Sunday, 28 November 2010

Let it snow let it snow let it snow...

Soo incase no ones noticed – its pretty snowy out there today! I woke up at 4:30 thinking a bomb had went outside, but no, just come crazy thundersnowstorm going on! It went on and on and on. I woke up expecting some snow, but oh my, not as much as what there is and it’s still going strong. Out of bed and hopped and had a wee wander to the shop to get some eggs to bake a cake. It felt different, Christmassy but homely. I liked it.

I got back to find that everyone on my street was out shovelling the snow – a bit of a team effort going on. My street/park is pretty nice, lots of families and a few older couples. We are pretty much the only students here but everyone usually keeps themselves to themselves quite a bit, but not today. Everyone was out helping eachother shovel the snow. They even did our driveway and we weren’t even out helping. It made me think – this is a community. Recently for my dissertation I have been thinking about the ideas of creating a community – how this is done through the arts and cultural centres. But it just goes to show, sometimes we don’t realise a community even exists, nor do we have to force it but it just appears. On my second trek to the shop (i forgot the icing sugar the first time) I noticed a car looking like it had gone off the road though there didn’t appear to be a driver in it. I walked on down the hill towards my housing park to be greeted with everyone that had been shovelling the snow from our driveways walking up the hill, shovel in hand, to help the man who had got his car stuck. Community strikes again.

The kids are all out building a huge snowman together – ive lived here for two years now and never seen them all play together. Just goes to show – maybe all we need is a little snow to get the community spirit going!

p.s. they are still shovelling the snow even tho its still snowing...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

assignment 4 - analysis of journal article

“Begin Within Story, Screen, and Museum Space...just like Alice...” by Kylie Message

This study is about the process of storytelling throughout an exhibition. Each exhibition has its own unique narrative to create and provide a relationship between the exhibition and the viewer. Throughout the article Message looks into the new technologies and the old traditional methods of exhibition and display, how the viewer engages with the different styles and the views or perspectives gained through each of these.

Kylie Message uses her vast knowledge to ask many different questions on museum and exhibitions. She questions how we display a story in an exhibition, how the viewers interact with the space, how the different kinds of exhibition can affect people differently. Asking why we go to exhibitions and what is the main motivation for this. She explains her experiences of exhibition design to answer these questions providing examples for each.

Message has spent a lot of time doing her own primary research looking at museum, exhibitions and cultural centres, watching how people react and interact with both the space and the actual exhibition being displayed. This article is produced to advise that exhibition designers do the same, taking into consideration the different styles of exhibition, the surrounding atmosphere and the narrative or story being told. Within this article she uses references from other authors for example, Jean-FranV ois Lyotard whom she used to exaggerate the idea and importance of the narrative of an exhibition along with Andrew Cameron who uses the example of the story of Alice in Wonderland to explain the process of travelling through a space and the hidden rules and conditions involved in this process.

This article explains the importance of needing to see how a viewer becomes immersed in an exhibition and therefore becomes a participant. She concludes that a narrative is a simple navigational device that should be used to tell the story but to also provide a link between the viewer and space causing them to react and form a relationship. Museums are responsible for this relationship between the story of an object and the people.

The reader of the article is assumed to have some basic knowledge on exhibition design as its main purpose it to give a deeper understanding of the underlying aspects of an exhibition or museum space. It is used to help the reader understand how exhibition designers need to consider how the times have changed moving to new technologies and styles of exhibition and display. These new ideas need to be taken into account, especially with how the viewers interact differently with the space now. Messages ideas need to be taken seriously as we can’t ignore the changing times in design of exhibitions. The need to get the viewer to engage with the place of display as well as the actual display is very important and should not be ignored when designing and exhibition space.

Kylie Message has written this article based on the viewer, taking their point of view into consideration. She has also, successfully, taken the exhibitionists point of view so they know how to change their displays and narrative to suit the needs of the current viewer’s ideas, aspiration and expectations when going to new exhibition or cultural centre.

assignment 4 - analysis of book

“Urban Regeneration – A Handbook” Edited by Peter Roberts and Hugh Sykes.

The idea and process of Urban Regeneration is a complex one with a lot of different people and aspects being involved, affected and impacted. This handbook provides a clear definition and overview of Urban Regeneration, why it is necessary and how it functions. Roberts and Sykes look at how the regeneration affects the economy, physical and environmental aspects, housing issues, employment and education along with the social and community issues the regeneration of a city can cause. The focus on the managing of the process considering the land use and legal issues involved. The book is designed to be used as a guide for those involved in Urban Regeneration providing lessons of good practice through case studies and experiences from the authors.

The main question that is answered throughout this book is why should we regenerate? Is there any need? This is answered in every aspect of regeneration covered throughout the book, from the environmental, economic to social aspects. Roberts and Sykes use their practical experience along with experiences from other cities throughout the UK, Europe and America as a guide for those interested and involved in the urban regeneration process. The idea of this is to use lessons from the other cities to gain knowledge on how to ensure that the plan for the town or city being regenerated is being designed specifically for that place.

Both authors/editors have primary practical and academic experience in planning and development. Roberts being a professor of European Strategic Planning in the School of Town and Regional Planning in University of Dundee and is Chair of the British Urban Regeneration Association Best Practice Committee. Sykes was chairman of the Sheffield Development Corporation and currently serves on boards of a number of public companies. They have also gathered a lot of information from many secondary sources such as Regional Development agencies, ECOTEC etc as well as using the examples from other cities experiences.

The book is broken up into specific chapters on the different aspects of regeneration. With each chapter advice is given and conclusions made on the impacts and experiences involved with each of these aspects. A basic understanding of the issue is explained at the start of each chapter before going into further detail, examples, positive and negative aspects of the issue and coming to a final conclusion about the advice that is given occurs within each chapter.

The purpose of this book assumes that you have an interest in regenerating a city but it is also useful as a tool for those interested to read about the impacts that regeneration can have on a city; both positive and negative. It is designed as a reference text and to give an overview of urban regeneration. It is very useful to have these experiences and the knowledge of all the different aspects and issues brought together. The editors have successfully compiled their knowledge and experiences in an understanding and simple way to suit a wide variety of readers. They have effectively provided an unbiased and open overview of the complex process of urban regeneration.

Monday, 8 November 2010

bomb project

With open day happening in DJCAD this week the IED students all gathered forces and a three day group project took place aka the bomb project. 7 students. 4 years. 3 day. 1 topic.

The brief for the project was to build a building prototype on a topic that we had been given. Our groups topic was ‘learn’. The purpose of the project was to create a 2d or 3d prototype that would reflect the topic without any normally obvious symbols. For example the topic of religion would be associated with a church and therefore symbolised by a cross – our aim was to explain the topic without using obvious ideas.

Our group met on Monday morning – got a huge sheet of paper and got our minds ticking with a mind map. We soon realised that the topic of learn is a rather huge one as you are learning from the second you are born until the minute you die. It is a constant process. After further discussion we worked out that there are also some main points in your life of “education” in which we are learning at school. We worked these out to be birth, post nursery, nursery, primary, secondary, university and life. We discussed the different types of learning at each of these stages and the objects etc used to assist in the learning process as each stage.

Our final idea involved having 7 squares – each representing a stage of our learning process. They started off small (10 cm) and then moved towards the final large square (2meters) to represent birth to final human height. We used the square shape to represent a frame of our lives. Within each square we then added a strip to represent the type of learning. These grew in proportion with the size of the squares.

1 – birth – finger knitting with wool – representing the fragile yet complex nature of birth.

2 – pre nursery - hand print – initial beginning of learning, realising that you are an individual

3 – nursery – intertwined pipe cleaners – showing the first stages of learning through play and experimentation

4 – primary – letters and numbers – the beginning of structured learning in education.

5 – secondary – patchwork of clothes – development of you as an individual and your interests and hobbies.

6 – university – weave of magazines and work – balance between work and life. Showing the impact the surrounding world has on your education and learning process

7 – life – bamboo strips tied together – these represent the final stage of learning is unending, we are always continuing to learn through our experiences. The bamboo is tied together at some points and spread apart at others to show how sometimes it feels like everything is coming together, others not at all.

When the viewer looks through the largest square the whole picture came together representing that our life is always a learning process and will always continue.