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Synopsis Trace the Memory “We surround ourselves with material things that are invested with memories but can only stand for what we have lost.” Peter Schwerger Having researched how the representation of “objects”, people and things stimulates our memories, this project moves away from the object and instead focuses on the shadow left by that object, on what is the ‘afterimage of absence’. A shadow is taken as a metaphor of absence creating a new visual experience by erasing the existing object and keeping the shadow. We are left with the feeling of emptiness and this can evoke the memory of how we felt and how we responded to the surroundings in which we were at the time.


CONTENTS

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TIMELINE OF WHOLE JOURNEY

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STAGE 1.2.3. BEFORE ‘TRACE THE MEMORY’ PROJECT

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TURNING POINT

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METAPHOR OF LOST MEMORY DESCRIPTION TECHNIQUE DEVELOPMENT AUDIENCE EXPERIENCE ABOUT SHADOW

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BACKGROUND IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIENCE RESEARCH QUESTIONS SIGNIFICANCE OF SHADOWS SHADOW IN SPACE

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EXPERIMENTS METHODOLOGY VARIOUS EXPERIMENTS DISCOVERY AND INSIGHTS

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ANALYSIS & REFLECTION AS A COMMUNICATION DESIGNER MEMORY AND EMOTION FUTURE DIRECTION

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CONTACTS


STAGE 1.2.3. before ‘Trace the Memory’ project

First Stage Tactile Fashion My journey has been started from tactile design. At first, I was interested in tactile fashion because of my background is fashion design and illustration. I always like to design something and produce a work worth creating. But the problem is finding the context, and developing this contextual subject. So my journey in this MA course is finding out what are the issues of interest around me, what is relevant to our society and culture. Furthermore, my goal is to think deeply and communicate with the general audience in order to authorize myself as a graphic designer.

FROMKEETRA Keetra Dean Dixon

UNIQLO Free Megazine 2008


“Conversation can become a dialogue. And that dialogue can make the work more interesting.” Jim Lambie

MENTAL OYSTER Jim Lambie

“I found it difficult to work with something unless I can hold it in my hands. Touching and bending the material to feel how it behaves.” Richard Sweeney

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SELFRIDGES & CO. SHOW WINDOW February 2008 Richard Sweeney


Second Stage Sense of Touch After the first stage, I have realized my problem of the lack of context, but I have a clear methodology to develop practical work and through doing the practical work. Tactile objects allow people to have diverse viewpoints and to interact with the object through the sense of touch. From this point, I moved on ‘touch’ and started to focus on the emotion and feeling mainly. ‘Touch’ is based on the interaction and molded by direct experience, physical contact. This sense of touch creates sensation and is closely connected with emotion. During the first and second processing, I perceived I really needed context: without context nothing is meaningful to the audience and therefore this could disqualify me, as a graphic designer.

“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.” Margaret Atwood

TACTILE BOOK COVER

TOUCH LAB

D&AD 2004

THE BOOK OF TOUCH by Constance Classen

HAPTIC 2004 Kenya Hara

Kenya Hara’s approach is incredibly immersive. In that a great deal of consideration is made for not only aesthetics, but how all of our senses are affected by an object, space or interaction, as well as the environment around us.


Third Stage Memory and Touch At the third stage, I looked back on my critical research and visual research very carefully and found out that older people who are living in the present “technology era” miss the old way of doing things, which in their opinion is more sensible. Seeing narrative objects (possessed or memorial objects) evokes their own memory and each of these memories has a story. I researched old objects (antique possessions from family or friends), and vintage objects which we can use these days and touch directly. These narrative objects are usually collected or kept for a long time. People tend to enjoy collecting them and seeing and sharing emotion with the objects because they evoke nostalgia and give people’s minds a rest from the demands of the present. People in general have at least one memorial object, including myself, so I tried to get some ideas by gathering the different age groups and different culture groups together through some survey research. Through this, I gained some ideas about ’loss’. People may lose something without realizing it, and may feel angry or sad at first, soon one may, forget how they lost this thing, and forget what it even was in the first place. I was very interested in this aspect and decided to keep developing this matter.

I WEAR YOU... U WEAR ME 2002 Tomoko Hayashi I wear you... u wear me is a first conceptual prototype of “connecting pieces” for couples who exist in longdistance relationships. Two seperate pieces of garments were made from one single shirt to be shared by a couple in a long distance location. Photographic images of each person’s body are printed inside of each piece and are only visible to the weaerer. 10

The photograph is an obstacle for satisfying touch. Although it provides a richer visual experience because we can take in through our eyes, the visual images only exist on the imaginary space. On the other hand, the tradition of tactile interaction with visual images lives on with photographs. These flimsy tactual values take on a meaning and share emotion in our hands. The real photographs represent powerful appeal to our desire to touch. When we are missing a loved someone, his or her photograph might be the replacement to make contact such

as hug and kiss. The ‘i wear you…u wear me’ (2002) design by Tomoko Hayashi is for long-distance couples with photographic images of each person’s body printed inside of each single shirt allowing for the couple to share emotional intimacy.


ON LONGING by Susan Stewart

3D SILHOUETTES 2008 byAMT Studio

The memory of the body is replaced by the memory of the object. A memory standing outside the self and thus presenting both a surplus and lack of significance. Susan Stewart

TOUCH ME DESIGN AND SENSATION 16 June - 29 August 2005 V&A

Touch functions on many levels of adaptation, first to make survival possible and then to make life meaningful. T.B. Brazelton, 1990


Turning Point Assessment 25.06.08 I was doing ‘Lost objects and memory loss’ inspired by result of my survey research paper. There are installations and small books on the subject of ‘lost memory’ that I produced so far as visualizations of my response to the topic. I have also conducted different trials of the themes of ‘memory’ and ‘narrative object’. 12


Feedback About Stage 1.2.3 Addresses the concept directed towards absence. Starts to approach the idea of the object absent in context. Book attempts to represent this by including a silhouette of the missing objects. However in the context of the blank canvas that the book creates the result is a presence albeit blank. Concentrate on the spaces or void left behind by the objects, concepts or people. Look at the work of John Stezaker or Julie Cockburn. Also casts of victims of Pompeii and Herculaneum or shadows of Hiroshima victims. Think of the marks left when removing a picture from a wall, it is the vacancy created in the context that illustrates the absence rather than the shape of the silhouette itself, which in isolation becomes merely a graphic outline. The erasure of removal of the object or the shadows or marks left behind might better illustrate the absence you seek to project. Key points Absence / Vacancy / Missing / Void / Empty space / Blank John Stezaker Julie Cockburn Casts of victims of Pompeii and Herculaneum Shadow of Hiroshima victims


TRACE THE MEMORY

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Description Using a wardrobe of all white surfaces and sticking an image of a real shadow on the back wall inside of the wardrobe, light helping the real shadow image looks like real image in the wardrobe without the presence of object. This reminds the audience of their memory with the shadow of their own possession. The specific arrangements of the wardrobe reveal different shadows, real shadow and artificial shadow according to the light: a light helps the artificial shadow image look more real and the light itself simultaneously makes the shadow of the object in the wardrobe.


Technique development The shadow is shown without object but it has to look real. In order to achieve this, the artificial shadow is printed out with a life-size of shadow. This could be achieved after pictures being taken of real different shadows using some personal and everyday objects. First of all, I bought the second hand wardrobe. Before I painted it, it looked like it has been used by an old lady. I painted it all white because I wanted to give some space for thinking to people. For me, the colour white is a very universal and general colour and it is a good neutral colour because it could be anybody’s wardrobe. Furthermore, the shadow based on the white colour would always be more visible. To get the image of a real shadow, I used a “narrative” objects from everyday life such as shirts, dresses, cardigans, boots and accessories that are possessed by ordinary people. Based on my own possessions I have got from my grandmother or friends as a gift, these all represent all my stories and experiences from the people around me. For the full-scale presentation model, I did a lot of different experiments playing around with the angle of light and space. Through these experiments, I discovered what I needed to make a real shadow; I needed enough space for the size of shadow wanted to create, and I needed to put the light in exactly the right position. At the moment, there were limited space and a lot of technical problems. Therefore, I changed from the idea of making a real shadow: instead I took the picture of a real shadow and printed it on the billboard paper, then attached the paper onto the back wall. 18


Audience experience The experience of the Shadow Wardrobe and seeing the shadow allow audiences to have unique experience to the individual and personal. It focuses on individual experiences reminding personal memory related to the shadow rather than offering the same visual experience to every visitor. It is a very poetic and generous experience.


About shadow Shadows can reveal the other self and represent the memory, through the shadow. The image of shadowed objects are not detailed but we can still recognize them in a personal way, and from that point of view, the shadow itself can be presented as different memories of each person. A shadow also could lend itself to recollection or prophecy or other opportunities for reflection. We can look there for the form of a thing and so for what we might miss when distracted by all the details of ordinary perception.

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Importance of experience “Experience” has become one of the important keywords for many areas such as marketing, interaction design, brand management, architecture, service design, and even in art. Designers are focusing their efforts toward creating memorable and engaging “experiences”. “If we define art as part of the realm of experience, we can assume that after a viewer looks at a piece, he ‘leaves’ with the art, because the ‘art’ has been experienced” John Dewey, Art as experience Designing experience is often related to the form of art known as installation. Visitors can create their own experience through narrative messages at a specific site or special environment.


Research questions As a graphic designer and interactive artist, I had several questions with regard to how audiences experience narrative messages in installation space and through the tactile medium. How can the audience be engaged with narrative messages in space? How can we use installation to communicate in emotional and poetic ways? Which media formats are appropriate for delivering messages with deep and natural feeling? How can language be embedded in installation form with narrative aspects? To answer these questions, I looked at our surroundings and objects. Our environment and our feelings are affected by natural light. The continuous interplay of light and shadow creates a world that is compelling and entrancing. The natural shadow has narrative, storytelling qualities.

How can we use Which

How can language be 24


installation to communicate in emotional and poetic ways? media formats are appropriate for delivering messages with deep and natural feeling? embedded in installation form with narrative aspects?


Significance of shadows The shadow has different connotations; shadows have varied meanings depending on the historical and cultural context. From my research, I have learned that shadows have been a significant formal element, which has been used extensively in various fields. Shadows carry various implications in different contexts, such as loss, death, the soul, hope, beauty, knowledge, life, and mystery. For these reasons, shadows have been used in many different fields, used as a metaphor for its unique characteristics, including: LITERATURE: metaphorically used as symbol of death PSYCHOLOGY: a method for testing child development, particularly by the psychologist Piaget (referring critical research paper) SPACE: bringing nature to interior space PAINTING: creating three dimensionality in two dimensional surface INSTALLATION: connecting the physical body to virtual space through interacting with shadows STORYTELLING: shadow reminds people their own memory and experience and life story. From what I have listed above, we see that shadows have the ability to mean so many different things and I want to use shadows as a communication medium using the image of the shadow to amplify the meanings of the words. My approach of using shadows will have a unique position in world of shadow: I will use experiential photography using light and shadows in the space contained in an empty wardrobe. 26


Methodology There are numerous design methodologies used to channel communication: human centered research, data driven research, experimental studies, and so on. To create new communication tools, experimental studies are relevant toward developing ideas step by step through the form making process. Personally, I experimented different methodologies but in the end all of these experiments were a next step, and a reference for further directions in the future. “Experimental study is a very rigorous exercise that allows a designer to confidently engage in work whose results are unpredictable.� Matin Venezky Experimental study doesn’t have final and concrete results. It is an openended design practice that is designed to lead to next levels of inquiry. It is true that experimental study often causes designers to have fear of not knowing what can be created in the process. However, processes of experimental study have its own value for design academia.

Questioning > Setting up a condition > Running the process > Observing > Analyzing results > Finding solution > Questioning for next step

The following was my experimental study. Questioning > Setting up a condition > Running the process > Observing > Analyzing results > Finding solution > Questioning for next step For my Trace the Memory project, the above process was repeated in its entirety four times. My goal of the case study was to complete a process, but I plan to continue my studies in an experimental manner in addition to this.


Various experiments VACANCY (Practice) Photography (Artist) ‘The billboard poster’ Jacques Villeglé MATERIALISM (Artist) ‘Breakdown’ Michael Landy (Magazine) A Prior Magazine # 17 (Artist) Terence Koh EVOCATION (Artist) Julie Cockburn (Book) ‘Praise for Going, Going, Gone’ by Susan Jonas & Marilyn Nissenson LOST AND FOUND (BooK) ‘Lost Property’ by Marysia Lewandowska and Neil Cummings (Newspaper) The article of TIMEOUT (Website) ‘Lost and Found’ (Research) Lost Property Office (Practice) Request ‘Visiting TFL Lost Property warehouse in Baker Street.’ (Practice) London’s most absent-minded route, Piccadilly Line ABSENCE (Practice) Typography using hollow case (Artist) ‘Erased de Kooning drawing’ Robert Rauschenberg (Practice) Trace the footstep EMPTINESS (Artist) ‘Empty and Lost’ by Cayetano Ferrer (Practice) Empty Vacuum products (Artist) ED Ruscha (Practice) Empty Frame SHADOW (Image) ‘Shadow’ from Brighton travel (Works) Historical references (Practice) Absence of objects (Artist) ‘Life’s but a walking shadow’ Kumi Yamashita (Artist) ‘Shadow Mosters’ Philip Worthington (Artist) ‘Spider Web’ Stefan Sagmeister (Practice) Unfamiliar scene 30


VACANCY

Photography 26.06.08 – 30.06.08 Photography about ‘VACANCY’ marks left when removing a picture or some material from a wall and so on. Hanger / Crack of Tape / Pin hole / Taken off paint / Outline by spray / Stamps / Broken wall / Sort of silkscreen


‘The billboard poster’ Jacques Villeglé Interview in Journal of contemporary art Bernard Goy: Can you describe the nature of your intervention in the billboard poster? Jacques Villeglé: The intervention is at the minimum possible. The game is to find what is in the street. It was during the occupation and the days after the war that I was questioned by modern art through the intermediary of a poor reproduction of a poor reproduction of a painting by Miro. I understood then that it is necessary to be informed before learning how to paint. But there was no information available in those years, particularly in a small town in Brittany. From the start I searched for a vocabulary by cutting out images from catalogues or by using pieces of fabric. I subsequently began to use wire – it was like drawing in space, but I did not have a sculptor’s temperament. Finally, there were the torn posters in 1949. I understood that there was work to be done in that area. In 1989 I saw in New York a photograph by Walker Evans that showed a torn poster from 1930 with a caption that said roughly, “It is necessary to photograph the world the way people see it.” This is very close to my concern. To do just that – without translating.

VACANCY

Bernard Goy: Do you feel that you create a poetic language by subverting the coded messages that make up the posters on the wall? Jacques Villeglé: We are too close to our work to be able to give it this historical dimension straight away. I could reply yes, but that would be megalomania. Daniel Buren says that what is interesting in our work is the anonymous, the fact that we have decided to use posters, as he has decided to use stripes. But there is a world of difference between Buren’s stripes and the torn posters. There was also a world apart between Klein and Arman, and yet they got on well together. As far as I’m concerned, the work is there. It is seen, therefore it exists, but I ignore the importance it can have.

01. 66 rue de Vaugirard-bas Meudon 02. Saint-DenisPorte de Paris 03. Puteaux 04. Sex Sebasto

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Bernard Goy: A pun with letters in one of your works currently exhibited in Paris subtly evokes an institution well know to Parisians, the “Office of Found Objects”… Jacques Villeglé: I would rather call it the “Office of Lost Property,” as you only go there if you have lost something. But the torn poster to which you allude is really a found object. 32

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VACANCY

Photography 05.07.08 – 07.08.08 Photography about torn billboard paper marks left after being inspired from Jacques Villeglé’s works. Underground / Bus stop / Bricklane street /


‘Breakdown’ Michael Landy

MATERIALISM

Essay by Julian Stallabrass Break Down left Landy without possessions and without art work to sell at the very moment when, given the success of the event, demand would have been at its highest. There was a crass plan to bag up the granulated remains of his possessions for sale but such an act would have cut against the whole purpose of the event, which was after all to highlight the system of consumerism and get its viewers to ask how much their sense of themselves is bound up with what they own. So Landy had the residue, nearly six tons of it, buried at a landfill site. The artist, interestingly, does not think that his act of sacrifice and disposal has altered him much personally. It is not quite true to say that Break Down left Landy with nothing, for he had kept a database of his disposedof goods. He has since worked on completing and publishing an inventory of his 7,227 ex-possessions, detailing, numbering and classifying everything from the valuable components of his well-known 1990 show Market to an empty crisp packet (salt and vinegar flavour).

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The results are finely rendered prints which systematically record every twist of root, bristle on stem and capillary hair on leaf. They seem to encourage two types of viewing; from a distance of a few feet, appreciating the overall shape of the grey masses against the paper, and taking in the structure of the weed, from flowers to root; and from a few inches, marvelling at the extraordinary level of detail. From a distance, certainly, they have a conventional aesthetic appeal but closer up they contain a subtle surprise as, despite the abstracting force of monochrome and uniform lines on

paper, the collection of bristles, thorns and wilting leaves hints not at aesthetic order but at the weed’s defences, grubbiness and decay. Or, in other words, the view from a distance suggests Ruskin’s moral and ordered view of nature, while up close one’s nose is in uncomfortable proximity to a pavement or back lot in Bethnal Green.


A Prior Magazine # 17

MATERIALISM

Lost memories from these days by David Maljkovic Poor, Surreal or Shadowless, Re-runs and Returns Questions of thingness, of the contested primacy of the object in art and of the status and fate of material culture more generally, have clearly reemerged at centre stage of the contemporary art scene in recent years. They were preceded, some years ago, by a resurgent interest in the issue of craft and craftsmanship, form and formlessness, that signals a renewed desire for (or at least a definite willingness to return to) materiality, or a more immediate experience of material reality, that could be said to have been born from a general disillusion, growing fatigue, and downright discontent with the regime of dematerialization that reigns supreme in the global information economy. Although this does not necessarily mean that art production is now suddenly steeped in base or literal materialism – and we were told early on that this year’s Berlin Biennial would feature a night exhibition, Mesnuits sont plus belles que vos jours, conceived specifically to accommodate the curatorial challenges of immaterial art’s many guises: discursive practices, film, performance and sound art etc. – it does seem fair to state that some of the most important developments in contemporary art are shaping up around concerns and questions (deemed irrelevant and obsolete only a generation ago) of a decidedly ‘materialist’ bent.

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A return to matter and stuff, to “things themselves” then, as the phenomenological creed would have it – and maybe the crux of this dynamic lies not so much in the things to which we appear to be returning, as in the very

movement of returning, of turning and going back, of looking to past preoccupations in both anger and love, curiosity and sadness. Seen in this light, the revival of a sensuous materialist sensibility could be framed within the much larger context of the culture of melancholy retrospection and partial nostalgia that have become hallmarks of continental European art of the late nineties in particular. It is no coincidence that so much attention in the current issue of A Prior is being lavished on the ultimate manifestation of thingness – that most emblematic and melancholy prone of things, that is the monument. Solid and built to last for posterity, often outlasting the ideologies that they were meant to embody, monuments are a defining feature of contemporary Berlin.


MATERIALISM

Terence Koh Terence Koh’s delicately crafted sculptures and immersive typically monochromatic environments – vying between minimalist and baroque sensibilities – are stage sets for an unknown ritual, where a sense of loss simultaneously suggests regeneration. Evocations of darkness recreate the isolated worlds in which we live and play on the melancholic beauty and sublime transcendence of emptiness and the relationship between life and death. Koh’s gestures evoke isolation and secrecy, but also protection and ecstasy; from drifting powder that silences rooms to constellations of cryptically linked objects that more from literally disjunctive realms (upstairs / downstairs, inside / outside, dark / light) to perfectly crafted containers as protective coffins with shattered glass and mirror and glitter of black beads residing within. Koh encourages the viewer to recognize flesh, mind and spirit not as separate arenas but as simultaneous interactions.

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01. Gone, yet still 02. Black drums 03. Secret 04. Black light

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EVOCATION

Julie Cockburn Her work exists in a reassuring place, thus evoking memories of our own lives. Her work is a simple transformation of everyday objects. The materials which have been used are familiar, generic and often nostalgic. She sees a similarity between the throwaway, the spontaneous and the generic.

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The playfulness and nostalgia in Cockburn’s work is apparent, shown through a visual exploration and excavation of the materials she employs. Julie introduces ideas to found objects that generate dialogue about modernity and art history, gender and identity, nature and urbanity and the relationship between process and idea, although it is an instinctive reaction to the found objects that dictates the piece, rather than an underlying intellectual or political viewpoint. She is interested in the decisions she makes when constructing a work, continually re-assessing the idea of what is mine and what is not, heightened by the found objects used, and how much she wants to / can / should take that object into a personal world for her own intervention.

In the age of the computer generated, the computer manipulated and the 3D rendered, Julie Cockburn’s work exists in a positively reassuring place. Evoking memories of delicate craftsmanship, her work – beautiful sculptures and paintings created out of printed image, paper, books, found objects and child-like mark making – is a curious mix of optical illusion and the simple transformation of everyday objects. Julie Cockburn’s practice involves the manipulation of found objects and images. The materials used are familiar, generic and often nostalgic. In a creative journey that involves the sourcing of materials and the time-consuming labour of intricate cutting out, she sculpts from the books and maps she accumulates. Using these as a starting point, Cockburn sees a similarity between the throwaway, (second-hand, out-ofdate), the spontaneous, (Rorschach inkblot, childlike scribbles) and the generic, (deep within a cultural subconscious, almost to the point of invisibility as object). Using this similar- 01. Butterfly Butterfly 109 02. Failte ity, she re-presents these objects with 03. Garden of England a personal ownership of something universal; she contradicts the generic and mass-produced with something crafted, to make these physically and intellectually worn objects precious again, and weighted with a different value. Cockburn wants to make things that are already seen and visually digested by the world, to be interpreted in a new way.

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EVOCATION

‘Praise for Going, Going, Gone’ by Susan Jonas and Marilyn Nissenson Vanishing Americana “A playful approach to items that may not make it to the year 2000.” –People Where have they gone? Paper Dolls / Hotel Keys / Rotary Phones /

Paper Dolls Paper dolls-the very words summon up preadolescent girlhood. They evoke long Saturday afternoons sitting on the floor, cutting carefully around the tabs with blunt-tipped scissors, and arguing with your best friend over who got the bridal gown and who was stuck with the pedal-pusher outfit. Once your doll was dressed, you could spin your own fantasy-you could take her to Hollywood, make her fall in love, pretend she was the most popular girl in school.

Hotel Keys The typical brass hotel key is designed to include the name of the inn, the room number, and perhaps an address for return through the mail. It is often extremely heavy or attached to a heavy object, so the guest cannot easily carry it off by mistake. Nonetheless, three to five keys through the mail take time and costs money. And there is no way of knowing if the key has been copied even if it is returned.

Rotary Phones As far as I am concerned, the entire New England Telephone & Telegraph Co. deserves to be shut up in a closet for having saddled us with dials and deprived us of our beloved operators, who used to know where everybody was and just what to do about everything. –E.E. White, The New Yorker, December 24, 1955 NOW YOU CAN DIAL! – a public service film made by the Bell Telephone Company – was shown throughout America in the 1950s.


‘Lost Property’ by Marysia Lewandowska and Neil Cummings We are easily seduced into acquiring, exchanging and displaying vast quantities of material things. Accumulation, in its broadest sense, is the literal writing-into-being of an individual or culture.

LOST AND FOUND

the dispassionate style of a museum catalogue in an effort to reinscribe the absence all the more emphatically. Inevitably, the book has more to do with the conventions of representation, than recovering a material presence. The things pictured are still missing Things are found, polished, displayed from these pages. and treasured; bought, bound or framed and collected; the object, A temporary collection bound by this plucked from the generic soup of a catalogue parodies the conventions media culture, is momentarily arrest- established by museum acquisition. ed and woven into an intimate per- Although the collection is a well known sonal narrative, “I bought this when paradigm of perfection, the objects I was in Paris”. It is this enveloping here are always already incomplete, which marks the thing as a posses- misplaced, fallen from narration, and sion and simultaneously allows the never to return. narrator to refine and evaluate experience, to evolve a sense of difference What follows is a selection from one or belonging. The thing itself, as com- day’s property recovered by the Lonmodity, inheritance, gift or souvenir, don Transport Lost Property Office; on has become a privileged vehicle for average, some three hundred items. establishing an emotional and intel- The London Transport Act 1982, relectual identity. Things authenticate quires all items of lost property to be experience. retained for three months, when this time has elapsed, all unclaimed posThis much is well known. sessions are disposed of at public auction. The dark shadow within our seamless assembly of possessions and continuous narration of ‘self’, is loss. The word loss delineates a terrifying space, it’s the void over which all exchange and collection precariously take place, but from which no insurance or story can ever protect. Loss infuses accumulation with fear, everything, even our most precious belongings continuously circulate within its grasp. This book touches the wound opened between lost property, and the emotional investment implicit in personal possession. There will be no attempt to suture that gap. Comprised of photographs and texts, the book mimics 40


LOST AND FOUND

01. Bespoke furniture and furnishings 02. Bus blinds 03. Destination light boxes 04. London design festival 2005 05. Cosmopolitan bride magazine December 2007

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Lost and Found www.lostandfounddesign.co.uk Lost and Found marries the traditional with the contemporary to create an original yet evocative range of products. This contemporary nostalgia has broad appeal and sits comfortably in both traditional and modern surroundings. Recycling within design is more relevant than ever. The Lost and Found collection attempts to look beyond recycling and asks the question “what makes an object worth saving?”. Is it purely sentiment that makes us hold onto things? The value we place on objects today has changed. Lost and Found endeavours to reintroduce this sense of value by using forgotten skills and forgotten objects to create new pieces, modern collectables from tra04 ditional sources. ‘The devil is in the detail’ Lost and Found is keen to emphasise the heritage of the materials used and the processes by which they are revived as well as celebrating the finished works themselves. The involvement of the client can be key; personal collectables are often incorporated into the work in order to bring a third dimension, a connection with the work, thus hopefully rendering it a desirable object of personal worth. From source to salvage to studio to home, the whole process is a story Lost and Found thinks deserves to be told. 05 Inspired by the faded, distressed nature of the antique fabrics found, Lost and Found’s diffusion range is a range of interior products hand printed on hemp cotton. Each piece is individually decorated with antique buttons or ribbons, a mixture of old and new, a fresh new product which winks at the past.


The article of TIMEOUT London Underground lost property Written by Kate Riordan. Photography James Quinton Posted: Tue Apr 17 2007

LOST AND FOUND

Mouse is propped up in one corner, a small meeting room is decorated with creepy voodoo masks, and a purple ballgown hangs incongruously from Time Out rummages through the a shelving unit stuffed with scarves. umbrellas, false teeth and unclaimed A glittering noticeboard turns out on wheelchairs at London Transport‘s closer inspection to be hundreds of legendary lost property office in Baker key rings. The less said about a large Street tray of false teeth, gummy-pink and gory, the better. Tucked around the side of Baker Street station, and appropriately just across Thankfully there is no sign of the breast the street from super-sleuth Sherlock implants a courier once left on the Holmes’ fictitious residence, London Circle Line while heading to a Harley Underground’s fabled Lost Property Street clinic. They were claimed back Office (LPO) has been a fixture since and are now walking around some1933, a time when people didn’t leave where, their owner unaware of how the house without a hat and gloves – well-travelled her chest is. Another and therefore frequently did leave the part of the storage area is introduced tube without them. The office collects, with the words ‘We do miracles too’. collates and returns lost items, not just Dozens of pairs of crutches and alfound on the tube, but on buses, the most as many wheelchairs line the DLR, at Victoria Coach station and wall. ‘They couldn’t walk when they in the city’s black cabs. 

The front got on the tube, but something must desk and office behind it look ordinary have happened by the time they got enough; it’s downstairs, in the under- off,’ Batchelor says drily. ground storage rooms, where you realise you’re somewhere quite unique. Poking around, you get the impresThis is the domain of grinning Austra- sion that nothing much has changed lian Ted Batchelor, the LPO’s supervi- in the past seventy-odd years. Exsor who agreed to show us round. cept, of course, it has: almost everything is replaced every three months. In the biggest storage room, one What seems to remain constant is the wall that appears to be decked out propensity of the capital’s residents in bright, primary-coloured bunting, and visitors to lose almost anything, turns out to be made up of scores regardless of size, importance or of schoolbags discarded by care- worth. London’s most absent-mindless kids. Round the corner, similar ed route is the Piccadilly Line, which, numbers of plastic lunchboxes are with Heathrow airport at one end, has stacked. Schoolchildren with their more than its fair share of major finds. heads in the clouds are one thing, but Batchelor remembers one woman bethe number of forgotten pushchairs ing tearfully reunited with her wedding here is staggering – many of them of dress, just purchased in Peru. He also the expensive variety and few claimed tells me that only a couple of days back. Unusual items – souvenirs of the earlier a man managed to lose six fulljob – are arranged around the room to size dress mannequins on the tube. liven up the space. A four-foot Mickey Somewhat predictably, the doors had 42

closed just as he lifted the last one onto the carriage and they’d been whisked away without him. He understandably assumed such an unconventional cargo would be picked up at the end of the line but they haven’t been seen since. The case is still ‘live’ (within its three months investigation period), but Batchelor’s professional instinct tells him they are gone and lost forever. From this little vignette, you’d assume that Londoners won’t only lose anything that isn’t screwed down, they’ll also nick it. Almost more surprising are those who are scrupulously honest. ‘We get several single pound coins handed in each week,’ says office manager Julie Haley. ‘It’s remarkable. It restores your faith in human nature.’ At the wealthier end of the spectrum, people have also handed in suitcases and bags full of crisp new notes, £10,000 worth on one occasion. 
 The office has a high success rate of reuniting owners with their possessions (of the 27,000 handbags handed in last year, 40 per cent were returned) and prides itself on being pro-active; if it can trace someone from their lost property rather than waiting for a call, it will. When a lost walking stick turned up engraved with a church’s address it rang up the vicar and invited him to come in and claim the missing item if it was his. The trouble was, he couldn’t remember losing anything except, after much head-scratching, a walking stick he’d last seen ten years before. The LPO can only surmise that it’s a case of karma in action; whoever picked it up and kept it when the vicar initially lost it had used it for a decade before losing it themselves. 

Another long-term success story involved an


80-year-old man who was reunited with his brother’s ashes five years after the cremation. Following the funeral in Germany, he’d been mugged at Heathrow, and with his stolen suitcase went the precious urn which the muggers abandoned. When the LPO received the urn, all it had to work on was a tiny reference to a German crematorium. Staff wrote a letter, got it translated and started up a long-distance correspondence. When the urn was finally returned, the d man said it had been the perfect send-off for his maverick brother. 
 To manage the daily influx, the LPO has to be supremely organised. It takes 39 permanent staff manning the phones, working front-of-house and sorting. There is also a dedicated fleet of drivers kept busy five days a week collecting the transport network’s forgotten booty: 600 items a day and a total of 150,000 a year. The cost of running such an operation – in addition to the cost of renting storage space in central London – is funded by regular auctions for the higher-value unclaimed items and by the small reclamation charge (from £1 for an umbrella to £20 for a laptop). If someone has been contacted about an item, it immediately gets a bright green tag. After the three months are up, all but the most precious, unique and weird items (and Arsenal ephemera, held onto for the office ‘shrine’ to the Gunners) are given to charity if they’re not going to auction. Stationery items – hundreds of half-used biros and pads – get used up in the office. Weapons, reassuringly rare (though perhaps you would be more careful…), are handed to the police. In some cases, the LPO might gather

items for a particular cause – footballs, shin pads and new boots for an underfunded youth team, for instance. Perishables are thrown away, but duty-free cigarettes and booze – and there are plenty of both – are sold on.
 It turns out that even casual monitoring of the daily haul provides an accurate snapshot of what people are buying, reading and using – as well as losing – in the outside world. In addition to the predictable upturn in umbrellas when it’s wet and caps when the sun’s out, it seems that tennis rackets multiply when Wimbledon’s on. Just-bought shopping is often left behind, from toothbrushes and groceries to TVs. It was easy to spot the Dan Brown phenomenon as it got going, as well as the skinny-jean trend, and to work out what the latest ‘in’ gadget is, staff just wait for them to start flooding in. 

The office also has its repeat offenders. One man, fond of a drink or two on a Friday night before catching the night bus home, has become infamous having lost and reclaimed three bags in a row. As Batchelor says, ‘It’s amazing enough that he’s lost three bags on the same bus – but what nobody can believe is that he’s got all of them back too.’


Lost Property Office There are a lot of stories related to each object (lost property), most of all, I have found myself some of the unusual items received at LPO. So, I have tried to encounter LPO close at hand, and through this research, I wanted to make people recognize their lost objects and jog their memory. The LPO’s most unusual finds:
 False teeth
/ False eyes
/ Replacement limbs
/ Two-and-a-half hundredweight of sultanas /
Lawn mower
/ Chinese typewriter
/ Breast implants
/ Four-foot teddy bear
/ Theatrical coffin
/ Wheelchairs
/ Crutches /
Stuffed eagle
14-foot boat /
Divan bed
/ Outboard motor /
Water skis
/ Park bench
/ Grandfather clock
/ Bishop’s crook
/ Garden slide
/ Inflatable doll /
Jar of bull’s sperm
/ Urn of ashes
/ Three dead bats in container
/ Gas mask
/ Tibetan bell
/ Stuffed puffa fish
/ Vasectomy kit /
Harpoon gun
/ Two human skulls in a bag

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LOST AND FOUND


LOST AND FOUND

Request visiting TFL Lost Property warehouse in Baker Street 04.07.08 Step: Explanation about ‘Lost Memory’ project. Request what I want to need from them through concrete questionnaire. (Be generous and professional)

Office Manager TfL Lost Property Office 200 Baker Street London NW1 5RZ

Dear Sir/Madam Hello, my name is Myoung Hee Jo, a student of MA Graphic Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design. I hope you remember me I came recently to request a viewing of the storage of LPO. I am writing to request for my project, named ‘Memory and Touch’. I have been doing this project from January 08 as part of my maters. The project focuses on ‘Lost memory’ related to “Absence, Void and Vacancy.” During the research I found London Transport’s Lost Property Office and I have also read an article Time Out, ‘London Underground Lost Property’ written by Kate Riordan in April 17 2007. This article made me desire to encounter the legendary Lost Property Office, close at hand. But now I know it is not feasible. So I have decided another easy way to communicate with real people who have lost their property. As you can see, I have enclosed the post cards named ‘Share a Lost Memory’. What I want you to do is. When people come in and report their lost property, would you mind just to hand out this post card . On the post card, there are descriptions of my intentions and request to visitors and instructions, so you don’t need to say much. Through this research, I wish to get responses to my project, approach and concerns to make people recognize lost objects and remind them of the ‘memory of absence’. I hope it is not too much to ask. I would be greatful if you could help by handing cards to visitors or to point out my project. I hope you and your visitors find this interesting and inspiring to participate. I look forward to hearing good news from you. Yours sincerely,

Myoung Hee Jo MA Graphic Design Communication, Chelsea College of Art and Design Chelsea College of Art & Design University of the Arts London 16 John Islip Street London SW1P 4JU United Kingdom www.chelsea.arts.ac.uk E-mail : leoncmh@msn.com Contact : 07811286535


Piccadilly Line, London’s most absent-minded route As cutting out the visual route from Tube map, I reinscribe the absence (the experience of loss) all the more emphatically. Inspired from the article of TIMEOUT, ‘London Underground lost property’.

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LOST AND FOUND


ABSENCE

Typography using hollow case 04.07.08 Prospect: Each case would have a characteristic appearance. Inside of the case, there is an object or some symbolic thing which has different story. It would evoke people’s lost memory somehow when they open the case.


‘Erased de Kooning drawing’ Robert Rauschenberg

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“To Whom It May Concern:
The white paintings came first;
my silent piece came later.”
- John Cage I had coffee with a friend the other day at a Cuban restaurant in Manhattan. I was about to take a trip, but we wanted to get together before that, as I was going to be away for a while. A few days later, while reading a poem of hers, a line she wrote made me realise I had misunderstood something she said that day, causing me to miss the opportunity to talk about her poem, and also to give her a copy of a book of mine. Thinking a lot about Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953), I realised that one of the things it is about is minimising the subject, indicating that the removal of one subject can allow for the appearance of another. The things that go undiscussed in conversation are in some way equivalent to those that are talked about; what we did manage to discuss was just as important as what was left out. Erased de Kooning Drawing symbolised what was iconic about much of what Rauschenberg did in those days - iconic and iconoclastic at the same time, although de Kooning was not the icon the young Turk wanted to smash. His iconoclasm took a more genteel and personal approach. As he explained in an interview: “I erased the de Kooning not out of any negative response.” Rauschenberg had been doing the same thing with his own drawings, but there was not much tension in that; it didn’t push out into the world. He had a fascination with de Kooning, photographing his studio in 1952. Another key factor was that “de Kooning was the most important artist of the day”. The genesis of the project is well-documented: Rauschenberg went over to the master’s studio and said he’d like to erase one of his drawings as an

ABSENCE

act of art. De Kooning, apparently intrigued, had three groups of drawings. The first comprised those with which he was not satisfied - that wouldn’t work. The next was of drawings he liked, but which were all in pencil - too easy to erase. If de Kooning was going to participate in this neo-Dada performance, he would play his part. He looked in his third group and found a multi-media work on paper that would be quite difficult to eradicate (the media of Erased de Kooning Drawing are “traces of ink and crayon on paper”). It apparently took Rauschenberg one month to get the sheet relatively clear of marks. No photograph exists of the work he erased; we do have a photograph of the relatively simple sketch on the reverse, published here for the first time. I wonder what Rauschenberg felt when he first started on it, and later, when he was half way through, and at the end, when de Kooning’s drawing was completely obliterated, the

work of an artist considered one of the most significant draughtsmen of his day. Much of Rauschenberg’s practice was based on the idea that what the artist may or may not have been feeling is unimportant, but I just wonder. I wonder because I don’t think most people who love art would have been able to bring themselves to do it. What he was smashing was not de Kooning; he was using an artist he admired to smash given ways of working. Rauschenberg in those days was forever fleeing what he (and others) had already done, and for about fifteen years his choices were unerring.


ABSENCE

06.08.08

Trace the footprint

Prospect: Through the tracks which are made after people have wolked around the space, we can trace the memory, people was there and walking, without existence of people.


‘Empty and Lost’ by Cayetano Ferrer Ever envision a city street without instructions, directions, or advertisements? In the visual art project ‘Empty and Lost’, Cayetano Ferrer creates new visual experiences by making digital prints of scenes taken from busy metropolitan environments with all the text taken out of them. The change is subtle, yet altering. By transforming signage into shapes and colours, the chaotic world of Chicago’s Loop becomes a little easier on the eye. We are left with the feeling of emptiness, which recalls an experience of being lost in an unfamiliar environment. Even when the environment is actually quite familiar. It is an early comfortable position to be in, and will lead you to question your own place in public space.

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EMPTYNESS


EMPTYNESS

Empty Vacuum products EMPTINESS By transforming the object into molding shapes, we can feel empty and this feeling of emptiness (loss) recalls a memory of being lost.

Collection of personal object

The emptiness within vacuuming assembly of lost property and continuous narration of ‘self’ is loss. This vacuum packaging products would touch the memory of the experience of lost. Transparent vacuum means emptiness and loss and one could also say it is represents of lost memory. Vacuum shape is not as clear as memory in that we may have forgotten what was in the package. As time goes by, we cannot remember, instead we forget more and more as time goes by. The vacuum packaging products mimics the daily objects, product design style of a shop. This means that we buy products which may all look the same, but after each person possesses them, they can have a different meaning to each person. So, when my audience sees the vacuum packaging of now-missing objects, each person can experience their own reminder of lost possession in our “throwaway generation”.

Vacuum products


ED Ruscha

EMPTYNESS

“Something that’s forgotten, focused on as though it were some sort of sacred object. That’s the mystery of it all.” He found special object from marks smile, and do a little curtsy.” left behind. When you look at it today, though, it does begin to edge into nostalgia. That’s not something that I aimed at then, because although it looks like a very old-fashioned can now, in 1961 it did not. That’s the one thing I regret about any photograph: that eventually it becomes historical, nostalgic, out of date. It begins to look like the age it came from.

This picture was taken long ago, in 1961. It was just a dried-up old can of polish that had been kicked around a bit. It had no special significance for me, and I was probably just polishing my car when I began to look at the can and see it had potential, either to become a painting or just be itself. In the end, I felt a photograph was the way to go.

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So I set it up on a piece of paper in the corner of my studio. The end of the paper went haphazardly out of focus, with the dark line you can see at the bottom - I really like the clumsiness of that. I didn’t do a great deal with the lighting either, I recall. I wanted to dress this little thing up, without cleaning it, so that the little nicks and bruises on the can could actually come out. It’s like putting a child in front of an audience of 500 people and saying, “Go stand in the middle of the stage and

I’m interested in glorifying something that we in the world would say doesn’t deserve being glorified. Something that’s forgotten, focused on as though it were some sort of sacred object. That’s the mystery of it all: what it is that will catch my attention. In this case it’s a homely little metal can of car polish. Interview by Leo Benedictus

09.06.08 ‘Blood on the Paper’ Exhibition in V&A


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02

03

01. Cracked 2007 02. A Columbian Necklace for You 1997 03. Blank signs 2004 04. Your Space Gravure 2006 05. Your space on Building 2006

04

05


Empty Frame

EMPTYNESS

The marks left behind when removing a picture from a frame after finishing the show, it is the emptiness created in the context. And this emptiness reminds the memory and makes people imagine what they missed.

Reference image

Practice works

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SHADOW

‘Shadow’ from Brighton travel The real shadow of object is pretty interesting to me, because the shadow represent of existence of object itself and it transforms different shape every time.


SHADOW

Historical references Through historical approach, I redefined what shadow mean in literature and how we remember and remind historical moment by vestiges of events. The thig is that the indications which is not existed anymore illustrate the emptiness and absence of emotion. Casts of victims of Pompeii / Shadow of Hiroshima victims / Chernobyl disaster /

Casts of victims of Pompeii

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Chernobyl disaster

Shadow of Hiroshima victims


Absence of Objects ‘The dark shadow within our seamless assembly of possessions and continuous narration of ‘self’, is loss.’ After the meeting there are left just chairs, cups, paper and book around the space. Just ‘shadow’ of these objects.

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SHADOW


SHADOW

‘Life’s but a walking shadow’ Kumi Yamashita ‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’ William Shakespeare These are the works of Kumi Yamashita. By utilizing lighting and simple forms such as letters of the alphabet, children’s blocks and shoeprints, the artist brings out the life in shadows. Born in Japan, but living much of her life abroad, Kumi uses a delicate vision to create a simplicity that mocks the life beings. In the artist’s own words: “Shadows are a fine medium for someone who believes more in variability ... than in constancy, a stance that may be temperamental as well as philosophical.”

01

02

01. Clouds 2005 02. Exclamation Point 1995 03. Feather 2006 04. City View 2003 05. Profile 1994

03

04

05


‘Shadow Monsters’ Philip Worthington Collaboration with Design Interactions Department and Royal College of Art Monsters materializing from shadows cast on walls may sound like something from a child’s active imagination, but Philip Worthington has made the playful concept a reality. Worthington’s Shadow Monsters project is an example of interactive design based on custom-designed vision-recognition software. With the support of a computer, a camera, a projector, and a light box, fantastic creatures emerge from shadows of the hands of participants as the software elaborates on their gestures with sound and animation. Open and close your hands like a mouth, and a wolf with razor-sharp teeth will surface and growl. Tongues, eyes, and fins appear. Birds squawk and dinosaurs speak. It’s a magical experience that inspires the audience to play with body posturing in order to create delightfully crazy stories. From ‘Design and the Elastic Mind’

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SHADOW


SHADOW

‘Spider Web’ Stefan Sagmeister http://www.ralphammer.de/projects/ beingnottruthful “Being not truthful works against me” is part of a list in Stefan’s diary titled: “Things I have learned in my life so far”. Like most aphorisms the sentence “Being not truthful works against me” requires habitual commitment. But one might also sense controversy in this statement and quesition not only the idea of “truth” but also the value of making truthfulness a rule. Both, the exposure and the need to constantly work on such a position are the subject of this interactive picture. The sentence “Being not truthful works against me” is woven into a projected virtual spider web. As the viewer passes the web she rips it apart wherever her reflection touches it. But it reconstructs itself time and again. This fragile construction serves as a metaphor for the vulnerability of the maxim and the effort to perpetuate it. In a sense it is “physically” questioned by everybody who passes and damages it. For the viewer this first physical active confrontation might incite further engagement with the statement. The technological setup consists mainly of a computer which is connected to a camera and a projector. The camera tracks the viewers and a software running on the computer integrates this video input into the simulated physics of a virtual spiderweb. The projector displays the web together with a representation of the viewer.


Unfamiliar scene Experiment using photographs As cutting out general scene except shadow, these unfamiliar scene makes people think and curious about the moment which photograph present to them. Furthermore, people can remind their own memory which is related with these shadow images.

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SHADOW


SHADOW

Showcase 17.09.08 - 21.09.08


Discovery and insights I discovered that learning from failure is the most important way of determining the next level of creative inquiry. For the Shadow Wardrobe, the making and keeping of the shadow image are specifically controlled by light. While working with experimental methodology, designers are not focused on final deliverable concrete results, but rather seek unexpected outcomes. This methodology is a valuable and open-ended learning process in which the outcomes can be shared among designers. To demonstrate the concept of communicating narrative messages emotionally in space, I decided to design and construct a human-scale shadow image that will contain and reveal itself as a real shadow using light and wardrobe space. The shadow image is shown with the real shadows that are made by light, they are overlapped and presented together. The site-specific, light-based, and interactive design results in a poetic experience as with metaphor of shadow.

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I discovered that learning from failure is the most important way of determining the next level of creative inquiry.


As a communication designer An important role as a graphic designer is to be knowledgeable and to use appropriate media to achieve effective communication. This project shows how shadow can be used as media to communicate a narrative and emotional. In my case, I determined that the metaphor of shadow was appropriate towards communicating a profound and poetic and emotional memory. In the process of developing the Shadow Wardrobe, psychology, literature, abstract art and installation combined to create a design project.

An important role as a graphic designer is to be knowledgeable and to use appropriate media to achieve effective communication.

By integrating these varying aspects, my role as a graphic designer was interdisciplinary. It is a design that demonstrates an experimental method of integrating a narrative into a material space. The wardrobe is functional in that it provides shade from the light and contains the artificial shadow image with real shadows. In addition, this project contains a story about being a designer in an interdisciplinary field.

In the process of developing the Shadow Wardorbe, psychology, literature, abstract art and installation combined to create a design project.


Memory and emotion In this fast paced world, it is difficult to pause even for a few minutes. If a web site takes longer than a few seconds to load in the browser, we move on to another site. Designers put a lot of effort into making things faster and better. However, our life has its own speed, our memory as well. We cannot control it: we live underneath its memory and emotion. These are valuable things in life. In the Trace the Memory project, messages flow slowly because they follow the shadow and they take their time to revoke memories. These slow messages offer the audience time to meditate. Standing front of the shadow affords us time to rethink our lives which are memorable and valuable. While the poem is revealed slowly, the meaning will resonate with the audience.

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We cannot control memory: we live underneath its memory and emotion. These are valuable things in life.


Future direction The Trace the Memory project demonstrates the use of shadows as a metaphor of absence of memory to give space to remind memory and deliver messages with a new experience. Shadow was the medium I selected for my thesis research. However, other media could be explored to create new methods of communication. Since I used an open-ended experimental study as a methodology, other designers could develop their own media.

The technique I have developed in the process of making the Shadow Wardrobe can be applied to various fields such as fine art and the visual merchandising industry, including architectural developments.

This method can be used in many contexts to create a narrative experience that is engaging and delightful. It can be an artistic environment or a commercial context. Either way, I want to continue to develop this project and hopefully collaborate with viAn experimental practice does not sual merchandising development in have final and concrete results. It is an fashion industry and other designers open-ended design practice that can from different fields. lead to other levels of inquiry. It is true that experimental study often causes This project has significance in both designer to have fear of not knowing design communication fields, and in what can be created in the process. our society. For design communicaHowever, the process of experimental tion, it shows the importance of an practice has its own value for design interdisciplinary role, how the failure of the study can be used in produccommunication. tive ways. It also pushes the boundaries of communication with emotional and poetic experience. In our society, this project shows the importance of humanism and emotion, and of giving some space to people for thinking about themselves and their life.

For design communication, it shows the importance of an interdisciplinary role, how the failure of the study can be used in productive ways. It also pushes the boundaries of communication with emotional and poetic experience. In our society, this project shows the importance of humanism and emotion, and of giving some space to people for thinking about themselves and their life.


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Myoung Hee Jo www.myoungheejo.com hellojo@myoungheejo.com Master’s thesis project Chelsea College of Art and Design University of the Arts London

Trace the Memory  

"We surround ourselves with material things that are invested with memories but can only stand for what we have lost." (Peter Schwerger) Peo...

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