What feedback did you get from your project review?
We were divided into groups to talk about our project proposal with our classmates. My initial concept for my project was about "Loneliness" because I want to explore people's inside feelings. Even they look happy but they might not feel happy in their heart. I explained this to my group members and they said that my topic might be a little bit too broad, therefore I decided to research a bit more to get myself focused.
We also had a keyword workshop to help us find the focus point and I found this workshop really helpful because we were asked to pick out eight key phrases to summarise our project. Those keywords can be our key research point, a few focused research area can form a strong final concept.
There are few artists I found inspiring in TATE Modern such as Richard Patterson and Edward Hopper. I have put them into my research.
Did the workshop highlight any research suggestions that I had not considered?
We were divided into groups of three or four for the speed dating workshop. We were asked to listen to each other's project review and give them some research references. My group members gave me some new research reference such as animes, she said that it might be helpful to look at some imaginative stories about the loneliness that created by someone. Because the director of the story might not suffer from loneliness, maybe he/she was inspired by one of his/her friends. It is always different to look at something from another view.
I have found a film called 'Summertime', it's a British film directed by David Lean and published in 1955. It talks about a middle-aged woman finding her destiny before going back to grim reality. The director said:" I think loneliness is in all of us; it is a more common emotion than love, but we speak less about it. We are ashamed of it. We think perhaps that it shows a deficiency in ourselves." This summarised my concept very well.
Did the workshop identify new areas of research?
Not really, as they said that I already have a focused area to research. Therefore, they just suggested me some more artists and other types of references. I will keep following my action plan and updating my bibliography.
Did the workshop highlight any aspects of my project that I had not yet considered? / Did the workshop highlight any new interpretations of my research?
We had a research images workshop and we get the chance to see other people's images. Some of their research images inspired me to look at things that show a feeling of loneliness by using colourful and busy elements not just images with one person doing something alone. I found some sculptures really interesting which show the relationship between human and environment. After looking at other people's research, I was inspired to look at how the surroundings can affect people's lonely feeling.
Did the workshop help me identify new areas of research?
This workshop has helped me to identify a new research area such as surroundings and environment. This referred to some comments I get from other people about my research images, they said that some of my research images do not show loneliness straight away but when they focused on the background or some specific elements they can feel the loneliness.
Did the workshop change the direction of my project?
Not really but it inspired me to research in another related area.
I had a tutorial with my proposal with my tutor and she looked through my sketchbook to give me some suggestions. She said that I have a really good amount of selective research images but she advised me to wrap them up a little bit to make sure that they are all used. After all the research I have done till now, I want to make something that surrounds the body and is able to show the reverse sides of a lonely person.
We were given a drawing task to do, we need to come up with different ideas on different parts of the body. This helps us to choose the most suitable area to design. It is the most efficient way to testing positions and the scale of the design. I already have an idea of what I want to design, all my initial designs have a common element which is being surrounded. This idea was used in the models I made from the material workshop and I think I need to put reversed sides into my design as it is a really important detail to show in my design.
We were asked to make a model on the body to summarise our ideas and take photographs. I decided to make a cross-body bag which has reversed surfaces because I feel like the chest area is the most important part for a person to feel warm. The whole idea was inspired by a comforting pose which is hugging. Reversed surfaces are designed to show how lonely people look like from the outside and the inside. I used some wooden sticks to make the outer shape and a string as the belt. I made this to test the size of the bag and my next step is to test the actual material. I already have some choices of materials such as wool, leather and acrylic. My aim is using the spare time after my individual tutorial and lessons next week to test out these materials and has a finalised design next Thursday .
Reflect on your theme.
Initially, I was trying to continue with the concept of depression which caused by many reasons, however, I found out that it is too broad to be researched and I decided to focus on a certain area which is 'Loneliness'. I deleted all the research I have done on workflow for 'Depression' but I regret my decision as I did not change the main direction of my project, I followed my research plan which is researching three small areas, the behind story, the hidden thoughts and the resolves. After the tutorial with my tutor, I am glad that I narrowed my focus but still feel remorse about deleting the research pages I have done as it is a part of progress. The theme was decided as 'Beneath The Loneliness'.
Evaluate your sketchbook work.
I have done an amount of research on different aspects such as paintings, books, sculptures, photographs, music and so on. I did some collages with these research images to show my concept. I have done some idea sketchings but they are all raw thoughts not well-designed with the human body. After the workshop we did with our tutor, I have transferred some of my rough ideas to a design that can be worn on the body. The final decision of position is a cross-body bag in front of the chest.
Review your research.
I have developed a range of ideas from my research, but I did not think that I have done enough experiments with positions on the body although I have already decided where my design located. I have made one model which is originally worn on the chest but after the workshop that I did with my tutor, I added an unusual part to my design to make it more interesting and has more choices of body parts for wearing.
Reflect on your ideas development.
I have just started my idea development and I had a tutorial with one of my tutor. The feedback was good but she suggested me to develop not only one initial idea even I knew what I am going to make as it will be a part of my idea development. I might not found the other idea useful but it will still give me some ideas on choices of materials and manufacturing processes.
Reflect on your subject specialist approach.
I have focused my project on helping people to tell their lonely feelings and making them feel being cared or protected. As I am going to make something that can show the lonely feelings, my design will have reverse sides such as one side tough, one side soft to display how lonely people actually feel. They pretend to be strong and calm on their faces but they actually have yearnings for people's care. After the discussion with my tutor about my concept, I decided to make a cross-body bag that has two layers, one hard layer, one soft layer.
Reflect on your time management. Define your aims.
I think I spent a bit too much time on research at the start, therefore not much time on experimenting with materials, shapes, and sizes. I think I should spend more time on developing my strongest initial ideas to build a strong idea development base for my final design. I will start making my prototypes to make sure that I have time to change my plan if something went wrong while making.
White Hat: Factual.
- I have made a 3D model based on the body to test position and size.
- It will be located across the chest and will be made out of knitted wool and steel rods.
- I am certain that it will be a cross-chest bag.
- Metal will be spot welded together and knitting pieces will be hand-sewed together, there is no gap in my knowledge of my design.
Red Hat: Emotional.
- They may focus on the concept of my design and wonder how I am going to make my final piece to achieve my aim.
- I hope they will be pleased with my research, idea development and final idea.
- I am afraid that they think my idea is too simple and boring.
Black Hat: Negative.
- The joining of materials might cause the problem and the way of forming the shape of chosen materials.
Yellow Hat: Positive.
- It is clear and easy to understand. I have used collages to explain my ideas and drawings to experiment with positions.
- I have a range of research references.
- I need to do more research and development on some of the ideas to make the thinking process more abundant.
I had a more clear consideration towards my project after doing this project and it is different to my normal process of reflection. It analysed my whole project from more area and can be more detailed than usual.
I started my making process and I went to the metal workshop for advice. My choice of material for the hard layer of my bag is steel rods and they have different sizes rods which can add more structure to my design. I chose the wider rods to make the outer shape of the bag, it was a bit hard to cut and band and I had a little trouble while I was spot welding them together as it's three rods. After spot-welded them together, I cut out some thinner rods to add more details.
I began to think about the soft layer and I bought some wools, they are made from different materials which means the pattern and the feeling of touch are all different from each other. I planned to use each type of wool to knit a small sample as materials experiment for the soft layer of my bag.
I have made my decision on the choice of final material for the soft layer of my bag. After the comparison of three different types of wools, I chose the softest one to knit because it has really soft and warm feelings to touch. This is what I want my customer to feel when they are using the bag.
While I was knitting, I tried to match the size with the steel rods structure but it appeared bigger than the hard layer. I decided to put the soft layer on the outside and the hard structure inside as I said at the beginning of this project that I want to show people how lonely people actually feel. People who are lonely might not want to talk about their sadness and emptiness in their heart to someone else and this will be what my design does.
The soft side shows the softness and weakness of the heart and when the bag was opened, the hard structure will be reviewed. Also, when the bag is worn on the body, the person who is wearing it can hug the bag like hugging a teddy bear they used to play with when they are young or someone who can comfort them.
REFLECTIVE REVIEW APRIL 2017
I started my research based on 'Depression' at the beginning and I planned to research from different viewpoints. After I researched a bit into the area, I found out that this topic is too broad to be researched. Therefore, I narrowed my focus by moving my focus to 'Loneliness', which is a part of my research for 'Depression'. I have found a number of different references from different aspects of art and I used some of the images to collage my concept. This gave a better visual than just sticking images onto my sketchbook and also a better understanding of the reference. What I feel for 'Depression' is there are too much to research and after I narrowed my focus, I feel more relaxed and organised.
I first began my idea sketchings with three keywords that I picked out from my proposal. I developed my ideas from the three quick sketches by drawing onto different body parts. I picked out two ideas which are the most interesting ones and researched deeper to develop these two ideas. The total amount of idea development I did is not as much as research but all I did can be linked back to the research. After the tutorial with my tutor, she said that my research is good but I need more contents on idea developments even I have already had a definite idea of what I am going to make. She suggested me to develop some of my initial ideas a bit more by making more models or doing more sketches as experiments.
My whole making process dose does not have very challenging parts but making the chain which secures the bag on the body is very tiring. I used wider steel rods to make the chain and it is very hard to cut and bend it to a closed ring shape. It took me a big amount of time to finish the chain but luckily I do not need the ring shape to be perfectly round, this made my whole process so much easier. After I finished the metal structure and the chain, I decided to spray them white as I do not want my design to have too much colour. I used a white metal primer before I spray paint the whole thing but what I did not expect is the thicker the layer is, the easier it will come off. I have sprayed them few times to make sure the colour is fully painted but when the whole thing comes together, the colour of those joining parts still came off very easily due to friction.
Teachers' suggestions and workshops are also very important parts of my project. If they did not give any advice, I might go on a wrong way with my design. Especially I decided to use acrylic instead of steel rods at first but my tutor suggested me to use steel rods as it is easier to form shapes.
Has my project changed from what I initially proposed - if so, why? and how?
The main concept of my project changed once at the beginning when I started with 'Depression' which is too big to research for the time limitation and to keep my change to the least I chose to focus on 'Loneliness' instead as it is a part of my research for 'Depression'. It was a shame that I deleted all the research I have done for 'Depression' as I thought they were not all related to what I am doing now. I did not realise that they can be a good thinking process to be recorded.
What is the most successful and what is the least successful aspect of my project?
I have done an amount of research for this project, therefore the final outcome is better than I expected. The most successful part can be the final outcome and photography as it comes out 100% like what I want it to be. I did not expect the final to look good as my time management for experimenting and modeling was not very much. I think I lost the balance between research and idea development as I did not get the chance to test out the fitting of two layers of the bag. Therefore, I will say idea development will be the least successful aspect of my project.
What are my strengths and my weakness?
I think I am good at researching by using different media such as watching videos, surfing website and visiting exhibitions. I love doing research for my project to make sure that it has a good foundation and this is also where the problem occurs as I cannot control the time I spent on research properly. This will lead to the lack of time in other areas such as idea development. It is very important for me to stick to the action plan I made and I think it will be improved in the future.
Assuming I have achieved my intended outcomes, could I now take these concepts and ideas further? if so, in which way?
I had two interesting initial ideas and what I made is developed from one of them, so if I have time, I think I will take the other idea further to make another piece of work which represents the same concept. My second idea is a headpiece which is very different to what I have created for this project, the idea of the headpiece is to preventing any bad feedbacks or negative emotions away from the wearer and giving the wearer a sheltered feeling. Because from my research, I knew that when people feel lonely, they need something warm and safe to make them feel protected. This can be my main aim for this idea if I can take it further.
Looking back on my project, are there additional research development or outcomes I could have chosen to improve my submission?
I would choose to expend my idea development part a bit more as I did not manage the right amount of time on research at the beginning. If I made the right time management, I would be able to make some more models to test out the sizes of the two layers of the bag and the structure of the bag. It will make my submission even better if I did so.
Did I achieve what I set out to in my proposal?
I think I have achieved roughly 80-85% of what I set out to in my proposal. As I did not expect my final outcome to be good and the photographs have gained me a lot of marks. The part that I lost will be idea development, models, and experiments.