Category Archives: Thoughts

My new place for me to write

Well I have decided that I need a newer home for my thoughts one that I can fill with all my new ideas and musings, and share with others based around design and what I think has good possibilities is interesting and can house photos of my artwork, creations and designs. So if you have time to stop by have a look.

Advertisements

Seeing my body as a temple

I have now started a new method to getting better, apparently lots of exercise and healthy eating is the way forward. I have been told to go running and not just a short run either, I am starting at 5km daily, as this is meant to increase endorphins and make you feel good but you need to get the heart rate up. So I started yesterday it was mostly me power walking the whole way. So day 1 was hard I think I am physically so tired I can’t even think any more so I think is working, though I need to find time to do this daily.

I am also seeing a naturopath so change my diet and getting a blood test done as I have nutrient problems as I am a girl I loose more than guys, so I can end up with 1/5 of what I am meant to be at. Hopefully this helps out and I can focus more on the tasks at hand. Busy studying today for Chinese exam, it has listening along with writing so this means I need to know about 250 characters off hand.

I have a draft outline for studio and might start getting things done in the work shop this Friday if not defiantly next week. Its going to be intensive to catch up, and I want a quick chat with Simon if he is around tomorrow, as I am thinking it might be worth investing the money and getting it made and he knows of someone out in Echuca, its going to cost a lot though. I a not sure if I like it or not, so its going to be an intensive weekend of finish off CAD and renderings, then strait into making it. Book is travelling on nicely just missing the end section and the manufacture and CAD section…

Nearing the end

Well I can now say that its exactly one exact month until the date I finish November the 13th, its a good feeling as I trust Soumitri was right and can actually finish with something to show within the time frame. So its CAD this week all Soildworks to create Part A, B and C and D which I call the grate. Not worrying to much about underneath the ground only need a drain pipe to funnel water into the stormwater and of course the right part to attach to the mains.

I had a shocking past few weeks loosing my phone and iPod last week, I found my phone again but not my iPod so I am little crushed and now need to buy a new one as I use it every day and its the only thing that can get me into the city as the trip is over an hour long (really would have dropped out in first year without out it.) Plus its so easy to listen to my Chinese Lessons on the move. As usual I am behind where I wanted to be but its realistic to just sit down and figure out all the CAD work. I am also getting some help with it so will be on track.

It’s great to think that all my time studying is finally coming to an end, even though its highly unlikely with times as they are I’ll be using them anytime soon. Its good entering at the worst point as anything that’s in the future will hopefully seem brighter. I also have enough passion and help from my parents misfortunes that money comes and goes and as long as you are doing what you love that’s all that matters. I mean money can’t really but you any lasting happiness, its mostly what you end up doing with it.

The other good thing is living as a student for so long I still can’t justify spending lots of money, I remember in first and second year I refused to buy food from restaurants as I was at uni every day and deeply committed to studying that I was living of the savings from working in between the semesters. This is the first year in my life that I have had a continual income, after last year with only $20 in my bank account before starting my job it was time to change, plus I want to move out and start saving for other things rather that train tickets to uni, books and material fees. I plan to move out end of February next year as all my jobs are still out near where I live so its easier to stay until then.

I am thinking of continuing on with Chinese and who knows I might be good enough many years down the track to translate and can have that as my job. Not sure if it really feels like I have gotten anywhere yet I guess everything has slowed down, but time is traveling at a rapid pace.

Where do I want to be?

This isn’t the sort of question that you have about where do you see yourself in 5 years time, what job do you see your self doing and what life goals I want to achieve as lets face it am I the same person I was 5 years ago? No not all I wouldn’t be able to even to begin to describe the changes. I am wanting something shorter term and also more relevant to my values and design sort of like what Mark has written up hear. It sounds so clear and concise two such words that are lacking within my life.

My last post sounded a bit downhearted as at the time I was and still am stressed out and lost as to what I want to achieve now, and when is the right time to start creating something solid so sort of plan. I always fail at them miserably, as who can plan the future?

A great example is last year when I was talking to Malte and I was lost as I had just made the decision to prolong my studies and extra year. He was telling my that life isn’t liner and that in many design schools they seek out older people as they have the capacity and knowledge to implement what they learn as a lot of skills needed just come with age and maturity and some wont even take people under 20.

At the time I though he was just saying stuff to make me feel a bit better and that it was a good decision (It was for me I think that’s when I realised there is such a thing as timing for oneself,) but I think it was much more meaningful. It was more that you can plan out and map out a perfect time for everything but life is unexpected and at times will completely through you off guard and the imperfectness, and challenges of these moments shape you as much as if you where on a linear track.

We can’t plan out everything and more often than not have to take the good with the bad, some situations are no reflection or comparison to how strong an individual is or how intelligent. We can’t time everything or have everything our way, and maybe when we get hold back or down in the end its for the best even if at the time we make not think so.

Sometimes its hard as I feel I am in sort of a transition stage where I only half know what I want from things, so I feel like if you can talk things out it can make things seem clearer or not as bad or long. I have lacked that as  from my family life anything bad is hidden and only the good submerges to the surface. So there is little conversations going on as you can only say so many good things, and it feels like a lie when half of you is hidden. So when ever I have meaningful conversions they are quite rare as there needs to be a certain amount of trust the other person is listing and understanding to what you are saying. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t found so many people to talk to at RMIT most likely would have gone insane, who says that I am not any way.

As I only half know who I am myself I am really struggling to find some sort of purpose or reason to get out of bed. I want big things and to feel like I am part of something making changes no matter how small they are.

My design ideologies I would say would follow similar thinks to these points  these are in no relevant order and are no more important than the other they just are:

I value the hand made and well made. This is the choice of materials the quality which something has and the thought given to it. I think its has to do with evoking so many memories or thoughts at once. Everything as a texture or smell to it and I like the contrast between them so it tells a story, I think this only really happens with a combination of materials together. Even if its just fabric and cotton use to stitch it together when its handmade it tells a story.

I value a good form something which evokes a story, a poem and is captured in the head. Its like a brilliant piece of art in 3d, all functions are lost as it something you just gaze at and get lost within.

I value a good drawing as it should bring in ideas from else where and it can be challenged with another drawing. I have a deep love for children’s books as there illustrations tell stories without words this is a good drawing, communicating without words.

I value good research as this can clear away all assumptions and leave you with honest answers.

Finally (well for now anyway as its long past my bedtime) I think that everything we create should be meaningful in some way. I mean meaningful as its for filling an emotional way. Not in a vain emotional way where but a real one where you are most likely to keep the object or cherish memories of it. Or it can be meaningful as its part of a larger system which people rely upon and there is a real purpose behind it. Meaningful objects are much harder to accumulate as they are harder to find.

I am sure I will come back to this as everything is still pretty much unanswered but I need time to think.

Chasing Dreams

I like the folds in this and how there are two colours coming through. I am stuck as to what I want to or am able to do next year, as I had a critical realisation I am not one to sit around  and just wait for thing to happen and I wont be satisfied of working a job just to bring in money for more then 6 months without falling into a pit where everything becomes so repetitive and meaningless. I find it hard to get motivated by money and would rather spend my time doing something I love. Although money can bring me things I like as I plan to do a bit more traveling and its a necessity if I think I have to work to hard for it I would rather work less.

Brittany who graduated a few years back is in much the same place as she needs the money to buy her materials and keep a roof over her head  and a place for her studio but is dissatisfied with her current job as it bring her no new stimulation. Though she has the talent to keep on going and is now producing amazing pieces.

I am fine as long as I can bring out something stimulating for a job or feel like I am living at the same time not tuning out from work life just to get through it. My plan B which seems to me getting more likely is to take time away from Australia and go to China, though in class Brittany mentioned taking an internship in Hong Kong that sounds like something I am interested in. I am getting so stressed about finding something for next year as I know whatever I do there is going to be little support from my family, as its just they way they are they don’t really care all that much one way or the other, so its sort of once you leave that door is closed and I don’t want to see you back unless your really sick and dying. Fair enough there comes an age where your to old for certain things that a family can give you.

After Nick went off and taught English in China I knew that can be part of my back up plans, and I am beginning to think that maybe I might be interested in teaching design further down the track, though I want to get some experience behind me before I do it long term. I think its because I have a deep passion about design, and see as long as I stay with other motivated and passionate people I will be safe. My biggest fear of next year is loosing my passion again  as last time I ended up loosing such a big part of myself I became empty. I know it can easily happen again so I have to be aware of it as you don’t know whats happened until you are dragged down. You just need to let a few things slide and that’s it you are under.

I am wanting my first year out to bring me good things as it would have made all my time at university studying and sacrificingmy time  and energy more worth while, if it isn’t I just can’t be bothered chasing after my dreams and I am to willing to compromise and let them die. I am sick of chasing happiness and feel that it should come more easily and naturally, so I am at the point of taking the easy path and just letting paths run as they should be and not want to carve out something different for myself. If I was asked in third year where I think I would end up I would be far more optimistic but I am now older and need to start building my own sturdy platform to stand upon, additional risks will only rock the foundations.

I have only really had one dream and I have chased it right down and almost seen it to the end and that was this course, now I need a new dream to follow but have no energy to push it forwards, I think that’s because at the same time I am pushing forward my studies so I can achieve good things this semseter.  I am reluctantly approaching the end now and know that I will be own my own next year and choice will have to come from me without any guidance, only the people who I have networked into. I don’t really believe that the lectures will be there for us next year, as they are always far to busy so now is the time to seize the opportunity but what is it that I am wanting, what will be my new dream to chase? Will I have something left inside to chase it down or is it time to grow up and stop dreaming and join the real world of responsibilities, work and what life is left remaining.

Non linear education

Well it seems like reading the post and links up on blackboard are all trying to get us to reflect on our individual experiences, though I am going to take the example of  Design Education: The Clarity of Hindsight as I feel that it talks well about its not just the education set out for you but the opportunities individuals make or take for themselves.

Looking back to first year I had no clue what the course really held ahead for me, I went in unsure if this was the right place for me knowing I wanted to be create and also challenged, and come out the course a stronger and more intelligent person than I went in. I like most had believed I would be designing pretty objects/products when leaving the course, and would choose an area of some kind to specialise in and call my own.

I remember walking into my first studio class and seeing a mass of people crammed into this room and four lectures out the front. There seemed to be about 80 or 90 altogether, and we had all found our seats and then it seemed that a designer had a set of rules to follow which at the time took a little seriously, but now I have found a style/process that works for me. It seems that there where no room for grey leads in our lives and we should all be using A3 pads, carry around A5 sketch book every where (the only piece of advice that was worth keeping from that day) and would need to buy a whole lot of rendering markers.

The last thing from that studio I carry with me until this day is to embrace mistakes and failures. We all make them and will undoubtedly make more learning how to learn from them and relish them is the best thing a creative person can do. Why? It makes you take more risks and leads you out of your comfort zone into the unknown. This is where a designer should operate and work in the unknown as people in the end aren’t going to be predictable. As much as we like to think things are 100% resolved they are not.

This is where new paths are created unless if you are happy to follow some one else’s (Yes this is a safe option you know results and have nothing to loose.) This is the hardest part as it’s a gamble every time as you can loose everything, then have to learn from the mistakes and start again. At the same time nothing is more rewarding than not knowing feeling like you are onto something new and different, looking from a different angle applying something from what you have seen on something else to a new application is a what if approach to everything and anything. It’s also a Pandora’s Box once opened it can’t be closed as there are no answers really only more questions.

I went in with the belief that I knew nothing about design and that I was here to learn everything from the basics right up to the hard technical components and how to get things manufactured, this gave me an open mind that was willing to except a few oddities along the way. After covering the basics in first semester I slowly grew in confidence picturing that I could actually be a designer. (I previously had been told by other design schools that I was so far behind and would find it hard to catch up after seeing my high school work. This had always made me feel like I was behind though in hindsight I was never really at all. We all go in with a different starting point and RMIT knows this and has designed the course to teach you from the basics.)

Not until second semester when I had a little taste at everything I felt this was a path that number one I loved passionately and could easily dedicate my time too, and that I actually could build up skills when needed in a nice training way. (Yes the internet helps a lot with this thanks to heaps of design blogs linking you to CAD tips, drawing, and writing and pretty much anything you want to learn the basics of to practice and gradually master.) In this second semester I met to people that confused my mind so much they seemed to challenge and question every bone in my body, these where Liam and Soumitri one from studio the other design studies. An answer simply wasn’t good enough as there is more than one answer to any question, people have unique characteristics, and behaviors hard to uncover and change. We could no longer assume anything, they also told us they where no longer marking us at all this is left up to ourselves and our peers, and we where to set out a mark at the start of the semester and change it at the end to what we believe is rightfully ours in comparison to everything we have done and achieved.

A good teacher is not only someone who can teach you about what they know but also about what you know but just haven’t uncovered yet. This is with anything as they can slowly teach you skills that you can apply in situations to obtain unknown successful outcomes. You are always growing while learning and there should be times when you feel as if you uncover things that you felt you new all along but had be looking in the wrong spot until a good teach suggests things on the side, helpful feedback and the support that if you end up in the dark they will always be yelling advice to you from the side.

This I believe is self directed learning at its best, as we all have personal goals and motivations and we are all in the same course for the same reason to become a designer, but having someone harp at you for hours about how they work is the right way and everyone does it this way and the more common “right way to do something” isn’t the best way, unless if they share the same experiences and knowledge you can understand why things are done you are just told and never question. Though things date certain information and skills are suited to certain environments and if you are copying methods and skills set out by someone else you are not set up to self learn, critique and discover. There should be no voice that is strong than your own, sure there are many voices to guide it but you should guide them back saying and challenging them why something works and why something does not.

I find listing to other people who have been there and done that valuable as it’s the hindsight that you never get to experience. They know possible problems so you can skip a few steps though this doesn’t mean there isn’t room to test things out and make a few mistakes.

My lower years where all about skill building and I learnt the basics and potential of design and what it can be, I learnt to question resources, agendas my environment, my background and more importantly what do I have to offer. In the upper years the refinements begin using these skills to refine ideas, building upon and expand these skills.

I don’t think that you should ever come away from any project thinking it’s finished as there is more that can be down, the hindsight factor that if you could have gone back and done this differently it would have changed this and made it better should still niggle a bit and list of improvements should come. When we are over satisfied we stop learning as we stop questioning and loose creativity, we loose our own paths we set out.

RMIT methods have set me up to value self learning and education, if I need to learn a new piece of software I know how to do this, write a business plan talk to engineers, manufacture something I know I can take on any project and self learn what’s needed along the way. What stages I need help with or have lack of time to achieve and bring others on board. As all projects that we are going to undertake will be different, as I gain more life experience and my priorities change I will have more to put into my practice I have learnt how to ensure its constantly growing and evolving and how to implement my values in my work. I know how to be idealistic and realistic at the same time, letting my imagination run riot and then tame it back to something tangible, grounded and resolved in a time frame to ensure I am growing as an individual and accepting differences and taking risks.

There are only two paths to follow you can follow in someone else’s footsteps, knowing the route and path ahead, or you can make your own nice and fresh. There are times where you need the safety of a path and times when you need to break it and run free. These other footsteps are imprinted by the traditional people go to school get a job, work your way into a better position and retire. Set paths are if I do this I get this job, others have the ability to make their own jobs not being placed under other titles and categories as they build unique skill sets and no one else can quite do what they do. This is the path I wish to take, where no one else quote does what I can do and I am valued for it.

growing intelligence

I often have strange moments where I feel I might have information overload and forget the easiest of things, or I look at my work and think it looks so naïve and unintellectual. I think its mostly because I don’t want to reach a point in my life when it is too much for me a learning limit beyond understanding,  and through out my time at RMIT I have become far more critical and aware as to what is happening around me and I am aware that there are so many specialisations out there and people with natural talent who can do things far more advanced than me. I am fine with this though as I am still young and I have a lot of life experiences ahead of me, I am in no rush to learn these things either.

Learning is a huge part of my life and I will always position myself in an area where I can learn new things what ever that may be, once I get the hang of something I am ready for a new challenge. Sometimes been thrown into the deep end is the fastest way to learn something new, but it can have the disadvantage of being to far ahead and you miss out on crucial steps.

I once met a learning limit in year 12 in mathematical methods, I had being up until then being able to learn, remember and use all types of maths but it got to a point where I had to much to think about and just ended up lost like I was looking and reading a foreign language where nothing was making sense and no matter how much I read it and practiced nothing made sense. I manged  to pass in the end though and that’s all it was just a pass. This sort of learning limit for me was useful as I found a reason why I had run into these problems, number one was I never had a real passion or interest for maths and see it only as something we use to get results in our daily lives. Number 2 was knowing when to give something up, as this wasn’t really important information that I myself would need to use and could ever see myself using it I was nice to know when you reach a limit that’s fine.

I have never reached a learning limit within design to me and somethings I have to work hard at and others come a bit more easily but as it sits in such a diverse area of skills and knowledge there is so much to cover it wouldn’t matter anyway. I think we know our limits and are ready to ask for expert help when needed from engineers and manufactures as we can get better results.

More recently though with my up and coming departure (hopefully) from RMIT and not being a student but a professional I want to know what is required of me, so I don’t appear ignorant or ask stupid needless questions that just need to be thought through. I am confident skills  wise I can pick up new bits of information to do with CAD software, and self learn through online tutorials and diving in I can get the results I want, and that with time and practice my drawings will only improve. I think as I only have a limited material knowledge because you can’t learn everything it will build through out as I carry out more projects Hopefully my critical thinking skills, communication skills and plainly social awareness for people their cultures and developed behaviour is enough.