My aspirations are driven by a sustainable and multi-cultured, inter-disciplined future and I am motivated by social issues and the dynamics between humans, nature, culture and technology. Within my work I engage with interactivity and phenomenological experience, taking inspiration from anthropology and the diverse perspectives of humans. Collaborative practice stimulates me and my recent work with fellow course mates Joe Bazalgette and Andy Hamilton used a collaborate approach to build the Connect Bench, which uses interactive light technology to encourage communication between people in urban environments. This way of working inspired me greatly and it has developed into a regular approach that we are keen to continue for future projects. Working this way allows us to bounce ideas off each other and share skills that enable us to develop those ideas in meaningful and exciting ways.
My visits to London Design Week and Dutch Design Week gave me insight into the many different types of collaborative practice and the dynamic, inter-disciplinary outcomes they achieve. I believe that inter-disciplinary collaborations are going to benefit the future of the creative industry as they allow for an array of skills and approaches to combine and develop into innovative and meaningful designs. Design has a strong influence on us, particularly as consumers and it is crucial that materialist culture makes a big shift in order to build a sustainable future. I want to encourage this shift by using technology and interactive design that encourages people to ask questions and learn through experience. Recently I applied to the Arts Council funded ‘Fault Lines’ project by FutureEverything that aims to support artists who are interested in creating relationships between technology, and innovative creative thinking. Making this application opened my eyes to this current way of thinking in design culture and inspired me to develop these types of relationships within my own practice. For this reason I chose to do large scale workshops as I want to learn more industry based tools, particularly digital design like Solid Works, that will benefit me when working to combine my designs with technology and also my work within the event industry.
At LDW’s Design Junction I was drawn to the material library that stood out amongst the corporate designs of the neighbouring stalls. Here I was excited to see bio-degradable plastics, thermo-chromic paint and conductive fabrics being displayed as usable and accessible materials for designers. Instantly my mind raced to the possibilities of these materials and how I can use them to support my research into the influence of interactive design on human behaviour. Recently at the School of Art I had the opportunity of learning about E-Textiles from a friend studying Textiles who has been using conductive fabrics that lights up when moved or interacted with in a certain way. Having the chance to physically play with these materials myself gave me lots of inspiration and opened my eyes to interactive technology that uses sound, light and kinetic movement.
In my eyes interactive design invites people to cross the boundaries of traditional ‘do-not-touch’ artwork and it allows them to experience material, design and concept in an sensory stimulating way. When trying to communicate a concept I believe that it is best received by an audience that can experience it through movement, sound, smell, taste and more. The Eindhoven Sound Lab at DDW stood out to me as an excellent example of interactive design as it invited people of all ages and languages to play with sound in abstract ways that encouraged them to think and move differently, creating a unique dance as they played. At both DDW and LDW interactivity seemed to be a theme amongst many of the artists and they were often a central attraction for visitors, suggesting that I am not alone in my interactive interests. However many artists seemed to stop at interactivity, and although the result was effective I felt that the interactive element was not always utilised to its full extent of engaging and educating audiences. My opinion is not to belittle the work of the artists but to take inspiration from them and extend their interactive approach to use for my own ideas of educating and questioning through interactivity.
My fascination with human behaviour and the psychology of design encourages me to question social systems and positions of control within society, such as capitalism and media. Over the summer I worked with Glastonbury Festival’s Shangri-La arena, where I had the opportunity to explore the theme ‘Truth and Lies of the Media’. Here I used 3D set design, immersive theatre and graphics to challenge the influence and power of the media, an experience that was particularly poignant as it was during the Brexit results. Developing and building this temporary immersive environment with a team of creative people was an amazing insight into collaborative practice within the festival industry and together we were able to challenge the audiences perceptions and observe their reactions, which further consolidated my interest in interactive design. This experience has been been instrumental in developing my role as Creative Volunteer Coordinator for Pangaea Festival and Lost Cove Festival because it has helped me understand the diverse needs, perspectives and attitudes that people have in collaborative work. I take pleasure in motivating people and working in the event industry allows me to use the event as a canvas to channel my enthusiasm for group practice and work with material, space and technology to put concepts into reality.
My ambitions for my degree and beyond are to integrate technology and innovative material into my interactive designs that have the purpose of raising awareness, questioning social issues and empowering people. I want to develop my relationship with the creative event industry and continue to work collaboratively on an inter-disciplinary level to achieve my ambitions. After visiting the network of studios and workshops at DDW’s Sector C I have been inspired to find my own creative work space that will act as a platform to build a collective of inter-disciplinary people that can share skills, knowledge and ideas to respond, challenge and find solutions to social issues. As an artistic designer I often find myself frustrated by the disconnection between the creative industry and the technology industry and I want to bring these industries together and create a catalyst of diverse innovative thinking that will benefit society.