Tuesday, 31 January 2012

‘Out of the Box!’

I’m not ashamed to say I always get so excited when my orders from Amazon finally arrive! Recently I’ve ordered a couple of books recommended by a lecturer at uni ‘Rework’ (Jason Fried & David Heinemeier) and ‘Funky Business Forever’ (Kjell Nordstrom & Jonas Ridderstrale). I’ve started reading ‘Funky Business’ which has so far been very interesting, pointing out ways in which businesses should adapt to stay ahead of the game. I’ve not read ‘Rework’ yet but a friend of mine who is reading it at the moment says it’s very motivational so I’m looking forward to starting it.


‘Out of the Box! Brand experiences between Pop-Up and Flagship’ (Gestalten) was my most recent purchase. It was waiting for me when I got home from uni today. It’s such an exciting book, full of colour and unique designs. It shows examples of how to make the ordinary, extraordinary! Brand identity within interior design is an area I am particularly interested in so I bought this book to see some images of other designers work for brands, their store designs and learn more about the subject.

“In short, Out of the Box! presents a compelling range of innovative ways for brands to present themselves and sell their products, offering their discerning, internet-minded customers unforgettable experiences on an emotional level.”

Monday, 30 January 2012

Leandro Erlich – ‘Bâtiment'

Ever wished you could be Spiderman for the day and easily climb the sides of buildings? Leandro Erlich can make your dream come true with his mirrored

Well you may not actually be climbing up the side of a building but your mind will certainly fool you into thinking you are. This optical illusion consists of a buildings façade being placed on the ground opposite a giant mirror. Although your reflection will show you scaling a building you will actually be crawling along the floor.

‘Bâtiment’ is on display at Le 104 in Paris until March this year as part of their In_Perceptions exhibition.

I love Paris and think this would be such a fun installation to see and take part in but sadly uni, work commitments and a student budget will not allow it! 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Design & the Market Intro.

Wednesday morning I had an introductory lecture to a new module I’m taking this semester ‘Design and the Market’. It was a motivational start which will hopefully continue.

In the lecture Mike Press mentioned a few young entrepreneurs that are graduates of DJCAD some of which I had heard of in other classes (Vanilla Ink and Little Riot). It’s comforting to know that there is hope outside uni. Someone who I had not heard of before however was Johanna Basford. I have noticed her work before in passing on the Edinburgh Fringe catalogue and liked it but never thought to find out who the designer was. Last night I was doing a little internet stalking to see more of her work. YouTube has some videos of her showing her drawing and how she works. I like drawing with pens and it’s lovely to see how her work turns out from beginning to end. It made me push myself a little harder to draw more in my sketchbook today. So if I’m ever feeling like I don’t want to or can’t draw I think I’ll watch one of her videos as a pick me up to remind me how fun drawing can be! Mike also mentioned that she is also very good at branding herself. I really like branding but find it difficult to think of how to brand myself hopefully this module will give me some ideas for that.

Tomorrow I will get together with my group to discuss our first assignment and identify which business we will research. I’ll keep my blog updated with the goings on. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Partnerships Networks & Connections 2: Cultural Kiosk.

Following on from PNC1 this project again has us interacting with people out side our comfort zone, making us more aware of world issues and becoming more skilled at sourcing important information that will guide our design.

A successful designer is one who can adapt and work in unknown areas. This semester we will be put to the test.

For our project ‘Cultural Kiosk’, Duncan of Jordanstone will be teamed up with Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. Interior design students in Dundee will be designing a retail/information kiosk that represents Qatar and its culture while interior design students from VCU Qatar will design a kiosk that is representative of Scotland.  The 3m x 3m kiosk must be mobile and reflect the image, identity and character of the country it represents. What it says about the country is an important factor.

Throughout the 5 week duration of this project we will act as designers of our own kiosk and consultants to the students of VCU to enable them to design their kiosk. We will contact each other regularly via skype to trade as much information as possible about our countries.

My teammate Danielle Carnegie and I have a blog that is tracking our research and development and will be used as another basis for sharing information with the students at VCU. If you’re interested in finding out more about our project please take a look: http://djcadteam3.wordpress.com/

Tomorrow we will be meeting the students for the first time using skype. I’m a little nervous but hopefully over the weeks we will become more comfortable with each other. We’ve prepared some questions to try and keep away from any awkward silences. It’s really exciting working with students in another country and learning about a culture I previously knew so little about. I’m really pleased DJCAD have given us the opportunity to carry out a project like this.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Starbucks in a Shipping Container.

On the 13th of December 2011, in Tukwila, Washington, Starbucks opened the doors to its first coffee shop/drive-thru inside a shipping container.

Designed in-house by Starbucks Architects the shop which is made up of four reclaimed shipping containers was designed with LEED building standards in mind. It has not yet received a certification but if it does it will be the first building with a LEED certificate in Tukwila.

Through this design Starbucks wanted to encourage more “green” building design in the retail world. They reduced operational costs and energy usage by reclaiming the shipping containers. They also gave something that would have been scrap a new life. The inspiration of the containers came from the ones used to ship Starbucks their tea and coffee across the world. The building itself has been used as a sign therefore reducing materials that would have been needed for signage. A rain water harvesting system and xeriscaping have also been integrated into the design. The interiors are the same as its other shops.

All this sounds very impressive and it’s definitely good to see that a big chain like Starbucks is taking an interest in our environment but why the drive-thru? A drive-thru isn’t environmentally friendly encouraging people to drive to pick up their coffee causing more pollution. I think it would have been amazing if they had a bike-thru, it certainly would have tied in with the environmental issues raised. It would have also been quirky and probably gained a lot of publicity. I understand that they want to make money and a drive-thru would make it easier for their customers to buy drinks but even if they suggested a bike and drive-thru to discourage the use of cars and show that they really do want to be “green” and want their customers to be “green” as well.

I’m not really surprised that Starbucks has done this as they are always trying to make customers aware in store and online that they are a “responsible company” telling customers they recycle and by selling ethically sourced coffee. It was a good move to put this image out there completely. The Tukwila store now symbolises the brand identity, they want to be thought of as environmentally friendly, responsible and caring about the planet and by having a (hopefully) LEED certified building will back this up.

This store is a one off but hopefully will act as a prototype for other stores. I really like the design and would like to see more of them about and the fact that it’s “green” is a plus! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Zig Zag Chair.

Throughout my first semester of third year at DJCAD I was working in the workshop every Friday afternoon with two other girls in my class. We were to produce the ‘Zig Zag’ chair by Gerrit Reitveld whilst also contributing some of our personality to the design where we saw fit. This exercise was simply to get us back in the work shop and become comfortable using the tools once again.

Here are some images of our work.

GIDE: Creativity for Local Enterprise

At the end of last semester my work for GIDE was completed and handed in however it’s not over yet. In February this year all universities involved in GIDE will be coming to DJCAD to take part in a one week workshop. I’m not sure exactly what this will involve yet but the week kick starts with a party at Dundee Universities Students Union to welcome the other students and staff.

This is just a quick blog to update you on my work for GIDE as I realise I have not posted about it yet.

The brief was to create a design response to the theme Creativity for Local Enterprises. Looking at the different enterprises in Dundee I was interested in the facilities available to new parents. I wanted to create a centre that offered help, guidance and education to parents whatever their age.

To research this topic further I met up with a Health Care assistant from Ninewells hospital to find out what services were available. I then went to visit a local family centre in Lochee. I found this very helpful as it gave me deeper insights into the topic and helped identify areas where I could improve upon the service.

Looking at other designers work of existing nursery’s and schools enabled me to develop my own design ideas. As it would be a place for children I wanted it to have a playful aesthetic. To make parents feel at home I wanted to ensure it had a welcoming atmosphere that was not at all clinical or uncomfortable. Below is a description on my family centre that has been named ‘Grow’.

‘Grow’ has been designed with parents in mind. It’s hard enough becoming a parent especially with out any support or guidance, this centre will be a home away from home where parents from all back­grounds will learn how to care for their baby and themselves.
It has been designed to be a wel­coming and relaxed environment where a community can be built between the parents and staff. A fun playful design has been cre­ated through splashes of colour and a zig-zag book shelf which is a main feature in the interior space.