London Design Festival & 100% Design

This weekend I decided to take a break from the job hunt, do some networking and take a look around both The London Design Festival in Brick Lane and 100% Design trade show at Olympia.

Both shows were very busy, with tons of people and so many great and innovative designs and designers. Products ranging from lights to chairs, ceramics and posters all with their own unique features and selling points. Both these shows were really a celebration of what design is and great way to expose non-designers to the benefits of this.

As I was walking around 100% Design I soon realised that this was mostly a show aimed at home furnishings, furniture etc. but I spotted one small stall that had posters, tea towels and other products similar to an Etsy shop. I stopped and started to speak to the owner, a young woman who had finished her degree and was trying to make it on her own while working for a studio.

This was really an inspiring conversation for me because it showed me that even though she was busy working, she didn’t give up on her aspirations of creating her own designs. Also she was willing to advertise her designs and services at a fair that wasn’t even aimed at graphic design, it was that dedication that lit a fire under my ass.

It really made me think about this year and what I want to get out of it, answer= everything! so I’m going to try my hardest to do just that!

The Search is ON!

Finally…it’s time…

I mean I have been searching for jobs over the summer on and off but now the real work begins and if I’m honest I am slightly daunted. Before it all seemed a bit surreal like playing at dress up, but now its actually happening and I can feel the pressure. Yes me Shani Travers has to be an actual adult and its scary, but instead of running and hiding under the covers I’m going to step up to the plate and face it head on.

Although it may seem slightly scary, I’m glad that I have this DPS year safety net and in all honesty have major respect for everyone who decides to go it alone after uni *pauses to clap.* The amount of non-replies (not even no’s) is enough to make anyone quit, but luckily I have my fellow DPS’ers (not a word…but meh) to help me through and let me know it’s not just me.

Even though I have all these wonderful people, I still want to put some steps here to motivate me and to look back at. Also maybe help anyone else struggling and looking for graphics jobs:

  1. Stay positive – No matter how many non-replies or No’s you get, keep positive, it will happen.
  2. Persevere – No reply? keep emailing they can’t ignore you and shows your interested in working for them.
  3. Keep Track – Note down all the places that you applied to, it makes it easier to follow up various places you’ve applied.
  4. Constantly Change –  Change and adapt your portfolio and CV for different types of jobs, maybe even do some specific work, similar to the studio.
  5. You Are Amazing – DON’T, I REPEAT DON’T DOUBT YOURSELF – Just because you don’t get replies, does not make you less of a designer, keep trying someone will appreciate your fabulousness!

Time to go and kick butt!!

 

Shoes, shoes, shoes

When choosing fashion cultures I understood that we were going to delve into the history of it and how it has relevance today, but when I got to the session we were asked ‘What is Fashion?’ and initially I was stumped what was fashion? was it self expression or identity? or just merely the things we put on to be modest? After brainstorming this for a while we came to the conclusion that there is not one set meaning, we learnt this more as the lecture went on that fashion could have several meanings; it could be shelter, to keep modest, have a certain purpose like wellies for wet rainy days (utility) and even to show status and superiority.7bf591185d4f675e44d0111989d2b860

After we had learnt about all the different meanings fashion could have, we got given a shoe with no indication of where it was from or what it was used for (which I thought quite strange to start with but all was to be revealed). Ours was and old leather shoe that look liked it was deteriorating, well preserved, but very worn and when we saw it we instantly thought school shoe. We then had to brainstorm what category the shoe would fit in, at first we thought it would be utility because of the school shoe vibe we initially had, but with more discussion we decided on the category class and status. We decided this because we made a guestimation of the time in which theses shoes were first used, we thought the victorian era and at that time there was a clear distinction between the classes, where the poor where poor and the rich extremely rich. which meant the poor had to use what they had to excess hence the worn appearance of the shoes. We then had to find a piece of writing that reflected this we chose a piece from the book by Fred Davis ‘Fashion, Culture and Identity’  about how now the worn is seen as more fashionable 

“Jean fading and fringing. Evocative of a kind of conspicuous poverty, faded blue jeans and those worn to the point of exposing some of the garments warp and woof were soon more highly prized, particularly by the the young, than new, well-blued jeans” (Davis 1992)

The Author

“ I see my self as someone who makes things. Definitions have never done anything to constrain” (Safran Foer)

Is the thought that really resonated for me after this weeks lecture, about the designer as author. The ability to come up with an idea and see it to fruition is something that I believe have taken for granted, but from the 16th-19th century it was only the authors that had an ownership over language, except for the preachers and jurors. But now because of the introduction of technology, web 2.0 and interactive media everyone now has that power and as graphic designers we are now able to eliminate the client and create a piece of work that is solely ours.

Because of this development, and our ability to be a part of all areas of production, artists and designers can no longer view their work as just visual, it has to be thought about and have a meaning and/or have a purpose.

But can we be effective authors as well as designers? George Orwell says that ‘you need to discard your personal experiences write a good piece of writing’ and I definitely know as a designer I allow my personal experiences and upbringing, sometimes not knowingly, influence my design work, does this mean my work is un affective or is it a different and unusual way of designing?

An example of  an interesting way of working is when John Cage an American composer realised, from being in an anechoic chamber and only being able to hear his heart beat and circulatory system, that anything could become a piece of music, that the sounds around us are a piece of music all on their own, so he came up with “ 4’33” a composed piece where the musicians didn’t play there instruments at all, just the sound of the environment can be heard, allowing the audience to take in and notice the sounds around them, interpreting what they want from the piece.

                     

As well as an interesting concept, this could have been an early example of the author giving the power to the reader (in this case listener) by turning the readers and spectators into collaborators, to share in the process of meaning making.

“the birth of the reader but be at the cost of the death of the author” said Bartes and that “to give a text to an author is to impose a limit on that text”, and in a way I agree because as designers we set out for a piece to mean one thing to us but to someone else it could mean something completely different, but now with interactive media we are able to put our work out the the public, via blogs and social media allowing us to see how others view and interpret our work, continuing to make the author relevant.

Gregory Crewdson

I our introduction to our brief we got shown this photographer. Brooklyn born gregory Crewdson is most known for his big cinematographic pieces set in american homes and neighbourhoods. He shoots as if he is on a movie set with lighting cameras and special effects to make sure his images are as atmopheric and real as possible sometimes even taking several weeks to shoot one image. With Hitchcock and speilberg as his influences he seems to cature a moment of ordinary everyday life and make it extraordinary.

‘Untitled’ (Sunday Roast) from the series ‘Beneath the Roses’

‘Untitled’ (Maple Street) from the series ‘Beneath the Roses’

Crewsdon’s images really caputure the soul of the place that he is photographing, or maybe even the atmophere he wants to to feel and I think he will be a great influence when filming phase one of this brief.

Genius Loci

“It was a solitary house, standing in a sadly neglected garden: a pretty even square of some two acres. It was a house of about the time of George the second; as stiff, as cold, as formal, and in as bad taste, as could possibly be desired by the most loyal admirer of the whole quartet of Georges. It was uninhabited, but had, within a year or two, been cheaply repaired to render it habitable; I say cheaply because the work had been done in a surface manner, and was already decaying as to the paint and plaster, though the colours were fresh”

Charles Dickens – Haunted house. 

This piece of text that we were given on our brief, I think perfectly describes and demonstrates the aim of our second brief this term ‘Genius Loci’ which means “the spirit of a place”. Even though the house explained is an inanimate object the way Dickens describes it, it gives the house a “soul”, an atmosphere that allows the reader to create an idea of what this house might actually be like. This is what we have to achieve with phase one of our brief, a short 10-15 second film of an everyday place that we encounter and can access easily. We are then to expand on this in a phase two and create two other pieces that will do the same thing. I am excited for this project because it is so open and allows so many possibilities for different outcomes and experiment like crazy 🙂

Wasting time on the Internet

Have you ever thought about how long we spend browsing through mindless stuff on the internet? Most of the worlds’ population use the internet mainly for looking up cute/stupid cat videos, trick shots and shark attacks. But have you ever thought of using the internet to completely write an essay? No neither had I, being in my first year of uni meant getting the idea of plagiarising material from the internet is a cardinal sin, drilled into my head. But today in my lecture we explored just that, the idea of appropriating, plagiarising and transcribing, taking the work out of context to give it new meaning, changing how it is interpreted.

We looked at the work of Kenneth Goldsmith who conducted a 10 week programme in Pennsylvania, that encouraged his students to ‘get lost in the web’ promoting the idea that lifting information from the internet opens up different questions about the person that has appropriated the information, their background, history and biases and passions. And instead of classing the appropriation of these texts as plagiarism, he sees it as sampling, and refers to them as ready-mades, looking at it as information to reassign the meaning of or look at differently. For example it has been used in the music industry, where many artists have sampled other artists’ beats and melodies to create something new and exciting to be listened to. Also in artistic movements such as DADA and by artists like Marcel Duchamp and his famous example of the urinal.

Goldsmith argues that literature as a whole is behind in the respects of sampling and ready mades, and should get with the times, which I agree with because it would make essays a hell of a lot easier to write! And not only take into consideration academic ability but the personality and ideals of the writer.

If you want to read more about the idea of wasting time on the internet you can find the original article at this link:

http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/wasting-time-on-the-internet

Crimes Against Design

Our current brief is all about ‘Crimes Against Design’ Its about identifying the ‘bad’ design in an allocated area or design that we don’t believe is communicating effectively and completely redesign it. It is a chance to explore the effectiveness of design and the impact it has on how something is perceived or received, and to think strategically about design location, messaging and use. Our allocated area is around the Moorgate/Barbican area.Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 20.08.09And we are required to work in groups for this project and i’m excited, because it is a chance to gain other peoples perspectives on a situation and generate more ideas and hopefully come up with an interesting outcome.

 

Apologies…

To be honest this is my first time blogging and i’m finding it hard to keep updating my blog as much as I should. Getting into a routine of updating and sharing my work is hard when so many other things are going on at the same time, but now I’am going to try to make more of an effort to update and blog at least once a week, hopefully it will work out 🙂