New Designers 2014

Design Work, Photography, Sketching/Drawing, Textiles

Hello! I have recently came back from London as I was exhibiting at New Designers 2014. I was only there for a week but it was an exciting…slightly stressful and eventful visit. I learned a lot and would definitely recommend for anyone to visit. The amount of design work shown from Universities and Colleges throughout the UK was incredible!   I was exhibiting at the T40 and T44 stand. DJCAD, University of Dundee. I featured each of my collections – which was a miracle considering it was a little space! However, even though it was small, I feel it showed my design work well due to it’s location in the main exhibition space!  Here is a preview of my show!

Lots of pattern! My aim as a designer is to create beautiful surface pattern design inspired by the world around us. For this particular set of collections, they have been inspired by Glasgow’s Shipyards and the powerful structures which frame the city of Glasgow. Glasgow is my hometown so it was great for me to do more research into the city’s history in order to create my design work.  As part of my aim for these collections, highlighting Glasgow’s Shipbuilding heritage was an important factor for creating my designs as it encouraged me to design for a public commercial spaces so that I may re-introduce Glasgow’s Industrial heritage.

 

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Industrial Skyline

Design Work, Sketchbook Work, Sketching/Drawing, Textiles

hello again! recently my life has been taken over by art school (DJCAD) because of the ever looming degree show, which is in less than 3 weeks! ahhh Scary thought but i can’t wait to finally exhibit my years work and final collections. I have a series of collections ranging from fabric wall hangings to digitally printed and hand printed wallpapers to a wooden collection. Each has it’s own style but each link with each other so as to create one large geometric collection.

Each collection I have created has been influenced from Glasgow’s Shipyards which frame Glasgow’s grand historical skyline! Glasgow is my home town and it seemed only fitting to explore its history in more detail. My project has been inspired by the large geometrical structures which include an array of cranes, machinery and ships. The intertwining cranes and machinery create a beautiful silhouette full of geometrical shapes, linear detailing and pattern which has inspired me to re-create a collection which exhibits Glasgow’s history through a series of modern design work.

Here is a sneak peak of some of my design work so far!

 

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Nikki McWilliams.

21st Century Design, Art, Textiles

Yesterday, in my 21st Century Designer module, I was lucky enough to hear a talk from Nikki McWilliams!

Nikki graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), the University of Dundee. She studied fine art but also took a screen printing course at Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre after she graduated because she had always wanted to screen print and sadly missed the opportunity whilst in University. After she graduated, she first started to make badges with various different designs for family and friends but then realised that they became quite popular so she decided to sell them online. She then moved on from badges and started creating her own fantastic cushion collection!

Here is some of her badges and brooch designs!

She uses her screen printing talents to hand print each and every cushion! I think this is really personal and makes the product even more brilliant I think because it shows that she cares for each and every product she designs and sells! Her collections are inspired by British Culture and Pop-Art.

Here is a few of her great designs!

How great are these!? I especially love the Bourbon… best.biscuit.EVER!

I find these cushions really interesting and very cute! the detailing and colours are so perfect and simple and would easily make any interior very eye-catching!

All of her fantastic products are online at www.nikkimcwilliams.com so have a little look! well worth it!.

Nikki has also attended a big trade fair in London called Top Drawer. She was in a section called “Spotted”. After the trade fair, she was then contacted by Selfridges in London. Massive fashion department store in London (if you have never heard of it!). So later in the year, her collection of fantastic cushions will be on sale in Selfridges, London.

If your a keen blogger or slightly addicted…like myself! Have a look at her own blog! – www.nikkimcwilliams.blogspot.com

So check out her website and fantastic collection of art,prints and beautiful cushion designs!

Byee!

Assignment 4: Reading and Reviewing

Assignments, Change By Design

Assignment Four

World Wide Web Page

Caroline Westbrook- “Playing video games together considered ‘quality time’ for children to bond with older generations”.

When reading this article, I found it to be mainly evidence based as the writer doesn’t include any of her own personal opinions. The article clearly showed that research was carried out to test the theory of how video games are classed as great ‘quality time’ for the younger and older generations. The main purpose of this article was to confirm that video gaming is considered quality time for families as well as being very beneficial in providing different skills. When this article was written, I think that the key question that the writer addressed was: do video games count as quality family time? Or are they taking away child social interactions. There is a lot of important information displayed and I think that because this article is mainly evidenced based, it guarantees accurate and honest information. Therefore, it gains the trust of its readers.  The writer focuses on one main research study that was conducted by Goldsmiths University and PopCap gaming company.  This study, held by Goldsmiths University in London, tested to see if there was a social connection made between both generations whilst playing or after playing video games. The study showed that when the older generation played video games with their children, grandchildren etc it had connected them socially and therefore had improved their social skills. It showed that playing video games unites both generations and it creates a fun and sociable environment thus making it easier to connect with their children or grandchildren.

“The fact that both parents and grandparents are using games to connect with their children and grandchildren, and quite successfully, suggests that video games can improve social skills and make a key contribution to both effective parenting and child development.”

PopCap is a successful gaming company  that offers a wide variety of games ranging from more classical games such as Bejewelled to the more recent, Plants Vs.  Zombies. PopCap are successfully helping the elderly come to grips with technology as they include more classical games that the older generation may have known or played before. PopCap games are now available on smartphones such as: iPhone. Android, Blackberry etc. This makes them more available to all generations and further connects them.

“Around 27 per cent of those who took part in the study said their children borrowed their smartphone or tablet device every day to play casual games.”

I think that this information relates to ‘The Social Centre’ very well as it links in perfectly to what topics arose from our team discussions. The particular topic that fits for this article though is one of our main brainstorming ideas about technology and the elderly. The younger generation is much more advanced in technology such as computers, games, mobile phones etc and as a group; we thought that “The Social Centre” would be a great place where the older generation could learn new skills or further develop their own existing knowledge on a particular subject. So we thought that demonstrations or classes on technology for the older generation, taught by the younger generation, would really help connect them more socially and improve vital social skills. Also, as part of some events or even just for fun, the younger generation could use their smartphones to connect to the older generation through the world of mobile phone gaming. The writer concludes this article on a high and really conveys the future of technology very well. This article ends with a quotation from the Senior Director of International PR, Cathy Orr, at PopCap gaming company and she explains that video gaming has become as popular as going to the movies and listening to music. She explains that it is making its way into the family lifestyle and will be the new format for family favourite board games. This could be something that could work very effectively in “The Social Centre” because it would unite both generations very easily. Now that DVD games are available, it makes it even easier for the older generation to come to terms with the games that are available to them. Moreover, some of these games, such as quiz games, involve some input from the older and younger generations together as there is a wide variety of questions. I think that the most important key concepts I would need to fully understand this article would be to investigate more into the study that was referred to for this article and how the writer relates to her chosen topic. I didn’t think she mentioned her own opinion on the article however; it would be interesting to see what she thinks about the overall topic.  I think that if I were to think about the consequences of this article if its readers chose to ignore it, I think that the world of gaming would still be just as popular. Games are advertised in most advertisements nowadays and with their high graphics and exciting music to follow, it is inevitable that they are become more and more popular. In terms of “The Social Centre” I think that it would be vital to include some form of gaming. Both the older and younger generations could both enjoy playing games together and could also learn new skills from each other whilst they play.

Book. Nancy Frey – “Productive group work: how to engage with students, build teamwork and promote understanding”

The main purpose of this book I think is to promote the benefits of group working and how they can be applied within education/different environments. The key question that is addressed I think is how can we engage students, build up team working skills and promote somewhat of understanding. I think group working is very important and very useful within the learning environment. I find that with group working, it is easier to approach something that may be challenging or something that requires a lot of different views or ideas. Group working I think helps the participants socialize better as well because you are constantly discussing what has to be down for your specific project or topic. There are various pieces of important information shown throughout this article but one of the sources I will mention is near the beginning of the book. I think it’s really effective and shows a clear understanding to why group work is very beneficial in a learning environment. There was a test that was set to different groups and each group had to research a different food source. They had access to the internet and a collection of books that related to what they had been researching.  The group had to summarise all of their research and each member had to at least write one sentence about their topic/findings. Moreover, each student had to write in a different coloured ink as well as being able to explain the contents of their paper to a teacher in an interview or discussion. For the result of this study, there was a paragraph made out of each students sentences about their topic and in the book, it is shown in different fonts to display each students contribution and ideas in their group. Overall, the test was successful as this one paragraph showed all of the information needed about their given food source. It shows the collaborative knowledge of the students working together and sharing key pieces of information.

In context of “The Social Centre”, team-working would be a major part of what it is we want to achieve within this environment. When we discussed how we could unite both the younger and older generations, working together and group work was always a key part of this project. We wanted to unite both generations via different events such as: music nights, movie nights, exercise classes and so on. Therefore, team work is a vital role in “The Social Centre”.

Group working within the education environment also has its disadvantages because not all group working can be successful. However, one of the main reasons to why group working isn’t as successful as it could be is that the students are more aware of failure. When put in a group, it is usually to solve a problem, make a product, a design solution and so on but usually once the group has started to get into their projects, only a couple of members of the group seem to take the lead whilst the others sit in the background. Therefore, this puts a lot of pressure amongst the leaders of the group as well as making the others feel in adequate. This is one of the reasons why teaching staff have not included it as much within the learning environment. Therefore, there has to be positive interdependence created because for a group to work, each member has to communicate, take part and convey their own ideas. Other ways to create this would be:

  • Goals –assigning a different task to each member and that task would require them to participate and work together with the group.
  • Resources –giving each member something to look at, say an article, game etc.  This could insure that each team member is given a unique piece of information that they can then present to the group.
  • Roles – giving each group member a specific role in which they are responsible for.
  • Rewards – a means of making the group much more sociable and offering breaks from continuous work. Also, could be something to do with each member, for example, one group member could be the motivator and try and give their group more motivate to carry on with the task. This would be a very effective tool in “The Social Centre” because this could help the generations to further connect with each other as well as keep up with the different events available.

For the social centre, I think that making sure each generation contributed in each activity to what they feel comfortable with in order to achieve a more sociable and relaxed environment.

My Thoughts …

I found both equally as interesting as each other. However, I preferred the first article “Playing video games together considered ‘quality time’ for children to bond with older generations” in the Daily Mail. I found that one easier to relate to as I myself have been in a very similar situation. I agree totally with the article because when my sister and I were younger, we played videos games quite a lot and both of our parents would join in with us at times. Therefore, I can relate to this article well. I think video gaming is a great family bonding experience because everyone will be having fun and the atmosphere is more relaxed. It then encourages all family members to socialize and work together as a group (multiplayer options) in both the video game and environment. If parents chose to ignore this, I think that they would lose a small connection with their child because gaming is something many children find enjoyable and if their parents chose not to participate or worse, refuse their children of their right to play a game; it could lead to disruptions in the family environment. I was reading another article from my last assignment and I feel that it relates very well with this article at the moment because it’s discussing the benefits of the elderly using video gaming technology. The article is “Elderly Keeping fit with the Wii” found on neowin.net. I found this article really interesting because it is again, something that I feel I can again relate to. Furthermore, I think that the Wii Fit is a fantastic way of keeping fit because you get to experience different types of exercise that may have not been available before or that you had never tried like yoga, for instance. Furthermore, you are in control of how intense you would like each fitness exercise to be. It also offers small games that can improve balance posture etc. There was a study carried out by the residents of a care home run by Helen McArdle Care. For this study, they gave this care home a Wii fit with several controllers and tested to see how the residents would react to it. It was all a success! They all loved the Wii and said to have found it very fun and encouraged more people to socialise with each other.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen one of these things, let alone played one, but it is great fun […] It’s much better than television, it’s more interesting and everybody gets involved” Jim Fisher, a resident in Hartlepool

“I’m really enjoying it. It’s given me the opportunity to socialise with the residents and staff and to get to know people better. They tell me I’m quite good, but I would not like to say so myself.” Betty Dennis. A resident at Hartlepool

As well as the Wii Fit being very enjoyable, it also has many benefits. The Wii fit builds up your fitness, body strength and balance over time depending on how much you use it. In this article, another study was taken in care homes and sheltered housing in greater Manchester and the study revealed that the Wii fit improves their strength, allowed them to stand up for longer, feel younger and much more confident. Overall, I love the Wii fit and think it is an excellent idea. It’s a great way to keep fit and it’s also great fun!

My next resource, I looked at “Productive group work: how to engage with students, build teamwork and promote understanding” by Nancy Frey. When reading this book, as I did not have a huge amount of time, I briefly read the more relevant parts that related to my project. When reading, I came across some interesting facts and studies related to group-working and they relates very well to our brief. I particularly liked the study about the food research and the use of different coloured ink to show the different answers and facts from the students.It showed that when these sentences were pieced together, they formed a small paragraph that gave all the correct information needed about their given food research. A great example of team working! It showed that every member of the team contributed and successfully completed the task they were set.

I think that both articles relate in some way because each article includes some form of “team work or group work”. The first article relating to the quality time parents have with their children when playing games as this is an example of working together and therefore, connects them. In the second source, this book discussed the importance of teamwork in the learning environment and how it could connect students and help them work together.

Bibliography

Fairbairn, Andrew. 2009. Elderly keeping fit with the Wii.www.neowin.net/news/elderly-keeping-fit-with-the-wii

Frey, Nancy. 1959. Productive group work: how to engage with students, build teamwork and promote understanding. Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, Sandi Everlove. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD, c2009.

Westbrook, Caroline. Playing video games together considered ‘quality time’ for children to bond with older generations. [Online] Available:www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2028918/playing-video-games-considered-quality-time-children-bond-older-generations.html. [23rd August 2011]

Team Meetings!

For a part of this assignment, we had to meet up with another team, in our case, Team 2 .

In Team 1 (our team) there was Colin Adams, Jennifer Heilbronn, Eilidh Alexander, Susan MacLeod and Jana Smuharova. In Team 2 there was Rosa Howie, Dione Bowlt, Alison Best, Eilidh Orr and Alicia Storie


We found this meeting very beneficial as we were able to discuss each teams developed ideas and see how they came to their final idea and vice versa. Our team brief was based on connecting the younger and older generations and our final idea was “The Social Centre”. Team 2 had a brief named “Mine for Life” and their final idea was medical alert jewellery that would have 2 sensors on either side of the body that would determine if the sound was coming from the left or the right of the person. I thought it was a really great idea and that it could become very successful!

Team Discussions. Team 1 & 2

Team 1 & Team 2

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This was a slide show from our team meeting in Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design Library. I found today very successful and found that working with another team really opened my ideas to different ideas and how to approach different things. Something I hope to use more in my own work!