Reflection

Thursday, September 28

Graphic Communication Design 

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One day project

In this short project, we were asked to identify and document a place located in the Archway campus by making three observational line drawings of spaces we particularly found interesting and draw them from different perspectives. Through our chosen spaces, we had to communicate an idea, word, or a phrase by using the perspective, atmosphere, environment, etc. of the space we had chosen. 

 Because it was my first day into my course, I had fewer time to find a location in the campus since the teacher had to have a short introduction with me about the course. I had just enough time to find a location only in the classroom; therefore, I felt quit limited in my options for a space. I did not have issues finding a spot with an interesting perspective, however I struggled to communicate a message through the shapes I had found. 

 Nevertheless, I was able to capture a spot which had an interesting perspective when I turned my phone upside down. On the left is a picture of my chosen space as anyone would normally see it. On the right is a second picture of my space, but shot with my phone at a particular angle which changes its perspective. On the right, the lines look longer than they normally do, as if they have no limits, no end, which is what I found interesting: how an angle changes perspective and how perspective changes the way we see things.

But than I could not find any meaningful message, world, or phrase that I found particularly interesting so I went for something pretty obvious. When I compared my project to most other classmates', I realized that the idea behind mine was complicated and most went for something smart but very simple. 

I personally think that it lacked of originality. I did not manage my time very well and everything was done in a rush and I have not taken the time to consider other aspects such as the atmosphere, the colors, the surroundings of the space, the type of material, and so on. I also did not know who I was addressing the message to and the message I have displayed on the surface of my space feels meaningless now that I look back at it. I do not believe I have succeeded on this project. 


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Friday, September 29 -research small group session

The next day after the one day project, I quickly booked reflection and research sessions in order to improve myself as I was not very satisfied with my very first project. 

For our task, we were asked to analyze an image by Gillian Wearing in which a man dressed in a classic business suit was holding a sign saying "I'm desperate". Before reading the artist's description, we had to reflect on the idea behind the image. I personally though that the man's smiling and happy face, fresh haircut, and fancy outfit were acting as a cover of what he truly feels; something which a lot of us do. We can argue that the message behind the image is simply to not judge people by the way the look, which sounds a bit cliche. The piece may also shows how we control the way people perceive us or, the other way around: how society controls how we feel, look, or act. Nevertheless, it is this contrast between the way the man looked and his message that had watched my eyes. 

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Monday, October 2 -Wear it project

For this one day project we were asked to reflect on the words "suspend", "support", and "surround" after been introduced to the 3DDA curriculum area. This class was mainly focusing on fashion accessories such as footwear, jewerly, bags, and how they influence the body. We had to come up with words, concepts, or emotions which we related to the three words mentioned above. In my case, I was mostly inspired by the word "surround", since I was able to come up with quit a few terms such as restricting, extending, protecting, covering, warping, atmosphere, etc. In my perspective, these words are simply the functions of "surrounding" the body. As for the words "support" and "suspend", I was not able to come up with much thoughts because I found them to be more complex. Why? I do not know exactly. I guess I was more comfortable and, therefore, found more inspiration with the word "surround". Perhaps because surrounding and enveloping the body, in a broad sense, is generally what fashion is about.

Afterwards, we were asked to create ten different accessories for each of the three words in a very short amount of time. This is where things got very complicated and frustrating because I found myself stuck with no inspiration or ideas and I know exactly why. If you interview the most successful designers you will find that each have their own techniques they use, their own ways of solving problems, their own ways of working and doing things. In my case, I generally get inspired  by the things I see or notice around me. Whether it is behavior, emotions, textures, landscapes, nature, buildings, structures, colors, surfaces, and so on. They form the base of my inspiration, which I later on transform into a more complex and personal outcome. On top of having a very short amount of time, we have had nothing more than our brains to come up with 30 different designs which I was unable to do without making research, which is also a major influence and aspect of my inspiration. Coming up with 30 different designs with limited time and no proper research was a very stressful task, but I tell myself in these situations that you cannot grow without being challenged. 

 When I create, I enjoy including different aspects of society such as religion, superstitions, behavior, politics, history, culture, architecture, and many others. I like when my creations, on top of being decorative, have a purpose, a sense, deliver a message, or are symbolic. I could not go very far without any formal research, so I decided to inspire myself from an aspect of my life which I master quit well: my own culture. First, I had to figure out which part of the body to surround, how will it be surrounded, and how will it affect this particular part. In my head, I pictured many Moroccan, Muslim, and Arab accessories on different part of the body. Nothing of what I had imagined worked better than a Hamza as an accessory for the hand. The Hamza is palm-shaped amulet used throughout the Middle East and North Africa usually as a necklace, bracelet, earring, tattoo, and many other forms of accessories. Its use, mainly superstitious, is to protect from the evil eye and symbolizes strength, blessings, and power. Because the Hamza is literally the shape of a hand, I thought it would go perfectly serve as an accessory for someone's hand. I had many ways in which it could surround the hand which I have drawn in my sketchbook. My final outcome at the end of the day, after we have constructed our accessories based on materials provided by the tutors, was too simple, which is why I was disappointed. Unfortunately, I had neither the time nor the right materials to bring what I have initially imagined to life. I had to make my design simpler and adapt it to the materials provided in a short amount time, which was another challenge I had to face during the making process. 

The accessory could either blend with the hand's movements and motions, causing no restrictions, or the opposite. I did not have enough time to think too much about details and had to go with something basic and easy. Therefore, I have decided to go with no restrictions using malleable metal sticks that were extremely thin. I drew my hand on my sketchbook and used the drawing to shape the metal sticks. After this step, the metal had the shape of my hand but could not be worn on the without some support. I measured my finger's diameter and cut small pieces of metal stick that were half the diameter of each finger. They were worn like a ring cut in half. I wanted half of the hand's side to be covered and the other side to be open; like gloves cut in half. I would then stick the half rings metals on the metal stick that was shaped like my hand at places where the fingers do not bend. It took me more time than expected and was unable to finish everything and achieve my goal. Therefore, one finger did not have half ring metals as a support and I did not cover any side of the hand. I wanted to cover one of the hand's side with either geometrical arabesques or traditional decorations found on a Hamza. These decorations would be drawn on paper that I would wrap around the metal sick shaped like my hand in a way which would cover one side of my hand but not the other.

 If I have had more time and better materials I would have been more careful with the little details such as size. Perhaps I would have expanded it to the entire arm instead of just the hand. In a few days I would have came up with better ideas and different accessories. This project was a great challenge in which you have to be careful about time; however, I already knew that quality takes time. I also realized during the part in which we had to come up with 30 designs that I barely draw my ideas on a sketchbook. I usually come up with ideas in my head, but I never document them. I simply draw my favorite idea(s) after I have imagined a dozens in my head. That is how I have always been and I might want to change this habit. 

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Tuesday, October 3 -Use it project

This project was mainly about constructing a chair. After being introduced to the history and development of chairs, we were asked to go around the campus and record through drawing the way people sat and positioned themselves. Back in class, we had to think of problems we found while observing people positioned in specific ways and this would form the base of our inspiration for a chair. It would have been great if the instructions had stopped there and let us finish the rest of the project from this last step by ourselves, but unfortunately the tutors kept giving us strict instructions on every single aspect of the entire project, which left no space for our freedom of imagination and expression. 

On Monday evening, the day before this project, I had done some research at the King's Cross campus about Robin and Lucienne Day, pioneers of contemporary design and found some great books which would inspire me to design a chair. I also searched for African chairs and arabesques because I thought adding some culture to a chair would be a great idea. I also brought with me on the project's day my book about Muslim Spain, which includes a lot of architecture. I had already started to think and imagine all kind of different chairs with different shapes the night before the project. On Tuesday, after lunch, the tutors introduced us to the next step of the project and this is when I felt frustration, anger, and disappointment. This next step ruined everything I had planned. We basically were given a card model known as a "sketch" model in which an imagine of a chair was drawn with dotted lines. There was actually three drawings and each was a different view of the chair: view of the top, view of the side right, and view of the side left. We were asked to cut on the dotted lines just like we used to do back in elementary school. After the cutting, we would join all the different views of the chair together in order to have it in 3 dimension and we would use this 3D chair as a base for our design. 

I was angry and frustrated because I felt insulted and treated like I had no skills. When I was just a little child, I used to have fun with paper and cardboard building 3 dimensional structures, buildings, and designs. When I was around seven years old my mother helped me build a 3 dimension house using paper and it was a big one. I did most of the job, but my mom was only there to support me. The part of this project that includes the dotted lines and sketch model was very annoying because I literally felt like I was treated like child. It Reminded of what we used to do when I was a kid in elementary school, which was exactly the same thing: cutting on the dotted lines of a sketch model. It was too easy for me as my level has increased since elementary school. I could have done my own sketch model, which would follow my own designs. This ketch model provided by the tutors had ruined my idea because the chair drawn on it (which served as a base for our 3 dimensional design) was too simple comparing to my designs. Most students at the end of the day had similar chairs because everyone's chair had the same base. The outcome of my chair sucked badly because the sketch model, serving as a base for my design, did not match with my creations as they were way too complex and was preventing me from maximizing my creativity and complexity. 

 

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Here is my final outcome for this project. You can not see it on these pictures and I was unfortunately unable to upload a video, but the back support of the chair can stretch itself back and forth. When we had to observe people sitting down, I noticed that most people moved a lot when sitting down, trying to adapt their position to their situation. When they wanted to be comfortable, they would try to lay down and when it was time to be focused, they would sit still, back straight. The idea behind my share is to provide both possibilities. When the person wants to be more comfortable they could simply lay down by extending the back support, but when they want to focus they would keep the chair as shown in the pictures. Of course, if I had better materials and more time, I would have made the chair adapted to the body's shapes, which I think is an important aspect of comfort. I would have also decorated the share and have it more complex in its design. What I have found particularly interesting with the development is that I kind of had to deal with engineering. At the end, when I tried extending the back support of my chair, it would cause unbalance, making it bend and the chair to fall down. I didn't think about gravity and weight. 

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Thursday, October 5 -Build it one day project

The plan for this day was to design and build an experimental structure using bamboo rods and adhesive tape. We would first, in teams of three, start by building two structures. Something, which I am not used to, that I appreciated was the spontaneousness of the whole project. We did not do any kind of observation, thinking, or drawing. We simply kept adding bamboo rods after bamboo rods and watch out structures expand. In my team, we decided to start with a basic common form, which would serve as a base. We picked and then builded a triangle. Afterwards, we added bamboo rods on each edges of the triangle and form new structures. Each new geometric shape added to the triangle lead to the creation of others, and so on. Everything was spontaneous and unexpected. It was also great experiencing team work and how each one of us had a different view and ideas, though we did not pay too much attention about what our structures were standing for which I think was an aspect of this project. I struggled to have my voice heard in the team for this first part of the project because we were not on the same level. I also give myself high expectations as I often think big and complicated. I wanted to try unusual shapes and unusual ways of sticking our shapes and structures together. Whereas my partners had more basic and simple ideas and when I tried communicating my ideas to them, they indirectly rejected them because they were kind of scared that it would not work or that something would break. After 25 minutes, we had two structures combined together. 

For the second part of this project, teams of three had to mixed with other teams of three and find a way to create a brand new structure with the two teams' structures. We teamed with a group of girls who had used bigger bamboo rods than we had. This is why we agreed to build an arch in order to connect our two structures together. During the building process, we had faced issues like balance and weight. If we put too much weight on top, we had to had more in the bottom. Or, the structure would fall the right side if there was too much weight comparing to the left side. At the end, we had ran out if time and our "arch" did not look like one, but more like bamboo rods shaped in triangles and connecting the two structures together. At the end, our two structures were joined by a huge triangle forming a peak. We also faced distance issues. The other team had a taller structure than ours and had started their side of the arch even taller. To join our tow sides of the arch together, we had to stick two bamboo rods together, and some of them would bend, which was frustrating, but at the same this imperfection added beauty to our final outcome.   

the third and last step pf this project, after joining the structures of each team into one, was basically to wrap some part and shapes of our structure. I think the member of my team new what they were doing, but personally I simply wrapped the parts they asked me to, without giving any thought to it. I think it was because of the timing and I personally needed more time to think about which part to wrap with paper, why, and how. Like all the other projects we have had so far, time happens to be out biggest enemy and I like this challenge since we start to learn how to manage out time and use it wisely. 

I particularly loved this project more than any other one we have done so far because it involves architecture and structures, which is something I have always loved. Architecture, shapes, nature, landscapes, surfaces, and structures are main part of where I get my inspiration, along with other aspects of society and humans in general. It also made me appreciate the idea of spontaneousness and the unexpected, which was a new aspect for me and new way of processing things. I am definitely a person who likes when things are planned, prepared, well organized, and thought but today nothing was planned. Now I know that a mess can be a source of inspiration and you can find beauty in the bizarre. 

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Monday, October 9 -Your project day 1, your surroundings

This project was mainly about shape, silhouette, and structure. We were first asked to explore the King's Cross campus and record, through large scale drawings, a minimum of ten architectural drawings of shapes and structures of buildings we found particularly interesting or that we did not like. Afterwards, we had to identify one single shape in each of our ten drawings and redraw, on a different page, six of those identified shapes; though, they had to be redrawn with a different approach using different colors, materials, or scales. After this step, we had to select one new shape, which was created by the six shapes, and draw it with different scales on sketchbooks put together. Those sketchbooks belonged to other students with who we were put in the same group. We then ended up with many shapes on out sketchbook that did not make much sense and had to select three shapes from those, draw them on a separate brown paper in order to cut them, and make a 3D structure. When the structure was made, we were asked to draw it using different tools, approaches, and different ways and techniques of drawing lines. When we came back for lunch, we took those same three shapes with which we had made the 3D structure and draw them on a very large scale, cut them, and find a way to join them all together on a model; though, the purpose was not to make garments out of those three shapes, but to have structures coming out of the body. Finally, we had to draw our model with the structures on her/him again in different ways using a range of tools, lines, techniques, etc. 

 

What I had found particularly difficult, was managing my time. I struggled with time with all other projects, but more this one in particular. This project was in the fashion and textile curriculum and this project involved creating shapes and structures from architectural shapes and structures. Because it is something I enjoy doing in my free time and because I have a strong interest in fashion and textiles, I wanted to come up with something extravagant and beautiful. I basically set myself higher expectations than what was asked, and this is one of the reasons why I took too much time recording buildings through drawing. I wanted my drawings to be perfect and beautiful and went for complex buildings and I could not achieve that in a such a short amount of time. Its also because of my personality as an artist. I produce amazing things when I take my time and do not rush things, when I think twice before doing anything, and mostly, when I am in a quit environment, sat, and comfortable in order to maximize my concentration. This project was totally the opposite which was very disturbing to me. When I work too quickly and rush everything out, my ideas become blury in my head. During thus project, they were and I felt extremely demoralized. Also, I wish we were introduced to some terms and line drawing  techniques in advance in order to avoid confusion during the project development. 

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Tuesday, October 10 -Your project day 2

This project was mainly focusing on textiles, texture, surface, and pattern, but with the same approach as the previous project, We asked to bring five objects that have a history and mean a lot to us. In groups of 5, we had to create a structure based on our group's objects. Afterwards, we have done many types of drawings and manipulations leading to the final outcome. The whole development was pretty much the same as the previous project since they are reacting to the same area. 

I personally had not found anything interesting or inspiring in the structure we have made. I think that is simply not how I would have approached it. I would not have made up structure from those objects, but would rather think about concepts or themes that each of the objects relate to. Mine were my 18th birthday Bvlgari ring which my parents gave me as a present, a picture I have taken of my family together, a mapple syrup bottle given to me as a birthday present, my favorite novel called A Thousand Splendid Sun, and finally a small booklet of my very first drawings I have done as a kid. I could go on and on about the history of each of those objects and why they are important to me, taking a personal approach and thinking to each of them. Each of them expresses different concepts based on the emotion, the history, and other aspects of my objects. What they all have in common is love, affection, and attachment. Just these three concepts could make up the base of a textile/fashion collection backed up with lots of research. Unfortunately, we obviously did not have time for this complex approach of mine; however, if we had have more time, that is how I would have approached this project.  

 

Reflection answers from teacher's questions 

 My perception and understanding of what textile is have not champed at the end of the day. I already knew that it less about the body than fashion is and more about touch, meaning surface, texture, pattern, and structure. Working in in collaboration can be very beneficial for me, or the opposite, depending on the people with whom I work and the energy they bring in. If the other person is outspoken, is interested, and shares all their thoughts, ideas, and opinions, than you are definitely getting something out of it. You are basically learning from others, discovering other ideas and possibilities, and it is a strength for you and the project; however, not everyone brings a positive energy. Indeed, I do not enjoy being with someone who is very quiet and does not share hoe/her ideas; someone who does not speak up, even they do not like they idea. The worst that can happen to em is when I am put with someone seems uninterested and therefore brings a boring energy to the project and the group. One of the members of my group during this project even left class during the middle of the day because she found the project boring, which was very disappointing. 

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Thursday, October 12 -Your project day 3, your interpretation

This project was mainly a combination of the tow previous ones. All three projects were very similar in terms of approach, development, and precess because we were using the same methods and drawing techniques in each one. After this week, I was able to make a clear difference between fashion and textiles: fashion is focusing more on the body, whereas textile is focusing more on surface, texture, and pattern. Other than that, the two are pretty much the same. 

We had done during the development of this one-day project multiple various types of line drawings, which we have also done with the two previous projects; however, there was one which I found particularly interesting. It was drawing lines by responding to music. It was the very first time that was ever introduced to this technique, and it was intriguing to see how each line was completely different than the other, based on the beat of the music playing. It almost felt like having the music's beat transferred into lines. That's what was interesting. I have to say that I was not very inspired by this project, especially since the final outcome had to be thought, planned, and made in groups. My group was not very dynamic and our final outcome was simply a bunch of pieces (plastic, paper, tissue) stuck together, which we later on stuck on the windows. It did not have any meaning or purpose and it was too easy. Basically just raking whatever we found and sticking them together. It felt meaningless. I was hoping making a garment or at least the sketch of one, but my colleagues were not very confident about it and thought it would ave been too hard to make. I do not appreciate these negative thoughts. Everything is possible and you can accomplish anything. Many other groups have done final outcomes based on garments, so could not we? 

Reflection answers from teachers' questions.

I believe the precesses sued across the fashion and textile disciples are, as far as I know, mainly about line drawings during the development. There is a variety of line drawing types such as continuous line and blind drawing and different approaches like responding to music or switching medium every minute. I personally did not find very inspiriting, because it is simply not how I get inspired. I mostly get my ideas from looking and observing whats around me, which I later on turn into garments on pieces of paper. But the previous courses have been very fast and quick, which did not give me the time to appreciate these line drawing techniques, but I believe that I could definitely get and learn something out of them if I end up in the Fashion and Textile curriculum area. 

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part 2: reflection

I think that for all my projects in part 2 the research was pretty weak because I now realize that I am constantly using then same research method and always looking for artists and inspiration through social media or books. For part three I definitely want to start looking at other points of reference such as exhibitions, traveling, galleries, the people that surround me, and my own environment. 

I have also experienced a lot of issues with time management because the collage process I have used in each of my projects isn't very fast. I had to use tracing paper in each collage process. I think I deafeningly want to start looking at other ways I can achieve my goals for mainly patterns, which I believe would be digitally through software apps.