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.

COLLABORATION: Fine Tuning Ideas and Concepts

Sometimes too many chefs can spoil the soup. However, on this occasion this was not the case.

Jack, Jamie, Morgan and I spent the day discussing best practice, ways to improve the model, ideas to enhance the design and conceptualising the overall finish, not only of the Light, but of the Presentation Wall, material portfolio and the working Textile sample sketchbook.

Having never used CAD before, Jack and Jamie showcased their design to me, needless to say I was blown away by the advances of this software; 3-D viewpoints and a ‘blown-up’ diagram allowed me to view the component parts, allowing a step-by-step instruction for construction.

Our group tutorial with Clara @ 12:20 pm brought about an invaluable group crit on areas in which we were strong, and areas which we really needed to address. The design element was found to be strong, but she did pick up on the fact that the  Product Design boys had not yet made a physical model. Luckily they informed her that this would be tackled today and would be experimented with size and material.

Yes, we came across a few production issues:

  1. Unsightly joining edges when adhering glue to Acrylic
  2. Size of Acrylic sheets
  3. Finish of top and base
  4. Lighting structure in/around light
  5. How to install a transformer/dimming switch
  6. Cost of materials
  7. Size of structure
  8. How to incorporate the Surface Pattern
  9. Creating the Presentation Wall

This is how we addressed these issues:

  1. The joining of acrylic will me solved by the addition of wooden/metal cornering
  2. I have managed to find the acrylic in the size we require from Acrylic World, an online store
  3. The top and base will now be either wood or brushed steel (Product boys will find solution)
  4. The lighting will utilise LED strips mounted on a triangle ‘support’ central to the structure
  5. A dimming transformer cable will be sat in the base and a dimmable remote control will allow ambience from around the room
  6. The cost of materials will be added up and divided by the 5 of us in this group
  7. The size of the structure will be 1200mm (H) x 350mm (W)
  8. The Surface Pattern will be in the form of a print and stitch embroidered ‘triptych’, being showcased within 2 sheets of acrylic (keeping the fabric clean and dust free)
  9. The Presentation wall is a secret and will be demonstrated on the day : )

My task for the day? To secure each and everyones favourite aspect of the Surface Pattern element, and to set to work to make it a reality.

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.