This week we were tasked with using an app development technique to redesign the gift-giving experience for someone else.
My partner was Hamish Sweet
Essentially, the last time that Hamish experienced the gift-giving experience was on Mothers Day (14th May). He gave his mother a pack of biscuits. But the focus is not on what he gave her, but the process of giving the gift and how it made him feel. A summary of what I was able to gather about the experience for him was that the notion of giving a small sentimental gifts is more fulfilling to him than giving some crazy expensive gift. He is also one that doesn’t find meaning in spontaneous gestures for someone else, he feels as though spending money is a gift in itself. He finds spontaneous gift giving to be senseless.
My personal view on gift-giving is that the spontaneity of it is what I find that gives the experience more meaning. So the problem that I find in Hamish’s gift-giving experience is that he needs a way to be more spontaneous with the timing of gift-giving but still having the gift be meaningful and sentimental. I found this to be the problem so that he could be outside of his comfort zone in gift-giving.
The radical ways I found to meet Hamish’s needs:
- To give food to the homeless rather than giving them money
- Buy necessities for someone. Have it be something they need rather than want
- Buy a whole bunch of random things and give them to someone with no second thought. Whether they need it or not
- Talk with someone new. The talking aspect would be the gift
- Spend time with someone he cares about
. He doesn’t like the idea of giving food to those in need, he would rather give them money. Also, he feels that homeless people aren’t showing any motivation or doing anything to get money
. Numbers 2 and 4 seem similar to him
. He could see himself doing numbers 4 and 5
. The one he likes least is number 2
By him taking a liking to numbers 4 and 5, I took that as him willing to be pushed outside of the familiarity of gift-giving. And with him being opposed to number 1 due to him wanting to give money instead of food shows me that money is still something he views as being sentimental
My new idea is that he would go around the city giving money to street performers because they’re showing their motivation by performing as opposed to how Hamish views the homeless as ‘not trying’.
We then had to turn our idea into some type of app or game using paper prototyping. My app would be called ‘Performance Live’. It would be an app that enabled the user to find where street performers were located that were nearby
To design and bring my ideas to life, I used the inspiration of existing apps, this being the ‘Messenger’ app on Facebook and the once popular app ‘Pokemon Go’. Using these two existing apps as a basis, I came up with the idea of the app being an augmented reality app. ‘Performance Live’ would pop up like a message does on ‘Messenger’ and once open it would work through the camera on the phone. Once clicked on, an augmented reality of your surroundings would pop up as a map to lead you to the nearest street performer. Once you find one, you can point the camera at the performer and it would scan the face and evaluate the performers circumstances and give a recommended amount of money to give the performer.
All in all I found this task to be very tiring yet insightful at the same time. The time limits on each section made me feel anxious and stressed during the activity but once the activity was over, I feel that the anxiety and stress lead me to an idea that I believe I wouldn’t have gotten to if I were to take my time. I feel that I will implement this technique of creating in the future.
Question: What was the most challenging part of the process for you?
The most challenging part of the process was receiving the feedback. I found that in the moment with the time limit, I didn’t like the ideas that I came up with. Even though in hindsight after the entire activity I was proud of my designs and concepts. But because I wasn’t proud of the designs at the time, having to receive feedback and critical criticism on it was hard to stomach. I typically do not present any work that I am not proud of, so I was being forced out of my comfort zone through this aspect of the process. I think that being out of my comfort zone is a vital aspect in the designing process in general, with that being when new and confronting ideas are formed creatively. So ultimately, being pushed out of my comfort zone with receiving feedback on works I was not proud of at the time was challenging but it is also what I found to be the most stimulating part of the process in hindsight.
Week 8 and 9 have been some stressful weeks for me personally outside of this institute. Therefore, I was absent for half of the ‘Week 8 Illustrator 101’ class (I fell ill during the class) and absent for ‘Week 9 InDesign’ due to family circumstances. My prior knowledge of these two programs are next to none, making these tasks rather difficult and incomplete. Although I have not completed all the tasks for week 8 and none for week 9, I did some additional research to try to understand the programs in a general way so that I could at least have an understanding of the program.
Week 8: Illustrator 101
Using shapes and duplicating it, we did an exercise that enabled us to be able to understand the basic functions of illustrator
Overall I found this task hard to complete due to various factors. One being my limited knowledge of the program. Another being that the instructions we’re given rapidly which meant that I felt rushed to complete an unfamiliar task. And another being feeling under the weather. In order to overcome these factors and to complete the task more at my own pace, I watched the following two videos:
This is an album cover for an artist named ‘H.E.R’ for her debut EP named ‘H.E.R Volume 1’. The essence of H.E.R is unknown. Somewhat of a Sia vibe but more extreme than just not revealing her face. H.E.R’s real name and what she looks like is a complete mystery. She believes that one shouldn’t be judged by what they look like or who they are but rather on their music. Especially for women, she feels that there is a higher expectation from them in the music industry in terms of their aesthetics. Her music is categorised as pop/RnB but to me it’s modern day soul. There is a simplicity to her music that makes it minimalism in audio form. I used these ideas to influence my concept. The simplicity of the piece plays into the simplicity of her music. The figure itself is my direct interpretation of her hidden identity coupled with the idea of the high expectations of women by being hyper-sexualised. The brush stroke choice is due to the haziness of her identity being somewhat shown but not at the same time. The original album cover:
Week 9: InDesign – ABSENT
In this weeks class we went over the basic use of the Adobe suite, focusing on Photoshop. My previous knowledge of photoshop is rather minimal but I’m not completely new to the use of it. Last year, during Certificate of Design and Visual Arts, was my first introduction to the use of photoshop so I found this workshop useful as a refresher and in learning new tricks and skills.
Exercise One – Colour Wheel
We first looked at the use of colours. Using colour wheel, we had to create a colour scheme that we feel reflects a personal memory of ours. My personal memory was a night in which I made a lot of life lasting memories with a special friend of mine. This night was filled with food, laughter and early morning adventures.
I chose this colour palette because of the softness of the specific colours. The choice of colours links to items that I remember identifying from the night which included soft toys, street art and furniture. The contrast between the shades of red and shades of blue also references myself and the my friend from the evening. In all honesty, I had never given as much thought to the use of colour as I did in this exercise. I haven’t had to give colour a meaning on its own because usually my use of colour is within a piece of art but having colour on it’s own having to tell the story by itself was interesting and challenging. But I feel that the colours I have chosen resonate with my memory.
Exercise Two – Layers
We then moved onto Photoshop specifically. We were tasked with trying out layers in the next exercise. Layers in something that I’m familiar with so I felt comfortable using this. We had to use various layovers and levels of opacity to create our image.
Exercise Three – Tools
We then went onto the use of photoshop more in depth in terms of the tools. We were given a picture of what looks to be a factory wall, and were tasked with using our choice of tools to add things into the open spaces.
To get rid of the open spaces, I tried the magnetic lasso tool and the eraser. But I felt that it looked a little bit messy and tried to a different tool. I then used the quick selection tool to do some which I preferred due to the crisp cut that it makes. The first three rectangles are using the quick selection tool and the last four rectangles are using the magnetic lasso tool with the eraser. The windows give the building a realistic look alongside the posters. I think that if i had only put windows or only posters it wouldn’t have looked believable. Even though the task wasn’t to make it realistic but rather to just experiment and get used to the tools, I still wanted to make it somewhat realistic.
Exercise Four – Blend modes
Next was experimenting with various blend modes. Blend modes was something that I was somewhat familiar with but only the use of Multiply. I hadn’t experimented with the other blend modes, so seeing their effect was interesting. I used multiply, soft light, darken, overlay and linear light.
Photo realistic Task
Our homework from this class was to create two photorealistic photographs of anything and insert two items into these two images using photoshop.
I chose to use two photos my one of my favourite singers; Jorja Smith. She has a natural beauty that is captured well in photographs of her which I felt I could possibly play around with.
In the first image, I added the patch onto her jacket and the tattoo onto her hand. I played along with the characteristics of the original image with the colouring and enhanced the pre-existing filters. These were the blurriness of the image and the lighting. In the second image, I added the poster on the wall in the background as well as the glasses. I reiterated the blurriness of the background from the original image so that the poster doesn’t stand out. I think that the glasses fit well into the image because it goes with the retro-grunge look of the image.
Overall, I think that the images work well. I asked multiple people on their opinion of what they thought was added, and adjusted them according to the feedback I received.
Partners: Tamlyn Theys and Jack Short
We chose the letter T because of the basic characteristics with its anatomy. There are two components that make up the T which makes the letter simplistic. Another thing about the T that made it our first choice, was that we felt that it represents the BCE course. The course is all about building a T shaped student who has a strong base but can spread that base to a wide variety of situations.
Once we finalized our decision on creating the letter T, we tried out different fonts
for the T but eventually decided on a simplistic bold font. Choosing a simplistic bold font made a contrast between the look and the reasoning behind the letter choice. With the letter choice being driven by the creativity of the BCE course, but the font is basic and lacks any type of flamboyant
creative influence. The contrast can also reflect the BCE course in terms of it having a creative influence with simplistic and basic ideas integrated. From that, we went on to do a scale drawing of the letter with dimensions. We decided to
use the dimensions of 1600mm total length, 1900mm total height and 300mm width in order to construct our letter.
With the chosen font and dimensions, we then went on to choose the material.
Our initial thought was to use foam due to the way that we would be able to get the crisp block form of the T. When considering other materials such as wood or metal for example, we felt as though the construction would take away/alter the font. Using the foam, we were given instructions and guidelines from Jimmy on how to construct a more complete letter.
We went on to create a prototype using dimension saw and drop saw made up of three separate parts.
Following this, we decided to change the dimensions of the T from 16cm total length, 19cm total height and 3cm width to 1900mm total length, 2400mm total height and 500mm width. And with that we also decided to make the T as a whole piece instead of having it in three separate pieces because it makes the T look more
cohesive. Moving on from the dimension saw and drop saw, we created a cardboard template with the new dimensions and used it with the Hot Wire. The hot wire moved with ease and precision through the foam, making it the right tool in our opinion. We decided to make multiple versions in order to experiment with each of them and get used to using the hot wire.
For example, for one of them we used sanding paper to curve out the edges. Despite our previous thought of wanting to have a crisp block form, after seeing how it looks with the curved edges we decided to keep it and make it the final lettering shape. The curves give it a softer look as opposed to the sharp edges.
Using the multiple prototypes, we explored different ways of decorating the letter so that we could figure out the best one which embodies what the BCE is to us.
We felt as if we could add more narrative to the letter if we were to utilize more unconventional materials of construction. Building on the prototype in the final image in the middle, we decided to not use the curved edges and stick with our original thought of having a sharp shape because we were second guessing ourselves. We then used skewers to create a fence like texture to the border of the foam T. Initially our thought was to leave the inside of the T blank, but once the fence like border was added we felt like it could create a garden like feeling, so we then added a grass texture. During this process, we felt that the garden theme was applicable to the BCE because like a garden, this course is a place for us to grow. The fence symbolizes safety and guidance while the grass symbolizes a basis for growth. We were ultimately able to create a letter that we feel represents the BCE.
In this weeks lesson, we explored the use of digital cameras and how we can have access to them here at Unitec. We went through the basics first and then were able to go into groups and test out what we had learned. I was in a group with Charlotte Rawson, Hamish Sweet and Jack Short.
We first tested out different aperture settings:
We then tested out different shutter speeds:
Despite the second shutter speed image being dark, we could still see a difference in the two shutter speed settings. I then used previous knowledge to try to deepen my understanding of aperture and shutter speed:
Summary notes of aperture and shutter speed:
- The aperture is the size of the opening of the lens that light passes through
- Aperture is shown as a f-stop on cameras
- Every f-stop up doubles the amount of light passing through the lens. And vice versa, every f-stop down halves it
- Aperture links into ISO which is the cameras sensitivity to light and can be changed to adapt to lighting conditions
- The higher the ISO means more noise (grainy, less sharp, shaky)
- Shutter controls the amount of exposure
- Just like f-stops, it halves or doubles going up and down
We then went onto learn about the photography studio
Summary notes about photography studio:
- The studios are bookable for however long we need it for, but we should be considerate of others.
- Studios are available till 11pm and on weekends
- Its better work in groups rather than being in there alone so that set up and clean up go a bit quicker
- You need a key for the cupboards but you don’t need it if you’re going to work on a blank space
- Be gentile with the equipment, don’t force things to move in a way that they’re not naturally moving in
- Remember to use the power surge protector for lights and to remove the cap on the light
- Put wires to the side to avoid hazards
- Dont rush, we should allow ourselves time to set up without having to rush through it
*Works from the books are from Certificate of Design and Visual Arts 2016