Monday, 30 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
I must have been subconsciously avoiding writing about our project on designing an exhibition based on the Jute Industry, but surprisingly to me I am increasingly inclined to write about how intriging some of the research I found is. Jute, being a ecological fibre played a huge role in the life of the people of Dundee, amongst other places such as India, Bangladesh etc, even though Jute was not grown in Scotland. Through research much was interesting but what I found the most important was that of jute as a sustainable material.
The most astonishing fact I came across is that jute consumes several amounts of CO2 as Oxygen! Why do we not know this?! Maybe it is just Tesco’s keeping this a secret while they mass produce millions of Jute carrier bags to become ahead of the ‘green’ market. Even on the Santa Claus on the new Tesco advert is carrying a Jute Sack! I wonder if in ten years time when our children see the ‘old school’ adverts (just like us with those familiar Coca-Cola Christmas adverts that we will never forget), will they think this Jute bag was what Santa has carried for years?! Let’s hope this material isn’t as secretive as what it is to us, (unless you have designed an exhibition on it or lived in Dundee in the jute, jam and journalism days!).
This did influence us so much for our exhibition design that we created a sustainable and ecofriendly one that can be placed straight into the environment after the exhibition is over so it can live on forever secretly, better way to leave a mark to remember than a photograph. In brief – based on the Snake by Richard Serra, we created grass panelled walls, creating a atmospheric journey through the space evoking emotions reflecting the social conditions the people involved in the Jute Industy in Dundee had to live with. We experimented by cutting shapes into grass, staining grass and researched finding out it is possible to develop photographs directly onto grass, subjecting different parts to different amounts of light therefore allowing various levels of photosynthesis to occur thus creating a picture perfect photograph.
Artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harveys advertisement installation at Wimbeldon 2008.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
There are three identity types – Social, personal and place. Psychologists’ are usually interested in social and personal identity but place identity is extremely important in not just where we call ‘home’, but why we do and what impact it has on our lives. Recently I attended a talk by Mhairi Bowe who is finishing her PhD in Psychology. She questions ‘what is home’?’
(my old house - still home)
During Mhari’s talk I was intrigued with what she was saying about how place represents past, present and future and they are permanent features of life. We are always in some environment, whether it the other side of the world or snuggled up in bed, but these places makes us feel. And these places completely take over how we feel even if subconsciously and contribute to the way we act in this environment. This shows how place affects our wellbeing. If somewhere feels like home we feel safe, warm and comfortable. People described home as somewhere you can ‘go and lock the world out’, a place you can ‘safely flop’ and a place that caters to ‘mans instant needs’. For me if I have my UGG boots, a cup of tea and custard creams and my MacBook (including WIFI!) I would reckon I’m pretty sorted. Now rereading this I suppose this is a consumers point of view in a consumer and media driven world, proving how things have ridiculously changed. But home can be anywhere and home can travel around with you. It is simply somewhere you are at ease and have a sense of self. This is vital to wellbeing.
This point got me thinking about others and how people less off, immigrants, refugees, armed forces and such like see ‘home’. Place evokes emotion, memory and thought. You have a relationship with the environment you are in and for me this is something I am intrigued to find out more about for my designing life. (I shall keep you updated!)
If I put the word ‘PlaceBook’ out to you, what would you think? A place? Or one of Facebook’s new revoltingly addictive games?! Well not quite. PlaceBook is a new website developed to being people and place together, to share peoples’ identities and stories which make us remember and enjoy, potentially improve our wellbeing so check it out if you too and intrigued by the relationship between people and place.