Time for an interlude.
Steve: “Take ten minutes and sketch the person next to you.”
Me: Oh, I know what is happening…
It is the return of rapid fire sketching. During our first year of product design, we were asked by Steve to sketch the Eiffel tower from memory. Each time he asked, he decreased the amount of time we had. Faster, freer; flow with the ink. Don’t think, do! Our final sketch was done in 3 seconds. Your instincts say that the longer you take over something, the better it will become. No! Let the natural flow takeover. Repeat, move on; have confidence with the stroke of the pen. Again!!!!! Do it again!!!
First session: sketch the person to the side of you. 10 minutes. Go.
I took about 4 minutes for the face and then just doodled the rest.
Next: The same sketch, ten times, in 2 minutes. Go. Only just managed this. What are the key features? Spiky hair, slight beard, semi-long / round face.
Twenty sketches in 60 seconds.
Five seconds, one face. Pen cannot leave the page. Go.
2 Seconds, one face. Go.
I have drawn a potato.
Round 2: Map the room. Not just the room, as a plan, something you cannot see. Ohhhhh, I get it. This links back to mapping the Hertzian Space; making the invisible, visible. Very clever.
This is what I ‘saw’:
I have mapped out the animation of the people and things in the room. One person was yawning, borderline asleep; small animation. Someone was walking around; big animation.
Round 3: Do it again, but try and represent it in a different way. A professional way.
I turned the random squiggles into circles of various diameter and added dots for the lights, sockets etc. They are vibrating on a very small scale. At the time, my phone was vibrating in my pocket so I had a circle within a circle. This was a very satisfying exercise. Look at the world differently; map the unseen in an interesting way. Make people ask, ‘what is that?’.
Take a seat
With that under our belt, it was time for some inspiration. Steve showed us two videos, both detailing the intricacies and reasoning behind two iconic pieces of architecture: The Jewish Museum, Berlin by Libeskind and the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao by Gehry.
The video detailing the Jewish Museum was both interesting and slightly disturbing, given the subject matter. The architect had designed the building to represent the feelings and emotions relating to the tragic history of the Jewish people in Berlin. The oppression, ascension, the location of certain people of notoriety, the feeling of nausea. The building was a manifestation of the history. A very interesting approach.
The museum in Bilbao was more of a reflection of the architects desire to play with form; a visual intrigue on the landscape.
Both architects were mapping: one the history of the people, the other, a look into form. The surprise has come from how, regardless of scale, the starting point can be the same. Useful.