really enjoyed doing it. It urged me to become aware of how simple it is to create letters out of paper. I began to realise that minimal typography design does not necessarily be elaborated. Rather, it is even more difficult to come up with the design that is recognisable yet simple. Although by creating typography from a piece of paper required patience but this task allowed me to look into the extensive detail of the letterform more carefully.
I also learnt more about the anatomy of typeface that is usually made up of geometrical shapes and symmetrical lines. These lines can be connected together to form typefaces, or they can also be reflected or flipped creating triangular shapes to form certain letters such as A, N, M and W.
My feedback during the crit:
Most of my classmates’ works were very impressive and they serve as an excellent source of inspiration for me. My favourite typeface on Tumblr was the one called “roll up”. It was made from small pieces of magazines that were rolled up from the corner of paper. I admired the idea using simple technique in the design process. Also the use of bright yellow paper as background for the words was impressive as it gave such a good contrast of colours, making the fonts popped out. Today I felt rewarding that I had learnt a lot from others people’s ideas and gained so much knowledge of creating typography in different ways.
My typeface : 'Flip'
Tuesday 29th September
Fine Art Day 2 – 'Human Being/Being Human' (MAGIC/RITUAL/BELIEF)
The first morning task was about the rearrangement, organisation and placement of found objects and materials rather than the physical manipulation or alteration.
What have I learnt from: collaborating our found objects?
- The materials that my group found were a piece of fabric that made of plaster and a rectangular wooden block and we all admired the form and structure of both objects. The solidity of the wooden block contrasts really well with the elasticity of wrinkled plaster fabric. I imagined working with these objects to create a sculptural object that serves no functional purpose other than its aesthetic qualities.
- I learnt that the object itself could also be worn or placed onto human body as costume or a piece of jewellery. I appreciated how such simple techniques with materials can be reconstructed and re-used to create different outcomes and allow human to become more interactive with objects around us. My group and I really enjoyed working on the collaboration of these found objects and we documented quickly with photographs in order to juxtapose them and decide which collaborations would work the best.
My idea and concepts:
In our collaboration of objects, my group and I played around with the found materials by fitting our model’s body into the wooden block and placing the block in different angles and positions to see the form of object as a whole.
- As our model (Natalia) put her legs and neck into the wooden block it appears like a coffin. This stage led us to think about the idea of dead body and torturing moment when a person is situated in that small, confined space. I then fused the materials together by placing a piece of plaster fabric over Natalia’s body (to be worn like a dress) and putting her body into the wooden block at the end. This experiment reflects an idea of entrapment, as the body movement was controlled in a small space.
- It also suggested that entrapping oneself could also be thought in relation to the concept of "freedom" as another form of entrapment. From this statement, it means a person can choose not only to be free but also be entrapped, and know that one could escape from the trap at any time. This implies an attitude that resonates with the Buddhist understanding of detachment, as such detachment is tolerant of being entrapped for a while, until it is time to move on. I believe it offers humans the larger freedom to entering into the experiences associated with different traps; experiencing them from within and then letting it go and disappear.
- Although the idea might sounds complicated and difficult to understand but I felt this idea has a very strong connection with the materials that we used to combine and transform them into something that represents freedom of human after being entrapped.
Developing ideas relating to Erwin Wurm’s work:
We still wanted to develop the work further by taking Erwin Wurm’s dynamic sculptures as inspiration. His work really inspires me as he actually uses actual human as sculpture and each of them only lasts for a minute, creating a performance with limited amount of timing.
Our final decision to the outcome (Record of making)
- So we decided to take similar approach to Erwin’s by using Natalia as a human sculpture wearing a piece of fabric plaster, and then having Natalia performed a body transformation from being entrapped to being free reflected the Buddhist understanding of detachment. Our work was presented in a series of photographs named as ‘Progressive Anatomy’, because it shows a progression of a one-minute sculpture that changes from the start to the end. My group and I had approached many different locations and settings to photograph our work, but at the end we decided to use the white wall at the corner near a library for our work presentation, as it has a very good lighting and also we wanted to keep the simplicity of colours. Lawrence and I photographed Natalia while she was facing forward the wall and then told her to slowly lean her body against it with the fabric spread out widely.
- From this work, I felt the way Natalia is being confined in a heavy piece of fabric emphasises the idea that a human is tolerant of being entrapped for a while, and then that feeling of entrapment starts to disappear as the fabric spread out and absorb into the wall, depicting the feeling of freedom as the material passed away.
Tutor and Peer’s Feedback:
The feedback we received from classmates as well as tutor was positive. Many of them liked the fact that we had very well constructed concept and chosen materials. The tutor really liked the way we had approached these objects in many different ways, in terms of making decisions and solving problems in order to make the best collaboration of object at last.
My feedback at the end of day:
I felt today was such a long tiring day for me, but it has been most gratifying & satisfying lesson so far. During the process I found it quite difficult to collaborate the wooden material and plaster fabric together. At first it was not easy to work with huge materials like these. As we tried to move the plaster fabric in different positions, all dust and bits came out over the floor and so our group had to clean up at the end of the day. Although it was a really exhausting day but I learnt a lot from integrating those materials together to come up with our own artefact. I have realised not only is the thinking process important when working on art but also how to physically deal with materials.
What would I improve to make it better?
I feel that I should improve my visualisation skills as i find it hard for my idea to take form into work of art, and also improve my approach of taking the right sort of materials to work with.
If I were to do this project again I would try out more manipulations with the fabric, but this was impossible to be achieved as the fabric was very heavy and large. I would try and flip fabric in different angles in order for it to look more fluid.
Final Outcomes: 'One-Minute Sculpture'
Human Being/Being Human - Human & Technology (Proj 1 + Proj 2)
Final Outcome as a Performance (Fine Art)
Last Day Presentation - Our Performance (Human being/Being Human
Monday 5th October
3DDA Day 1 – 'Wear it'
What I learnt from JFFA pathway:
- It made me understand much better about the diversity of JFFA as accessories design could be not only functional but also conceptual.
- From the presentation slides I noticed that many designers and artists in this area experiment a lot with different scales and practicality. A large part of these designers also look at locations in human body where their designs will be best placed on to render the maximum impact. I really appreciate how jewellery can be worn and seen in different ways.
- I learnt that JFFA design reveals about its creator. This is not limited to the creator’s beliefs, cultural background and social status but also in terms of wealth or authority, and how it reflects the person’s. It could reveal something about that person’s wealth or a sign of authority that really affects on how you present yourself to the world and makes people changes the way they look/see/react to you when you wear it.
When the presentation finished, we sketched 30 Ideas which are related to three concepts: suspend, balance, and surround.
My ideas and Concepts:
When it came to the group discussion, I presented one of my favourite designs in 3D. The idea was to create a structural cage-like headpiece that I developed from the word “surround”. When I did this sketch I was thinking about one’s personal space that is a source of comfort, privacy and security. I explained this idea to my peer group and they liked the idea that my accessory creates a surrounding that gives a sense of protection as well as isolation from other people. Moreover, it also reflects a secretive and hidden feeling of a person in the space within.
Decision Making for Materials used:
When discussing about materials, my peers suggested me that I could easily approach work with any given materials from papers and wires, to straws and tubes. We were told to use very limited amount of materials in order to keep the design simple and conceptual. One of my peers suggested that I could experiment with papers – I agreed with her as I felt paper would make my headpiece become more structural and three-dimensional.
My approach to the final outcome (Process of Making):
The materials that I used were a large sheet of A2 paper and a piece of embroidery hoop that I bought from the CSM shop. In the process of paper cutting, I used a scalpel and a ruler to cut each horizontal stripe along the way from the one end of the paper to the other. This process, though, took me a while to complete as the paper was thick making it difficult to come up with neatly cut stripes. I did not cut it neatly as I was aware of the timing, but overall I managed to finish everything as planned and it came out better than I thought. By having 3D model in hand allowed me to develop my design further. I have also learnt the way to think about the construction of accessories though making this headpiece, in terms of how to join each material together to make it wearable. It gave me a clearer thought of the design of my headpiece and also allowed me to understand my visualization.
Problem Solving. Evaluation.
As the time given was very limited to 10 minutes for each section, I did not manage to come up with all 30 designs. For me this task was very challenging as I am normally a slow thinker who spend a long time experimenting in order to come up with the best suitable idea. By doing this I learnt to work under high pressure. There were actually a couple of sketches that I wish to work on further but I could choose only one.
At this point, decision making became very difficult as I had to consider which one would be the most successful and realistic to be made in tangible materials. I have realized that it is not enough for designers to be creative but also they need to be able to work in a fast paced environment which requires them to think quickly and be confident when making decisions.
At the end I photographed my work by having my peer (Jae) as a model wearing the headpiece in different positions and angles on black background. For me, it is highly important to present the work in the suitable way, which requires consideration in terms of the background that will be used as well as the position of the object on the model.
My Feedback at the end of day:
After viewing the result, I felt this project was really successful with the impactful photographs in which the headpiece stands out from the background. I really enjoyed using photography as a medium to portray my design because of it being a presentable yet creative approach. This is another area I like to be specialised in within 3DDA pathway.
Final Outcome - JFFA
Thursday 8th October
3DDA Day 3 – 'Build it'
My ideas and concepts:
Today we were given a task to create a structure using geometric shapes. So we as a group had to create two different platonic structures using thin bamboo sticks and cable ties, and then combine the structures together and visualise it. My group and I decided to use triangle shapes as our main structure, as we admired the way each surface of the triangles can be rotated and seen in many perspectives. For me triangle shapes could be built to form a structure of a museum or perhaps an aquarium when the edges are combined together.
Problem solving (Process of Making):
By creating geometric shapes with limited materials and re-creating new shape as architecture with them I learnt some sense of balance and how to solve problems. In my group it was easy to make each shape at first, but when we started to join them, there was a problem about sustainability. Some of the corners were not quite in the right shape, making it difficult to stand properly. We found that there was a rectangle shape shown that we created by a mistake. So we tried to fix it by adding more sticks inside and finally we compromised with changing its aspect.
My feedback during this process:
I felt it was challenging at first as it was my first time creating 3D experimental structure, but as our work progressed I felt it was fun playing around with the symmetrical structures, making it right and equal. I also found working in groups very enjoyable because I get to listen to everyone's different approaches to problems and ideas.
What have I learnt from ‘build it’ project?
Before the end of the class I drew some sketches of the model that my group and I have made. Doing this helped me understand the structure even more since I had to concentrate on looking at where which bamboo rod crosses at which and observing how many bamboo rods are there for a particular corner. I am not usually good at drawing architecture stuff as it needed to be quite accurate in a scale and dimensions, but from this task I felt it really improved my visualisation of work when looking through the structures of the symmetry. It allowed me to look at something deeper and more three-dimensional. It was very different from seeing a sculpture or objects that are quite flat and does not have many views or perspectives when we look at it.
How can I improve it next time?
I realised that materials had such a big impact on the structure of the building and I became more aware of the use of materials, whether it is sufficient or not. However it was such a long process of covering each part of the buildings, as the tissue paper was very fragile and created a lot of creases, which made our model look rather tatty. If we had more time we would have placed the tissue paper more at different places and find the best parts to cover up in order to keep in mind of the interior look.
The project today was my second favourite out of the three projects this week. Our bamboo rod platonic structure had a very successful outcome because it had a captivating shape and looked very unique compared to every other group. Once we started to cover up some parts of our model, I began to visualise it in my head in a form of a pavilion-like structure. I felt it became more realistic and it broadened my image more of where the openings and entrances might go. We thought the entrances could be located at the large surfaces at the left side corner of the building as it has very wide spaces to be able to fill humans inside.
We also experimented with black tissue papers to cover some parts and put the lights under the surfaces to see the overall look. I felt it looked much more effective when using black paper as it allowed us to see the interior look of the pavilion of where the directions of lights might go in and out under the dark surfaces. Overall I was happy with my outcome today.
Final Outcome - 'Pavilion' Structure (Build it)
Visualisation of our structure
Covering the structure (Build it)
Thursday 15th October
Fashion & Textiles Day 3 – ‘Your Data’
What was our idea?
Today we brought our own objects to class and we were asked to work as a group and find connections between the objects that we all had brought along. Our groups of objects were rings, keys, Buddha necklace, cardholders and mobile devices. Then we came up with the word ‘secure’, as most of us got similar objects that makes us feel safe and protected. For me they are everyday objects that we brought it everywhere and they are all personal to us.
How did I find working as a group today?
Our group was really struggled of how to put our objects together to make a 3D structure in relating to the word 'secure'. We have very limited materials and also the time pressure makes us panicking.We’ve wasted a lot of time making a decision and we had a bit of an argument during this part. For me I don’t really like working in a group as each of us got different opinions and ideas which I found fatiguing when having to make a quick decision.
At the end we managed to get our structure sorted within the time given. The outcome was not too bad as I expected and we tried our best to produce the best outcome before the time was up. We had used strings to attach down from the ceilings and bonded our objects around the string as if it was being secured by these strings. I loved how we used our objects as our own personal data. I learnt more things about the people I was working with, and I really enjoyed creating a composition of our objects relating to the word we have chosen.
What would I do differently next time?
If I had more time I would create more sewing patterns on my acetate and stick more masking tapes to add more detail of my pattern. Here it would make my collage looked more interesting when I worked from projections and then blown up my studies larger to extract the mood and textures onto my sketchbook.
My final feedback from Fashion & Textiles area:
- I felt it was a new challenge for me to create fashion style of drawings with a very simple line. It was not my style of drawing at all as I usually draw people and portraits in a realistic way.
- I was difficult to adapt my style of drawing into these fashion drawings, but the drawings could be abstract so it allowed me to be free and experimental. It had come out from my comfort zone and I’m glad I tried out this new skill that I don’t usually do.
- For me it was great to be styled and understand textures through different media, and I especially loved how loose the drawings were.
In terms of my decision to a specialist pathway, I don’t think fashion & textiles would be suited for me due to my struggles through illustration drawings, but I’m glad I had done it for the first practice so that I know exactly what areas I actually skilled at and enjoyed the most.