Lecture: Sam Winston podcast 

I’m a big fan of Sam Winston and I have enjoyed getting to know his practice throughout this process. It was really awesome to listen to him speak in more detail. The first narrative I picked up on was his debate around screen based vs hand made visuals. I enjoyed the notion that hand based practices produce an uncontrolled element, this conversation was repeated in this weeks lecture with_____. One of the questions from was _____ thoughts on AI, while being aware of AI it currently isn’t able to produce work that shows the human story, the human hand, essentially the happy accidents. Personally I find it quite hard to be fully creative on screen, I often need to print things out, scribble, cut and move things around to achieve something I’m proud of.

During the conversation the work of Kenya Hara came up. His work was not something I was familiar with so I dug a little deeper to see what I could find…

I started by looking at his book: Exformation Design. The word Exformation was new to me… a quick google search taught me: ‘(originally spelled eksformation in Danish) is a term coined by Danish science writer Tor Nørretranders in his book The User Illusion published in English 1998. It is meant to mean explicitly discarded information.’ In relation to the work of Kenya Hara his exformation book plays with the notion of not knowing. It’s an opportunity for a new starting point for design.

“What moves people’s hearts is the unknown” Sam Winston

How to approach a design brief with these new learnings?

Part of the conversation highlighted how our interactions with the world can help change the outcomes we produce. For this upcoming brief I need to take on some of these learnings:

  1. Look at an object from different angles
  2. Embrace the unknown and explore what arises
  3. Go into a space blind… orientate yourself with touch or sound
  4. Let ideas cone to you in these altered spaces
  5. TIME IS A TOOL: Use it to work through problems / ideas.

Sam’s tip was awesome!

Illustrating a sentence literally achieves nothing. E.g illustrating the sentence ‘the dog is running’ by modifying the type to make it look like a dog is running is a waste of information. If the dog looks lost, or confused you get wayyy more out of the image. You can add a second message within all of your messages. It reminded me of something I had seen ages ago in Alan Fletchers book Looking Sideways:

In this example the style of the type communicates a home made, wholesome and a potential undiscovered fantastic box of eggs. However using the same typeface for the free flying lessons communicates that you would not be safe, the the people are winging it and don’t put proper care into what they are doing. Become fluent in both what language can say but also the unconscious delivery of it!

Do I live in an underserved community?  I found this an interesting narrative during the podcast. Sam mentioned that you can look at a library in any community and read a lot about what is going on in that area. As I was listening I was in Haverfordwest Library… it’s been done up in recent years. Haverfordwest is a bit of a shithole, it’s depressing, but a town I use. I go to the doctors, dentist, swimming pool, food shopping and use the library here… it’s a town I need.  The library wasn’t busy, it’s in a town centre that is dying, however, the people that use the library do reflect the community we live in. Young families, people like me heading for somewhere warm to work, an older generation of people getting help on the computers and it essentially is one of the last community hubs we have. A place to be cherished.

Thoughts on the video from Regular Practice: How can a message be enhanced by the medium? 

David Carsons is someone who I have always looked up too… He has such an unique and distimct style. When I was growing up he designed a lot of the content inside some of my faveourite surf magazines. Surfing and surf culture has been my main pathway into Graphic Design and I would say that David Carson is at the forefront of shaping the visual language of surf culture.

I enjoyed the slide Regular Practice showed of David Carson’s work. I think it describes perfectly the double communication you can achieve with graphic design. In contrast they also showed a billboard design, it’s kind of gross but so effective. Without the 3D element this ad would make no sense at all yet having the 3D straw gives you almost a birds eye view of what you could be drinking.

David Carson

Communicate an emotion you perceive your city or location is about.

This is interesting, I do think a big emotion about this place is how connected it is to the elements … The elements kind of shape it and what sort of day you have. Some days they completely sun bleach you, other days you are soaked, sand blasted blown around. It’s diverse in its battering, you have to be resilient.

I posted my initial idea to the ideas wall. My initial thoughts from wandering about in my surroundings is how where I live the human objects are very quickly modified by the elements….They make their own mark. I would perhaps like to try and create something that can then be modified… maybe lettering. I got a bit of feedback from Renee: I love it Ellie, nature’s impact on the industrially produced. Even your photos here look edgy... SO now I needed to go back out and just BE, take time and let ideas come to me, I did feel like I had a nice starting point though

I really tried not to focus on plastic… Really I did!

When I was studying for my undergraduate I focussed on plastic pollution and campaign graphics, it led me to go onto work at Surfers Against Sewage and now almost ten years later I’m still working in the realm of plastic pollution and litter. Don’t get me wrong it is a passion of mine but the narrative I have worked to for many years no longer rings true to me and so I had wanted to steer away from anything to do with plastic during this course. But the reality is, I live at the beach and I find it interesting. So after spending time on the beach and letting ideas come to me I decided to stop being stubborn and start to investigate the shapes and colours that have always drawn me in…. What could I turn them into? There were letters forming! Strange collages… Scrambled ideas. Initially I wanted to paint / draw onto the plastic and put it back outside to weather a little more. I enjoyed looking at some of the practitioners that would bury their work and I thought this could potentially be a version of that INSERT hiraeth experiment HERE

The first alphabet I created was very much abstract. But I looked at the shapes I had in front of me and worked out where I could see the letters in them. I really like this as it is… potentially more than my final outcome! I stuck it up on the ideas wall and instagram to see what people thought. Again a nice comment from Renee: So cool! It’s an artwork. You could use it in week 10 challenge too… It also went down well on Instagram, I did notice a lot of my old colleagues from Surfers Against Sewage liked it… gosh, I must stay away from plastic, this is a way for me to create a new path!

I took to procreate to turn what I had put together into an alphabet. My method was fairly simple, I wanted to create continuous line lettering. I think seeing the two pieces together the one on the left is perhaps something that communicates more than the one on the right. There is a suggestion of an alphabet with the piece on the left, a suggestion that it is a code of sorts…

A bit more development… I love the colours that you find from the washed up bits of plastic, they’ve been softened. I think the hand drawn type works a lot better having been blocked out and adopting a new colour.

The below images are just a bit of fun but I wanted to imagine what the type created from found objects actually communicates about the place it originated from. I think it looks pretty steam punk, potentially a little bit nortical and if I played around with the colour a little more I think it could actually represent this wild, rugged yet inclusive, free and beautiful asset Pembrokeshire has to offer very well.

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