Assessment 6, Task 6; Reflections

a) What was the most interesting weekly topic we covered in this subject this semester and why?

I think the standout for me this semester was week 4, covering Helvetica design and Typography. I know that previous to computers, an old printing specialist was a dedicated skill, so in the past 50 years or so, since the introduction of a number of standard fonts such as Helvetica or serif Times New Roman, I think it is something that has become undervalued. People don’t tend to recognise the subliminal effect it can have on consumers. An awkwardly placed font can make more of an impact then you realise and may shape views on the design/format/product. For instance the recent introduction of iOS9 has brought in a new font for iPhone, the type feels weird and and does not suit the product in my opinion. I like the power that something so small and seemingly insignificant can have.

 

b) Would you say that this was the topic about which you learned the most, or was that another week? Please explain your view.

I did have some prior knowledge in the field of Typography so I wouldn’t say I learnt the most during that week. I think a bit more recently there were a number of concepts during week 10 that I found engaging. Cradle-to-Cradle design is something that interests me although many of the ideas it entails involves a lot of blue-sky thinking, I’ve always wondered what happens to the things I recycle, and for me it is interesting to hear that recycling isn’t the best we can do; there is potential to ‘up-cycle’ materials and create something better in its second life. I’ve never been quite sure how much of a benefit recycling was as to me it seemed that the material was always going to go through some sort of deterioration from stage to stage. This is why thinking outside the box can help in these situations, as explained by the set reading, there is potential to create more from less.

 

c) Which set text or weekly reading did you find most interesting in this unit? Can you see yourself seeking out more of the author/s work or by other authors on the topic?

Throughout the unit I found I enjoyed some of the readings and not others. I loved the thought process and ideas within McDonough’s and Braungart’s book and it furthered my enjoyment of that topic. However I believe that Paul Polak’s Design for the other ninety percent also raised some good points and opened my mind to the ideas of creating ruthlessly simple but functional pieces for the masses. Previous to this, whenever I tried to think about designing something creatively, my mind always turned to potentially complicated, abstract or expensive pieces of design. I would consider going through some further reading materials by Polak.

 

d) Which activity/task did you enjoy the most? Which activity/task was the most useful in building your academic skills?

During week 6 we focused on lo-fi aesthetics in film and how this related to early camera techniques. I watched a number of documentaries and feature films by Michel Gondry in preparation for this topic. It is fun to watch films that can challenge perceptions of reality and ones that have the potential to broaden your horizons through new concepts and techniques. Gondry certainly has a unique way of conveying his ideas so it was very fun to relax and watch his material all the while trying to recognise his inspiration and what he was attempting. Ultimately, finding something fun and creative such as a quirky Gondry movie and translating his humour into an academic review is something I enjoy, so I have based my assessment 3 on his work. It will provide interesting material for me to analyse in an academic sense.

 

References:

Polak, P. (2007). ‘Design for the Other Ninety Percent’, in C. Smith (Ed), Design for the Other Ninety Percent (pp.19-25). New York: Cooper Hewitt/National Design Museum/Smithsonian.

Retrieved from. https://login.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/login?url=http://onlineres.swin.edu.au/399271.pdf

McDonough, W. & Braungart, M. (2002). Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things. New York: North Point Press. (Chapter 6: Putting Eco-effectiveness into practice)

Retrieved from. http://onlineres.swin.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/1376906.pdf

Hustwit, G. (2007). Helvetica. [film].

Retrieved from https://commons.swinburne.edu.au/logon.do?.page=items/9cdc83bc-8cb3-4e3d-bac9-c2f5aa6e2838/1/

Gondry, M [Director]. (2013). Mood Indigo.

Gondry, M [Director]. (2004). Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Gondry, M [Director]. (2008). Be Kind Rewind.

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Assessment 2, Task 6; Design for nature

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Dawn in the Yarra Valley, Victoria exhibits some of the most natural beauty in Australia. There can be no doubt that a lot of our ‘pristine’ nature has now been ravaged by humans. I couldn’t get any closer to the valley here due to a fence. Humans have barricaded nature and made it almost unattainable. I made sure the fence wasn’t in this picture but this distorts the perceptions of what our world really is now. This idyllic, unmolested valley can only exist within a photo. Being there in it’s actual state was slightly more disappointing as you couldn’t ignore the fencing like you can in this picture. Being in this area several hundred years ago would have created a sense of unimpeded freedom, to be totally immersed in nature, not restricted by human conditioning.

 

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It is a common debate as to whether we consider curated gardens true symbols of a preserved world. Is ‘real’ nature what it would be like if humans were not around? Examples of this are very difficult to find. Or is it a place that has natural elements such as trees and lakes even if they are somewhat artificially constructed? The rejection of the view that a”place must be completely ‘pristine’ to count as nature” (Marris, E, 2011, p13)  means that one can indulge in the simplicity of nature that is being regularly updated to what society considers serene and natural. The Sugarloaf Reservoir Park is curated though peaceful. In Winter, it is vibrant, crisp, and easy to enjoy a picnic next to the lake.

 

References:

Marris, E. (2011). Weeding the Jungle. Rambunctious Garden: Saving nature in a post-wild world. New York: Bloomsbury.

Retrieved from. http://onlineres.swin.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/99332392111.pdf

 

 

 

Assessment 2, Task 5; Cradle-to-Cradle Thinking

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Given that it is the goal of every designer to adapt current technology to a continuously evolving world in a cultural, political and social context, the terms design and sustainability have become binary for most professionals. The need to create with a social conscience however, is arguably not enough according to McDonough and Braungart (2002), who state that “destroying the environment a little less does not protect anything” (van Hatturn, 2007). They outline five steps that every respectful organisation/designer should consider. At first, merely recognising what harm your products are doing is fine, but following that, action should be taken to reduce the wastage and toxicity of every product.

 

The ‘cardboard surfboard’, developed in collaboration by Ernest Packaging Solution and Signal Snowboards, embrace some of the ideas put forth by McDonough & Braungart (2002). The board “improves the existing product in increments, without fundamentally re-conceiving the product” in order to create a waterproof, sturdy and aesthetically pleasing design. It follows point three and four of the manifesto; avoiding ‘X-list’ (harmful) materials and attempting to ‘activate the positive list’ of natural, compostable and nutritious textiles. As such the product does away with much of the styrofoam which defines the typical surfboard, as this material can often contain hidden toxins and instead replaces it with a strong cardboard weave. In addition a fibreglass coating provides strength and water-resistance. It’s success lies in achieving being an ecologically focused product that exerts capable hydrofluid properties and a unique design.

 

References:

McDonough, W. & Braungart, M. (2002). Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things. New York: North Point Press. (Chapter 6: Putting Eco-effectiveness into practice)

Retrieved from. http://onlineres.swin.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/1376906.pdf

van Hatturn R [Director], (2007). Waste = food (Future focus). SBS TV.

https://commons.swinburne.edu.au/items/60c8faad-abf7-47b9-9d70-de48dcdae105/1/

Lisa A, (2014) .This Super Durable Cardboard Surfboard Won’t Disintegrate When it Hits the Ocean. Inhabitat.

http://inhabitat.com/super-durable-cardboard-surfboard-wont-disintegrate-while-you-surf/

Lukach M, (2007). Danny Hess and the Search for a Sustainable Surfboard. Inhabitat.

http://inhabitat.com/danny-hess-and-the-search-for-a-sustainable-surfboard/

 

Assessment 1, Task 5; Letter Arguing for Funds

To all those concerned,

I am writing on behalf of Kickstarter Inc. in order to detail a project that is currently looking to be implemented in third-world and under-developed countries. Developed by designer Martin Fisher, our vision is to create preparatory kits that look after the basics of human integrity through sanitation and privacy. Our patented Domed Pit Latrine Kits are designed to be as practical and cost-effective as possible, so as to be easily constructed by the labourers of the area.

You have the opportunity to create a difference for the less-privileged. The purpose of our correspondence aims to extend an offer of affiliation with Kickstart, from here there are several ways you have the ability to become an entity in this venture; either through a donation, or the outline of terms for a potential investment in our goals. The funds will go towards the materials needed for construction, which are primarily derived of concrete, bamboo and bricks, furthermore we intend to run a program in the hope of instilling the knowledge of pit construction and ongoing support for those in the area.

I have attached a number of pamphlets which go into greater detail of the product and it’s benefits. An example of which will help to keep insects away and therefore reduce the spread of bacteria and diseases. It is common practice to install these and they are relatively simple kits, using a lot of the natural terrain as it’s foundation, meaning a small donation for our neighbours will help to increase their standard of living significantly.  The program is already popular through our Kickstart campaign and it is only a matter of time before these kits will be deployed around the world to help those less fortunate. If interested, we can discuss financial options that suit your needs and give the community a chance to flourish. We hope to hear back from you shortly.

Kindest regards

Michael Czermak

 

References:

Cooper-Hewitt, (2012). National Design Museum. DOMED PIT LATRINE SLAB KIT.

Retrieved from http://www.designother90.org/solution/domed-pit-latrine-slab-kit/

Unicef, (n.d).

http://www.unicef.org/eapro/unprotected-EDEchapter7-1.pdf

Pickford J, Shaw R, (n.d). Latrine slabs and seats.

Retreived from http://www.lboro.ac.uk/well/resources/technical-briefs/45-latrine-slabs-and-seats.pdf

Polak, P. (2007). ‘Design for the Other Ninety Percent’, in C. Smith (Ed), Design for the Other Ninety Percent (pp.19-25). New York: Cooper Hewitt/National Design Museum/Smithsonian. Retrieved from http://onlineres.swin.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/399271.pdf

 

 

Assessment 2, Task 4; Design for a Sustainable Future

As a multiple award-winning culinary institution of Melbourne, owner Shannon Bennett has created a unique atmosphere up on top of the 55th floor of the Rialto Towers that embraces the concepts of sustainable design, functionality and operation put forth by Alaistair Faud-Luke in his 14 part manifesto (2002). Bennett has enlisted the help of local design firm Elenburg Fraser to “design with integrity, sensitivity and compassion” (Faud-Luke, 2012, p. 15) in relation to the Australian-sourced materials that resonate throughout the venue.

It is the belief of Faud-Luke that 14 principles help to distinguish the “thoughtful designer” and Vue Du Monde (VDM) embodies a number of these. The seventh proposition on Faud-Luke’s list states that one must “design to use locally available materials and resources wherever possible”, and from the “locally sourced black basalt” bar surface to the “Australian timber, fur, veneers and furniture” that are all tailored by Australian designers (ArchitectureAU, 2012). A key function of the brief for Elenburg Fraser was to use native materials and processes as much as possible. something they have achieved so as to represent Bennett’s heritage and the ingredients used while maintaining a beautiful simplicity for the design of the venue.

 

Bennett’s dedication to sustainable design practice goes further then the aesthetics of the venue as well, he toys with the third item on Faud-Luke’s manifesto, which suggests that ‘eco-pluralistic’ design must also “harness solar income rather then use non-renewable [energy] such as fossil fuels”. This belief spreads to the kitchen in Vue Du Monde which utilises “cold kitchen technology” and “recyclable products” (Vue Du Monde, n.d). Bennett is well-renowned within Australia for his progressive thinking and VDM is crowned his “most sustainable” project yet (Vue Du Monde, n.d).

With this in mind I believe that the aggressive tactice used by Vue Du Monde in it’s quest for sustainability the reflects the Australian landscape can only help to add it it’s opulence and sense of purpose. Many corporations could begin to invest in renewable energies and responsibly sources materials in a bid to raise their profile rather then believe it is now a necessary inconvenience that should be reluctantly followed.

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References:
Australian Interior Design Awards, (2012). 2012 Hospitality Design Award.

Retrieved from http://gallery.australianinteriordesignawards.com/year:2012/awardid:17/entryid:158

Elenberg Fraser, (2012). Vue Du Monde [Official Guide]

Retrieved from http://elenbergfraser.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/0908_Vue_de_monde_MediaKit.pdf

Fuad-Luke, A. (2002). Design for a sustainable future. London: Chronicle & Thames and Hudson.

Retrieved from http://onlineres.swin.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/1572688.pdf

Vue Du Monde, (n.d). Shannon Bennett Biography.

Retrieved from http://www.vuedemonde.com.au/shannon_bennett_biography

ArchitectureAU, (2012). Vue Du Monde.

Retrieved from http://architectureau.com/articles/2012-australian-interior-design-awards-sustainability-advancement-winner/

Architecture and Design, (2012). Vue Du Monde.

Retrieved from http://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/projects/alterations-additions/vue-de-monde

Assessment 1, Task 4; Compiling a Reference List

Books

Ezra E, (2000). Georges Melies. Manchester & New York: Manchester University Press.

Hammond P, (1974). Marvellous Melies, London: Gordon Fraser

Rubin M, (1993). Showstoppers: Busby Berkeley and the Tradition of the Spectacle, New York: Columbia University Press

 

Journals and Online Articles

Mottram J, (2006). No more the dreamer ; French director Michel Gondry’s new films should see him moving away from his journeyman’ tag.

http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/pqcentral/docview/310987231/1FDF8A08BD7F466BPQ/1?accountid=14205

N.A. Blessed are the Forgetful: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Retrieved from. http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=8f3e1ef1-f6c8-4801-b164-1847bf384260%40sessionmgr111&vid=0&hid=118

 

Webpages

Curry I, (2009). Georges Méliès: A Magician at Work.

Retrived From. https://drnorth.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/georges-melies-a-magician-at-work/

Dellamorte A, (2007). Exclusive Interview – Michel Gondry.

Retrieved From. http://collider.com/entertainment/archive_detail.asp/aid/3495/cid/13/tcid/1

Goldsmith L (2004). The Word of Director Michel Gondry. 

Retrieved From. http://notcoming.com/features/gondry/

Webster M, (2008). Marvellous Melies.

Retrieved From. https://motiondesign.wordpress.com/category/1910/

Yuan J, (2013). Michel Gondry on The We and the I, Bronx Kids, and Mood Indigo.

Retrieved From. http://www.vulture.com/2013/03/michel-gondry-the-we-and-the-i-mood-indigo-interview.html

 

Audio Visual Media

Bromberg S, & Lange E. (Directors) (2011) The Extraordinary Voyage, France: France 3, Lobster

Gondry M, et al (Wriers.Directirs) (2003). The Word of Director Michel Gondry [Documentary]

New York, USA: Palm Pictures

Partizan Official. (2014). I’ve Been 12 Forever (Side B) – short film – Michel Gondry (2004).

Retrieved From. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF8kN-M2XNY

tap2323. (2010). Busby Berkeley (Director). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIO9y1xMPIA

Scorsese M (Director), (2011). Hugo. [Motion Picture]. Hollywood, Ca: Paramount Pictures

silentfilmhouse. (2011). The Haunted Castle 1896 George Melies silent film.

Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPmKaz3Quzo