Romi and I have been working on a stencil typeface, and we are now working on digitalising it so that we can set samples of text. For it being the first time I'm using Fontlab (even though sneaking the vectors in via illustrator) it is going quite fast.
As I have been busy working on a few briefs at the same time I haven’t been able to push my self–initiated brief as much as I would have wanted to, so I am still in the development phase for now.
I have been looking at exhibition design and public spaces as well as typeface design with my current collaborative projects, which is also what I am trying to investigate in this self–directed project, so they fit in and relate to what I want to be working on in this project at right now, but in my opinion these are not specific enough to my subject. I have also worked on a brief half–day collaborative project in the framework of Spatial Media together with Anton last Wednesday in trying to combine King’s Cross and Somer’s Town.
I have been experimenting with the translation of personal space onto a set surface (two sheets of paper) to see how the body limits movement and how it relates to the radius of a person’s personal space (kind of like in some of my taping experiments from last week). For now this has only confirmed that the fictional personal space is circular, following a person’s movement. But how does this relate to (self–)awareness in a public/shared environment? I realise that I also need to do field recordings to be able to isolate the studio ‘noises’ from the visual rooms in the graphic design studios and maybe other parts of university (for now) to see how I can work from there.
I am interested in reflecting the noise happening at the studios at a certain time of day, but in an immediate way. In opposition, the White Wall project that has been installed in the street in uni last week works the other way around: it captures the sound (particularly the piano) next to it to make a display of sound in a day, in a collection that will be of 30 days. It will only be complete after 30 days. I however want to create something reactive and immediate that reacts to the noise or movement inside a space and creates immediate outcome to mirror it (to the outside or to the people inside, I haven’t figured that out yet). I am not sure if I will actually be able to build something that physically reacts, or through a display. I also haven’t decided yet if the outcome should be a kinetic or reactive font with different ‘moods’ or characters for the variation of noise and movement happening in the studio as I don’t know yet what I’ll be able to do especially since the final crit for us is next Monday (interim crit being on this Thursday), but I know that I really have to narrow my aims and directions down.
Engaging with public spaces
This week we are signing off our second self–initiated project for Unit 10, which I presented to my group of practice group on Monday. For this self–initiated project, I initially wanted to work on the relation between an environment and how it is possible to make visitors aware of what is happening inside of it. Questions associated with that like: ‘How can a created experience raise the user’s awareness of the self and/in the environment through interaction?’ and ‘What creates a connection between the public and the personal space?’ lead to a first proposal in November which was: ‘How could an environment influence a typeface?’ Looking back at this first proposal before the meeting, I wanted to go a step backwards and not limit myself to a specific outcome yet. So I am starting this brief with an interest to look at personal spaces in public spaces as a contradiction and how it is possible to reflect what is happening in a space to raise awareness of it to the people inside the space. I went back to my visual research for the first self–initiated brief, and kept the research of the exhibitions that I visited and still found relevant. Then I also went back to look through my l’Intrus blog which I started a few years back at ECV in Paris and which is about intruders. Here I could find quite a lot of visual references in space, and here’s a selection of it:
During this project I want to explore the relationship/conflict between public and personal spaces in public spaces, reflecting action happening in an environment and how it could be set ‘out of context’. What creates a reactive environment? How do people interfere in each others’ personal spaces inside a public space and how can that be captured/influenced/made aware? How can the different visitors/actions happening be reflected/affect a public/communal space? How can the influence from different visitors/actions happening in a public space be reflected (visually) in an interactive way and/in order to raise awareness of what is happening?
behaviour – personal space in public space – awareness – information display
How can a space reflect what is happening inside of it?
In the afternoon each of us had to represent our idea through a bottle: my bottle represented the space, and the water inside what happens in the space, and how people’s personal spaces interfere with each other to fill up the space (or not).
We were then given a mini–brief each for the afternoon. With tape, I circled and defined 6 personal spaces in the graphics studio:
The tape allowed me to experiment and visually see how I could represent personal space roughly and how it affects other personal spaces, what traces it can leave and how it can influence other behaviours, encourage/limit engagement and how it transforms a space.
The feedback that I got at the end of the day on my mini-brief was to play with how it is possible to make a space feel more like home and how does it affect visitors in how they lead their day, what atmospheres can be changed and what effect they have on mood and productivity.
My circles had two different effects. People either just go over it or they walk around it. When standing there, they would stand inside one circle and not try to overlap, seeing how much that they could fit into one circle etc.
The way they interacted with the circles sort of reflected the way they looked at what is happening in the space around them. The first image with Kat inside the circle and the circle overlapping over May shows my aim to represent how personal spaces interfere with each other in filled spaces and how they (and people) affect each other. The ‘welcome’ chair shows an invitation to sit down and fill the space, however it is only available for one person at a time as the space fills up and covers the word, isolating the person.
This is how the different settings looked after our crit at the end of the day:
Most vertical limitations were ripped appart while those on the floor are still in uni now. I suppose it is because those don’t interfere in people’s movements and don’t limit the spaces as much as higher applied tape, or any tape that was not on a direct surface.
I have now already been looking at how space can be transformed through a peak into a few exhibition curation/design books (which also come in handy for a branding brief that I am currently working on with Hanna). I still need to define precisely what the area is that I want to dig in more, and make my brief more specific.
I have been looking back at the photographs that I took of the fake landscapes and topographies out of acrylics and am trying to find the most relevant images that I was able to take in order to edit them as well as to prepare them for assessment. I zoomed into the images and made them nearly panoramic in format to reflect the observer’s sight and see how I can make the images more intriguing as well as relevant to existing landscape and forms of nature.
A few previews:
The subject of the Luxembourgish language and it’s necessity as a spoken and taught official language is currently a very hot topic in Luxembourg, so there are a lot of articles appearing out of nowhere with different opinions and discussions.
I have been continuing to push the branding brief for Luxembourg/the Luxembourgish language, but I am still stuck for now, as I haven’t been able to find a solution to combine the three languages together in an easily readable way that relates to 7 to 77 year–old–people inside and outside Luxembourg, foreigners and residents, digital as well as print (yet). I also haven’t found the right typeface yet so I’m keeping Akkurat Pro as a placeholder for now, until I find a less German typeface.
Here are the directions that I have been working towards for now:
I want to somehow be able to show the transitions between the three languages to show the origins of Luxembourgish and help understand the history behind it as well as the language itself, while integrating the other official languages. Furthermore it would also be nice to include a way to ‘promote’ Luxembourg through it’s language to foreigners that don’t know much about Luxembourg by creating an awareness campaign with appropriate communication.
I am now trying to refind and put together my visual references that go with my projects.
Here are a few for now:
Daido Moriyama’s Tales of Tono:
Sculptures by Christopher David White:
Cody William Smith’s series A Moment’s Reflection:
Photography by Noemie Goudal:
Most of these projects work with illusion and deception. Instead of having one image, they are built with different depths and layers to dig into.
Yesterday I also went back for an afternoon in the black and white photography printing studio to reprint some more photos of my first film since my second film didn’t develop right and left me with an empty film roll. It didn’t help that the weather hasn’t been nice enough yet on the few free mornings that I could have gone up to Hampstead Heath to take more photographs. However I am planning on taking photographs in Luxembourg to combine them with photographs from London anyway so there is still enough work to be done.
I still have photography paper from when I first did a black and white film printing and processing workshop at the age of fourteen which my dad passed onto me. However that paper was already expired by then, so no it is even more expired. This means that the paper is lacking contrast abilities which isn’t helping in my process but it will be like that for now. I only had the time to work on one negative yesterday which I blew up to maximum height. Inside the image whose size was larger than double of my paper size so that the paper could lose itself in the format, the first testprint came out very weak and with weird black smudges on it, as seen on the first image (the pros of old paper: you never know what you are going to get out of it). I suppose it is a residue of developing liquid from ten years ago. It gives the image an interesting feeling. It is however the only printed picture that did this for now, so I’ll see how I’ll continue from that. Adding seconds and seconds onto the testprints, the photograph only came out with more contrast in opposition to ghost photographs from 55 seconds onwards and with a 5 contrast filter. I then went over 115 seconds and an 8 contrast filter (meaning two filters layered) which created an acceptable set of contrasts considering the weak printing paper as well as the lack of contrast on my negatives which are still only the test–negatives. From that onwards, I started experimenting with layering and trying to get different dimensions. However waiting for two minutes to pass and going through two clickings as the lightcounter stops at 99 seconds took a lot of waiting and patience. Luckily the paper fitted through the mechanical printing machine so that saved me a lot of time to do all of the testprints. I started playing around and covered the paper one over the other to show hidden and less exposed fractions of the same image. As I continued I reduced the size of the image which allowed me to reduce the time as well. Now I am left with another stack of testprints which I can at least use for the mid–point review to show in which directions I am trying to go with my self–directed project.
Here are a few snaps of the results:
Why am I doing this? During my self–directed project I have been (and am still) looking at the value of the image as well as the process of seeing, information capturing and processing, triggering intrigue and self–awareness in a specific environment. The photographs in forests and of trees remind me of my home country Luxembourg with whose landscapes I have a love/bored relationship which started the motive of the forrest as a comparison between Luxembourg and London. I specifically searched for nature in London that looks similar to the one present in Luxembourg and as a second layer I want to be able to combine pictures of Luxembourg together with those that I take in London, creating a confusion between similar things that you can see but don’t necessarily capture as being from different places. So the project is influenced by how the personal perspective onto things chance if they are something that you are not used to seeing compared to what you are used to having around yourself and growing up in which sort of translate to being bored from my home landscapes and environments. This boredom of my home landscape is however also influenced by my personal opinion that there is not much going on in Luxembourg in general in terms of news and life which reflects in the opinion of what I can see. I have to however also add that this concerns mostly the landscapes that are close to my village; there are a lot of beautiful spots in Luxembourg which I don’t call boring.
All in all, I am trying to create deceptive images/models that create confusion in a second layer and hopefully a questioning of what it is that you are looking at and can see in (or not see).