Competitions: Week 2 Tutorial

Since my last tutorial I have been considering both of my initial ideas and conducting further research in order to come to a decision. I have been in the middle of a real mental battle over what to choose – one idea feeling perhaps more ambitious in difficulty and the other being something I was dying to pursue, but I was unsure of whether this was because it was an actual good idea or whether I just wanted to pursue it because it featured something I have been raised to love. Obviously, the aim of this project is not only to create an amazing piece of portfolio work, but also to gain recognition from ISTD – I must remember this.

As the week went on it became increasingly clear which project idea I was leaning towards…and when I say leaning towards I mean completing grabbing with both hands. My anniversary will be 1977, the year David Bowie released the song ‘Heroes’. A song about the Berlin wall, the song, and Bowie’s work in Berlin over the next ten years contributed to it’s fall in 1989. I will contextualise this to modern day by comparing this to Trump’s plans to build a wall and note how history repeats itself – walls go up but they always come down. I am particularly drawn to Bowie because of the potential for adventurous colour and composition. I really want to push my work far out of my comfort zone and my skills to their absolute limit in this project to create something I am really proud of – the best thing I have ever designed. (No pressure, I know!)

The meeting today with David and my group was positive. I shared my journey to choosing my idea and what I had chosen and David second my decision, which was a great boost. I discussed my ideas so far though they are still a bit all over the place. I have considered using a timeline throughout stemming from 1961 (when the wall went up), through the 70s when Bowie lived in Berlin and wrote Heroes, to 1989 (when the wall came down). I need to decide how it will be structured – all the Bowie stuff and then all the Berlin wall stuff, or the two intertwined in some sort of undecided fashion. We decided it was best to leave some more detailed background on Bowie out and make the whole thing more about the wall, as there is such a strong link between Bowie and the wall. I want to include some personal accounts from my family and particularly my dad, as it was his influence which led me to love David Bowie. I am considering how to represent the wall in my work. I have considered actual paper technology pop ups, typographic representation, imagery etc, I need to consider how to do this or whether it is even necessary. David and I agree it is a good idea to still begin with my dad’s devastated text on 11th January 2016, and end with something personal too.

Next Friday, we will be expected to show three completed spreads and having fully decided the content for each page. David reminded us to constantly consider “what are people going to take away from this project?” and “what am I trying to say?” The must be purpose to our work!

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Competitions!!!

In amongst the Design for Real project, we had a briefing for our next project – competitions! I have been looking forward to this project for so long and I am excited to get started. Since the briefing it has been on my mind but only now am I getting the chance to properly explore the briefs in depth in order to decide what I want to choose. There are lots of great briefs and it is just about deciding what kind of thing I want to do. I am very keen to do an ISTD brief – a typographic editorial is right up my street and something I wasn’t able to do in the last project, or for a while actually. The success of the year group before us is intense – so much great work and so many winners from their cohort – NO PRESSURE!

I really want to produce a brilliant piece of work for this project and obviously, the aim is to win. I think I am going to enjoy working independently on ideas way outside of the box in order to stand out on a national scale.

DFR: Final Presentation

Our final presentation today was a great success! Our board looked fantastic and two mentors came over to tell us our presentation was their favourite (after their own groups, of course!). I think we presented well and the work of the three team members at the presentation was to a high standard and looked great! I put together the presentation, checking and approving it with Isabelle and Amber and I think it was clear and concise in the end. Amber’s work really added something to our stand – her interactive model got people involved and everyone was fascinated with how it worked! Waiting to present I was suddenly so nervous and I think this may have came across as I spoke. I was trying not to ramble on too much as I know I have a habit of doing this from fear of not getting my idea across fully. The clients seemed to like my idea during the presentation, nodding along to specific things I said.

Afterwards, we received only positive feedback. The clients appeared interested in how it would be possible to pursue all of our ideas, mine potentially being the most expensive and difficult to produce of the three due to the scale of the idea. They have taken away our presentations and so hopefully we will hear back soon which ideas they would most like to continue producing.

After a bit of a rocky start with not really understanding what was wanted from the brief, I think as a year we produced brilliant and varied outcomes. I very much enjoyed working on the project and having the opportunity to work on certain elements that I have no yet delved into in my design work, like the app. I hope that I can keep developing this for the summative deadline and hopefully develop a working prototype/video.

DFR: Design Development

Since receiving constructive feedback on our prototypes and concepts, I have been making the appropriate changes to my work. Thankfully, the elements of my work that I had chosen to be specifically tailored to the age category of the target audience all work well and do not need changing – these were my main concern as they are essential in order to appeal to the correct audience. Based on research of eyesight of the elderly and dementia, I chosen red and yellow as these are the most easily distinguishable colours. I chose two fonts, both easy to read and one particularly bold and capitalised for clarity. i have included within the settings on my app design the option to change the colours scheme and font size on the app to tailor to individual needs.

Ian drew to my attention the need for something to come before the actual event, when I had mostly be considering what came after. This is obviously important, because for my idea especially I am relying heavily on the participation of families. For them to participate, I need to create an invitation of sorts; a way to get involved. I have come up with two ideas which I’m sure will be more or less appropriate and feasible depending on the budget. The first idea is to install the benches where they are meant to go but they are painted grey. On the panels of the bench will be information detailing a very short sentence or two summarising what the project is and how to get involved. Something like:

“Need a Rest Stop? This could be it. But grey? Really? Have you got a bright idea for a bench? Reststop.”

I want the tone to be friendly and informal, putting families at ease and encouraging them to get involved. The other idea is to have slightly more information on a card invitation given out to residents and resident’s families in the Newport area.

“Hi _______! Newport needed more Rest Stops, so we got them! Yay! There is just one problem… They are all grey. To fix this, Derwen are offering your family the chance to decorate a Rest Stop! Just gather a group, come to the hub and have some fun! The brighter the better. Pop into the hub or download our app for more information on how to get involved. See you soon!” 

For the final presentation, I want to show every stage of the journey – invitation, event and spreading the word – to show I have considered all stages.

DFR: Penultimate Client Presentation

Today we had our penultimate presentation with some of our client’s – Amanda and coworkers from the school of health sciences. Each team had 15 minutes to discuss their ideas and get feedback, so it was a rush to get everything out that needed to be said. Of the three ladies who gave us feedback, we had only met one before, and so in those 3 minutes we had to cram in the inspiration for our idea, the idea itself and what we have designed as a result of this. Prior to designing the app I have been working on, I researched in depth about designing for dementia; what to use and what not to use for successful usability. The only improvements the clients gave was that I should measure the distance to the next bench in minutes and not distance, because people often struggle with visualising distances.

For the final presentation next Thursday, I would like to have a video of my app ‘functioning’, a printed invitation to take part in the event and a map print out.

DFR: My Idea

Families are at the heart of this project and so we aim to create work which encourages the strengthening of family relationships. Isolation and loneliness are common amongst older residents of independent living associations like Derwen, and so the frequent visitation of family can considerably improve the overall quality of life, by tackling these issues. The most important thing to say/show is care, compassion and consideration for both the families and their older relatives. We hope to show understanding of different age related conditions and recognition of the identity and individuality of the residents. It is important to demonstrate the importance of interaction between different generations and to close the intergenerational gap by helping different ages to learn from each other.

I have been looking at the recent public art display put up around Cardiff in support of Ty Hafan. This project comes in the form of Snowdogs assembled around Cardiff featuring all sorts of different themes, patterns and colours. They have been created by designers, artists, schools, sponsors and partners of the charity, and more. There are similar public art exhibitions going on in Birmingham and Bristol, all for similar causes to raise money and awareness for local charities.

In a presentation from a Derwen representative, it was clear there is an issue with a lack of benches and rest stops between the residental homes and the new Hub build. These places are also situated on a hill; a difficult journey for those with reduced mobility.

Taking all of this into account, I decided that my project would involve adding to the area a number of benches along the journey from the top of the hill down to the Hub. Families of residents can ‘sponsor a bench’ and decorate it however they wish with the help of a team of local designers and artists. The idea is that when walking to the Hub, residents can see the brightly coloured benches ahead of them, knowing the distance they have to walk before they can have a break. On each bench will be a QR code and hashtag to work with an interactive app, where, if scanned, users can unlock the ‘story’ of each family and how their made their individual bench.

For the remainder of this project, I will be working on designing the look of the app and a physical map directing users to all of the benches.

On Friday, we had a workshop with Neil looking at ‘taking the red pill’ with our ideas AKA, pushing our ideas outside the realms of the ordinary and making them extra ordinary. Angelo spoke to us about splitting our design process into three sections – awareness, use and sharing. Awareness is about making people aware of what it is you are actually doing, and how you can use design to get the word out there into the world to the right people. Use is the actual event, or the actual thing you want people to see and do. Sharing is what comes afterwards – how people share your idea and interact with it and other people. This is perhaps where the digital element could become more evident, as social media is such a great tool for spreading messages quickly. I am currently working on first of all coming up with a memorable and effective name for this project and then looking at how I can promote it to families. I am keen to work on the app as I think it is perfect for this project, the client seemed very keen on it, and I do not yet have an app in my portfolio.

DFR: Initial Ideas

Over these first two weeks of third year I have written pages and pages of notes on workshops, lectures and tutorials, trying to absorb as much as I can about this project and the vast background behind it. Ahead of a tutorial this morning, I thought it a good idea to condense my ideas into initial ideas to explore as promising propositions for our client presentation on Thursday.

  1. To engage families in visiting the Gaer complex I think we need to give them something to do; a pull to visit and spend their time there. For this, I could design an interactive games room fully decorated with wall stickers and murals, photographs and boards that could be drawn and painted on with interactive brain training games for all ages.
  2. There is a lack of benches and rest areas on the journey from the Gaer to the Hub new build. Benches/a sheltered area could be put into place every 100 yards or so, brightly decorated by different local artists, designers and perhaps contributed to by the school near by. The vibrance of these would be visible from a far, working for both younger members of the family and the older residents. From each rest area, the next would be in sight, making the journey much more manageable for all mobility capabilities. Each bench could include a portion of a story of Newport’s history – you have to read the extracts on every bench along the journey to complete the story. These could be change seasonally to ensure people return. A hashtag could be used on each bench to unlock more detail on a corresponding app, photos of each beautiful bench could be posted on social media also to attract attention to the area.
  3. Change4Life – a family based NHS project to make families more active. Inspired by this, a similar app could work here – games and activities for family members. The activities would aim to improve physical and mental abilities. You log which family members are playing – different points for different people – perhaps more points for older people? Families can compete within the Gaer – older people can do activities without family and family without older person but more points if they do it together.
  4. An interactive wildlife garden with activities. Pond dipping, fish feeding, bird watching and feeding, animal bingo etc.

Following the meeting with Wendy, I feel more positive about my ideas. I presented ideas 2 and 3, both of which Wendy thought were good initial ideas to develop. For the bench idea, I need to consider the fact that whatever is put on the benches, whether that be a story or game, it works both going towards the Hub and away from it. There should also be some sort of visual story to encourage the visitors to complete the journey and create anticipation for the next bench. For the app, Wendy suggested I choose one traditional game and develop it into the app as a case study, and success story before developing further games and ideas.