Project Summaries Year 2

THE PARSNIPSHIP

This was an exciting project to kick-start the year working hands on in collaboration with a real world company, The Parnsipship. This was a brief that was very different to any I’ve worked on before which asked that we worked with this vegan and vegetarian food company, to develop a quirky, ‘ on the go’, style food product packaging design that well communicated the brand and their values. This project encouraged me to immerse myself in a new world of design and personas that I may not have previously chosen to explore. The project definitely taught me the importance of paying better consideration to the footprint of the products I design and create including the packaging. Along with this, through workshops such as learning to use PEL, I developed an understanding for the effect a well-designed packaging can have on the consumer and therefore, a products success. This is the first project that I’ve really considered the sustainability of the whole product design process which was nice because I was able to appreciate my constellation study group and feed the knowledge developed here into my subject work having previously struggled to understand the relevance of constellation to subject.

Looking back at the project, there are certainly some elements I would have changed for example, making my opinions better heard within the group and prototyping/testing a wider range of my designs having done a lot of initial ideation. I feel like our group dynamic didn’t always perform to full potential and could have definitely been improved on. I would have also liked to pay closer attention to the final presentation techniques as I feel with more work, our idea could have been better effectively and more professionally communicated.

FIELD 1 ; INDUSTRIAL DESIGN 

 Having felt disheartened by my first year experience of field, I was apprehensive to begin this module despite having selected it as an option. I couldn’t have been more wrong – I developed a passion for Industrial Design during this module so much so that it made me doubt my choice of product design at one point. This module taught me how to submerge myself in different ways of design thinking and styles from week to week as well as how to adopt different methods of design approach as well as selecting best methods for design communication/presentation. Through doing this, I widened my skillset in presentational techniques and perfected my ability to choose which style best to present my work from week to week eg through sketch, digital sketch, CAD etc. This also gave me opportunity to improve on some of my weaker skills eg CAD and even adopt whole new skills for instance, digital sketch. I liked the fast pace, layout, teaching style and demands of the module as well as the mixture of tasks given both group and individual constantly developing new ideas and gaining constructive feedback – a mixture of these benefited me in working to my best ability/workload while still finding it interesting and enjoyable.

Although I’m proud of my workload from this project, if I were to do it again, I’d certainly have pushed myself to explore CAD and digital sketch as a tools for development sooner in the process rather than letting them intimidate me. This would have also allowed me to produce a better final render in the penultimate week – this is the only part that I’m not so pleased with due to lack of time and skill, I wasn’t able to present my final idea to my best ability.

FIELD 2 ; BEYOND THE BARCODE 

This module focused on learning to understand the importance of whole business design/knowledge in order to apply this developed understanding in designing and developing my own business idea. I have always had a keen interest in business hence selecting this module however, I was nervous on commencing due to having no previous experience or knowledge in this field and being within a group of predominantly fashion students. Having begun developing some of my own business ideas in my spare time, I decided to brave it and take one of these ideas forward for this module rather than playing it safe and designing a freelance style service as did many of my peers. I was nervous to do this due to it being a theme very personal and close to me, it took a lot of confidence to be so honest and open to the group in my first presentation but it certainly paid off. I surprised myself most out of all during this project, I fully submerged myself in it and developed a huge passion for the idea I was developing, going above and beyond to develop my ideas and continue working on it in any spare time (alongside a hospital admission for a chunk of the project). Through the different workshops, presentations and support from various professionals I developed a breadth of new knowledge in this subject area that I was able to apply and develop for my own ideas.

I am most proud and passionate about this project over all this year and have continued working on it in my spare time with great success. It has helped me begin making huge decisions and plans about the direction I would like to take my third year work and career path post university.

BCB FIRELIGHTER 

This brief was far from anything of my knowledge or interest which made me both apprehensive and a little uninterested however, I was looking forward to another live as they’re extremely insightful, challenging and rewarding. I actually really enjoyed the change in focus for this project and threw myself into the brief of analysing and redesigning the ferrocerium firelighter for outdoor pursuit and military use – for this reason, this also made the project feel very purposeful. We worked well as a mixed team, quickly identifying individual’s strengths and weakness’ in order to allocate tasks and work through the design process within the short timescale. I focused on research and heavily on ideation initially providing a set of purposeful, innovative designs which were backed with relevant research and reasoning. I then fed into the final development of our chosen idea in order to take forward and work on our final presentation. I felt proud and confident in our final design and with how we executed the final presentation which lead to being one of the shortlisted winning groups. Despite being confident in our idea and the reasoning’s for it, it wasn’t the safest option due to it being rather different to anything existing however, our risk paid off and we received some really good feedback demonstrating that there was great potential within our idea. It would have been nice to have been able to take it a step further and demonstrated our product working by creating a spark in the final presentation however, I appreciate that time was against us in this instance.

ROBOT

This project focused on designing and creating a mechanism for mass manufacture that brings an element of excitement and reputedly performs a usually mundane task. I feel like this project has been most challenging and probably as a result, least enjoyable for me.  However, through the series of lectures, tutorials and tasks, I have been able to develop a greater understanding for design for manufacture and mechanisms – something that I haven’t previously explored very much but clearly needed to develop on. I can now appreciate the depth of work and knowledge there is required to go into this field of design however, equally, the project has helped confirm for me personally that this isn’t the field for me. Although Adam and I have worked well as a pair, we came across numerous hurdles and confusions during the process which have required resilience and determination to overcome and get to a place of final design and presentation which I feel although we know isn’t the best in comparison to our piers, we are both proud of due to the time and effort we’ve put in to understand requirements of the module, design for manufacture and mechanisms. In terms of design, this project has required me to adopt a rather different style to my usual which I am pleased with as I am now able to sketch and design in a more gimmicky and less precious style when required. Alongside this, I have learned the importance of designing with manufacture in mind from the get go rather than leaving it as a problem for the end of the project. I think we could have better allocated tasks to each other throughout the project to work more efficiently but am overall relieved and proud to have got to the end of this module.

CONSTELLATION 

Level 5 constellation has felt more purposeful. Having finished Level 4 with confusion and lacking motivation for the module, I was apprehensive for Level 5. I was pleased to discover that Level 5 consisted of a different dynamic with term 2 allowing more freedom for the type of avenue wished to explore not only in theme, but in method of presenting/academically writing too. Constellation this year (Term 1; Relational Ways of knowing and, Term 2; Dissertation Preparation)  introduced me to a range of new tasks and activities of different formalities, it also encouraged me to work in groups of those I was unfamiliar with outside of my subject practice but more so, how to use and value these varied perspectives and opinions. I was introduced to very new and alternative topics of ideas, encouraging me to question and explore new themes which can be transferred and used as information and inspiration in many different forms for my own work and wider knowledge. I was also introduced to various new language, forms of critically engaging, analysing, presenting and writing.

I now feel differently towards constellation, I can appreciate the theories and methods taught over the last year or two despite not having engaged with them initially on occasions. I remember Martyn telling us to trust the process, stick at it and eventually, we’d reap the rewards – I feel this very true of constellation now having written my Research Proposal and moving forward to writing my dissertation I can appreciate the process and feel equipped in moving forward independently. I can also now see and appreciate how both Field and Subject feed into Constellation and vice versa. I feel like constellation this year has better rounded and prepared me as a creative individual from an academic perspective now feeling much more confident and fluent in both my spoken and written presentational and analytical techniques with the ability to engage with a range of subjects, perspectives and practitioners.