Thursday, 10 June 2010

Renovate. Reinvent. Revisit. Reabsorb. Reaccept. React. Readapt.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Rich Brilliant willing.

One of the best resources of the art school has to be the magazine section in the library, but recently the selection has taken a huge turn for the worst. Most of the art and design magazines have been replaced with journals, which i enjoy too but not so much for research, or craft magazines which i unfortunately don't feed much into my research as the magazines i read more frequently. There is something about seeing a designer in a magazine that i had known about months before it published...i guess its comforting in a way to know that somehow i do manage to absorb information.

Rich Brilliant willing is one such design troupe. They have worked with urban outfitters as well as more smaller companies and themselves to deliver unique, individual and often quite playful outcomes. There approach to design really inspires me to take a light hearted and simplistic approach to my spaces, and should hopefully feed through to the next project i have, which should be a wig shop.

Monday, 4 January 2010


Its the day before the start of term and the first post of 2010 im looking forward to getting stuck in. Although unlike most people i will have to miss the first day of uni (i know....shocking) to wait for some very important packages. They include things that will make this blog a bit more easier to do like a scanner and a Dictaphone, hopefully making it easier to write up interviews if i ever get round to setting them up.

I got my film developed in Milton Keynes of the fog photographs and a few from sunnier weather before then. The top image has to be the favorite of them all...but for some reason every single photograph feels really nostalgic....not in the content but in the composition. Maybe its something to do with using film instead of digital...or maybe its the fog. or the fact i can't focus a film camera properly.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Super Shutterslut

Super Mario bros. One of those films that scared the hell out of me as a child as well as being the first game to film (Although its a terrible Bastardisation) but now i have found a new found respect for the set designers involved. In total there were eight set designers who have gone on to working on sets for films like the world trade center, The strangers and Csi. When trying to find out where that spiky chair is from i realised that there was next to no information on the individual designers involved in the film...why don't they have there own websites? I can only speculate that most of the jobs they received were from word of mouth.

Red light by Siouxsie and the banshees echos the Sharp Gothic/deconstructivist aesthetic of these images perfectly. I miss my wall shape.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Another Christmas

The project is done and this term is over and i am in for some 'well earned' rest. Although it seems i have already started planning too many things and im not sure when i will really have time to myself. I was pretty happy with the outcome of the project but not with the way that the project came to a conclusion. As usual the whole class presented on one day in two halves, leaving little time for people in the second group to discuss anything about there design. Coupled with this more people generally sit in the second group and this lengthens the whole process.

I just think that it would of made sense to do the Final project crit on another day before the party that was scheduled to take place in the studio. As well as this Drew said some things about feedback that im pretty worried about, im sure we will find out more about this next term though.
Most people in the Uk will know that Borders has unfortunately gone into administration. But whilst allot of you will be mourning the loss of the selection of books that they have on offer i will be wearing a veil for the magazine section which has fueled my addiction for many years. Another Magazine is one of the publications that i buy frequently from them (thankfully its quite a widely sold magazine) and in there most recent issue there is some fashion photography work from Anders Edström, the photo above is NOT from this shoot but is his, who produced a series of images that have a real feeling of continuity although the scene/styling changes in each shot. I really recommend buying this issue (17) if not for the rest of this content but just for his work!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

A stranger to Brutalism

In the lull between finishing this project and touching up the images that i have to present informally on Thursday i have been watching allot of films (even going to the cinema twice in one week) to take up my time. Stranger than fiction has to be one of the better films that i have seen this week. The story itself is great but the set and costume design is even better (although im sure most of it were just commissioned).

Dustin Hoffmans character spends most of his time on screen in an office at the university of Illinois. The windows are so beautiful and the furniture works so well in that room...i wonder if it was there in the first place or if the set designers had to get them in?

As well as the university the film also introduced me to an architect known as Bertrand Goldberg, in particular his River city building. It reminds me in a way of some of the buildings that Gaudi has designed specifically the windows/balconies of his flats in Barcelona. I think at the moment im going through a phase of being obsessed with Brutalism within architecture and design...the clean lines, the sharp angles and uniform use of concrete as a material for construction.

Monday, 7 December 2009

3 star. no 4 star. NO THREE STAR.

We had our final formal presentation last Thursday, it went pretty well but the tutors asked me to make some changes to the bedrooms in the way that they felt that there was perhaps too much space for the star rating that i had been given and that it seemed the hotel was more to a 4 star standard.
They wanted me to try and reduce the size of the bathroom by removing the bath and installing a shower, basically changing the bathroom into a shower room. Whilst i can understand this notion because it means over all there will be more rooms in the hotel to occupy. The only problem is i have to try and consider how the recessed sofa space would work, because i don't want to lose it from the room. and also i would have to remove the dressing table next to the bed. I'm tempted to stand my ground but...i will give it a go for drew/visit Scotland's sake.

Friday, 27 November 2009

The constant hotel

It goes on and on.
With the editing of my film completed (a small visual resource for the research stage of this project) I had hoped to upload it here but instead it seems i didn't convert it properly and so...VLC is the only thing that recognizes the file type. As well as this the Final cut pro files don't work so i can only really show stills. Boo.

Recently had a crit which went reasonable well considering i only had two floor plans to show whilst other people had basic visualizations and was assured that my 'quirky' designs would be in the expo in April. WOO HOO.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Vintage bohemian

The first crit of the hotel project was more of a revision of the points of the hotel that i had already been covering myself and also some kind of exercise on communication on where my perception of the direction of this project was lying. I was disappointed by the lack of feedback from the presentation...but i think this was partly due to the fact that i was last and that maybe because we are at a stage where not allot of criticism can be made on the floor plan because nothing is certain.
The main hinge point of this particular plan is the fact that it is very open plan, i wanted to integrate a cafe/shop area to the ground floor so that even people who weren't staying in the hotel would feel welcome and comfortable in the space. I highlighted the fact that i didn't feel there was much need for office space to be in the sight line of the public because there would be spaces throughout the hotel which they could be tucked away in. The second biggest point is the ramp which i have decided to make a big feature of instead of shying away from and pushing it into a corner.

On the food Tourism subject i am lucky enough to be going to visit Cookie, a new business starting up in the south side of Glasgow in a couple of weeks! The owner agreed to let me see the space before it is open to the public and also have a little chat about food/food tourism in Scotland.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Stepping back

Trying to collate the research i have more i have put most of the images i collected onto the computer in an attempt to be organised, needless to say it won't last long. I liked the above image for its use of one striking image that acts as a backdrop for the shop and also how the chairs look like they would be at home in that wood.

Floor plan wise I keep coming to dead ends....and i haven't even thought about the other public spaces yet or rooms. So to try and simplify and give me a starting point i separated up the space by the columns and the exterior walls which helps to define the shape of the space that i have to work with and makes the ground floor seem more manageable. I think at this point i need to go back and look at some more hotel receptions just so that i get a better idea of how they have been laid out before, just so that i don't end up wasting any space.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Hotel research....turning into design development

The initial shock of the deadline given to us to complete the hotel design project has worn off now and instead I'm just trying to get down to work...saying this starting the project is easier said than done. The problem for me with this brief is that the final product seems to be very open ended, we have to show something like 2 public spaces, a room and something else.

Feeling lost i spoke to a tutor last week about where i was in the project, after talking to me for a while she introduced me to MARISCAL. This studios work is really though provoking and playful, especially the Ikea restaurant where he creates a false ceiling out of strips of wood that seem to be peeled directly from the walls themselves and made good use of some crab lamps to add even more vibrancy to the space. I think this playfulness and innovative use of materials is the perfect angle that i should be aiming for.

Ace hotels also were nice enough to give me some high quality photographs of there interiors for my research. They made me think about where i should be putting the reception desk in the hotel...we were told that it was a bad idea to put it facing the door and that it scares customers of but i think it is better to see straight away where to check in so that you can get to your room faster?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

3 star Urban - Hotel design

The first design project of the year has started and its a doozy, i have to design the entire interior of a hotel in a site (either urban or rural) chosen by the tutors along with the star rating specifications (either three or five star), it goes without saying that I'm looking forward to getting stuck in.

The class will be working with the Scottish tourist board with the view to create a "hotel expressing a fresh and innovative take on the diversity of Scottish culture and heritage". We have only been given a skeleton brief so far so i can't really tell the extent of what we expected to design but i am guessing that it will be something like: Entrance, Hallways, 2 standard rooms, Restaurant, Cafe/bar as well as branding and other elements.

I have to admit that to begin with i wanted to design a five star, in terms of materials you can be a little bit more frivolous and then also include pieces of furniture by designers instead of more economical options. But now the challenge of sourcing materials (which incidentally is my weakest point), thinking about sustainability and the life time of my design is turning me round to the idea of working within the constraints of a 3 star urban space.

When visiting the site we were brought into this huge room that was apparently used as a ballroom before they had to close it because of health and safety issues which i think i would like to use as inspiration for my project. Abandonment, Simplicity, Entombment and ethereal.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Detailing Over

The detailing project finished on friday, in the end i decided to take on the QMU stairs and try my best at dissecting the design through speculation and discussion with my tutors. Whilst i found this project very interesting in the end i felt a little frustrated with the way that everyone was confused about how to upload the details or indeed how to make the details themselves. When it came to presentation time i didn't really know what to say about the project, Digger spoke to us like we had been tackling details for years instead of making points about our details that we could improve on.

Saying this i do understand that we all have to work harder this year to improve our understanding of the building process, design process and the delivery of the plans/sections etc to builders or other professionals involved in the realisation of projects.

Sunday, 11 October 2009


On Thursday we had the last crit for the diagram project. I have to admit i was a little bit nervous about presenting my idea as i felt that maybe i could of done a little bit more work into contemplating my reasoning's behind the finished product. I personally felt that the crit itself went on for too long. If im honest i didn't even listen to the last few presentations because everyone started repeated themselves and there is only so much self indulgence you can listen to until it gets old. 

After the crit we were given a short research project where we had to go and collect images of details ready for the seminar that we will have on construction detailing next week. 

I came across this staircase when i was applying to take a Japanese language course at the Glasgow not sure if it comes under the umbrella of detailing but i really liked the way that the stairs are separate from the handrail. And the shape of the 'canopy' at the top of the stairs, it looks really complicated so i wonder if Drew will be able to figure out/give some hint as to how it is being held together.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009



The process.

The good interior.

Should strive to provide a place to inspire individuals, making use of all the relevent/applicable/responsible elements at the disposal of the designer to create something that can enhance the space and maximise its potential.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Projects end

Its more than halfway through the project and i am still struggling with the idea of it. How can you represent your feelings in a way that can be put down onto paper in such a regiment and structured way? Leona (The dyslexia student liaison at the GSA) helped me realise that this task would be difficult to me because of the way that my brain works, the way i learn/communicate is much more visual than factual....this doesn't mean that i want to create some pretencions graphic system to communicate my ideas, i just want it too be simple. After the iterim crit drew suggested that the graph could be a sentence summarising what we think makes a good interior and about the processes. Maybe an Acronym?


I got the last film from Berlin developed today. Its just as bad as the others but it does have lots of pictures of Daniel Libeskinds Jewish museum. Mmmmmm Deconstructivism.

Monday, 21 September 2009

First day of third year.

Again i have spent a large amount of time away from this blog not really thinking or doing anything about it. I kind of lost interest from blogging when i realised that i didn't really have enough time to be writing about the things that interest me and in fact started to miss out on somethings and or not appreciate them as much as i really could have. It became a chore and that is the last thing that i wanted it too be!

This summer i went to Berlin to take part of a summer Academy run by a self organised group known as Interflugs. It was such a great experience and i ended up meeting allot of inspiring people who all seemed to be working towards some very interesting and worth while causes. Im not sure what else to say, i think its incredibly hard to summarise an experience so varied and enriching as this in a few sentences is a link to images of the Academy!

For the first project of third year we have to make two diagrams based on personal reflections of our practice. One being what we think is essential in the making of a good interior and the other being our design process. Whilst i think that this will be a helpful thing for us to do, im not sure why we are doing it now and not at the beginning of second year.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Get [OUT]

My job hunt on Wednesday turned into something quite successful, I gave out 6 cvs in the end and ended up having an interview today at an Ice cream cafe called 3 steps 2 heaven. It was really informal but i think i basically have the job. Saying this i also gave my Cv into a Cafe that Heather works at and i think i might have a job there also. So now i have to decide which place i would like to work and to be honest its leaning allot more towards working with Heather.

The lady above was drawn in offshore just before heather got a call from her friend Matthew inviting her to an exhibition opening called sh[OUT] at the GOMA. The show was based around themes of Lesbian, Gay, Bi and transgender life and consisted of some paintings, photography and two pieces of sculpture (maybe 3 if you include the awesome bling frame someone had made). I have to admit that i am always sceptical of 'gay events' because of the sort of stereotypes they tend to conjure up, or indeed the content is never up to scratch.

In all i thought the exhibition was good but im not sure if the pieces worked together very well, there was one painting in particular of a transvestite undressing that really captured my imagination. There was one part of the entire exhibition that made me feel uncomfortable and that was its contradiction to its aims;

'The exhibition will both celebrate and raise awareness of LGBT people, their rights and history.'

I couldn't help but think that the way the opening event was kept very hush hush and how it was only through friends that i had heard about the opening completely contradicted the statement. Infact i was told by people in the exhibition that the only piece of press that stood out for them was an article in the Evening times about exposing children to the art works especially Mapplethorpe's which sparked controversy. Why was publicising the event left on the wayside?

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

John John John

Today was the first day of my productive job hunting/work doing day. I have realised through the checking of my budget that if i don't get a job by the end of May i will be officially bankrupt and my education will have to stop right here. And so this week is my job hunting drive, i will be spending every day of the week handing out at least 5 Cvs to different places in the hope that i will find somewhere quickstyle. So far i have given them out to 4 cafes and a bookshop so fingers crossed i will hear something within the next two weeks, although this is a long shot if anyone reads this who knows of a Part-time position in Glasgow going please please please drop me a line.

On my hunt i decided to stop off at the lighthouse to eat lunch in the lookout room and realised that there was a new exhibition on in galleries 4 and 5 on the influential American Architect John Lautner. He was trained by Frank Lloyd Wright and created over 150 buildings in California! I really liked the sections and elevations of his work, they were so detailed...some were very confusing to understand and took a few minutes for me to know what i was looking at but they captured my imagination non the less.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

25 years....

Whilst i wait for some images to be uploaded to the website or sent to me through e-mail of the exhibition i have taken to thinking more about the project space that i want to initiate early next year to help the Design scene in Glasgow, which in my opinion is either very elite or does not exist in a healthy enough way comparable to London.

Yesterday my parents came to visit me on the way to fort william and its surrounding area for there 25th wedding anniversary (happy anniversary guys) for a short amount of time, just under 2 hours, and took me out to eat at the wee curry shop. If you are ever in Glasgow i really recommend that you go there the food is amazing and reasonably priced.

Friday, 27 March 2009


Today is the day of the exhibition i have submitted some work towards. For me this will be the first time i have ever created a piece for specifically for an exhibition outside of the work i have been doing for my course. To be honest i wish that i had a little longer to get the piece ready for the show but i didn't have enough time! damn damn damn!

Pictures of the exhibition will follow.

At the moment my favourite thing to draw is peoples shoulders and backs...i love the shapes that their clothes make and looking at how they hold themselves, although i do realise that it could be considered to be pervy.

Monday, 23 March 2009

The third issue

Today i uploaded issue 3 of mammogram magazine to scribd. For this issue we decided to change the format from A4 to A5 so that it felt a little more hand made reflecting the nature of the school as well as cutting the cost of printing down by around half helping us to print more, 500 copies this time! For me its really exciting to see the growth of demand for the magazine from the beginning of around 150 copies and being put together on publisher to what it is now!

Please have a little read and enjoy!

Mammogram 3

Sunday, 22 March 2009

A night of Gram

Phew. What a intensely busy week i have had. My essay, although finished, is a little bit too...sparse than i would of liked to have made it but all of the different threads got the best of me and i ended up spiraling out of control and becoming something that im not sure makes a whole lot of sense. For the first time in ages someone helped me with my essay, my friend stephen, which was a really nice but slightly embarissing experience (because my grammar/spelling is terrible!)

Last night was the night of Gram! As i had been given the responsibility of creating a bigger presence of the night and trying to transform the vic into somewhere that well wasnt the vic! So i made some slides and some big M's to put up around the venue and i have to say i was really happy with the result. Im pretty excited for next time cause its going to look EVEN BETTER.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Under the floors

Its the last day in what has turned out to be a really busy week filled with organising things and avoiding doing my essay which has to be in on Thursday (oh no oh no). Yesterday i went to view an exhibition with my flatmate which we had been told we had to go to by alot of our friends. It was one of the most amazing exhibitions i have ever been too and certainly the most interesting in terms of exhibition space. Pieces by the artists were displayed beneath the floor in their flat and you had to literally crawl around looking through holes in the walls at the work.

Friday, 13 March 2009

A Chinese exhibit

China is the theme of my next project. We have been asked to design an exhibition space within princes square to showcase some elements of Chinese design/history and promote Chinese tourism. When i first got this brief i didn't really understand the reasoning behind having this project and saw it as more of an experiment on my tutors behalf because of some similarities in how the students from china design. For the first project most of the Chinese students included some kind of Fish tank and or used bamboo as a material in there design. I think that my tutor kind of sees this as a test to see if we can (attempt to!) embrace a completely different culture, take into consideration its customs and create something that will speak of china's past whilst expressing its present.

As soon as i began research for this project i was careful to not to let things that i would not really be able to get a good understanding of in the time we have been given before the first crit. This was also a good way to help me avoid creating a pastiche of the china style and help me to try and understand at least part of the culture respectively without doing it in a condescending or patronising way.

At the moment a big chunk of my research has been around that of the concentrated nature of China's city's, i really like the way (Aesthetically) the buildings come together creating patterns of repetition and interesting collisions. I like the idea of trying to represent ALL periods of China's history unlike the Beijing opening ceremony that just focused on the wonder of the ancient and completely left out the Rule of Chairman Mao. I think i can do this by combining materials and by thinking about ways that there could be two structures intertwined with each other.

The image above is a good example of the kind of 'communist' style building that i could use to get inspiration for my exhibition display. There is quite alot of building works like this one but i liked the recesses in particular picture, somehow i could integrate the stands into a wall so that it would be able to be seen from both sides...likes a two way fireplace. Im not sure where this project will be going but, today i will be playing around with the floorplan a little so i can see how too fit my display cases etc into the space.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Performing arts

Over the last week or so i have been helping out some friends with setting up a drama society for the GSA and we all decided (with some funding that the Student Association kindly gave us) to hold two events to start it all up. The first thing we talked about was that the name was very important, we didn't want people to come along with a pre conceived view of what performance is. To get the ball rolling we thought it would be a good idea to arrange to have some artists give people an idea of what kind of things we could do within the society. It went really well and we will be having a follow up event to talk more about what people want to do with the society.

In all we had 4 performances. My friend James did a piece where he plugged in a wireless plug and continuated the end of the wire by drawing a line across the floor and encouraged people to follow him around, i think it worked really well but it too a while for people to realise that it was an interactive piece. He took the whole room (around 50 people) around Glasgow whilst following him drawing this line.

For me the performance by exchange student Marcel Spaarman was the highlight of the event. He started it by sitting down and making casual conversation with the audience/talking about himself and then revealed that he had just been improvising. He then started to repeat himself, saying 'I always repeat myself, i want to rebirth myself' and changing what he was saying but constantly repeating. I'd taken a sneaky peek at his blog before hand to look at his previous performances and noticed a similarity. He bought a mirror up infront of his face and reflected the audience whilst repeating himself, then suddenly he headbutted the mirror everyone was really shocked! It didn't break and he continued to repeat himself. He ended the piece by smashing the mirror over his head and walking out of the room, i loved how nobody knew what to do whether they should clap or just sit there contemplating what had happened.

This is a video of another piece he took part in which i came across on youtube.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Office Project Conclusion

My office project is officially finished today. Although im kind of glad this is over i just started to get into it towards the last few not really sure how or why this happened but i guess i will just have to live with it for now. This time we presented the project on a projection screen in our studio that is normally used when we want to explore our designs through the use of 3d projection technology (cue the oos and ahhs).

As with every presentation i wrote a few notes beforehand to help me through the talking and so that i didn't forget any points that were essential to the delivery of my design idea.
For me, through research and thinking about office design in general, my main goal in this project was to fit between two different types of spaces. One being a stark boring work orientated place and the other being a completely over the top 'play scheme' esque environment. I felt that there was a need to address this paradox and try to resolve it!

So as you walk into the space you are welcomed with calm disguised lighting and natural raw materials that really set the mood of this office. The desk itself wraps around to include a bunch for seating and the wall dividing the kitchen from the entrance space. It took ages to put the recessed lighting into the bottom of the wooden structure but it looks pretty successful, im pretty happy with how it turned out.

This leads you into the hallway which is angled slightly so that your perspective of the space is warped making it seem longer than it actually is. This thoroughfare helps to divide up the space in to two different sections, Lu pening in my class had a similar idea where the space was divided up into 'work' and 'living' areas.

The kitchen speaks for itself, simple with room enough for the bin so that everything is tidied away, i really like the shadow the scoop light above is causing.

The meeting room has enough space for four people to sit around comfortably and has a tv on the back wall which you can't see in this rendering. I thought alot about the dividing wall between the bosses office and the meeting room and came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to echo the industrial feeling and also thinking construction wise, i wanted to accentuate the joins instead of hiding them. Thus resulting in a kind of greenhouse like design. The doors in the middle can be slid open to open up the space if it needs to be and it has one other feature.

Finally the bosses room, Completely with a terribly rendered Mac computer. The final feature of the dividing wall is also shown here. I was looking at dividing screens and suddenly thought to myself that it would be more interesting to include a device that would provide visual privacy for the boss or the people in the meeting room and that i should make a feature of it. I think my tutor thought it was a bit of a weird idea but in my opinion it is applicable to the style of this office and a great talking point. I talked a little bit more about how there would be natural light in every space (even the bathroom) and how too me this was very important in an working environment.