Reflection on Term 1 – 8/8

Constellation So Far

How could the concepts and theories studied in constellation so far help with the development of your work from formative assessment into the larger summative assessment essay in May?

The subject I have been doing in the last 8 weeks I have found really academically challenging. The actual lecture sessions have been really interesting and I have enjoyed debating about questions such as: what is knowledge? Are we cyborgs? – though I do struggle sometimes to understand what is being discussed. The work prior to and after the lectures I have found really difficult. The readings we are given are written by highly academic and sometimes, ancient philosophers which use words I didn’t even know were in the English language. I have struggled to understand the readings we are given and often get confused in lecture sessions. I always take hand written notes in lectures, I often solve my confusion by re-reading my notes and writing them on my blog – it is then at this point I begin to understand. With this, I have found it really difficult to write my essay. I have had to spend a lot of time reading and analysing pieces of text before choosing a quote that will link to what I am discussing. I didn’t allow myself a huge amount of time to do this – mainly because I have had a lot of work to do within my subject. Thinking about moving on to preparing for the summative assessment, I think I definitely need to give myself more time to prepare for the essay. Though I am doing a different constellation subject next term so I may not need to spend as much time de-coding the readings, time is still a really important factor to think about.

How could concepts/theories from constellation sessions help with developing ideas in your studio practice? What connections can be made?

With the subject I have been doing, I have struggle to make any connections with my subject. Philosophy is such an abstract subject in terms of all the things you talk about, everything could just be a matter of opinion, so for me to try and link it to my subject of graphic design where things aren’t so abstract, it’s hard. Especially with ideas, as in constellation we talk about how knowledge doesn’t have just one meaning but in my subject, we’re talking about generate ideas to fit a certain brief – which I can’t see fit. One of the things we did during the 7 sessions was indexical drawing which was about drawing something indirectly – so rubbing chalk onto paper which is on top of a tree, that would be a drawing of a draw but using the texture rather than drawing what you see. I struggled to think of how I could use this within my practice since Graphic Design is about communication facts and ideas, though I realised that it could be a really good way of creating shapes and textures for use on a logo.

One thing I definitely will doing in my second term is to attend all keynote sessions. I have attended a few and some of them I have not found any links to my practice, however, some have been really useful – like the Dr. Marten lecture, because it has help to think about my research of a material in a more broader concept. Though I may not found some helpful, for next year I want to attend all sessions so that I am able to pick and choose which information is helpful for my practice.

What has been useful in the analysis and writing about others work in constellation sessions so far?

This is one thing we haven’t really done in ‘Things Can Be Otherwise’ as we talk more about concepts and how different philosophers work links to the meaning of art. The sessions have been really interesting, and though I may not have found any links between that and practice, it has been good learning about something different.

How has your thinking about your own practice developed/changed from your CSAD experience this term?

Before coming here, I was really excited to study Graphic Communication because it is a subject I have been sure I wanted to study for a long time now. Since studying it at university level, I have a lot more respect for the subject and for the designers that are in the industry. I’m beginning to understand the amount of hard work that goes into creating something that like a poster that seems so simple. I’ve learned a lot of new skills so I am a lot more confident in what I’m doing than I was previously to coming to CSAD. The work I am producing now is a lot different to work I was creating prior to studying. Before I was really experimental with my approach and would only do research because I had to but now I am really understanding the importance of research within my work and I am using that to develop and push my work further. It’s also a really great thing to work alongside people that share the same passion and interest as you because it gives me the motivation to really want to create great work.


Author: ellenreiddesign

First year Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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