Unit 10: Situating your practice

The beginning of Unit 10: Situating your practice as a start of our last unit for our BA course marks a start with a distribution of us students into different tutor groups for our communities of practice.

After brief individual tutorials with Rathna or David about our work and aspirations for the year in October, it was up to the tutors to decide in which group of practice we belong. We were set into groups on October 24th. The tutors of the different communities are Ken Hollings, Luise Vormittag, Marc Wood, Paulus Dreibholz, and Rathna Ramanathan. I appeared on the list with Rathna Ramanathan’s group of practice as Critical Makers, which comes as a bit of a surprise to me as during the tutorial with David I was assigned either Luise Vormittag or Marc Wood, but throughout the group discussions and after everyone of our main tutors explained a bit of their work I was happy to be in the group that I am. During Unit 10, we are going to have two set briefs which we can choose through sign-up on moodle (as last year), but also up to three self-initiated briefs. These five briefs are supposed to help us build a sustainable body of work at the end of the degree in summer 2014.
After the tutor presentations, we met in our small group of practice to get explanations of what is going to happen and how we are going to work together throughout the year.

Then followed three weeks of intense preparations for Unit 10 in order to chose and create briefs for projects that we are interested in and to orientate the projects accordingly to our own individual interests. All while we were still working on the context dissertation submission.

These group of practice brainstormings and discussions were very helpful to work out what our individual inspirations for our projects are, and to find questions that work towards strong self-directed briefs.
The first main session of three consisted in writing down key words of four categories: Strength, Area of Development, Interests and Influences, five for each. We then had to pick the first three and leave the other ones out (I am going to post my brainstorming post-it sheet when I get back).
For the next session we had to find associations for each of the selected keywords that could allow for a more varied analysis, and started creating a first self-initiated project proposal and looking at the first round of set briefs that would start on November 20.
We then each presented our mini-brief on the last Monday a week before the dissertation hand-in and had an individual tutorial at the end of the week to help us through the dissertation and show a few project proposals to Rathna.
And then the first brief started.

What I had already anticipated during my dissertation became visible during the brainstorm: during my dissertation about visual and multisensory experience, I became more and more interested in perception, experience, atmosphere and interaction and realised that my previous projects all more or less turned around these keywords in their concepts. This is why during my self-directed and selected set briefs I am probably going to try and focus more on the interaction and user experience as well as the impact of projects with/on the user and how they can change and vary. My main keywords that came through from the several brainstormings and hybridisations were shapes/contrasted forms (probably related to drawing/typography/illustration/æsthetics and their use/role), reflective reasoning/concept, non-verbal, interactive/reactive, physical vs monumental, experience/wandering, influence, translation, observation, combination, experience and atmosphere. These turned into three first associations: interaction+ experience, shapes + opinion, and reasoning + translation. My first mini-brief worked around the question ‘How can a created experience raise the user’s awareness of the self and/in the environment through interaction?’.

Next to the regular briefs I chose to stay in TSI (typography special interest group) and to participate in the FYD (Final Year Digital) Interaction Design group in order to support my practice and push me to a body of work that I am happy with at the end of the degree.

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