Multiple Choice

Field has official be granted permission to launch and with it, there are a few surprises.
Either choose one 12 week project, the topic of which is of your choosing and can be a live competition / brief or we can select four projects from a list of fourteen.
Going into this I felt as though I was going to pursue my own project, avoiding competitions or live briefs.  This was mostly in response to the public briefs on offer.  Thematically, I was less than enthused by the ones I had found but also noticed that a lot of the projects were targeted at new designers or New Blood.  People under 25.  I’m a mature student (the term mature is subjective, however), and would not be able to apply.  Seems a little unjust that New Blood actually means Young Blood.  Other competitions of interest seem targeted towards the professional.  I have my sights set high, but I know I’m not pro level…yet.
So what are these 14 projects I mentioned?  Richard presented a list possible briefs, of which we could choose 4.  A body of work as it were.  Interesting idea.
I won’t regale the entire list here but the briefs are wide ranging and are suitably vague, allowing for your own interpretation.  I decided that although the four present the possibility of more work and less sleep, I like the idea of a body of projects, possibly under the same overarching theme?  Also, with the speed needed to complete the project, it presents less chance of boredom setting in.
I decided upon:
The Great Outdoors – Create a space outside CSAD (including furniture), which allows students to be part of nature and relax.
Co-bots – Consider where co-bots could be useful in the domestic environment.
The Factory of the Future – What will this be? Or Big Data – What can we do with this?
Student Choice – Self-explanatory.
It’s early days, but here is my thought process.
The Great Outdoors is right in my wheel house.  My subject work started as an exploration into bringing nature back into the urban environment but has now become a discussion of texture, design and patina.  This project could be about placing those in CSAD into the physical natural environment.  But….I’m not sure this is the right response.
CSAD is a building full of expressionist, individual creatives, but all this is all trapped within.  Could it – in fact should it – bleed outside?  What if the space and furniture outside for natural reflection was in fact a sculpture.  One which was representational of the creativity inside?  A sculpture which can be sat on and in; provides shelter, an open expanse to the elements, which ages; is nothing and everything.  You can design the best seat in the world, but someone will sit on it differently than you designed it.  Why not give CSAD a shape and let people find their own niche?
Going deeper, this sculpture can be used as a place to create art, design from, maybe exhibit in?  Could it use the same patina I’m developing for my subject work?  Who knows?
Co-bots, what are they?  The best example is a robot vacuum cleaner.  A little machine which scurries around your house and cleans when you are out.  That’s the theory anyway.  A friend of mine has one and it wasn’t long before it got stuck on a rug and refused to clean.  The solution?  The rug was thrown out.  An inanimate machine (the robot) had caused the human to physically alter the environment to keep the robot happy.  I wonder how far this can be pushed?  How much can the robot make a human do?  For this project I think an exploration into relationships is the key motivator.
Factory of the Future I have a very out there response for this.  So out there I’m not sure if it is appropriate yet but it is speculative and critical.  Which is why I’m considering Big Data as an alternative.  Although, come to think of it, my response to this is also critical, but thematically, I think it is a rich field to sow seeds.
Student choice.  I had an idea I have wanted to work on for a few years but have never had the chance to do it.  A project to do with the sense of smell and memory but after a bit of research, it has since been tackled and in a very beautiful way as well!  I have a few alternatives but not sure which way to go.  After speaking to Theo (tutor), he suggested we leave this to the end so we can tailor our Field package of work accordingly.  Good advice that.
Where to now?  As I said, I have spoken to Theo and he seems to like the sculpture idea and is keen on the co-bot response so I shall work on those now.  The other two are for another day.  I mentioned to Richard the sculpture idea and he also likes the response.  He advised me to ensure I present something ‘grounded’ (not the word he used or the best descriptor, but it is clear enough), to display my range of skills.  I fully agree and vehemently believe that this sculpture response is the best, most grounded response to the brief.  It may not be grounded in traditional product design, but for a school of art and design – or, as I prefer, creatives – it is the most fitting.

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