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Professional Development Portfolio Experiments, work and research.

Cameron Francis Taylor N째1307119 MA Graphic Design Business & Enterprise

Introduction to PDP and Strategies for Practice 1.

Cameron Francis Taylor

My professional development portfolio is formed upon the direction of my work that has progressed over the past year. The development of personal work and professional work has been interesting and I’ve found this journey has allowed me to spread my creative process over a large area of subjects. Through the projects undertaken I have excecuted work and research that has brought information and visuals from all sorts of different fields. This document will portray work from all the projects I have undertaken this year and showing how my professional intergrity has progressed in the field of my choice as well as pushing the limits in which my work can be succesful in. The next section will be the practical work I have excecuted for Strategies for Practice 1 + 2 and the beginnings of my Masters projects experiments as well as research. In Strategies for practice 1 I delved into the notion of architectural process and visualisation and asked the question, can an architect be an architect without constructing a building? This question allowed for research into Italian Radical design and architecture studios such as Superstudio and Archigram. From this the focus began to lay on how we interact with objects and structures. Prior to this progressive research, the initial stem of architecutre and portraying it through my eyes came from my undergraduate Final Major Project which this avenue of exploration was part of. Having taken this area further and created experiments which have determined the major direction of most of my work over the course of this Masters degree. On the next couple of pages I will leave my evaluation of this unit which will explain the work that follows it. Within Strategies for Practice 2 I moved away from architecture and focused on the notion of structure. Understanding the need for structure and how this is processed began this investigation which eventually moved further into deconstructivism and the way we perceive the intentions of design and art. The research and written commentary provided throughout this book were completed in correlation with the work being produced for each unit and is all relevant to how my work functions and progresses.

The research that will be portrayed for my Masters project might not be as in depth as the other units as the deadline for the PDP cuts out about a month and a half prior to the deadline of our Masters project. This being said I will give a taste of how this is going and might shape up. As a final note the written aspects of this journal have been executed previously as to accompany the work through its completion. The context of which it is in now is more to show a progression that my work has taken throughout my year as a Masters student.

PDP - Experiments, work and research

Cameron Francis Taylor


Strategies for Practice 1 // p.4-p.33 -practice + research Strategies for Practice 2 // p.36-p.79 -practice + research Masters project // p.80


Critical evaluation: Strategies for Practice 1.

Cameron Francis Taylor

The work I wish to analyse and compare with my most recent work is the subject matter of my Extended Major Project. The topic of my Extended Major Project was gravity. This stemmed from a keen interest in an idea put forward by QI creator and Radio 4 presenter John Lloyd, who gave a TED lecture called ‘Invisible Inventories’. In this lecture he proclaimed the notion that “we can’t understand what we can’t see”. This line really struck a chord in me, as John Lloyd continued his lecture he began naming properties and forces that we can’t see and that we are yet to understand fully. Forces like gravity and properties such as existence and time are not yet fully understood and this is perhaps because we cannot see them. The following words will explain my process in acheiving my final outcome. “So, we can see the stars and the planets, but we can’t see what holds them apart or what draws them together. With matter, as with people, we see only the skin of things. We can’t see into the engine room. We can’t see what makes people tick, at least not without difficulty. And the closer we look at anything, the more it disappears. In fact, if you look really closely at stuff, if you look at the basic substructure of matter, there isn’t anything there. Electrons disappear in a kind of fuzz, and there is only energy. And you can’t see energy.”(John Lloyd, 2008,TEDtalks, “Invisible Inventories”, Lecture) This is an extract from John Lloyd’s talk, which formed the basis for my investigation into “we can’t understand what we can’t see”. I began venturing into the idea of existence. I focused on this aspect in a previous brief in conjunction with an RSA brief, which was trying to find spirituality through the idea of energy and it being an everlasting force rather than something that is conserved and used. The context of this previous work is interesting. It’s essentially driven by science and astronomy but is pushed through this graphic design route and the outcome is quite object driven. Wrestling with ideas and concepts, which we cannot physically touch or see is difficult, especially if the intention is to create something visual from it. The interpretation of ideas we cannot understand fascinates me, as a designer, one usually concerns answering problems or questions put forward by society. With my investigation I’m following the same trail of thought as Dunne&Raby and Italian Radical Design, that of asking questions through design instead of solving. ‘Critical Design’ is a concept put forward by Dunne&Raby quoting their website: “Critical Design uses speculative design

proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. It is more of an attitude than anything else, a position rather than a method. There are many people doing this who have never heard of the term critical design and who have their own way of describing what they do. Naming it Critical Design is simply a useful way of making this activity more visible and subject to discussion and debate.” Involving myself further into this type of research I looked into Italian Radical Design which I touched upon through last years explorations. This movement emerged in Italy in the 1960s and, like its close counterpart Anti-Design, was firmly opposed to the tenets of ‘Good Design’ and style as marketing tools divorced from the social and cultural possibilities inherent in the design process. Adolfo Natalini was one of the pioneer’s of this movement and found the infamous Superstudio, an architecture firm built upon the morals of Italian Radical Design. In 1971 Natalini proclaimed that ”... if design is merely an inducement to consume, then we must reject design; if architecture is merely the codifying of bourgeois model of ownership and society, then we must reject architecture; if architecture and town planning is merely the formalization of present unjust social divisions, then we must reject town planning and its cities…until all design activities are aimed towards meeting primary needs. Until then, design must disappear. We can live without architecture…” Through more process and visual experimentation I decided to move onto more abstract shapes and ideas concerning Natalini’s statement of consumption. This idea that architects need to make a building in order to become architects is profound. This can be applied in design also. On one hand we have a place where functional, progressive and consumer based design is needed but on the other we still have the ability to produce concepts and visual work without having the aspect of functionality which is inherent in most design work. In turn what does this make a graphic designer or designer without the intention of designing for others? The intention is to still produce an outcome but the outcome is not concerned with the inherent presets that a piece of graphic design may have. Investigating this notion of Italian Radical Design, it brought me onto different plateaus in the architectural world such as Archigram who very much had the same idealisms as


Natalini and the Italian Radical Design movement, but also other areas such as Brutalism. This exploration into architecture deeply interested me because of the interaction it has with so many people, the ability a building or structure has when imposed on landscape is formidable and the idea that people can experiment with this and produce really strong visual sculptures that can have such an impact on a single person as well as a mass amount of people. Following on from this I delved into thing theory to broaden my horizon in order to understand this inherent connection we seem to have with objects. From my personal understandings about thing theory there is a divide between subject and object (the subject being the human and the object the thing). “As they circulate through our lives, we look through objects (to see what they disclose about history, society, nature, or cultureabove all, what they disclose about us), but we only catch a glimpse of things.” We look through objects because there are codes by which our interpretive attention makes them meaningful, because there is a discourse of objectivity that allows us to use them as facts.” (Bill Brown, Thing Theory, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28, No. 1, Things. (Autumn, 2001), pg 4) Looking at this innate connection with objects and the way we interact with them, I found great meaning in the valuation of objects and how the way we interpret them is based on our life prior to meeting them. This idea was investigated by a 21st century French philosopher called Jean Baudrillard who broke down the value of objects into four different levels; functionality, social value, economic value and sustainability. This helps giving the notion of thing theory a little more clarity but it does not sum up the whole idea of thing theory. Through this body of research and work I’ve intended to broaden my horizons in regard to how to contextualise ideas and my work. I’ve always been interested about ideas that are foreign to graphic designers hence the inherent interest in theoretical and ethereal ideas about objects. Through this I hope to form a solid platform off of which to work from. Having delved into a lot of visualisation ideas instead of having to solve problems I feel that I have made things and ventured into areas where I would not have previously. Being more confident in my ability to marry the notion of context and form. Ideally from this project there has been no

final outcome but an amalgamation of small experiments in which held value to the research I was performing. I focused primarily on the idea of shapes and architecture due to a keen interest in printmaking and generally about how the form of architecture is so strong. Along with this the avenues, which I walked down whilst making these experiments allowed me to contextualise the work more. Venturing into conceptual architecture, it really gave me affirmation and opened up a new way of approaching design thinking. I’m generally happy at the way my research has in turn dictated the process of my work and the formulation of my experiments as well. With strategies for practice I really took it as a means to formulate an avenue of research, which could be revisited further along down the line and with this I have formed a fairly solid basis to work from. In turn I feel strange as I do not really have a final conclusion or answer to a brief but a body of work instead as in undergraduate study the main conclusion to a body of work is a final answer to the brief put forward or formed by oneself. Bibiliography:

The New Utopian Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, Laurence Davis & Peter Stillman & Ursula K. Leguin, Lexington Books, 2005, USA. Thing Theory: Critical Inquiry, Bill Brown, Vol. 28, No. 1, Things. (Autumn, 2001), USA. Superstudio: Life without Objects, Skira, 2003, New York, USA ( projects/71/0) The Production of Space, Donald Nicholson-Smith trans, Blackwell publishing, 1991, USA. Rams ‘Objectified’, Gary Hustwit, Swiss Dots, 2009, USA. design For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, Jean Baudrillard, Telos Press ltd, 1981, USA. The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic? Reyner Banham, The Architectural Press, 1966, UK. Ethics VS Architectural Design 1965- 1972, Steve Parnell. (ISSN: 1755-068,, vol.4)

Section 1 - Postgraduate study plan guidelines.

Strategies for Practice 1: Practical Work.

In relation to Superstudio and their ideas on the ‘architecture of the image, monument and tecnomorphic design’ I wanted to do some physical and visual experiemnts in relation to this so I began painting these large cityscapes. My fascination with these repetitive almost pattern like illustrations came about last year doing the same but through lino prints. I wanted to give these illustrations a bigger feel and to demonstrate the power of shape and form. I feel that these are strong in the sense of image and reflect upon Adolfo Natalini ideas about the idea of ‘architecture of the monument and image’. These experiments are interesting as they are essentailly my interpretations of architecture. In 1971 Natalini proclaimed that “... if design is merely an inducement to consume, then we must reject design; if architecture is merely the codifying of bourgeois model of ownership and society, then we must reject architecture; if architecture and town planning is merely the formalization of present unjust social divisions, then we must reject town planning and its cities… until all design activities are aimed towards meeting primary needs. Until then, design must disappear. We can live without architecture…” * This idea of consumption is another aspect of capitalism which is not really highlighted much, people associate capitalism with mass production to serve a large mass of people. The idea of mass consumption is in turn negative and positive. The aspect that everyone is able to obtain the same product no matter who you are is good but the problems that arise from this are mass waste and the abundance of objects, things and services that are available. These experiments lead on from around halfway through the summer where I really got into Lino printing and this idea of architecture of the monument. I began cutting a large amount cityscapes on lino, I found the material itself really easy to hold a clean line structure too. I am largely unsure of following this direction but I find it’s helped in giving meaning to my work and context. On the next few pages there are some more experiments conceived over the end of the summer and more recently to relate to this idea of Italian Radical Design.

* The New Utopian Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, pg 104

Strategies for Practice 1: Practical Work.

Architecture experiments: “A city without people - A�


Architecture experiments: “A city without people - B”

Architecture experiments: “A city without people - C”


Architecture experiments: “Home/BXL” A3 Linocut.

Architecture experiments: “Home/BXL 2” A3 Linocut.


Architecture experiments: “Dirty Town’ A5 Linocut.

Strategies for Practice 1: Practical Work.

Architecture experiments: “Dirty Town 2” A5 Linocut.


Strategies for Practice 1: Practical Work.

Architecture experiments: Cityscapes.

Through more process and visual experimentation I decided to move onto more abstract shapes and ideas concerning Natalini’s statement of consumption. This idea that architects need to make a building in order to become architects is profound. This can be applied in design also. On one hand we have a place where functional, progressive and consumer based design is needed but on the other we still have the ability to produce concepts and visual work without having the aspect of functionality which is inherent in most design work. In turn what does this make a graphic designer or designer without the intention of designing for others. This question is slightly vague and deep but it still has the same effect as Natalini’s statement. Anyways I am really involving myself with these very graphic visual outcomes. I am happy with them, their intentions seem to take on the idea of a city without people. The lack of humanity in all these experiments is largely interesting. This lack of human interaction is perhaps a statement and realisation that most architetural feats seem to be skyrises and building upwards instead of outwards. This though is happening due to the lack of space that we find in this world. Through this thought we encouter this idea of Utopia where social justice and urbanisation comes into play and how and if this is fixable. Henri Lefebvre was a French 21st centruy philosopher who wrote various books surrouding the idea social implications, space and urbanisation are inextricably linked. He writes that: “A theory is therefore called for, one which would transcend representational space on the one hand and representations of space on the other, and which would be able properly to articulate contradictions (and in the first place the contradiction between two aspects of representation). Socio-political contradictions are realized spatially. The contradictions of space thus make the contradictions ‘express’ conflicts between socio-political interests and forces; it is only in space that such conflicts come effectively into play, and in so doing they become contradictions of space”

The Production of Space, Donald NicholsonSmith trans., Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pg 365. Originally published 1974. In these experiments I wanted to portray the abstract that can be found within architecture. The purpose of these images is not for them to be built. They’re more of an interpretation as stated previously about the idea of urbanisation and trying to deconstruct that in

a visual way.

Architecture experiments: “Highrise”.


Architecture experiments: “Highrise 2”.

Architecture experiments: “Windows”.


Architecture experiments: “Terraced houses”.

Architecture experiments: “Highrise 3”.


Architecture experiments: “Deconstructing House�.

Architecture experiments: “Abstract Brutalism”.


Strategies for Practice 1: Research

Olafur Eliasson, Jean Baudrillard, Thingy theory, existentialism and Dieter Rams.

“Your House” Olafur Eliasson. (Fig 1)

“Thing Theory” Bill Brown. (Fig 2)

On a perhaps lighter note and less theoretical note I came across this same sort of thinking pattern in a piece named “Your house” (Fig.1) made by Icelandic/Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. He depicts the negative space formed by his home located outside Copenhagen. Every structural detail of the house from the roof, windows, and even a basement crawlspace are depicted within the thick layer of laser-cut paper. This idea of taking the structure of a house and pushing it through a different method is very pleasing to see. The outcome is very effective also. In turn a very well thought out concept that shows how the interior of a structure is contained in a seperate entitiy.

Feeling this importance to research more into some theoritcal concepts I was pointed in the direction of ‘Thing Theory’.

If we relate this to Baudrillard’s quote (which will be mentioned and analysed in more depth further down the line) ”we have always lived off the splendor of the subject and the poverty of the object.” “It is the subject,” he goes on to write, “that makes history, it’s the subject that totalizes the world,” whereas the object “is shamed, obscene, passive.” This quote is very poignant it underlines every object that someone has designed, used or thrown away. This idea of hierarchy between subject and object is interesting and an experiment which I was thinking of doing was using a book to portray this kind of hierarchy between subject and object. The subject applies the information it wants and gives the object form. The book is appreciated as an object but it’s content overpowers this appreciation on most occasions. With this though, Eliasson has managed to empower the object in two ways the content can be seen as an object (the house) and the book itself is an object too. This therefore sort of reaches an equlibrium by Baudrillard’s standards. This notion of a book without hierarchical value is interesting to me but the functionality of a book therefore comes into question. The functionality of an object is always imposed by the human yet the fate of the object itself is unknown. your_house_1.html

Moving further into the notion of existence as I focused on this thoroughly through my research last year. Reading into Sartre, and Heidegger they focus upon this notion of existence through various manifestos. Through this investigation performed last project the intention of protraying existence is near impossible as it’s such a vast entity. Through discussions with Phil, he introduced me to an idea called ‘Thing Theory’ which takes from Heidegger’s distinction between objects and things, whereby an object becomes a thing when it is somehow made to stand out against the backdrop of the world in which it exists. In an essay published by Bill Brown (Professor of English, at the University of Chicago) he writes about the idea of thing theory in relation to poetry but has many interesting points in which ideas can be formed from. He quotes Leo Stein (Art collector and critic) in saying that “things are what we encounter, ideas are what we project”. This distinction is interesting and the following quote portrays this idea of encountering things, very well. “As they circulate through our lives, we look through objects (to see what they disclose about history, society, nature, or cultureabove all, what they disclose about us),but we only catch a glimpse of things.” We look through objects because there are codes by which our interpretive attention makes them meaningful, because there is a discourse of objectivity that allows us to use them as facts.”

(Bill Brown, Thing Theory, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28, No. 1, Things. (Autumn, 2001), pg 4)


“Thing Theory + Existentialism” (Fig 3) There is something inextricably linked between things and material culture. Things that we encouter have some weight to them because we form interpretations on how we perceive them. But also Brown talks of how the word ‘thing’ serves as a universal word for every noun “The word designates the concrete yet ambiguous within the everyday: “Put it by that green thing in the hall.” It functions to overcome the loss of other words or as a place holder for some future specifying operation: “I need that thing you use to get at things between your teeth.” It designates an amorphous characteristic or a frankly irresolvable enigma...” This interests me a lot as it’s an unknown prospect in which the idea of object and subject is unravelled in a direct way. These observations have made me think of using this method of things through design and imagery. The notion of thing theory is setup to portray a relationship that we have between the object and the subject. This dialogue seems very simple once put into words but the ethereal problems that come with this are outrageous. It unravels the whole notion of attaining to a certain ‘thing’ or ‘object’ and why we find these connections with certain ‘things’. This is where metaphyisics comes into play by trying to understand these connections through philosophy. I will make more progression into metaphysics and etymology later but for now I still would like to focus on Brown’s essay. In Brown’s essay he encounters this idea of material connection with ‘things’ and the ‘fetishness of things’. Interrogating these aspects of why we form connections with objects is due to a culture that we have formed prior to encountering this object. This idea of a preconception of perception is very interesting. We can bring elements of Immanuel Kant’s theory on perception here. He states there are two ways of perceiving notions; analytic perception (a proposition whose predicate concept is contained in its subject concept) and synthetic perception (a proposition whose predicate concept is not contained in its subject concept). Analytic perceptions are correct by the nature of the words used in the sentence, which is being perceived. Synthetic perceptions are those that tell us something other than the use of the language. The correct or incorrect manner of synthetic statements do not rely on linguistic content. Primarily with this Kant states the knowledge doesn’t have to come from experience.

Bill Brown, Thing Theory, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28, No. 1, Things. (Autumn, 2001), pg 5)

This idea put forward by Kant implies that things are synthetic statements but analytic as well. They are analytic in term due to the way we connect with objects or things but synthetic in the way we handle this idea. I’m using this example of Kant to form a connection between the two ideas and try and understand this connection that we have with objects. Having delved into Heidegger’s idea about Dasein previously I am yet to look in his writings about being and time. Having got to grasps with being and time a little bit I understand that Heidegger is ultimately trying to find this same answer but with being trying to understand why we exist. He is in turn trying to find the criteria and conditions of when a being becomes to exist. This essay written by Bill Brown is a sea of interesting points and ideas about the notion of thingness and how we deal with the subject and the object. A rather interesting point that he writes about is a quote by Jean Baudrillard (21st century philosopher and sociologist) ”we have always lived off the splendor of the subject and the poverty of the object.” “It is the subject,” he goes on to write, “that makes history, it’s the subject that totalizes the world,” whereas the object “is shamed, obscene, passive.” This idea is interesting it states the interaction and connection we have between object and subject or thing and human. Focusing on Baudrillard’s statement in turn this can be applied to design in general. The recognition comes from the production of the being not from the methods used in creating it. In turn objects or things are lost in this way. Thing theory and art are an interesting combination as this communication between object and subject must happen in order for art to happen. For an example we can take the method of lino printing that were previously portrayed in this workbook. The method is secondary to the primary outcome which is the image produced.

Bill Brown, Thing Theory, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28, No. 1, Things. (Autumn, 2001), pg 8)

Strategies for Practice 1: Research

Olafur Eliasson, Jean Baudrillard, Thingy theory, existentialism and Dieter Rams.

“Good Design” Dieter Rams. (Fig 4) ‘Objectified’ is a documentary which is part of a trilogy concerning design ideas and problems (the other two are ‘Helvetica’ and ‘Urbanized’). In ‘objectified’ we get a great insight into the ideas and thought that go into designed objects and how conventionality and sustainability are key. The underlying understanding from this whole documentary is that the transformation in designing products has gone from funtionality then gaining form to form first then functionality. This transition is soley happening due to the progessions that we have made in technology, which allows more experimentation. Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer who is mainly associated with Braun products. He is a strong believer in functionality and sustainability. Rams introduced the idea of sustainable development and of obsolescence being a crime in design in the 1970s. Accordingly he asked himself the question: is my design good design? The answer formed his now celebrated ten commandments. Good design: Is innovative - The possibilities for progression are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs. But imaginative design always develops in tandem with improving technology, and can never be an end in itself. Makes a product useful - A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic criteria. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could detract from it. Is aesthetic - The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only wellexecuted objects can be beautiful. Makes a product understandable - It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory. Is unobtrusive - Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to

leave room for the user’s self-expression. Is honest - It does not make a product appear more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept. Is long-lasting - It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society. Is thorough down to the last detail - Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer. Is environmentally friendly - Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product. Is as little design as possible - Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity. ‘Objectified’ 2009, Gary Hustwit


“Thing Theory cont.” (Fig 3)

“Valuation of objects” Jean Baudrillard

Visualising this communication between object and subject is very difficult, as it’s very broad. I wouldn’t be able to delve into thing theory as much as I would like to with this but I want to pursue this further along the line in my masters. These experiments are what I am aiming to do as a final outcome, experimenting with the connection between object and subject through photography. The graphic element in visualising this interaction between object and subject is what I intend to take from this experiment and portray, as a simple introduction into thing theory. I’m really trying to capture a physical interaction between object and subject.

Jean Baudrillard was a 21st French sociologist and philosopher. Having already talked about his ideas on subject and object I thought it’d be interesting to perform more research into his ideas. Baudrillard was a social theorist and and critic, best known for his analyses of the modes of mediation and technological communication. His work also dwells upon the idea of consumption and objects. In his book ‘For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign’ he forms four rules that say how an object obtains value.

The two images on p.28-29 are experiments where two images are seperated and merged together. This outcome of having two seperate entities and forming one outcome that works together. It’s a really simple way to try and visualise this idea of connection with an object or thing. I intend to follow this route and perhaps present these in a little book perhaps. This idea of connection between subject and object is interesting but cannot be held in the same context as again it is to broad. I feel that by introducing these experiments to thing theory the outcome is mainly superficial the focus is more on the aesthetic rather than the interaction between object and subject. This hierarchy that Jean Baudrillard talks of between subject and object is more involved and has more substance to it. The focus of hierarchy of objects in graphic design is provocative. For example a book has a hierachy because we impose it on the book. It’s a more conventional way of portraying information. If we take this away from the book, the book itself becomes something different. It is still a book through definition and through aesthetic but it doesn’t hold the same idea because of the interior structure to it. This is sort of using Immanuel Kant’s theory on perception again to deconstruct the notion of a book. I like this idea about the deconstruction of a book without hierarchy and letting the object direct itself. This doesn’t directly take from Baudrillard’s idea but has connotations that wander in the same zone of thinking.

“The first is the functional value of an object; its instrumental purpose. A pen, for instance, writes; and a refrigerator cools. The second is the exchange value of an object; its economic value. One pen may be worth three pencils; and one refrigerator may be worth the salary earned by three months of work. The third is the symbolic value of an object; a value that a subject assigns to an object in relation to another subject. A pen might symbolize a student’s school graduation gift or a commencement speaker’s gift; or a diamond may be a symbol of publicly declared marital love. The last is the sign value of an object; its value within a system of objects. A particular pen may, while having no added functional benefit, signify prestige relative to another pen; a diamond ring may have no function at all, but may suggest particular social values, such as taste or class.” This valuation of objects allows us to interact with them on a personal basis in many different ways. It serves as a measurement to how objects may impact our lives. This pattern of thinking can be applied to design in many ways it follows some of the steps that Dieter Rams explains in what Good Design is. The fucntionality of an object and the value of an object derived from the subject giving meaning to it. This implicates sustainability. antionio santella

For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, Jean Baudrillard, 1981, Telos Press ltd, USA, p.29-35

Strategies for Practice 1: Research: Figures

Fig 1: Olafur Eliasson “Your House”.

Fig 2: Barry Mcgee “Various Works” SFMoMA 2012


Fig 3: Thing Theory experiments: Digital photo collage.


Strategies for Practice 1: Research

Archigram, Italian Radical Design and Superstudio.

Archigram. (Fig 1a)

Superstudio. (Fig 2a)

Archigram was an avant-garde architectural group formed in the 1960s - based at the Architectural Association, London - that was futurist, anti-heroic and pro-consumerist, drawing inspiration from technology in order to create a new reality that was solely expressed through hypothetical projects. The main members of the group were Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton, Michael Webb and David Greene. Designer Theo Crosby was the “hidden hand” behind the group. Committed to a ‘high tech’, light weight, infra-structural approach that was focused towards survival technology, the group experimented with modular technology, mobility through the environment, space capsules and mass-consumer imagery. Their works offered a seductive vision of a glamorous future machine age; however, social and environmental issues were left unaddressed.

Superstudio was an architecture firm, founded in 1966 in Florence, Italy by Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia. It was part of the Radical architecture movement of the late 1960s.

Much like Superstudio, Archigram were deeply involved in this idea of being an architect without architecture. What this meant is that they had unlimited creative control over their work. Their work was not bounded by the limits of being able to construct their final product. This leads to a very heuristic apporach to the way they worked. Working and producing work which had no optimal function but leads to some general idea or concept regarding their intention. With this I have taken this approach with most of my experimentation that has been undertaken. There has been no final outcome or idea involving my work, I’ve been exploring different avenues in order to broaden my practical ideas for further down the line.

In 1971 Natalini proclaimed that ”... if design is merely an inducement to consume, then we must reject design; if architecture is merely the codifying of bourgeois model of ownership and society, then we must reject architecture; if architecture and town planning is merely the formalization of present unjust social divisions, then we must reject town planning and its cities…until all design activities are aimed towards meeting primary needs. Until then, design must disappear. We can live without architecture…”

In 1967, Natalini established three categories of future research: “architecture of the monument”; the “architecture of the image”; and “tecnomorphic architecture”. Soon, Superstudio would be known for its conceptual architecture works, most notably the 1969 Continuous Monument: An Architectural Model for Total Urbanization. Many of their projects were originally published in the magazine Casabella, and ranged from fiction, to storyboard illustration, to photomontage.

“Superstudio also shared a response to consumerism: a distinct asceticism in their treatment of objects, design and aesthetics. Objects and spaces are designed only to provide the minimal and pure conditions that would supper direct and non-alienated social relations free of their mediation through the object.”

(The New Utopian Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, p.104, Davis, Stillman, Lexington Books, 2005).


Italian Radical Design. (Fig 3a) This movement emerged in Italy in the 1960s and, like its close counterpart Anti-Design, was firmly opposed to the tenets of ‘Good Design’ and style as marketing tools divorced from the social and cultural possibilities inherent in the design process. Centred around avant-garde design groups such as Archizoom, Superstudio, Global Tools, and 9999, the movement expressed its ideas through the publication of manifestos, reviews, and articles, participation in national and international competitions and exhibitions, expository films, research, and teaching. Although ideologically aligned to the broader aims of Anti-Design, those associated with Radical Design were more politically motivated, devoting considerable energy to research into urban architecture, innovation, and the environment. Strongly opposed to the constraints of capitalism, the role of the consumer-user was central to their thinking and reflected their attraction to sociocultural possibilities such as those proposed by alternative lifestyle models like those of the Beat poets and subsequent hippy movement. Many aspects of the Radical Design agenda were displayed at the 1968 Venice Biennale and subsequently at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in its Italy: The New Domestic Landscape exhibition of 1972, supported by the accompanying publication edited by Emilio Ambasz, the show’s curator. Rather like those of the Italian Futurists 60 years earlier, the ideas of the Radical Designers remained largely in the form of paper projects and printed manifestos rather than fully realized designs, buildings, and environments. Nonetheless, like Futurism before it, Radical Design exerted a significant influence on subsequent avant-garde design activity and outlook.

Superstudio: Life without Objects, Skira, 2003, New York, USA mar/31/architecture.artsfeatures3.3

Strategies for Practice 1: Research: Figures

Fig 1a: Archigram Designs.

Fig 2a,3a: Superstudio work.


Strategies for practice 2

Cameron Francis Taylor

The overall product of work and research undertaken in Strategies for Practice 2 allowed me to explore further the connection between design and strcuture and how necessary the two are needed in order to work together. In relation to research I delved into topics I found interesting through a natural progression whereby beginning with structure it moved swiflty on structuralism and questioning the motive of giving structure to expressive things such as language, art and music. This then lead me to investigate the complete opposite of the spectrum by looking at deconstructivism whereby the questioning of structuring the everyday into correct categories meant there was a very confused distinction between what makes the authentic better than the copy and what makes the mind better than the soul. This type of research allowed me to think and produce work that entailed a different approach to the aesthetic value of it. Using thought process and meaning more than creating work for it to appear beautiful really allowed for a pattern of work to emerge that had a specific aesthetic face value as well as having an aspect which questioned the method of creating it. This ideation process was very specific to the JPG to TXT file work that was made and the pixel sorting outcomes. The intention of this was to question the way we see and allow for the production of the visual in relation to language. Coding art really interests me and the use of it to depict the notion of deconstructivism really allowed the two together to progress forward as an interesting project. Other than the work and research undertaken this unit allowed me to delve further into interesting ideas and learn new skills (Javascript, Processing). It really hepled me understand the importance of context within a piece of work in order for the work itself to become stornger.


Critical evaluation: Strategies for Practice 2.

Cameron Francis Taylor

The work that I have undertaken in Strategies for Practice 2 is an essential continuation of the ideas touched upon in Strategies for Practice 1 and a progression of these queries. The initial work that I had focused on previously was forging a link or portraying a link between architecture and graphic design. This exploration delved into the connections we have with objects through ‘Thing Theory’ and Jean Baudrillard’s ideas about the valuation of objects. This greatly helped me understand how as humans we have various ways that we adhere to certain objects, be it ethereally, physically or emotionally. This kind of ontological thinking was necessary in order for me to understand the ways in which we connect with different objects like buildings.

inhabited with people it became a city. This was my first initial forage into the notion of curating and working in a large gallery space. The intention was to take my experiments from Strategies for Practice 1 and realise them in this large space. The outcome was appealing to me as it was so rewarding as a final piece. From this point I then began researching into large buildings and structures, which were initially made for something but had no inherent use as a building. This idea is what my Strategies for Practice 1 was about essentially asking the question whether to be an architect was to build something real or not. So I continued this line of enquiry by focusing on the notion of form versus function and researching into the areas on both sides.

The context of this project is interesting as I feel now it has set a concrete basis for me to venture into different fields. Focusing on areas much more centralized towards architecture I have been researching into the basis of structure. My initial enquiry regarding Strategies for Practice 2 was the structure of the book and its relevance towards architecture. Forming a comparison between the two in order to progress my initial questions with architecture and graphic design. The two areas seem to concern themselves with similar areas that of function, form and communication. With this in mind this project revolved around the area of structure focusing on all fields it holds prominence in. This lead me on a journey, which brought me off topic concerning my initial line of enquiry but I’m content I researched this deep into it as it has seemed to allow me to view structure as an important pillar in society as well as in creation.

The concept of form versus function is interesting and I have attacked this argument through research within Strategies for Practice 2 looking at the notion of structuralism not only as an area that’s concerned with architecture but also how structuralism is employed in social aspects. Along with this social research, deconstructivism became an important answer with this line of investigation that I was taking, as an opposing force to structuralism. These theoretical inquiries are important concerning the direction that I want to take. In strategies for practice 2 the focus has mainly been building upon the ideas that were executed in strategies for practice 1.

My original comparison between the book and architecture was that of how they work. Both entities are subject to being a vessel whereby the hold something within them. A building uses people as a means to allow a space where communication and interaction between humans can happen. The book holds information in all forms and allows for it to be communicated with anyone who wishes to interact with it. This similarity in structure and function is what made me curious to investigate the very notion of structure not only from an aesthetic viewpoint but in the way it is needed in human development as well. Having experimented visually in Strategies for Practice 1 with architecture and graphic design I continued down this route by painting a mural at ArtSway. This mural was an experiment whereby a city was painted onto the walls that consisted of no people. Then once the room was

For the masters project I am still interested in following the notion of form versus function but in unconventional ways. The notion of the book and architecture is very structural and in turn this is why I’m interested in distorting this view. Form versus function is something that has been tackled across many disciplines and is widely seen as a post-modern view taken in architecture and design. Working to create objects, which solely rely on form or solely rely on a function, is an area where I think my intended masters project could lie. The subconscious thinking behind this lies with deconstructivist thinking using Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. Barthes and Derrida’s idea revolving around the notion of Western society relying on ultimate standards and believing in a state of constancy, really interests me and I want to use this as a basis to form a strong visual outcome with the dialogue of form versus function. Inspecting the objective side of form versus function is in my intentions as well for the master’s project. With this in mind I will focus on how things are made a certain way so they function correctly and also allow


investigation into the idea of form and if structure should be lead by function. This generalization is being set as a benchmark whereby I am able to progress without being constrained to a certain area. Process versus outcome, function versus form, body versus mind etc. These categories and their opposites are what interest me with the notion of ultimate standards in society. Using theory, art and design I want to deconstruct these ‘natural’ categories to form an outcome or solution, which encapsulates the direct connection between these two categories. The value of all the research I have covered over the past two Strategies for Practice projects is too find context within the work I produce. I find it interesting to focus on areas, which don’t necessarily apply to my practice and finding similarities within the concepts of these areas. In cohesion with this string of research into structure and deconstruction I have performed experiments whereby I begin to develop visual outcomes from the research I’m looking at. For example whilst venturing into deconstructivism and Derrida’s ideas upon ‘natural’ categories I linked it with the way a computer understands and executes commands as code in order to produce visual outcomes, which we see. Using this method of experimenting and researching allows me to see my mistakes, form a different idea of an original concept and perform work, which is in turn relevant to my practice. Concerning research that will be undertaken throughout the Masters project I want to visit some galleries in Brussels, Belgium which have relation to the area I’m looking at. From the basis of how a book is constructed I will visit Biblotheca Wittockianna which is a museum devoted to the art of book construction in all forms. Also while in Belgium I will visit the Museum of Design in Ghent, which always contains interesting work concerned with design objectives and will exhibit the work of James Dyson and Dyson Design. In regard to more primary research that will be undertaken I will visit the Design museum in London, which have an exhibition on concerning the process of manufacturing design as a visual outcome. Research will also be driven through thorough analysis of theories that induce this idea of relationship between ‘natural’ categories. I will be looking at existential thinkers once again to portray this ontological link we have between mind and body for example. My intention is to penetrate post-modernist and modernist theories in order to understand and gain a better comprehension of this notion of

form versus function. Taking into account the gravity of visual style and outcome I will also use my design knowledge to direct the visual style in accordance with the subject matter. The materials that I intend to use will not be of some great scale and access to the workshops if need be should be all within my grasp. I intend to show the dialogue between ‘natural’ categories and their opposites with minimum use of physical products. My intended bibliography will be some of the material that I have looked at now such as Jacques Derrida’s “Of Grammatology”, Roland Barthes “Empire of Signs” and more material concerning postmodern architecture After this initial research into my subject area I will find a niche and focus my masters project upon this selected area. I want to leave a bit of space for me to move around the subject area of my choice, as it is so broad. With the book and architecture this initial spark might be where I begin but not where I will finish. Bibiliography

Course in General Linguistics. Ferdinand de Saussure. Columbia University Press. 2011. USA Empire of Signs. Roland Barthes. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc. 1982. USA Deconstruction and Graphic Design – Ellen Lupton, 2014. Deconstruction and Graphic Design - Ellen Lupton Available at http://elupton. com/2009/10/deconstruction-and-graphic-design/ (Accessed 28 January 2014) Of Grammatology. Jacques Derrida. John Hopkins University Press. 1997. USA 2 x 4: Essay: Fuck Content – Michael Rock. 2 x 4: Essay: Fuck Content. Available at: (Accessed 19 February 2014)

Strategies for Practice 2: Practical Work

Strategies for Practice 2: Practical Work.

Following on from Strategies for Practice 1 I ventured down the avenue of producing very personal work using my illustration skills to authenticate a style in order to take architecture away from what it really is. This culmination of ideas and experiments ended up boiling down into this project I produced after I handed in Strategies for Practice 1. Essentially I wanted to produce a city without the concerns of people so the erratic construction of it leads to this. I painted this in a gallery in Sway where lecture’s took place. So essentially when people were lectured here, they inhabited this ‘city’. Personally I want to move away from this type of work as it feels really personal and slightly selfish. It’s a very aesthetic driven process in recreating architectural structure through my own way of looking at it. I want to concern my self with forging a link between graphic design and architecture and portray the similarities between the two disciplines.

Strategies for Practice 2: Mural - Sway


Strategies for Practice 2: Practical Work

Architectural experiments: Linocuts cont.

These experiments stem off the work I had been producing in Strategies for Practice 1. The very thick line work and bright use of colour fades has become very prominent in my work. These are all lino prints and I really enjoy the stability of line width that comes with cutting lino. These prints are all concerned with urbanisation and the idea of building up in a small space. In relation to this idea the boundry of the lino is the container where space is little. Taking architectural elements I have used in previous prints I formed them in such a way where a prominent face is visible. This is to represent the similarities within structure and how structure is formed through pattern. We can take elements of anything and form them into something recognisable to create a strcuture. I find that in turn objects we do not recognise and we deem foreign, are foreign because we have never encountered them in a way where they were put into context with strcuture. This is essentially me trying to put a modernist twist on the way I work after taking inspiration from Luis Barragan. These prints are in turn usually made via an intuitive process with nothing really being planned until the first line is cut and from there it becomes a building process. This division between forming something planned and something intuitive is interesting and the outcome of the two is usually largely different as well.

Architectural experiments: “Sunset”.


Architectural experiments: “Shit Southwest weather”.

Architectural experiments: “Yvonne”.


Architectural experiments: “Qarthe”.

Architectural experiments: “Self portrait�.


Strategies for Practice 2: Practical Work

Coding experiments: Processing

In turn after reading Ellen Lupton’s essay on deconstruction it got me to realise a very powerful idea on how we interpret and distinguish what is correct and what is not. I found an interesting medium to portray this is with the computer. Technology is now essentially an extension of the human body. The computer is a like a second brain now where we are able to store memories, communicate freely with whom ever we wish and to learn and understand anything and everything one is able to find. Seeing as how much we use the computer it’s interesting as we seem to think of the computer less as a machine but more as an object that is fabricated and uses its own language in order to function. This interested me as producing art is a very intuitive process and is unique to humans. So following this line of thought I ventured into ways coding on through a computer produces visuals. The basis of a computer is that it understands code in order to produce visuals. This in itself is a nice analogy of Derrida’s deconstruction theory with there being a visual side and a coded side. Essentially this is thinking of the computer in a deconstructivist way the ‘natural category’ is the visual side and the coding side is the lesser thought side. Moving forward I undertook various experiments with this coding and producing visuals through coding. With a program called Processing. Processing has promoted software literacy within the visual arts and visual literacy within technology. Initially created to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach computer programming fundamentals within a visual context, Processing evolved into a development tool for professionals. Processing is a powerful tool in order to create visuals. It’s very handy in order to produce data visualisation as it’s built with maths in mind. It’s also very easy and fun to play with. Simple code can create quite pleasing outcomes. As an idea I had previously messing around with Processing in the summer, I made a little interactive idea whereby an ellipse appears and follows the mouses movement once the mouse is clicked. The code for this relatively simple it goes as follows: void setup(){ size(992,992); smooth(); background(0, 0, 0); }

void draw(){ if (mousePressed == true) ellipse(mouseX,mouseY,60,60); stroke( random(100), random(150), random (200), random(20)); fill( random(255), random(0), random(255), random (20)); } You set the size of the sketch you’re going to produce and the colour of the background in the ‘setup’ section of the code. In the ‘draw’ section is where we draw what’s to be in the sketch. The ellipse is set to follow the mouse and appear once it’s pressed. The colours are RGB and set from 0 to 255 as well, so we can choose the colour and hue of our ellipse and the stroke it has.. These other examples are showing the product of the way the code itself can be altered to form different outcomes.

Pixel Sorting Following on from this I was very interested in what coding can do to the image as well as forming one. In turn, Kim Asendorf and Adam Ferris who are prominent experimental artists who use coding and pixel sorting to form beautiful abstract imagery, have led me to experiment with this root as well. Kim Asendorf recently released his source code to pixel sorting and I have been testing it and changing it in order to gain different interesting results. The source code for this very complex and difficult to understand and I would not be able to write something as difficult as this, but I am happy with the outcomes that have been produced. Furthermore this experimentation is pushing me more to understand code as a new language. The examples shown contain the original image and then the transformed image through the pixel sorting algorithm. The distorted images take on a new lease of life I find. They begin to look like landscapes and like paintings. This process is sort of similar to that of a painter once he/she begins to paint a landscape it is taken in through the eyes and reformed through the brain and thought process and then it is painted. This structural process has been mirrored essentially with coding. I really enjoy the outcomes and I’m quite interested in printing these on a large scale in order to solidify them as pieces of art rather than images on a screen.

Coding experiments: Interactive circle paintbrush.


Coding experiments: Interactive circle paintbrush.

Coding experiments: Pixel sorting A.


Coding experiments: Pixel sorting B.

Coding experiments: Pixel sorting C.


Coding experiments: Pixel sorting B.

Coding experiments: Pixel sorting B.


Strategies for Practice 2: Practical Work

Coding experiments: JPG to TXT, Don’tread.

JPG to TXT Continuing on this string of thought with glitch art and coding, I found that the you’re able to convert a JPG file (image) into a TXT file (text) and tinker with the code that the JPG file is written in. JPG file’s are written in machine code which is code that essentially commands the computer to execute an action. The code itself is incomprehensible and is mainly made up of odd symbols. The code itself does have a structure to it with a header and footer to tell the computer where and when to start reading it and when to stop or finish reading it. Tinkering around with this and deleting and copying bits of random code and text inbetween the header and footer allows for some odd glitches to occur. This alteration to the code means that the computer reads the file differently and shows the differences in code when the image is viewed. The outcomes are quite interesting and the lack of control I have over them, as I don’t really know what I’m doing is quite relaxing. The process is just as interesting as the final outcome.

Don’tread Following on from forming these very technical coding concepts I chose to move back a bit and focus more on the way we read in relation to de Sassure’s breakdown of language. There is inherently structure to the way we read otherwise comprehension of letters would be unthinkable. This though differs within cultures and languages with arabic and hebrew, which is written right to left. The idea of this experiment was to use type and literacy in a different context. The writing itself is comprehensive to a point but the format in which it’s been put in is random and unsystematic. The focus is based more on the structure of what type can be if put into visual structure’s which have no correlation to the content of the words. This is a deconstructivist attitude and I intended for this experiment to mimic the same idea Barthes and Derrida focused on with the notion that Western society needs an overarching sytem in place and what happens when this is broken. I think visually this experiment works quite well but the idea behind it seems a bit vague. I like playing with type to an extent where it takes on another form or message. It’s an A5 publication printed on 90gsm recycled newspaper print.

Coding experiments: JPG to TXT


Coding experiments: JPG to TXT

Structuralism experiment: Don’tread


Strategies for Practice 2: Research

Anish Kapoor, International Style, Modernism, Le Corbusier, Torres de Satelite etc

Anish Kapoor (Fig 1, 2)

purpose for people to use them.

Anish Kapoor is a renowned Indian artist who has worked in england since the early 1970s. His work concerns all sorts of different ideas but his main medium of portraying this is through sculpture. His work is very interesting as it’s liable that it will be placed in various different environments. Kapoor created the ‘Cloud Gate’ in Chicago which is a huge bean shaped reflective sculpture right in the middle of a park in the centre of the city. The interaction that this causes with the user is one of perhaps self identification with the city and its skyline and the people that inhabit it.

I really enjoy these structures visually they’re very striking and juxtapose the area that they have been built in. This notion of contrast with architectural froms and their environment is what makes them standout from the rest. The argument is form vs function. This notion of ‘Good Design’ is this applicable?

His work is interesting as the sculptures he creates are very abstract but have the quality to entice an audience because of the environments that he puts them in. It’s not gallery specific sculptures and even though there is no inherent functionality to most of these sculptures one is formed once the user interacts with it. Even though the next piece (called ‘Organ’) on the following page is situated in a gallery, the metaphorical basis of the structural from of an organ is comparative to machinery. This structural metaphor is what i’m looking for between architectural structure and book structure. Visualising this comparison will be the basis of stategies for practice 2 and perhaps a platform for the masters project to jump off of.élite LUIS BARRAGAN (1902-1988) was one of Mexico’s most influential 20th century architects. Famed for his mastery of space and light, he reinvented the International Style as a colourful, sensuous genre of Mexican modernism. (Fig 4) This modernist style really interests me as a way of taking simple shapes and objects and organising them in a way where they form layers of complex simplicity over one and another. Barragàn took inspiration from European modernism but he opposed this notion of functionality within the house. He said that the home should be a machine for living. Barragán strove for an “emotional architecture” claiming that “any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistake.” Barragán always used raw materials such as stone or wood. He combined them with his incredibly creative use of light.

On the following pages are some examples of Barragàn’s work including his own house.

Torres de Satélite (Fig 3)

The Torres de Satélite (“Satélite Towers”) are located in Ciudad Satélite, in the northern part of Naucalpan, Mexico. One of the country’s first urban sculptures of great dimensions, had its planning started in 1957 with the ideas of renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán, painter Jesús Reyes Ferreira and sculpturer Mathias Goeritz. Goeritz originally wanted the towers to be painted in different shades of orange, but changed his mind later due to some pressure from constructors and investors. It was finally decided the towers would be painted in red, blue and yellow the so called primary subtractive colors with the addition of white. These structures have the same purpose as some of Anish Kapoor’s work. In producing these structures the initial understanding is to form a landmark with these rather than them havingàgan

International Style (Fig 5) International Stye was an architectural movement which came to light in the 1920s/30s throughout Europe and the USA. This type of architecture became prominent throughout the 20th century. It was an answer to the decorative architecture of the 19th century, which concerned itself soley on the “stylistic, eclectic buildings of a mix of decorative elements from different architectural periods and styles that bore little or no relation to the building’s functions.” The prevailing technologies at the time and the use of raw material in building these clean, uniform and systematic structures were


of interests to the pioneer of the movement as well. This rebellious movement really reinstated the basis of a strcuture within a building for example the use of Le Corbusier’s “Le Modulor” (which will be talked about later on). “The International Style was thus formed under the dictates that modern buildings’ form and appearance should naturally grow out of and express the potentialities of their materials and structural engineering. A harmony between artistic expression, function, and technology would thus be established in an austere and disciplined new architecture.” This stripped back new way of architecture realised a new direction in architecture and in design respectivley, with internationa style topic/291280/International-Style

Le Corbusier and Modernism (Fig 6) Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris or better known as Le Corbusier, was a 20th century designer, architect, writer and painter and was one of the pioneers of modern architecture. He was also an urban planner, dedicating himself to designing and providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities. He was one of the founding members of the Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM). Formed in 1928 and disbanded in 1959 it produced events based around the most prominent architects of the time. The objective was to spread the principles of the Modern Movement focusing in all the main domains of architecture (such as landscape, urbanism, industrial design, and many others). Le corbusier’s take on urbanism really interests me, the idea of desigining and creating a strcuture for multiple people to live in to better their standard of living within a small space is englightening. He was also one of the first people to focus ahead on the future of ctites and urban landscaping with the autombile coming into play. This was interesting as he described the city of the future where people would live in large apartement buildings isolated in park like settings. This prediction has come true in many senses as architects have to build upwards rather than outwards. Mass agglomeration within cities has now become a problem and where cars were the main medium of transport throughout the 60s and 90s, the environmental issues that have come to the surface now are more important

leading to another shift in perhaps how urbanism can be changed for the better. Le Corbusier developed an anthropometric proportion system developed based on the average height of a man with his arm raised. The system is similar to that of the golden ratio using fibonacci numbers to form a grid. “The Modulor was meant as a universal system of proportions. The ambition was vast: it was devised to reconcile maths, the human form, architecture and beauty into a single system.” It was largely based on the vitruvian man created by Leonardo Da Vinci. The modulor grid system was used on many bulildings that Le Corbusier built. The intention of this system was to bring together two incompatible kinds of measurements, the use of feet and inches and the metric system. Curious as to the use of previous human limbs as measurment scales Le Corbusier developed this with the intention to unite the two areas using the whole human body as a systematic scale of proportions. Albert Einstein exclaimed that “It is a language of proportions which makes it difficult to do things badly, but easy to do them well”. The use of fibonacci numbers in creating this really interests me as the structural implications within this system are very solid. Using these numbers it is put into the same light as the golden ratio which follows the idea that two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. morpheus.aspx?sysId=13&IrisObjectId=7837&sysLan guage=en icon-065-%7C-november-2008/modulor-man en&itemPos=82&itemSort=en-en_sort_string1%20&it emCount=215&sysParentName=&sysParentId=65 (Accesed on 12th of February 2014)

Strategies for Practice 2: Research

Urbanisation, Structure, Sociology, Structuralism, Deconsstructivism, Rousseau etc.

Urbanisation Having previously, in Strategies for Practice 1, illustrated this idea of a city without people and the notion of urbanisation through an aesthetic viewfinder, I want to continue to inspect the idea of urbanisation and the way people live in cities. I’m interested in the loneliness that seems to come with urbanisation. There is inherent isolation and perhaps solitude when living in a thriving metropolis. I find this interesting with the stark contrast in landscape compared to a seaside town or country village and a very busy city. This visual contrast can perhaps be compared with the idea of solitude/isolation and company. There is a difference between solitude and isolation though. Solitude is purposely wanting to be on ones own for reasons attaining to the person in question whereas isolation is being subjected to lack of people or social interaction because of something. This is a rather watery way of describing this correlation but interesting nonethless. I’m interested in looking at this aspect rather than moving straight into the aesthetic of urbanisation which I have already dabbled with. Urbanisation is initially a recent concept now being seen in developing countries the contrast is staggering to what cities looked like previously to what they look like now. If we take Mumbai and Dubai for example we have this incredible contrast and resurgence in skyscrapers and luxury apartements to accomodate the rich. These countries though have yet to fully grasp the concept of housing the poorer population which tend to live in man made slums. I am mentioning this now as the transformation with urbanisation is more apparent in these countries because we can see it happening now.

Structuralism, Social implications (Fig 7-10) The notion of urbanisation is previously written about to focus on the idea of forming cities and to portray the stark contrast in social, economic and financial condtions that arise with urbanisation. Focusing more on structure as a theory is interesting as theories are structures from where we take our knowledge, inspiration and guidance. Looking at structure in social science is appealing as the focus dwells upon how people are with and without structure. Structure and agency, Positivism

and Nonpositivism, system and anarchy. This leads down routes whereby the intention is to focus on originality of the individual and individuality against the system of society. This conversation between that is formed between the two is interesting because of the journey of the individual . One must be under some form of guidance or structure in order to realise themselves as beings with a use then one takes this guidance and reforms it into their own. The melting pot of structure is for someone to have the basics in order to realise the complexities of life and that is the journey that one embarks on after this. Georg Simmel was a 20th century sociologist who wrote his essay named “The Metroplois and Mental Life” and about the notion of structure and agency in society. The following pages are an extract from this. “The deepest problems of modern life flow from the attempt of the individual to maintain the independence and individuality of his existence against the sovereign powers of society, against the weight of the historical heritage and the external culture and technique of life. The antagonism represents the most modern form of the conflict which primitive man must carry on with nature for his own bodily existence”. Through this type of thinking we can begin to try apply this to the vision of architecture and cityscapes. Architecture, urbanisation and cityscapes are based upon structure and the inherent following of rules in order for a structure to work. If agency was applied in the building of a city what would happen? One has to think outside the realms of the constraints of reality and think of this in an idealistic way. If a structure was made in order to accomodate the freedom of change and application of individuality would this function? More importantly is this just not another structure to follow? Idealistic thinking is important in order to progress as there should be no limits. Limits are only set by humans. This again is a watery area but I’m trying to find more focus and investigate the way structures work. In terms of the way a building is built to function as a building, strcuture is needed as otherwise physically it would fall. The mathematics of structures is always apparent and cannot be escaped. Rather than make something blindly mathematics is another language devised by humans to prove that something will work other than saying it will. This language of mathematics essentially uses formula in order to form concrete evidence to


prove something. Having previously ventured into ontological and epistemological thinking for Research Methodologies I can begin to see an emerging pattern forming under the guise of how structure is used in order to progress in all areas of living, learning and understanding. uploads/2009/09/Simmel_21.pdf (Accessed on 7th of March 2014)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile (Fig 11) Jean-Jacques Rousseau was an 18th century Swiss philosopher. His work mainly focused on moder political, sociological and educational thought. The main part of work I want to focus on is a book he wrote called “Emile, or on Education” which was written in 1762. The nature of the book is inqusitive towards the connection between the individual and society. Rousseau talks about a ‘natural man’ who is uncorrupted by society. This book is essentially the story of a boy named Emile and his development and education. Rousseau’s book at the time of it’s release was very controversial. In “Emile...” the general jist of the system of education is that in the years building upto puberty one should learn about the physical aspects of life and be curious to their environment and surroundings. Focusing on the idea of physical senses in order to form the basic tools of acquring knowledge. After this period Rousseau proclaims that formal education should begin in Emile’s teenage years. Rousseau though says that this education should be implicated by a single tutor who understands the needs of Emile only teaching what Emile finds interesting. Personal preference allows for Emile to become excited by education. This allows for Emile to be uncorrupted by the idea of nautral affinties put forward by society instead focusing on what he wants to learn. Rousseau marks puberty as a perfect time for this process to work as an uncorrupted individual. After this Rousseau then allows for religious implications to be involved in his education only being taught by a priest whereby his own vision of a God is to be implied. I find the intent of Rousseau’s “Emile, or on Education” staggering. Being written in a time where only the rich were allowed to be educated formally the ideas behind Emile were failry outlandish for the time.

Furthermore the strcutural process is interesting as well. Having previously discussed the focus of structure in society, I think this manner of thinking in reconstructing a previous way of education and reforming it into something whereby the intention was best suited to the individual rather then a mass of people, is enlightening. It’s interesting as well with the notion of corruption by society even being felt in the 18th century. We have now this very commercial, consumerist way of living now whereby we are deemed not normal for not conforming. This very process driven way of living a life must be utopian by nature in order to be effective. This focus on the individual interests me but it is not possible in turn for Emile to happen in a real life as the resources for this process to happen are not there for everyone. I wanted to involve this idea as the focus itself is based on the interaction between the individual and society as well. The significance of this and its relation to structure is that of a social question rather than a design based one. This sort of thinking can seep through into the design realm of thinking. We can relate this the idea of Emile to post-modern, deconstructivist thinking whereby the intention is to not conform to the systematic ways that have been set out by someone previously. section3.rhtml

Strategies for Practice 2: Research

Structuralism, Deconsstructivism, Barthes etc.

Structuralism (Fig 12) Structuralism is a theory spread across various disciplines (such as sociology, linguistics and anthropology) and is based upon the idea that all human culture must be understood in terms of its connection with an overarching system or structure. It essentially is trying to find the structures that allow us to perceive, feel and think as a conscious being. This broad definition changes upon being applied to different areas. The initial idea came along with 20th century Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Sassure and his concept that language can be deduced as a formal system made up from different elements barring the facts of different dialects of real-time production and comprehenshion. This approach essentially formed the basis of structuralism by using an essentially empirical maths based formal system to categorise language. de Sassure is mainly considered one of the founding fathers of semiotics as well. He came up with the a two part method in deducing a sign. He broke down this understanding into the signifier and the signified. The signified represents the form of what the sign takes and the signifier is the concept it represents. A sign must have both a signifier and a signified. You cannot have a totally meaningless signifier or a completely formless signified. A sign is a recognizable combination of a signifier with a particular signified.

involved regional accents, slang, body language and termino Experimenting with this pre-existing structure that has been implicated through generations is interesting. If we take the way we read for example, it differs from culture to culture. Western culture reads left to right where as some oriental countries read from right to left. Experimenting more with this I came up with the notion of making a book where the text is set across each page rather than being read left to right and onto the next line. With this experiment it’s more of how we take for granted the concept of language and it’s form as a means for communication. Essentially this is a deconstructivist attitude towards typography. wiki100k/docs/Structuralism.html

Roland Barthes (Fig 13) Roland Barthes was a 20th century French philosopher, linguist and theorist whos idea were spread across a wide variety of subject matters including semiotics, language, structuralism, social science and anthropology.

This idea of finding a structure to everything is important and comforting I find. On a human level we as a people tend to brought up through a system which allows us to learn, understand and communicate on a level where there is a pre-existing structure which allows us to break free of these and form who we are and want to be.

Barthes was heavily influenced by Ferdinand de Sassure and his semiotic model of the signified and the signifier. He also believed in the idea the discourse of literature could be formalised but not that it could be turned into a scientific way of learning. Barthes too formed a linguistic deconstruction and broke his work into three hierarchical levels of ‘functions’, ‘actions’ and ‘narrative’. This was seen as using structuralism to uncover a narrative along linguistic lines. This strucutral approach by Barthes was his early work. His more famous apporaches were that of “The Photographic Message”(1961) and “The Rhetoric of the Image”(1968). These works revolved around the semiotics behind the an image and the way we deconstruct them in order to understand their message.

We can look at structuralism as a basis of understanding rather than a system to adhear too. With de Sassure he allowed the intent of understanding language in a different way to break down written words. This is a grammatical if not correct implication that words having a linking structure to form a coherent understandable message. Although de Sassure exclaimed this idea he denounced the use of speaking as this was down to free will and

Barthes work in turn changed after this venture in structuralism where he realised, after reading Derrida’s argument against structuralism. This lead Barthes to believe the limitations of semiotics and the limitations of beliefs in a constant and ultimate standards that have been present throughout Western culture and society.He wrote a book called “Empire of Signs” in 1970 where his focus laid on Japanese culture and the content that

From this we can gather that the Sassurean model of breaking down language and signs is very strucural. The intention to put a system in place was possibly not so everyone has to follow it but more so people understand these new concepts.


they found in the absence of a transcendent signifier. I would like to use this as a subject area to focus on with my masters project. This really focuses on the intention of deconstructivism and attempting to forge links between deconstructivism and structuralism. scott_barthes.pdf

Deconstructivism (Fig 14) There’s always a notion of separatiing two variables in order to find clarity. This notion is coherent throughout Western philosophy, science and soicety. Looking at why there is a ‘natural’ set of categories. Jacques Derrida was a 20th century French sociologist/ philosopher who coined this idea whilst looking at structuralism put forward by Ferdinand de Sassure where he denounces a separation between writing and speech. This notion of post-structuralism looks into why there are these preset categories whereby one is lesser than the other. We have examples such as speech/writing, natural/artificial, spontaneous/constructed, original/copy, mind/ body and present/absent etc. “Post-structuralism’s emphasis on the openness of meaning has been incorporated by many designers into a romantic theory of selfexpression: as the argument goes, because signification is not fixed in material forms, designers and readers share in the spontaneous creation of meaning. This approach represents a rather cheerful response to the poststructuralist theme of the ‘death of the author’ and the assertion that the interior self is constructed by external technologies of representation. According to the writings of Barthes and Foucault, for example, the citizen/ artist/producer is not the imperious master of systems of language, media, education, custom, and so forth; instead, the individual operates within the limited grid of possibilities these codes make available. Rather than view meaning as a matter of private interpretation, poststructuralist theory tends to see the realm of the ‘personal’ as structured by external signs. Invention and revolution come from tactical aggressions against this grid of possibilities.” Focusing on this area of deconstruction really sheds light on the separation there is between what we conceive as a society to be more authentic and correct. With this idea of speech

and writing de Sassure said that ‘parole’ or speaking is of free will and is separate to writing. “In Derrida’s theory, deconstruction asks how representation inhabits reality. How does the external image of things get inside their internal essence? How does the surface get under the skin? Western culture since Plato, Derrida argues, has been governed by such oppositions as reality/representation, inside/ outside, original/copy, and mind/body. The intellectual achievements of the West – its science, art, philosophy, literature – have valued one side of these pairs over the other, allying one side with truth and the other with falsehood. For example, the JudeoChristian tradition has conceived the body as an external shell for the inner soul, elevating the mind as the sacred source of thought and spirit, while denigrating the body as mere mechanics. In the realm of aesthetics, the original work of art traditionally has carried an aura of authenticity that its copy lacks, and the telling of a story or the taking of a photograph is viewed as a passive record of events.” This difference that seems to be sewn into the very fabric of Western culture is what interests me. What happens when there is no boundry? This question is what allowed me to progress and investigate the links that make two sides opposite. With this progression I produced outcomes concerning coding and the link between written code and visuals. The computer forms the image through commands but we are interested more in the visuals as we understand it. I want to pursue this through deconstructivist thinking to show this link. deconstruction_and_graphic_design_history_ meets_theory (Ellen Lupton, Deconstructivism meets Graphic Design History. Essay.) https://www.typotheque. com/articles/deconstruction_and_graphic_design_ history_meets_theory

Strategies for Practice 2: Research

Post-modernism, architecture and design, Manfred Mohr.

Post-modernism (Fig 15)

transparent (like a crystal goblet).”

Deconstructivism is a development of postmodern architecture that began in the late 1980s. It is influenced by the theory of “Deconstruction”, which is a form of semiotic analysis. It is characterized by fragmentation, an interest in manipulating a structure’s surface or skin, non-rectilinear shapes which appear to distort and dislocate elements of architecture, such as structure and envelope. The finished visual appearance of buildings that exhibit deconstructivist “styles” is characterized by unpredictability and controlled chaos.

In the 1980s an anti aesthetic was formed against the notions of ‘good design’ put forward by Modernism. The idea of a system or structure was essentially thrown out of the window and irregularities and chaos reigned. Designers like Jefferey Keedy and David Carson are good examples of this strong disobediance towards Modernism.

The deconstructivst movement trickled into a lot of different areas especially in the design world. In stark contrast with Le Corbusier’s ‘Modular System’ deconstructivist architecture allowed form over function and inherently stood out because of that. The influence of Derrida in deconstructivist philosophy was there as well with architects reacting to the notion of the ‘metaphysics of presence’. This ‘metaphysics of presence’ is the idea that that the history of Western philosophy and its languages and traditions have an emphasis on the immediate access of meaning, forming a theory of being which priviliges presence over absence. This notion of presence and absence is interesting as it was the focus of my mural I painted in Sway and is relevant throughout my lino prints as well. The idea of a city without people, a building without people or a book without words perhaps. This qualia that is felt when entering a building is important and apparent I feel. Qualia is the feeling of atmosphere or a subjective perception of a non physical phenomena and this feeling is recognisable with presence and absence I find. Concerning labeling deconstructivist architecture it sort of falls under the same umbrella as postmodern design. Deconstructivism within graphic design is largely labeled as Post-Modernism which essentially rejected the grids and rules set out by previous movements such as International Style and Modernism. This rejection of form following function allowed designers “... a new way of thinking about design, one that instigated a new way of designing. Designers began to realize that as mediators of culture, they could no longer hide behind the “problems” they were “solving.” One could describe this shift as a younger generation of designers simply indulging their egos and refusing to be

Personally I am not a fan of this style of design as the subjectivity of design is brought to a whole new level. The sentiment felt with postmodernism is that of self indulgence. With nothing essentially to stop you from doing anything the ego and the mind become disillusioned with creating things which do not convey a clear message and that look bizarre. This is movement within design practices is a visual description, I find, of Derrida’s work with deconstructivism. This overflow into other areas other than philosophy solidifies the idea of deconstruction more. php?sect=1&id=20

Manfred Mohr (Fig 16) Manfred Mohr is a German artist who pioneered the movemnt of digital art in the 1970s and 80s. His brutal, clean and very geometric images created by algorithm based formula are stunning. “With this work phase (1969-72), a logical and automatic construction of pictures is introduced into my work. For the first time algorithms (rules with a beginning and an ending) are used to calculate the images” Mohr is one of the founding farthers of data visualisation concerning his work with algorithms. I’m particularly fond of his work just for the sheer mathematical genius behind creating visuals from numbers. In correlation with some of the work I’ve been experimenting with using code in Processing to create visuals and this links in quite nicely with the process of creativity. Mohr’s research and experiments seem to delve into the finding a rational explanation behind creativity using numbers as a language, something which has inherent logic and is so foreign to creativity in the art world. The very structural process to induce creativity is interesting and is a definite contrast to the way I view code. Code to me is a completely different language and I attempt to work with it soley based on the little


knowledge I have and a lot of intuition. This for me is refreshing to see computer art being developed in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Strategies for Practice 2: Research: Figures

Fig 1-2: Anish Kapoor

Strategies for Practice 2: Research: Figures

Fig 3: Torres de SatĂŠlite


Fig 4: Luis Barragan (His own house designed by him)

Fig 5: International Style (Frank Lloyd Wright, Falling Water)


Fig 6: Le Corbusier

Fig 7: Social structure.


Fig 8: Urbanisation - Dubai

Fig 9: Urbanisation Singapore


Fig 10: Urbanisation - San Francisco

Fig 11: Rousseau


Fig 12: Urbanisation - San Francisco

Anything that conveys meaning.

Things that give meaning - image/ word.

Sign= Signifier Signified What is evoked in the mind - mental concept.

Fig 13-14: Barthes, Deconstructivism.


Fig 16: Manfred Mohr


Masters Project.

Cameron Francis Taylor

As the masters project will not be completely finished once I have completed the PDP I will now give a short explanation as to what will proceed as an idea for a final outcome. The main focus for my masters project at the beginning of it was to try and liase my illustrative skills into a brief whereby the illustration could communicate the content of my choice. The underlying project that I have been completing throughout my masters of regurgitating architecture through my own eyes came to mind but it felt like quite a shallow project to undertake seeing the amount of time we had to explore. Off the back of this I delved into it further and began exploring the notion of using my architecture drawings into the real life by applying them to situations in real life where they might work. Painting boarding that covers up construction sights was about the only plausible notion I could muster up so I moved forward from this idea and began taking my work into 3D using a 3D printer. The 3D sculpture of my work was interesting as it opened up the door to toy design and creating interesting different ways of approaching the idea of toy visually and systematically. This area was very new to me and felt as if it could be another fairly shallow exploration into a purely aesthetic driven project. Still unsure as of which direction to take I started to take a more typographical way of looking at architecture producing typographic posters to try andgive the idea of creating a cross over between graphic design and architecture. This experimentation in turn lead to a dead end really but the typographic experimentation lead to me producing more work involving typorgraphy. After this I began to venture again into different ideas such as the notion of impossible design that I looked at in my undergraduate study. The subject of time always interested me as it’s a man made entity and the existential problems that come with that. Visualsing time other than a clock was an interesting concept in my mind. The investigation and experimenation that is to come will be based on Einstein’s theory of relativity and the framing of time in terms of the happening of the event. The final outcome is still up in the air at this moment in time but it will tackle the perception of time we have and how else we can think to see time.


Masters Project: Practical Work.

Cameron Francis Taylor

Keen on focusing on a level of interaction without necessarily building a physical object I returned to the computer as a start point whereby ineraction was held in a sort of no mans land of space (the internet). This lead me to think in a way by which humans are intent on giving machine’s more humanity and turning the human more machine-like. This level of interaction interested me as by using sound and image we can form outcomes whereby the interaction is controlled by the user. Moving forward with this I focused on a program called Quartz Composer which allows for simple audio, video and computer based interaction to correlate with image. This really interested me because the use of the computer as a sort of link between the user and the final outcome of the image. These two experiments (p.12 and p.13) were mainly just tests using quartz composer but the outcome has formed questions from which to progress. The intention of using this software was to bring up questions about the way we interact with the computer and how it has become a critical tool for analysis, learning and understanding. The audio reactive revolving cube (p.12) is interesting as it does not only just react to music but to people speaking, so when one laughs or shouts it reacts directly to the scale of the cube. I find this interesting as an idea and the visual style of it relates again to this dialogue between style and function. The overly abstract nature of the revolving shape is beautiful but has no apparent connection to the function that it creates. Can beauty overcome function? Regardless the second experiment was again using audio input and video input to create a blur when sound is detected. The video itself is a live feed coming from the computer’s webcam and everytime a sound is detected a blur filter is applied. In a way this simulates the focus that is required perhaps while listening to someone and if that sound translates as boring or not.


Masters Project: Practical Work.

Cameron Francis Taylor

From this visual research into style I have produced recent work which are A0 lino prints concerning myself with the progression of the notion of a city. I had a tutorial with Marion Morrison concerning this line of work that I have been doing and she explained to me that in a sense producing decorative outcomes can be quite introspective and not very full in terms of idea generation. Wanting to produce that communicates a message I am interested in producing these cityscapes into a 3D environment or perhaps mural painting concerning abandoned buildings or scaffolding around buidlings. In this dimension the work itself has a lot more depth to it perhaps making a comment about the situation of a building. The 3D aspect of this could be interesting, using a 3D printer to acheive this element of a 3D environment is a nice change from the very flat, decorative images that I have produced. As part of this process I produced new prints regarding the form of architecture. This time round whilst producing this lino cut print I grided the lino and decided to use a much more controlled way of producing a print (p.21). The outcome was interesting and it made me think of grid systems in general whilst printing. I think the further I look into griding linos the more different the outcomes will become using complicated grids to create concise and though out imagery. From this forage into griding and Marion’s idea of venturing into the 3D world I managed to access a 3D printer and produced a town similar to the shapes used in my prints(p.22). This outcome was interesting but very pricey so I would have to think of different means in order to continue with this idea of producing a 3D environment out my illustrations.

Architectural experiment: “Mezzanine�


Architectural experiments: “Padmé’s Palace”

Architectural experiment: “3-D Town”


Masters Project: Practical Work.

Cameron Francis Taylor

From the 3D printing I’m interested in creating a sculpture out of my illustrations. Following this 3D route I’m taking I took to creating reworks of famous architectural monuments just as general play to see if anything was to come of it. I think the outcomes are interesting and work fairly well in a visual way they get the message across as structures perhaps not architecture as such. These reworks are meant to have the same effect that a remix of a song has. Taking the original image and reintergrating it into a different environment. I’ve only produced three so far beacause I’m cautious of how effective they may be. I think this has legs though as it’s quite similar to Duane Dalton’s ‘Album Anatomy’ and his exploration into the art of reduction (p.2831). In this he uses his personal response to an album of his choice and represents that response using a strict grid where all the album details are portrayed. They are effective and work nicely as a set.

honest, because they don’t involve typography. I want to focus a bit on the introduction of typography in my experiments and see how far I can push it.

Furthermore I want to explore the use of typography in these kind of settings and how effective it can be. Using an abstract simple grid to organise the information about the buildings these represent, the letters almost become part of the set which is interesting. I don’t think it’s overly effective apart from the Barbican one as the information manages to sit in the grid perfectly. I do like this concept and maybe by creating a less wacky grid the final outcome would look more interesting. I will continue with these experiements as I find them fun to create as well as lending itself nicely to information and work I’ve created prior to this with my print work.


Grid systems (Processing) (p.93-95) I need to think more about the intentions of what I want to create and try to focus on how to bring this notion of style and function together. Once I find this I think my work will progress accordingly and become much stronger. Other than this I have been messing around with the notion of structure as well creating grid systems on Processing and creating simple outcomes which focus on alignment and play with that idea too. Understanding this use for grids in order to make something look contained. These experiments are essentially taking the minimal aspects of how a straight square grid and pushing the boundries of how the overlapping of circles can produce abstract outcomes. I’m not too happy with them to be

Here’s the code I wrote to acheive this. size(800,800); noStroke(); background (255,255,255,0); float x = 0; while (x < width) { float y = 0; while(y < height) { fill(random(00), random(0),random(255), random(100)); ellipse(x + 10,y + 10,70,70); y = y + 40; } x = x + 15; }

Architectural experiments: “Villa Savoye”











1931 France

Architectural experiments: “Arc du Triomphe”










1806 France

Architectural experiments: “Barbican”










1982 UK


Architectural experiments: “Basilique Sacre Coeur”














lg ium

Grid experiments: “Square grids”


Grid experiments “Square grids 1”

Grid experiments “Square grids 2”


Masters Project: Research.

Cameron Francis Taylor

Katerina Kamperani (FIg 1) My initial progress into the Master’s Project was that of curiosity and change. I wanted to move away from the very heavy theoretical based work that I had completed in strategies for practice 1 and 2. Wanting to move away from this I started by moving back towards simple image making on the most basic level. Using print as a medium I have kept this focus on the structure of buildings. This gave me inherent freedom and took my mind off of a certain direction I was to go into. With this in mind I said in my previous study plan that I would be looking into the notion of style/form versus function. This is an interesting and very broad topic that left me a large space whereby I could produce work in this realm of thought. Katerina Kamprani is a designer who’s taken this argument of form versus function to its most basic level of argument. She recently completed a project named “The Uncomfortable” whereby she took everyday objects and turned them into unusable objects. This idea itself is so simple but the work itself is excecuted in a manner whereby the visual communication of this idea is understood immediately. These unusable objects have direct meaning and show how minimal changes to an object create problems instantly.

“Superdesk” (Fig 2) Kamprani’s line of thought is interesting as the process of this leads for simple answers to simple questions. This in turn leads to an easier design solution perhaps. Continuing with this direction playful outcomes can arise from seemingly completed design objects. The ‘Superdesk’ designed by architect Clive Wilkinson is an example of this kind of playful thinking with design objects. He created a continuous desk which spread throughout an office space. “Clive Wilkinson designed the new office for internet advertising company Barbarian Group in New York City—the 23,000-square-foot space is built around an amazing, 1,100-foot-long continuous table that seats all of the 125 employees.” The intent of creating this desk was to encourage collaboration and communication within the office space creating a large scale communal space.

This kind of design which brings interaction into a working space is interesting as it is a purely physical interaction amongst the desk and other people within the office. It’s a brilliantly excecuted piece of design with numerous opportunites formed from one object.

Illustrative styles (Fig 3) Interested not only in the intention of creating abstract interactive design I am also interested in following this mini side project that I have been continuing throughout my MA studies. This project is that of the creating a visual style through architecture. I feel that this is a necessary release for me not only to be freely creative without the bonds of having to work within a confinement of subject but also to let my mind focus on other something different other than this masters project. The initial exploration began in Strategies for Practice 1, whereby I began using lino cut prints to express these visual styles created by architecture. This then evolved into a mural being painted of a city with no people and once people were in the gallery the city became inhabited. This progression from print to mural really solidified the idea itself but nonetheless I have continued creating prints in a much more grided style. Concerning myself with refining the visual style of these prints. I enjoyed this route as the outcome had more weight than the idea itself and is in contrast with what I have been exceuting throughout my MA it juxtaposed in an interesting way. I want to continue more work in this way and recent examples can be found on the next couple of pages. To portray my intent with the notion of visual style Here are a select few artists in no particular order which I think really bring value to the idea of a visual style. Piet Parra is a Dutch artist/illustrator based in Amsterdam who stands out as a visual communicator with his work. Alex J Walker is another illustrator who uses his visual style to produce visual effective communications(. Contextualising my illustration would be the next step in informing a visual communicative style. Visual style is interesting as well with my intial idea to focus on style versus function in all aspects of design. These artists mainly produce flat work to be enjoyed aesthetically or to understand the message that is being portrayed.


Felix Pfaeffli, Toy Design (Fig 4, 5) Following up the mini experiments into reworking architectural monuments and Duane Dalton I began venturing into the realm of illustrative and decorative design and I came across the work of Felix Pfaeffli who is a Swiss designer. His imagery is interesting and is excecuted in a very pristine manner. I feel as though his work emulates the idea of fearless creativity whereby he makes a poster for an event and the event is then essentially branded with this poster. This kind of work focuses a lot on the visual identity of a poster and I find that this is generally hard to achieve but Pfaeffli’s work succeeds in that. It is reminiscent of international style and Armin Hoffmann’s work with a modern twist. The intention of this kind of research is to find something whereby my designs can answer the same problem that it has seem to have caused. Because of its decorative nature it does not serve anything else but an image whereby people observe it. Intent on portraying a certain style with an aspect of functionality is my final goal. I have developed the style part of this through my illustration work and I know need to form this crossover in order to create something that has a perfect balance of the two. With the 3D printed model I could see a new outcome forming other than me creating a visual. I saw the possibility of creating mini sculptures, chocolates or even toys. This playful aspect could help bring my work out this very stale state that it seems to be in at the moment. With the idea of creating toys I want to go back to Case Studyo who produced some toys for the artist Andy Rementer called “People Blocks”. These “People Blocks” are characters designed by Rementer and are interchangeable with each other. This idea sort of brings the notion of style and function closer together. Developing styles that essentially begin in a very flat 2D state into the physical realm is what I want to focus on more.

With this I could see my illustrations of buildings progressing in the same way perhaps having set pieces that are independant of each other that can lead to the user having control of where they put them. This style of having essentially a blank canvas and allowing the interaction between product and user to give the product value. Another example of this is the “Munny Toy”(p.40) produced by limited edition toy designer’s ‘Kidrobot’. This idea is interesting as it’s sort of a call to open source playing. I’m unsure if they would work in the same way as “People Blocks” or “Munny” as they seem quite stagnant as vessels for creativity and don’t really offer a direct outcome as a durable toy. LEGO is a great example of a durable toy that defies time essentially and that everyone has a connection with because it has a solid design platform which can add current themes to it.

Wolfgang Weingart (Fig 6) Wolfgang Weingart is a graphic designer and typographer who is seen as the godfather of New Wave and Swiss punk typography. Coming through with Armin Hoffman and Emil Ruder he deviated from the constraints of Internation Style and Swiss typography that was being produced at the time. His experimental and expressive approach to typography created a very interesting style that formed the foundations for New Wave design and maybe even postmodernism within the realms of graphic design. Weignart’s work is very interesting and quite relevant to the progression I’ve made throughout my Masters. I looked at the relationship between architecture and design as does Weingart. His use of type to create abstract imagery also interested me and the use of letterpress in an unconventional manner to produce more visual prints using typography rather than communicative pieces. With this I decided to take my work in a more typographic direction focusing on the message that type can bring but also the strong imagery it can produce.

My Way to Typography, Wolfgang Weingart, Lars Muller Publishers (1 Oct 1999), Switzerland.

Master’s project: Figures

Fig 1: “Katerina Kamprani”

Master’s project: Figures

Fig 2: “Superdesk”


Master’s project: Figures

Fig 3: “Illustrative Styles (Parra)”

Master’s project: Figures

Fig 3: “Illustrative Styles (Parra)”


Master’s project: Figures

Fig 4: “Felix Pfaeffli”

Master’s project: Figures

Fig 5: “Toy Design (Case Studyo, KidRobot)”


Master’s project: Figures

Fig 6: “Wolfgang Weingart”

PDP: Bibliography

Cameron Francis Taylor


Books + Essays


My Way to Typography, Wolfgang Weingart, Lars Muller Publishers (1 Oct 1999), Switzerland.

(Bill Brown, Thing Theory, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28, No. 1, Things. (Autumn, 2001), pg 4) scott_barthes.pdf

For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, Jean Baudrillard, 1981, Telos Press ltd, USA, p.29-35 deconstruction_and_graphic_design_history_ meets_theory

(The New Utopian Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, p.104, Davis, Stillman, Lexington Books, 2005). php?sect=1&id=20

Superstudio: Life without Objects, Skira, 2003, New York, USA

Ellen Lupton, Deconstructivism meets Graphic Design History. Essay.

Websites mar/31/architecture.artsfeatures3.3àgan topic/291280/International-Style your_house_1.html morpheus.aspx?sysId=13&IrisObjectId=7837&sysLan guage=en icon-065-%7C-november-2008/modulor-man en&itemPos=82&itemSort=en-en_sort_string1%20&it emCount=215&sysParentName=&sysParentId=65 uploads/2009/09/Simmel_21.pdf section3.rhtml

Film ‘Objectified’ 2009, Gary Hustwit

Professional Development Portfolio // Experiments & Research.  

Business & Enterprise. Experiments, research and critical analysis. Cameron Francis Taylor N°1307119 MA Graphic Design Business & Enterpri...

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