REFLECTIVE JOURNAL - unit 7

HIGHGATE WOODS - 24/04/15

I went to Highgate Wood's today for the second time, and my level of confidence about my project from the first time till today is extremely higher. Now that my final model is done a lot of my confusion on whether or not my project is going to work out has diminished. I still have a lot to catch up on when it comes to updating my bibliography, and making sure all the annotations in my sketchbook are also entered on Workflow.

Compared to past projects, this one really feels different for me. I am the most proud of this project, I want people to see it, and I want to send around the photos that I took today in the wood's. Aside from the aesthetics of my project, I also feel pride in many other areas. 

I feel a lot more confident going into the workshop in the future, because I was able to experiment with more wood and plastics in ways that I hadn't explored in the past (different sanding devices that used to be scary to me). I am also very proud of my sketchbook and that amount of content that I decided to include because in my opinion I have always struggled to understand and edit exactly what is necessary to include. I spent a lot of time adding drawings with drawing paper and different coloured pens, and these things I used to stay shy of. Looking in my sketchbook I believe that I have analyzed and communicated the messages that I am taking away from my research.

This project was a huge growing spurt for me because I feel like I accomplished not only a product but a story.

I am also really excited to share the in context photos I captured today of my model and classmate Marek. It was a lot of fun to scavenge around the woods with him because he loves the outdoors and it felt really natural to photograph him. I think these photos are the perfect compliment to the studio photos that were taken yesterday.

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STUDIO PHOTO SESSION - 23/04/15

These past few weeks have really flown by. I remember looking at the schedule for this project in February and seeing the date for the photography session and wondering if I would have my final model done in time for the shoot because of all the extra things to keep up with like Workflow.

Thinking about this made me a little nervous, but I also knew that if I was behind in my making, that I could easily pull it off. Luckily I never had to deal with this, and my final model was made with time to spare.

I couldn't be more happy with the photos from the session today. It really makes a difference to me whether an object is professionally photographed or not, as this is something I have really picked up over the last couple years working in communications and being an amateur photographer myself. 

I have to say that my classmates and tutors were a big help when deciding what to do for my shoot. Because my survival kit is made up with some many small components I wasn't sure the best way to photograph it but Nicola's suggestion of taking it completely apart and then photographing the making process was really good for communicating my product. 

Grace and Nicola also were huge helps in my pre-production of capturing tests shots to show the photographer. I think this kind of planning really makes a different especially when you're working with a small time frame because it helps to not waste time.

 

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21/04/15

When talking about the final evaluation that must be handed in with our project next Tuesday, I really felt overwhelmed because I do think I tend to tear closer towards descriptive writing rather than going in depth and responding. This is something that I have really been trying to work on this year and I do think I have improved, but there is still so much more to improve upon. 

I found the exercise we did today to be useful because we went over examples, and Georgia was challenging people's responses to help support them to dig a little deeper. I hope I can be really analytical and get right down to it when it comes time for me to write my evaluation.

When speaking to Tom in the afternoon I was able to get some great words of encouragement which I have never really had before on any other projects. It feels good to genuinely be proud of my project and be excited about showing it in the exhibition.

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20/04/15

I have found that these past two weeks my making estimates have been off. What always seems like am easy job has taken me an extra day or two when it has come to working on my final model.

I finally received my Fluorescent Water-repellent fabric, so today was all about finishing that up and getting the final touches of my survival kit together. When I came in today I estimated that the insert would take an hour..maybe two tops. But it ended up taking me almost the full day. When it comes to planning it's probably best that I give myself more time for making exercises since I am still learning and am improving my efficiency.

I was maybe a little bit anal about making the measurements perfect because I did pull the measurements from scratch and eye balled it from laying all my contents out on the fabric.

Last week I had made a paper model for the insert that houses the tools in my survival kit but I unfortunately didn't have all my supplies so I improvised and substituted the waterproof matches and Paracord for two mini highlighters. This paper model definitely helped me when it came to mapping out the pattern on the actual fabric, and I've really learnt the value of making paper models this year. 

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16/04/15

I always find the PowerPoint presentations done by the tutors to be extremely helpful for keeping up to date on their expectations for us on our projects. Since we will be having our final models photographed next week, I really liked seeing what students did last year, because I often find that my style of photography is really simple and clean, but I am always blown away when I see something a little odd or quirky that makes me wonder how the individual thought of that concept. 

My survival kit is for those people who may be curious to explore the forest but as reluctant because they are nervous something could happen to them. Really it's to provide the essential's so the user can feel at ease knowing they have a survival kit handy. I think it will be really important for me to visit the forest with a model for my in context photos. I want to experience the survival kit and capture it in a photo essay type presentation that will connect with my audience. I really enjoyed my time at Highgate Wood's and think it would be a good location because of the interesting found structures and green mossy areas. I like the pops of colour along with the realness of the structures made by who knows who, left for passer-by's to be curious about.

I really need to come up with a good concept for the studio photoshoot to capture that awesome "Super Hero shot". Because my product has so many components and functions on different ends, It may be best to ever disassemble the piece all together so that I can capture a photo that shows the collection of the components together.

I'm confident that I can come up with something that will showcase my product...and if not, I know some pretty smart tutors and classmates that may have some valuable creative input...

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1415/04/15

I really need to get better at receiving criticism and not taking it so personally. When I'm feeling frustrated about something, or anxious about completing a project within a certain time frame, sometimes I just do wan't to hear the criticism because all I can hear in my head is, "execute, get it done, it's good enough!" 

I think in some situations I also still need to work on making the decision to move on from an unnecessary task, but other times I should really slow down, ask for some feedback because my tutors feedback is always so valuable. 

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13/04/15

Over the Easter break I really took it upon myself to collect as many materials as I could. I maybe did go a little overboard, but I didn't want to limit myself to having only one of two options for a compass and torch.

I seriously needed a tutorial and I found a lot of guidance from Simon on how to modify some of the components to my project to make it my own and not just take the easy way out. Because I want my survival kit to be extremely functional in every way, together simon and I came up with a solution on keeping the flashlight/lantern secure to the tube. This design put me out of my comfort zone because I still do feel intimated to work in the wood workshop because there is always so many people and so much going on. But I found it to be exciting and proud of myself when I made a proper cut on the ban saw, and actually accomplished making a round circle using the sander.

I know I have had a slow start getting into the workshops, but after today I definitely feel more confident and less nervous to ask my tutors and the technicians for help.

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EASTER BREAK OVERVIEW

My sketchbooks always seemed to lack flavour and excitement, so I made it my mission to jazz up my sketchbook over the break and make sure it was up to date. 

Ways that I did this was by adding annotations on why I liked something, or what my process was, as well as any material facts and feelings I felt for my collections in my book.

This project has been really exciting for me compared to the past projects which I have felt a little embarrassed about for some because of my lack of drawing skills and dull analysations.

I really took it upon myself to add as many secondary drawings as possible, where it would be a smaller image of something shown in a photo, or by using tracing paper to replicate it. I'm shocked to say even that I really enjoyed this process this time.

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HIGHGATE WOODS - week 29 - 06/04/15

After putting it off for weeks now, I finally made it out to the woods--dragged my mother with me as the official photographer--to conduct a materials and making experiment with found objects in the forest.

I knew I had to come prepared with minimal objects if I was going to get the most out of the exercise. The objects I decided to bring with me were small and medium sized zip-ties, these rubber ridged ties I found at the pound shop, string (all to help secure the found objects together), and a swiss army knife (to assist in cutting wood, plastic, or to assist in cleaning up the final object).

I think the biggest reason why I kept putting off this specific exercise was because I was nervous I wouldn't end up creating anything appealing. A couple weeks back I found an amazing example of tools made from found objects on a remote island (Poor Tools by Studio Fludd, How We Dwell + artist photographer Rachele Maistrello). They look beautifully put together, and the objects and their composition was so creative in my eyes because of the wide variety of items put together. My worrisome thoughts of not being able to produce the proposed slingshot and cutting type tool, were because I knew there would be a chance that I would not find the proper sticks, pieces of wood, and random materials to put together.

It wasn't very hard to find great sticks that would help be the base of my made items, but the additional pieces to pull them together were a bit trickier. I luckily found an amazing piece of broken tile that became the head piece on a mallet I created in additional to a stick and two small black zip-ties. Before finding it I found a beautiful piece of wood that I originally had an idea to carve into a knife, unfortunately the mini knife I had was too small for the thickness of wood. 

The beauty of the woods really reminded me of home and the nature that I grew up seeing daily in Canada. Seeing different types of tress and plants that I recognized from back home really gave me a sense of calmness and happiness. I also found different plants and trees that I had never seen before--one with various sprouts of small twigs grouped together. These new plants and trees really stood out to me because I had never seen them before.

But the most amazing part of my experience--asisde from creating tools out of found objects in the woods, that I am actually really proud of--was finding various man-made shelters made by who-knows-who scattered throughout the woods. It made me wonder who made them, and why? To me, they all looked beautifully made, with generally simple designs (sticks propped up against a larger tree), aside from a few that looked really intricate (probably took many people or hours to make). I was really happy to discover these all over the woods because when I first entered the woods I kept noticing sticks and the growth of branches that looked like that would be great as a structure.

I am relieved to say that this experiment was really successful in my eyes, on the basis that I walked away with made tools that I am proud to have made with limited resources, as well as that I stumbled upon these amazing man-made shelters that are perfect examples of what can be made in the forest.

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week 28 - 31/03/15

Finally feeling a sense of relief today having collected my remaining research that has been backed up for some weeks now. Aside from the collection of my research, I will still have to add some tasks to my list, like adding final annotations that were skipped over on Work Flow, adding this new research into my sketchbook, as well as annotating and analyzing the photos/new research in my sketchbook.

I initially planned to do some travelling during the reading (starting on Monday) but realized that I have much more catching up to do than I originally thought. Tomorrow will be a big day for me to get all of this new research into my sketchbook, so I will have to make the time tonight to have everything printed out, that way when I do travel (Thursday) I will have time to add drawings and analysis into my sketchbook while I'm on the train.

Having also emailed Essentra Components this morning, I can expect to receive the sample pieces that I ordered when I arrive back from my trip.

They had three items that look suitable for capping the end of the frosted acrylic tube that I purchased from the 4D Model Shop. Once the compass' and lights that I ordered arrive, I can start playing around with different design modifications to attach the two components together, seeing which option will be the most functional and basic, as well as aesthetically pleasing. This week I will also look at sketching up some initial ideas before they arrive.

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Blanking Plug: 61.0 mm

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Tube End Plug: 60.0 mm

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Parrallel Protection Plug: To Plug 60.0 mm Hole

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week 28 - 30/03/15

SO, I wasted a lot of time on eBay and Amazon looking for the "perfect" first aid kit essentials.

My main items I was focused on purchasing were a knife, Paracord (rope), water purification tablets, as well as waterproof matches. Because I like to get the best deal out there, I literally wasted so much time looking between eBay and Amazon for the best deal on these items. 

The positive is that I actually was able to order what I needed, but moving forward I really need to pick up the pace and stop wasting my valuable design development and experimentation time on the little things.

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SELF ASSESSMENT: week 27 - 26/03/15

Like always, the self assessment activity that we did this morning was eye opening. I think that it can be really easy to do really good and to do really bad on this Unit 7 project. It really all comes down to the amount of time you want to put into doing the tasks, but also to do them properly.

It was nice to go over the criteria with the tutors because I was a little confused in fully grasping some of the concepts. 

My biggest issues are will time planning and recording a thorough analysis of my research. Because I didn't know what to really expect when it came to the actual time lime for this project, I find my head wanting to move in a billion directions like, "move on from researching this topic, it's really irrelevant at this point when you need to be focusing on this," vs, "but I listed in my proposal that I want to research this area, so I better research it."

I have found myself rushing about and trying to get stuff into my sketchbook that I am merely adding research photos to Workflow without taking the next step in analyzing it. I need to make sure I don't make this a habit or it will really hurt me toward the due date when I'm scrambling to catch up.

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week 27 - 24/03/15

I have this idea in my head of what I want my final design idea to be, but I've really been struggling lately with pinning down the actually making techniques and processes that I need to do to get there and produce a final piece.

I need to make sure that every piece of the design is functional and I struggle with knowing how to actually produce specific ideas.

My tutorial with Simon really helped me to feel better and assured me that I don't always have to approach things in a complicated way. He suggested simplifying my design idea for how to change the flash light on the end of the tube to a lantern by using a simple rubber band instead of constructing a complicated metal closure feature.

Sometimes I need to remind myself to stop and think a little more simply. I should start to ask myself questions like, "how can you provide this function so that it's easy for the user to use, but is the most simple to construct."

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week 27 - 23/03/15

I think I really need to get serious about picking an aesthetic on how I want my kit to appear and function. I already feel so constrained for time and it's still the early weeks of the project. I need to let go of researching some areas that I proposed, that really won't be as useful to me at this point. My priorities need to be reevaluated and I need to remind myself to continuously do this throughout the project.

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week 26 - 19/03/15

I finally attempted to start making paper models of the four items I have set as a task to make. I achieved a finished paper model of a sling slot as well as a knife. I decided to go with a more compact pocket style knife because it is small as would be a good size to have in a compact survival kit.

I didn't really care for the look of the pieces that I created, partially because of the colours, and also because I don't think I approached them in the most out-of-the-box, creative way.

When it comes to paper models I think I have a more basic approach compared to some. It would be good for me to look online and maybe on some design blogs to learn some tricks and skills on how to make amazing paper models.

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week 26 - 17/03/15

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week 25 - 12/03/15

For me today, I felt really happy to get some more reassurance from Kathleen that my project has made progress and is on the right track. 

There are still some areas that I really need to catchup on, so I decided to write a list for myself to try and check some of these things over the next couple days. Lists always help me to keep organized, and I always feel satisfied and accomplished when I can cross things off.

I have been struggling to come up with primary research activities that I can do in connection to the forest and survival so during tutorial today I asked for help with this. Kathleen and the Nature Group helped with many suggestions, and we came up with creating four objects; a satchel, sling-shot, axe/knife (tool with blade), and a fire making kit--one set with materials found in the woods, one made with different weights of paper and a scalpel, and lastly another set made in the workshops. I love these ideas and am really happy with the brainstorming session results. I love the ideas because I think it will help me to discover a lot more about weaving, knot and making techniques with natural found materials, as well as making different shapes and designs. My goal is to look at these different aesthetics and discover which one I like best and which will be the best fit for my final outcome. 

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MAKING WORKSHOP - week 25 - 10/03/15

Today was my favourite day of taught class of this project so far. Although I've had my idea of designing a survival kit for some time now, I still have been feeling a little intimidated when it comes to thinking and working towards the final design. After today I feel really confident developing certain design aspects and functions like...how can I incorporate a torch/light that can rotate to be used in different directions or as a lantern? what is the best location for a compass? do I want the container/packaging to float/be water proof? what items/tools are essential for this kit? how easy is it to access the content of the kit? how will it be worn on the body?

All of these answers are in the works, but my peers as well as tutors, Simon and Tom, provided me with a lot of ideas and feedback. They offered names of different designers like Hikaru Imamura, as well as looking at TV shows based on survival.

One thing I had been wondering about for awhile was how I would go about making certain aspects to include in my design. Because I'm designing and making a kit certain products like a water canteen, or the mechanics of a lantern were things I wasn't sure how I'd work out. But both assured me that items like this that are already made are often purchased by designers as stock items and modified to their design and needs. For me this could mean purchasing a stock item and working on the packaging of it, and ensuring that the dimensions of it fit into my container/kit perfectly.

When it came to listing the functions of my product, that wasn't too hard, but deciding on the order of importance was a little more difficult. The main function would be provide survival tools to the user. I will prioritize that the design must be accessible, portable, compact and easy to carry.

With the suggestion of Simon, I went over to the pound store and looked to purchase already made products that I want to incorporate in my final design like a flashlight/torch/matches/lantern, compass/GPS, whistle, knife/scissors, water canteen, first-aid kit, and rope. Unfortunately my luck wasn't good and I only walked away with a flashlight head lamp. There was a wide range of flashlights and lanterns, but I went with the one I did because it was circular, compact, and the head has the ability to change angles and shine in different directions. I remembered I had some other useful materials at home and went there to pick up mini scissors, a small camping canteen, a water bottle, a torch, rope, and translucent plastic sheet scraps used in a past project. 

I was actually more pleased than I had expected from creating this test model. It was really reassuring that my tutors and peers were also impressed and confident that I created a good starting point for myself, because I have been so unsure with how my project has been progressing because I am so anxious to have all of my research done before working on my designs. A major aesthetic breakthrough was that I used a translucent material for the exterior of the vessel which made the content visible. Simon and Tom also really liked this because it makes it easier for the user to see where each item is inside. I also learnt that I would like to produce an item that encompasses a flashlight and compass on the ends of the container because it will offer easy access to the user. One of the most important things for the design will be to make sure there is no wasted space within the container, that all of the contents are thought out very well and are necessary, as well as that each item has an added function. Aside from aesthetics, the functionality is even more important.

I hope to keep experimenting with different designs for the vessel, as well as for the design inside the vessel and the items within. I will look at different organization systems, and sizing for the parts. I think at this point the help I need most from the tutors is ideas for experimenting with materials and design ideas.

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week 25 - 09/03/15

TEXTILE FORUM - week 24 - 04/03/15

Today I headed to the Textile Forum textile trade show in hopes of stumbling upon some interesting natural materials, like leather and fur. I was expecting the number of vendors to be larger but I found the variety of materials, patterns, and appliqués to be interesting. 

One booth in particular that I was interested in visiting was G.H. Leathers Ltd., which had been recommended to me by the materials librarian, Jess. They had a large range of cowhides, lambskins, furs, and more, with a wide range of colours. I was hoping to find a lambskin or cow leather tanned and dyed to a dark chocolate brown, but didn't quite find what I was looking for. I did however grab a sample of a thin black leather with a stretchy backing. Although I am not set with a design, I do this this leather would be easy to work with as it is thin, but depending on what I'm doing it may be too thin. I am interested to see what I will do in experimenting with this materials.

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week 23 - 01/03/15

Over the weekend I have been able to collect more art and design precedents, but they really seem to be never ending. I've really been struggling to know where the end is when it comes to collecting research. Because my background in research from my past College studies has been purely academic, I need to remind myself to not get over board when it comes to collecting textual references. I have been lucky to find so many design references related to the categories I am looking at, but still I feel I am struggling to leave one area and move on to the next.

I have been nervous to move my information collected on Workflow into my sketchbook, and there are so many areas that I am unsure of moving. I keep asking myself if each piece of information is relevant enough to move into my sketchbook or not. Because I am so confused with this, I think I am starting to waste time with the organization of my sketchbook. I decided that the best way for me to move along is to start leaving blank pages to be filled in later. I really want to check with Kathleen tomorrow at my progress tutorial to get her opinion on what needs to go in the sketchbook, and what needs to stay just on Workflow.

This week I have a lot of work to catch up on. I have ideas in my mind of products within the focus of survival, but I need to start getting them into my sketchbook before I fall too far behind. I want to explore the idea of creating some form of survival kit, but I still need to find a specific aim or target market to design for.

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WORKSHOP + NARRATIVES IN DESIGNING - week 23 - 26/02/15

The two workshops today were very unexpected, and very useful. I have really benefited from the past workshops, and although I may be frustrated at the time, I do really like them. These workshops were also frustrating and helpful for the most part. 

The first workshop I participated in was the Narratives in Design Tool Kit with Chris. Early on in my project I have been looking at different narratives so these exercises really helped me to understand them better. My partner Calvin and I looked at My Other Half by ROKOS. Luckily enough this product was easy to understand without further research of the item, and no back story was needed for me to understand. The other products that we looked at were necessary to look at the back stories to fully understand the product. Surprisingly I really had an okay time finding the correct answers for the cards because I understood the narrative of the product. This really helped me when it came to looking at the narrative of my project based on my direction. There are some holes in the WHY and WHAT of my project, both of which I am confident that I will figure out as the project progresses. I hope we can do this again at the end of the project.

For the afternoon design workshop with Kathleen, I found it helpful that we looked back on the process of our past projects to help build a skeleton of our afternoon activities. We spoke about the Structure & Surface project first, and ended up creating keywords for our group topic [Nature], like the keywords that were provided to us in our past project. Our group provided a number of different words, with my favourites being beauty, fear, shelter, life, survivor, layered, and adaptation. Next week I will look at collecting photos that represent those words to me, to share with my group. As a group we selected the two words fear and growth for the afternoon exercise. 

I think I have improved my drawing skills over the past couple months, but I am still nervous to draw sometimes because I know the quality of the drawings is not as strong as my peers. As we started drawing things that reminded us of ear and growth I felt intimidated by my group members drawings and struggled to come up with ones that I felt were to as high of a standard as theirs. I did however manage to fill the page with drawings that represented those words to me. A big step that I know I need to take is getting over the fact that I think I am a bad drawer, and just go for it.

Again, I felt like I struggled to come up with ideas when our group settled on focusing on creating ideas based on the fear of the unknown. I know I was over thinking it, and I believe that the time constraint to this exercise also was damaging to my thought process. I ended up settling with one of my designs that was a coffee table with a removable lid that wasn't for storage, but was actually a nesting pod for someone to sit in and relax. To me this has a connection to the unknown because often coffee tables offer storage not a space for a human to relax in. My paper model could definitely been improved and I hope to work on it sometime over the next couple days so that I can present something that I am happy with.

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NATURE GROUP OUTING - week 23 - 25/02/15

Today our group went to do some primary research at the Natural History Museum, as well as at the design shop SKANDIUM. I had never been to the Natural History Museum and found it a bit overwhelming. I had to keep reminding myself to look for inspiration in things that aren't directly related to my topic. This has been a huge challenge for me so far in the project and it's a small reminder to myself that is ongoing. 

For instance when it came to looking at the furniture and products at SCANDIUM, right away I was drawn to numerous simply designed items but didn't think to photograph them. After looking around I realized that it's okay to include them in my research even though they may not be a direct reflection to my project, but are of a design aesthetic that I love. Basically that shop was a jackpot of beautiful Scandinavian designs [designs I had included to research in my proposal], ones that I would love to have in my future home..

Mary and I carried on to visit a second shop, FOREST London, which has been on my list to visit from the start of the project. The designs were beautiful but I really found myself focusing on the materials, and the beautiful woods that were seen in common between the pieces.

It was an exhausting day, but I definitely feel accomplished in a sense that I was able to move away from behind my computer and experience something other than the Wold Wide Web.

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DESIGN DATING - week 23 - 24/02/15

After the three rounds of the Design Dating activity I felt really discouraged. The three people that I spoke with really didn't have much to say or offer about my topic and I kept having to drag answers out of them because the Forest wasn't a topic they were familiar with. Luckily my team mate Mary had a lot to offer, and I am excited to look into her recommendations.

When it came time for tutorials, I found myself frozen when I was talking to Georgia about my project. I didn't know which direction I wanted to take as I had originally wanted to move towards focusing on comfort and bringing the spirit of the forest into the domestic home, possibly through a furniture piece. But as I'm moving forward I find myself interested in survival, the different techniques and tools that people use as ways to survive. It was good to put it out there because Georgia convinced me to go with my gut and focus on survival for the project. Some areas I hope to research are different groups of people living in the forest, materials and designed objects and textiles, survival kits to use in the forest, forest schools, food, shelter, and the emotional side of survival (keepsakes, photos). I need to find an aim and vision, whether the narrative for the product is that the use has chosen to immerse themselves in the forest and be cut off from interactive life, or maybe even that the user is escaping to the forest to find ones self. The feedback I got was very useful because I did feel extremely lost.

I was unsure about the Nature group in the beginning, but I am actually finding it quite useful. So far we have been working together great, and everyone is making an effort to be involved and bring something to the table. I'm keen to set up some materials experiments with my group, but am also nervous that in the end I will have a bunch of experiments with no success. I guess that's the point of experimenting though..

We were able to set up an appointment with Jess in the Materials Library to look at natural materials. Not only did she provide useful books and materials, but she was able to share some trade shows with us. I have now signed up to visit the EcoBuild and Textile Forum shows next week in hopes of finding information on natural materials like leather, glass, wood and fur, as well as other interesting materials to experiment with.

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week 23 - 23/02/15

After talking to Kathleen today I feel very relieved on my progression of research thus far. Still earlier today I was really stressed out about getting all my areas of interest and categories fully researched before starting any initial ideas and experimentations. I expressed my concerns to Kathleen on not knowing how far along I should be in my research, and if I am taking on too much, as my areas of research are quite broad. She reassured me that not all of my research has to be done before starting my initial ideas and model making, and that it can continue to happen as I go along with these developments. I really need to remember this advice and not be anxious about not having all of my research done overnight. 

The group exercise today was interesting to me. At first I felt a little confused when it came to actually presenting with our group in front of the class. As a group, I think we needed more time to understand each others projects so we could identify our common areas of research. It was good to get together afterwards as a group, because I think we really made progress in understanding what we all wanted to get out of working together and our common areas of research. 

We have scheduled some field trips to the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Highgate Cemetery, and design shops like Forest London, Folklore and Scandium. 

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week 22 - 22/02/15

I am really proud of my progress today, as I have established a good amount of information on some of my category pages on Workflow. Some of the pages feel complete, while the still blank or incomplete pages are making me anxious. Even though I have made a huge dent in the research that I proposed to explore, I still feel like research can go on forever, so in a sense the complete categories still feel undone to me. 

The thought of the amount of work I need to get done this week really stresses me out, but I am confident that I can achieve it. By making a list of the areas I didn't complete from my timetable this past week, I think it will help me check them off for next week. 

TO DO LIST:

  • write up interview questions
  • send interview questions to participants
  • analyze this information
  • research insects 
  • research conservation vs. deforestation
  • visit FOREST shop
  • continue research on activities, aboriginal tools and techniques

Because I'm adding this to an already full list of things to do for week 23, I'm wondering now if my scheduling of tasks is unrealistic. It would have been really nice to find out from tutors before hand, where in our process we should be each week. Knowing this information would make me a little less stressed since I seem to be behind.

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week 22 - 20/02/15

To keep on track with my timetable/schedule and make sure that I don't miss any research categories that I want to explore, I took the time today to reorganize. 

By adding a page for each topic I think this will help me to present my information in a more organized way, and will be better for me too analyze because I am a visual learner. The layouts that I will try to stick to will be grouped into categories so I can then take that information and lay it out in my sketch book. After the Unit 2 Assessment, Georgia made a comment that my research should have more organization in the layout, instead of how I had random images kinda grouped together. 

I think this technique of starting the organization on workflow will help in me translating it into a well presented sketchbook.

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week 22 - 19/02/15

After being sick for awhile, I finally was able to collect my research and get it onto Workflow. I'm really worried about falling behind on this project, since it hasn't been as successful as I hoped at the start.

I tend to be a procrastinator and really put my work off because I always think there is time to catchup. While, I usually do find the time, it sometimes means I'm working into the wee hours of the night. The timetable/schedule that I have made is really straightforward so I really have no excuses. I need to remind myself throughout the project to checkup on my schedule daily to manage my time accordingly.

Week 22

16th – 20th February

Reading Week - Self Directed Research

-visit FOREST (Scandinavian Furniture Shop in London) to collect primary research and evaluate these findings

-research the climate, landscape, seasons, animals, insects, vegetation and sustenance, conservation efforts vs. deforestation, natural materials found in Scandinavian, Canadian, Russian forests

-research natural and man-made structures of the forest

-research recreational and industrial activities in forests, how indigenous people lived off the land (tools, practices, materials used)

-conduct interview with Jacqueline Rano, resident of Swedish Boreal forest and outdoor enthusiast

-conduct interview with Madeline Buscilla, resident of Canadian Boreal forest and outdoor enthusiast

-read books, e-books, magazines, articles,exhibition catalogues related to theme

-evaluate in reflective journal

Week 23

23th – 27th February

-research products and furniture used in the forest

-further material research

-research forest related design references on DesignBoom, Dezeen, Trendland

-research furniture and products used in the home that use materials from the forest, or inspired by forest

-research Canadian, Scandinavian, Russian art + design precedents (Hudson’s Bay Company, Arne Jacobsen, IKEA)

-collect information on design traditions and practices from proposed countries (Modern Scandinavian Design)

-start initial design ideas (20)

-present research and initial design ideas to peers and tutors for feedback

-evaluate in reflective journal

Week 24

2nd – 6th March

-visit design shops to look for Scandinavian designs

-secondary research for any additional areas based on design ideas

-develop design ideas further

-experiment with materials in workshop

-create models for potential final ideas

-present research and models to peers and tutors for feedback

-evaluate in reflective journal

Week 25

9th – 13th  March

-develop design further for chosen final design idea

-experiment with materials in workshop

-have final drawing with measurements to help guide production process

-start creating first prototype for final design

-present prototype to peers and tutors for feedback

-evaluate in reflective journal

Week 26 16th – 20th  March

-create second prototype for final design

-make changes if needed

-present prototype to peers and tutors for feedback

-evaluate in reflective journal

Week 27

23th – 27th March

-start to create final model with proper material and to the specified dimensions

-present prototype to peers and tutors for feedback

-evaluate in reflective journal

Easter Holiday

Week 1

-travel to Norway to visit Boreal forest and collect observations and research

-evaluate in reflective journal

Easter Holiday

Week 2

-ensure all work is up to date in sketchbook, Workflow

-evaluate in reflective journal

Week 28

13th – 17th April

-finish up final model with proper material and to the specified dimensions

-test final model

-start A2 sheets

-evaluate in reflective journal

Week 29

20th – 24th April

-update final drawing based on the latest model

-produce digital drawing in Google SketchUp

-photograph final product and put in context with final visualisation

-finish A2 sheets

-evaluate in reflective journal

Week 30

27th April – 1st May

Setting up the Exhibition on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th April.

Final submission deadline for Part 3 Assessment is Tuesday 28th April, 4.00pm

Resources required:

I will need support when it comes to working with natural materials like leather, fur and resin, and developing my making and joining techniques with these materials. It is likely that I will need to use all workshop spaces at some point to conduct experiments with these different natural materials. When it comes to sourcing appropriate materials, I will also need assistance in this.

Assessment evidence that you aim to have:

At assessment I will submit a finished product that is not only aesthetically appealing, but is also functional. I will document my research, development, and experimentation in my sketchbook and my information file on Workflow. I will also produce a series of A2 sheets that are an edited version of the highlights and processes of my unit 7 project. My work will be analysed and reflected in my reflective journal on Moodle. At the end of this project I will be able to provide an updated and completed bibliography done in Harvard style Referencing.

 

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UP ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - week 21 - 10/02/15

I've been really struggling with what to do after graduating from the Foundation Program in May. I had originally planned to find something in this program that I could pursue as a business for myself. Then I quickly learned that I have much to learn still. Recently I have been looking at jobs back home in Canada, but I felt a little disappointed in the thought of leaving London to go home to a mediocre job, probably not directly involved in product design.

I have grown to love London and the things I have experienced at CSM in the Foundation Course--developing as a designer, learning about different techniques and practitioners, and learning skills in the workshop--and I want to continue to grow as a designer so I can actually go after a career in this industry. Having not applied for any BA course, I felt this sense of sadness on my way to school today for the UP Engagement Activity because I really want to continue learning and developing.

With the help of my tutor Georgia, I have contacted UAL to see about handing in a late application for 3D Design at Camberwell. I selected that as my first choice, and CSM Product Design as my second, because I really love the diversity that Camberwell has to offer. I like that it is more focused on making and building (I am a very hands on learner) and I am very curious and excited to learn new things in the workshop. I hope that the 3D Design program at Camberwell will accept late applications as this depends on the amount of applicants at the actual deadline that I missed. This has been a huge learning lesson as well, because I should have just applied anyways despite my financial situation, so I could keep all these doors open for myself. I hope this late decision can actually work out because I really value the opportunity to stay in London and learn more about design at UAL.

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WHAT'S YOUR CONTEXT? - week 21 - 09/02/15

I really enjoyed todays workshop on context because I felt like my thoughts about my project really started to flow. I had ideas coming to my head faster than I could write them down. Because of where I grew up in Canada, surrounded by wildlife, I feel like I have an advantage to my project [Forest] even though I know there is a lot of information that I have yet to learn about.

One of my biggest issues based on the success of me filling out the web today in class, is that my topic crosses over into many areas. I will have to try my best to pick up on the relevant categories early in my research that will help me to move forward with my project so I am not overwhelmed with this broad amount of information and directions.

I will research my theme by looking at books, e-books, magazines, articles, design shops, exhibition catalogues, online sources such as Government and historical websites, Dezeen, Trendland and Design Boom, as well as conducting personal interviews. I think I will be able to find a large array of information by looking at these sources, because they will all have different information to offer, and will present me with a different experience and perspectives.

When I've been asked to talk about my project so far I have been really excited about the topic. But one thing in the back of my mind is that I haven't really had a project so far that I am really really proud of, so I will have to make sure that this project is something that I am really proud of.

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V&A - week 20 - 08/02/15

My first trip to the V&A was a little overwhelming because I found some of the areas--like the Ceramics section on the top floor--to be amazing, but very very crowded. To be honest, I felt embarrassed that I had never been before and I really wanted to start this new project off on an ambitious foot.

I had researched that the V&A has a Furniture gallery, as I was really hoping to see if there were any Scandinavian pieces of furniture on display. Unfortunately, the gallery was closed for maintenance which was disappointing, but I hope to revisit again soon.

Although the V&A has a lot of art to offer, I felt rushed going from place to place because I knew there was so much to see. When visiting larger museums like this, I hope to work on being more patient and aware of my surroundings. I can understand why areas like ceramics may seen crowded because there is so much to see and only a certain amount of space. But for me, it almost made me more nervous to rush through quicker because I did feel overwhelmed.

Next time I really hope to feel less stressed about time, and enjoy the museum at a slower pace. I hope that I am able to soak in a little more once the Furniture gallery is reopened.

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LIBRARY RESEARCH - week 20 - 06/02/15

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BRIGHTON MUSEUM & ART GALLERY - week 20 - 02/02/15

I really love the way Modern furniture looks because of the simplistic nature of it. The materials are usually minimal, yet the designs always seem to make an impression on me because of the typical cleanliness. 

Having stumbled upon the Post War/60s section at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery I felt really excited to see some beautiful Organic Modernism furniture where design practices were surrounded the innovative design centred on Scandinavia and Italy. When thinking of my Unit 7 project, I knew I wanted to pick a theme where I would have the opportunity to research the design structures, practices, materials, and designers of Mid-Century Modern furniture that started in Scandinavia.

I love Scandinavian furniture because of the simplicity, simple colour schemes, and natural materials, and I felt like so far in the foundation program I haven't given myself the opportunity to experiment with furniture design...until now. Because I have focused on household decor products in the past, I really hope to come up with some great furniture design concepts for my initial ideas so I can explore this side of product design.

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PICKING A THEME - week 20 - 01/02/15

I want to look at the history of Scandinavian style design, which is hugely influenced on nature and weather, and produce a line of timeless domestic products where functionality meets aesthetics.

Because Scandinavian winter's are known to be cold and long with few hours of sunlight, the true essence of Scandinavian design incorporates brightness, light, and practicalness. 

Within the theme of Scandinavian Nature, I want to look further than researching Scandinavian product and furniture designers, and how their designs are influenced by Scandinavian nature. Area's that I will research will be based on the geographical characteristics of the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. I will look at the history of Scandinavian architecture, characteristics of the materials used in this genre of design (wood, clay, leather, metal, fur, linen, wool, granite), traditions and celebrations (Midsummer's Eve), production practices, climate, folklore, animals, greenery, forests, and flowers.

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