First lesson in Design Futures-6/10/17

New year, new studio.

So, I am back to blogging and I am officially in my last year at university. I guess technically the first day back was on Tuesday but it was a day dedicated to improving our blogs so I am just skipping to the first day in our studios on Friday. Luckily for me I got placed in my first choice studio which is Design Futures. The day started with us introducing ourselves to the studio and Ricardo going through our first brief with us which is called London Architecture.

The brief

This brief is all about exploration, observation and experimentation in a representational to abstract manner. By observing and analysing your surroundings and objects within London in a literal manner you can use this information to explore narrative based abstract solutions via a given set of themes, tools and processes. As a studio and individuals, you will each unpick a descriptive aspect of London you wish to explore and deliver via a series of personal abstract interpretations which use visual communication methodologies. Your environment should act as a catalyst for investigations into the possibilities of visual communication. The architecture may inform your ‘page layout’ investigations, the people and automobiles may evoke an interest in motion whilst nature may ignite an interest in colour. Whatever the motivations one thing can be certain, you will need to think freely and embrace mistakes. Each student will build a collection of outcomes that will form an abstract exploration of London informed by representational investigations. We want you to ‘Look at what’s real and turn it into something abstract (new)‘ Ask yourself…

How can I turn my representational (figurative) explorations into abstract responses?

So, that is the brief and once going through it together in more detail Ricardo gave us our first task which was to go to the library and find 5 examples of representational art and abstract art either in books or online. Here are my examples.

Representational Art

“Representational art seeks to depict the physical appearance of reality; also called objective art and figurative art.”

Abstract Art

Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.”

Once we all had our examples of abstract and representational art and understood clearly the definition of both we moved on to the next part of the lesson where Ricardo gave us some simple drawing tasks. We were challenged with drawing a portrait of the person infront of us in a variety of ways for example drawing them only using curved lines and having to continually draw without lifting our pencils from the paper. In the end it showed us how something real can be made into abstract art by changing our technique. For the next drawing task we were given a famous landmark and the whole class rotated from picture to picture adding to it whatever they wanted which in the end left us with some very strange and abstract pictures indeed.

After break we went to the computer room where Ricardo asked us to bring up our location on Google maps. We then had to make a walk route that was approx 30 mins long. We were then put in small groups and had to follow one of the group members maps to complete the task of showing texture in London architecture through photography. Here are the photographs I took whilst on the walk.

When we got back from the walk the use for the pictures was revealed as Ricardo got us all to open the same shared file in Indesign full of black circles that you can see below. We had to pick our seven best photographs from the walk and these we would be transforming into our own abstract art.


From each of the seven photographs I got colour swatches of the five most prevalent colours which I used to fill the black holes next to each photographs. The end result was pretty cool and I got a nice selection of colours. This task really showed me how you can take representational art such as a photograph and transform it into a piece of abstract art and it has given me lots of ideas.



After completing this first attempt at abstract are I took some of the colour swatches from my photographs and tried to see what else I could create till the end of the lesson using different shapes. They’re pretty simple but it was nice to experiment for a bit and see how it turned out as as the brief says its all about thinking freely and making mistakes.


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