Tuesday, March 31, 2009


For the last month, as a part of my product design project, I have been experimenting with ceramics. Exciting as I was in the very beginning I never expected it to be such a time consuming and monotonic process. I was really keen to learn something new and 'real' - genuine craft, like in old good times... But I guess those times were not that stressing and the pace of life was much more relaxed - especially comparing to life pace of an product design student. Well, my point is, pottery doesn't accept rushing and impatience. It's also very uncontrollable. Hence, it gets me really frustrated.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

my digital presence

Last Monday we were given a presentation on CV's, portfolios, job interviews and all that professional – ‘grow-ups’ things, that we will have to go through after we graduate. It was done by our Product Design lecturer Pete Thomas and his friend Matt Shannon practitioner from Imagination.

Although the presentation was very constructive and valuable, I had an impression, that after we graduate, it all becomes about how effective we sell ourselves. Nevertheless, it was good to find out about certain do's and dont's of presenting our work to the outside world. I found this session particularly useful, as my personal website is just starting to take shape. (I reveal a snapshot of it here)
The main conclusion concerning the digital portfolios was, that we shouldn't show too much. Just demonstrate some of the strongest parts of our university work and treat websites more as a catch enticing our potential employers to invite us for the interview.

Looking at my digital portfolio from this angle, it appears very amateur. But on the other hand this was my primary intention. I wanted it to be something personal – an evidence of my passion towards design and art; my own development and different experiences gathered during the years of studies. I was intending to reflect most of my skills, to demonstrate flexibility, multidisciplinarity and my general enthusiasm. I was assuming, that as a graduate, my main advantage is, that I still have a fresh mind and I can prove myself in different areas and aspects of design. In a way I don’t want to pretend that I am professional. It’s dishonest – I’m still happy to learn and shape myself as a designer. And in this respect my website demonstrates a charming clumsiness of young design student.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Little kettle family

I just realised that, while prototyping, I produced quite a collection of miniature kettle-like objects that are recently kicking about my desk. Together they make a nice little family, so I decided to take a 'family picture' of them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


So I did as I thought. I spent a good while trying to decide on a different technique for making my final D&AD boards. I wanted to experiment with something new, other than CAD or photoshop, that would make my presentation different and somehow unique. I believe, the third year, it’s high time to figure out what kind methods and tools fit me best, so I can practise them before the final year project.

I finally decided to paint my boards with watercolours. The effect, that can be achieved with the subtle, fresh and slightly blurred colours seemed to be just right to express the tone of my project. I settled on the composition and palette and…well, it all looked great in theory, but the practise wasn’t easy at all. Especially as the last time I really painted was… 3 years ago, I guess… Apparently watercolours are one of the most challenging painting techniques. Mostly due to the fact, that there is no white paint, so once you put darker colour there is no chance to erase it or paint over. It also requires a lot of patience as each layer has to dry completely before applying the next one. It basically makes it impossible to see any immediate effect and got me really frustrated. I came to the point when I was ready to abandon the whole idea of this ‘artistic rebel’ and put a few vectors in solidworks or illustrator and have the whole thing ready in half hour. Luckily I had support from certain artist from upstairs, who helped me out and gave some motivation. To be fair, I was pretty satisfied with the outcome. Unfortunately getting the digital version of the image turned out to be quite problematic too. As watercolour paints give very light colours, many delicate shadows (which I gave so much attention) were lost while photographing or scanning, so I spent another couple of hours trying to photoshop them back (still not quite there – the image on top)

What’s the moral of the story? Well, it’s hard to be creative .

Thursday, March 5, 2009

D&AD boards

The last couple of days everyone from Product Design (I wish I could say IPD) have been stressing out about the d&ad boards. What we actually have to do, is to design four A3 presentation boards explaining our ideas and referring them back to the brief.
Those recent days I have seen a lot of example boards, that are sort of guideline of what we are expected to deliver – like what are the correct layouts, fonts, colours and so on.

Looking at those boards, I realised how little they differ from each other. They are all following the same pattern - a big rendering on the rationale board, little drawings of hands on the interaction board, 3-4 pictures of insights on the research board… They are all telling same boring story. Well, the truth is, that the boards need to fit the criteria of d&ad, which sets limits for the content, but still, there must be a way to do something different and fresh. And I’m going to find it! We’re designers – creatives, which means we shouldn’t be encouraged to follow the same matrix. Well, yes – it is the content, that matters the most, but as we are asked to present it in the visual form, I reckon the presentation does play an important role.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Unexpected visual feast

Yesterday I watched Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and I must say this was the most beautiful film I have seen for a long time. All the scenes, shots, colours were composing such a wonderful pictures, that I couldn't stop staring at it (even the closing credits were so beautifully crafted that I watched them all). All details - objects, costumes, surroundings, fitted so well into convention and together created unbelievable, fantastical world.

Śliczne że aż chciałoby się schrupać.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dear Blog...

Today's morning mini-lecture Pete gave us, was about blogging. It reminded me of my poor, neglected blog, lost somewhere in the web... As Jon said, blogging is one of the forms of presence in the social networking community, so hip and desired in today's world. It made me feel guilty, that I didn't blog to much so far. As always - I was super-enthusiastic in the beginning, when I started and then I lost it.

When I come to think of it, well, blog doesn't really fit into my lifestyle and way of working and thinking. It's too structured and organised. It requires constant updating and the way the information is presented doesn't give much flexibility. It doesn't seem mine. I remember my past diaries, that I kept in junior-high age. They were so much more personal and creative. What made them special was all the junk I was pasting, scribbles, drawings, pages uneven from tears. This form allowed me to express my thoughts and emotions better.

I mean, I understand that this form needs to be a compromised for the sake of technology... Or does it? That's the problem that guys doing HP brief are trying to solve, isn't it?

Anyway, I was thinking maybe when I finally get my own website (I'm getting there, again I'm struggling with lack of enthusiasm...) I will try to develop some creative (unstructured) tool of expressing thoughts. One thing I know for sure - there won't be any dates, so that I'm not stressing out! I really liked the idea of hyperlinked design process maps as a way of communicating progress in a visual way. Maybe that could be a start...