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! 

Research: Health Issues.

65% of adults in Scotland are overweight and heart disease is the countries biggest killer. This makes people more conscious about what they’re eating – as they should be- but fast food shops like the local chippy have been blamed. Fish &Chips has a lot of stigma attached to it, it’s seen as unhealthy even although it is one of the healthier take away options and the battered mars bar has become a bit of a joke.

We need to change the environment that we live in to make healthier choices easier and more accessible to everyone. Surely the fish & chip shop can adapt and help this situation. People are looking for fast food; we can give them this and even offer healthy options like baked fish whilst still keeping the traditional meals for people who want to treat themselves now and again.

What else can be done? I recently came across a great example of fish & chip shops encouraging a healthier lifestyle. Last month in Bristol a bike race was held called; ‘Fixed & Chips’. Cyclists had to visit each chip shop on the map before crossing the finish line they got extra points if they stopped and bought a sausage supper on the way. The overall winner’s prize would be a bike. I thought this was a fun way to incorporate being healthy with the fish & chip business, it shows that you can live a healthier life and have the best of both – do your exercise and treat yourself once in awhile. Competitions like this could be held every couple of months and get the community involved.

I also found some work by Andreas Neophytou, creative director at ‘Spring Creative’ in London. He created an identity design for ‘Jones’Fish & Chips’ which was run by his parents. He designed different logos for the business and focused on the health issues that surround fish and chips for some poster designs. I really love the way he portrays the information in a unique way showing the customer the fat content and calories of fish & chips compared to other fast foods. Of course fish & chips is the lowest which probably comes to a surprise to most people. “Know exactly what you’re eating!” “Fish…Chips…Batter” is the slogan he used which is really relevant especially now as this is something that is becoming a growing concern for most people.  I really like this project especially because it is so similar to my situation and what I am trying to achieve but he has tackled the subject from a Graphic designer’s perspective. I hope to achieve something equally as brilliant by using Interior design.

Research: Fish & Chip Babies.

‘Fish & Chip Babies’ was something I had never heard about before starting this project. ‘Fish & Chip Babies’ is the name give to babies born in Malawi in Africa. They are born into extreme poverty and some are already infected by the HIV virus. As the hospitals don’t have any clothes or blankets to cover them with they wrap them in newspaper to keep them warm therefore giving them the nickname ‘Fish & Chip Babies’.  People her in the U.K. have been knitting brightly coloured jumpers and hats to send over to Africa to help the cause.

I couldn’t find any official website for this cause just a few church blogs with information and knitting patterns. Maybe the fish & chip shop I propose to design could be some kind of ambassador raising awareness for ‘Fish & Chip Babies’ connecting and informing people in the U.K. The chip shop could have a wool share or drop off area and knitting patterns could be used to wrap up a fish supper for customers to take home. Jumpers can be handed in and sent off from the chip shop. People could even have the chance to work with the business to go out to Africa and offer some kind of aid. The chip shop would act as the hub for the help campaign….

Research: Customer Contact.

After having a chat with this fish supplier I decided to talk to some of the customers at the fish & chip shop. Customers are after all at the heart of every business so I felt this was important.

I decided to keep the questions short and sweet and ask them while they were waiting for their order. I wanted to find out what their favourite fish was to see if it matched Hugh’s opinion that Brits only like haddock or cod. I also wanted to know what they thought of fish & chips and the fish & chip shop experience, any word that came to mind. I brought with me a black card cut out of a haddock for them to write their answers on and cooked some battered plaice for them to sample. I thought some free food would be a nice thank you for them completing the questions and it would also let me judge some of their responses to a new type of fish.

I found that the majority of the customers I asked preferred haddock, next in line were cod and salmon, only a couple chose different types of fish such as halibut or mackerel. Getting people to try a piece of plaice proved difficult I’m not sure this was because they thought they wouldn’t like it or if they felt to uncomfortable to take a free sample.

I have also drawn up four personas of my regular Wednesday night customers. They all have their rituals and all get the exact same order every week. 

This make me think that it may prove difficult to get people to change their habits and try a new type of fish. So maybe it’s not these customers I should target maybe it will be the more adventurous younger generation who are a bit bored of their local chippy, these may be the customers that will want a shark supper? 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Project Research: Interview with the Fish Supplier.

A few weeks ago now I went to Arbroath to speak to the fish merchant who supplies the fish to my fish & chip shop. I wanted to ask him a few questions about sustainability within fishing and how he feels about fishing quotas. I had a few questions prepared to get the ball rolling but was hoping to have more of a conversation with him and find out some information that would be of relevance that I hadn’t thought of. Luckily it turned out that way!

I started by asking him about the t.v. programme ‘Hugh’s Fish Fight’ and what his opinions were on sustainability. Although he agreed with fishing quotas and the monitoring system in place as it has put a stop to selling ‘Black Fish’, he had a different opinion on what would help sustain the haddock stocks. In his opinion sustainability can be helped if we stopped catching fish when they are spawning. When fish are spawning they become thin and tasteless, the fish should not be caught at this time as they are weak, they need to become strong again before they are caught. Easter is when the haddock that he buys will be spawning therefore Easter is when our shop should stop selling haddock if it were to follow the rule of not catching fish when spawning to help sustainability. This would not go down well with customers as traditionally Easter is a busy time for the fish & chip shop. I wondered if perhaps the chip shop and his fish business could work together and sell a different type of fish to help the cause however he didn’t agree. 95% of the fish he sells is haddock, he said it is very difficult to get people in this area to buy another type of fish. I asked if he could suggest another type of fish we could try to sell instead but he didn’t think this was a good idea. It seems people are set in their ways and it will be a difficult task to change this but I think eventually it could be done. People today are more open to trying new foods, maybe if they knew about the variety of fish and knew what it tasted like they would not be as scared to buy it. Most kids don’t like fish but they will eat it from a fish & chip shop as it’s dressed up differently, maybe adults would be the same if you offered them some halibut served up in a different way they might bite…

In my opinion I feel the key to helping the sustainability issue is to educate and encourage people into buying a variety of fish not just the one type. This meeting was very helpful as it has backed up a few of the areas I have been researching already.

Research: ‘Hugh’s Fish Fight’

I have been looking into issues that are connected with fish & chips. The next few blog posts will be about some of the research I have been doing into these areas to see how they might affect my project, design and give me inspiration.

It was suggested that I watch ‘Hugh’s Fish Fight’ to give me some inspiration for my project. I hadn’t watched this series before but I had heard about it. Before watching I didn’t realise how crazy the discarding problem that fisherman face is.

In the U.K. haddock and cod is rare due to overfishing, we eat more than our stocks are able to produce therefore it now needs to be safeguarded. Fishing quotas have been given to fishermen so they are not allowed to land over a certain amount of fish. If they catch more than their quota while at sea they have to throw it back dead! It seems strange to me as this isn’t helping sustainability because if the fish are already dead it’s just getting wasted, as Hugh would say it’s “madness!”

Hugh mentioned that the “Chippy is a real problem at the heart of British fish culture.” Basically the fish & chip shop is the main reason people only eat these two types of fish, haddock and cod. The chip shop made it available, appealing and easily accessible to the customer so it became something they were used to and comfortable with. Maybe if they offered other types of fish people would get used to it too and not be scared of trying something new, but is it too late? Well we need to create this market for under utilised species to save haddock and cod. Since the chip shop seems to be at the heart of the problem maybe this is where we should start. Surely if it was made available to them we could make the public love another type of fish as much as they love cod and haddock. I think people are just scared of the unknown.

In Hugh’s programme he got the chippys selling mackerel baps in an attempt to make it the new cod and chips. I think if we keep trying it could happen!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Posh Chips.

The other week I was on my favourite design website weheart.co.uk and came across their post about ‘Kerbisher & Malt’ a gourmet fish and chip shop in Ealing.  This was exactly the type of inspiration I’d been waiting for.  

Selling freshly prepared fish suppers and chip butties, this quality food should be served up in quality surroundings. Alexander Waterworth interiors have designed the perfect venue. I love the design of Kerbisher & Malt’s restaurant it seems to merge the past and the future together to create a modern, fun and colourful space. I like that it looks modern and clean with out being clinical, the white tiles are offset by the chunky wood tables and the warm lighting from the hanging bulbs. There’s still something old fashioned about the interior that reminds me of a traditional London “caff” maybe that’s what makes it so easy to fall in love with. The wire frames around the lights, the menu written on the wall and the bold colourful text on the clean windows all add to making this a young, fun, modern chippy.

This fish and chip shop design and image would definitely attract a more varied group of people to get eating fish and chips. The new fish and chip shop is coming.

I can’t wait for my next trip to London this is at the top of my list of places to see! 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Design in Action Presentation.

On Monday interiors students of Duncan of Jordanstone got together with jewellery students and textile students for a work in progress discussion. We were all put into mixed groups and each had five minutes to talk about our chosen subject and what we are planning to do this year. It was really interesting seeing what students in other courses were up to and being able to hear some of the ideas from people in my class as we’re all sometimes too busy to chat about our projects.

For this presentation I created a collage of images and text that describe my chosen subject fish & chips.

At the top of the collage is an image of me at work in the take away on a Wednesday night. Connected to this are my "usual suspects" the customers who come in at the same time every week. These images then turn into sketches as these characters will lead me in my research, after all customers are at the heart of a business. I've also included some facts about fish and chips. The map at the bottom right shows all the chip shops in Dundee. The map of the U.K. in the centre shows where it all began. Apparently fish & chip shops were started in London by Jewish immigrant Joseph Malin in 1860 as Italians were passing through they saw the idea and took it up to Scotland where they opened shops. Although there are a few different stories this one connects with me as my family is partly Italian. The map also show different regional variations of chip shop food for example in Northern Ireland 'Pasties' are popular and in Scotland you can buy the famous deep fried Mars bar. 

I  made a model to sum up my subject. I wanted the model to show the celebration of fish & chips. When I thought about celebration I couldn’t seem to get balloons out of my head so this had to be incorporated. I attached these balloons to gold fish & chips. The gold fish & chips were to represent celebration- the fish & chips are the ultimate reward. It also reminded me of the Olympics this year and how everyone gathered together and was proud to be British celebrating our country. I did want to make a plaster model of the fish & chips to spray paint gold but in such a short space of time (I only had a couple of days) I was told this wasn’t possible so I just spray painted some real fish & chips. I might get in touch with someone at the uni to see about making the model more permanent as I might need it at a later date. I also got my lovely sister to model as seen in the picture below. 

What's next...? More research, conducting interviews, sketching and trying to build on my ideas....

4th Year: Getting Back into the Swing!

Third week back at uni and the days are flying by! After a few introductory lectures we got back down to business and have started working on our final year project.

Over the summer we were given the task to decide on what subject we wanted to choose for our final year project. I initially thought I would continue on from my third year projects and do something similar, focusing on children and playful design perhaps re-designing a primary school. Although this did interest me I felt I wasn’t excited enough by it to spend my last chance at uni working on this.

I have finally settled on an idea and although it may change slightly in the coming weeks for now I have decided that I am going to re-design a fish and chip shop. Fish and chips is something I know very well as my parents have a shop that I work in often. During the summer I was working there almost every day and could clearly see the problems that this business faces. Although the British public still love fish and chips they’re not as enthusiastic about it as they once were. As many fast food restaurants have changed with the times fish and chip shops have remained the same and are seen as dull and boring. Also more and more people are becoming concerned about health issues such as heart disease and obesity so wanting to avoid foods they see as unhealthy. I feel that fish and chips are a part of British culture and I think it would be sad for it to die out. So my aim for this year is to figure out how to save fish and chips and find out what its future will be.

I’m still not exactly sure what it is I will create at the end of the year but I do know I want to have a strong message behind it, incorporate branding into it in some way so I can learn more about the subject, and do an interior design…oh and have fun of course! 

p.s. I'm also keeping a board on Pinterest with some interesting stuff I find that is relevant to my project if you want to check it out! https://pinterest.com/soniaangus/fast-food/

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Recycling Centre Treasures.

I’m a huge fan of the 60s style furniture and 60s furniture that has been re-vamped. Recently I’ve been looking at images online and designs of different types of old furniture being re-loved and given a modern twist.

I really want to do this particularly with a chair. I’m going to keep visiting the recycling centre until I find the right one to take home.

Here are a few designs I like and will be taking inspiration from:

Zoe Murphy.

Zoe Murphy is a British designer making her mark on used furniture. She’s updating “retro with retro” you can read more about her in an interview on WeHeart.co.uk. I love the way the original is merged with the new and not spoiled. The new and old work well and compliment each other making it seem as though it has always been that way. The detail inside the drawers is also fab!

Charlotte Love.

These chairs are maybe my favourite they look so simple to re-create and are really beautiful. Charlotte Love an interior stylist (amongst other things) has styled this pretty, pastel coloured photo shoot and included these chairs.

101 Woonideeen.

This table and chair was featured in an issue of Dutch magazine '101 Woonideeen'. The table top design has been made using a Spirograph. You can find out how to make it yourself here. I really like the sharp shots of neon on the side of the table leg and rim of the table top, it makes the piece really playful and fun without being over powering. 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Obsessed with Pinterest.

I currently love Pinterest!

For those that don’t know Pinterest is a “content sharing service” users can share images, videos and websites online by pinning them to their pin boards for others to see. I use it for fun when I pin images of clothes or products that I like but I also think it’s a helpful tool for work as well. I have boards dedicated to design so for example if I see a restaurant interior that I like I will pin it to my board and the content will be saved for future reference. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of all the inspiration you find on the web and constantly saving it on your computer can slow it down, it’s a prefect place to keep it organised and accessible. For my next project at uni I’m going to set up a board for my research so I can quickly pin my work for reference.

If anyone wants to follow me you can find me on Pinterest here.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

‘Wordplay’ - Final Project of 3rd Year.

For our final project of third year we had the chance to write our own brief and design whatever we liked…within reason. Our only constraints came from our module title, ‘Partnerships Networks and Connections’. We therefore had to ensure that whatever we were designing we had to design with people/potential clients in mind. We were encouraged to reach out and talk to people in industry, people who would potentially use the space we were designing and anyone else that could influence our design process. I’m glad this module encouraged us to do this as it pushed me out of my comfort zone, helped build confidence and also got me to design with the public, something students are not often used to but will have to do once they are professional designers.

I decided to design a reading space for children as I found through research that it is greatly needed. I discovered that 6 million adults in the U.K. can’t read properly which means they can’t carry out the simplest of tasks, this stems from their childhood. At the moment 1 in 5 teenagers leave school without basic literacy skills.Getting children to engage with books and read early in their life, in ways that they enjoy will ensure they continue to read associating it with pleasurable experiences. Spaces can be used to generate excitement about reading and an environment that is flexible for the individual will give each child the opportunity to learn. I proposed to design a fun interactive space within St. Mary’s Primary School, Lochee, where children will be able to read, play and learn. If the reading space is a success it could be later implemented into other schools.

I began looking at other designers work for inspiration, finding out about, the best way to display a book, the areas where children like to read and how they might travel through the space. A couple of my favourite examples were, ‘The Library of Picture Books’ by Tado Ando and ‘Kids Republic’ bookstore by SKSK Architects. In the ‘Library of Picture Books’ the books are all shelved with their covers on display to attract the children’s attention. ‘Kids Republic’ is an example of a fun environment that encourages children to read as well as acting like a playground.

To carry out more research I went to St. Mary’s Primary School in Lochee to ask the children I was designing for what they wanted. I hoped this would generate a lot of exciting ideas. The primary four class were very helpful and I asked them to complete two tasks for me. Firstly I handed them a piece of paper with the outline of a book and wanted them to draw me their favourite book. I then gave them another piece of paper and asked them to draw me a place where they would like to go to read their book.
 This exercise proved that kids have so much imagination and they are all very different from each other. A fun, flexible space that feeds their imagination must be designed.

 Taking inspiration from stories, storytelling techniques and patterns a reading experience has been created. The space is divided into 3 sections; the beginning, middle and the end. A continuous path that flows through each section represents the storyline showing the ups and downs (this is also shown physically) until it reaches its climax that leads the children to the calm in the final section.

Section one of the space is where the children will find a book they want to read. Children can enter this magical space by crawling through a little red door. Once inside they make their way through the forest of books selecting one they’d like to read.

Zone 2 is fun and colourful. Children can read their chosen book wherever they feel comfortable. Climb up and read in the pod or swing next to their friends in the cocoons. Head phones and iPads are also provided for those who want to listen to a story privately or they can gather round the storyteller for group reading and participation.

After children slide into the final space they will be encouraged to reflect on the book they’ve just read. They can discuss, draw, write or even put on a performance, ensuring they leave having gained something from the whole experience. Snapshots of their experiences are recorded. Before they drop off their books they can check out other children’s adventures on the “Golden Book”.

“You cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do like a farmer, is create conditions under which they will begin to flourish.”  - Ken Robinson.

I felt that quote by Ken Robinson summed up my project. You can’t force a child to read but you can give them the right materials and environment and hopefully they will want to continue. I hope my design will get kids reading and enjoying it.

If you want to see more information about this project you can check out my project blog here.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Wow! My blog has definitely been neglected for long enough! I think it's time I got myself blogging again and updating this space, it's time for a change. New posts coming soon...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Design & the Market: Finance Workshop.

Our final workshop for ‘Design and the Market’ was on finance. We discussed the direct (materials, advertising…) and indirect (salaries, rent…) costs we will face when setting up a business and outside factors that will have a financial impact on our business such as the economy.

We were each given a ‘Finance Sheet’ to complete. I completed this based on the idea of opening my own interior design business. I found the blue and yellow sections difficult as I don’t know how much an interior designer would generally charge for their work or what my competitors charge. Even although I’m not going to open my own business at the moment I am really interested to find out the answers, hopefully over the summer I will have the opportunity to talk to people in the industry and find out more.

The second half of the workshop was about raising money to finance a project or a start up. Instead of going to the bank for money we discussed an alternative ‘Crowd Funding’. Crowd funding is the collective co-operation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together usually via the internet to support efforts initiated by other people or organisations. It also allows people with good ideas to break through even if they don’t fit the pattern usually required by conventional financiers. However as work is going into the public domain theses people do face the risk of their ideas being stolen. ‘Kickstarter’ is an American website that allows people to show their work and gain support and financial backing from others. They set a monetary target and if they reach it they get the money.  In class we filled out a ‘Kickstarter’ pitch sheet. It’s a really good way of raising money and hopefully they’ll be a U.K. equivalent soon. Discussing this as a class we thought this would be a great idea for raising money for our degree show next year.

Now all the workshops are over I’m going to look back and see which are relevant to apply to my research proposal for assignment 2. It’s time to get the proposal finished, checked and ready to hand in after Easter. 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Whitespace, Edinburgh.

Last week we had a talk from Iain Valentine creative director at Whitespace a design agency based in Edinburgh. Whitespace create and manage brands, build effective integrated campaigns and design websites. Some of their work includes the Fringe catalogues and Tennents adverts.

He told us about his journey from studying at DJCAD to working at Whitespace where he is today. He shared with us some advice on how to become a successful designer and rules to follow. Before you begin you will need curiosity, kindness, stamina and a willingness to look stupid. Here are the rules:

1. Do more than what you’re told to do.
2. Try new things.
3. Teach others about what you know.
4. Make work into play.
5. Take breaks.
6. Work when others are resting.
7. Always be creative.
8. Love what you do.

The main thing that I took away from this lecture is that hard work and being a good person will get you far. Even though sometimes if I feel like I’m struggling I’ll just have to work through it and have faith that it will become clear sooner or later as long as I keep working. Watch this video it makes sense!

Judging by the amount of questions asked everyone seemed to really enjoy the talk. Once again it was great to have someone in from industry to talk to us even if it wasn’t from my discipline, I still find it interesting to hear a persons story of how they got to where they are today, it makes me think that it’ll be alright in the end.

Design & the Market: Marketing & Social Media Strategy.

Friday’s workshop was all about marketing. Marketing is described as a management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. This workshop was based around book for form the ‘NESTA’ toolkit.

The Marketing Mix is commonly known for its four Ps; Product, Place, Price and Promotion but in some cases People, Process and Physical Environment are also included. Worksheet 4a is to clarify the ways that you can market your product/service to do this you have to fill in the 7Ps. As I mentioned on my previous blog I need to find out how much a designer would normally charge for their service therefore my ‘Price’ space is still empty. In class we each read aloud our ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ and all discovered they were not unique to our business. I have tried to amend mine and hopefully I have gotten a little closer.

I thought worksheet 4b was really fun as the things I must do are things I really need to get done now, I have given myself a time scale so hopefully I’ll stick to it!

Next Friday is our last ‘NESTA’ toolkit workshop for the year!

Design & the Market: Identifying Customers, Blueprint Modelling & Relationship Modelling.

After reading book three of the ‘NESTA’ toolkit ‘Choosing Your Path’ our workshop went over it in more detail and we filled in the worksheets provided.

Firstly we needed to identify potential customers for our business, if we can’t imagine or don’t know who they are then they won’t exist! My customer group would be business owners perhaps about to open a restaurant or shop. I found this sheet quite easy to fill out I particularly liked drawing a picture of my customer. However I did find the bottom section a little tricky as I’m not sure how much designers usually charge for their work and how many people in the area would be interested in the work I would offer. I feel that more experience and talking to people in industry would give me a better understanding of this.

The next stage was ‘Blueprint Modelling’ which is designed to help visualise how the business will function and describe how business will be done. As my business plan is to start an Interior Design company specialising in interior branding I felt most of my stages were similar to what I already do when carrying out a project. All the items in the ‘Backstage’ section; researching, reading, sketching, developing ideas, getting feedback, are all things I do now. The items in the ‘Onstage’ section I also do now but instead of doing them for a client they are for my tutor.

The next image is the map of my blueprint model including all the steps needed to deliver my service.

‘Relationship Modelling’ identifies the relationships needed to make the necessary steps when running a business happen. For example I may need to employ someone in P.R. to attract clients for me, I will probably need to employ staff or have a partner to produce designs and share the work load. When distributing my product I will need to hire builders and other contactors to carry out the final stages and build my design which is my finished product.

The business I have been working on for the past few weeks is not one I will start up straight after university as I feel I would like to work for someone to gain experience but I’m really enjoying the workshops. As the weeks go by and we’ve been filling in the worksheets they have made me focus and think in more detail about the types of things you must think about before starting a business.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Design & the Market: Evidence Modelling and Fake Evidence.

Last Friday using the ‘NESTA’ toolkit our workshop was on ‘Evidence Modelling’, ‘Fake Evidence’ and ‘SWOT’.

I have only ever done a ‘SWOT Analysis’ before but not on myself so this workshop was very interesting. I found the ‘Evidence Modelling’ a little tricky at first as I didn’t have a business plan; I think this task is more difficult when basing it on an individual, not a business. After discussing it with others in the class however I found it a lot easier. I began to think of myself as the business and managed to complete the sheet. I’m still not sure if its 100% correct but I will post my results below. I think this task will be useful not only if I’m setting up my own business but for future interior projects. It’s a great way to identify exactly what you’re doing, why it’s relevant and what problems it might face.

After we’d thought about our business we had to create ‘Fake Evidence’ for it. To do this you need to think of your business as a success. ‘Fake Evidence’ is basically a persuasive visual argument of your idea. As I want to be a successful interior designer having my work featured in an established design magazine would show my success. I would love to have my work feature in ‘Frame’ magazine or on its website so I made a mock up web page using some of my university work to create my ‘Fake Evidence.’

Lastly I completed a ‘SWOT Analysis’ about myself. This is quite a good way to solve problems as it gets you thinking about what opportunities are out there to improve upon weaknesses instead of ignoring them.

I think these tasks were all very useful as they get you to take the time to examine yourself and whatever it is that you’re doing properly and figure out what you should be doing or what you should do next.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Design & the Market: Scottish Institute for Enterprise.

Last week Dawn Shand from the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) was our guest speaker.

I had never heard of SIE before, it is a company dedicated to helping students create their own business. It turns students into entrepreneurs by supporting, inspiring and encouraging them every step of the way.

In the lecture she showed us an image of a park and asked us to think of they type of business we could start up in this park and what products or services we would offer. Everyone came up with brilliant ideas that could be turned into real money making businesses. For example an umbrella stand when it’s raining, a stand selling ready made picnic baskets, exercise classes….the list went on. If you find a need for something then it will sell and you can make a business from that need.

She said that if you’re looking for a dream job why not create your own. At the moment I don’t want to set up my own business I believe my dream job exists I just need to be hired by the company, which hopefully one day I will! However it is good to know that there is help for students out there to turn them into real entrepreneurs and give them the best chance to make their business a success.

Design & the Market: Values and Mission Statements.

For our first group tutorial with our mentor we were asked to complete worksheet 2a from the ‘NESTA’ toolkit. This worksheet gets us thinking about our values and which values are most and least important to us. Here is an image of my final sheet below.

I then went on to write a mission statement. I looked online at some tips for writing a mission statement most are aimed to help businesses. I am writing one about myself but felt that the tips were still quite relevant. A mission statement should sum up who I am, what I do, why I do it and what I stand for and. I then wrote the following mission statement about myself;

‘I am an interior and environmental designer with a love for advertising and branding that I have yet to explore in more depth. I want to create spaces that are fun and exciting unusual from those we see in our day to day lives. I don’t want to live in a mundane world I want to be part of making the ordinary extra ordinary. Putting a smile on someone’s face would be a great bonus.’

After reading book 2 of the ‘NESTA’ toolkit and discussing my mission statement with my mentor I realise it needs to be tweaked a little. The most powerful mission statements are short and sweet. Richard Branson’s mission statement for Virgin Atlantic was;

 ‘To grow a profitable airline where people love to fly and where people love to work’

I’m going to try to think of my mission statement as my tagline, a few words that will some me up. People tend to lose interest in reading something that’s more than 60 words long anyway so the shorter and more to the point the better.

Looking back at my previous mission statement I have tried to sum it up in fewer words.

‘I’m an interior designer with a love of branding, aiming to create colourful, exciting spaces to make people smile.’

 I still think I will need to work on this over the semester. Hopefully as we go through the workshops and I get to know myself a little better the task will become easier.

Design & the Market: Assignment 2.

Design and the Market Assignment 2 asks us to write a 1,500- 2,000 word enterprise proposal that will outline work to be carried out further over the summer break. This proposal will then be developed into a 7000 word report. This report will either be; an in depth business plan, market research for the development of a product/service or analysis of a particular business market or model. I will most likely analyse a particular business market as I am not yet interested in setting up my own business.

In the next few weeks I will be reading the booklets from the ‘NESTA Creative Enterprise Toolkit’ and completing the worksheets. We will take part in workshops as part of the course to get us to focus on starting our own business and looking at a potential markets/business within which we want to be an employee. Even although I don’t want to set up my own business right now the skills that I will learn will be useful in the future when I may consider starting up a business of my own. The workshops are to get us to focus on our strengths and weaknesses, identify why we want to be designers, how we market ourselves and who our potential market is. I’m hoping that these workshops will force me to sit down and take the time to learn more about myself and what I want out of my course and in turn make me more employable.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Starbucks Fukuoka.

Another eye catching and unusual 'Starbucks' store has opened, this time in Fukuoka, Japan. Kengo Kuma the architects of the V&A Dundee project are behind the stores design.

The area of the store- which opened in late December last year- had a great impact on the final design. As it is on the road to a Japanese deity shrine Kengo Kuma wanted to ensure they didn’t upset the historical nature of the area therefore kept their materials and techniques quite traditional. Even although it is traditional and not intrusive it still has a modern look about it. He over laps 6cm squared blocks, some are suspended and some are also functional and act as a support for the ceiling. These overlapping blocks are similar to branches overlapping in a forest. The café is supposed to feel as though it is nestled in a tree making the customer be at one with nature. The use of these blocks add a sustainable value to the building as the blocks can be recycled or the building can be dismantled and rebuilt in another location!

I love these unique Starbucks coffee shops that have been created recently. They’re different from the norm and each other but still manage to keep the brand recognisable to customers using more subtle measures. It’s also good to see that they’re thinking about the environment and the shops surroundings by once again using environmentally friendly materials and learning about the local area before designing. Check out my other blog on the Starbucks in a shipping container in Washington.