Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Seafood in Schools at Baldragon Academy.

To gain more research and aid my design I decided to contact ‘Seafood Scotland’. As my project is to design a fish and chip shop of the future that will aim to educate its customers I wanted to see how other organisations educate people. I first heard about Seafood Scotland’s ‘Seafood in Schools’ on the radio, it’s a programme that is run in different schools all over Scotland to teach children about fish.

I e-mailed Seafood Scotland for some help and not only did they send me a giant package full of information on the subject but they also invited me along to one of their ‘Seafood in Schools’ events at a local high school.

Today I went along to Baldragon Academy to the Seafood in Schools event. It was a great experience and all the staff were very welcoming. In the morning I helped out on the fresh fish counter where Ian Murray from the Anstruther Fisheries Museum talked to the kids about the types of fish available in Scotland; starting with the familiar haddock and cod, to monkfish, lobster, scallops and many more. As he was telling them about the fish it was displayed in front of them and they were encouraged to touch and ask questions. At first many of the pupils were a little unsure especially when the langoustine began to creep around the counter but by the end of the session they were very excited and were more comfortable touching and being around fresh fish.

In the afternoon I went over to the ‘Come Dine with Me’ section to watch the kids learn about the health benefits of oily fish and try some. Again many were reluctant at first but after describing the tastes to them and relating it to foods they were used to all the kids tried the fish. A few were pleasantly surprised and I’m sure more likely to eat it again. After asking pupils why they didn’t eat fish the main responses were that it was smelly and the look put them off. Today really was a great day as it allowed children to see, touch and taste new types of fish and will definitely be something they will remember and no doubt influence their decisions about fish in the future.

Today has given me some food for thought. How can I incorporate education into my design? It has also convinced me that a fresh fish counter should be part of the new style fish and chip shop, to not only create excitement with the customers but also get them interested and let them see what they’re eating.

Thanks to Seafood Scotland, Maria, Cat, Ian and the others at Baldragon who I met today, I had a great time!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Looking for Inspiration.

On Monday I went to the library in search of some books to give me inspiration to aid my design process.

The feedback from the round table has me thinking about the theatre of food, how people interact in a restaurant and how the preparation of the food can be part of the design.

I found 3 books in the library that sounded quite useful; 'Eat Out! Restaurant Design & Food Experiences', ' New Restaurant Design' and 'Successful Restaurant Design'. 'Eat Out!' is packed full of unique and interesting restaurant interior designs from all around the world, I recommend it if your looking for ideas!

Friday, 25 January 2013

The Round Table.

This Monday we had the pleasure of presenting our work to four design professionals from different backgrounds and hear their advice and thoughts about our projects. I was particularly excited to meet Jim Hamilton who works for my favourite design company Graven Images. The night before I was extremely nervous but the day went smoothly and I was pleased with the way I presented my project.

The work I presented was a smaller version of the work I produced for the Christmas show with a few changes, one of which being the project name and logo. Below I'll post the boards I used and the description I gave along with them.

1. My project is based on fish & chips. Fish & chips can save the planet! The main inspiration for my project came from my family my dad owns a fish and chip shop and I've worked there for the past ten years. Over the years I've noticed changes and more recently I've noticed that people are falling out of love with fish and chips.

People's perceptions of fish and chips needs to change, fish and chips is thought to be dull and boring as it's not changed with the times finding new ways to present it and get people interested could help us celebrate fish and chips again. 

Health is a big issue linked to fish and chips. Fish and chips is seen as the unhealthiest take away option and the battered Mars bar has turned it into a bit of a joke. More people are becoming health conscious as 65% of adults in Scotland are overweight. The chip shop can help this problem and peoples' eating habits by offering healthier options such as baked fish. 

Fish and chip babies are babies born in Africa into extreme poverty they are wrapped in newspaper this is where they get their nickname. This is just an example of a global issue that I'd like to inform customers about and get them involved in.

Fishing sustainability is probably the biggest issue linked with fish and chips. Watching Hugh's Fish Fight recently Hugh identified the chip shop as the biggest problem behind British fish culture. As the chip shop only offers two types of fish Cod or Haddock it has made the British public reluctant to try anything new which has resulted in Cod and Haddock being safeguarded. The fish and chip shop could offer a variety of under utilised species to get people eating a variety of fish. 

At the bottom of the page are a few of my regular customer the people at the heart of the business and the people I need to affect.

2. The site chosen is the fish market in Pittenweem; it is one of the few remaining active fish markets in the U.K. Not only is the site picturesque, ideal for eating fish and chips at the sea front but there is also a daily catch of langoustine, lobster and crab landed here which could be used in the shop to diversify the menu. I've identified other sites for potential expansion which are also active fish markets.

3. I've added an extension to the existing fish market for extra space. This will be a gold scaly building that will slightly over lap the existing building. The gold is to represent the ultimate prize, fish and chips. While the overlapping represents the power fish and chips can have.

Along the bottom of the page are a few inspirational images of existing fish and chip shops and sea side cafes. I particularly like the design in 'Kershiber & Malt' is a fresh, modern fun take on the fish and chip shop. 

4. Lastly I want to split the market into five sections; headquarters for staff offices, the fish market for the daily goings on of the fisherman, a fish counter, a restaurant and the takeaway. In the centre of the page is a collage of inspirational images that will influence my design. I want the interior to have an industrial design linking with the fish markets roots, the interior will also incorporate the issues discussed earlier. Hopefully this new take on the fish and chip shop will educate customers, get them involved with issues to save the planet and in turn the chip shop will save itself and preserve a part of British culture.

I found the day valuable and it was great to hear advice from four completely different people. There are a few things now that I may have to reconsider, for example the gold extension was not to everyone’s taste and the reasons for choosing my site might need to be more persuasive. From their suggestions I now want to start looking into the theatre of food/dining, restaurant designs and overall dining experiences. I also feel I need to start moving on with drawing up floor plans and designing, the more I do now the more feedback and advice I can get from my tutor so I better get cracking! 

In Construction. Xmas Show.

Before the Christmas holidays my class put on an exhibition to show our work and progress. Not only was it helpful to get some feedback about our work so far but it was also a good trial for our degree show in May and how we might use the space to display our work.

Within the space which is located on level 5 of the Matthew Building in Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art we had a mix of hanging banners and wall displays to present each students individual work.

I decided to use the banners and hang my sheets. As it is work in progress and still about 4 months until the degree show I have a lot of changes to make.


I found the feedback useful and it really made me think about how to present my information to people who know nothing about my project, this is something I need to improve upon. One of the main points discussed was the name of my project and logo. I have since decided to change it, I've tried a few different styles linking with the golden fish supper and gold bars, I have come up with a new design. Instead of naming my project ‘Chip Inn’ which I felt was bordering on “cheesy” I have decided to name my project after my family business, ‘Murray’s’ which also shows my strong connections with the subject.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Design Inspiration.

I’ve been looking for inspiration and examples of existing fish & chip shops, restaurants or sea side cafes. I have previously posted about ‘Kerbisher & Malt’ this is just another blog post to share some of the design ideas I like. It has given me an idea of what I am looking for and what I want in a site so hopefully that will help.   

West Beach Café. Asif Khan. – Indoor/Outdoor.

I like the way the front of the building can open up on a warm sunny day connecting the interior with the sea. The guests will be able to smell the seaside, enjoy the sea air and the views.

East Beach Café. Thomas Heatherwick. – Seaside inspiration.

The exterior of this building just looks like a beach and I love that this is where the inspiration has come from. The shape and colour has a real impact on the landscape. To me it looks like a rock on the beach or the marks on the sad just where the waves hit the shore – it makes me think seaside. The interior looks cooling and bright, it reminds me of the inside of a cave or the inside of a shell.

The Smokehouse. Pringle Richards Sharratt. – Re working a warehouse.

The smokehouse has brought together three different areas; a takeaway, a café, and a guest house. I like that the different areas have been combined to work as one and link together with the same theme. I really enjoy the industrial look of the building and the floor to ceiling windows.  

Interim Presentation.

A few weeks ago I had my interim presentation where I discussed my research, findings and ideas about my project up to that date. We were to present this to our year group and the tutors of our department so they could then critique us and offer advice.

I put a lot of thought into how I would visually display my work. I wanted to try something different as I have now become used to creating presentation sheets on my computer and printing them off. This time I decided to use the wall beside my desk in the studio to create a physical mind map. In the centre I placed an image of the celebratory gold fish & chips with the issues I was going to discuss stemming from this. I cut out newspaper letters on the laser cutter for the sub headings and displayed images, drawings and other work around this. I wanted it to look playful and make the viewer want to look closely and know more about the subject.

Over all it went well. I was really pleased with the feedback and peoples reaction to my project.

Below are a few images of my presentation. 

Research: Let’s Celebrate!

Celebration is an area I think fish & chips is strongly connected to and should definitely be part of my final design. I want it to be FUN! As I think it is after all, all about it; fun, trips to the seaside, nostalgia and treat days. It makes us stand out it’s one of the things that makes our country British we should celebrate this. Winston Churchill referred to them as, “the great companions” and apparently they helped us win World War 1.

Street food is a popular craze at the moment so let’s celebrate fish & chips by having a great British street party. Let’s bring back the fun and celebration aspect of it and show people it’s not dull and boring like they have come to believe.

All the issues I have mentioned in previous blog posts including this one all link back to fish & chips and can be solved. Fish & Chips is at the centre of it all, it’s what can connect the information about these issues to the general public to make them aware and bring about change. The chip shop can be the central hub the HQ. Fish & Chips can save the planet! Yep.

I’d really like to hear people’s opinions about fish & chips and my topic so if you’re reading this and have something to say please leave a comment I’d love to hear from you!