The National Gallery, Designs of the Year 2017 & Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017

Today we have made a trip to London in order to visits three different museums of interest whose exhibitions will help in one way or another to develop our understanding of VTS.

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Project X – Experience Design

Today we have had a bit of reminder session about the definition, purpose and use of what is known as experience design.

Expereince design is a name used to define what form of what type of experience an action or situation may leave a person with. There are 3 forms of experience design which we often go through every day, with those being: Everyday, Recognized and Group Memory.

Everyday experience, as the name implies, are the types of experiences that we go through everysingle day, the ones that we often concider rutine or forgetable. Such experiences include such things as sleeping, eating, walking and even general conversations. These types of experiences may relfect what an indivdual is like and my often differ depending on thier lifestyle.

Recognized experiences refer to any memories that leave more lasting impressions on an individuals mind, often due to them diverging from everyday routines and adding something new. These types of experiences can be anything from going on holiday to a new location, or even specific emotions such as love or anger. Unlike Everyday, these experiences are harder to forget and can sometimes change the routine in some way.

A Group Memory experience is more unique in that they are the types of experiences that an individual shares alongside others. These types of experiences can come from things such as going to a concert with friends, meeting new people, or even coming up with new ideas as a team.


One of the aims behind this lecture was likely to remind us of how we can never truly aim our project at a specific audience as they will always have independent experiences that will define how they look at our product, and they only way to make our project a Recognized experience rather than a forgetful everyday experience is to make it appear as astounding as possible.

An Astounding experience would likely be some sort of feeling or memory that stays within an individual or group of individuals minds for a long time, possible forever. An experience like this could be something such as: the birth of a child/sibling, marriage, falling in love for the first time, or finding oneself in a life-changing scenario. While we are unlikely to create something so revolution that we achieve an astounding reaction, it should be our goal to try and get as close as possible to making something memorable.

Project X – VTS Case Study Activity – “The Museum of…” by Tomas Matthews [Part 4 of 4]

Today we have completed our presentations for given our case studies and received appropriate feedback from our peers.The feedback I have received for my presentation has been a bit of a mixed reception, as all of my ratings for the exhibit were within the “OK but could develop” and the “not very easy” to understand columns, as it seems that viewers found some struggle with understanding my display pieces.

From the feedback given at the bottom of the comment sheet, it appears that most of the confusion came from viewers not truly knowing what the meaning behind each piece due to a lack of proper explanation and instruction. The majority of criticisms revolved around why I used the River Thames activity, as they saw it as being out of place compared to the rest of the pieces. I honestly understand this criticism as I did not make any links between the display pieces and the project itself, leaving the viewers with little information about the topic and relevance to the activities (this also seemed the case for the tram tickets).

The second major piece of criticism for my display actually came prior to the showing, as during a conversation with a fellow member of the team, they pointed out that the block of text I had used for the information sheet was not very practical for reading easily. They reminded me of how separated paragraphs were important during our FMP presentation last year, where clear and spacious text allowed viewers to read the text at a longer distance, so they would not have to struggle with cramped up wording.

I will have to take the two important points to heart when doing the final presentation for Project X later on. To fix them both I would have to create clear labeling for each part of the display, giving information about each one and linking them to the project, and as for the text, I will have to remember to create clear spacing between each point and split paragraphs into more digestible pieces.

Project X – VTS Case Study Activity – “The Museum of…” by Tomas Matthews [Part 3 of 4]

Now with actual knowledge as to what the museum is about, I have now begun work on the actual exhibit which I shall be showing this Friday. In order to display my own presentation, I have decided to create an interactive piece of design based on each of the five museums, which were the museums of: Collectors, Me, Emotion, Unknown, and the River Thames.

The first idea I have decided to work on is an interactive piece based on one of the images I found for The Museum of Me, which was a display of food cans all labeled “Me – Ingredients”. The cans are obviously a representation of what people think they are made of, and what aspects of themselves they would consider their ingredients. To create this piece I have taken an empty tin can from my house and removed the label. I then created a new label based on the original design using Microsoft Word (as I do not have Illustrator programs at home) and glued it onto the can using PVA. My plan for this piece is to allow viewers to write onto the label of the can, listing what they think is their “ingredient”.

The next idea I have had is actually a rather ironic one, as it relates to the Collector’s museum exhibits. For this display I have taken my own collection of railcards (as well as a few copper coins) which I have been holding on to for the last two years I have been going to college. I find this ironic as it links directly into what the museum represented, things that everyone finds themselves collecting, even if they don’t necessarily know why. I will simply allow viewers took look and pick up the cards, as there is not much else they can really do with them.

The third idea I have done is for the Museum of Emotion, which consists of a simple piece of paper with the words “laugh here” over a black circle. This idea was based on of one of the images I believe belonged to the Emotion area, as it is trying to make people emit an emotion through a rather blunt message. I will simply have the design proper up on my display and see if viewers actually react with laughter.

The design for the Museum of the Unknown was a lot harder to think of compared to the others, as it is hard to create a design of something that is meant to not be understood in the first place. For this piece I have come to three possible ideas which I could use. The first is to use a simple piece of paper covered with question marks (????), which is a known symbol of mystery. The second is to have nothing at all, as the idea behind this exhibit is that of things we cannot understand or do not know about, so the design is also unknown. The third design idea is to have some form of container with unknown contents, and possibly have viewers guess what is inside.

The final idea was a rather simplistic one, as I find the River Thames section to be the black sheep of the bunch, as while the other four exhibits focus on abstract ideas which normal museums would not typically have, the museum of the River Tames feels very average, like it belongs in said normal museums. To create an interactive design for this display, I simply recreated a map of the river with no labelling, with the idea behind being to ask viewers to name the cities which run along side it.

I believe that these forms of interactive design will allow me to present and explain what The Museum of… was, what it represented, and how it achieved this goal using the power of interactivity. I will hope for the best during the presentation that the audience can enjoy and understand the message of the of my given project.

Project X – VTS Case Study Activity – “The Museum of…” by Tomas Matthews [Part 2 of 4]

With my attempt at analyzing my image now done, I have now moved onto the second task of this project by doing actual research onto my topic in order to find out what I am going to present later, and how close my VTS review of the meaning behind it really was. After I searching the creator’s name up online (Tomas Matthews), I located their webpage about the project itself. Link found here: https://thomasmatthews.com/project/the-museum-of/


To my surprise, the “museum” is actually 5 different museums filled with various exhibitions that revolve around various other topics, which is likely why the name ends with “…”, as it leaves itself open to the actual names of the exhibits. From what I can tell, the names of these exhibits are: The Museum of Collectors, Me, Emotions, The Unknown and The River Thames. The building they are shown in is actually a rent-able four story venue which has been purposely untouched by the owners to serve as a “blank canvas” for others to use.

From what Matthews mentions on his website, the main theme of the exhibit is to be “ahead of its time” compared to other museums, where interactivity and visitor input is key to the exhibits as an empty “canvas” is laid before the viewer and questions them on the sort of things they would put within it in humorous and non-judgmental ways. Looking at the fair amount of images shown on the webpage, many examples of what they mean by interactivity can be found throughout the building relating to different themes, such as a piece which represents how love feels using pink, fluffy feathers, or having signs that simply say “laugh here”.

Images from “Thomas Matthews communication design” (link above)

I would have some questions for the creator(s) of the exhibits, as there are a few things about the project that I don’t really understand from the description and images alone. I would probably ask them things such as:

  • What does each exhibit represent?
  • What forms of interactivity are used to present those meanings?
  • Why did you choose to create each exhibit?

I think that with those bits of knowledge, I would be able to understand the purpose of the exhibit to a greater degree.

This idea interactivity is actual very fitting to what I learned earlier this week when we saw other presentations created by the rest of the class, where the most interactive and engaging designs, such as the color picker, were the most well received out of the class. If the main goal of the museum is to engage its viewers with interactivity, then I could easily start making items such as the “laugh/look here” sign or use materials to simulate feelings.

Project X – VTS Case Study Activity – “The Museum of…” by Tomas Matthews [Part 1 of 4]

For this week we have all been given individual case studies to present for a mini exhibition display due Friday 12. Each case study is unique for each student, with generally only the image, title, the creator’s name and a link to a informative webpage is given for use for this mini project. The case study I have received is simply called “The Museum of…” by someone called Tomas Mathews. The image I was given to review is shown bellow:

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Within this post I will going through the first task of this project by using VTS to analyse what this image is and may represent.


What is going on here?

A run-down building simply called the “THE MUSEUM” sits in an empty street/ally/walkway in the middle of the dark of night while a lone child stand before it. They appear lost and confused as turn around searching for something/someone.

What do you see?

The image takes place at night as the unlit areas of the area are shrouded in darkness, especially the upper area. The building is seemingly a museum as large text with the words “THE” and “MUSEUM” and sprayed onto the wall using (luminescent?) white paint, although the placement of the words is very odd, as “MUSEUM” has been painted at a strange angle over the door-frame. The outside of the building itself is completely run down in appearance, with very little evidence of major maintenance, as shown by the fading paintwork. However, there are still signs that the condition of the brickwork has been fixed/altered at some point in the past, with a door-shaped section of the wall having been bricked over. Despite its appearance, the “museum” appears to still be functional (at least in some way) as shown by its outside lighting. The child appearances lost/scared as the expression on their face appears to be fairly confused.

What more can you find?

The Idea behind the image may be some form of parody or mockery made by the creator towards to some sort of part of society, or more simply is a more provocative version of a museum with exhibits to urge viewers to think, or perhaps the building itself is empty. Perhaps “The Museum of…” is a joke where the “…” means nothing, and there is nothing visually eye-catching inside, possibly even having the entire building closed to the public, which could explain why the building is too grotto looking to be considered safe.

 


What do you know for sure?

That this building, in one way or another is a museum for an unspecified topic.

Where are you making a guess at?

Both the name of the project and the painted sign placed across very clearly indicate that the building shown is the focus of the project and the it is a museum.

Where do you feel you have no knowledge?

Without the actual topic of the museum given from the title, I cannot effectively predict the actual purpose or reasoning behind the image. I am also not entirely certain as to whether the child is of any importance to the shot or if they are one of the visitors to the museum. Only research will be able to reveal to me the information as to what I am actually looking at, which shall be the second task of this mini project.

 

Project X – “Power & Internet” and “Bee Active”

Today we were tasked with creating a double presentation which would be presented to the rest of class, with each presentation being individual topics and thus would be reviewed after one another. The two topics our group was given were about the effects of energy and its use within the internet, as well as a presentation about a group known as “Bee Active”.

In order to complete this task as fast and effectively as possible for today, our group split ourselves between the two topics to get both developed at the same time. I was divided into the topic of power and the internet, along with two others (so as a result I was not involved with the creation of the Bee Active presentation. Together we worked on finding simple yet reliable and informative facts about how much the internet consumes power, and what efforts are being made to improve the methods being used currently.

Among our research online, we found multiple useful facts which would fit perfectly with our plan, such as how the internet requires more energy to power itself than the entire auto industry, or how the simple act of making a search on google is equivalent to turning on a 60W light-bulb for 17 seconds. I especially found the latter fact to be a bit of surprise, considering how we see searching something on google as being rather common and unimpressive, yet when we stop and think about how many people use google every day, this level of power consumption seem pretty scary.

In order to balance out these intimidating numbers, we also begun researching ideas for the positives of the internet, since the internet has allowed humans to make resourceful alternatives from previous techniques. We found these to include such inventions such as email, which has lead to the decreased usage of paper waste from letters. On a similar note, we also added that the use of video conferencing allows businesses from across the world to communicate at long distancing, reducing the need for long distant flights.

To finish up the collection of positives and negatives, we also added a final section to the presentation page with solutions currently being made to decrease the energy consumption of the internet, with our most prominent fact google moving data servers from over to Iceland, who’s colder climates will lessen the need for coolers, thus saving the company from higher power costs. As a final touch to the presentation, a member of the team placed out their laptop with an eco-friendly search engine on screen called “ECOSIA”, which was apparently known for planting a new tree for every search made on their site, which was paid for using ad revenue.


After this, one of our team members took the collection notes we had typed down and printed out a complete version of the page, but did so onto an A4 sheet however, which was not entirely the best choice for presentation in my opinion.

We presented this case study prior to Bee Active and received moderately good feedback from the other groups, with the only major complaints being viewers asking for the removal of the background our team member added, as it was distracting readers, and the increase of the page size, something which I already agree with. Viewers apparently enjoyed the layout used for the page (despite the background) and also found the use of the ECOSA webpage to be a very appealing addition to our table.

The feedback for the Bee Active presentation created by the other side of the team received not as much praise due the somewhat confusing layout of the “timeline/loop” they used, as there was little indication as to where the start of the circle began. Other than that issue, the Bee Active case still did well in explaining it’s message as well as informing readers of links to the company website(s).

Overall, I think that this case study was a moderate success, with not too much in terms of failure. On thing that I, and likely many others did take away from today however was the techniques used by two particular groups within the class who went above and beyond with their presentation ideas. One group used color pickers to give facts and questions to the reader in a fun and interactive way that purposely involved viewers into picking them up. The second group used a shoe-box with miniature paper boxes base on their case study (which was about a new type of paper saving shoe-box design). What both these designs had in common was their use of interactivity to draw attention to themselves and keep the viewers interested in them, something which I believe many of us will now try to remember within our next tasks.

Project X – “How did we get in this mess?” (VTS Part 1 of 6)

Today I have begun work on project X by completing the VTS

https://moodle.westkentandashford.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/134894/mod_resource/content/1/How%20did%20we%20get%20into%20this%20mess%20class.pdf


“MAN” by Steve Cutts

What’s going on here?

  • The video starts by stating that the setting at this point takes place 500,000 years ago ( with a man in a welcome shirt that dances through a forest and proceeds to kill, eat, wear and defile any animal they come across. As they move, they treat each animal with various levels of cruelty, such as stepping on a bug and then latter fattening a chicken with chemicals before throwing them like a basket ball into a fryer. As they continue to maim other animals, they also start dumping rubbish and toxic barrels into the ocean from a boat named “RULER OF THE SEA”, turning it black. As they land on the other side, the kill several more animals before turning the surrounding trees into paper using magic wands. A city then suddenly emerges from the ground and fills itself with cars and smoke, with the man dancing across the
  • The video follow a “man” as the representation of the human species throughout a cartoonish mockery of our history of greed, arrogance and cruelty towards our animal neighbours. The animation has “man” mostly killing animals for food, clothing or just for sport (and then later experimenting and mass slaughtering cattle within gains factories).

What do you see that makes you think that?

What more can you find?

What is your keyword or key idea? Say why this is the case.

Any other thoughts?


“What is the tragedy of the commons” by Ncholas Amendolare

What’s going on here?
What do you see that makes you think that?
What more can you find?
What is your keyword or key idea? Say why this is the case.
In what ways does this TED-Ed film link to or confirm any ideas from the Man video?
Any other thoughts?

 

Project X Revealed – Designing for Better Futures

Today we have finally been given the theme of the upcoming Project X, which is centered around the idea of sustainability and creating designs which help start a better future for planet Earth.

One of the main words that we have been asked to focus on include the “provoke”, as we are not going to be designing just to advertise or show something, but to provoke conversation within viewers so that the message of our designs sticks to them.

We have also been assigned into small 4 to 5 person groups with students of all 3 year groups working together within this project. My team includes myself (of course), Sam (a fellow classmate from BA), as well as Jake, Rob and Emily, all of whom I believe to be from the HND2 class.

I am actually somewhat a little nervous of how this project will progress (as the breifing of the project felt too complex for me to figure out how to write it down) and how well I will be able to keep up with my team members throughout its run-time. However, until we go on further, I cannot make any assumptions on the future.