Monday, 22 December 2008

Young buck

Now that the term is over i have returned to Milton Keynes for some rest and relaxation before i return too Glasgow for a new term. Although last week i spent some time in London with my flatmates family and one of my good friends. It was pretty good to spend time there again but i was exhausted by the end of the week. 2 weeks straight of celebrating the end of term and birthdays is never really a good recipe for energy.

So I'm claiming this week, especially because its the week for Christmas, for some much needed tim
e too myself although i have been filling it with msn....that's a dirty habit i must try and kick DESPERATLY. Yesterday i went food shopping with my parents for Christmas, i kind of regretted it as soon as we got into the car park, It was packed! Everyone inside was so stressed...go figure but i thought it was pretty funny some woman was shouting "IF YOU LEAVE ME WITH THE LIST HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHAT TO GET?" i don't understand why you would get stressed over shopping for food like that. £200 and something or other later the house was so filled with so much food there was no room too put things. I'm in snacky heaven.

Too try and stem my urdges too 'go online' i went into the city (The center of Mk)
today to pick up latest issue of ICON and guess what, they didn't have it anywhere. So instead i settled for this:

Actually this was not a settlement at all, i had been keeping an eye out for this magazine for a while now after discovering the buckstyle website. Ive only really flicked through it so far, but at a glance it looks like i have discovered a male orientated version of Frankie...that's, wait for it...PRODUCED IN THE UK. Maybe i will try to get an internship there....hmmm hmmmm interesting.

Today i also bought a book from the 'Radical thinkers' series called "Aesthetics and politics"...this is in line with my recent information binge. Its all Derrida's fault, damn him! I also found 3 essays online through Athens, an account linked with my university's library for finding journals and other similar things. 2 are based on space and the other is based on the creation of the walker art gallery in Liverpool, should be interesting...well i presume my head will hurt after 2 paragraphs but i owe it too myself too learn.

Saturday, 6 December 2008


The final crit for the cube house was a very informal, so how did you get here too this point sort of thing. Which too be honest was a big relief because i was dreading getting my stitches taken out. As well as this we were given another brief another puzzle type project.

Breaking it down very literally i have to fit a stair and a ramp into a 20x20m space. The space isn't big enough to fit a ramp in because of the radiant ratio so, you have to be inventive on how both pieces fit into the space individually and on there own. There are some other rules, the stair and the ramp must cross at least once so someone using the ramp could decide to use the stairs or visa versa.

My first few ideas were all very boring and predictable and because this was a 2 week project i didn't want to get stuck in a rut generating ideas even though its pretty fun. My favourite idea was one with stairs similar to the acropolis or the pyramids but i just couldn't figure out how to fit the stair and the ramp together or how they would cross over. As well as this i thought about ideas of playing around with illusions of perspective, creating a tapered corridor to make it appear twice its length therefore making an already huge space seem even larger in size. Unfortunately the space wasn't big enough to do that so i went back to the acropolis idea.

In the mid project crit Drew pointed out that the ramp seemed too separate from the stairs and kind of peripheral too the whole design. He wanted me too improve my layout and combine the stair and the ramp more, i thought the easiest way to do this would be to combine the stair and ramp completely (just like the acropolis). As well as this think about the layout of the stairs is it possible to put more than one landing into the flight?

Ive just noticed that i have to make the top two stairs a little wider on the left side so that it lines up with all of the other stairs (and it might make the way the ramp collides with that level a little more tidy. But in all im pretty happy with the design. I like the brutal geometry of it all...its as if an ancient monument has crashed into the space and then was even further desecrated by the snaking ramp. Materials wise its obvious to me that too make a definition between the stair and the ramp might be the best idea, i don't think we have to think about materials too much. just give a hint as too which materials we were considering.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Cutting it fine

Its that time of year again where deadlines are creeping towards me, new projects are being sprung apon all of us at the last moment and well...lets just say i have quite a bit of work to do and not much time to do it. As well as this i had an accident involving a scalpol just before the deadline of my Cube house to project, i won't explain what happened because i have done so too many times now too different people. Needless to say it was a character building experience that i wont forget and using a scalpol will never be the same.

Day 3

One thing it did make me remember is my fascination with biology, probably going back to my high school days. Watching a wound heal is so interesting, the different stages it goes through. New skin, old skin. I only wish that i wasn't so squimish and organs/muscles didnt make me feel so dizzy. My hand modeling dreams are ruined! haha

Day 11

Monday, 10 November 2008

November chill

Its update time folks

Since the last post a whole bunch of things have happened (as usual).
One of the most interesting developments would have to be the developments within the magazine that me and my flat mates have been putting together.

The idea of Mammogram was to create a platform for discussion within the art school for students,staff and anyone with any relation too the art school to voice there opinions on anything (within reason). We also wanted the magazine to enhance the feeling of community within the art school that is unique and, i think anyway, worth preserving. So all content is submitted by students of the art school

Here Is the first exhibition review i wrote with Zephyr:

" Haptic: Design exhibition review (Twinkle splashy wow)

Within every issue of Mammogram this section will cover current design exhibitions in and around Glasgow, bringing you the latest from the world of design. This month we visited the lighthouse for ‘Haptic: Awakening the senses’ an exhibition focusing on the sense of touch and its impact on design.

The space plays host too work Commissioned by Kenya Hara, the chief executive of Muji and the Nippon design centre, Shigeru Ban, Panasonic, Shunji Yamanka and other international Designers. As you walk through this pleasing collection of interesting objects your sense of touch is liberated. From Remote controls fashioned from silicon too traditional Japanese shoes lined with organic materials’ each designer attempts to capture the meaning of haptic. Along with this every piece has a sample for you to touch giving you a small sense of what the work feels like. And although the samples were small and rather worn the idea you were allowed to be hands on with at least part of the design was very pleasing.

The highlight of the show is Kenya Hara’s ‘Shishi Odoshi’. Water fills a glass receptacle and then with a chime it runs down a white board to then be dispersed by small nodules making the water appear to roll instead of flow, as if you could touch it. Another fantastic work was that of Naoto Fukasawa who has made drinks cartons out of replica fruit skin that suggest the contents. The original is copied so closely that the designer went so far as to create tiny replica seeds for the skin of the strawberry carton.

Throughout the whole exhibition its only downside was its sparsely placed lighting that distracted from the work itself, which should of commanded the space instead of sinking into the background. Although this is just one small fault greatly overshadowed by the quality of work displayed. If you are looking for inspiration we recommend this exhibition for any student of any year of the art school.

The exhibition is open till the 29th of September and costs £1.50 for students during the week but is free on Saturdays"

The second design exhibition review along with the rest of the issue can be found by following this link:


Design study wise i have been given a project where i had to design the interior for a cube house within a set of strict rules (which i later found out weren't so strict) and have been getting tutelage on the CAD programme will be using for the next 3 years of my life called Vectorworks. Im getting to grips with it pretty easy, probably because of my previous experience with CAD software...although i have such a long way to go to get to the level of work that i want to be producing.

Anyway, this is quite a long project so we had a couple of crits in the first few weeks too make sure that we were on the right track only...for my last crit it didn't exactly go as i wanted it. But i suppose i should take it as a learning curve and work harder to produce work that is more 'polished' and works...practically as well as aesthetically. I wanted to create an interior that could express the potential for sculptural and inspirational arrangement of space within such a rigid structure although it seems that that is not what this project is about. As a result i have to rejig my floor plan and lose a little of that dynamism....i feel a little relation to Le corbusiers tyrannical aesthetic obsession

Friday, 26 September 2008

Images cont.

Yesterday i spoke to our CAD tutor Digger and he threw the images that i had chosen the day before into question. A couple of the images that i had chosen were ones that i had been hanging onto for over 2 years or so and when i told him this he said to me

"Does this mean that your design style/taste hasn't changed over the last 2 years?"

I don't know if he meant to make me think harder about my choices or weather he just wanted a set of brand new images too capture my most recent inspirational sources but whatever he wanted he did cause me too worry a little about hanging onto old inspirational material. Is it a bad thing to hang onto images that inspired me 2 years ago? To be honest i think the main reason is that those pictures appeared in a magazine and at the moment all of my inspiration is through either books or the Internet as i can't afford too buy magazines (no matter how much i want to be able too). And so today i have spent some time in the studio going through some names that i had collected in the back of my moleskin in an attempt to find new interiors that inspire me.

I came across this interior by topotek 1, I love its playfulness and its interactiveness.

Isay weinfeld designed this amazing book shop in Sao Paolo, Brazil. It surely must contain over 3000 books crammed into every available space...but my main attraction to this particular building was the entrance where she made use of bookcases and implemented as innovative doors.

The third interior is an exhibition design by Herman Verkerk, the Arnhem mode fashion biennial in ... This show is arranged every two years specifically for showing state of the art fashion on an international scale whilst highlight socio-cultural aspects.

Nendo Design made this interesting exhibition piece in 2007 showing some of their works in an unusual way. They wanted to challenge the viewers sense of perspective and how you would normally consider objects.

Miffy is the star of the last image that i found, this flagship store (the first dedicated Miffy store in the world) was designed by UXUS design...i love how the designer captured the brand of the product perfectly but then i found out they also designed packaging for Macy D's and i was reminded of a conversation me and my friends had recently.

Selling out is very much part of being an artist or a designer and creative people have always struggled with the idea and notion of selling out too 'the man' but the odds are you will have to at one point in your career even if its just to get one more rung up on the ladder. So we came to a conclusion, our time at art school is probably the best time for us to create our ideas without the huge worry of money or the burden of responsibility so this time has to be used to realise our personal goals (as many as possible) before we sell out. and the world ends.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

5 images

Day 2 was slightly less eventfull but still pretty interesting in terms of how it will all be working in relation too the studio and who will be around to bounce ideas off of. I got into the studio around 10:30 and began work on selecting my 5 images ready for next Tuesday. As i was going into the mac i bumped into my old first year tutor Patrick who was bringing up the first year students too meet drew but i didn't realise that until just now.

The first image was of a space made by an artist called Angela (found in an issue of Elle decoration) i tried to analyze what i liked about the space and broke it down into these points:
  • Evidence of previous use
  • Simplicity (minimalism)
  • Organic forms and materials
  • Neutral colour schemes
  • Eclectic furnishings
  • subdued lighting (not sure if that is the right word)
I couldn't find who designed the second picture but someone called Morten Smidt was connected with it:
  • Decadence
  • Historic Base
  • Symmetry and Harmony
  • Unusual colour scheme
  • Attention to detail
  • Morbid detailing
The third is another magazine cut out:
  • Eclecticism
  • Vintage furniture/textiles
  • concrete floors
  • texture
  • simple lighting
  • beautiful things
  • magazines and books everywhere
  • eclecticism
  • quirkiness/originality
The 4th is by Masamichi Katayama, a store based around the idea of an ice cream parlour, it reeks of his style:
  • Decadence
  • Confusion
  • Mirrors
  • Originality
  • surrealism
  • Parody
  • Humour
1 more too go.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Back to school

Today i started the second year of my university degree. So much things have happened since i last posted on here that im not really sure where too start, so i will just begin with today and try to remember as many events from the last month or so as possible.

So to begin with i woke up around 7:30 full of beans, i had the best nights sleep Ive had in a while which for the first day of term couldn't be better. I ended up having too get the tube into uni because somehow i have lost the key for my bike....its locked up inside our stairwell but i have no idea how too remove it, anyone have any ideas? Anyway i met up with a couple of people from my class outside the Macintosh building and ventured upstairs into the studio that i will be spending the last 3 years of my education at the art school. On the door of the studio there was a sign that read '2nd year students meeting at 10:00' so with time to kill i went to get a coffee and chatted too everyone about summer.

Around 10 the meeting began, Drew (the head of interiors at the GSA) went through a few things with us, how time in the studio would be spent, what sort of projects we would be doing throughout this year and what we should be thinking about as trainee designers. He talked about so much i found myself day dreaming about what i wanted too make when i got back home...i feel filled to the brim with creative juices. But the jist of what he was saying, well what i got, was that this year....or at least this term is all about defining my own design style and highlighting areas that i do well and other ones that i need too improve on. We were also given a first project too complete for next Tuesday, which in my opinion is maybe a little too much time for the content of the project, unless i have overlooked some big point?

Basically we have too collect 5 images of interior spaces that 'excite' us and then talk about why we like them for one minute each. I already have a rough idea of at least 2 images that i would like too choose for this project...but as for the other few im sure i could scour my bookmarks/magazines for some images that i like the look of. So far i have decided on a design by Masamichi Katayama as well as some general residential designs and a h.naoto kind of overloaded on interiors now so i will wait till tomorrow to write more.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Design Future

Wow i just noticed that the counter for this blog has hit 1000. Thats a really good feeling even though i read an article about the artist/architect Ai Weiwei who's blog had recently hit 4 million views....i wonder if i will ever hit that. At the same time this is my 50th post, a milestone! During the move and after as i have been settling into my new room i have been thinking allot about my future, career and Design philosophy. This year of university for me is going to be all about self development and taking steps to gain experience in what i want to do.

Just before i moved up to Glasgow i read a small ad on Gumtree about the opportunity to freelance for a new magazine for Interiors, Architecture and design. I don't really know much about the company at all only that they are called Van Kampen Media and that they are trying to fill a void that they believe exists in the market, and i have to agree with them that it does. I e-mailed them and a lovely lady called Sinead got back to me within the hour expressing there eagerness to have me write for there magazine, i was very flattered and will be writing my first article for them this week. Although i can't tell you anything about it until the magazine has been published (which should be late September) i can say i may possibly be interviewing a designer which is very exciting.

As well as this Me, Heather and some fellow students have begun work on a magazine made for and by the students of the art school. The most important article for me in this particular issue is one about the re-development of the art school campus, and helping to involve students with this process. As well as this i will be working with Textiles student, Zephyr, on the design exhibition review section of this copy. The magazine itself will be in print mid September if everything goes to plan.

Last week we had a small party after going to a club called Buff. Its safe to say we broke the flat in.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Time machine week

And so one week later i am moved into the new flat comfortably, moving was not without its problems as i found out the stairs up too my flat were a huge obstacle of which could only be conquered by sweat, blood and very nearly tears of sheer exhaustion. But its all done now...and if anything it was a great learning experience.

The move itself was very interesting, the place that my Dad was hiring a van from didn't have the one he had booked so he instead was given a replacement vechile the size of a small truck with a broken wing mirror and no radio. 7 hours later we arrived in Glasgow...for a moment i couldn't get my bearings but once we got onto Great western road i knew where i was going. When we were coming up to Glasgow i was bursting with excitement, i couldn't sit still and all i wanted to do was say "Yaaaaay!"

Heather and her Boyfriend Alex were at the Flat to greet us, we were exhausted from traveling and they made us a lovely cup of tea before we started to move my things into the flat. It took just over one hour of sheer physical labour to move everything up into the living room and the thought of having to move all of my things from the other flat made me feel a little sick.

So many things have happened since the move ill be updating with new things throughout the week.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Sparodic updates from now on

Heads up Glasgow im moving back to your chilly embrace tommorow, oh how i have missed your Tennents swigging demeanour and your wet sky kisses (RAIN).

Ive been reading more and more about fashion designer Aitor Throup. Its kind of weird how all of a sudden he is appearing in Blogs around the web only now. His work is great. I have alot of respect for someone who can push boundries like he does.

His work first caught my eye in (if my memory serves me right) an issue of Dazed and Confused where the interpritation of the above drawing was snapped on the cat walk. But i could be completely wrong all i know is i remember his work before all of this hype. I had never seen his illustrations before and i think they are amazing, i wish my drawing style was more like this...he creates characters rather an concepts...he talks about this a bit more in this interview i found.

Its the first time in a while where i have acctually thought about taking out a loan specifically to buy one of his pieces...or playing the lottery constantly, but i guess taking the loan would be the quicker and maybe easyer option. Anyway, the coat in question is this one-

Isn't it awsome? An instant costume for short notice or just a talking point. I can't imagine how much skill must of gone into making like to say i would have a go at making one for myself but i doubt it would ever reach that standard. I guess i should get practicing on my sewing machine.

Today i have been packing and moving heavy boxes full of books and other interesting things from the loft into the living room ready for the van my parents are driving up its taken such a long time but to me i have to do it proparly or i will end up having to spend alot of time unpacking when i get to glasgow.

Im so surprised at all the things i have managed to collect over the years (Im bringing up most of my belongings to Glasgow) i hope i can find space for all of the things i have decided to bring.

Saturday, 2 August 2008


Im bored. Bored of this boring blog that induces boredom when i open up the home page and enter my boring password. Bored of Milton Keynes and its Boring dreary architecture. The boring room that i am sitting in right now as i type this confession of boredom. Oh well not Long now till i go back to Glasgow and my new flat, i can't wait to make my mark on my room (and the flat within reason). Ive been keeping in touch with Heather and Maeve through e-mail and text which made me slightly jealous because they had such a travely summer where as the most exotic place that i have been was Cornwall. But i still had loads of fun and took some nice pictures that i will hopefully get processed over the next couple of weeks.

So the content of this Blog is going to change this year, i have decided not to edit my life so much for the benefit of the people that read this (no matter how few that is) so that there is a more 'real' portrayal of what it is like to be a student. This will take effect immediately. I'll post in a few days once i get my head into gear after working on my CV.

Thursday, 17 July 2008



Ezekiel connected them dry bones
Ezekiel connected them dry bones
Ezekiel connected them dry bones
Now hear the word of the Lord.

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones
Gonna hear the word of the Lord.

Your toe bone connected to your foot bone
Your foot bone connected to your ankle bone
Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone
Your leg bone connected to your knee bone
Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone
Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone
Your hip bone connected to your back bone
Your back bone connected to your shoulder bone
Your shoulder bone connected to your neck bone
Your neck bone connected to your head bone
I hear the word of the Lord.

Them bones, them bones gonna walk around
Them bones, them bones gonna walk around
Them bones, them bones gonna walk around
I hear the word of the Lord.

Disconnect them bones, them dry bones
Disconnect them bones, them dry bones
Disconnect them bones, them dry bones
Now hear the word of the Lord.

Your head bone connected from your neck bone
Your neck bone connected from your shoulder bone
Your shoulder bone connected from your back bone
Your back bone connected from your hip bone
Your hip bone connected from your thigh bone
Your thigh bone connected from your knee bone
Your knee bone connected from your leg bone
Your leg bone connected from your ankle bone
Your ankle bone connected from your foot bone
Your foot bone connected from your toe bone
I hear the word of the Lord
I hear the word of the Lord.

Im such a boney person, creeps me out some times.
By the by im not religious.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Worthless update

After a short trip to London to get my Passport i am back and ready to continue my summer adventures in Milton Keynes and beyond. All for one thing, i still don't have a passport and i wont be getting one until i have returned to London with my Passport forms AND (this time) my passport photographs. It seems like i went all the way to London to get the thing and forgot the most important part of the application, the photos. Because of this i started to think about my memory and how generally terrible it is...i really want to improve it but i don't know where to start and chances are i will forget that i even wanted to do it in the first place! Does anyone that reads this have any idea on how i can improve my memory?

Other than that i had a really fun time in London and for the first time i actually came without the lingering resentment that i usually get when i visit that city. I think maybe i have grown up enough to stay there and meeting people who do definatly helps with that...i enjoyed it enough to think about
moving to London After i Graduate and that is certainly where alot of the jobs are.


That is all.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Im a Robot and thats not ok

I finally got round to watching a film i had been meaning to watch for a very long time now, that film would be "I'm a Cyborg, but that's OK" and i am pleasantly satisfied.

The story is about a girl who suffers from schizophrenia and starts to believe that she is a cyborg, all stemming from her grandmother who in turn suffered from the same disease which manifested itself in a different way, she thinks she is a mouse and only eats turnip. I Liked the interaction of different characters within the mental institution (is that the right way to say it?) and how their individual stories are put across in individual and humorous ways. Although the end of the film was a little too open, i felt like there should have been some kind of resolve even if it had nothing to do with her eventually getting over her illness.

Other than watching that film i have been trying to fill out a passport form for my trip for Canada, i don't know what it is about official documents but i just can't seem to get them right....i am on my 3rd form at the moment and the frustration of that just makes me make more mistakes! Hopefully this time will be the last so that i can fill the form in tomorrow and get it posted away, just in time for the holiday i hope!

Todays designer is actually an artist! Confused? Well personally i can get inspiration from any kind of creative output if its photography, Fashion, Art, film etc. And i think its important to remain open to different sources of inspiration throughout my education and afterwords in my career. So Today's 'inspiration' takes the form of Geraldine Pilgrim. She acts as the Artistic director for Corridor a performance company that she actually set up, who create site specific installations with different groups of people and other artists within buildings of interest.

The website is a little bare but gives you some skeletal information on what she stands for and a couple of her projects, along with up and coming ones. The bed in the picture above was the piece that caught my eye and encouraged me to look more into her work. This was just one part of a huge installation based in Belsay hall where, different parts of the house were transformed into a window into the buildings past. The website sort of makes out that she was the main creative output but on another website there is quite a sizable list of names including Vicktor & Rolf, Hew Locke and Francesca Steele.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Blinding inspiration

Sleeping in my brothers old room (which is now mine) is a really tough thing to do when it hits 6am the sun beats through the blinds and in turn blinds me...or really just forces me to wake up. Seeing as i woke up so early i decided to make use of my time and clear out my laptop of music i never listen too, photographs i never look at and films i never watch which has taken most of this morning to do and i havn't even finished! There was allot of change everywhere i looked not just in my style but in the things i had collected and valued enough to save it onto my laptop. Yesterday i didn't get out of bed until 1pm so it kind of figures that i would wake up so early.

Im getting restless now, being back in Milton Keynes always makes me feel like this, but when i think about it i only have 2-3 weeks left here and even less if i decide to go to London to catch up with some kids from the Art school. To quell this feeling along with organising my laptop im starting a research file on designers to use in my course later on, picking from a list of designers names i have been slowly building up over the past year. I will post every day about a designer from my list, my views and why i noted there name down.

Fredrikson Stallard are a design company based in the UK (to be precise London) the pair have been in collaboration since 1995 and, as the website says, have been "recognised as leading exponents of British avant garde design". The above photograph was the first piece that i saw by them but it was only last week that i re-discovered them in an issue of Design week that i try to read every time i go to the library. I like there dreamy simplicity that features so heavily in all of there designs and how they are trying hard to abandon the industrialisation of design that most product/furniture design is about nowadays.

There aim to generate creations of "opulent sensual darkness" creates some pretty bizarre and forward thinking furniture/lighting/objects that at the same time are alluringly beautiful, For some of the pieces i am left wondering what the process is behind them and that can only be a good thing. If there popularity and exhibition history is anything to go on then i have a feeling that i am not alone in my thoughts.

I close this post by informing you that im going to dress up like this kid and run around disposing of vicious alien villains.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

July and im home for some time

Well first year has been over now for 1 month or so and between moving all of my possessions into storage (which in itself was a huge investment of time, money and energy) and then returning home to find that there was no Internet in the house and no hope of it till the end of June ive had no time to post. That's my excuse and im sticking too it.

Being back home for an extended amount of time is a really strange and to be honest un-comfortable experience, I had my freedom and here it is severely compromised. I feel constantly under my parents feet and the only thing i can do to try not to annoy them is to keep out of their way and confine myself to my room. One great thing to come out of no Internet is that i have been forced to read/draw/paint to pass the time and have been getting into a book called 'The architecture of happiness - the secret art of furnishing your life' by Alain de Botton. Its quite a tough read but very interesting none the less, it talks allot about the psychology of design which has always interested me and how we can create buildings in different ways which can affect us subconsciously. Its changed my view on the practice of architecture and my role within it and at the same time deepened my dislike for certain factions of modernism (i.e. Le Corbusier).

Apart from that book ive been reading some on Impressionism and realism in the 20th century and decided to buy another book by one of my favourite authors Haruki Murakami its called 'The wild sheep chase' ive only read the first few pages but im hooked all ready such is the power of Murakami. Im sure i will have finished reading it by next week depending on how i spread my time about. The great thing about having free time and no particular thing to do is ideas seem to flood to me...i have 3 ideas for installation pieces, 3 photography projects, 2 art pieces, various clothes and pieces of furniture. I HAVE TO DO THEM. Someone please force me to make something this summer otherwise i will be really depressed at having wasted so much valuable time.

China looks like it will have to wait till next year now because of money issues and i missed the deadline for application, but instead my parents suggested a trip to Canada to visit my relatives, and i jumped at the opportunity. Apart from not seeing my Canadian family for over 6 years i have really missed the place too, the fresh air and beautiful scenery is inspiring to say the least so im pretty pumped about the trip i even get to meet my cousins wife/husband/child (i have more than one cousin out there just to clear that up.

When i wasn't reading i was sorting out things in the loft into boxes of 'leave' and 'take to Glasgow' and i came across this old passport photograph of me (top) i think its 4 years old and well...its quite clear that i have changed quite a bit...even if the hair is a drastic instant change, by the by the other photo is probably the most recent one of me. It got me thinking about change and how much of it i have been through in the past 4 years....GCSES, AS level, Btec and the first year of my degree, what a whirlwind to say the least. This time last year i was so excited to go to Glasgow whilst at the same time working full time for Habitat MK who incidentally have refused to re-employ me on the grounds of company restructuring which sounds like a lie to me.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Sketch frenzy

I like the way the scanner has processed this drawing, looks like the lamppost is switched on. Yesterday evening me and Sam sat and 'made art' (as zephyr put it) furiously and obsessively we were in the sketchbook/painting zone its so good to not have a sketchbook to do for a project and, instead, to have one for fun and to prove to myself that i can be creative for the sake of being creative.

Tommorow i get my grade back for first year not really sure how they will be grading it. Maybe just Pass/fail or i guess it could be like the H&C grades but im sure that i have at least passed this year that is certain. It would be nice to get say a B but to be honest i think i would be happy with anything considering how i felt the first two terms of this year have gone especially because i wasn't happy with alot of the work that i produced.

I just found out about a trip that the GSA emailed me explaining some of the details. Basically its a three week trip to china to learn mandarin which is exactly what i had been looking for...i hope i can get this because its all paid for and the only other way i would be able to travel would be to get an overdraft and get into some risky debt which im not too comfortable about.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

New blogs

Ive spent the morning looking at other peoples blogs and have discovered a few that i will definatly be adding to my site list for you to look at. One one particular blog, Design for mankind, i found 2 more blogs that i really like the look of and one particular blogger even had an issue of frankie in her post (which was a daily for Design for mankind). I don't want to steal content from someones blog so i will just say that there is some interesting content on Design for mankind and i think you should check it out (in particular the what the world eats photo essay). In reflection on other peoples blogs i noticed how little of my own designs/ideas i have been posting so to remedy this i will show you a couple of things from the 'This & That' project i just completed.

This image is a representation of the office that i had designed in its final position. I thought for a long time about where to put my first i thought somewhere like The botanic gardens or Kelvingrove Park but decided that they were too obvious. Being obvious is one of the things that i really tried to avoid whilst thinking up concepts for this design but in the presentation to Drew and Patrick i felt like i was being criticised for being to vaugue. In particular the cut away sections in the office cell and the bathroom, drew likened it to pee stained walls...oh dear.

In the end i decided that the best place to put the Office was on a disused plot of land just behind a recycling plant. I suggested that the plot could be planted with flowers that bees are attracted too that way both areas of the design will have been covered.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Tidy and inspire

The weather has been really nice recently, and nice weather always makes me feel in the mood to do some organising and to tidy....and i suppose it is a good idea to clean up all the mess i made from the last project. I really didn't realise how much mess i could make in such a short time, i think i have surpassed any mess ive ever made before!

Why does my room seem messy still even after i cleaned it? I guess the room itself doesn't have a very 'clean' vibe at all just because its student halls! I can't wait to move into the other flat....not long to go now! Me, Heather and Maeve decided on who has what room recently so im just thinking now about how to decorate far im thinking the colours Grey, White and Green. so i'll have to start looking out for things to put into my room...a branch for sure....hmm

Today i was reflecting on some designers that i researched for my project and one in particular captured my imagination from the start and that is work by designer Gareth Neal. His work looks at positive and negative space and the exploration of organic forms. Out of all of his pieces i found his Block 2: Side table interested me the most and his concept spaces are great too.

The beautiful simplicity in this side table Is great! I wonder how he made it....looks like it was a block of oak sawn back piece by piece but...that would take so long and its so detailed if he did do it that way then i am seriously impressed. This summer i have to make some furniture...what to do, what to do...

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Grades and birthday celebrations

Today i had my feedback session with my H&C tutor Bruce Peter a little too early for me in the morning when you take into account the loud German people that live in a flat just across for me...especially when they sing great songs really really badly! Im sure i mentioned in a previous post that i was incredibly nervous for my presentation AND in the grade for the essay that i did in term 2, turns out i had no reason at all to feel that way.

For my presentation i got an A4 grade, which really surprised me...its the first A grade i have got through the entirety of my education and makes its seems that i really have decided to come to the right place? Something must be making me work hard enough to get that grade, i feel even more so now that im in the right place.For my essay i was given a B2 which im really happy about especially because i thought it was terrible, i just wish i could of looked at a few more sources.

For each piece of H&C work you get a feedback sheet and from what i can tell it looks like im making the same sort of 'mistakes' in whatever i write. Bruce wrote "There are some places where the insertion of a few more well chosen words would have made a big difference to the clarity of your arguments" being specific and precise for me when im writing is something i guess i will just have to work on...although im not sure how to practice this.

As well as getting my H&C grades back today it was the birthday of my friend Amelia she is turned 19 (i feel a little too old) so to celebrate her flatmates made her a fishy breakfast, as part of tradition, and i came over straight after my feedback session to give her my present/card and wish her well. We continued the celebrations by having lunch at the wee Curry shop needless to say it was delicious! and cheap too. Afterwards we waited around for a while then went to the Glasgow Film Theater to see Caramel.

The photography in this film was amazing, and worth seeing for that alone. But if your one for fast moving storyline and action scenes i don't think that you would enjoy it. Id love to take some pictures from scenes in this film!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Work is finish

Phew, well i have now officially finished all work in relation to my first year at the GSA. Its a funny feeling a mixture of relief and apprehension in regards to what grades i will get for this term in H&C and in Design.

The meeting that i was talking about in my last post went ok although i can't help feeling like the tutor brushed me off a little bit as i was the last person to present my work one tutor condensed the evaluation of my work down into one word 'Hexagon'. Personally i thought that the mid term review was very un-helpful but maybe i just didn't understand what she was trying to get at, also the fact that the Interiors tutor wasn't even in our review kind of annoyed me. Just recently i had my final review with the head of interior design, i don't think that went very well either.

I don't know what it is but every time i have a review i lose my vocabulary and i can't describe very well why i did certain things in my design. This didn't help very much when i tried to defend why i decided to put vertical recycled plastic board cladding on the majority of the walls inside my portable office. I put my defenses up and suggested that 'it was essential to the design concept and that it was inspired by the construction of a beehive' but after i knew i could of worded it better adding something like 'i didn't want the inside to be a complete carbon copy of the outside, there needed to be some kind of change in finish to communicate the change of atmosphere. Submergence in a recycled material with an emphasis on height and 'natural' materials'. If only i could say those things on the spot...

Anyway, today with the handing in of my design concept sketchbook, i have no more work to do and only feedback sessions to attend so technically i have 4 months of free time to do what i like with me moving back to Glasgow from Milton Keynes Mid-late August. I really wanted to get a picture of my work on the wall for the future (and for this blog) but i wasn't allowed into the studio because of the assessments so i (and you) will have to wait until next week when i get my grade.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


Tomorrow i have the presentation that i was telling you about and im very nervous. So instead of going out i have decided to stay in and try to get my head around what i am going to say to the group. Saying this, today i was the audience to some students from textiles and the talk was very informal and relaxed so i don't think that i have much to worry about at all, i just need to pin down a few things.

When i was doing some research on designers and artists that i feel could influence the final design of my office i came across an artist called Dan McCarthy who, although he has absolutely no relevance to my project, captured my imagination immediately. Id actually seen some of his work before but i can't exactly remember where from maybe through the days when i used to sit on deviant art for hours and trawl through art works so its great to find the images again.

His work seems to speak to me in some way, maybe because of my morbid fascination couple with that of anatomy and the child hood interest of dinosaurs! For the first time i have considered investing...well purchasing a print of his not only because i feel that its completely out of my imitation range but i think to have a print bought from him would be really fulfilling.

There isn't anything about him on his Website only a huge selection of his prints, paintings, drawings and clothing. $47 for a 25"x19" print...i am sooooo tempted.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

celebration and concentration

Work on my project has jumped forward in leaps and bounds over the past week or so and considering i have a presentation soon based on the work that i am doing at the moment that can be nothing but a good thing. I had a slump a couple of days ago when i was sat staring into a floor plan, the realisation that this scenario would happen for the rest of my life (staring into floorplans and considering space planning etc) and it scared me a little bit.

I had a small gathering at my flat to celebrate mine and Maeves Birthday and it was a great success and turned out to be Horrific. I enjoyed everyones costumes to the maximum but the mess the next morning was a little terrorfying in itself. I got some interesting presents from my friends including, incense, a snail shell, books from a book fair and some nice chopsticks.

The best present though had to be having fun with my friends (even if there were a few certain someones missing from the group) so...yeah that was soppy but its true!

The H&C presentation went fine, i was terribly nervous but i managed to calm myself by concentrating as hard as possible on the people that went before me. Things like listening to there tone, speed of speech and the actual substance of the presentation helped to center me so when it came to my turn i somehow did the whole talk without stuttering or messing up what i wanted to say...even if it did feel like my voice was being stolen away from me at the beginning. The Lecturer commented on how well paced my presentation was, well pronounced and something else. I was a little too high on adrenaline to take it all in if im honest! I won't say that im looking forward to the next presentation...but im certainly prepared for it.

NOTE- I made this draft on the night of the party!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Birthday treats

Today is my birthday!
Although im not sure how to feel about it because i am turning 20 and exiting my teenage years, im not sure because i don't really regret getting older just the fact that im getting closer and closer to 'Real life' which seems a little scary. As well as it being my birthday its also an important day in regards to university as i have an important presentation today for H&C.

H&C is the contextual part of my studies at university and is mostly about the history of art and design and how it effects us still to this day. For the presentation everyone was given an artist or designer and asked to put together a 5 minuite talk on a piece of text and two images that were provided for us. For my talk i was given the textiles designer Bernat Klein who i actually didn't know anything about before hand..and to be honest i hadn't even heard his name before im not sure if i have researched enough for my presentation but its to late now.

Sorry for such a short post but i have to go now to do the presentation!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Working like a coal miner

Last year on the run up to the end of my studies the work load seemed to creep up on me and jump out from a dark corner striking fear into my heart...and this year i have a feeling that its going to be pretty much the same sort of scenario. Although this time its entirely self inflicted because i have so many ideas for projects that i want to start that my main university project (this & that) is beginning to get put on the back burner. As a result im not sure how loyal i will be to updating this blog, one thing is for sure i think the posts with have to be a little bit more brief as each post can take up to 2 hours of my time if i am being particular about layouts and uploading photographs from the terrible halls Internet. I hope i am forgiven for this!

One of the hardest parts of the course at the moment is getting hold of the course tutor to ask him his opinion on what i am doing in this project, so even though the other tutors will help us, i could be veering dangerously off point. Is this a part of university that i havn't taken in? In regards to 'Self study' that is?

My research sketchbook is starting to take shape, at the moment im looking at various architecture and interiors to get some inspiration. Mount Fuji Architects created an interesting house exterior with the use of a punched stainless steel cover, i think this kind of 'punched' material could be used in my design, either through window covers or maybe room dividers. Anyway what you see above is an excerpt from that sketchbook, the drawing was just a little idea about the exterior of the box...although as i have already said im not sure if we are allowed to change the shape of the container that much. Id love to find a way to create an interesting shape whilst allowing more light into the container itself...and im sure i will come to a good conclusion after some more sketch booking.

Next week i am hoping to have both model making and Vectorworks tutorials but again the tutor hasn't been in for me to check.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Visits etc

Ive had such a busy last few days, my friends from Milton Keynes came to visit over the weekend for my birthday (well pre-birthday) to see what Glasgow was like and where i live etc. It was so much fun although i do feel a little guilty as i only got a tiny bit of work done but im trying to make up for this by working as hard as i can this week.

One of the places that me and my friends visited whilst they where here was the Falkirk wheel, a boat lift used to transport canal boats from one lower pool of water to a higher (previously inaccessible) area. The design of the wheel itself is very impressive and very surprising in regards to how little sound it makes whilst turning. We didn't acctually ride on the wheel itself because tickets are too expensive but i would like to revisit one day and see what it is like.

Recently i re-discovered the work of an artist/restorer known as Huw Griffith who makes these amazing mirrors which are so simple but so intricate and beautiful. All he does is take an antique mirror that has lost some of the silver coating due to weathering or just 'old age' re-frame it or just restore the frame and put some wallpaper behind the mirrored surface and viola you have yourself an enthralling design piece.Its people like Huw that have inspired me to take old furniture and breathe life back into it just because i the end of the day a restored piece has so much more character and attachment than any other piece of furniture that you could buy in a shop.

Project work is all going well, although i have put all serious thinking and space planning on hiatus and im just trying to gather interesting images and furniture pieces that i can use in my final designs.

Friday, 18 April 2008

A new flat

I have some very exciting news, I now have a flat for next year! The first down payment has been put through and i will have to finish of some paperwork and sign some forms and its ours, i really can't believe that its happening. The flat itself is so beautiful with 3 double bedrooms (not the largest that i have seen but big enough to be comfortable and snug) A large kitchen/diner with a kitchen nook and a dryer that is on a pulley. As well as this there is a Living room with bay windows and a huge storage cupboard all for £300 a month its such a good deal especially for the location too. I did take any pictures which i really regret now because i think that its going to seem like such a long time until august even though its only about 3 months away in reality.

I thought it would be interesting to upload the second part of the brief (also useful for me if i forget to bring my brief into the studio) as you can see its very specific and i will look forward to the workshops in Vectorworks and the model making tutor also. Especially since i found out that we won't be working with foam board!

Here is a copy of the floor plan that i have to work with, so far im just thinking about space and how it can be adapted to allow 2 people to work alongside each other with the minimum amount of conflict. How can i communicate harmony in difference?

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Crit etc

I had a review today of the nine photographs that i had selected for the first part of the breif, and surprisingly it went really well (i say surprisingly because i felt very unprepaired). I spent quite a large amount of time thinking about how i should display it and what photographs i would choose to show and finally as i said in my last post i started on the book. I started by seperating the book up into 9 sections and then masking taped the edges so that it made a thick barrier between each photograph. Im really happy with the final product, and so was the tutor i think i will be making a second version of this book with the 9 selected images that i have edited on photoshop.

As you can see in that picture my Holga Photos have come through so here are a couple that i found interesting. Tommorow i will post you my new brief and some priliminary ideas.