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Archive for the ‘Master of Cross-Disciplinary Art and Design’ Category

X-DIS LECTURE 2

Jona Piehl

Land Design Studio

Stories told in a spacial context

Studied: Creative Practice for Narrative environments

Content lead- just finding the right way to tell the particular story.

The different situation of a project will provide you with a different entry point.
Visuals, materials, Era you’re replicating, media relating to it etc.

Use illustrations and time lines. Codas to make the exhibits make sense.

CONTEXT

Work closely with the curator.

similar outcomes for all projects.
With graphics you’re aiming for:
accessible
legible
content is clear
Open for everybody
Clear. Main aim is to get the story across.

Graphics can serve as an additional layer of information
Graphics can be the storyteller, the atmosphere maker, decoration…

Use the topic as a catalyst for the graphics. It has to be specific to the work you’re exhibiting, but at the same time a broad enough concept that it can be made into 500 different pieces.
Graphics should help tell the story, not take away from it.
Graphics can also be representative of the timeline.

Concept- present idea. Share how you can extract elements from the one idea to create a large number of graphic items.
Explore that concept. Concept has to be solid enough for 500 pieces of graphics and none of them be boring. In the same way, set up certain rules and generic things so that you don’t have to come up with a brand new idea for every piece.
Set up idea and then set up systems from it. You should be so familiar with the systems that if another piece is asked for, you will know how it should look.

Visual language can extend all boundaries. Pictograms.

Concept is a sketch. You want the discussions about it to be centred around the idea and concept, not on the technicalities of the exhibit.
You want to trigger inspiration and the WHOLE visual concept.

Next stage is testing if things work from the concept you’ve suggested.

Then you’ll get real images and text and you amend and tweak and always stay in constant communication with the project organisers and curator.
Interative Process
Everybody is part of the process.

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Well,

Here I am at the first day of Uni 2011. Ready to continue on from where I left off in my Masters.

 

Wish me luck!

There were three main assessment pieces for this subject:
1. A research report on a cross-disciplinary project (credit)
2. A Comparitive analysis of each group member’s assignment/project (Distinction)
3. This reflection.

Cross Disciplinary Art & Design: What is it?
To say I learnt a lot during this course, would be an understatement. I really had no formal idea of what cross-disciplinary meant, only ideas, thoughts, perceptions and opinions. I really have a much more involved idea of what is involved in cross-disciplinary art and design now, and how it is applicable to my creative endeavours.


Processes of Collaboration

The processes that I went through with the first two assignments were fairly different. For the first I took a very structured approach- where I researched the project, and wrote it in a very formal format. I also had specific times allocated to working on the assignment, which helped me to stay focused and dedicate large chunks of time to it (a preferred way or working for me). With the group assignment it was a much more drawn out process, and one where the different areas kept being revisited and reworked. Being a collaborative project we dealt with similar issues to the ones we were studying. When/how to communicate, how to remain on task and to a timeline (how to get things done by the due date), etc. I definitely enjoyed the group task more, for a few reasons.
1. I didn’t have to be good at everything. Lets face it, I’m NOT good at everything. I have my strengths, and my weaknesses. I was fortunate enough to be in a group where everyone complimented each other really, really well.
2. If I wasn’t sure about something, I could ask. I guess I could have done this with the forums in the previous assignment, but it’s different when people have a vested interest in you doing well…

Motivation. It wasn’t so much that I was accountable (though that did help motivation), it was that we were all doing it together. We all shared the same goal, and were working as a team. This really helped to motivate me because I had other people to ‘push off’ so to speak.
In terms of the group assignments, communication was definitely the common theme in everyone’ reflections. I definitely think in any project communication is one of the most important things, in a few different ways. Firstly because the point of the project is to communicate an idea, secondly because you need to communicate your own idea to yourself, and thirdly because if you’re in a team you need to communicate with your other group members.

Out of all the group assignments I did in my various subjects this semester, this group project was by far the most successful both in terms of results, and communication within the group.


How I work collaborate with others

When my group got together and we read and reflected on each other’s assignments, I found that our group was very ‘nice’. By that I mean that no one said negative things about the other people’s projects, and everyone worked really well as a team. This in itself I think is amazing, as I truely enjoyed working with other motivated, inspired individuals who strived to achieve a good assignment together. The cross-disciplinary process that we went through was very informative (even from the perspective that it helped me understand better the process that the people in my project might have gone through), but I felt like people’s ‘specialities’ weren’t detailed enough at the beginning.

I think one of the reasons our team worked well was because we had a clear leader. Yvonne took charge, and helped direct all of us. This was a great relief, as I felt like I was doing this in other group assignments in other subjects, and it was very helpful to have someone else take the more demanding role. On that note, managing the four different courses (not to mention full time work, and full time life), was a bit of a cross-disciplinary juggle in itself. Looking at the needs, restraints and outcomes of each of the courses was sometimes difficult, but my end project- this Graduate Certificate, is happening, and needed all those parts to happen.


Formal Feedback

The formal feedback I received for each of these assignments was, as you would expect, a combination of things I did well, and things I missed. With no disrespect meant to Simon AT ALL, I have to say that the formal feedback was only a small part of my learning process. I definitely appreciated it, and learnt from it, but I think the actual process of creating the assignments was a big learning opportunity, as well as the discussions in the forums.


Listening to the Lectures

For me, the last lecture, by Weina Ha has been the most beneficial for me. This has been because of the really practical way in which Weina explained the process. I also particularly enjoyed the lecture by Jennifer New.


Reflecting as you go

The reflections that I made on each lecture in the forums, and the discussions that arised from those, were also really informative. At times I had to justify what I thought, like in the Jennifer New Talking Points message board where I justified putting my visual journals online. There were also great discussions in there on things like, “is personal necessarily private”, and there were quite a few issues raised here that I hadn’t thought of. I found this to be true in all of the talking point message boards from the lectures.
One of my ‘things’ that I talk about a lot to people, is seeing things from other people’s perspective. I really believe that this can be such a powerful way to learn. When we see things from other people’s perspectives we can really start to get a more holistic view on the thing you’re discussing. The message boards were an excellent way to see things from those other perspectives, and indeed to discover perspectives you didn’t know existed!


Influential Experiences

Putting it into practice: A few times already I’ve been able to put into the practice things that I’ve learnt in my courses. In ‘Creative Thinking Processes’ we looked at creative thinking strategies like SCAMPER and I’ve had the opportunity to teach and implement those strategies with the staff at my work. This has really helped to solidify the things I’ve been learning.
The ‘Draw Your World’ course was one I had the most difficulties with (I’ll talk more about them later), but has been one of the most important experiences in the course for me. My natural ‘way’ with things is to get them done quickly. I don’t like fussing over things and spending hours working out what the best way to do things is. I rarely do a task twice. Because of this ‘rushed’, ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to my drawings in the unit, I didn’t put in the effort needed, and was asked to re-do nearly every piece I submitted. I found this to be really discouraging, but at the same time, incredibly rewarding. I was forced to re-think, slow down, and put more EFFORT into something that didn’t come as naturally as I thought it would (different types of drawing). I consider my actual achievements in this course very mediocre, but what I’ve LEARNT from the course is HUGE! I certainly learnt a lot about the process of continual checking, re-working, and making improvements to achieve a more developed and purposeful end product.
Difficulties

As I mentioned above, the ‘draw your world’ course was difficult for me. This was my own problem- being to rushed with my projects and not giving them the thought they deserved.

Learning to accept how other people function is something I had difficulty with. I felt like I clashed with members of my group in some of my group assignments for Creative Thinking Processes. This could have been all in my head, but it still impacted the way I contributed, and felt about the group. At times I felt very rejected and frustrated at the work people were doing, particularly when I felt I could have done a much better job. I think that if we had of established everyone’s strengths, weaknesses, and passions at the beginning of the first group task it would have saved some grief.


What I’ve learnt and how it’s impacted me

The process you go through to create something is worthy of the time it takes. I need to apply this to my work- appreciating the planning stages of our development more, and investing the time there. Often this gives a better end result, which means you don’t need to go back and fix it. The initial investment then becomes less then the overall expense of re-doing things.
EVERY person has strengths. In a collaboration it is each person’s responsibility to use their strengths and to identify the strengths of others. If I had of done this in my CTP group, it would have saved me stress later on.

Cross-disciplinary collaboration is about finding skilled people (or people’s strengths- whichever you have to work with) in different areas, and making something NEW from those skills. For me, this really effects my work (:-S EVERYTHING seems to be work related!!). If we take skilled people that normally don’t work together we can create really interesting eLearning. An example of this would be combining Articulate (a software for rapid elearning development), with filming technologies. The end result is engaging videos students can interact with, click on, and find more information on topics from.

In the collaboration process this is a real need to a) leadership b) responsibilities and c) honesty. The groups that had clear leaders always worked better then the groups that didn’t. This is true for the groups I was involved in. The leader should delegate tasks, and not take on more work then the other team members- just facilitate it so that everything happens how and when it should. People need to have responsibilities which the leader has laid out for them. People also need to feel responsible and accountable to the other people in their group so that they get work done. Honesty is important because there were times in my group assignments where I had to say, “sorry everyone, but can someone else finish this part off- I have too much on my plate”. I found that when I did that there was at least one person who was ready to help out. By being honest it meant that I didn’t let my team down with a sub-par performance, or a late submission. Of course, I ‘made it up’ to them later with input in other places. :-)
To infinity and beyond!

Certainly in the future I’d like to learn more about the creative thinking processes involved in cross-disciplinary collaboration. Creative thinking has always been an interest for me, but over this course of study it has really developed into a passion. I am excited about using creative thinking tools and processes more in workplace collaboration and development.

There were three main assessment pieces for this subject.

A research report on a cross-disciplinary project (credit)

A Comparitive analysis of each group member’s assignment/project (Distinction)

This reflection.

To say I learnt a lot during this course, would be an understament. I really had no formal idea of what cross-discplinary meant, only ideas, thoughts, preceptions and opinions. I really have a much more involved idea of what is involved in cross-disciplinary art and design now, and how it is applicable to my creative endeavours.

The processes that I went through with the first two assignments were fairly different. For the first I took a very structured approach- where I researched the project, and wrote it in a very formal format. I also had specific times allocated to working on the assignment, which helped me to stay focused and dedicate large chunks of time to it (a preferred way or working for me). With the group assignment it was a much more drawn out process, and one where the different areas kept being revisted and reworked. Being a collaborative project we delt with similar issues to the ones we were studying. When/how to communicate, how to remain on task and to a timeline (how to get things done by the due date), etc. I definitely enjoyed the group task more, for a few reasons.

1. I didn’t have to be good at everything. Lets face it, I’m NOT good at everything. I have my strengths, and my weaknesses. I was fortunate enough to be in a group where everyone complimented each other really, really well.

2. If I wasn’t sure about something, I could ask. I guess I could have done this with the forums in the previous assignment, but it’s different when people have a vested interest in you doing well…

3. Motivation. It wasn’t so much that I was accountable (though that did help motivation), it was that we were all doing it together. We all shared the same goal, and were working as a team. This really helped to motivate me because I had other people to ‘push off’ so to speak.

The formal feedback I received for each of these assignments was, as you would expect, a combination of things I did well, and things I missed. With no disrespet meant to Simon AT ALL, I have to say that the formal feedback was only a small part of my learning process. I definitely appreciated it, and learnt from it, but I think the actual process of creating the assignments was a big learning opportunity, as well as the discussions in the forums.

For me, the last lecture, by Weina Ha has been the most beneficial for me. This has been because of the really practical way in which Weina explained the process. I also particularly enjoyed the lecture by Jennifer New.

The reflections that I made on each lecture in the forums, and the discussions that arrised from those, were also really informative. At times I had to justify what I thought, like in the Jennifer New Talking Points message board where I justified putting my visual journals online. There were also great discussions in there on things like, “is personal necessarily private”, and there were quite a few issues raised here that I hadn’t thought of. I found this to be true in all of the talking point message boards from the lectures.

Ony of my ‘things’ that I talk about a lot to people, is seeing things from other people’s perspective. I really belive that this can be such a powerful way to learn. When we see things from other people’s perspectives we can really start to get a more wholistic view on the thing you’re discussing. The message boards were an excellent way to see things from those other persepctives, and indeed to discover prespectives you didn’t know existed!

When my group got together and we read and reflected on each other’s assignments, I found that our group was very ‘nice’. By that I mean that no one said negative things about the other people’s projects, and everyone worked really well as a team. This in itself I think is amazing, as I truely enjoyed working with other motivated, inspired individuals who strived to achieve a good assignment together. The cross-disciplinary process that we went through was very informative (even from the perspective that it helped me understand better the process that the people in my project might have gone through), but I felt like people’s ‘specialities’ weren’t detailed enough at the beginning.

I think one of the reasons our team worked well was beacause we had a clear leader. Yvonne took charge, and helped direct all of us. This was a great relief, as I felt like I was doing this in other group assignments in other subjects, and it was very helpful to have someone else take the more demanding role. On that note, managing the four different courses (not to mention full time work, and full time life), was a bit of a cross-disciplinary juggle in itself. Looking at the needs, restraints and outcomes of each of the courses was sometimes difficult, but my end project- this Graduate Certificate, is happening, and needed all those parts to happen.

By WEI NA CHERYL HA

Some interesting campaigns make use of innovative media that do not fall into any of the normal categories, designed and executed to have the most impact at the right time to the right audience. It could be an ice sculpture that lasts all of a few hours or even a bizarre event, requiring the know-how of people in their respective fields.

Working with people from different disciplines is the norm in advertising. We work with animators, film directors, sound designers, illustration artists and photographers on a daily basis. But the exciting fact is that once you have a great idea, there should be no boundaries. This lecture will illustrate how different disciplines come together to do just that, the challenges you will face and how it can be an exciting process. The lecture may burst a few bubbles as well, but a dose of reality never hurts anyone.

SO WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?

First, let us acknowledge that the IDEA is king

CROSS-DISCIPLINARY RELATIONSHIPS IN AN ADVERTISING AGENCY

Ideas can come from anyone

A copywriter–art director / graphic designer relationship is what you can describe as a ‘micro’ cross-disciplinary relationship. It gets more challenging and interesting when you start working with people outside your agency.

CROSS-DISCIPLINARY RELATIONSHIPS OUTSIDE THE ADVERTISING AGENCY

FINDING THE RIGHT PARTNERS

Look beyond the usual boundaries
Don’t just limit yourself to cross-disciplinary partners from your city, state or even country. If everyone you know uses the same few people (if they are good, every agency would want them on their jobs), look outside the ‘comfort zone’. Get reputable partners from beyond your borders. Your project will definitely look different and fresh. And we need that.

Find the passion
Sounds really cliché, but it’s so true. To some people, what they do is just a job. To others, they do it out of love, be it the love for music, for art, for illustration or for film. Meet and talk to these people. If their passion is contagious and they speak to you with enthusiasm and a gleam in their eyes (despite the dark shadows and eye bags), you know you’ve got yourself a good team. You know they will go above and beyond what is asked of them. You can see this passion in the Coca Cola case study at the end of the lecture.

GUARD YOUR BABY WITH YOUR LIFE
Great. You know how to find the right people to work with. What now?

Get involved
They should involve you at various stages of the animation’s development and that’s when you provide your input. You should also listen to their recommendations with an open mind. But if the result is far from what you have pictured in your head, then perhaps being a pain in the rear is necessary. Stand firm with what your want. But first, give them the benefit of a doubt in the first few rounds of work-in-progress. Provide more references and examples of what you hope to see. If all else fails, kick up a fuss.

This can be mitigated by the way you sell the idea and the cost estimates. Give them analogies to justify the higher costs. Make them understand that they shouldn’t be penny wise and pound foolish.

Times like this, we learn to let go.

It’ll still be your baby. Just not as perfect. Learn to swallow the lump in your throat that is your pride. And if something quite terrible comes out on air or in print (and we all know it’s probably not all your fault), denial is perfectly acceptable.

CASE STUDIES – FOR THE LOVE OF ART

Good use of art in advertising can be inspiring

THERE’S GRAFFITI. AND THEN THERE’S A CRAZY GRAFFITI / GUERILLA STUNT
Two years ago, Marc Ecko, founder of the Ecko hip hop fashion brand, purportedly sprayed graffiti on the Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base. A video of him spraying the slogan Still Free (the Ecko brand’s battle cry), on the Air Force One cowling was uploaded to YouTube. (http://www.youtube.com ).

Known for supporting graffiti artists and graffiti as an artform, Ecko claimed he did so to send a message to President Bush. The video showed hooded graffiti artists climbing barbed-wire fences and sneaking past guards with dogs to approach the jumbo jet and spray paint the slogan.

After the video began circulating on the web, the Air Force couldn’t immediately confirm if the plane had been vandalised. This “breach of security” sent the police and Secret Service into high alert. Before they found out it was a hoax, CNN and other live news networks had picked up the scoop, raising eyebrows across the country.

Authorities later confirmed that no such thing happened. Some were amused. Some were pissed at the silliness of it all. But it did what it set out to do. Lots of media attention. The type money can’t buy.

Ecko later acknowledged his company rented a 747 cargo jet at San Bernardino’s airport and secretly painted one side to look like Air Force One. People involved signed confidentiality agreements and worked inside a giant hangar until the night the video was made.

Not quite art per se, but it was a brilliant idea. Who was behind this? You guessed it. Droga 5.

CONCLUSION

Working in a cross-disciplinary way is all part and parcel of advertising, even within a creative department in an ad agency.

the questions below…

1. What problems have you faced when working collaboratively? How did you resolve them?

Various team members having different visions for the collaboration. This was resolved by having one person ‘direct’ the team, and establishing a combined vision.

2. What are your responses to Ha’s own personal approaches to finding the ‘right’ people to work with? Does this apply to your situation?

I think that the parts of this approach are very true.  This is particularly true (I think) in regards to finding the right partners, and not being afraid to look broarder then where you are located.
3. How could you evaluate the potential of possible collaborators?

I think the evaulation needs to be a based from a few things. 1. Past performance- what previous work have they done. 2. Experience in this area- other projects that are similar to what you’re looking at. 3. Idea generation- can they brainstorm and think of new ideas freely with you now, and 4. Interest- are they interested in your idea- is this an area of passion?
4. Can you draw any parallels between the case studies in the lecture and those you examined in your Portfolio B project?


Distinction

Posted on: May 20, 2010

My format for this assignment was somewhat unconventional.

I made my report a huge mindmap in a prezi.

I was either going to totally fail, or be awesome at it. Do you know which one I did?! I ACED it! I got a distinction- the first one in my life!

You can watch the assignment here. I actually think it’s quite interesting!
(I would embed it, but wordpress.com is a bitch…)

Part One:
Gladwell refers to three types of processes he believes influence the spread of ideas in our culture:
The Law of the Few (connectors, mavens, salespeople)
The Stickiness Factor
The Power of Context

Give a personal example of one of these three after reading the descriptions in the Innovation Labs summary in Lecture 6.

I’m going to give you an example which happened to me JUST NOW! It happened while I was reading this lecture, and I got to these lines:

“The truth is: there is no difference between:
a) having an idea and not doing anything with it, and
b) not having an idea at all.”

I read it, and I just had this revelation. Wow. I have used my ‘ability to have creative thought’ as a bit of an excuse/justification for not actually DOING creative things with my life. When I get to the end of the week and I haven’t done anything creative, at least I can tell myself, “Well, you do THINK creatively, just because you didn’t do anything… that’s okay.”

I realised from reading this, that that’s NOT okay! It’s not an excuse. All the bags/crafts/paintings/creative ways of making subjects/present ideas, they never get done, so the idea is wasted.

I think the reason why this stuck with me so much is because it struck an emotional cord with me. I was personally challenged by this statement, and almost offended by it (until I realised it was the truth!!). I think that the emotional response really adds to the ‘stickiness’ factor.

Part Two:

http://www.madetostick.com

You are not being asked to read the whole excerpt from Made to Stick in the link above, just the section (scroll halfway down) defining the Six Principles of Sticky Ideas. The authors use the acronym SUCCESS to summarise what they consider key aspects of creating “sticky ideas” –

Simplicity
Unexpectedness
Concreteness
Credibility
Emotions
Stories

Choose one of these six topic headings and give a personal example of a creative idea you have had which has been influenced by that topic heading.


Talia

Just finished my Graduate Certificate in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design with UNSW.

Love.

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