Tag Archives: Studio

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.


Its me :)

Design Droplets wanted to do a small write up on some recent graduates and their work come and have a read and look at a few photos. Here is the link enjoy getting to know a bit more about my work and a bit more about me. I would like to thank Raph again for having me.


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.

From class

I have a lot more direction as of today getting a few more restraints put in for my use of form, using geometry as my bases  so will be hitting the white cardboard big time, which I have already brought a few sheets to play with and can easily get more when I run out.

I have figured out what content I do and don’t need within my book and to make it solely my voice coming through. I can leave out some of the pages from Pre-Major including summaries for most things to bring down the page numbers. I need to re think the positioning of the page numbers, as they can go into the margin more as they seem to float a bit and get lost if there is an extreme amount of text on the page.

I am going to create a maximum of 10 master pages, as there will essentially be  only three types of pages, image page, text and image and text only. Not sure if I want to break this out a little and put in a set chapter page lay out too, so then you can break the rules for the content and know where you are visually. There will be a few image page lay outs where I might have one key image and a few little ones to show what I am talking about.

I am reading this great book called Elements of Design that’s going to be helping me through this week, I have mention the book before but now I have a copy I can say it again its a great read. This will help me with my form studies as it clearly states all elements needed and heaps of photos too. Will also see whats out there for geometry as this process needs to be highly visual.

My excitement has one again returned and I feel big things for this week ahead. I am a little annoyed that I have two important meetings so I am even more time poor than normal but one of them is my LEAD training, I guess its going to get worse the closer we get towards the end wit organizing of folios, and sorting out next year. Four more weeks of class left to go I am hoping to have heaps of breakthroughs.

Next week I need to bring in

  • CAD work of internals parts, the basis of the design as without water and pipes its not going to work
  • Form studies in Cardboard using geometry, and form elements
  • A video and photos of this process
  • Master pages to be used in the book (remembering to leave lots of white space around images)
  • 250 word biography
  • design development mind map
  • title of project
  • Summery of project in 200 words
  • 4 slides
  • Slide 1 a hero shot
  • Slide 2 object in context
  • Slide 3 details, orthographic shots, close ups
  • slide 4 Summery and 5 headlines
  • Redone plan of action for next 3/4 weeks of class

Results of this week mean total clarity of direction… maximize feed back showing internals how these fix to the ground.

Links to answer my own questions

After I briefly gave up on my business plan as I forgotten how to write one, I seems I had deleted all the copies I had used in prof prac and had lost any of the note I had taken, so I found so very helpful links to get me on track, I sort of tune out when people talk business as I have little logical skills and if you make a business from a product how do you ensure people will keep on buying that product and its competitive in the market place? Having an understanding of the business side is beneficial and can see why Soumitri is getting others to look at patenting their ideas as there is great value in them, and defines a set place so they aren’t simply just another product, but something with new innovations.

I am finding writing out a business plan to be helpful as there are no real buyers for my product except councils, and if I can answer all their needs, understanding how the other products out there don’t match them either, where can it head if it just one product whats incorporated into it and what is left out. Hopefully this will be helpful if people ask why would they choose my design and not other products, and how is mine competitive? As I think there is a market place for it but it’s mostly hidden, and as I hopefully am offering something more unique, modern and innovative this places my design into a new place where it stands out and easily compared to offer more than traditional designs.

Even though I wont be starting a business its important to consider how to get investment and interest within the project, as I know how expensive it is to find parts let alone bringing in manufacturing costs. I am hoping a business mind set will answer any self doubt questions so I don’t see my design as just another… but new, innovative, different, offering what other designs fail to. Still am working on my plan as its all language that and questions that I am unfamiliar with as there is a degree of professionalism involved. I am answering questions like Vision statements and mission statements so its getting me to think what my design is really all about in a holistic view of where it can and where I want it to head.

I found these links easily from the tool kit, I have included a permanent link of the side as its something I want to return back to as its helping me answer the big questions.

How do I write a business plan?

It’s creative but is it a business?

Five tips for naming your business.


Five small business marketing tips

  1. Review and adjust marketing strategies to meet changing situations
  2. Focus on needs and expectations of existing and potential customers
  3. Find a niche – small businesses succeed by offering something different
  4. Look for promotional opportunities that fit business strategies
  5. Build networks to promote the business and its reputation.

I saw this in the paper think it was Friday, I love how the image they show has a great brig crack in the baby Buddha pear along the bottom, as it just shows that nature still has a will of its own.