Sam Winston’s lecture on Form & Function was a great talk on how we read, understand, and engineer communication. I really enjoyed this talk as it gave a great insight into how form and material contribute to the message in a way of embodying yourself in language through various mediums. Sam encourages the use of tools as a hands-on presence than using a screen to get a more in-depth meaning through research to develop ideas. He describes that ‘Ideas manifest as a substance sense of making and touch’ and found this really interesting as I’ve never really thought of this process. This approach becomes more embodied in the relationship of the physical way of thinking to learn through touch. Sam believes you develop a more active reflection, something intuitive, and being instinctive in your ability. Challenging and placing yourself in the unknown becomes very exciting if you embrace the moment.
Kenya Hara is interviewed by design anthology about his book on Ex-formation. Kenya explains that he think’s there is a kind of hidden message in his communication design: making people aware of how little we know. This ‘awakening’ plays a very important role in designing. Sam speaks about relying on trust as it’s something useful when approaching the unknown in spaces of which we possibly develop a fear. We should embrace these moments of fear and rely on our gut instinct as fear becomes exciting within us in that uncomfortable moment. A good example is if we blindfolded ourselves then we sense of vulnerability and orientate with touch and sound. Touch is formless is a sense of no visual and sound is a fluid material moving in & out of your body. Your body and mind become receptive to the situation within the unknown if you can’t see but only hear. Putting yourself in an environment you’re interested in, we should be more embodied in our approach and don’t overthink things at the moment of time. Sam categorises 4 elements to his theory in following form and function. These are Process, Materials, Language, and Design, which he talks about how these forms develop into the function of your outcome.
- Process – Relevant, useful and interesting for being in place
- Material – The physical environment that you are placed.
- Language – Found in your environment but also your verbal response
- Design – The final element with everything above tied together
This response to his process of finding data that can create an outcome is a very simple way of embodying yourself to absorb as much information as possible. This allows you to become the environment, not just another being in-situ with everything else around them. It’s about understanding the way things are placed, move, sound, impact, engage, communicate, acknowledge with one and another. These become a fascinating cross over of materials that can deliver a number of many possibilities to your learning outcome.
A juxtaposition is a form I really enjoy it’s engagement, as this can have a witty approach that I really appreciate when a clever design can visual 2 things that saying one thing, but looking like another. It’s a moment of sarcastic, ironic, cutting, ridiculing, and derisive in the way something or someone can be portrayed. This can really bring wit and humor to a situation that can also become iconic and joyful. Sam talks about how the process is always constant reflecting and editing, which constantly refining your findings to get the best possible outcomes. This is clearly all about learning and acknowledging your information to add and remove data that’s not relevant. So embody yourself in the process, then question the process of the materials and language, which can have an effect on the design that delivers the message. Then combining the process that affects the materiality and language of the design that allows you to reflect on the things you looking to do better. Sam talks about how we should get a better sense of the bigger picture through this process and elements we derived in this is observation, dialogue, and collection in shaping the process. Should always deliver a sense of trust in your practice as this adds value outside the field.
So the objective of this process is to embrace the unknown. Build personal toolkits to archive the external form of thinking. Looking at processes and rituals in the environment you’re investigating. Looking at design as a multi-sensory experience and think about how we engage with materials and end forms, which then question how that engages with your audience. The last thing I took from this lecture and really should embody within myself is to go play, be curious, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
A Smile In The Mind
This book is probably my favorite design book of all time, as it shows variation of projects that are playful, witty, and show how humor is used through great design projects. I started to look into this as I was very interested in the juxtaposition form and this book came to my mind.
These examples of work I’ve researched are some ideas that really show design can bring the connection of the product and the meaning of a message. When you look at the Alison Carmichael, Lettering Artist piece below it really brings a beautiful, elegant and soft approach to the typeface alone. When you then read the message you become surprised by the rude gesture and can be communicated in a sarcastic, cutting, and derisive connection. This really brings humorous suggestions in the design and people may or may not laugh at this witty hint.
For this weeks workshop challenge, we had to communicate an emotion that perceives your location in one word and use an appropriate material, form and medium to express our outcome.
My location is Bexhill-On-Sea and the epicentre of the small town is at the De La Warr Pavilion located on the seafront. The Pavilion is an Art Deco grade 1 listed building that was constructed in 1935 by architects Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff. Claimed to be the first major Modernist public building in Britain and is today known as a contemporary arts centre, encompassing one of the largest galleries on the south coast of England. During the second world war, the comedian Spike Milligan was posted at the pavilion.
This is the prime location of my research and during this time of year, it can be the busiest spot with locals and tourists coming together to enjoy the beach and the contemporary art centre. Exhibitions, readings, gigs, comedy and other performing arts would come to one place to entertain everybody.
In my research on location, I noticed that many families gathering at the beach and taking long walks along the seafront. There are cafes on the promenade, which there were small gatherings of people sipping coffee and eating cake in the sunshine. You’ll also see many dog walkers as they complement each other’s pets in a small conversation whilst passing by. The elderly would be sitting on the benches talking amongst each other, whilst keeping a safe distance with their friends. Things you need to watch for, especially if you’ve just brought a bag of chips from Minnie Bertha’s chip shop or ice cream from Cafe Capri is the dive-bombing seagulls trying to snatch your food. Overall everything seems very captivating in every part of the area, where there was very interesting dialogue within a conversation as you might eavesdrop. You’ll hear parents calling for their kids to come back after zooming down the path to the seafront on their bikes and scooters with so much freedom and joy in their faces. During the summer times, you would have musicians or bands playing just outside the De La Warr situated just on the seafront.
My chosen word I’m going with for my creative piece is:
The medium I started to think about was looking into how AR technology is a good example of how form follows function within this field of design. This really sat with the idea of creating a digital experience around the art center with this 3D form of kinetic type exploded into reality. This can create a unique opportunity for form and function to come to life in an area where there true historical context with this location for my chosen word. The PrintWorks video below shows the identity of the venue in an AR campaign, which I felt showed an example of how my idea could look.
I then started to look into kinetic typography systems, which design studio DIA had some really fascinated work on using simple type forms to generate motion and 3D kinetic typography. This really showed me a route I can really take with this workshop and allow me to explore, and experiment with this technique.
With a little experience (absolute none) in creating an AR form to showcase the chosen word of my location. I had to think of an alternative function that can still create a visual of how the word can look like as a moving image (kinetic type), which I considered the use of a projector to screen the image onto a wall. I used After Effects to create a moving image of the word ‘Captivating’ and have a visual of the words moving in a wave effect motion. The idea is to showcase the way the text moves in a wave effect, which has meaning to the coastline, movement of the people, and the shape of the architect building of the De La Warr. The following screenshot is the development of my work as to how I built my message.
This is the chosen footage I would like
to of projected
The Idea of projecting onto
De La Warr Pavilion
My Week Reflection
Sam Winston’s talk on Form and Function, made clear of how we read, understand, and engineer communication. Playing with message and medium allows us to explore different ways of making meaningful and engaging communications. It’s about how we manifest ideas as a substance through the sense of making and touching physical ways for thinking. We need to be actively reflecting and doing something intuitive and relying on our instinctive nature. This is down to exploring in the surroundings of our research and creating a sense of the unknown that makes it all more enjoyable. We don’t need to be concern about the outcome and allow ourselves to trust and embody into the process of the environment you are searching within. Overall the design is only a small piece of the jigsaw that paints this picture. With this comes the process, materials, and language that needs to be explored to create the design. The process needs to be relevant, useful, and interesting data. The material is the physical thing or environment that is being observed. Language is embodied in our culture and environment that we need to take notice of. So we need to cross over these categories to explore and match our findings to discover the design solution.
Learning through this it allowed me to think and act upon my workshop challenge by going to my location of Bexhill. I was able to discover and embodied myself in my environment to allow myself to see, listen, and touch whats around me. Being in-situ of my location epicenter was discovering the culture and atmosphere of what is happening around me. This was a great exercise and timing couldn’t have been done right as it was a sunny afternoon and plenty of people in this location of the De La Warr Pavillion. I was allowed to sit there and observe the surroundings whilst taking notes in my pad thinking of words that came to mind for this project. Sitting in this location makes the setting a captivating experience where everyone is capturing their best moments, spending time with family and friends. This also relates to the entertainment, art culture and beaching on the coast enjoying moments of fun that captivate the good times.
Moving forward with my chosen word I explored into Augmented Reality (AR) as this has become very popular in society through mobile devices that capture these digital experiences. I feel this is growing more and more in design and there are endless possibilities in using this technology to create events, communication, retail space, and many other uses for services. I want to keep exploring more in this field and get a greater understanding where design and technology overlap to create amazing experiences in spaces that are big or small. As I couldn’t create the AR tech I imposed to use a projector that can show this basic form lit onto a wall to create a similar experience. I do like the outcome of my design in it’s simplest form and the association of the architecture with the movement of the typography that represent the movement of the waves fits nicely. With more time to my exposal I would like to of develop the motion image more and explore a more kinetic type that can be more versitile than it is in its current form. Maybe think how it could look across the entire building and look how technology can improve the experiaence. What tools are needed to create an AR expereince? If I used AR can it be located in many other locations around the building to create a narrative with my choice of word? This can really open up more possibilities with a project like this one.