My project will be based on the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood” that in the first place I have analyzed just as a bedtime story before discovering hidden messages and strong connections with feminist movements and psychoanalysis.
My aim is to communicate subconscious meanings by using consistent experimentation and different materials such as fabric, paper, flesh, fur, reproduced by a powerful technique such as photography.
Gumrah: Politics of The Image
Design’s sole purpose is not the abstraction of thought anymore. It has become an integral tool of a mechanism shaping the socio-cultural fabric of post-modern and consumption-oriented society. New design approaches are employed by the commercially motivated mass media in order to exercise control over the individual’s will. Such a mechanism brutally manifests itself in how the female body is presented in our daily visual environment. We are bombarded by a barrage of digitally manipulated images of women from numerous media channels promoting female physical appearances of an unrealistic nature. This sets the women on a path to try and transform their image to those idealised by the mass media.
With the new digital technologies the image-making industry has come to a point where the border between reality and fantasy is blurred almost to non-existence. Manipulation, reproduction and artificiality have become the new governing aesthetics. The consumption of images generated through these new norms by the society results in a shift in perception of women’s self image and self-expression.
Their purpose becomes to look as much like those in the commercial images as possible and align their own image with the digitally perfected. The pursuit of this craving at an obsession level creates a society justly labeled image-concious. The central obsession is fed by maintaining an insatiable craving for perfection. Many different avenues towards perfection are presented in all media channels with images of perfect bodies depicted as trophies to provide motivation. While magazines publish new sections with cosmetic surgery guides, social media challenges ordinary women to showcase their image to millions, newspapers criticise female success indexed on physical appearance, TV is flooded with beauty commercials and giant images of perfect women are publicized on billboards and window displays.
The publication deconstructs the visual culture in relation to the female body using snapshots which signify the amateur nature of these photographs and value realness since they are a criticism of the professional sector. The project aims to create a rhetoric about the current state of the female image and to emphasize the banality of everyday life in an over-designed world.
Polina: Visual Dialogue
My field of interest is visual storytelling; it’s variation, functionality, history, and influence on audience. I’m interested in the exploring the range of methods and graphic devices such as illustration, photography, information graphics, typographic treatments, book structure/form, materials in the editing of the existing narrative /story to increase the experience and understanding of the reader.
I also aimed to increase the interest in book design as an art media, against the background of highly developed technologies including Internet and e-books, which aim to provide more text based information than image based.
The outcome of my project will be redesigning an existing text based story and converting it into visual narration. My project probably will be base on Historical Novel- ”Generation of Winter” written by Vasily Aksenov. The story of a Russian family Gradov struggling to survive in the Stalinist era. (1925-1953) As the scope of the book is very wide and contains many different elements such as the description of the political system, emotions of the people, peoples destiny, family life, I will focus on one line or on one aspect of the story,and provide different ways of its interpretation.
“The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin in 1936–1938. It involved a large-scale purge of the Communist Party and Government officials, repression of peasants, Red Army leadership, and the persecution of unaffiliated persons,characterized by widespread police surveillance, widespread suspicion of “saboteurs”, imprisonment, and executions. According research of Robert Conguest in his book “The Great Terror” total amount of victims is around 30million people.”
My goal is create a new visual book,describe human history/time/ people/feelings terror; increase experience and understanding of a reader through visual narration editing existing text content.
It is likely my outcome will be a book about experiments I’ve carried during this project.
Below/Graphic response to the subject of Transformations in novel Dracula by Bram Stoker/Visual storytelling elective.
Elma: Social design
It was always going to be about something socially challenging! I wish to explore how design can create awareness and hopefully change around the issues that directly affect the homeless community in daily life. Having worked for a number of years with homeless people in London and tapped into first hand accounts of problems/misgivings encountered by this somewhat misrepresented group, I decided that this would be a project worth going deeper with. I have discovered avenues of interest that have not been tapped into and these are real problems that homeless people come up against in everyday life, the challenge for me now is how best to use information design to highlight this in a way that those with influence can access and ultimately push for change around this subject. My research so far has led me to discover information designers Ben Fry and David McCandless, both these designers make information sexy! By doing so, this information reaches a much wider audience which is the ultimate hope for a project of this nature.
Gemma: The use of humor within graphic design
My project started with a question on how humor could be used within graphic design in particular branding and identity. I am now focusing more on the cognitive shift which often occurs with humorous material and how graphic design can be used to bring this shift about.Based on a small experiment I did in unit 2 (pictured) I started thinking a materials route through the project could be quite interesting, conflicting the existing connotations of a material or style with the message. I’m also looking into the British sense of humor and how this could be interpreted graphically.
Emma: Exposing the mechanics of voyeurism in graphic design using innovative book layouts
The aim of my project is to use graphic design as a critical practice to expose the mechanics of voyeurism using book design as my medium. I wish to explore a range of possible solutions including photography, collage and experimental page layout. The visual methods I develop, will challenge the readers preconceptions in terms of book layout and allow them to engage with the material and content in a more hands on way, as they journey through the material. I shall look at how the format of the page may echo the content of the images?
The subject matter I have chosen to work with is two varying bodies of photographic work. I will take one female photographer and one male photographer (both working within the same time period in the same country). Looking at the themes they frequently explore and the differing ‘gaze’ and voyeuristic tendencies they naturally adopt, I will search for commonalities and dissimilarities in their bodies of work. I wish to determine whether or not their sex has a direct impact on the nature of their voyeuristic impulses. I will use my findings as the basis for experimental layouts, uses of various stocks and alternative formats.
Above are examples of works from the two photographers I will examine in my Major Project. I will explore the voyeuristic elements in their works, as can be seen here.
Becky: 21st Century Memorials
Do we need a more meaningful and appropriate form of personal memorial in 21st century western society?
Can design be used to offer a solution to the problems surrounding memorials today?
I am interested in the areas of: identity, audience and society. The visible word: text, type and language studies. I want to study the relevance, role and form of personal memorials in contemporary western society and challenge the existing visual language of memorials today.
I feel this is a subject area that is completely overlooked by the design industry, we all die, why are the mass market solutions so ugly and ill considered?
I also want to question the fundamental nature of the memorial by exploring the longevity and durability of messages through the experimentation of the media and structure of typography.
My audience is the entire UK population alive today. My project will be religion neutral although the nature of this directs it towards an audience of agnostics and atheists. I do not intend to confront or provoke any belief system.
Because I will be using design to explore this area my audience will be people that are aware of and interested in quality design.
Based on the visual language of an ‘iconic’ chair poster created for Knoll by NB Studio, the piece questions the role and aesthetic of memorials. Why are these things so ugly? Not enough quality design is invested in the area of ‘death’, yet we all die and the very nature of the ‘memorial’ means that they are the pieces of visual communication designed for longevity. Shouldn’t memorials be iconic?
Marina: Assessing the narrative structure of page spreads
My project will focus on finding new ways to communicate a message through the use of experimental formats of printed publications and also differentiated materials. How can I play with the layout and form of spreads in order to better engage the reader in unexpected and interesting ways? My subject is related to my own passion for books, magazines and other forms of printed media.
Although publications are migrating to the digital sphere and the way we ‘read’ is changing I personally believe that nothing can substitute the feeling of a tactile object such as a book and the rituals that lie behind it.
The theme I’m most inclined to pursue is movement. How can I translate the movement of dance to a two-dimensional media without losing its dynamism?
Sarah: Sustainable fashion
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
I have decided to focus on sustainable fashion for my major project however, sustainable fashion can have more than one meaning. It could mean buying expensive clothes regularly which are going to last a long time. It could also mean buying organic only. It could also mean investigating the fair trade of the clothes before purchase. It could also mean buying second hand clothes only. And the list goes on…
I have decided to narrow it down and focus on two separate areas of fashion which relate to sustainability.
1. As I have an interest in vintage clothing I want to focus on this area firstly. My main priority is to try and take the vintage out of the vintage. By this I mean I want to try and moderate it, or at least a small section of it in order to convince more people to bring it into their wardrobes and experiment with it.
2. Secondly I want to do some investigation into the next generation of fashion textiles and share this with my audience. Some of these materials are only being tested at the moment. For example, apparel are presently being made from sources such as bacteria, corn and nettles. All of these methods are proving to be highly successful in relation to the eco friendly factor and again sustainability, more so than any of the older materials such as polyester, nylon, etc.
How can I encourage more people to become aware of sustainability in the fashion industry?
1. How can I encourage people to become more experimental with vintage fashion?
2. How can I encourage more people to take an interest in the material of the clothes they buy?
I hope to design a fashion magazine revolving around my chosen subject. I am currently looking for people involved in this area to feature in it so contact me if you are interested.
Some images from my first experiment which was a photoshoot called ‘Vintedge’. The theme of the shoot was vintage with an edge just as the title suggests. The vintage clothes used are not from any specific era. I simply choose pieces which I thought would look good and matched them with pieces from the highstreet.
Louise: The issue of bottled water
My overall aim with both this project and my studies in general is to challenge conventions, and to explore the possibilities of solving complex problems with uncommon solutions. The last couple of years I have become increasingly interested in social, critical and service design.
I wish the design I work with to be more than only an exploration of aesthetics, and to work with design that make practical solutions to everyday problems.
I believe that everything we create to some extent changes the world we live in. Every chair, every website and every poster modify our reality – “We cannot not change the world.” Consequently, everything we do as designers has an impact on the world. In my Major Project I will strive to make my impact a sustainable one.
My research question is: “How can I use graphic and service design to influence social behaviour?”
Sub question: “How can I use graphic, communication and service design to make a concept which makes people buy less bottled water?”
To watch the cruel facts about bottled water, check out: The story of bottled water