Overall Field Reflection

The initial 5 week of the four room’s projects was all about designing.  We were split up into our teams and had to brainstorm initial ideas based on themes and movements that we had been given. This was inevitably quite a challenge with all the different ideas flying around due to the different disciplines but we persevered as a group right from the start and identified all our likes and dislikes and group together things that we all had in common. We discussed the concept of out room which was to take the materialistic nature of an industrial theme and the geometric side of the cubist movement. We then began to come up with some design ideas. This is where it got quite tricky as a group as there were a lot of designs flying around and whilst better lots than nothing, we had to filter through carefully. Coming from a background of design work, having a experience from my practice I helped to filter down the most viable options thinking in particular about what could actually be made and what would be unrealistic in the time and resources available. I really enjoyed watching our design evolve as we work on the idea of our room more and more. We came to a point where we thought we had a final design but when we brought it in front of our tutors, we realised it wasn’t the look we were going for, so we retraced our steps and built up another angle of approach. I felt this was a key point in our design process, where we had been knocked a bit but we got back up and came back with a design that we were really proud of. The main ambition of the room was to bring the outside in and distort it. We intended to play with perspective focusing on angles and points of view. The university was built in an industrial style so we focused on the raw materials of the building distorting them into a geometric cubist interior. When we presented this to the tutors they were very pleased with our design. The first 5 week gave me a feeling of what it’s like to work with a team that really gels together well and despite some people doing more work than other; you still work off each other and are able to ride over the ups and downs together. The main thing is you end up producing something that quite exceptional and yes you could come up with a design for an interior on your own, but you would never realise the same design as you do when there are multiple minds focusing on it.

The second 5 weeks saw the making and installation of our room design. This was where I really felt at home and assumed a bit of a leading role overseeing the making of components for the room. We began making as set of templates for our large wall panels we were making. We did this so we could then work in the workshops and make panels which were fit into the room without having to constantly go between the room and workshop with measurements. This took longer than expected but once complete we began work on the wooden wall panels which we were carrying on from the wooden fence outside of the room. There were mistakes early on which set us back on our time schedule we had made forcing us to adjust it. We had to deal with ordering in materials and sourcing items such as paint to match the outside of the rooms and LEDs to match the specification of our lights which we were integrating into the components of the room. I also had to make the table design which put me under quite a bit of time pressure and forced me to work efficiently and precisely so we keep to our time schedule. The metal wall, which we were carrying on from the metal railings outside the room, also provided a serious source of stress. The metal took far longer to order than expected as although making was actually quite straightforward, installing it was an absolute nightmare, with many of the parts being muddled up and not fitting in with the original template. We were all working on multiple things at one time as our design was very ambitious for the number of people we had. We had to make wall panels as well as a table and fit the entire room out with light along with making a centrepiece to go on the table. I found myself going between the different threads of making and trying to make sure it was all going to the time plan and going smoothly. Installing the room took far longer than I ever expected and was a gruelling 16 hours of work, night and day. However, then end result was worth it. It really looked like our designs at the start of the project and the model of the room that we made reflected it really well. When you walked into the room you got a good sense of the outside coming in and distorting your perspective on the exterior, fulfilling our aim. I have worked as hard as I can remember and it has helped me realised what I can actually achieve and what you can achieve as a coherent team.

Through this 10 week project I have learnt what it is like to run a project under a very tight timescale and how to manage ones time effectively to achieve something that might seem almost impossible when first started. I made me question how I used my time and what I might achieve should I change this, making every minute of time count towards a final outcome. Additionally, I got a feel for really good team work, how jobs can be delegated and your skills can complement one another’s. The team wasn’t without its disagreements but the fact was we managed to push through them and continue to work towards a common goal. I also found that there is always a point where you really feel like it’s not going to work and then if you can manage to push through this you can go on to make it work very well. Being a part of team can help a lot with pushing past this mental boundary as you all help each other. The 10 week project as a whole was overall a really great experience and I would happily do it all over again for the feeling when we got to the end, stood back and saw what we had produced together, seeing all those hours spent right from the first ideas to the last lick of paint. I did feel that 5 weeks of making was a bit slim and we could have definably done with 6-7 weeks of making and less time in the design stage as I can remember sitting around a lot in the first couple of weeks not doing much, or not needing to really coming in everyday, whereas by the end we were in everyday as soon as the workshops were open to begin making. If we worked at the same level of intensity at the start I think we would have be prepared for making after the first3-4 weeks. I will take back the experiences from field and use them in my subject by; structuring my time effectively, making every minuet counts towards an outstanding outcome, know the point where you just need to persevere and push through even though it seems like it will never work or you will never get it done, realise that hard work does show, and the outcome in the end with be ever more satisfying and fulfilling, seeing all the hard worked hours spent producing it, grasp the positives of working as a team and how rewarding it can be to come up with something as a cohort of minds. I feel that I have developed my leadership skill through this project as well as managing a larger project overall. I feel I also worked well under the pressure and managed to come up with solutions to the many problems that arose. I feel like I also helped the team stay on track, keeping a time plan in mind and on papers as we went along.

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