Portmanteau Diary: Making time organic, creating a mediator between reality and fiction or opting for immaterial design consumption - BA Design Show Goldsmiths 2010

Here are some of my favorite works at the Goldsmiths BA Design Degree show "Curious".

Toother - by Clair Neal


With the concept of creation of fiction based on the desire to escape reality, Clair managed to wittily and with tremendously beautiful execution materialise a possible object of childhood fantasy into reality, including the exploration of material dissolution through chemistry and an interchange of romanticised exchange of payment with real objects through a mediator, further outlining the mediation between reality and fantasy.




Wolves Don't Wear Watches - by Rachel Howe


This was possibly my favorite project, not only in terms of execution but also because it pointed out a not much thought of situation that truly is an issue. Unlike many other designers (including the much hated iPad people) that develop an object for a problem that doesn't (yet) exist, Rachel identified that time doesn't always want to be measured with watches. Exploring several methods of measurements, time and, in fact, experience of time, Rachel provided way in which time becomes organic and a lot more enjoyable with a form of measurement that suits the activity at hand. Providing an already established need to not want to follow the clock with it's ridiculous preciseness that are, for many activities, harming rather than useful, Rachel created alternatives such as a recipe based on the cues of a song.



Temporal Symmetry - by Livia Rossi


Despite dealing with the much overstretched topic of communal experience Livia managed to infuse an fresh perspective with her fun tri-baloon, double handled ping pong bats and long feeding fork objects. She states that "The process of mediating, adjusting and sharing our pace with others is so effortless and extraordinary that it is taken for granted." Although I have a problem with the use of a contradiction in terms here ("extra ordinary" equals NOT ordinary, making the "taking for granted" a contradiction), the objects were unusual, well made, engaging and certainly outlined a well thought-out activity to point out the matter of harmonious interaction for a communal outcome.






This image has been take from Livia's page on the "Curious" Website.





Hairdressing by Pixels and Vectors - by Christopher Simcock

I am scared of hairdressers, in the same manner that regular children are scared of dentists. I get nervous, I shake and sometimes I hyperventilate and cry. I love my long hair and through sheer job description, it is the hairdresser who cuts it. Without any fault of their own, they are immediately in my bad books, and whatever the cut, it will always be shorter, therefore always worse than it was before. My point is, I came across a project that produced such great results, it would certainly help me to overcome that fear, much like the lollipop that gets pressed into a child's hand for being brave.

Less of a design project but more at home within the specification of being an interactive art project, Christopher managed to take a process, which is very familiar to all of us, and create something beautiful and lasting with it. A hair cut, especially the particularities of it, are invisible to us, and the cut itself quickly grown out. However, beyond simply visualising a haircut (which the haircut in the mirror does itself, obviously), the digital map creates a beautiful blueprint and language of the condition before the cut, the process of the cut as well as the final results all in one. I sense a true possible commercial interest in this process.





Im-Materialism - by Jane Ellen Taylor

In response to a much discussed and truly big issue of the "aggressive rhythms and routines of consumer culture", Jane visualised the image heavy, yet transient and often see-through and unfetchable momentum of possessions. It was clear that she was particularly referring to the fashion industry. She worked through the expression and exploration of that material condition by designing without material and projecting the dresses onto a body. The second image has been taken from Jane's page on the "Curious" website.



Other projects that I also felt executed the brief well and showed a real sense of the grasp of design, their projects, the concept and the resulting objects: Urban Dolls by Vilma Jaruseviciute, Artificial Synthesia by Max Kropitz, Recycled Hollywood by Max Smith, Extending your Senses by Philipp M. Faehndrich and In Pursuit of Perfection by Matt West. There is also a really lovely catalog, which is worth going to the exhibition for in its own right.

For more images of the opening night, including snaps of the "in-crowd" spanning generations of Goldsmiths students all the way back to 2002 (we got given labels! Very cool) and proud and nervous tutors in the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, have a look here.

If you'd like to read more about the projects, have a look at the "Curious" website and make sure to pop down to the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane where you can discuss the projects with the designers themselves, the exhibition still stands until the 7th of June, every day from 10am to 7pm (5pm on Monday). If you'd like to contact one of the designers I have mentioned, please let me know and I'll put you in contact with them.