Design has become an integral part of my life where I thrive of the risks and uncertainties of the project, as this is where almost anything can seem achievable. A strong passion for learning has given me the motivation to always strive forward and find solutions to my questions. I never believe there is one right answer to these questions and more often than not even when a project has been completed it still never feels finished to me.
My proudest moment so far as a designer was coming third place in a ceramics competition for my drinking fountain in Foshan, China. Proving to myself that my technical skills, visual style, graphics, sketching, had reached a level where I was able to deliver designs for different contexts. This project had encompassed everything that I had learnt to date so far, along with the difficulties of designing for and within other cultures.
I was told that manufactures where interested in the visual textures along with the shape and it had created much discussion between them. Knowing that my design had engaged others and they could see something within my work was a great feeling. This project was originally undertaken as a group assignment for research and concept generation, a very complex task given language barriers and the final design was to be created individually.
Within my time in this course I wanted to try a diverse range of subjects and subject topics but a few have always remained the same which has lead me into this Campaign Project studio with Soumitri. My passion for sustainability has always being strong as to me it seems the logical way forward, and has the opportunities to change peoples lives.
So far as a design student my strongest skills have developed where my curiosities have taken me. I have created a visual style which reflects my creative personality, gaining a few complements and almost landed me a graphic design job. The way in which I layout posters, books presentations and other documents doesn’t reflect just the style of an industrial designer as I see each piece I present reflecting upon my own personality as well. I never can and never will have work that is the same as everyone else.
One of my greater accomplishments was in first year presenting a simple lecture to all the other first years with the intention to create discussions on cultures and lifestyles. Having your voice amplified around a room always makes people stop and listen talking passionately helps too. It didn’t matter if what I was saying was right or wrong, or what others where saying was right or wrong. Having the ability to navigate and lead discussions is import not only for meetings but in all types of scenarios. My passion for discussions and lectures has leaded me to create and belong to a vast network of people, this is mostly within sustainability.
Experimenting with materials and making objects has always been something I have enjoyed. Using both laborious hand craft techniques and machines in the workshop I have created a variety of models and final pieces. I love exploring materials as each has their own textures and finishes, weather this is fabrics, metals, wood etc.
I have only had limited contact with manufactures in Australia, but holding the final piece which was a sand casted object felt very rewarding. In China I had the opportunity to talk to many manufactures who were not interested in only technical drawings but 3D renderings as this showed what the finishes of the piece where. I have always tried to push my 3D CAD skills as within first year really lagged behind my 2D skills of Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash. I have now reached a level where I am confident to undertake any resolved design and turn it into a 3D model.
The challenge of technical drawing has always been the hardest part of design as this is the stage where it is taken out of your hands into manufactures and prototypes are made. I used to find it daunting as you can look like a complete fool is things are done wrong, and if rapid prototype models can be created due to holes in the files. Luckily I find this is the time where a second set of eyes can same me heaps of time and rely on my peers and lectures. I have become confident to ask questions and learn from others who have had more experience rather than trying to prefect everything on my own. I am hoping to get some use out of the laser cutter and other machines RMIT has to offer as it is my last year I’ll be able to have access to them.
Sketching has always been a vital tool of mine since childhood, as before I could write I could draw and this was the way I would document all the stories I would have to tell. I sometimes see my sketching abilities still reflet this as they are much more illustrative and I thrived contributing to the bioimagination project for the sustainability festival at federation square. It is something so natural to sit down and draw out ideas, I have never been taught how to draw, until communication classes, it always came from intuition.
As a design student I find that the world around me greatly influences all my designs. My love for cultures and travelling inspired me to learn Mandarin. As it is such an old language it has changed along with its people, each character was once based off an illustration. The simplest words can have completely different meanings so it is always important to respect others cultures.
My love of reading and writing has lead me contributing towards a few books including the corporation game and The Dragon, the Lotus and the Fire of the Desert along online design blogs. I like to write expressively and with clarity as I find if I am reading a lot I can easily become bored if it becomes overly complex, and seemingly unrelated to life.
The one method which I have always taken onboard before I start any task is mind mapping/brainstorming. It keeps me focused on what I know already, how I know it (do I think it’s like that or do I have evidence proving it is like that) and how things are connected to each other. As with all products and designs nothing exists in isolation and if we keep looking at the same group of things together we will miss out on new ideas.
Within each project I always grapple with timelines as there is always more to a project that I want to do but reality always sets in, which means I have become excellent at prioritising what is important and knowing that things will always take longer than I anticipate as I like to extensively ask questions, I always try not to be caught out by this. I have a high curiosity for the things going on around me and have a strong desire to learn about as many different things I can in each project.
I enjoy working the grey areas and uncertainties in a project as they deliberately force me out of my comfort zone. At the end I always feel I have learnt something substantial as I do things I never imagine or thought I could do. I see my capabilities sometime as never ending as I don’t know what I can or can’t do until I have tried. Though I know I will never be able to master and understand everything. I am most satisfied when I learn something new and able to manipulate it in a way that suits my thinking.
My inspiration for my work comes from a variety of things but mostly other designers who I respect and admire. It is others who help me out of my comfort zone and challenge me forward.
I always get angry at myself when I let opportunities slide away from me. Letting go of perfection within the start of the course was difficult, but know I am not afraid of being wrong and getting all the opinions on something I can. Studios that I thrive under are one which always keeps me questioning all the way through the project, this is with comments made by my peers and knowing that there is always more than one answer. I have created a loose philosophy on my design over the course that design isn’t really about the products at all it’s about the people and their lifestyles.
Working with other designers is the only way for me to keep on track, as I get lots of inspiration from talking if I spend to0 much time up in my own head I know I’ll miss out on other possibilities as when there is another head to talk to more ideas are drawn out. One of the best qualities that I have is the willingness to say yes to things, even though it may take up a lot of my own time, or take me far outside my comfort zone. My thirst of knowledge for learning has always given me the motivation to overcome many obstacles.
My greatest fear as a designer is the fear that I wont have the confidence to follow risks needed to always stay innovate and challenging. As to date design has come very naturally to me, following along my passions and drive so I haven’t been stuck yet.