31 October 2011

onedotzero_cascade 2011

Last week I was chosen to participate in onedotzero's award winning education program onedotzero_cascade 2011.
Where to start... so much happened and I learnt so much in the space of 5 days, that by the end of it I was completely exhausted!

Day 1 was really nerve-wracking; I was standing in a room amongst 39 outstanding graduates from various disciplines - not gonna lie, quite intimidating to say the least! The morning started with an informal workshop by Andrew and Darius from The Spring Project to help us all become more familiar with one another. Afterwards, Kevin Palmer from Kin came in to give a fantastic and insightful presentation on the importance of collaboration. In the afternoon the co-founder of onedotzero Shane Walter came to give us our brief: Delve_Living in the Layered City.
We set off to form five groups of eight. My team consisted of: Kirsty Greig, Reuben Armstrong, Chris Shen, Amy Loa, Thomas Morris, Simon Sarginson and Dario Mazzanti. And thus, Team If was created!

Can't quite iterate the process of our thoughts, but hopefully the following pictures will give a glimpse of the mad brainstorming that followed shortly!
We all found that we had common ground in the fact that we were all drawn to the notion of sound. We also came to the conclusion that what we liked about London as a city is its transitory spaces, such as waiting at a train station, sitting on the tube or even waiting at a set of traffic lights.
After much deliberation, we managed to whittle down our choices of transitory spaces to one specific entity - bridges. So we went out to our surroundings and visited Tower Bridge. [I still can't believe that even after living in London for the past 4 years, this was the first time I had stood on Tower Bridge!] Tower Bridge is such a beautiful construction, however it seemed tacky and tainted by the horrible lighting and the cause of being a tourist hotspot. The fluidity of the traffic seemed to stop and start, and the bridge seemed to be more of a destination rather than something that takes you from A to B.

BUT we persevered and ventured along the river towards London Bridge. I think as soon as Team If stepped onto London Bridge, we knew this was what we wanted to base our project on. It was a commuter hotspot, the traffic seemed never ending and the people's footsteps sounded like a marching army!

I went out to London Bridge during Thursday afternoon to do some observational drawings. I loved the amount of people that seemed to gawk and oversee what I was up to, and the amount of people that gave me the thumbs up! Here is the end image - Reuben kindly coloured it in for me!
Our end concept was to uncover London's movements in a transitory space using an interactive sound experience. We would plant motion sensors and cameras all over London Bridge, and every time a movement occurred [be it pedestrian, cyclist, car, lorry or bus] a sound would be emitted. The pitch of the sound would change according to the type of movement. Ergo, meet project COMMUTER DISCO!

We also made plans to develop this concept for further branding, i.e. an online platform and game. Users would be able to create their own sounds, and manipulate live traffic feeds. We also discussed the possibility of Traffic Hero - inspired by the worldly popular games Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

On Friday, we were ready to go - we had to present our idea to a panel of industry professionals that included onedotzero co-founder Sophie Walter, AllofUs, LBi, D&AD, YCC, Ogilvy and Kin Design. The presentation went really well and we received some really good feedback :) Of course, there's always room for improvement, so I'm sure Team If will rejoin forces before the BFI!
On a final note the week ended with a press launch party held at the Red Gallery, where the booze was plenty and everyone let their hair down and mingled. An excellent way to end an excellent week. onedotzero_cascade was such a fantastic experience and I had such a good time. It was so refreshing to meet new people, and to bounce ideas off each other - needless to say that the energy was palpable!

HUGE thanks to the onedotzero team: Shane Walter, Sophie Walter, Nurjan Nevzat, Jo Shallow and Elizabeth Waite.

Craft Guerrilla Autumn Zine Issue 2011

I was requested by Craft Guerrilla to design the front cover for their Autumn zine issue 2011. It can now be purchased on their website as a hard copy or to be downloaded as a pdf. Do the right thing and buy it here...!

9 October 2011

Big Cartel

I thought I would branch out from the world of Etsy and launched a Big Cartel yesterday. Please excuse the rawness of it, I will definitely need to jazz it up in terms of its appearance! I have two products so far, but don't worry there should be more to come.

Please visit and take a look: http://sheetaliillustration.bigcartel.com/


Slow Tech: Designs for Digital Downtime

Apologies for the blogging absenteeism! I've been quite busy recently, but I've finally got round to blogging about this exhibition I went to a few weeks ago called Slow Tech: Designs for Digital Downtime [curated by Henrietta Thompson and produced by Protein.]
The exhibition was a "Digital Addiction Clinic" addressing our society's obsession with the digital world. This includes our compulsion to Facebook, Tweet, blog and various other activities that disconnect people from their physical surroundings.

Hector Serrano - Screen Time
At the beginning of the day, the watch face is completely white. As the day progresses, the watch accumulates data through wi-fi or 3G to determine how many hours and minutes are spent on social networking sites. This manifests in the form of a watch pie chart. It raises the questions such as: do we realise quite how much of our day is consumed by sites like Facebook and Twitter, and are we embarrassed/shocked with how we spend the majority of our day?

Biome is a flora terrarium whose climate, water and nutrients levels are controlled and monitored using a smartphone. The Biome is designed to encourage digital downtime and lessen interaction between a smartphone and its user. It is simple and easy to use, it is perfect for people who don't have the time to look after a plant and/or nature amateurs.

Pendola is a wall mounted pendulum clock, it is not motorised but seems to magically swing as it passes over a small tab fixed underneath. The steady motion of the clock is designed to have a calming effect.

Kiwi & Pom - Flip

Flip is an allusion to the mechanics of traditional airport and railway information boards, which are being replaced with modern alternatives such as digital screens. Flip syncs with mobile devices to display notifications and messages, including texts, emails and social media updates.

Kiwi & Pom - Radio

The K&P radio uses wifi to pick up music directly and can be tuned according to genre or mood. These channels are operated using a dial. Favourite songs can also be recorded, the radio assesses these and determines the user's listening habits - therefore customising a widely available and used object.

The following three exhibition items are a part of Hugo Eccles' Design Office, all are aimed at social networking...

Hugo Eccles - Social Bomb

The purpose of the social bomb is to disable technologies without consent and without being detected.

Hugo Eccles - Social Thermostat
The social thermostat can be used to control the 'social temperature' of a space. A socially warm environment would turn on various communication technologies and a socially cold environment would switch them all off again.

Hugo Eccles - Social Timer
These social timers disable a particular social media for a short period of time when the timer is up. This is perfect for use at a desk or at the family dinner table.

Nicolas Roope - Cute Electric
This iPhone accessory helps technology addicts to manage their compulsion. The device administers small electric shocks that increase the longer the smartphone is used. The user will then learn to kick their habit, resulting in shorter durations of interaction between the user and the phone. This is the perfect solution for the anti-social individual amongst a friend or family gathering scenario.

Protein - In-Flight Chromo

This one was one of my favourites; it is a colour clock that enables your body to understand what time it is. It is a simple indicator for time and is a possible solution for jet lag, Seasonal Affective Disorder and other light/time related diseases.

I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition. It was an insightful social commentary on society's need to let everyone in the world know their every thought and move, albeit how inane those thoughts or actions may be. It puts into perspective how forefront sites like Facebook and Twitter are in our day-to-day lives. I doubt anyone can recollect the days before online social networking, nor want to. It's also very ironic that I am blogging in order to tell you about this exhibition...!