February 23

The focus of today was to come up with concepts branching from our theme and to find precedents and research to support these concepts so that we can take them to the workshop on Wednesday to create different concept models.
My research has been focused on how food affects people, sustainable design and urban farming. These three topics are where my concepts came from.
This process was helpful as it helped me to narrow down all the ideas from my research. It allowed me to focus on three and begin making and designing so that I can move forward in the project towards more specific idea development.

Eat -> how food affects people
Modular -> sustainable design
Growth -> urban farming

Work through a mind map of your theme with concepts branching out.
For each concept:
-precedents (artists and designers)
-research from books and internet
-generate ideas in your sketchbook
-build 3 concept models (Wednesday in the workshop)
-1 A2 presentation page per concept

Side note: Update bibliography for your progress tutorial and separate books, internet, videos, etc. under different headings. 

February 25

Today was dedicated to making concept models on the different ideas and words that stemmed from our original theme.


I initially intended to make a structure that could be assembled by sliding onto/fitting into with the use of extra materials (ex. Screws, glue, etc.) to represent the word modular. This ended up being very difficult to make out of wood because of the size of my model and the fact that the machines weren't suited for cutting without cutting all the way through. From there, I discovered an interesting pattern that I cut into wood using the ban saw. That model I used to represent the word eat as it reminded me of teeth and of 'eating away at something'.
I've made a few visualizations to represent how I wanted this model to work in relation to the word modular but even after those, I am unsure about how I will to put this model to use in my design or even if it will be put to use. I like the aesthetic of it a lot but right now, I don't know if it's relevant. 
In the afternoon, I spent my time in the metal workshop working to create another 'modular' model. The metal rod model turned out to look a lot like scaffolding. It gave me the idea of building something simple that can be distributed and added onto, attaching to structures vertically (like scaffolding), on a roof or on ground level.
To improve my model, I will add on paper and/or string to create different levels. I want to continue exploring the idea of a modular structure and see where this takes me. 

To work on in my sketchbook: 
-Mind maps.
-Notes, photos, drawings on relevant research including books, articles, videos.
-Concepts and forms (brainstorming and initial ideas).
-Primary site research.
-Brainstorming for poster. 

Advice from Fadi:
-Try doing a case study of an area taking a look at how an urban farm can be incorporated  (your student halls?).
-Check out the old abandoned cinema on Pitfield Street.
-Check out the vacant lot site near halls.

February 26

Narrative Presentation
-The aim is to make you think about the narrative dimension of your design work.
-A narrative helps give an understanding to passing of time.
-A narrative is a natural way to explain information.
-A narrative organizes memory but more importantly the human experience.
-Define: n. narrative

  • Stories.
  • Scenarios (fiction, future predictions).
  • User research.
  • Brand narratives (back story).
  • Created when a user experiences design (how it is interpreted, remembered and retold).

-A narrative can  be implicit.
-Types of narratives:

  • Minimal narrative.
  • Sequence narrative.
  • Logically sequenced narrative.
  • Value-laden narrative (emotion evoking and value laden).
  • Entertainment narrative (progress through conflict, climax in the plot, combined with everything above).

-WHO: creator, audience.
-WHAT: type of narrative is used.
-WHEN: design process and user experience.
-WHERE: internal to artefact or external.
-WHY: what does the narrative do/achieve.

-Mind palace technique --> Used to memorize speeches delivered in early ages before paper was common, main way of relaying important information --> The common structure of the speeches began to shape the architecture of the area (specifically Greece) --> People were influenced at times by architecture and used these spaces to construct their mind palaces
[Frances Yates]

-GROUPS: Jeep, Nasriya, Ash, Riichiro, Fion (theme: time)

I found the discussion with Alaistair and my group to be very productive today. Talking and bouncing ideas off of everyone helped to sort out the ideas and all the research I've been thinking about. It also helped me to see which direction would be the most productive for me to move towards. I also enjoyed listening to my group members as they talk about their projects because it brings in fresh ideas and approaches for me to use. As well, I find it's always easier analyzing from the outside when I'm detached from a project and that process of analyzing I can then apply to my own work after I've cleared my head. I especially liked how my group members were approaching big topics that really affect the world and our time and generation. These are real problems that we should be addressing.
For my project, I think I will explore a urban farm structure for the sake of research and understanding. But I see my work moving more towards a modular compact unit that can be adapted to different sites in London, easily used and widely distributed. I will still have to take into account the supply of energy and how these units can be a resilient system over time.


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