Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Friday, 21 December 2007
Walking through the park, I see squirrels. Silence and peace, sometimes broken by my noisy head singing loudly inside. Train to Finsbury Park and tube to Leicester Square absorbed in a book. Weave down Charing Cross Road.
Walk down Charing Cross Road with a friend from work. Say Bye. Go down steps of Leicester Square tube. Anger descends. Strong desires to kick the back of peoples knees and push them down escalators. I just want to go home!!! Waiting waiting. Read all the way to Wood Green. And wait wait wait for a 329 bus. Read on bus. Walk home in dark and quiet. Pass the park. It's beautiful. Notice something new each day. Home.
I will be taking photos once I'm sorted out with camera :) That's my general everyday storyline for my journey. I want to note down the details, the beautiful things I notice. The stories I consume. I get shitloads of reading done. I get to read 2 hours a day. That's the good thing about public transport, I'm not driving!
Saturday, 8 December 2007
Friday, 7 December 2007
Monday, 26 November 2007
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Iknow my project isn't 'real'. And I'm not really about to start manufacturing bed curve sleep/wake lights but I can't stop thinking - imagine how much it would cost!!! All that perspex and laser cutting and felt....not to mention the actual making and getting it working and set up. It'd be very beautiful but utterly unaffordable and ridiculously unneccesary luxury. But so pretty. And I'd love to see it for real, and sleep beneath it.
I love the ending. It's perfect. Even though I was thinking back on it as I walked home today and got confused about something (re-read neccesary but have now given the book) but yes. Perfect ending.
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
I watched a bit of that program about Pugin while I ate my tea this evening. I can't believe he designed the house of lords at 25! It showed his house in Kent too and it had awesome dramatic wallpaper :) My housemate Sam and I wonder if we can visit his house....
... you CAN! Click the link for info and pictures of delicious wallpaper.
Thursday, 15 November 2007
Goose Girl is based on a Grimm fairytale, which I didn't find out till later but it is very like a hearty satisfying fairytale - same charm and satisfaction but a whole book full :D Involving a princess forced to trade places with her maid while travelling to another country to marry a prince she's never met, becomes a goose girl and a stronger person and of course everything turns out well :) yay. She's the sort of awkward character I'm not usually a fan of (like the nameless heroine of Rebecca by Du Maurier) but I liked her and
I liked the way she grew as a person. And talked to geese :)
Dream Merchant is very kids fantasy, the sort of thing that could be a cbbc show (not that theres anything wrong with that). Kids having adventures in fantasy worlds. Theres a big corporation that wants more customers so they want to sell people things in the past so they send these kids into dream worlds to try to find out how to travel in time...then the kids get stuck in the dreamworld and need to complete a quest to get back to reality. I wasn't too sure at first...but the kids are likeable (even if their talents are excessive) and the quest is exciting, entertaining and I like letting my thoughts drift back to it. In a way it reminds me of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. His book goes forward in time and back again - different stories and characters interlinked like a russian doll. Dream Merchant is one story but the constant time change (every time they fall asleep time goes back 300 years) and the different places they travel to bring Cloud Atlas to mind.
Thursday, 8 November 2007
I've been researching light...and the Phillips Nebula Project is very similar to my project. I'm making bed lighting to soothe people to sleep - dimming like dusk. Nebula is interactive though, people can project any computer image or message on to the ceiling, they can scan anything in.
Emotionally durable design - it can change continually and personally.
My design falls down in that respect. However I do intend mine to be a beautiful, well made piece of functional bed-decoration. The dimming light should be a part of the users bed-time routine. In being a beautiful, comforting, daily part of the users life I hope it would not be gotten rid of. Anyhow, I will be thinking of ways my design could be interactive.
Also went to talk by Phillip Delamore - designer/researcher at LCF - about Digital Futures.
Similar to Cradle to Cradle he spoke about how our vision of the future hasn't changed since the 50's - but he sees a soft, organic, furry future.
One of his projects was an enormous repeat print, so big that no two garments had the same patterning - mass individualisation - meeting individual needs on a production level. Other examples were moving prints projected on to garments, photographs were taken and the customer chose from the stills which print they actually wanted.
Computers can simulate how a real product will behave, where it's weak points are etc. Can simulate the individual (bodymetrics/avatars) and these can be used for product development and seeing how clothes look on a person. The longer things are kept digital before being made real the less waste there will be. There is even research being done in to virtual touch! It reminds me of The Matrix.
Second life - virtual life, real business takes place in this virtual world.
If individuals begin designing for themselves everyone is a designer - perhaps the designers role will change - designing ways to design?
A digital future could be emotionally durable as it makes individual needs easy to meet on an industrial scale. It also cuts down on material waste. We wouldn't want to lose the creativity of doing things by hand though. Although much of my work is digital, I'm aware that digital work has a very different quality to hand-crafted.
Thinking back to Cradle to Cradle - does it mean we should eventually lose our history? There's alot of amazing design that is cradle to grave - I keep thinking about this and then realising it's silly - we will probably never acheive a completly cradle to cradle system, and the cradle to grave stuff is stuck here - it's not going to degrade, that's the whole problem. But. . .I can't stop confusing myself thinking about it.
Sunday, 4 November 2007
Cradle to Cradle is so positive! It's easy to understand, conjuring images of houses that are like trees, abundance that goes back to the earth, in a circle - the way that nature works. Everything is stepped out manageably and I find myself feeling all is not lost, people are creative enough change the way things are designed. The writers present several case studies of companies they had worked with - a company that made upholstery fabric - their effluent ended up cleaner than the water going in! And the book itself is not paper, but a sort of plastic that in recycling won't lose any quality.
A quote I like that may inspire future stories (relating to chemicals that are emitted from everyday materials):
"So be careful - you might un-intentionally be eating your appliances."
Emotionally Durable Design seems to aimed at Industrial designers really but the gist of it is that products need to have an emotional connection with the user to lengthen the life of the product. Todays culture is so disposable with many products being designed with built in obsolecense. People throw things away and buy things on a whim, slaves to trends. I think it's important for surface decoration (which is what I do) to take emotional connection into account too.
At the end of each chapter important concepts are listed, followed by suggestions for designers. Very useful. Despite this, while I believe I understood what the book was saying, I'm not certain how I would go about putting it into action. There weren't really any examples, possibly because there aren't yet any products really connect emotionally with the user. Also much of it related to industrial design as I said before. I probably need to look over the book again.
I think Linda Florence is an example of a designer who works on making surface decoration more emotionally durable. She has printed wallpapers/flooring using inks that gradually rub away to reveal a new design underneath. This kind of slow interaction draws out the life of the product.
Cradle to Cradle
Emotionally Durable Design
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Rob Ryan does beautiful intricate hand cut sillouette drawings, much imagery of nature, people (and lots of ladders) with text, very romantic and lonely. But believing in love. A contemporary fairytale?
It appeals very much to my love of the decorative and my though I don't like to admit it, romantic nature. In ways it it is similar to my work - it's intricate, illustrative and centres around people and emotions. But Rob Ryan's work has a more crafted, drawn and personal feel. It is as if the artwork is his diary and the feelings portrayed are his feelings. My work is less honest in that way. Although I draw, it is on the computer and has a less drawn feel, and is more simplistic. Also my stories never admit to being about me even if they are. I think this is a valid way of working and I like that some people see my work as humourous while others see more to it.
I'll be keeping an eye on what's going on at the Rebecca Hossack gallery from now on as it's a really nice space and an interesting gallery with a strong focus on aboriginal art. I saw a beautiful book they were selling called The Night life of Trees by Bhajju Shyam, Ram Singh Urveti and Durga Bai. Really decorative yet simple prints of the spirits in the trees after dark. I think I might have to buy this book too as it is gorgeous. And as an excuse my current story involves a tree with a spirit!
Afterwards Zac and I had lunch at Pure California, I recommend it. It does really good fresh smoothies, you can build your own salad, they only use natural ingredients and best of all they use free range meat. This is important as since I read Planet Chicken by Hattie Ellis I've decided against eating chicken that's not free range. But I won't go into that. (though I will link the book, it's good, however if I were to criticise I'd say the argument was one sided and I'd like to see more of what battery farmers had to say in their defence)
Friday, 26 October 2007
I particularly like:
Rebecca Earley's heat printed shirts, old shirts freshly printed with gardening inspired prints. floral but modern, intended for wearing in the garden, growing your own food.
Emma Neubergs plastic bag/packaging laminated skirts. They are bright, fun, and make a statement by twisting the slogans. It is almost storytelling.
Kathryn Round and Charlotte Mann's work, printing photographs of old clothes on organic fabric, to keep the memory of well loved clothes. I hate getting rid of things so I have piles of useless things. Clothes that don't fit or that have no armpits or something. So I love this idea that I could still wear something that is really too old or doesn't fit. I don't know that this is recyling so much though. Is printing on organic fabric, a photograph of something old not a bit of a tenuous link? I guess it means the actual item can then go to someone who it does fit. Or also, it means the item has served another purpose even though it's part is soon over.
Gary Page's dress that goes through 3 redesigns to freshen it up and lengthen its life. It starts as a plain organic cotton dress. Then it is indigo dyed and ruffled. Then it is printed by Rob Ryan (Yay!) and finally its restyled and sparkled. The owner sends the dress to get redesigned when ever they feel it is time. This is a lovely way to lengthen the life of a product. In a way interactive. After being with a dress through 4 incarnations I can see a person being emotionally attached to the dress and less likely to throw it away.
Kyoko Kumai - Woven Steel
Teppo Asikainen - Cloud Chamber