FIELD: LIGHT – COLLABORATION REFLECTION

I have always considered myself an independent designer, a lone wolf of sorts, so when I discovered that as part of my ongoing creative practice I was required to be part of a group made up of both Textile and Product Designers, I had immediate reservations.

My initial thought was ‘Please don’t land me with the duds’. I met my group and soon realised that we possessed a range of skills unique to each and every one of us, so began by asking how each member felt about working on specific elements within the collaboration. I think my age and life experience made me the perfect candidate for the Project Manager, something which the rest of the group were happy to delegate.

One of the most positive aspects of this collaboration for me personally was the chance to learn more of the technical and mathematical process of Product Design and how it could be married to my discipline of Textile Design. I will admit that at first I didn’t particularly find the group chemistry strong, and the difficulty to make decisions caused friction at times. However, as time went on we quickly fell into the specific roles needed to successfully carry out our challenging concept and idea.

I have always understood that to get something done properly there is little time to procrastinate but rather put together a plan of action that is both concurrently  manageable and challenging.

As the concept developed and ideas were shared, I found at times the communication from the Product Design lacked the necessary vision for us to work as a cohesive unit, leading to some heated emails and verbal exchanges, but nevertheless we eventually agreed on the common denominator to work as a team to create something which would be both technically and aesthetically impressive.

What did I learn about myself? I felt comfortable as a natural leader within the group; that’s not to mean I dictated the orders but rather found out the individual strengths of each team member and interwove them altogether to create a creative and highly efficient way of working.

The group did not become friends but gained a mutual respect for each other, which I believe is important if I am ever to collaborate with another designer/discipline in the foreseeable future.

If I was to reflect on the brief as a whole I would have to say that it wasn’t particularly organised or structured as efficiently as it could have been. The Textile Tutors were rarely to be seen and any support that was asked for was nearly always given by the Product Design tutors. Luckily I am always ready/happy to work independently but felt a true element of wandering through the wilderness within this project. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy elements of the brief; the ability to self explore and learn new skills and ways of thinking really enriched my creative practice and thought process. The range of materials used and how each was fused together to create a finished product gave me greater respect for how time consuming but ultimately rewarding a collaborative effort can be.

I loved our final design; the beautifully abstract Textile Pattern created by Saima and I really contrasted masterfully against the sleek and classic triangular shape of the Light. I grew not only as an individual, but as a creative practitioner too. Each project has allowed me to refine my individual style, I now feel confident to showcase my focused and strengthened visual identity in any project I undertake.

WEEK 1 – CONSTELLATION: SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

Student Led Task

Working individually, please complete the following task by next week’s session (1st of February)

Undertake research to identify 1 example of professional art and design practice that reflects sustainability characteristics.

Please present the following information as a single A4 page Word document.

  • An image of the artefact.
  • A short written statement (no more than 100 words in total) describing:

                 I. The artefact, the individual / company that created it.

                 II. Why you think this is a good example of sustainable practice.

Please bring the above with you on a device (Smartphone, tablet or laptop) to the session on the 1st of February.’

Not ideal for the 1st week. Luckily, being a proactive individual, I have already purchased an item from the company I wish to discuss.

RAPANUI:

‘Sustainable Fashion’

Our purpose is to redesign the clothing industry. Through design and technology we make clothing more sustainable.

We’re from the Isle of Wight in the UK, and we started our company in a garden shed with £200 and an ambition: Redesign the clothing industry to be more sustainable. That was in 2008. Times have changed and thankfully, so have our business premises: Our values and purpose is still the same. We make our products from more sustainable materials like Organic Cotton. Most of our work in the first few years of our brand was in helping customersunderstand where clothing comes from and how it’s made. You can scan the code inside every product we make and find out more info about its origins.

We also believe that the future of fashion is a circular economy, so when you’re done, you can send old products back to us and cash in the material for store credit.

From the early days, there’s been renewable energy in our supply chain. Now, our main supplier of organic cotton has its own wind farm, and our UK factory is powered entirely by renewables, mostly on-site solar. That part of the story, our own factory, is where most of our our work is focused now. We’re developing advanced manufacturing techniques to massively reduce waste and these improved efficiencies are making more sustainable fashion increasingly competitive.

Throughout we’ve sought to work with responsible suppliers that do things the right way. As well as being a Global Organic Textile Standard certified company ourselves, independent auditors inspect our overseas supply chain for a wide range of social and sustainability criteria. We don’t just rely on audits, we visit factories personally. That’s what responsible fashion means to us.

We also believe that more sustainable clothing should be accessible to anyone. The problems concern all of us, and consumers and businesses must work together to solve the problems in the world. So we asked what we can do to make our supply chain more accessible. As well as printing certified organic t-shirts in bulk for other brands, we’re developing new cloud-based technologies for startups to access our supply chain. What took us ten years now takes the next generation of brands 10 minutes at Teemill.com

Looking back at the shed, we’ve achieved a fair bit. But it feels like we’re only really just started working on the real game changers. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy our products for the next 10 as we continue our mission, to make fashion more sustainable.

This is the company’s story, which I was instantly sold by. We live in a world which is vastly overpopulated by Homo Sapiens, and I think it is each one of our moral duties to forward think about our consumer habits.

I have always loved a good quality Merino Wool Jumper, but in recent years have been put off by the unethical and eco un-friendly production morals and values adopted/carried out by most companies.

Men's-Winter-Wool-Bundle_13624285_480xauto

On this occasion I even decided to purchase a RAPANUI WINTER BUNDLE, including a hat and scarf. Amazingly I was able to access the ‘traceability’ and supply chain journey via a Video on their website:

The NAVY MERINO WOOL JUMPER is a fantastic winter wardrobe staple for the man/woman that likes to explore and adventure outdoors. Relaxed fit, crew neck jumper. Knitted and finished in Britain using 100% merino lambswool, spun in Yorkshire. Wash at 30 degrees and dry flat.

SUPPLY CHAIN:

WOOL CO-OPERATIVE, WA – Australian Wool is shipped to the UK from Western Australia. Australian wool is far easier to produce at the finer, more lustrous quality needed for garments due to the climate and conditions. However, with clever use of British wool, it’s possible to make products of a comparable quality – this is why the focus now is on developing our British wool products and supply chain.

SHIPPING – Shipping Route, Perth to Southampton. Our carbon-reduction efforts include cutting out airfrieght and so  the products come by boat instead. It’s helped to lower our Co2 Emissions by 80% overall.

HQ – Rapanui is based in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight, where we design and ship your orders. We’re also recognised as one of the UK’s top social enterprises – and not just because of our environmental work. Our business has developed an apprenticeship curriculum that has created 17 full time careers for previously unemployed young Islanders. Your purchase is helping us continue to make things better, and make better things.

Although I have not yet received my WINTER BUNDLE, I feel that this is a company i will be purchasing from again. The main reason why I love the idea of this company has to be it’s transparent moral and ethical code; giving the power to the consumer about where the product comes from, it’s supply chain, shipping method and manufacture allows me as individual to think about my carbon footprint. Not only that, it makes me feel proud to  contribute towards a greener future.

P.S Fantastic that it is also a UK based company!!!

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT/FIRST COLLABORATION REFLECTION

First day back at Uni, ready for the new term.

I truly did not know what to expect for this Formative Assessment, having previously been ill on my last. Staying true to Vaughan fashion, I wanted to display my work as professionally as possible; the mantra of being over prepared, rather than under has always served me extremely well.

Sian, our Project Leader, asked the group to spend 5-6 minutes each discussing our work, which I relished to take the opportunity. I discussed how I deconstructed Hockney’s work into many different techniques, materials and processes i.e STITCH, PRINT, COLLAGE, OBSERVATIONAL DRAWING, PAINT, INK, STENCILS, REPEAT PATTERN, FABRIC MANIPULATION, COLOUR THEORY and and could then reconstruct these core values found within MULHOLLAND DRIVE into my own visual handwriting.

The feedback I received was overwhelming positive, which was fantastic. I love being able to showcase my ideas, and if it allows my fellow creatives to generate ideas from this group crit then it means that we can all learn from each other. Watching all my other colleagues discuss their work was a wonderful experience, and I felt really proud to be associated with such a great group.

Sian recommended to include some of the textural and sumptuous qualities, found within my samples, in my final piece/design. I discussed with her the addition of the Wing Needle decorative stitch and how the holes left would form the patterns found within Mulholland Drive; she thought it was a wonderful idea.

FIRST COLLABORATION

Saima, Jamie, Jack and I met for the first time since before Christmas, and began the process of choosing elements of each others work that we wanted to incorporate within our final Lighting Solution. We discussed issues such as how labour intensive specific designs would be, the cost of materials and production, the shapes we wanted to include and leave out, colours with which to work with, patterns to juxtapose with form and shape and primarily what we liked and disliked; food for thought, to say the least.

Morgan, who I have never met, and have had no correspondence with, decided to send over the Target Market Profile.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 21.16.21Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 21.16.58

Overall, I like the profile, but would change his income to earring around the £100-150k bracket, and would include his wife within the profile. I think the profile tackles his interest and lifestyle extremely well; the love for Art is a fantastic touch. Subsequently, this allows me to interpret my own style and ideas into a more Fine Art/Textile design context, something I am really excited about.

Saima and i have spoken in detail and have pulled our favourite elements from each others work to explore further. It is of paramount importance that we respect our own strengths, and help each other with the areas we believe are weak.