Thursday, 28 October 2010

A piece of Stella design

Wooden accordion clutch bag, Stella McCartney

While researching for our GIDE project and the materials in which our accordion-like structure would be made from and also how it would be functional, flexible, durable, lightweight, etc I came across this image which I thought really answered a lot of questions regarding our issue.

The way in which the object originally could start as a small shape and then fan out to create a larger structure is something that we are interested in doing for our pop up concept also. Using two pivotal points the object can expand and contract in a forward and backwards motion enlarging or shrinking the surface area accordingly. Due to the different locations we want the exhibition to 'pop up' in, this is an important mechanism that is crucial when expanding and shrinking the size of each house.

Referring to this design is a useful way in looking at how all the parts work but as a woman I know that this handbag is not functional, all the little bits and bobs that lurk in the bottom of our handbag would just fall out.

With thanks:

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Assignment 3

Mind Map with my crazy thoughts.

A meal of haggis and tatties later and we were all set for the next group meeting to discuss further the topic in which we wanted to continue with for our dissertation proposal.
All of us decided to continue with the same topic that we had picked originally but shift our focus to a specific area.
Mindmapping the ideas again allowed us to add more information to the mind maps we had previously created. Using these as a starting block, now after looking at the topics in more detail we were able to discuss points in greater detail.

Talking initially about everybody's idea individually we soon ended up mixing between the topics as many points interlinked with one another and all seemed to relate in someway. We found that many issues we discussed were ones that also appeared in the book we read last year as part of Design Studies called "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. One part that particularly interested me last year was the chapter called 'The Power of Context' which conveyed how powerful a context can be on an individual and how it can make us respond in a specific way. One of the ideas that Gladwell talks about is 'The Broken Window Theory' which argues that fixing the smaller things within an environment can stop criminal acts from happening - just one of the points that I can explore further...

Discussing some points with the group before hand,
and afterwards with our mindmaps...

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Presentation Techniques: Typography

The power of text.

Following a presentation in class on the different types of typography that designers use, we were shown a video of the new Audi A1 which makes use of various images that we perceive to be an A. Some of the A’s are more obvious than others and some require us to look a little more closely.

After receiving our briefing of the subject, we then had to use one of our initials and look for it within the surrounding environment for our typography assignment. These letters could be as obvious or as abstract as we wanted but had to be naturally occurring within the environment.

Can you spot the L's?

Some of the L's were easier to spot than others and soon without even realising it, I was finding letters within the environment - once you are in the mindset it is very hard to stop seeing the letters within the environment.

With thanks:


Part twee.

After presenting our initial idea, we decided to continue with the idea of pop up and try and create a concept that not only portrayed this chosen theme but design it in a way that was visually exciting.

Some pages from my sketch book, the thought process.

Within our group we created large 'sketch book pages' and scribbled all our ideas relating to our topic trying to create visually what we interpreted the term pop up to be. Naturally everybody had a different approach and interpretation of the ideas surrounding pop up so we tried to incorporate different elements so as to create the strongest concept.
Looking at the way in which a Russian Doll is able to transform itself from being one object to many without a drastic change in form was something that we used as inspiration for creating the form of our pop up exhibition. Obviously with our pop up requiring to be moved to different locations we had to consider issues such as weight, stability, materials, portability, etc. Attending a recent furniture exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium we were able to gather information about the different types of materials that were available to us and what sort of attributes they possess but also discuss the problems we were facing with these issues and the problems that these designers had overcome.

More design ideas using the original book form to make objects pop out from the backdrop.

Still using the Oilily brand as part of our exhibition, the recognisable pattern we decided would be used to decorate the exterior of the pop up space and with the scale of the ' pop up shops' we decided that the pattern would be fitting due to the effect it would have on people when they saw the house fronts.

The final concept.

Now the next steps for us to consider are how the interior space is going to compliment the exterior but also be created in a way in which to make the Oilily brand 'POP' from the backdrop it is placed in. Also could the houses be separate so as to be manipulated within a space more? What sort of indoor location are we looking for?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Interieur - 21.10.10

International Design Biennale 'Interieur', Kortrijk, Belgium.

Renowed as one of the global events for contemporary design trends, the 22nd International Design Biennale 'Interieur' boasts designs that all followed the same theme 'The New World' - a subject matter offering a large variation in interpretation.

With great relevance to the project brief's we are currently following at KHM, it was nice to see objects in person as opposed to flat images on a computer screen. Getting up close and looking at the way in which designs had been manufactured and discussing issues such as ergonomics and aesthetics with the designers themselves was a great way to get a greater understanding of their purpose of design. After 6 hours of wandering and a bag full of design leaflets later, I left the Biennale feeling inspired and ready to get sketching as soon as got my hands on a sketch book.

One criticism though, in my opinion I felt that a lot of the designs were beginning to take on the same structures and at points I found myself wondering if we had already seen the design before. Without trying to be too clever the designs that were more successful were the ones that were simple but were effective.

Capturing the designs that insprired me.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


The final concept.

To coincide with the celebrations of swap shops in the surroundings areas of Mechelen it was apt for us to take part in a project that 'upcycled' previously unwanted items, giving them a complete redesign and creating an entirely new function.

My original piece was an old cassette player (which can be seen in it's original state at the beginning of the presentation video below). Originally I thought that I was going to be able to rip open the cassette player and use the internal parts to create something new and exciting, but on closer inspection there was not an awful lot of parts that I felt could be used to do this. Next I toyed with the idea of trying to fix the player so that it's original function would be made possible again and just like an iPod, create some sort of protective shell so that it could last another 30 years. Although this was a nice idea, the need for video cassette players is not very high - plus when taking a look inside again I fused it by unearthing the wire...whoops! Oh well they say things happen for a reason.
Whilst rummaging around the interior functions of the player I began looking at the mechanical elements and looked at the different ways in which I could try and use these in a design help people with everyday tasks, e.g. the counter mechanism, could it be used as a pedometer? What about an egg timer for the perfect eggs? Exercise counter...? The list was endless.
The slow, fluid movement of the opening mechanism of the cassette player was something that I decided to pursue and look at in more detail. Most people when I showed them the cassette player opened the tape deck and commented on the movement which I thought was quite interesting. Looking at lots of different designs in which this movement could be exploited I finally settled on the idea of a jewellery box in which only the most prized possessions could be kept. Although the area in which the jewellery was kept is limited and quite small, I felt that by altering the spring release for a wider opening, the 'compartment' where the jewellery would reside could have been made bigger but through previous experience from myself the smaller the jewellery box the better - too much space just means you try and cram in as much as you can!! The space within the tape deck provides adequate room for the most personal pieces of jewellery a person owns.

The presentation animation showing the whole process, start to finish.



Dundee - Scotland. Leeds - England. Ljubljana - Slovenia. Lugano - Switzerland. Magdeburg - Germany. Mechelen - Belgium. Milano - Italy.

7 European Design Schools. 1 common theme. 1 competition.

Theme: Exhibit. How would you describe this term?
Creating a group of students - 3 Dutch and 2 Scottish - the answer to this question was very varied! Talking extensively about different elements of exhibition design such as interaction and location, we wanted to make sure that we discussed as much as we could at this stage to feel more confident about tackling the brief we had been set.
After our group brainstorming session we all decided we like the idea of a Pop Up Exhibition on, allowing as many people as possible the chance to see the exhibition. Most people when they hear Pop up would typically think of a book from childhood where the story came alive when the scene spread across your lap...a similar experience we wanted to create with our exhibition. Playing on the word 'POP UP' we began sketching ideas with the underlying concept and tried different ideas from the very obvious right to abstract.

With a very 'childlike' reference to pop up we thought that we would quite like to 'exhibit' a child's clothing range called Oilily. A very famous child's clothing brand over here in Belgium and the Nederlands we thought that the brand fitted well with our concept of playful and childish pop up. Type Oilily into Google images and the pictures that you are presented with are bright, bold patterns that are very recognisable! (Now that I am aware of Oilily I see the patterns everywhere in the streets of Belgium and can instantly recognise it.)

Presenting a mood board a few weeks into the project we were able to highlight our inspiration for our concept. Creating an unconventional mood board using our theme of pop up, we talked about our ideas using the elements of a pop up book. The mood board was created with interaction in mind and we wanted to introduce this playfulness into our presentation to heighten the understanding of our theme. Research images were on a pull out slide and to see all of these you had to slide and also flip the card over. Obviously with the Dutch and English languages we decided to add very little text and let the pictures do the talking.

The final mood board.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Group Storming

Promising to be a challenging and exciting year, the first assignment for Design Studies got me to think creatively and critically again. Last year we learned a lot of techniques that will prove invaluable throughout our lives but indefinitely this year. Using some of the skills that I already learned I applied these to the first assignment. Working within a group again and learning to communicate, we started the first task.

Each choosing a specific topic to research further, we all discussed our titles and debated issues surrounding them. Our wee group is made up with myself, Charles Stewart and Ross Lesslie over in Mechelen, Belgium.

Charles Stewart: Sustainability and Design

Rachel Laing: Crime and Design

Ross Lesslie: Education and Design.

After a hearty dinner of good old Scottish Mince and Tatties made by Charles we were all set for the 'Group Storming' session. To begin with we were a bit hesitant (I think we were out of practise) but as soon as we got the juices flowing we were off to a flyer. Originally just discussing one of the titles we soon scrapped this idea as we realised that all our topics had many of the same points that interlinked. Arguing on some issues but agreeing on others a good while later we had totally ripped apart our chosen subjects and given ourselves some food for thought...I was excited to get home and get things underway.

Individual mind map on Crime and Design.

Creating a mind map using some of the main points that were discussed in the group meeting, I soon realised that what we had discussed within our groups was only a scratch on the surface. Dividing my topic of Crime and Design in lots of subtitles I was able to research different parts in more detail which would aid me when writing the Wiki report.