Module 1, Week 3

Week 3 Reflections : What a Week…

I think it’s safe to say this week has been one of the most testing for all of us with the amount of work required. It’s really pushed us all to be more critical, of ourselves and other’s work. The discussions on the Ideas wall have been lengthy but so informative and finding the time to respond to these with all our ideas and thoughts is time consuming.

However, in having a week like this that has squeezed all the critical thinking out of us has produced some amazing and surprisingly creative work. I have to acknowledge Winnie’s blog. I find it fascinating reading about Globalisation and digitalisation from someone who is on the other side of the world – there’s no better way to analyse the changes throughout the world from someone who lives there. As ethnic Chinese Winnie discussed how she felt with Western Jurors choosing historical Asian pieces as a winning design. I had to ask if she felt in choosing these older cultural projects are they perhaps not exploring the new exciting talents coming from this area of the world? As Harriet mentioned in her interview Design needs to reflect not just what Westerners want to see but taking into account other cultures and modern representations of these cultures.

I loved the way Regular Practice explained how they see Design Terminology:

Sometimes you need terminology with which to view the world through and sometimes terminology or categories can set boundaries and limitations for our work

This sums up perfectly how I’ve been feeling this whole week – we as humans naturally gravitate towards categories and needing definitions for our lives. So to have these categories is purely human nature. But some design work can be spread across multiple channels and can fit into multiple categories – does this means it’s any less important? can categorisation become divisive when looking at Design? Does it blinker us when considering a specific piece listed under a specific category? For me, I dislike categories, I have always lived my life this way and I think it’s what causes me to be concerned over “who I am”. Why should we have just one description for “ourselves”? Can’t we be successful in many walks of life and does this mean our talents are spread more thinly? I don’t believe this at all. I hate the “Jack of all trades” phrase because it belittles a ‘trade’ or ‘skill’ you may have because it’s not your main work. Take Laurence Weiner (mentioned by Regular Practice) he’s firmly within the artist category despite working with text. Looking at the work below I’d immediately say this was Graphic Design but because he believes himself to be an artist we accept this fact.

Matt made an excellent point in highlighting the work by Charis Tsevis and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Rings. This work, for me relates back to the original conversations from this week regarding the effects of digitalisation on the graphic design world and the positive effect this can have on taking original, culturally rich pieces and “Digtially reconstructing” them to create a new work of art. This also takes into account Globalisation as this specific Designer is using a different cultural technique of Kintsugi (repairing broken vases) and reflecting this in his work in a very modern, very digital manner. It’s a beautiful piece to highlight the invaluable skill of ustilising other cultures around the world with new technologies.

Kintsugi study based on the subject of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Taken from Matt’s Blog).

Majority of our discussions this week were regarding how living ina very digital world affects the work we do. My blog post on this sums up how I feel but it’s been amazing to see other’s view points too – to be able to talk to others who have longer experience within this industry is a valuable insight into the past work they’ve seen and how it’s changed over time. Again, most of our discussions came back to the same topic of “Creativity”. It’s ok talking about the effects of digitalisation but at the very crux of it all, creativity is the back bone to everything we do in Design. Is Globalisation making all design “homogenised”? Is the expanding digital world meaning more people can come into Graphic Design with basic Adobe skills and no creativity? When will the divide between individuality and commonality become so blurred we don’t know what’s original?

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