Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Conclusion

Overall this has been an enjoyable but extremely stressful project. It has been a great opportunity to create something that I would never have created otherwise and to be able to learn how to use new equipment which I will definitely continue to use in my subject. Having said that, it’s also been a real challenge and I have felt very much out of my depth at a lot of points. I have never created any 3D of this scale so to have to create this chair without the help of my partner has been really difficult. It’s frustrating that I didn’t have the help of my partner in the 2 crucial weeks of making because he is an Artist Designer Maker so knows more about 3D work than I do so it would have been useful to have his help. I have relied on the help of tutors to be able to create the chair it is now and I have really learned a huge amount about 3D work that I never knew before.

Despite struggling throughout the making of this project, I have worked incredibly hard on this chair and I’m really happy with the outcome. I think you can see clearly where my inspiration has come from in the forms of my design and I have had a good response from the people around me in that they recognise the shapes it’s supposed to be. It was definitely great to hear that Fiaz liked the chair and would like to have it because it has made the project worth while. Having to create a chair for someone so important within the university has definitely added pressure to the project to create a good piece of work but it has clearly paid off. I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to create an item for a client because I never done anything like that before so has been a good experience in that sense. I will be taking everything that I have learned within this project into my further projects in my subject; there are a lot of adaptable skills I can use within my practice as a graphic communicator.

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Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Photographing the client

Along with the chair, I photographed my client with his chair. I had some great feedback from Fiaz for the chair. He really liked it, even the little prototype that I’d made and he would like to have both of them! It was brilliant feedback and made the hard work I’d put into creating the chair worth while. Both of the chairs are not ready in terms of finishing and need a lot more sanding until I’d be happy for someone to have them. Though I need to have a secondary material, I have taken the decision to not include one. Due to timescale and the fact that I am now doing this project on my own, there is no way I’d have enough time to finish the chairs and create a secondary object for them both. I want to focus on making sure both the chairs are at a point I happy for someone else to have.

Photographs:

I tried to get the write angle so that there was a right balance between the chair and the client. The chair is the main focus so I need to ensure that you could see it well. This was difficult between the chair was covered quite a bit but I did get a really good angle of the side of the chair.

For the poster, I wanted to illustrate the name of the chair to represent the hand craft element to the design. I also wanted to incorporate my skills as a graphic designer when designing the poster. I decided to call my chair ‘Teithiwr” which is Welsh for traveller; unfortunately by not having a secondary object I’m unable to show the incorporation of the different cultures idea so I thought that by calling it a Welsh name I could reinstate that element so that there is a slight link at least.

TEITHIWR

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

*my partner has not come in for the duration of designing and making of the final chair – I have not been able to communicate with him all week*

Making the Chair: 11/12 – 12/12

After resizing the chair on Illustrator, I then took it to be reprinted. The chair is a much better size now that it’s been recut, however there are still problems with it. Unfortunately there was a part of the file missing which meant that on the 2 of the side arms, there was any slots where the seat and bar go through. This meant that I needed to cut the holes myself. There was also a couple of pieces that I had missed when resizing; the leg for the front was made big on the length but not made wider on the width so meant that it doesn’t span across the width of the chair. This was easily resolved though because I just cut part of it of and then stuck it on the underneath of the chair. Another part was the leg that was being used for the books, I didn’t lengthen it so this part will need to be recut.

Towards the beginning of designing, I took the decision to double up a few of the parts of the chair to make it stronger. So for each of the sides of they chair were duplicate and so was the supporting bar at the back of the chair; because of this I needed to glue these parts together. As well of this, the front leg of the chair needed to be glue to the rest of the parts because it didn’t quite slot perfectly into it. I recut the back leg of the chair and had help with cutting the slots into the sides. I’d arrange to photograph my client with the chair on Wednesday 13th so I left the chair overnight with clamps all over it in ready for it to be photographed with on the Wednesday.

Secondary material: 13/12

Correcting everything that went wrong was a huge amount of work especially since I’ve had to do it on my own. I wanted to create books as much of one of the legs but I took the decision to scrap that idea due to timescale. I tried to create something for my secondary material; I tried to image transfer the welsh poem onto fabric to then use this as parts of the arm chair. The experiments weren’t successful so if I wanted to do this I’d need to try something else.

Personal Development Plan

Within the first term of Level 5 constellation, I have been in the study group, ‘Posthumanism Art & Design: Matter, Ecology and Ethics’. Over the weeks, we have been discussing a variety of different subjects in relation to human/non-human, objects and the ethics of design. This subject has enabled me to think further into my practice as a graphic designer in terms of the effects of what my practice can do and to think about it in relation to the wider world. In the first session we spoke about ‘what is air’; I found this session particularly interesting because it made me think further into the affects us humans are having on the world and how this can cause such a negative impact on the world around us. Within the session “Is what we make worth what it destroys?” I did question my ethics as a designer and it did make me see my practice in a negative light because we have such a strong impact on the world around us; in future I feel that it will push me in my practice to think about the wider impact my work may have on the world, rather than just focusing on the piece of work I am designing. It was this session that gave me my idea on what to write my essay on. In first year, I learned about posthumanism in relation to cyborgs, however this year, we spoke about posthumanism in a different context; I found this a really interesting concept and it was something I wanted to explore further. Since I was then at a point where I was questioning myself as a designer, I wanted to write my essay in relation to the cyborg graphic designer and the effect this is having on the wider word, to further explore the negative impact I could be creating. I felt that this was important because if I am able to notice the negatives within my practice, then I can move forward with this in mind to ensure that I do what I can to create a positive impact. Within my practice as a graphic designer, it can be easy to focus on the aesthetics of the design and how it will appeal to the human world, but through exploration in the study group and within my essay, I have realised that though this is important as it is such a crucial part of being a designer, it is also just as important to think about the impact that piece of design can have on the ecological/non-human world. This has been really important topic I have learned and I feel that having the impact of my design as a crucial thing to think about within my work, will make me a better designer and create more sustainable design. I have found this constellation study really interesting and I have been able to make links to my practice throughout which has been really helpful because last year I struggled to understand what I was learning in the constellation sessions, related to my practice. Though I struggled to make links last year, I have found the sessions this year particularly interesting because I have been able to make links in terms of what I studied last year in the study group “Things Can Be Otherwise” where we spoke about the cyborg-theory. Despite the fact that I have enjoyed exploring this topic, I have found it academically challenging and I feel that the texts I have been reading has pushed me into exploring something that I would have normally ignored. At the beginning of the year, I ensured that I was making improvements upon what I had struggled with in the first year. Last year, I found it really difficult to read the texts that was given so this year, I had that in mind when studying the texts as I wanted to make sure that I understood what was being discussed; as with last year, I spent a lot of the time in the sessions confused because I hadn’t given myself enough time to read the texts given. Reading long lengths of text is something that has always been a challenge for me so this is something that I am continually trying to get better at; as with essay writing, I feel that I still need to improve and work on my critique of writing but compared to my essay last year, I think that I have improved a lot. Moving forward into the rest of the year and third year, I am going to continually improve my writing and reading skills. Within this first term, I have realised the importance of reading academic texts and how it can have a positive impact on my practice. I did find writing the essay interesting but very difficult and challenging. Having not had to write that amount of words in an academic text before, it was definitely a challenge to produce the essay and initially it did take me a while to get into an thorough argument to write 4000 words on but I surprised myself in being able to do it and read the texts that I used to form my argument. Time management has been a really important factor in writing this essay and though I have improved from last year, it is still something that I can continually improve on. I have found within this constellation study, that looking at the ethics of design is something that I find really interesting because I can see a clear link to my practice and I feel that it can really shape my practice as a designer; it’s definitely a topic I want to explore further. Thinking into third when it comes to writing my dissertation, this could be a potential idea that I’d like to study; having said that, it’s still a really important topic that I should be thinking about anyway as a graphic designer.

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

04/12

After spending the day Thursday redoing the file, I went and lost the memory stick that had the entire file on it. Luckily, I had a previous version of it saved so it was only part of it that needed to be drawn again. We both went in on Monday to recut the file on the laser cutter one last time so it was ready to be cut on the CNC machine on Tuesday. We were both please with this outcome on the laser cutter, so spent the rest of the day design it so that it was ready to be cut in the FabLab on the CNC machine. Adam drew that bad of the chair that was going to be etched and I drew the rest.

05/12

On Tuesday – unfortunately my partner wasn’t in today – I took the file to the FabLab to be cut on the CNC machine. I was told that the file wasn’t right to be cut so I then went away and spent the rest of the day (4/12) redrawing the file so that it was appropriate to be cut. Whilst correcting it, I’d noticed there was problems with a couple pieces in the file so thankfully it wasn’t cut then because otherwise it wouldn’t have worked. To correct this file, it took me about 5 hours.

07/12

Since I wasn’t able to cut my file on Tuesday, I then went on the Thursday to get it cut then – my partner did not come in today. However, when I got to the FabLab my file was for some reason cut which was the file that I was originally told was wrong. The chair was the complete wrong size, and as I began to sand in down in the workshop, I took the decision to recreate the chair. It is incredibly small and there’s no way it’d be suitable for my client. Since I had already had the frustration of having to create another file on Tuesday, I didn’t want to waste any more time on the file but I felt that it was important and it didn’t take me as long to get the file ready to be cut. Though it was disappointing that the chair wasn’t correct first time, it was definitely a lesson learned as I had clearly got my dimension’s completely wrong and it has made a good prototype. A couple of things weren’t correct so it meant I was given another chance to correct this on the file before sending it to print again.

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Design ideas and models: 21/11

Within this next stage of work we began design the chair we were going to create. Taking ideas from our persona questionnaire, we started to sketch out different combinations of chairs. In a presentation from Richard, he showed us previous chairs that were created by students who did the project in previous years; he also showed ideas of research of other innovative chairs. There were a couple that really stood out to me, in particular the stool made up of books. I loved the simplicity of a stack of books held together with belts; this gave me an idea to use books as the secondary object within the chair. We discussed ideas and began sketching some initial designs. After sketching we made some mock-up 3D samples on mount board to get an idea of what they’d look like 3D. The images below are a mixture of both what myself and Adam created.

 

From these we created more sketches, beginning to think more about the form of the chair and where we were getting our inspiration from. Within the client briefing, Fiaz spoke a lot of his travel, particularly about a mosque he’d visited that he really liked so we wanted to take inspiration from these shapes for the design of the chair. Looking at the arcs, we took main inspiration from this for the arms of the chair – below are images of the model we did for this. On a particular mosque we were looking at, which is where the founder of Pakistan was buried, there was a pattern within it of steps/brickwork which we both thought would be a nice touch of detail for the back of the chair. The arches within it was where we were getting the inspiration for the form from.

1200px-Jinnah_Mausoleum.JPG

 

Further designs: 23/11

On the day of designing before drawing it up on illustrator, I was on my own for the day so I continued to further explore with ideas. There was a specific mosque Fiaz spoke about within the persona questionnaire which is a beautiful mosque that the founder of UAE designed. It’s a really stunning piece of design and it was this that I took most of my inspiration from for the project. There are so many forms and shapes within the building which I thought would be perfect to use within the design of the chair. After a tutorial with Craig, he’d spoken about continuing to use inspiration from the mosque but to also look at other aspects of the Middle East – such as art – to continue with the theme of travel I have with my chair. I looked some really beautiful piece of Arabic calligraphy which would have been brilliant to use but instead I took inspiration from the flow of the writing for some of the arch’s within the design. Further into the day, I spoke to Richard who suggested that I become more abstract with my shapes as they were becoming too realistic so I continued to do this. I also discussed the idea of using books as the secondary object; the idea is to stick the books completely closed and together and then to cut them into the shape of an arch for the leg. There will be a piece of plywood inside so that’ll be the structure of the chair and then the books are just an added aesthetic for it. As I was continuing to design I had the idea of having something to do with Wales in the chair so that it representing his role within the university; he spoke that a main part of his role was combining cultures so I thought that this was something that would be really nice to incorporate. My main idea for this was on the back of the chair to have a quote by a famous Welsh poet – Hedd Wyn – written in Welsh calligraphy. Another idea suggested by Richard, was to use Welsh wool in the shape inspired by the imagery I’m using, as a pillow on the chair; so I more subtle link to Wales but would look nice on the chair.

 

Inspiration images

 

Final design sketches

Illustrator file – 28/11

Unfortunately my partner didn’t turn up today so I spent the day doing the illustrator file in preparation to cut scale size models on the illustrator. The scale model needed to be at 1:5 and in order to create to right size model, I was using the ergonomic drawings I had done previously in the project to get an idea on scale. This was quite a difficult task but I tried to be as accurate as possible. For the real size chair, it needed to be cut on a 1200x1200mm piece of 12mm plywood, so for the scale model it needed to be designed on a 240x240mm art board which would then cut onto a piece of 3mm plywood. I managed to fit all the pieces that I designed on paper, onto the art board.

Further designs and Illustrator file: 29/11 – 30/11

On the 29th, myself and Adam cut a model on the laser cutter after I’d created the file on illustrator. The model worked well however there was slight problems with it where certain parts fitted together so we needed to redo the file so it did that. I corrected the file then the next morning we recut it where it did fit together. Though there was problems with the way it fitted, overall I really liked the design. I felt that the joint worked well with everything slotting together nicely and the general look of it really work – I was pleased that my design came out really well.

 

Throughout the day then on the 30th, myself and Adam had a tutorial with Craig who had suggested that we’d redesign the back of the chair as he felt that there was no clear similarity with research as there was with the rest of the design. So me and Adam then went back through our imagery and worked at redesigning the back for the chair. We took the same mosque as inspiration but decided that we should etch in the pattern and make the stagger of the corner have smaller gaps so that it was more relatable to the inspiration. Then on the other corner, we came up with the idea of having a piece that comes out of the chair – on this piece it would have a Welsh poem written on it. The idea of this would be that the Welsh poem and etched pattern on the back would be together as one piece so would represent the combination of cultures. After coming up with this idea, we finish the illustrator file and reprinted it one more time.

 

Are Sitting Comfortably?

Five Chair Studies

Ergonomics and Anthropometrics

Throughout the day, we had the chose different chairs to create a series of chairs drawings, showing different perspectives of looking at the chair. This was a lot more difficult that I had originally thought as you had to draw exactly what is seen directly at a certain angle so it was hard not to want to draw things slightly 3D as how we would see it. As I went through the different drawings, I did get the hang of it more. After drawing each chair, I began drawing continuous line drawings ready for the next stage of creating wire frames. It was interesting to see the kind of shape I’d create when only being given one line.

Unfortunately, I was ill so I didn’t complete the next stage of creating models and wire frames from the drawings.