Project X – Refinement of Ideas

After looking at all of our feedback from our initial display, we made notes of the common and key areas of improvements. Some interesting comments were made, though some were also quite broad, however they helped us refine our ideas and approach to the next phase of the design process.

I think it was clear that people wanted more visual elements to the design to make it more memorable. The initial reaction to our display was quite negative and unappealing, seeing as it was just plastic waste dumped in a trough! Other successful groups had drawn there audiences in with clearer, bolder visuals and use of design styles that appealed to our target audience. Again, it was important to consider the end user, and encourage a younger demographic to engage with the design as well as the issue. The people in our group are quite bright and energetic, which I think was conveyed during the display day. However, the next display must stand alone, and we can’t rely on our on enthusiasm to see us through.

Another element that people wanted to see was the presentation of the other side of the debate. How can people make a difference? So far, we had only considered the negative effects of the issue, focusing our attention on the shock factor. Moving forward, I think it’s important to show how people can make a difference.



On Friday, we all felt quite dejected after finding out that the displays would no be flat, on a board, instead of a “provotype”. Our understanding of the brief was that we were going to produce a provotype, however the goalposts had changed. Although this was annoying, it was also a good learning curve, as that is just life. Things change quickly, and designers have to adapt to these changes quickly and efficiently, to please clients, consumers, and audiences.

I tried to take the lead in the group, injecting some energy and enthusiasm to proceedings. This subject may not be to everyones taste, however, it was our job as designers to fulfil the brief to the best of our abilities, and leave our emotions at the door, so to speak. Following dialogue as a group and with tutors, and also considering our feedback, we discussed different design ideas that would help bolster our previous design, and help it stand alone. One of these was remembering one of our classmates ideas from a previous display, story boarding an idea in the form of pictures. We toyed with the idea of showing the journey of a single plastic item, from production to the sea. However, this was dismissed when we realised it would be difficult to document the whole process.

We later landed on the idea of sticking with a similar approach to our previous display, however, making it more visual and adding more design elements to encourage a positive reaction from our audience. I think, so far, this week has been more positive and we are beginning to work better as a group, and understand each others strengths. We created a group chat and have been in constant communication since leaving college today (Monday) and I think everyone feels more comfortable and understands the direction we are going in, and the work everyone needs to complete for Friday.


Project X – Feedback

During the display day, we asked participants to give us feedback on our display, asking questions that might help us enhance the display moving forward. This was a crucial part of the design process, as it gave us the opportunity to sample our intended audiences views, and take that feedback to generate more ideas and give a clearer, more effective message.

Below is the feedback form we produced. In hindsight, our questions were quite closed, and lead our audience to give minimal answers such as yes and no. However, some people did leave constructive comments, and I’ll outline these points in the next paragraph.

Feedback form.jpg

We first sorted each feedback into piles of relevant, and not so relevant. Some college students weren’t as interested in the displays as we had hoped, and this was reflected in there responses. However, there were some good comments that we hadn’t necessarily thought about.

Although people liked the interactivity of the display, they didn’t have anything to take away from the display, like a leaflet. Also, a poster would have been an effective way of anchoring the display, drawing people in and giving more information. This is something we need to consider in the next phase of the design process.

Also, as a group we need to consider how the design can be understood without any input from ourselves. The display should be easy to understand, clear and concise, with impactful images and a strong message. I feel this has been lost during the process, and as a group we can work better to achieve this goal.


Project X – Display Day

Today was the day our display would be showcased to the college in the canteen. Looking at how everybody had presented their information on their chosen topic, I found it interesting how everyone had collaborated and generated different ideas to entice the audience in and engage them in debate. I think it’s important to reflect not only on our own design piece, but everyone elses too, as there were some interesting styles and techniques used that I found interesting, and also felt quite jealous that they were able to execute them so well!

Other Groups

One particular display I think everyone enjoyed was “Say no to recycling”. The group adopted a Andy Warhol pop art style, which didn’t necessarily link to the topic, but did entice the intended audience with bright, vibrant colours and interesting visuals. They created leaflets that were handed out to from the stall, and also created a bin to illustrate the problem. I thought the halftone effect was very eye catching, and married well with the pink and yellow type, and the blue background. The colour palette was well thought out and is something that I will remember and use in future projects!26295306_1920207174962072_385637008904552448_n.jpg

Another display that was quite under appreciated (in my view) was the eco building, showing how plants could cleanse the air in built up cities. The interesting element of the display was the 3D model created by Dan. I know how much time and effort goes into 3D modelling, and it’s by no means easy. I think because it has become expected in modern design, it often gets overlooked and under appreciated. However, I think he did a fantastic job and has a lot of talent! I asked him what software he used, and it was Cinema 4D, a program that I had previously encountered from tutorials on youtube. Its certainly an area I want to explore and feel inspired by his design. The display its self was clear and easy to understand, and I thought it was a nice touch that the feedback was handed out on clouds, which were later tied to the table to further strengthen the purpose of the design.

Our Group

Overall, I think the design was well received. The issue itself has been quite prominent in the media recently, yet I don’t think people understood where and how plastic waste ends up in the ocean. People were shocked with the amount of time it took for a nappy to biodegrade in the ocean, and this shock factor could have been exploited further. It was a good exercise to gain initial feedback, and one key point was that we only focused on the negative aspects of the issue. Many people wanted to know how they themselves could make a difference, and this is something we had missed.

Also, it was clear that other groups had focused on what the audience could take away from the design to remember the issue, in the form of leaflets and cards. Again, this could have been added to our display with more appealing visuals that could have encouraged a positive reaction.

Our idea was to “fish for fish”. Initially, I pushed the idea of fishing for facts, which was overlooked by the group. However, feedback suggests that the plastic fish were distracting from the overall purpose of the design, and perhaps I should have been more forceful in pushing my idea if it was to benefit the group design.

In term of the group dynamics, I’ll admit i’ve found it difficult to communicate with them effectively. I’ve found that a lot of the time, someone may suggest an idea and it is too quickly adopted and the ideal solution, without exploring all possible angle, despite how ridiculous or unachievable they might be. I think it’s important to always push the boundaries, especially in the development stage, and consider the intended audiences needs. It was clear to see other groups had worked well together in collaborating ideas and working to each others strengths.

Many times during this project, I’ve looked looked around the room and noticed every group conversing and generating fresh ideas. Nothing was dismissed straight away. I don’t want to seem like I’m moaning about my group, however I do want to get a better grasp in the final week of this task and try and lead the group to achieve the best possible outcome possible. A lot of negativity seems to be in the air at the moment about the overall purpose of the subject, but that’s just design. Often as designers, we won’t be able to pick and choose who and what we work on or with. So I think this is an exercise of perseverance, and I think the group attitude needs to change in order to achieve a good outcome.


Project X – Dirty Beach

Dirty Beach are Brighton-based artists Chloe Hanks and Lou McCurdy. The name is a nod to “saucy” seaside postcards of yesteryear and typifies the humour and satire that characterises their work.


Initially, the pair exhibited individual art works under the name “Dirty Beach”. After noticing the increasing amount of rubbish dumped on their doorstep and beach, they began developing an installation concept, immersing consumers in a fully fitted “supermarket” that mimics the visual language of large modern-day retailers, however, stocking reclaimed discarded plastic items from the beach.


The project aims to inspire awareness of the issue surrounding not just Brighton, but every coastal town across the world, using humour and mimicry to create an installation that is simultaneously proactive, popular & accessible.



Again, this is a good demonstration of how the public can fully immerse themselves in an issue without becoming bored or bombarded by masses of information. It appeals to their natural instincts and poses the question ‘is this right?’. The provocative artwork stimulates debate and encourages people to dispose of there waste plastic correctly. Moving forward with Project X, I feel this has given me masses of inspiration that covers both art, and activism in a light-hearted way.

Project X – #SquareMileChallenge

As part of my research for Project X, I scoured the internet for design inspiration and campaigns already in existence. This is an important part of my design process, and one that I often overlook. It enables me to generate new, fresh ideas from peoples design experiences to propose a solution to the design problem.

One particular campaign that inspired me the #SquareMileChallenge, appealing to people to recycle their coffee cups. In central London, there are 131 coffee shops in a square mile, hence the campaign name #SquareMileChallenge.

The Problem:

  • 7 million coffee cups are binned everyday
  • Less that 1% are recycled

The solution

Over 100 bright yellow bins were positioned around the square mile. The aim is to collect half a million coffee cups in a month, and 5 million in a year. The material will then be recycled and new products will be made to demonstrate how this can be achieved.

I thought it was interesting how they caught every day working peoples attention by using a variety of different techniques.

I particularly liked this video below. It uses a discarded coffee cup on the characterised by cartoon-like facial features, and a speaker embedded inside the coffee cup to communicate with the target audience. As the public walked passed, someone hidden in the bushes would talk to the target through a microphone in a lighthearted manner, asking them to physically pick the coffee cup up and place it into the bright yellow bin. This was then documented with a camera and posted all over social media, gathering momentum for the campaign whilst raising awareness of the problem and the proposed solution.


Project X – Foil Blocking & Green Patriot Posters Class Presentation

We were given the task of researching and presenting a couple of different cases, that might not directly fit into our specific topic in Project X, but made us think about systems thinking, and the most effective way to present ideas to a large audience. At this stage, admittedly I was a little overwhelmed and didn’t understand the relevance of the task in relation to Project X, and felt we were being pulled in loads of different directions and bombarded with work. I understand that this was an attempt to replicate a real professional design experience, however I don’t think it helped me learn the information effectively as I felt very confused about the task it self. Despite this, I pressed ahead and learned the information myself to grasp the concept of both foil blocking and green patriots poster, and the relevance to the environment. A small change can make a big difference.

As a group, we decided to show large visuals with background information, in the form of a display that people could view and read. In hindsight, we could have developed the presentation further, and engaged our audience more by appealing to multiple human senses, not just sight. We walked around other groups displays and dissected┬átheir displays, analysing what we liked and didn’t like, what was memorable, and what we could take forward into the next stage of Project X that would enhance our own outcomes.

Feedback suggests that the display was too text heavy for our classmates, and our method of displaying information could do with development.


Some of the better displays engaged with there audience in various different ways. The display below used large type and strong visuals to entice the audience, whilst displaying the information in a clear and concise manner.


I also like the presentation captured below. Instead of using flat images and text in the form of a poster, another group appealed to our humanly sense of touch, encouraging us to interact with their display by opening a box, tying in with their case study. I thought this was an effective way to add another dynamic to the overall experience of learning. Although the information itself was quite dry, the group were able to evoke a positive reaction from many in the class, by changing the approach at which we learn.


I liked how this group visually represented how easy it was to gather information from social media across the world. The text elements of the display anchored the display, giving context to audience. This method made it clear and easy to absorb the information and made it more interesting to learn.



My takeaway from this session in particular was to think about the most effective way to learn information. It gave me the opportunity to dissect everyones methods of displaying information, and understand what worked for myself and others, and what didn’t. I did however, find it hard to establish a link between this exercise and Project X, apart from our presentation skills to an audience that didn’t know the subject well. In some case studies, it was easy to see how this could enhance our knowledge of systems thinking, but some weren’t so obvious. On the whole, I think this was a positive experience and wish to take what I’ve learnt forward into the next stage of Project X.


Project X – Case Study Presentation: XU Bing Forest Project

We were given the task of thinking about the most effective way to present ideas to our fellow class mates, thinking about how they might engage with the case study and learn the information the best possible way.

I myself, opted to use a simple approach, using a poster and short concise bullet points to illustrate the case study. Using feedback from the previous presentation, and my own previous learning experiences, I find it easiest to learn through large visuals and little text, so the user isn’t overwhelmed and bombarded with vast amounts of information. I wanted to distill the point of the case study to its purest form, using typography and large, strong visuals to engage my target audience.

Below is my screen I produced for the presentation:


I gained some valuable feedback on my presentation. Although some felt the information was clear and easy to follow and understand, many felt it was ok but could develop further. My classmates felt the imagery was clear, however, there could be some more background information on the artist to give context to the design, which was an oversight on my part as I’d done a vast amount of research but just chose the relevant information to put into the display.


After viewing other people ideas to display information, it made me think about the relationship between this exercise and Project X. We are going to be speaking to people through visual communication to stimulate debate and spark conversation on our given topic, which they will no next to nothing about. Its imperative that we engage them and make it “fun” in order for them to learn the information we want to get across and, hopefully, make a change for the better. Some of the best displays exploited a variety of different human senses I noticed, such as smell, touch & sound, not just what they could see. This left a memorable experience for the user, in which they can recall at a later date.



My main takeaway from this session was to think about different human senses when displaying information, and using gamification to encourage a positive reaction from the target audience. This is something I wish to strengthen as the project progresses.