DESIGN AND MEANING ESSAY ONE
LAWRENCE OLIVER RICHARDS - YR 1 DESIGN
Invent a new physical gesture. Photograph it, describe what it means, and say why we need it.
One of the lacking areas of modern language is the ability to convey apathy, tiredness or a feigning of interest whilst remaining socially acceptable. Whilst all other facets of language have developed progressively and relatively unhampered, this subject has not. It is because we are driven to follow the path of unceasing optimism. Or at least to remain socially acceptable/professional/amicable at all times. This obviously lends itself to a gap in the language of the human vocabulary to be exploited. Maybe it isn’t necessary, yet it is arguable whether the difficulty in implementing a phrase or body language gesture has dissuaded designers/linguists to develop an alternate to something offensive. For example, perhaps we live in an age where forcibly ending a conversation is necessary. We live in a time where the proliferation of people and information means that we cannot possibly absorb or merely accept everything. We need a way of filtering, delegating. Obviously a priority scheme would imply a preference, which is not particularly considered adequate social etiquette. But a way of quickly and seamlessly explaining that you are busy/tired/bored would be open to empathy from the other. It would work because everyone can relate to a time when you are way to busy to talk, completely too tired to stand and barely speak or so bored you cannot realistically add or even remember a conversation. The symbol would be something simple, elegant and non obtrusive (although noticeable enough to be easily picked up). I propose a multi step gesture indicating the motives of the owner. Firstly the proponent opens both palms to the other indicating his openness, honesty and sincerity at what they are indicating. An open palm connotates a form of apology. I’m sorry I’m in a rush they are saying.Then both hands are drawn to the direction of intended movement, the furthest slapping the other perpendicularly, signaling the exact desire and proposed direction of exit, helping the observer fully come to terms with the gesture. It is intended to be low impact, hence the open hands and small movements, and elegant, it is not dissimilar from pointing to something that you have to go to, but I packaged it as a moreover graceful set of gestures. Also the length of the entire phrase doesn’t pressure the other person or make them feel rushed. It is an acceptable, ‘you know what I mean’ kind of gesture. In the time it takes one can tailor a verbal reasoning to tally with the visual indication. This will help to consumate the gesture as part of the leaving process.
Research designs that have failed. Describe them. design your own failure.
The millennium bridgeâ€™s original design failed due to the resonance factor of the materials of the bridge reacting with the speed at which the users on the bridge walked. As everything has a resonant factor, every material is liable to be affected by another input (particularly a user) and change due to it. After a small discrepancy in the lateral movement of the bridge occurs it allows the resonant force that created it, to further alter the movement of the bridge and exponentially alter its use. I think in the case of the bridge design it was a double failure as this instance had occurred before, in the case of the Tacoma narrows bridge  whereby the bridge was affected by the resonance of the frequent medium to high wind speeds of the surrounding area. In the case of the Tacoma bridge, it collapsed, whereas the Millennium bridge stayed together, perhaps because it was scaled down and acted upon quickly enough. Even so it was a massive error to repeat a historical design failure, nearly 60 years after it occurred and after no instances of it had blighted subsequent bridge designs.
A design failure must fail to satisfy key criteria such as usability, cost, production etc. But also a design inherently has a purpose even if it fails. The two bridges above for example were designed for a purpose of connecting areas but their choice of material failed. I would design a new way of thinking. What if you just said what you wanted, without thinking of the ramifications? There would be complications, but if everyone acted the same way surely they would see the benefits? I believe that if we all are honest and truthful then that is the only thing we can be. For example, once you get accustomed to the fact that everything you say is true, then everything you say, you can do. The possibilities are endless. But of course this is invalid as neither would anyone take up this system and forfeit their right to privacy, nor would the premise of training yourself to be fully tuned to your abilities proof possible. But it is still a design even though it fails.
Invert a verbal cliché explain the method you used to create it.
A cliché manifests by a repetition of a phrase becoming easier said that a substantial literal explanation. It is intrinsically connected to the language of idiom and can be known only a small group or of a larger but still insular group or language/accent area. I believe it is used as a way of communicating to the other person that you understand them and possibly relate to them on the similar scale by implementing a cliché in a conversation. It can make it more casual. It can reduce the limits of a conversation. It cannot be explained easily. It doesn’t necessarily connotated exactly what we mean, but moreover what we want to say. It’s common by default, but scattered in terms of usage. Some groups or types of people may use them more frequently than others. It may cross borders, languages and scenarios but nearly always will be amended. ‘To raise the bar’ – Set a higher standard ‘To raze the bar’ – Lower and destroy a standard To invert a cliché to me, means to remove its ability to be used within the context of a certain field that the original was used in. Also to remove the factor of the original that makes someone want to not use said cliché for it is too overused. I dislike the way someone can say they ‘raised the bar’ and seem pretentious or precocious, without always actually validating themselves. I would like to propose a razing of the bar. I would like to level the playing field and let the real talent show through. In fact I don’t even want to have a bar. I don’t want to gauge everything I do in my work/life by some arbitrary standard that I probably don’t fully understand. I want to anul the old rules, systems and start afresh with no boundaries and I’m fully open to new ideas and processes. I don’t want to raise the bar, I want it razed.
20 things that bug/annoy you and how you would solve one.
Hot and cold taps being reversed from the normal way. Buses not stopping People not saying thank you Not getting a reply from a job application Getting a receipt for one item Not being able to find a pen and paper whilst on the phone The inappropriate timing of good inspiration Not having a good method of recording inspiration Forgetting good dreams Car alarms that seem purposeless The line for the bathroom The occurrence of double standards When a pen fails to work even though it is new and only causes deep ruts in the page Opening very thin plastic packaging of DVD, CD wrappers etc. The directions or location information of a place being incorrect Having too many options When someone says they are fine when clearly not Sink full of dirty plates Following long queue barriers when the place is empty Not having any choice Condiment grinders administering poor quantities
Not being able to find a pen and paper whilst on the phone. I feel like so many times this happens and a lot of times it is possible to lose a vast amount of valid information in the process. How could it be so hard to find writing material on the phone? Is it the fact that most of the time we are out or that we donâ€™t plan for such occurrences, unless we live in offices or have ideas of professionalism? Having a notepad around is essential but even the most well planned person fails in this task. Options include having a mobile phone with a build in digital Dictaphone with a simple two button record stop option that could be replayed at a later time.
Find 20 uses for a brick.
Weighing down a balloon Using it as a rudimentary hammer Grinding wheat, or implementing in a mortar and pestle Ship ballast for maintaining weight Time consuming water filter Small stool Paperweight for the paranoid of mind The most important brick in a wall Making a threatening statement Patio for gnomes Post modern multiple egg holder Doorstop for cheapskates Pretending to be in construction (impression of machismo) Basic weight lifting Rough nail file Bookends Flower press Bat for an overkill fly swatter Styling off road vehicles Prestigious/pretentious art award entry I believe the most original use of a brick would be as a time consuming water filter. It is by no means the most useful, neither practical, but then its distance from its intended use is fully made apparent. It appeals to my pragmatic, yet obscure reinterpretation of regular materials and re-appropriating them in a new and foreign use. I like its practical use and connotated ecological implications. Instead of building further housing, we can use or re-use old bricks as rudimentary water filters where otherwise unavailable. It is a cheap and easy way of filtering water, easily replaced and probably relatively endless in supply. It correlates to the modern approach to world philosophy, for example while the growth in population is large and seemingly endless, it will eventually end. Whereas as long as population exists, water â€“at least clean water â€“ will be needed. And it is directly proportional to the growth in population that water usage and requirement will increase. Also as western countries decrease in populace eastern/developing cultures increases manifold. Also where most uses of a brick focus on the weight or perceived forcefulness of a brick I have thought about other properties that are probably less thought about such as its texture, physical makeup and construction. From this I have extrapolated ideas on using it for a completely obscure use, something not necessarily practical or simple, but useful.
Published on May 31, 2011