FIRST YEAR

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During my first year at Dundee University, I was a part of a large group known as 'Social Digital'. This contained students from my discipline, as well as Product Designers and Digital Interaction designers. 

Meaning that throughout this year the work was very diverse and explored many different aspects of design.

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tizio lamp design

& designing own similar product

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This was my very first project on the course, here I was initially put into a team of other peers wherein we were tasked with studying and re-creating a 'Tizio' lamp.

We studied the lamp in depth, measuring all elements and studying the mechanics of it. Soon creating our own version out of cardboard and foam.

The lamp was an introductory task that allowed me to begin to understand what was to be expected of a student joining a design degree.

Additionally, after the lamp had been completed, we were given individual tasks of creating another product that had an element from the 'Tizio' lamp.

I chose the moving arm mechanisms from the lamp and recreated that in a layered desk-storage design. 

The design meant that multiple sections could be altered and moved in accordance with the space available as well as the space needed.

Making the design out of cardboard meant it was also relatively sturdy and usable.

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NAVIGATING SPACES

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A more digital approach led me to the second module. Here I was paired with a peer and we were given a brief, which was; to enable people to navigate a space in a new and innovative way.

We both soon decided to create something small and wearable, a ring. This ring was to also be in correspondence with an app, we decided that blue-tooth technology and mapping would work well in accordance with our intentions.

The ring was to have an LED interface on the top, which would direct an individual by letting them know if they were getting 'hotter' or 'colder' in relation to their destination.

Eventually we then developed the idea that perhaps several users could link their rings, leading them to each other when activated - in case people get lost on holiday for example.

This design would allow users to explore places in a different way as they use this loose directional design to lead them to their destination. 

Allowing the space that they are in to be navigated in a new and refreshing way.

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making spaces

This module included the task of creating a possible future social city exhibit for spaces in Dundee. 

As groups we explored several locations that were considered possible spaces for new architectural installations. 

After this investigation I decided that I wanted to design an installation for a park or more natural outdoor space.

I then created a large structure that would have an underpass as well as a bridge over said underpass, with varied levels of seating.

As well as multiple textural additions that would alter the light that would 'hit' those sitting and walking around the structure. 

A place of rest and contemplation.

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ways of seeing

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Ways of seeing entailed a more expressive approach to how information can be displayed and explained. 

Using illustrative techniques allowed me to articulate what happened in a day of my life, as well as the relationships between people.

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We were also encouraged to create a rudimentary visual CV that could slowly form the basis for a real one if desired.

In the hopes that this sort of creative approach would make ourselves stand out in a more professional and saturated field. 

I enjoyed this module a lot as I do a lot of illustrating in my spare time.

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signs

vinyl

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This section of the module required us to create a vinyl cover on the basis of a singular song. I decided to chose the song, 'Bela Lugosi's dead' by Bauhaus.

I felt the song's imagery was surface level enough to create an appropriate album artwork that would represent the song befittingly.  

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I wanted to make the cover by creating and carving a lino print. Using photos I had taken myself, I used Photoshop to edit the images together into a composition I liked and felt was appropriate.

Once I had my desired design, I printed it out backwards so that when it was traced onto my lino block it would print correctly.

I feel that the album artwork is successful and suits the song well. As well as having an interesting composition; the lino printing having a unique effect on the overall look as well. 

This was one of my favourite parts of the module, as I have always really enjoyed lino-printing, and being able to research into a song in a visual manner was a new avenue I had never personally explored. 

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The next part of the module was to choose an article from a given list, and then design a well-suited layout.

I chose an article about clothing, a particular fashion brand based in Tokyo - known for being relatively experimental and new.

This experimental nature from the fashion company themselves; which I found upon doing research, meant that I had a rich resource of imagery to use as well as a good understanding of how to approach the article visually. 

I went for a more dynamic composition with my own hand-drawn typography that gives the article a more genuine look overall. As well as being engaging and exciting to look at - hopefully enticing someone to read. 

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design methods for insight gathering

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INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL DIGITAL

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Here we were asked to conduct an interview regarding the importance and use of photography by a peer undergraduate. 

After doing research into the history and cultural importance of photography, I was able to plan and film an interview.

The process was a very new one, setting up relatively professional equipment and then having to spend hours editing and honing the footage until I had got the desired final product. 

I learnt a lot from this part of the module as it was all very new to me, but was extremely helpful and has left me with a lot of new skills I can continue to use and build on.

Video below:

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The final part of Year one was to fully understand all elements of Social Digital. Exploring each degree on it's own and using all of the knowledge developed throughout the year to complete these final, more in-depth projects. 

Once these three miniature projects were completed, we were to choose our own discipline and complete a larger, more detailed project that would solidify our choice of degree. 

INTERIOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN

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There were no particular briefs for any of the three smaller projects for each discipline, so we were able to build-on what we had previously been doing. Which was a lot of research into sustainable design and more environmentally centred issues, and we had also been on a trip to a local nature reserve (Tentsmuir) together recently. 

I then decided I wanted to use a more industrial approach to camping, or holding semi-permanent structures and events in the outdoors. So by using the concept of scaffolding being very easy to put up and take down, I wanted to create structures that could be used in an outdoor environment and would leave little to no trace of it ever being there. 

Be it camping, a private event or for companies that require being outside. Such as RSPB, that may need low impact structures to see and observe wildlife. 

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Once I had decided on my concept of semi-permanent structures that would be low impact - and even possibly use old industrial materials - I got to sketching and experimenting with the idea.

I quite quickly settled on the ideas such as the drawings surrounding this text.

My idea then also morphed into a concept about how homelessness could be (on a non-permanent basis) tackled, giving people somewhere drier, and safer to sleep.

Attaching structures to the side of buildings the would allow people to rest and have a place to store things and so on. 

I'm aware this does not help or prevent the issue on a wider scale, but conceptually is a much safer place for people to be until they can be assisted fully.

I then made a miniature model that explored my latter idea, as well as the scaffolding idea still being applicable for the earlier more nature-centred concept.

PRODUCT DESIGN

Not being my chosen discipline, I had to put myself in a slightly different creative mindset. Thinking less spatially and more product oriented (of course), I wanted to carry on exploring sustainable and eco-design but on a simpler, more attainable level. Perhaps for students and such, a product that individuals could easily make themselves. 

I have always believed that design should always consider how to make things easier and more accessible for everyone; as I believe society has disadvantaged so many in many ways and that we should try to make reprimands where possible. 

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On that note I explored how to use waste and unwanted materials that would not easily be reused, but could instead be kept and repurposed.  

With that waste material I wanted to be able to create something useful, something small like a miniature greenhouse that someone could have in their flat or so on. 

Using items such as waste water bottles, scrap wood and so on would mean people could create these structures very cheaply - increasing it's accessibility. 

This was then my final design.

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DIGITAL INTERACTION

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Continuing with a more nature-oriented theme, I wanted to use the digital interaction discipline to be able to create a piece of technology that would encourage people to be outdoors and even exercising. 

I began to sketch out ideas centred around a camera that was easy for children to use outdoors, and even able to be attached to a bike or so on. Allowing them to simply capture images; and even have a simple interface such as a GPS that would also assist when in unfamiliar surroundings.

We were also encouraged to try story-mapping (right).

I attempted to make the clip-on nature camera for both adults and children, with different styles and approaches for each.

For children they could choose from an animal themed camera with less complex capabilities, but still able to capture images on the go.

For adults they were to have GPS features and so on, making them more useful and appropriate for adults who would venture further than children would alone. 

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Below is the final presentation board made to fully explain the process and concept of my design.

SHED

The final part of this final module was, for the Interior and Environmental Design students, SHED. A project that entailed the designing and conceptualisation of an outdoor structure that would be contextualised in Tentsmuir. 

Our class trip to Tentsmuir helped with the contextual aspect of the brief, as I noticed the abundance of healthy sand-dunes, it made me consider how coastal health is such a huge environmental issue; and I wanted a structure that would be a reminder of these issues we are facing globally.

Many of the following images were made to explain my work when we displayed our work.

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After all of my research, sketching and developing I had created my final structure. An organic, coral-like structure that people were able to climb and move around freely.

Sitting amongst the sand-dunes the huge structure would be hugely eye-catching, and be a reminder for the huge crisis our oceans are facing. Hopefully encouraging people to educate themselves on the issues of oceanic health, as well as the importance of it.

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Above is my final presentation board that I displayed alongside all of my developmental and conceptual work, as well as the final model.

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That concludes my first year of Interior and Environmental Design at the University of Dundee.