And so we return. Grammatically, I am aware that this is not the recommended way to start a sentence, but it feels the most dramatically appropriate for the beginning of this new term.
In reflection of the pace of this course, and the professional intent placed upon us, we are thrown straight into a major project:
Subject 2.0: The BBC Brief
Actually, it should read:
Subject 2.0: The BBC Brief, LIVE.
Yes, this is a live brief.
We have been presented with the opportunity to work with the BBC, Bisely and Orangebox, (more on these later), to design and create a piece of furniture that will be specifically manufactured for the BBC and form part of their interior design. Not only this, but if one is lucky enough to have the winning design, we get to work with these companies, following the design to fruition and receive a cut of the sales! Bonus, right?!? There is a slight fly in the ointment; we are not the only university competing. We are one of three.
Orangebox are a local company – based in Nantgarw, Caerphilly – who design and manufacture contemporary office furniture. They have asked us to design a height adjustable, movable, pull-up table that is designed to be used in soft seating, or ‘non-conventional’ office areas.
Bisley are (again), a local company – Newport – who are most famously known for their filing cabinets. The last time your saw an office with metal filing cabinets, lockers or storage units, they were probably Bisley. They have requested a multifunctional storage unit that will fit within the existing Bisley range. There is some lack of clarity over what this actually means – a new unit that feels as though Bisley designed it in-house, or a range of items that fit within an existing frame – but either way, we can rest assured that it will involve right angle corners and metal.
I shall explain.
Before we made a rush decision into which brief we wanted to pursue – I have no doubt, some already had made up their mind – we were given the task of thorough market research. What each company stood for, their ethics, their house style, and so on. These were to be presented as two separate A3 documents.
Here are the results:
orangebox Market Research
bisley Market Research
To sum these up in a few words.
Orangebox: Bright, contemporary, innovative, environmentally conscious.
Bisley: Angular, cubist, functional, ubiquitous
I enjoyed this process. It gave me the opportunity to delve deep into each of the companies and see what made them tick; what drove them forward. It also allowed me the chance to present documents in my own style; something Richard was keen to emphasise: professionalism, clarity, small is beautiful and consistency (across the documents). I did take a long time to get my style balanced, but am happy with the results. There may be subtle differences – colour splashes – but I think the style of using carefully selected pictures to demonstrate the ideas, rather than reams of text, suits the needs of this brief. With hundreds of documents to look through, who has time to read. A picture can be much more descriptive…and kinder on the eyes.
: : Feedback
There was no formally rated feedback, but I was told that the content and presentation style of the documents were thorough, clear and professional. Groovy.