1/2/17 Choosing the themes
I started unit7 by looking into myself, trying to figure out what "I" like and interested in. One of the things I love to do is to walk around the city on a nice warm day, enjoying the atmosphere. Back in South Korea, I used to walk around the city and spend the day at wherever my steps take me. I often went to the Han river park (which is like the Hyde park but with a huge river) and enjoyed the park's greenery in the middle of the city.
However, I haven't had much chance to walk around in London; firstly because of the weather, and secondly because of the dull and narrow streets. Therefore, I have decided my big theme as "streets", and to design a product that goes up on the streets. I am planning on going out to various streets in London, research what the real problem is, and what I could design to solve the problem.
Another theme I have in my mind is a "comforting furniture". I love being comfortable mentally and physically. I am thinking of designing a furniture that gives me a feeling of hugging. However this is just my second choice and I want to focus on the first theme.
9/2/18 Primary Research @Saatchi Gallery & @Gallery Miro
I decided to do some research on installation arts.
Two days ago, I visited the Saatchi gallery because I've heard some great reviews about the gallery. I was able to find a few unique modern paintings and installation artworks. One of the most interesting pieces were the twisted form of installation work, which was covered in the feathers of a crow. It was pitch black and had a very strong impression. Another inspiring installation was this table looking object with small trees stuck on it. I thought of incorporating real natural elements to a design, making the streets more green.
I also visited Gallery Miro, which was very near from where I live. However I could only find the series of lighting from the gallery. All the lightings were shaped in a certain order with layers of plastic.
13/2/18 Organizing Ideas
Now I have done quite a lot of primary research as I walked around the city and explored different area's streets. While doing the primary research, I kept on thinking of how important street is in our community. People spend a lot of time on the streets as a means of spatial relocation. Every day, people are confronted with different surroundings and sceneries that construct a certain street such as street shops and street trees. However, I faced quite a few problems on the streets while researching. I have organized of some of the problems, similarities and differences found in different streets of London.
1) The streets are so narrow and dull. I could barely find trees and benches on the streets.
2) I could find a lot of litter bins. I could find various different models of litter bins. The older design does not have a lid and newer design has a small hole for throwing away trash. Another surprising fact I found was that I barely found any trash thrown away on the streets besides butts. There was a small litter bins just for gums and butts! However, the trash can itself was very dirty.
3)The red telephone box. One of the most popular things that represent London but no one actually use it. Also, it smells horrible inside. Maybe I could design more functional telephone box that actually has an objective?
4)Londoners like to spend time outside, on the streets. For example, I saw office workers come out to the streets in lunch time and enjoy beer out at a pub. I thought of designing a street furniture that would make the street itself a place for socializing.
5)I was able to find a lot of bicycle racks since bicycle one of the most popularized transportion in London. There were bicycle racks of newer designs, and ones with older designs.
I think creativity and vibrance are the factors really needed in the streets to make people’s day more lively and cheerful. I want to design a series of products that will make the streets of London more spirited. I could design a totally new product for a street, or re-design a common element on the streets such as a trash can. I want to focus on making the street more visually and functionally organized with creative factors, therefore achieving visually aesthetic streets.
20/2/18 idea development
There are many ways to incorporate nature into a design. These are few ways I have thought of.
1) Using REAL PLANTS in a design.
2) Using PATTERNS found in nature in a design.
3)Using TEXTURE found in nature.
4)Using industrial materials and fake it to look like real plants.
Again, it's really challenging to make a choice because I want the outcome to be perfect.
26/2/18 Class Workshop
Today we did this workshop where we share our themes with other students and share opinions. I actually got some useful suggestions regarding the research. One of the students recommended me to research about the public designs of Scandinavian community because people there have high satisfaction for the government and the community. Other student told me that the streets in Switzerland always have a line of trees behind the streets, which was very interesting.
7/3/18 Deciding the Design
I thought it was about time to decided on what I want to make, and develop the design of the specific object .I decided to make a biophilic design of a bench. Biophilic design is a sustainable design strategy that incorporates reconnecting people with the natural environment, which is also what I want and wish from the urban area I live in. I got this initial idea from Jaime Hayon's vase and the installation piece I saw from the Saatchi gallery, and designed modern but nature friendly bench.
I wanted to make an object that would brighten up the whole atmosphere of the street, as well as satisfy the users' visual and physical needs. I decided to incorporate real plant into the design, because I want the users to experience a realistic feeling of sitting at a forest. However I am planning on doing more research and developing the design in more sustainable way.
8/3/18 Making Miniature Model
I started on making miniature model today. I intentionally made the shape in more of an organic form because I wanted the outcome to look nature-friendly as possible. At first I put the holes and layers on the bench just because I was inspired by Jaime Hayon's vase. After making it in a miniature model, I realized the holes are actually important and efficient in the design to hold the plants straight around the chairs and to avoid from the bench to look messy and bushy.
I used transparent acrylic sheets to make the miniature model. As I was making, I thought of using wasted materials for making the real model later. I wonder if there is any transparent material that is sustainable besides glass. Glass would be too heavy and fragile.
I cut each layers in certain organic shapes and made overlapping holes on the layers. For the bottom container, there will be real soil and plants for the real model, so that flowers and baby trees could grow through the holes.
5/2/17 Primary Research
Over the weekend, I explored around London and took some pictures of the streets. As I was walking, there were few objects that were easily found on the streets: litter bins, traffic lights, bollards, bicycle racks, and red telephone boxes. Litter bins were the most unappealing and filthy looking object, so I instantly thought of designing a "good looking" public litter bins. Also, bollards looked kind of unnecessary and dull in design. I thought I could re-design the bollards in more practical and creative way. However, these are all just very vague ideas.
Some of the interesting elements I found on the streets were the bicycle racks and small gum/butts litter bins. I could find various different designs of bicycle racks around the city, in which some had relatively newer design and some had older designs. Newer designs of bicycle racks obviously looked more organized, and functioned in electrical method.
The problem I am facing is the fact that my theme is too broad. I want to design something on the streets, that will somehow solve a certain problem on the streets. For now, I am thinking of researching for some installation artworks from various exhibitions.
10/2/18 Primary Research @Tate Modern
Today I visited the Tate Modern. I tried to find some interesting shapes and forms because I want to test with experimental shapes and materials for this project. The most inspiring work was the series of robot shaped objects. When I saw those "robots", I instantly thought of designing a trash can that is shaped like a robot. Each part of the robot can be a bin for different types of recycling trash; For example, the robot's head for plastic and arms for paper. I think this could entertain pedestrians of all age.
I think I will make either a litter bin or a bench; but I want either to brighten up the streets and make people cheerful.
16/2/18 Research at the library
I have done some research at the library today. I looked up for the books that are related to public design and urban design. I was overwhelmed of how broad my theme is and couldn't figure out which part of the problem I should tackle with.
One thing I have noticed in common was that our cities/communities lack in greenery. Especially in London, it's so hard to find trees on the streets if it's not a park. I personally feel relaxed and happy when I see nature, and think we humans naturally turn toward the elements of nature. Incorporating natural elements to my design is one of the ideas I have in mind. However, there are so many ways to do that from using a nature friendly materials to using organic shapes. I should keep on doing research and somehow organize countless ideas in my mind.
Another inspiration I got is using the property of light. I really think colors can change the whole atmosphere of a certain environment. If I use light, specifically the property of shadows and reflection, I think I could make a huge difference in the street with less consuming area. For example, I could use different colors of stained glass which will make a beautiful shadows on the ground under sunlight.
23/2/18 Idea Development
As I developed the idea of incorporating nature into my design, sustainability came up to my mind. I think sustainable designs will automatically bring the elements of nature into a design. I think there is two ways of practicing sustainability in a design; 1)Using sustainable materials that will last for a long time and could be recycled 2)Using waste/already recycled materials.
I went to the library and did more research on designs made with recycled materials. I found this really interesting book named Re:Purposed by Matthew McLendon. It was a book about artworks made up of recycled waste materials. My favorites were artworks by El Anatsui and Stuart Haygarth. El Anatsui's works were made of bottle caps and Stuart's by plastic waste debris. Their artworks were so beautiful that no one would guess they're made of waste materials. This book really inspired me to experiment with waste materials, such as water bottles.
However, I think I should decided on the design itself before choosing a material.
26/2/18 3d 3words
My theme is called the "Spirited Street" so I chose Lively, Bright, and Organized as the three words for the workshop we had today. The words Lively and Bright are quite similar in a way they express positiveness. Therefore I used bright and colorful colors to express the words.
After this workshop, I was kind of inspired to use bright colors in my design. One of the ideas I have thought was using colorful glasses that will make colorful shadows on the streets.
27/2/18 Research Workshop
8/3/18 Class Workshop