The direction of my studies has been influenced greatly, I have been able to learn many new skills that are transferable and relevant to my graphics discipline. I can see myself utilising other sectors of the university far more than I have in the past, exploring new tools and techniques that can give my work an advanced creative edge. The woodwork and soft modelling are two fields I had never explored before and found them to be incredibly useful, I had never thought to combine such a contrast with graphics before.
The theory and lectures within both projects have developed my knowledge and understanding of design relating to an audience. It is always interesting to listen to lecturers and students from different fields; they creatively think in such different ways. Hardly knowing anybody within my selected projects, enabled me to become far more acquainted with other students and surround myself with different creative minds.
I have established a more refined way of developing and generating ideas after working with maker and product design students. Documenting my design process is something I was previously lacking, working in a team means it is essential to visualise your ideas so they can easily be communicated to others throughout all stages of work.
Multidiscipline always has it’s struggles although some of the standout learning experiences have been group coordination, time planning and having a leadership within the group. In different fields everyone has differing ways in which they wish to work and learning what to incorporate into a project and which skills to use is a very useful skill I have developed. Working around member’s schedules was a struggle, although it gave me time to work independently and ensure our meet ups were of relevance with developments to show each time.
Within play and creativity, working by myself had it’s positives and negatives. I was able to have full reign over project deadlines and had no pressure from conflicting ideas, however I feel as though I missed out on the key learning practices from multidiscipline with input that could have made my project even stronger. By attending the lectures, I was able to still make contact with the other students, perhaps working more in depth with them would have broadened my mindset to consider alternate methods of creativity.
I feel as though I have produced some of my best work this year within the two field projects, especially Play and Creativity and have been able to use them in application to the Digital Me subject project including my interactive and online portfolios, that will later help me in my further career.
Many personal strengths have developed greatly though confidence in myself, to confidence in working within a group and different fields. I feel much more open as a designer, I am far more willing to use unexpected mediums to communicate my ideas. Field has been a greatly positive experience and I am keen to apply the new skills I have learnt to future projects.
The second I saw the words set design come up on the list, I knew this field project was for me. I was slightly worried at first, because obviously as a graphics student it’s not something I have really done before and I didn’t know how my skills would fit in, however it’s one thing I have always wanted to try my hands at as I’ve always been interested in set design from a really young age. Turns out I was the only person from graphics in the group and then had the struggle of not knowing anybody at all! Luckily I found my feet straight away and I think it helped me gain my confidence working with others.
One of my favourite aspects of this particular project was working on a live brief for a client. It helped that it was something I was really passionate about and felt I had lots of ideas that I wanted to share with Age Cymru. I found it very insightful to work with the clients from first briefing, visiting the venue and trial and improvement with developing ideas.
Working with multiple disciplines always has it’s ups and downs. I feel like this project however has been really helpful to me, working with a maker has allowed me to use the workshop side of the uni that I haven’t really had the chance to explore yet. I feel that I’ve gained so much knowledge and made contacts that can hopefully help me out in future projects. It’s the unreliability of working with others that has let me down a bit, I am normally able to choose people that I know will work well together and put in 100% to a project. In graphics we don’t really have overlapping projects with field, however with the multi disciplines, we all have to work around their other commitments in their Subject areas. Despite all this, it’s enabled a high level of communication and organisation, including time planning and scheduling.
This project has definitely helped in my graphics practice as it has opened my eyes to working with materials and tools I’d never thought about before. I already tend to focus my work around physically making things in Subject as I feel more comfortable in visually communicating ideas in that way. For example I would rather paint or screen print something than draw it on a computer. It’s generally thought of that in graphics it’s all about working on a computer but in a general sense it’s just about communicating an idea. This is why I think faking it fits in so well because our project was to communicate a scene from the book, and that is something you would expect in graphics (but maybe just not to such a large scale outcome!)
I am so pleased with our outcome and final display, and can’t wait to have the opportunity to display our work at the Marriott next month. I’d like to think that I’ve had a first insight into set and prop design and feel that one day I might be able to work on projects like this again!
As our final week of faking it draws to a close, we realised we had so much to work on. Because we were essentially a member down, myself and Naomi had to work extra hard to produce the props on our own. Naomi was in charge of our giant guestbook, as a maker she was confident with most tools in the workshop, however once all the ‘insides’ were created I was able to step in and help more with the adhesive, drilling and sanding of the book. I glued all the A0 pages together and we enabled them to be flipped through like a real working book. We designed the book in two halves so that we would be able to easily transport the pages to the event.
This was our main prop to the installation and took a lot of design work and preparation before we could even start making it. Luckily we managed to get it completed on time although it’s a shame we couldn’t have had our finished page designs due to our group member not wanting to paint them before the assessment. Because we spent so long on the book we felt the finished presentation was a bit let down because of this.
The finished outcome! Here are the sections of work that I created in our installation. It was difficult to take good photographs because the setup was so dark. It’s a bit of a shame because in the Marriott, our work will be set up a lot differently, we have a large wall to fill and will be utilising the whole space effectively with all our props instead of forcing them all into a tiny space. We have colour changing RGB lights and LED strips to highlight areas and will be hanging the props and many more letters using weights from the ceiling.
Finally the materials have come! Hopefully will be able to start producing our larger props next week. In the meantime, myself and Naomi have made a huge headstart on the secondary foam props of the stack of books and the large book. It is very exciting for myself, a graphic designer, to be working around the workshop and making physical things, as it is something I really enjoy. We carved the foam into book shapes, filed off the corners and used the hand held hotwire to melt away pages into the sides. I think the outcome looks pretty great, we then covered them in textured wallpaper to create an authentic look. I then painstakingly handpainted the titles onto each book, and myself and Naomi used wire to secure the books into a stack.
My hanging parrot is also coming along nicely, trying to make each prop as light as possible is quite a struggle but I seem to be getting there. It’s incredibly time consuming cutting out all the paper feathers but I think the end result is worth it.
The newt didn’t particularly come out to plan. I think if I had experimented more I could have been able to produce a more accurate texture for the skin.
We have encountered a few troubles on the way, using foam isn’t as easy as it looks as we have to be careful with the materials we use on it due to the shiny surface. Sourcing the materials has been such a struggle, especially with the A0 paper, luckily we managed to find enough for our book pages! We’ve also been thinking about the hanging props and how to make them safe to the public, as we are planning to weigh them down from the overhanging ceiling ledge.
Unfortunately we are back to square one with the teamwork, at the moment it’s a bit of a two man job, I don’t think it would be as much of a problem if we could see the progress our third member was making, as we are currently a little left in the dark.
So begins week three of field. I feel like stuff is really starting to get done this week, after a very long time discussing the refinement of making each prop, we have put in our order for materials and are awaiting their arrival to start making!
From some of the donated materials from John Lewis, we managed to salvage ourselves some wallpaper. The wood effect we plan to brown wash and cover the bookcase and perhaps use the chalkboard for a backdrop to the classroom scene.
I began to crack down on some of the hanging props from the book as at the moment we can’t begin the large physical objects until our delivery arrives. In the book Matilda uses her mind to move Mrs Truncuhbull’s chocolates, so I began to create some quite realistic looking chocolate props made from hot-wire cut blue foam and a simple painted salt dough mix which I am really pleased with. I felt like my inner child had been brought out again, making play dough and getting messy!
At the end of the week we had another meeting with the clients from Age Cymru, to present our further ideas and gather feedback. It was quite nerve-wracking as I imagined it would be quite chilled and laid back like the first client meeting, however this time we were to display all of our work with a presentation to the entire room. They seemed to love the idea again, I feel our idea has actually improved in design and functionality since our initial brief and thoughts.
I’m really pleased with how the team are working together now, we keep having elaborate ideas and have allocated jobs for us each to be getting on with over the weekend, catering to our skills. I’m finding that the collaborative mix of fields is really helpful, I can’t see how any of this would have a realistic chance of getting done without our maker and illustrator! As part of the group, I see myself from graphics almost as the creative thinker. I like to be leading the ideas, visualising things and getting everything accurate to the brief. I believe my way of thinking is kind of ‘the more extravagant the better’ which is great for this brief as I feel we need the craziness of this mind set for our Roald Dahl theme.
My team have finally settled on our design of creating a giant, guestbook style book, colourful bookshelves and various props from the book to hang from the ceiling.
Myself and Naomi set about creating miniature models of the set for easier visualisation. It was good to be able to develop the structure of the props too and have a better understanding of the materials.
We both then spent a day developing all of our ideas and sketching out scale images, figuring out dimensions and settling on exactly how each item would be made and constructed; including what they would be made of. The book is quite simple, with styrofoam and mdf, although scale has been an issue for us as we can’t have it too large because of transportation.
For the hanging models I began sketching out some ideas, large, bold and bright to fit the Roald Dahl theme. It is essential that everything is as light as possible to be strung from the ceiling ledge, especially the larger props like the parrot. Therefore we can’t use clay etc to model with and must stick to styrofoam, paper and foil.
Everything is going well between most of my group, there’s a slight lack of contribution from one member so we will have to keep an eye out and hope the motivation will develop! We are hoping to get everything done to schedule, I’m a little worried that we are mostly still at the sketching stage, but hopefully next week we will start building the physical structures and the props will come flowing.
It’s fair to say I’ve never been as excited for a brief as with my new five week field project. In teams of three, we must create sculptural set designs to transform and decorate the Marriott Hotel in Cardiff for a huge Age Cymru charity gala event. The theme? Roald Dahl.
With each team tasked with a book, I have the pleasure of working on Matilda and instantly established a whole array of ideas. Within roughly half an hour of being given the live brief and choosing our team mates, we had to pitch our initial ideas to representatives of Age Cymru.
I made myself a pinterest board; gained LOTS of inspiration! Here are some of the research images I found the most interesting
It was quite nerve wracking however, they loved our ideas and gave me confidence to go home and develop further. I volunteered from my group to visit the hotel to choose a suitable space and measure up the area, I’m glad I took on this task as it enabled me to know what scale we we would need to work to after being the room. Here are some of my first sketches.
I drew up a quick floorpan to show the group the working dimensions.
I can’t wait to share my ideas with the group and get onto making!