Thursday, April 29, 2010

Materials- Sustainable Project- Project Updates

The more I work with this concept the farther I move away from crochet. I mean, no matter what I do it feels crafty and I think it is going away from my concept using the crochet. I decided to really sit down and figure out -what- I wanted to do with this project. Was it about crochet and keeping a dieing tradition alive? If so, Why the fruit? Couldn't there be something -else- that would be more suited to this?

That's when I realized that really, the crochet was a means to achieve a different concept and that I was really back on the concept I was working with on my "Enjoy Your Lunch" piece of last semester. Really, I wanted to make fresh produce more readily available in the home by giving the consumer something that was a fruit container that encouraged through interaction to put and take out fruit. So, I have been deciding better ways to convey this message of healthy eating and more healthy alternatives in the home through a sustainable medium. I was looking into designs I could use.

Last week, Megan showed us how to do that technique with the cheerios, and honestly I fell in love with the design. It instantly reminded me of those African instruments and drums. I always thought they were aesthetically very pleasing to look at and they were always around vegetable gourds. I was wondering what I could do with that in more simplistic way. So, I researched some instruments. Honestly, the beads seemed like an afterthought I was thinking I could directly incorporate them into my design and depending on the materials make a comment with them.

J2- Project 2, Reflection

Reflection of "On The Hook"
I really enjoyed this project. This is really the first time I got to sit down and really design something in metal start to finish that had many surfaces and details. "On the Hook" is a 5.25" x 1.66" x 0.5" narrative pendant depicting the story of me catching my first fish when I was down in Chincoteague, VA as a small child. I got so excited that I flipped over the boat and still managed to keep hold of the fish. The front of the pendant shows the fish and the inside details the acts of catching it. The backside (flat side) of the piece shows the cleaning of the fish by the docks as is the tradition of my family ( you catch it, you clean it). The pendant is made of copper, brass and sterling silver and completely done is cold connections.  I am quite pleased with the way it turned out employing many various techniques including: rivetting, chasing and repousse, sawing and piercing, tabs, heat patinas and liver of sulfur patinas. My favorite portion of the pendant has to be the front repousse of the fish. I think it came out exactly as I wanted, I do feel that I could work more on the connections in the future and I could stand to practice more rivets. 

My peer review of the pendant was pretty positive. They found its overall looking complete and that every surface has been designed and considered. They seem to understand the narrative concept right away and understand the imagery and beach themes used throughout. They liked the materials and the patinas used but find the edges to be unfinished and that they could be sanded more (this I agree with). They did comment it was a bit large to be wearable. I think this is a valid critique. I had originally intended it to be smaller but when it came out larger I decided to work with it. It did make it a bit easier to rivet it together and easier to sand the surfaces. They did find that if it hangs lower it would be able to be worn which is why I chose to lengthen the fishing line strand to make it hang a bit lower. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Materials- Hype Cuff In Use!

Here are some of the pics from the Media Pressure Cuff in use. 

Materials- Sustainable Project- More Material Samples

I was playing with some different materials as part of my 5 samples and here is some of the progress.

Recycled Paper Pulp-

Okay, So....I don't know why these are taking forever to dry, I did them last Sunday (its thursday) and they are still pretty wet, but here is the "paper pulp". I played with a few different consistencies and coloring techniques. The more water you put in and the less paper makes a thin film that you can use to make paper, the thicker the pulp created (meaning less water) it becomes like a clay almost.

The green colored one I infused herbs into so it has a lovely smell to it. I want to put dirt in it and some seeds and see if it works as a nice recycled seeder pot. 

(to be continued)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The World Mobility Problem

Saw this video this morning it made my day.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Materials- Sustain- Working with Wool and Project Updates

I find myself really getting into all the different things you can do with just wool. There are so many techniques and forms you can do with it to change it and alter it. I am going to have to pull myself away soon in order to work with some of the other material samples for the project.

Below is what I have done so far with wool (knit, crochet, crochet 3d forms, macrame, spun and made discs to test stiffeners) I plan to take this a little farther and try the different ways of felting it and see what I can come up with

As for the project it is coming along. I decided I wanted to work with the quote "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" and I am currently working on a "7 apple containment device". I don't really know what else to call it right now. 

 Fake Fruit for Maquettes (i didn't know fake fruit was so expensive!!)

 Mini crochet prototype

Some Notes on Sustainable Design Readings

Design Activism-
- nature looked vast in the late 18th century-- ripe for exploitation
- the resources to sustain life like agriculture are decreasing
- micro-utopias and make impossible before possible now
- fill the gap between poverty around the world
- Design Prism: Design Practice, Design Studies, and Design Exploration
     - more then one facet to a design, it is about the design coming together as a whole
- "overconsumers"- the rich 20% that has so much mass and waste that it is contaminating the whole

Cradle to Cradle-
-just because something is "less bad"  for the environment doesn't make it good
- the problem is still there it just exists in a different form.
-mass customerization, making products for the masses they can create make their own
- is the industrial revolution bad?
    - hasn't changed since the beginning
         - make it as cheap and as many as possible
- how can be draw on the fundamentals of the preindustrial revolution and the good of industrial revolution
- "biomimicry"- using the designing the efficiency of nature
- the preindustrial idea of making stuff, take the ideal and bring it into the 20th century, use the digital to make the crafts of the old
- consumerism in a capitalist society
- planned obsolecence
- one- off objective vs. mass producted
- "we are a capitalist society and nothing is going to change that"
Designers, Visionaries and Other Stories
- zero waste can save money
- even a small change can make a big change

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Materials- Sustainable Project- Brainstorming, Review, and Research

Okay so here is what I have so far, feel free to leave any feedback or information for me <3
Sketchbook Brainstorms-
Design Review in Class
Post-Class Research of "Fruit Socks"

J2. Project 1- Reflection

Working with the different metal surfacing was a unique opportunity I will carry forward throughout my work. The surface of a piece is the first thing that someone sees when they interact with a piece. The physical sensations the surface creates gives the viewer an initial response to the work. The color and texture create the mood and feel of the work.

I am in love with creating texture with the hammer to the metal. It can be layered and made to interact with the metal in different ways. It also shows the hand of the artist. I also like how many natural textures can be mimicked in the metal using the layering and stroke of the hammer. I also enjoy etching because it allows the metal to look the way I drew it and conceptualized it in my sketchbook.

The process that I find the most frustrating was the roll printing. There are so many conditions that have to be perfect in order to get an output that is desirable. I want to practice more of this in the future because I feel that a lot can be done with this technique. I also found that patina work with a torch can produce beautiful colors but, it is  rather hit or miss for what comes out. I think that more practice with this as well can get some very nice results.

I really liked this project. I found that my theme being dreams allowed for a lot of different representations of the same idea and allowed for a flow of ideas throughout the process. I think that I should have limited myself a bit more though because I feel a few of the pieces did not quite seem as part of a collection of work where a lot of the rest of it did.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Materials- Creative Caffiene

10 Things That That are Unsustainable to Sustainable!

1. Cars
  - cars run on fossil fuels that are from nature but, the way we treat and process them it makes them into something new and unnatural.
  - things exist that are more sustainable, for example hydrogen-powered engines and corn (ethanol) powered engines
 - the transition to these is simple but, it would have to be more wide-spread
- have large public transit systems all over the United States and make it not taboo to ride the public transit.

2. Plastics
 - generally made of pvc and toxic chemicals
- when it is burned it is very bad for the environment
- there are more natural alternatives, like bio-polymers and natural resins that could be used as an alternative
                        - they also tend to be biodegradable and better for environment
3. Insulation
- is starting to get hot out and the winter was pretty cold, I had to go upstairs to check something the attic and I got the nasty fiberglass insulation all over me. It was gross!
- I remember that last semester, there is alternatives like denim that can be used instead of this nasty stuff
- fiber glass is harmful if you break it in, and as it breaks down it becomes airborne and ends up in your lungs and in the air.
- change the way we use air conditioning with opening windows and naturally insulating houses with heat pipes ect.

4. Plastic Water bottles, tea bottles, soda bottles
- we could always replace the material to be something biodegradable but, I don't think that is truly a solution. I mean yes it will solve the problem of the bottle in a landfill for 1000s of years but, it is still going to the landfill, we are still paying to ship it around and dispose of it. Instead, let's think of ways we could rethink the bottle!
- make fountains of your favorite drink in public locations where like a vending machine you put in your change take out your change and get a drink, but instead you take out your refillable container and fill it up with your favorite drink right from the fountain. There could be local distribution centers that pump it to these fountains or even have local soda shop manufactures and juicers that you get it in a pipeline directly from the manufacture.

5. Clothing
- we are in a culture of "style" where we don't make clothing to last, all it is good for is that fashion season
- I was seeing that Hanes has come out with a line of sustainable clothing, which is kinda cool, but it still would become useless over time
- if we rethought fashion and made it so that we were a "fashion-less" culture and you wore clothes that made you look good (not necessarily whats in style) and clothing that lasts repeated wear there would be less clothing waste.
- If we made clothign that was out of organic materials they tend to be softer hold up longer and be less harmful to your skin

6. Food
- the problem with food prices right now is directly connected in the rise in gas prices there are ways to make food more sustainable and cheaper
- there are plenty of things that we get shipped all over the country. There is a reason you can find oranges in your local grocery store all year round, it is because they are being shipped from all over the world to your neighborhood and this is EXPENSIVE
- what if we ate in season, this is what they did for hundreds of years before power and cars and it worked! and ya know what they didn't have as many problems with obesity as we do today

7. Electronic Waste and Planned Obsolencence
- so I work at an electronic store and I am constantly hearing "this didn't last as long as my old -insert electronic that is now broken", they are told when it is broken that it is cheaper just to buy a new one
- where does that old one go? most of the time to a landfill sometimes to an electronic recycler that just takes out the parts
- we can make electronics better for the environment but no matter what parts of it will be bad, i mean you can't make "bio-mercury" or "bio-lithium" it is just not a part of the element
- what if we went back t o making things that lasted, yeah they wouldnt be as cheap the first time around, but still, what if it lasted 5-10 years and then you could FIX it? I mean it would make the costs of electronics cheaper
- what if we made it so our old electronics could be upgraded to the "lastest and greatest", don't program them to be obsolete in a year or two

8. Cell Phones
- there is no reason we should get a new cell phone every year just to get the latest trendy model! I mean really now!
- cell phones need to be universal, if you change carrier or whatever you should be able to keep your phone if its in good working order, plus there should be a universal system of chargers.
- the only reason most chargers don't work in electronics is proprietary chips in them to keep it FROM working in other things. It's to keep you buying new chargers and cables then you misplace or break your old ones

9.Paper waste, use of paper
- electronics exists that can totally replace paper
- we live in a digital work there is no reason to be cutting down trees and wasting paper
- while these use electricity to run, it is far less then the electricity used in the milling process and the recycling process

10. Electricity
- There are ways in which we could be using less electricity every night, but we are a wasteful society, if we were more effiecient with our energy useage it wouldnt be so much of a problem
- Turn off the lights! you don't need 5 on in your house if your only in 1 room
- turn down the heat and the cool in the summer we keep our houses shut tight and don't use whats in the air around us!
- wind and solar power are big in other countries and very viable technologies but, people seem shy of them. they are a real opportunity to use our environment in non-impact ways

Materials- Sustainable Project Materials Sample Start

So, I was thinking of how natural materials are sustainable. I mean if they are made by nature they are natural and nature has a way to handle itself. I was thinking of how to use wool, wood, cork, leather and a few other things in as many ways as I could think of. 
Hand-spun yarn from Shetland wool.

(hehe more to come about all of this I am super excited)

Sustainable Design 2.0

Last semester I had my first dose of sustainable design-- it was enough to completely change my major. Sustainable Design is a necessary part of our future if we want to be able to continue the type of life we expect as Americans. Resources are running out point blank. There is NOTHING that can be done about fossil fuels besides to find ways to replace them. There is NOTHING to do with old trash, but to find BETTER trash. Objects can be made easy and affordable using sustainable materials and in general they will be stronger and better lasting then there non-sustainable predecessors.

What IS sustainability? Quite simply, it is the capacity to endure (wikipedia). Simple concept right? The ability to endure use, to endure production, to endure continual production. Sustainability is continual, and is a cradle to cradle production meaning the end result does not live in a landfill for hundreds of years.

Sustainable design has different factions and ideas to it. It is about the end user, the customer, having a product that is good for the environment that people feel is there own. That is where the idea of "customerization" comes into play. It is allowing the customer to determine the end result of the project. This is very interesting because it takes the final touches away from the artist and makes it more about the person who will be interacting with this object every day of their life. To put this into perspective, this is like when you were a kid and decorated your notebooks for school. It identified it as your own and made it something you were proud to carry around with you.

Another thing sustainable design is interested in is "localism". It is the act of keeping the materials sustainable and close to where they are produced. That is maybe using local wool when you knit a scarf or using a local fabric tailor to produce your clothing line. Localism is more then just keeping shipping costs of materials down, it keeps local businesses IN business.

Sustainable design is new in the U.S. It would be wrong of any of us to say we have it all figured out. It is constantly a question of "Is this sustainable design?" I mean if it is natural and unaltered it might be sustainable but if its a product of industrial wastes it might still be sustainable because its using every bit of the production process for something constructive.