Photos from the exhibition…

June 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

By Kirstin Todtling (all rights reserved on Flickr)

Martin and Lior
By Kirstin Todtling (all rights reserved on Flickr)

Lior Smith
By Kirstin Todtling (all rights reserved on Flickr)

We organised some gifts for our tutors. Obviously The Optimist had to present them…

Matt Ward and baby Ward

Laura Potter


Exhibition Configurations

April 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have no idea how to show my work! We have a board 120cm by 240cm to cut up and use. I’m going to display a film and a series of objects. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

These drawings just look like weird awkward massive furniture.

Potential Titles

April 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

20 Minutes Blackberry Writing

I believe that happiness is the meaning of life.
*I believe that happiness is the very purpose of our existence.
I want to be happy
Superheroes make me happy
Transform my happiness
Eudimonia, schudemonia
*Give yourself happy
Journey into subjective experience
My journey into secret superheroism
Adventures of the well-being superhero
If you really cared about anyone else, bet you wouldn’t hurt me (song lyric)
If you really care about someone else
Help yourself
Take the time and make the effort
Give to laugh
Give to happiness
Giving = happy
Give —> happy
It’s not as easy as you think to smile at strangers
How to smile at strangers
The meaning of strangers’ smiles
*Why red-lipped women have been smiling at you
The Goldsmiths Superhero
Community superheroes
Personal superhero
SuperLook your way to happiness
Comic happiness
*Something else with comic…

5 Minutes Free Pen-on-Paper Writing

Five Ways of Well Being is a lovely thing.
Happiness is the best.
Superhero stuff.
A night in the superness.
A chateau of fun (stuff on desk prompted those two…)
The Joker
Comic key
Give to live
Go get ’em girl!
Cape around campus
Engaged in giving
Punchy feel
Colour from crayon
Super O
Activities to do alone, activities with friends, activities with strangers
Offer Skittles to strangers in coffee queues
Skittles and strangers
Take sweets from strangers
Give sweets to strangers
Say Yes to strangers
Say Good Morning
Good Morning SuperMe!
Good Morning SuperYou
Good Morning, stranger


Give to love
Giving makes me happy
Positive power
The Meaning of Life
The Answer to Everything
What it all comes down to


Sunny is a state of mind
I’ll take any opportunity to make a positive difference
Need detector
Everyone needs someone to say ‘You can do it’

Scouting locations for superhero image

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Standing on the one-storey hut with squiggle building and Goldsmiths sign at back. Would require ladder and two of the maintenance men to be present to catch me if I fall.
« Read the rest of this entry »


November 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Writing a manifesto was our first step to thinking out the title for our degree show. I like writing manifestos. It makes me hopeful and enthusiastic.

From the manifesto we came up with a few key words. From this we proposed some titles for the show. We had fun doing this. I laughed a lot. That’s important for me.

Here’s our brainstorm for the titles. We put down funny ones as well as serious ones.

The last two in the running after voting off most of the titles were ‘Michael’ and ‘Pilot’.

Michael is the one world user. He is the person we design for when we have a user in mind. It’s user profiling – a useful technique. However, I’ve rarely seen anyone on this course actually user profile. I don’t think it represents us at all. We talked a lot about community and collaboration, and supporting one another. This theme doesn’t come into the show name at all.

Pilot works on a few levels. We are driving our own projects. It’s the pilot show, like with TV series, suggesting our debut and that we are planning on carrying on. There were a few other levels suggested too which could work. It’s an ok title. I still prefer Explorers Collective but apparently because it’s a band name we can’t use it.

Michael got chosen. I strongly objected. It just seems silly to me. I can’t bring myself to say ‘come to see our Michael show’. It needs explaining.

“Come to our Michael show.”/”Come to our Goldsmiths show called Michael.”
“Who’s Michael?”
“The one world user.”
“What’s a one world user?”
“The person that we’re designing for.”
“You’re designing for one person?”
“It’s actually about user profiling, so we can design with someone specific in mind.”
“Oh really, I didn’t know you were that kind of course. I thought you were arty and pushing the boundaries. All the other courses do user profiling too. What makes you different?”
“That we called the show a person’s name… personifying the show… we call it Michael, as in, Michael’s really making me angry today.”
“Aha. That’s… funny.”

“Come to our Michael show.”/”Come to our Goldsmiths show called Michael.”
“Who’s Michael?”
“The one world user.”
“Right.” (Goes away none the wiser. Gets bored with having to ask for an explanation. Looks at the show, not really understanding where Michael fits in.)

(Person gets to the show, possibly a non-design visitor from Spitalfields) “Who is Michael then?”
“Our design degree show.”
“Why did you call your show a person’s name? How does that reflect what you do?”
“We’re all Michael. Michael is who we design for. You’re Michael. This design is for you.”
“I’m not Michael.”
“You are, user profiling blah…”
“I don’t like your design. Bye”

Alternative (this one’s positive)
(Person gets to the show, possibly a non-design visitor from Spitalfields) “Who is Michael then?”
“Our design degree show.”
“Oh right, it was just to get me in here then. Ok I might as well look at your stuff.”

If that last one is what happens, great. We’ll get more footfall and I won’t have to stand up for the show’s name. I’ve spent 22 years explaining my own name and I don’t want to have to explain something else’s.

Michael, or any other name, is a good marketing ploy. It’s been done before, but it will probably work.

However, it doesn’t reflect us as designers very well. We don’t employ user profiling as a focus to our work. We experiment and critically analyse. We try to question how things are rather than thinking about designing for a user group – this is what makes us different. We have a totally different approach to the traditional user profiling. We’re probably the course that uses user profiling the least in the country.

If you know that about the course, it’s an ironic name. If you don’t, you’ll think that we’re more traditional than you thought before. We’re not. This name gives a false impression on this level and also in that nobody will understand what ‘Michael’ is implicitly. That will work for us and against us. We’ll have people who don’t know anything about design and not understand what’s going on. Do we need those people to come to the show?

I’m angry to be mis-represented. I do occasionally use user profiling but it’s not on my top ten parts of my design identity. I doubt it would be on more than two people’s top ten in the class.

There’s no point in me rallying against the majority within my own class. I don’t want to alienate myself. So I’ll shut up, and just not get involved. At least for the moment. I can’t positively contribute to this theme unless it’s ironic, which then requires too much explanation. A show name should be about the work, not just a marketing ploy. We have something interesting to give without ploys. It’s a cop out.

After spending a day thinking and discussing our values, coming up with something that completely misses what we’re about is really disappointing.

Some argued that it’s what we’re about in that it’s unusual to call a show a person’s name. That doesn’t outweigh the reason, for me, that it seems to be a silly thing to do, not in a good way.

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