New Uni Year. New Me. New Projects.

5 Oct

A brand new Uni year has finally arrived. Just finished my first week of lessons (well, two days worth) and it has not been so bad. Obviously it’s only just started so there’s no major pile up yet. The first semester has three modules, and the second will have two.

The new modules we are taking on for the first semester are:

  1. Concept Development
  2. Design Portfolio
  3. Experimental Communication

Concept Development and Experimental Communication so far only involves mini briefs and are quite interesting.

I’ll refer all modules through initials: CD, DP, and EC.

So far in CD we had to choose a word from a list given to us, and the word I picked was ‘Sleep’. It was the only word I felt stood out to me in the list and the first thing that came to mind was dreams, stages of sleep, sleep walking/talking.

I researched and gathered information on the word, absence of it and its effects, how much sleep needed, and the stages of sleep (REM and Non-REM). Afterwards, we got given two choices: take a lucky dip to pick a new word, or add a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the word and find the associations linked with it.

I chose the lucky dip and got the word ‘Suspend’. Put it together, and you get ‘Suspend Sleep’. With this, I looked at how sleep can be suspended (sleep disorders, nightmares, stress, moments of waking up during sleep).

As part of our self-study I looked a bit more into both words for more information and had to produce a rough visual that combines both words. I did two and these are them:

^ This one is meant to be that feeling of falling and you suddenly wake up. Found out that this happens in the N-REM stage 1 which lasts for about 5-10 minutes, and is when it causes a muscle contraction.

For EC, there was a lot of talk on lateral thinking and we got given ‘riddles’ which we had to think outside the box, as they say. For example, one was:

A baby fell from a 20-storey building and survived. How did this happen?

Answer: Baby fell from a ground-floor window. It does not specifically say the baby fell from the top floor, only that where it fell from was a high building. Such a twister, although I got it straight away ^^ There was some others that were much harder though.

Anyways, as our self-study we have to do this thing called ‘Persuasive Design’, where something encourages us to act upon, to desire, or to purchase without the conscious mind having an opportunity to interfere. A friend and myself were on the train home and did one as we were discussing what to do. Basically, we put a sign on a seat opposite saying: “DAMP SEAT. Do not sit”. I suggested to make it more authentic by adding dabs of water onto the paper (yeah, you know where this is going) and stupid me actually spilt some water onto the seat so it turned out damp in the end. We changed the sign again to a cleaner one, and jotted down the amount of people who:

  1. Noticed/Looked at the sign
  2. Avoided the seat
  3. Sat on the seat:
  4. Touched the seat
  5. Ignored the sign

This started at 17:30, during rush hour period (and we did feel a bit bad when it got busy…) but it worked. People did avoid the chair no matter how busy it got. No one wants a damp bum. Also, we could have left it after, but we were kind enough to put the sign there for no unfortunate person to have a bad Thursday evening (although it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t spill the water!)

We took photos discretely, and the whole thing lasted 40 minutes until one woman with her friend, possibly in almost in her 70s rushed to the seat without even paying any attention and sat on it. Both myself and my friend were in the “oh my god!” moment, but realised after she wasn’t even standing up so we assumed the seat was dry. We also assumed that they were tourists as they spoke in another language throughout the whole journey even after I got off. Thing is I just found it funny that she was capable to walk around the whole of London, in also inappropriate shoes, and felt the need of needing of rushing to sit down. I hate people like that.

So the final results were:

  1. Noticed/Looked at the sign: 22
  2. Avoided the seat: 22
  3. Sat on the seat: 1
  4. Touched the seat: 0
  5. Ignored the sign: 1

(I’ll say now though that if anyone, which I doubt, who was on the Piccadilly line  at the time this happened, reads this, I apologise for the inconvenience of not having that seat).

So our persuasive design did work, somewhat. But after when I emailed my tutor for this module on whether it was ok we did it together, unfortunately although she loves the idea of collaborating, it’s an assessment and needs to be individual.

It put a damper on things, but we were fine with it as we discussed with each other what we would do if we couldn’t. She’s gonna plan on wearing a sign that says free hugs and see how many people will give a hug, and I’m going to print out fake £5 notes and drop them on the ground to see if anyone would pick them up thinking it is real money. Or perhaps do the old trick of gluing a coin on the ground and see any attempts of anyone picking it up ; ) Good fun.**

Anyways, for the DP module, our brief will either be competition based, live client briefs, or made up ones. Five altogether, but 3 only for hand in. Our first is to produce a calendar for a hotel company where the proceeds go to the charity UNICEF. The calendar itself has to portray children, food/recipes, UNICEF, the hotel, and their theme of togetherness, sharing moments with mother and/or father etc. I have a good idea of being able to combine all of them, so it’s gonna be an interesting project. Plus, if yours does get considered, it will be sold on in their hotel branches. So this will be definitely interesting to take on : )

**EDIT: I am no longer doing the money thing. Been thinking and this morning decided against it. Don’t really want to get done for counterfeit…. You never know what can happen on the day!

So now, I am going to do something that involves a phone number, and a Facebook account.

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2 Responses to “New Uni Year. New Me. New Projects.”

  1. Mark Armstrong October 22, 2012 at 02:37 #

    Oops! Sorry, dear Fox!– I missed this one completely… : (

    The new Uni year begins! Sounds like a very interesting mix of course work and design projects. Really enjoyed your Sleep sketches. Yeah, if there’s something more mysterious than the world of sleep and dreams, I don’t know what it is!

    I’m glad you explained about the baby and the 20 storey building. I was seeing him go off the roof, and wondering how he knew enough to strap on that parachute!

    Enjoyed the story of the Damp Seat experiment, and that was funny about your actually spilling water on it. You were obviously trying to add a touch of realism, good show… : )

    Good luck with the Hotel Calendar project. Man, that would be such a kick if you won and got to see your calendar printed up and sold– now that would be a crackerjack portfolio piece!!

    That mysterious phone number and Facebook idea again–!! What was that idea, and how come it crashed?? Inquiring busybodies wish to know!!

    Again, sorry to be late here– best of luck to you in the coming semester!! : )

    • Sabine October 22, 2012 at 13:15 #

      That’s alright, Mark. I was posting a fair amount that week so there was quite a bit to look at. But it certainly has been interesting so far, and unfortunately, there is already that mountain of work that I have to climb through. Hopefully I’ll reach the top in no time : )

      Glad you like them ^^ they are complete rough visuals, and from then there has been more things involved with that project so I need to post that up too!

      Haha, it would certainly be a frightening thing to even think about. Luckily, it’s all with the playing of the wonderous minds we have. Unless there was one of those fire engine landing things they have and the baby landed on it. That could have happened, somewhat :p

      It was a definite fun experiment. Was a shame we couldn’t present it together due to individual assessment. And I really was trying for that but the movement of the carriage caused me to spill a lot! I blame the train driver. It was not expected but added more laughter when it happened ^^

      And that would be wonderful! The calendars themselves would be sold around the UK hotels so it would be great coverage. We were told that they won’t be published until late 2013 for 2014 so there is still time. So far I am drawing out my sketches/neatening them out Illustrator.

      As for the Facebook/phone number thing, all is revealed on the newer post on 11 October (just the second one above this post)

      Thank you for your always welcoming support! ^__^

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