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22TH JAN'24 - 10TH MAY'24

WEEK 1: 22th Jan'24 – 26th Jan'24

22th Jan'24 - Briefing session

Today was the new chapter for Semester 02, the Reconstruction study block, modules to begin. The first module will be Curate and Build, which will encourage us to examine the relationship between thinking and doing further. It's like a signal to test, try out, and explore our project interests in more detail.

The focal point of this module lies in crafting an interactive exhibition that delves into the escalating complexity of data within our rapidly evolving technological and cultural milieu. Our task involves investigating how meaning can be unveiled through tangible or embodied visualisation techniques and understanding how an approach to data 'curation' can foster in-depth research into specific digital and cultural trends.

Simultaneously, we will participate in a collaborative challenge to brand, curate, and publicise the 'exhibition,' adding an extra layer of practical experience to our learning process.


Aren’t we just the worst species you can imagine? You know if you said in the early 90s: “In 20 years, you will have the answer to any question you ever wanted, right there immediately, literally in the palm of your hand, no matter where you are on earth,” you would say “No that’s not possible. No that’s too unbelievable.” And, of course, now it’s true, now everyone’s like (yawns) “Next!” We have these amazing things that just dropped into our laps, and now we just want something new. That’s [our] relationship with the future … You’re scared of what’s coming next, but you also want it. What would you call that kind of relationship? Co-dependent?

Douglas Copeland 2015

In the wake of the continuous global pandemic, rapid technological change, data overflow, growing political polarisation, conspiracy theories, and an all-consuming digital world, the concept of ‘the self’ as we know it has been radically destabilized. Building on the recently published 'The Extreme Self - Age of You' by novelist Douglas Coupland, editor Shumon Basar, and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, you are asked to reveal, problematise, challenge, disrupt, provoke, and/or question the idea of ‘the self’ within a contemporary context. This might include investigations into technology, politics, fame, intimacy (…) – but, at its heart, it must consider what it means to be human today.

Project 01: Putting the Spotlight on 'YOU'

The project's overarching goal is to cultivate and articulate a unique 'point of view' through a design response presented in various formats, utilising a pre-existing 'data' node. This data node could manifest as a single statistic, a set of related statistics, a timeline, a recording, an interview, or similar mediums. Crucially, the project aims to construct a compelling and impactful information experience for the audience.

Furthermore, the project encourages the exploration of personal skill development and the exploration of theoretical and practical interests within the communication design field, all geared towards shaping your final MA project. The creative journey involves ample freedom for testing, experimentation, and play.

While the final artefacts may manifest in diverse forms such as interactive media, a performance, video, etc., they must be crafted and designed within the framework of a broader group show—Project 2—scheduled to take place in our Atrium. In addition to the creative output, participants would be expected to produce a reflective, critical report on their work throughout the semester. This report will serve as a bridge connecting the current work to the MA concepts intended for exploration in the final semester. The report should be underpinned by a clear theoretical foundation, supported by evidence, and guided by reasoning.

The paper will consist of two parts:
1) 2000 words: A critically reflective report on the work that would to undertaken in the current semester.
2) 500 words: an abstract that outlines, as clearly and concisely as possible, the research question(s), parameters, and literature that will inform your final MA project in the next study block.


Project 02: Focusing on the 'US'

The project framework entails dividing into groups, supported by initial ideation workshops and theory lectures, to formulate a comprehensive curatorial plan for Project 1. The primary emphasis should be on the target audience, guided by a direct strategic approach. Considerations include:

Exhibition name

Exhibition branding

Exhibition layout 

A curatorial statement

Publicity for the opening + show

Creating engagement pre, during and after the show

The group concepts will be ‘pitched’ to your cohort on the provisional date of Friday, 8 March. The chosen concept(s) will be further developed and implemented for the exhibition launch. Throughout this process, equitable distribution of the workload within the group is vital, achieved through negotiation and task delegation while also adhering to the overall project budget.

The deliverables are:
• A curated project presented via a 10-minute presentation (group)
• Installed exhibition
• PDF boards
• Design a Research Journal recording your project development
• 2500-word reflective report
• Review and peer-review documents

After comprehending the brief, I experienced mixed emotions, uncertain about my ability to craft the artefact for both projects, particularly given my limited experience in manual artistry. Despite having engaged in prototyping for the boundaries project, I approach the challenge with a blend of nervousness and excitement.

23th Jan'24 - Short workshop by Lizzy and Bryan

To understand the project in-depth, there was a small workshop. We were divided into three groups and each group had an area of focus they had to work on, and we were given the ‘Environment’. There were many factors which have affected the environment such as Pollution, climate change and veganism. We as a group picked up the selected topic as ‘Veganism’.  In Veganism, there are multiple things which can be noticed Plant-based meat alternatives, crops needed to support increased numbers/demand and contents of pint of milk. We focus on the Contents of a pint of milk and go deeper, there are more things which can focused on such as cows' carbon foot pints, land use, artificial hormones, antibiotics, Mastitis – bacterial inflection udder 26-36/100 increase white blood cells. 

Some data are:

  1. Every litre of milk can contain 400 million pus cells.

  2. 30% of British dairy cows have mastitis.

  3. Every sip contains 11 different growth factors and 35 different hormones. 

  4. One in six pints of milk produced globally is lost or wasted – 128 million tons of milk each year. 

The statement will be about the environmental impact of factory/industrial farming. The artefacts will showcase the production of Milk produced by the factory. 

Feedback: It was a great way how to come up with an idea so quickly in this short workshop as the topic required a lot, but they say we came up with a good solution. 

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