Possibly not evening for you but as of currently it is 19.59, Monday 26th September and I am finally writing a blog post about this topic. remember as soon as my experience had finished I thought to myself "I have to write a blog post about this", but here we are, five days later, finally getting around to it.
The 'this' in question was a fantastic presentation I saw at the Olympia in Kensington London, for 100% Design 2016. I had decided at the last minute I was going to attend at least one of the events for the London Design Festival and had a single day off in that hectic week so I thought let's take a day trip to London. This decision was so impulsive that I planned my itinerary for what I was going to do when I got down there on the train down there. I would not this method as two events I thought I would have the opportunity to attend started the day after. Crap. It was only by a stroke of luck the final event on the list was due to begin on the 21st of September - 100% Design. The preparation went as follows -
1. Book a student ticket
2. Print said ticket
3. Quick scribble in notebook 'go see talks: Designer. Maker. User & Not just a product: brand-building in unexpected ways'
4. Go to Kensington Olympia.
...and that was the plan. As I said, a fairly unorganised plan I would not normally recommend, but a plan all the same.
Admittedly, I hadn't heard much about 100% Design, which is slightly embarrassing because it is a bit of a designer hub, so I didn't know really what to expect but I was excited to see a list of talks that were going to happen. I was particularly drawn to the one that mentioned branding as I had spent a lot of the summer firming up the ethos of my brand CHESYGN. I thought I would learn the tips and tricks of starting a brand and in some ways I did, but I found one speaker spoke to me on a personal level about a subject unrelated to what I had originally attended for. His name was Nick Finney and he gave the most unique, scatty and nervous presentation I had even seen.
That description makes it sound pretty awful - but hear me out.
He started off by stating to the audience that he was a coward and told us about some of his traits that are normally depicted as negative. It made me think of some of mine: scatty, nervous, emotional, over-sensitive. Traits I have often wished I didn’t have. However, he explained, nervously and stumbling over his words, how he utilized those traits and made them positive. This made me rethink my traits.
Could being scatty just be a way of showing enthusiasm?
Could nervousness just be a way of finding courage?
Could emotional and sensitive just be caring and empathetic?
He quickly flicked through a series of images at a ‘Tyler-Durden-Fight-Club-subliminal-messaging’ speed over some of the incredible pieces he had created in his design career and began to slow down and talk more fluently about what was clearly one of his proudest achievements: Creative Courage.
‘Creative Courage is NB’s mantra; a rallying cry, a touchstone, a catalyst. It’s also a platform for a series of talks, events and activities.’ - http://www.creativecourage.co.uk/home
Creative Courage was originally an eccentric musical spectacle to show the importance of the relationship between the client and the designer and focused around the “anatomy of the pitch”. It shows how things can go wrong but when you care and believe in an idea your true intension and passions for that idea will, ultimately, shine through. That not everything has to be planned to the T with pin point precision and there is room for error. At least that’s how I read it.
It then became clear as he spoke more that his seemingly irregular methods of presenting were intentional and added to the message he and his brand were trying to send. This same irregularity is the one I have seen when I scribble a ‘lightbulb’ idea on the closest thing to me. The same tumbling-over-my-words voice I have used when presenting a project which I am excited to reveal to my audience. The same unpredictable instinct I used when I decided to take the trip to London, to the show and to the talk that day. The same ‘go for it’ attitude I took when I decided I wanted to take another year in study.
Then he said something I really needed to here: ‘assumption is the mother of all fucks ups’
And you know what? He was right.
Some of the most successful decisions I have made in my life have been made leaving assumption at the door. However, I normally make these decisions and later on think ‘was that the right way to go’ and often fear whether I’ve screwed it all up for myself.
‘There is no such thing as courage without fear. If there’s no fear, you don’t care’
The thing I loved most about this presentation was its rawness. The acceptance that he had his faults and his fears but without them he wouldn’t be standing where he was. He wouldn’t have been able to create the amazing creations, without the not-so-amazing ones. When you start to step out of your comfort zone and design with creative courage, you are taking a gamble. A gamble for the greater good that will lead to bigger and better achievements than you would have even had been able to accomplish in your neat, comfortable bubble.
I want to leave on that note and that message. This will be a message I take though me through the next 53 weeks starting tomorrow. I will accept when I am fearful and not punish myself for being so. I will not step back and accept that I can only do this because I am comfortable doing it and have done it before. I will take the gambles, experience new experiences and explore a new side to myself and my design.
I hope you have a wonderful morning, afternoon, evening, whenever you are reading this. It is now 21.36 for me. I hope you found something within this post that relates personally to you and may consider the possibility of being a little more courageous.
A few weeks ago we took a long weekend trip down to London to house, cat and rabbit-sit for my parents while they were on holiday. Even though I grew up in London, I still seem to act like a tourist every time I venture back 'home'. We saw a show, went to the Hard Rock Cafe, went to Buckingham Palace, drank some overpriced gin - the works.
While we were down there I wanted to visit a venue I used to love as a child because of how interactive and playful it was. The Science Museum brings back great memories of human sized bubbles, floor pianos and 'cool space pencils' in the gift shop. You could imagine my disappointment when the twenty one year old Ciara searched floors high and low for these such attractions but was met with legitimate educational exhibitions. I felt cheated.
I was about to give up on my old childhood memory when I spotted an exhibition that spoke to the product designer in me.
Making the Modern World
'The Making the Modern World gallery presents some of the Museum’s most remarkable objects. Chart 250 years of science and technology and discover some iconic items that have shaped our society.
Come face-to-face with the Apollo 10 command module, Stephenson’s Rocket, Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 1, Crick and Watson’s DNA model and the first Apple computer.
You’ll also find thought-provoking objects such as penicillin from Fleming’s laboratory, a porcelain bowl salvaged from Hiroshima and a clock that will tell the time for the next 10,000 years.
Visit this exceptional collection to follow the cultural history of industrialisation from 1750 to the present day.' (source)
If anyone reading this is an inspiring designer, engineer, manufacture, tech-y or just appreciates industrial design I would highly recommend this exhibition. The Science Museum is classed as a free venue however they work off donations so I would suggest parting with a beloved fiver so they can keep on providing shows such as this one to the public. I would love to ramble on about each and every thing I found fascinating but seeing as this such an easily accessible day-out I would suggest just seeing it for yourself! However, I will provide a few mentions to some my favourites:
At the exhibition there was a model of an early prosthetic arm that made me realize how far we have advanced in medical technology and product design. We are at a stage where utilizing skills in computer aided design and 3D printing can produce bespoke and custom-made prosthetic limbs that are much less intrusive that the model seen here.
The power of prosthetic limbs are easy to overlook if you are not the one in need of them. Yet, with events such as the Paralympics currently going on in Rio, undeniably resources such as these give people, and even animals, a second chance when life has dealt them a difficult hand.
The Nostalgia of 'Big'
'Old School' Manufacture
In my masters I would love to become more knowledgeable about the manufacture style of design as I have often viewed it merely as part of the criteria or a compulsory slide I would leave for last. Although I have not always been the biggest fan of this stage in the product life cycle, seeing older models of the printing press and especially the lathe, having looked into them extensively in the third year when researching wooden materials, I feel inspired to get myself up to date on 'how things are made'. I could sketch all the beautiful designs I wish, but if they are not plausible more manufacture, the concept is futile.
I love to collect my thought's in this blog so that when I may be uninspired later on, I can refer back to this post's and note down what I was enjoying learning about in the months prior. I will most likely do a post about the London Design Show and share my experience of the day on here.
To introduce yourself to Manchester School of Art staff, and your fellow students we’d like to prepare a simple poster that outlines what you currently do, and what you hope to get out of joining us on as a Postgraduate student.
A one-sentence, simple summer project - I like it.
This is my second blog post and since then I have finished the one-sentence task and been finding experimenting with some creative ways to boost my CHESYGN social media. I have been having a lot of fun showing 'work-in-progress' photos and short time-lapsed videos. I really like this idea because no matter how great the outcome of a project may be, the audience may never truly no how much effort goes into it.
Moving on, as I mentioned I finished the poster and here is the final result:
This kind of poster is totally my style and I feel the branding of CHESYGN truly shines through. I like to have a full page, especially when I'm sketching: call-outs, rough sketching, refined, mixed media all in one space. Although this may seem sporadic, as a natural scatterbrain this is how I love to work. When I have an idea, whether it be on the train, bus, sitting on my sofa or anywhere in fact, I have to note it down, quickly, otherwise I will loose it. So often I will be starting a page with one concept or idea and think of five or so more in the process so that by the end of it my one-idea devoted page has transformed into a series. I know plenty of designers that like one clean page per design, which is fantastic, but definitely not me.
This poster is more focused on what I currently do or have done rather than what I hope to get out of the masters. The reason for this, and I hope I'm right, is that I want to speak about this. I am you textbook introvert and so when it first came to public speaking I found it more than a little nerve-wrecking. However, as I have grown, completed upwards of 10 or so presentations per year, worked in a few different jobs I have found that I enjoy speaking to an audience. It was definitely a learning curve and would always practice my presentations a few times beforehand in addition to being equipt with brightly coloured flash cards that I would look at once and forget I had because I was on a role. I'm planning to do this with my hopes for the masters but I will give you a brief 'flash-card-bullet-pointed' summary:
Thank you for reading if you have and if you haven't then you couldn't be reading this sentence so you input is, therefore, redundant.
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