Monday, 7 November 2011

The pavillion

First project of the year and not my finest. Oh well. I'll go back over it.

Blogging in the name of.

Last week I went to go see Rise against that wholesome post punk rock band from Americana live at the Leeds O2 Academy with fellow Shire-Folk Sanderson and all I can say is I got something much better in return.

 Being Born in 88 I was just old enough to catch the tail end of Heavy metal before it sadly ended at the feet of Kurt Cobain and his puke green jumpers so I have always admired the poise and raw feral feeling a true blue metal band brought. Not the bands of the late 90's to 00's which predominantly turned thrash or todays Metal core (chuggathon) But the Flashy 30 minute soloing explosive guitar, pyrotastic heavy metal about women and other such naughty things.
As a child I would sit transfixed by certain bands, feeling a secret power from within when listening to songs that I didnt quite understand even as an adult I still retain a soft spot for the classics.

Rage against the machine is a Los Angeles Rock/metal group formed in 1991 drawing heavily upon the 'heavy metal' of the 80's (in my opinion) and took the best for themselves. Singing about political agendas ina mix of genres. they have today sold over 16 million records worldwide. Needless to say they are pretty big.
Tom Morello, thier guitarist is a particular favorite as an axe god for me, someone who never really got the call to shred sweet lyrical nonsense upon the plank of wood.

So Imagine my surprise when the man himself walks onstage, barely six feet away from where I am standing in the 'pit'. I swear I have never grinned so hard.
For about 45 minutes I was a child again, Right there, Listening to a man whos music I have grown up with Live, throwing out simple shapes, Moving on stage with 'Classical music' (traditional in metal) Baring out feral music, engaging the crowd and then BANG ten minute guitar solo right out from hsitory, Whammy bar, double tapping, The man played his guitar with his teeth while the crowd cheered on. It was stepping back in time and it felt good. I dont think I cheered so hard all night.
Even when he lead us in a sing song. ( World wide rebel songs ) and we sung happy birthday to Tim Mcllrath, vocalist of Rise against.

I am no stranger to being star struck. I have been in the presence of some Interesting comedians and completely lost with words but there is something comofrtinga bout rock/metal singers and the stage that makes you want to engage and give yourself totally for the time your there.
It is something I hope I wont forget.. though I may edit out the swearing here and there.


Door of awesome

This is what we get up to in lectures.


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Summer Pt1: Hot days in a builders shoes.

Now while I didnt find a Paying job (arguable as I did manage to earn 120 pounds for clearing the yard) over summer several oppotunities did arise to keep my self entertained as well as learn some new skills.

 First off as my folks decided to move and buy a do-upper house I was roped into construction of: A new kitchen, Bathroom, Wc (just a toilet for those who dont know) the foundations for an extension and of course my own bedroom. Ironically the only job not finished was my own room due to lack of funds and well.. attempting to build free floating shelves from scratch by myself was a little trickier than I honestly relaised...
Go Figure.
Overall It was fairly easy, Mostly making studwork walls or typical decoration. though I did try my hand at tiling and floor laying (including laying my own carpet) But most props go to my father for never going over budget and finding inventive ways to get done what needed to be done on as close to a schedule as possible. While not nessicarily my first choice in home It is slowly becoming something worth while from the construction site I first visited. Clearing up the mess after your done however is probably the worst job I was given, Sitting out in the sun with a shovel and moving hardcore to a skip with a broken wheelbarrow was not fun nor a learning experience. Challenging yes, but back breaking which increases my respect for those doing it on a daily basis.

 The second slightly more rewarding work experience I had was working with my neighbor down the road on a two story extension. Though unpaid It was interesting to shadow and attempt to help where I could to build somthing professionally rather than DIY. This went from helping dig out and prepare the foundation layer, Mixing concrete, Minor bricklaying and a little scaffolding tutorial which are surprisingly stable. (irrational fear of heights here)
It was exciting to see a build slowly come together as each job completed links to the start of an other till the extension and the interior became solid form and less a mass of bricks and studwork. It also helps its given me a better basic knowledge of how such things can be done which may be useful in my line of work (If I get a job)
I do have to say I found it impressive that despite rain or shine the build continued as often it hard work in bright sun leads to very unhappy workers but no one complained and just kept going till the end of the day, I consider that an work ethic I should learn from.

All in all worth it.


Sunday, 4 September 2011


Just a quick post as its been so long and I have plenty to write about but still, feeling good and dandy so hold on to your hats!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The road least travelled.

It has been an interesting and probably not all that an exciting a week from an outsiders persepective, but for me it represents several things,
A change in pace to the aggressive rather than passivly idling my way through life,
Understanding more about myself and what makes me tick,
Sometimes you must loose something precious to you to gain,
I cannot wait for something to happen, I simply must just continue forward,
To let things go.

It is a  far better road I walk upon now than before, Or so they say.
I also found out trying to write a Exhibition design brief for myself is harder than it looks.
Go Figure.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Adventures with a Morris Minor.

Just a small post today,
Met up with internet friend Ook of Today Rose at Welwyn for a brief coffee and impromptu chat session while she was visiting The Cat Survival Trust, a protected sanctuary for big cats in England where you can go visit and take photos of wonderful creatures.

Ook is for lack of a better term a fantastic Anthro artist, thus a creative type and good in my books and we have often discussed ideas crossing over many genre which prove to be interesting or unique which goes to show no matter what discipline you are in sometimes its good to step back and ask someone from a different walk of life, they could improve something a hundredfold.

Something that made my day all that sweeter is that she drives a white Morris minor called Rose, This little mog is a beautiful piece of machinery with a wonderful smell and roaring engine was a pleasure to ride in.
On the ride home I did notice something strange, Knebworth now has a dinosaur trail. It could warrant a look just for laughs
We will just have to see.
Oh! and I ordered an iced tea today, Felt like a proper grownup.


Monday, 4 July 2011

College. re:

My sister has recently not done so well in the educational waterfall known as school so she had decided to up and leave to attempt a course in an adult learning college,
Specifically the College I also spent four years at before going off to university.
Now normally this would prove no Issue as obviously, being younger and living int he same area my sister has followed me from school to school but she is a bit of a nervous coward when it comes to new things so I was roped into taking her to the college. This is where it got weird.

It was kind of nostalgic to be back on the grounds and see what changes had been implemented in the years since I've set foot there, I knew where to go and what to sort out having had prior experience but something I didn't count on was the fact that several members of staff would actually remember me. Let alone in some kind of fond way.

While waiting, I managed to bump into three, count it, Three tutors who for four years where most influential over me and my grades and my wants. It was kind of humbling. However rather than ex student to tutor they spoke to me as a person and enquired about things I wouldn't have imagined to be important to them, while still providing me with advice for the future, all of this while smiling.

Just goes to show, Sometimes you don't know just how much someone invests into their students, intellectually and emotionally and sometimes you just totally read people the wrong way.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

[ tokyo:ocean ]

Finally, I'm done with project and I can present you all with my work.
I have spent many a night laboring over this design so hopefully it looks good.

This is the client visuals and concept statement - Vary noice
My god! a second presentation board! This time containing photos and graphic treatment.
Speaking of photos, lets get a closer look,

 I attempted some interesting lightplay.


Monday, 16 May 2011

Alice in wonderland Shadow puppet theater

A while back we had to make either a shadow puppet theater or a 3 dimension pop up book based off three scenes from a version (or more than one) of the Alice in wonderland story by Lewis Carol. I chose to do a puppet theater but made the actual film on a light box and some thick paper in the background. I love the effect but If i was to do it again I would use a tripod... Oh and its stop motion.


University work Hiatus and Warhammer.

Sorry all. I seem to have taken a fairly long time again between posts, that is mainly due to it being the end of the university year so I am spending alot of my time going over previous work or finishing the tokyo:ocean project (Updates of final work next week) and much of my final week of the Easter holidays was spent working hard on the parental house in preparation of coming home.

Now not much has really happened that I am aware is blog worthy but I did think I could make something up about a rather nerdy hobby...
  I'm sure most.... gentleman who at some point in their lives have crossed into the boundary of tabletop games, its almost a right of passage for 12 years olds to spend parental money on metal and plastic miniatures where they labour over for days trying to paint all the little details and eventually fight imaginary wars.
For those not initiated into this... I hesitate to call it 'Cult' I will try and give a brief summary:
Warhammer is one of many 'popular' tabletop game franchises that branches off from the main company 'Citadel' which then splits into two separate Sects, Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. The idea of this game is to use miniature models that represents units of an army to wage war against another army, These cover a variety of Unit styles and races, in a way its very closely linked to Dungeons and Dragons.
This is of course a simplified version missing out all the rules and restrictions in place to make the gameplay fair and structured.
 Now I did 'Play' this game when I was about 12, I use inverted commas and I cant say I really understood the game at the time. I bought Eldar; Glorified space elves from the 40K universe, Got frustrated with painting them so they ended up solid gold and entered a fight with a friend where neither of us really had a clue what was going on. Needless to say it wasn't really that fun so off into the distant memories it went.... Skipping forward to midway through the Easter holidays where I was sitting around said friends house, watching him play Crysis 2 with a few others when what should come up but the topic of Warhammer 40K.
 It turns out that several of my little group and I do stress little have begun to collect the different armies again just for a laugh as we never really understood it as children but now the rules and tactics of warfare sounded much more interesting.
Several of them had already collected sizable armies by spending 20 pound or so a month and seemed to want to expand further.

 I wasn't particularly sold on the idea as it costs alot of money, you have to buy the units and then buy paint and glue to make and decorate your army and even then you need to understand the rules, however a seed was implanted in my head when someone mentioned about the new army just released. The Grey Knights.
  A specialist army of superhuman men whose sole reason to live is to destroy the armies of chaos, demons and other things threatening mankind.. I liked that. So after much umming and erring I bought an unit. Specifically a mech called the dreadknight. Now I have a weakness for Mechs in general but when you have a thing that looks like the power loader from Aliens (an all time fav) whats not to like? and then I bought a small army, mainly due to financial cost but also because as fun as spending time painting these infuriatingly small models is I wish to keep a level of maturity and distance from the subject.
 The reason for this as a person i know often remarked, is have you seen people who play warhammer?

Not that I am judgmental, I am sure that these people live perfectly normal lives but god it seems surreal as an outsider. Those who take the hobby a little to seriously, whom take it past just a way to waste time or a childish endeavor, Those who literally allow it take take over every waking moment of their day scare me. They seem ill at sorts in their bodies or out in the real world, preferring the games workshop or personal spaces, Ill kempt hair, Loose ill-fitting clothing, Man bags containing models and rule books... I can see why any girlfriend would worry if a young adult or even anyone over the age of thirteen decided to play.
Of course as a designer I give props to these people, they 'Mod' their units to make fantastical creatures or dramatic poses, they work their craft to such a high point  its even masterful or perhaps works of art. But it is a little sad/geeky/ take your pick for a descriptive word.
I love Sci fi and I find it to be an interesting way to pass time that isn't staring at a computer screen or sketchbook (physical exercise is always preferred) but I do not wish to ever be so caught up in something that isn't real. Escapism isn't a good trait to have. equally perhaps we shouldn't be so judging of those who do play it if they are happy knowing that I/we will never go there.

Needless to say it provokes alot of thought on the subject.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Oxygen bar

Well I thought id show some previous design projects that dont nessicarily link to D.E.M.
This was a project to design an oxygen bar that would sit in a small area of land next to a level crossing in the center of lincoln.

The client visual showing the full height of my design and rather early attempts at CAD.

And finally an interior visual to describe the materials and sensation.


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Bad Design

Today I met my neighbor, A well aged and experienced builder who built most of the loft extensions in the surrounding houses. Upon finding out I was a designer and my father being fairly well experienced in DIY he told us a tale of woe where a design sometimes doesnt work.

He was working on a nearby Loft conversion for a client whom had hired an Architect he had previously worked with. The technical drawings where in 1:50 scale Plan and bulding sectional showing the new room, Three section stairs and new shower room the builder had been constructed to build. Well seasoned in the field he followed the plans to the letter including the use of steel beams and the exact number of treads needed, much of which was prepared offsite. However by this point several issue became prominent.
For a start the shower room was too shallow by 500 mil so the client eventually had to loose bedroom space to compensate but the architect blamed the builders in making the mistake.. Uh oh. However the architect when contacted simply claimed 'Follow the plans and it wont go wrong'
Secondly and most importantly, The three section stair way which crossed over the stairs and main bedroom joists was too low, you had to almost crawl to get up the main stairwell. Upon measuring he found that the stair tread should have been 2000 mil. The architect alarmed by this information came down to the site and inspected it before long she raged at my neighbor that the entire build was 400 mil lower than the plans designated. Quickly 'John' for we shall call him John poured over the plans and saw no measurements for the space apart from a line. the architect then decalred they should have scaled the line spacing up. Oh very dear...
Six thousand pounds later and an independant architect whom pointed out the issues and helped fix them later and the original architect still claims she did nothing wrong. the client also didnt get compensation from the architects company for the mistake made.

Now the moral of this story is two fold. A: Its always good practise to pay more money for well experienced, confident builders who know how building works, can control a site, and offer solutions when the design just doesnt work.
B: Is to sometimes accept that we are not always right and that line weights only make sense to designers.
Co-incidently the architect who designed the plans also had poor eyesight but refused to wear glasses....


Friday, 15 April 2011

Easter holidays

Just to say that currently I am living in a building site with my family and two dogs and a hullva lotta mess so any blogging may be sparse. I will try and get some work up as I go along. TO BUILDING MY BEDROOM I GO!


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Tokyo ocean Preview

Well For the final project of the year we have to design an exhibition stand for Tokyo:ocean! This exciting project was dreamed up by the Infamous John Stocker and has been running for about eleven years?

Here is a quick peek at what I have so far.

The graphic logo - mm tasty

Pre Vis of how the exhibition could look.


Crits - How to destroy a mans soul.

Critique, As a designer is a bit of a double edged sword. Sometimes it works to your advantage and other times its downright soul destroying...
Throughout your academic career you find yourself subject to the whims of teachers, tutors and even your peers when you reach higher education ( If indeed they feel brave enough to comment ), I figure that the type of person effects the way a Crit may evolve.
In all the years I have spent in higher education I find certain individuals, Tutors mainly whom seem to delight in pulling apart your work and in some cases your personal belief or dress sense all in the name of 'positive advice'
Of course there will always be an element of personal preference in a critic, No-one is going to like everything under the sun, I for one dislike modern art with its pomposity and lack of clear understanding on what I would consider to be the principals of art.
But this is probably what goes wrong. As a Critic should we not sit back and evaluate something as a designer rather than what we like?

No project is ever finished in the sense that you can always evaluate the idea and improve and this is a good positive thing as it allows a student to discover new ideas and develop a visual and design language that will continue well into the course of their career but as the saying goes, If you cant find anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I have seen so many promising projects shot down purely because the evaluating tutor decided to riff on about why the Idea didn't work rather than suggest improvements and compliments the good elements.
Arguably the worst offender are those who get personal. We are here to get our Project/Drawing/Creation etc critiqued, not to have comments of how we dress, speak, think, expressed ourselves insulted. It is not an excuse to feel big about yourself, tears should not be involved in the classroom thank you very much.

Equally those being evaluated can have issues that may not necessarily a good thing. A good critique is to positively reinforce strong ideas and show you perhaps where you are going wrong. It certainly should not be or isn't a personal ATTACK on you and you alone, you should be able to walk away with positive feelings or an understanding of where you went wrong, Walking away angry or feeling hurt is not going to help you or encourage good faith in your classmates/clients. Nor is insisting the tutor is wrong and continue you down the design path they have considered weak without good reason. If your going to own a critique then make sure you have reasons to back up every design decision and speak to the person, make them understand what you want to do.

In the end this 'Process' is to prepare you for working with clients in the industry who in some cases will be less forgiving but certainly more likely to focus on the final imagery than the whole project. REMEBER we are to speak to those of us who don't know design language and include them in our little loop, make them feeling involved and understood so they pay you. That's the goal at the end of the day, to get paid.

Clients may be idiots, But they pay the bills.

So if anyone refers to you as a rich tea biscuit, just smile, agree and dream of how your gonna spend the money they are paying you extra for.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Hatless and loving it.

There is something I have always found as I've grown older, hopefully wiser and certainly more sarcastic and that is when your a teenager you try and find your 'hook'. In an age where popularity rules and those around you will do anything for attention you want to stand out. Mine was a comfy, well worn Hat.

 Now this hat changed shape, colour and style over the years to feature alongside the differences in personality I had or the fashion at the time and I distinctly remeber feeling as if I stood out. It also occured to me others did much the same though perhaps to a more drastic scale, Goths, for example where all the 'rage' when I was impressionable. You couldnt walk into a shopping center without the dark spots of hapless youth, marked up with eyeliner and looking dissaprovingly at the world as if it had done them wrong.

 Of course kids these days diversify; Chavs, Emos, Scene kids, Metallers, Trendies, Indies, Plastics, there seems to be a new fad every season to further tribalise and standardize the next generation of tax payers but where does it stop?
I certainly wasnt immune to such things and even with University carried on trying to keep that hook, that sole idea of individuality that it almost seems ludicrous.
Quite recently I have had a change of heart, I find myself doing things I never thought I would do and things my sixteen year old self would loathe and detest.

 For a start I cut my hair, for years I kept it long or 'alternative' in some form, going so far as to dye it various colours to 'express myself' but now a little later on in life and I find the process of drying, straightening and looking after my hair too much hassle when I could simply get a electric shaver and number two the lot (In a fashionable way of course) then muck about with it as it grows longer. A few years ago this would have been blastphemy! now its simply just a means to an end.

Shorts is also something recent that wouldnt have happened before unless in the height of summer but looking back I used to wear bastard shirts of the most electric colours possible and thought I looked cool, I think god will forgive me if I get a little trendy. The real reason behind this is not so much trying to fit in or stand out but to blend in with society much as one would wear a suit to work if need be, perhaps rather than visually dramatic, individuality is something expressed by our personalities which are honed by our experiences with other people and interests.

It could be said its an age thing but then I know people my age and older who havent ever grown out of thier 'hooks' Quite often becoming two dimension characatures of their true selves, larger than life and to some, living in denial.
I wouldnt call these people sad because they are happy but one does wonder if there is a certain level of ignorance or clinging onto childish rebellion involved.

Rebellion is certainly for the youth but do they nessicarily go the right way about it? Are they only further solidifying in our minds thier inability to function in the real world by becoming tribal and dressing the same?
Isnt this where stereotypes come from at the end of the day.