Virtual Collaboration

This week we began term one Field. The project I chose was ‘Virtual Collaboration’ and I chose it because I found the idea that we work with students in another country in a client/designer relationship exciting. I thought it would relate to my course because I may work with people in other countries in the future, and so by choosing this option I would gain an understanding of how this can be best managed. This would be something I have never done before and I thought it seemed like a great way to great contacts abroad as well as understand the importance of communication in graphic communication, as virtual communication would be our only way of expressing ideas. Upon beginning the project, it was clear that this was an architecture project and required some skills that I do not have as an aspiring graphic communicator. The project itself was unclear to begin with, and I was confused as to what it was we were actually creating. After reading the resources on moodle and speaking to peers we had more of an understanding of the project. We have to select two sites in Cardiff with the potential for development and communicate these site virtually and visually to students in Egypt whom we have never met and who have never visited Cardiff. They will then create a piece of art, an installation or series of billboards for the area based on a brief set by their tutor. In return, the Egyptian students will send us their descriptions of their two sites and we will have to create one of the same for their sites in Egypt. It is important to be thorough and descriptive with the sites so that the Egyptian students can understand what the site looks and feels like despite never having visited the site, and vice versa with us and the Egypt sites. We can communicate these sites in anyway we wish and see fit, as our groups are made up of people from courses across the art and design school. I am working with a fellow graphic communication student and an architect design technology student who is originally from Egypt and is studying in Cardiff for a term in her fourth year. We obviously have a great advantage having Mahira on the team, as she has a first hand experience of Egypt as she lives in Cairo. She is also incredibly talented and advanced in architecture and is familiar with all the software that we could use to make our work look professional, but that without her we could not use due to it not being part of our course.

We went out and selected our sites. One needs to be a slow paced, walking speed site where the public regularly walk past but that is an area with the potential for development. The other needs to be a fast paced site, for example a motorway, busy road or train track. For the slow paced one, we have chosen an area in the centre of town outside the library, where there is a large space of pavement that could be utilised for an installation, and lots of buildings that could feature a work of art. The fast paced site will hopefully be a train track, however if filming a good quality video here is not possible then we will alter this to being a fast paced road near Llandaff.

Upon finding our first site, we went back to uni and began making soft models of our site. I took some photographs of these. This was our first model, made to get a feel of modelling and how we wanted the site to look. We hope to make more detailed, carefully put together models in the coming weeks, however these will take much more time. Connor and I asked Mahira a lot about Egypt and how it differs to Cardiff and now feel that we have a slightly better understanding of who and where we will be designing for.

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