The stool project was a great opportunity for me to work with a live brief- I had done this before, so I knew more or less what to expect, but I find that I work quite well with strong guidelines; having too much freedom means that sometimes it takes me too long to get really stuck into a project, whereas if I have all the criteria to start with then it’s easier to know where to take it. While I do enjoy design work, and I appreciated the time I was given to improve my CAD skills which will definitely come in useful in the future, I do feel as though we weren’t able to start making the stool itself until a bit too late into the brief. I became frustrated at how often I was sent back to the drawing board before being allowed the chance to make mistakes, and learn how to make something in prototype phases. I wish that I had started to make the stool itself earlier on in the year, so I could have had a full sized model rather than just a maquette, but I am pleased with the outcome for it: I learned how to do a lot of new things in order to make even just the maquette, such as laminating and welding.
Make Your Mark started off a little more slowly than the stool project, but was far more introspective. This project forced me to really evaluate what it is that I like to do as a maker, and what I want to continue doing in the future. Looking back on my work, I feel that I have improved my skills and knowledge. While I didn’t create something layered and intricate, I do feel that I have met my goals in creating something that demonstrates how versatile perspex can be using handmade methods as opposed to mass manufacture.
Also that a lot of my inspiration seems to come from Scandinavian design, for example Tord Boontje and IKEA. I’m glad that I decided to take a more product design route, with the possibility of a business emerging from the outcomes, rather than my initial ideas.
I don’t feel that I met my overall standards of quality, but I think that might be a futile endeavour; there will always be things I will want to improve or change about my work. One thing I have improved in, however, is the confidence to make mistakes. Previously, I would be too afraid of wasting materials and over-plan what I was doing but this year, particularly for Make Your Mark, I have benefited from testing and experimenting more liberally than I otherwise would have, while also trying to push the yield of my material to its limits. The testing and re-making of my pieces really helped me to improve the overall quality, and allowed me to go in directions that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.