Field Group Collaborative

After I had completed the files to be laser cut it was time to began our 4 week group collaborative project, alongside our personal field project. I found it quite difficult not being able to finish the field project before having to concentrate on group collaborative, because I kept thinking and going back to my ideas for field when we were supposed to be thinking as a group and not focus on our own work!

We began by doing some group bonding tasks some of which I found a bit strange but I guess it did help to bond people together. It was focused around the arrangement of inanimate objects that we had brought with us. We placed out objects in an arrangement in silence and adjusted them as more objects were added in a silence conversation with each other through our interactions with the objects. We then got into groups quite randomly began to discuss our previous work and experience of group collaborative work. Once we had go to know our group a bit better we started to thinking about possible themes we could explore as a group and things that we all had similar interests in.

We were then asked to go away and cook a meal together which wasn’t just a normal meal but one where we would have to go and make an effort to find the ingredients. Then we also should record the conversation at the meal and draw on napkins some our ideas and experience from the meal. I found this a bit much and our group instead of doing this just explored some ideas further. Our initial idea was to look at an eco-city, building a model for a fictional eco-city as a final thing. We wanted to make things such as advertisements and products to go into this fictional city. Our group ranged across the disciplines of  Product design, Illustration, Maker (me) and Ceramics. So we were thinking how we could each use our disciplines to make things that would go into this eco-city design.

I was interested in looking at a possible location for our eco-city. I thought that to have a location I needed to understand what an eco-city really consisted of so I got up the Wikipedia description which is as follows.

The ideal “eco-city” has been described as a city that fulfils the following requirements:

  • Operates on a self-contained economy, resources needed are found locally
  • Has completely carbon-neutral and renewable energy production
  • Has a well-planned city layout and public transportation system that makes the priority methods of transportation as follows possible: walking first, then cycling, and then public transportation.
  • Resource conservation—maximizing efficiency of water and energy resources, constructing a waste management system that can recycle waste and reuse it, creating a zero-waste system
  • Restores environmentally damaged urban areas
  • Ensures decent and affordable housing for all socio-economic and ethnic groups and improve jobs opportunities for disadvantaged groups, such as women, minorities, and the disabled
  • Supports local agriculture and produce
  • Promotes voluntary simplicity in lifestyle choices, decreasing material consumption, and increasing awareness of environmental and sustainability issues

I relised that this project would become very complex if we ended up trying to look at all these points so we needed to refine out ideas a bit. We decided to free up a bit and just try and come up with as many ideas as possible and then take it from there refining down our ideas and thinking about areas that interested us. Below are some of my ideas that I put forward to the group-

  • *QR Barcodes, AR interactive models- When barcode is scanned up comes a short film giving interesting information about theme/model/advertising product or some other interesting AR.
  • *Look at how people interact with the city; how the city speaks to us. Rather than looking at the architecture of buildings look at the architecture of human interaction, how the city effects our way of moving. Build a city of experience as one walks thought the city. Base the city on things that humans experience when they are in the city as opposed to the countryside.
  • *Explore further how people move around the city. Explore transportation; what it means to us how it effects our feeling and thoughts. Walk vs Car benefits us.
  • *Buildings and their presence and power within the city. How they affect the way we feel within the city. Explore buildings as living things rather than stationary beings. Look at buildings footprints, waste heat, excessive light etc.
  • *Mapping information that we don’t usually see: heat, sound, vibrations, wind air movements people movement.
  • *Explore how people bring the city to life, the data that they create through interaction with the city, use of phones and internet. Mapping the unseen.
  • * Looking at camouflage in the city. How do we blend in, how do we stick out, what blends in and what sticks out in the city?
  • *Looking at objects in the city and their narrative. Objects such as signage and traffic lights.
  • *Looking at a anti city, making a city where everything is the opposite of what it is currently is in the city. Buildings build into the ground, so instead of rising up into tall claustrophobic inducting objects they sing away into the ground giving a sense of vertigo.
  • *Explore a higher archly of objects in the city, how we see them and their purpose in the city, how necessary are they, do we appreciate them or do we simply ignore them but without them we would not be as happy/not be able to do certain tasks well e.g drains don’t notice them but without them it would flood only notice it when they are not there.
  • *Natural city, city in the broader sense of the word. A city of thoughts, used a figure of speech . Build a model of a city based on abstract things, don’t take the city as it has to be a urban city, animal city, landscape city.

When I had brought these Ideas to the group we picked some ideas that we were interested in personally exploring further. I was Interested in looking at a anti-city and looking at natural cities. I was also interested in how the city is experienced and exploring objects within the city. From here we will explore our interests further and bring them to the group at our next meeting, so we can gather the strongest ideas and work together to develop these themes further, working towards some sort of final piece.

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