‘Drawing of everyday scenes and situations in an objective way is a very different discipline to the much more dynamic and proactive of drawn visual journalism, which aligns itself more closely to photojournalism and the visual essay. Illustrators in effect work as journalists, interviewing, sketching and photographing their subjects, often composing and interpreting the visual, aural and textural material in a layered interpretive way. Much of the narrative and commentary finds its way to the published artwork through annoyed notes and transcribed conversations.”

Gary Embury editor of reportager.org
Extract from ‘Thoughts from the chair’ Gary Embury, ‘Witness’ reportage and documentary illustration forum, Falmouth university 2014

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A recent campaign by Peta brings into attention the extreme cruelty involved in the fashion industry of exotic skin products. Conceptualised by Oglivy & Mather Advertising Bangkok, a pop-up shop, The Leather Work, was created within Bangkok’s bustling mall. The shop showcased leather goods as per usual but within the interior of these goods, they present the cold hard truth of the cruelty behind this business using snake’s or crocodile’s still-beating heart or an alligator’s intestines that contract and expand in the interiors of the bags or smearing fake blood on consumers when they took off the shoes or gloves upon trying.

The campaign msg in the video was: “For the exotic skins industry, cruelty is a daily business.”

 

Personal Reflection
Personally I think this concept to bring across the cruelty behind the glamorous products was ingenious. As Peta headlined it-“Beauty often blinds people to cruelty”, such a direct confrontation placed within the products itself to the direct consumers has such a strong affect. Those internal organs are ghastly but it is the truth which the consumers were blinded with.

More often than not, I think shock is an important affect and method to bring across statement(s) to people and possibly induce change in us.

In a way, I thought this was really relevant to my previous Unit 5: The Expanded Designer and our current 2060 in the aspect that design has the power and social conscience to influence the society and world.

While my group is trying to come up with some solutions for nuclear radiation in our 2060-Catastrophe, I chanced upon this article about a Japan company coming up with a swimsuit that can potentially stop all beta rays. Unfortunately, I have to agree with the author that there is too much fear mongering in the market nowadays. There’s no real design but short selling.


Anyway…more about our group work progress:

In the past I used to laugh at Chindogu and cast it aside without much deliberation but ever since being reintroduced to it again during the presentation by Kin Studio, I am looking at it in a very different way now. I wish I could do something as crazy and nonsensical for our Catastrophe Suit *grin*

2060: Week 2 Food

As we take on a speculative design approach in our 2060 brief, week 2 was about what and how people in 2060 would eat.

The notion that our group was playing with was “Eating with your eyes” where we anticipate a future where we could just print whatever food we want ourselves onto ‘paper’ with the image of the food on it. For the health-conscious people or eating-guilt people, this could well be their solution to have a visual visceral eating experience to satisfy their cravings. Unlike the norm of 3D food printing, our group flattened the form of real food and as in 3D printing into a 2D item for human consumption. In doing so, we are challenging the dimensions of what food is and hence why and how we eat food in the future. One thing for sure, for convenience purposes, our ‘food’ is easily accessible by printing; our slogan sums it up well-“Just Print and Eat”.

The idea to print a hyperreal image is to facilitate our notion “Eating with your Eyes”. The issue of taste or whatsoever has been dismissed throughout. What is contemplative here is the repercussion of such “Eating with your eyes” with total disregard for taste, smell and touch on the meaning of food.

Project Process

As we divide up the work, illustration students in the group took up the responsibilities for the packaging design of our “Print Food”. Initially, we were playing with the literal ideas of “Print Food” and I conceptualised a table setting where the printer would replace the plate as below:

Upon researching on packaging designs, I was pretty much inspired by the following designs where a literal approach was undertaken to show the product directly within the design.

Bearing that our food was a printer food and very flat and thin, I thought (within the short time frame that we have) an envelope-kind of package would be good to embody the convenience and ready-to-go spirit of our product. As such I conceptualised the following envelope design in a similar style as our poster (designed by the graphic students in our group) to have the product mimicking printing when the consumer pull it out from the envelope.

2016-04-29 14.56.32-1.jpg

This idea was brought forward to the next level when we finalised our presentation mode by having a mock-up 3D printer instead. The whole presentation was done in a ‘food stall’ setting where we drew up a menu accompanied by posters and signage.

Responses from the 2060 Banquet,

There were some scepticism received but mainly because this was the first time they encountered edible paper (we actually used rice paper and got it printed from bakery shop). Notwithstanding that, our food was met with much positive acceptance.

 

2060: Week 2 Food

Constructed Realities

“It’s clear that reality only works for a privileged minority, but designers advocate a realist approach, which means they work within the constraints of reality as it is, for the minority. The school aims to challenge this by making reality a little bit bigger to provide more room for different kinds of dreams and hopes. An important part of this process is generating multiple versions of reality, and this is where design comes in.

“We concluded that the only way to challenge this unsatisfactory situation was to be unrealistic—to breach realism’s heavily policed borders and to fully embrace unreality.”

-Director of The School of Constructed Realities

 

Source: Dunne, Anthony and Raby, Fiona (2014). The School of Constructed Realities. Maharam. Accessed from http://maharam.com/stories/raby_the-school-of-constructed-realities [online] on 27 April 2016.
Constructed Realities

A new upcoming science fiction romantic film that is timely with our current 2060 brief. In Equals, it is a futuristic utopia where emotions are eradicated and classified as a disease. The leads then struggled with their attraction and love story in this emotive-free society.

Just wondering… why do all futuristic films envisioned a very mechanised society in the sense that all humans are donned in white, walking around in very orderly manner, and doing things mechanically, like in Wall-E, Equals, and…. ?  I do understand that technology advancement and AI development are probably the reason for projecting humans as orderly and mechanical beings just like robots. However, I don’t really fathom why would everything necessarily be stripped to its essence and going totally minimalistic in design in the future. Or maybe I do if I consider minimalism (as I assume it is) is the epitome of utopia because at the other end of the spectrum, a dystopia would be one that is totally messed-up because freedom is boundless and unchecked.

When I envision about the future and how to design it, it seems more of a constant challenge of the notion of who we are as human and what we value. I think it is important that when designing, we need to constantly take into considerations about what makes us human- our consciousness-otherwise, what meaning would the future take on if we lose the essence of what we are in the first place.