Week Twelve: New Steps

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

What are the potential future definitions of design practice?

The consensus was that graphic design is getting bigger and broader. Sarah Boris mentioned design students are now graduating from university with numerous skills compared to a time where students studied a specific area of design and mastered it. She said that this has made her clients demands a lot more higher, being able to do everything has become the new norm amongst designers and clients expect that. As technology has become more evolved so have we, there are ofcourse numerous pros and cons to this. Technology does make aspects of our lives more comfortable and easier but is it killing off traditional methods, ways of doing things, in the process? Sam and Kristoff describe how where there'd once be a time where there would 20 graphic designers working in an office there is now only two or three. As designers skillsets have broadened the need to have have individuals that that are specialised in one particular area has become obsolete. They mentioned how there is discourse that technology is killing off older processes such as print but they also mentioned how as technology advances so does the need for nostalgia. People want beautiful print done by hand, people like the human conection felt through art and handmade processes. They mentioned how design will only get bigger, and so there should be focus on bing unique in a sea of sameness.

"What’s really exciting for me in branding is that the definition is getting broader. It's not getting more narrow, it’s not becoming more niche, it’s actually a broader thing." Simon Manchipp

"I think that the potential definitions of what design is going to be, ties into what problems we're going to have, right? I don't mean they’re just problems as in it's all doom and gloom, but I mean that it's where our culture is going." Sam Winston

"Now, actually, people are much more versatile and able to jump between things." Tom Finn

"I think the definition of design practice has shifted a lot because before a lot of graphic designers were defined as being, were expected to be a print designer, and now I get a client ringing me up asking me to do a visual identity and suddenly they're going to say, why isn’t it animated?" Sarah Boris

What are the sectors that might change or need to change?

"I think what's really important is making sure that the ideas that we are coming up with as designers, as creatives, are connecting with people." Simon Manchipp

"You can query people, what are you actually interested in, and if you can find enough people on the internet that are interested in something, you can put it out in the world." Kristoffer Soelling

"I think the way practices are shifting is that everyone's more collaborative and everyone's more up to speed with a lot of different ways of doing things." Sarah Boris

New Steps Susanna Edwards in conversation with Maziar Raein

"I think one of the fundamental things about design, and what we do in graphic designer, is that we’re in the optimism business. I think we believe that we can make the world a little bit better and I think, if you don't believe in that then you should stop designing straight away." Maziar

In the conversation between Susanna and Maziar they briefly discuss elements of the past, present and future of graphic design. Maziar starts with a powerful statement that those pursuing graphic design should wan to change the world for the better. Graphic design students should be conscious of the social, political environment aswell as the environment we live and climate change. Maziar discusses how fashion students often stop work as there are so many environmental issues that the fashion inustry is responsible for, like many other industries (including graphic design) however, Maziar and Susanna both agree that the best way around this is teaming with other that want to make a difference. Aswell as this, Susanna mentions that you should talk to people who are experts in topics you may know little about, if you want to address climate change, speak to a scientist, if you want to address the economy, speak to an economist.

Maziar also describes how important it is to look and record the unknown, the everyday, he urges us to explore and look differently. He also mentions how travel doesn't have to be physically moving anywhere, it could be through a conversation on Skype. The ability to speak someone right across the other side of the world has never been easier.

Towards the end of the conversation Maziar describes how important it is to know your materials. To feel the paper on which your printing on and go to the printer and see the process first hand. he also describes the importance of recording and archiving.

Richard Wentworth

On the back of the lecture I wanted to look more into Richard Wentworth and his book, 'Making Do and Getting By' which investigates the process of perception and communication – how we see what we see, what we do with what we see, how we name what we think we have seen, who we share it with and who is speaking to whom. I love the melancholy of Richard Wentworths work the title of this particular book sounds very British, I can almost hear it in a Yorkshire accent. I like this idea of steering perception and how attention can be shifted to give something a new meaning, a new light.

Image: https://blog.danielnorman.co/post/162448875333/making-do-and-getting-by-richard-wentworth

Image: https://www.lissongallery.com/news/richard-wentworth-making-do-and-getting-by

Anab Jain

Image: https://www.ted.com/speakers/anab_jain

Anab Jain describes how our relationship with the future is separate from it yet it shouldn't. I liked how she described our relationship with the future as simply being like getting drunk on a night out, we tell ourselves that we'll deal with the hangover tomorrow and enjoy the now yet at some point or another the future will come, and that hangover will come. You end up asking yourself, what did I do that? Why did I have that extra drink? It wasn't worth the suffering I'm now enduring.

I liked how she described how a team of people and her created a sample of what the air might be like like in the year 2030 if our behaviour stays the same as it is today. She describes how people that were originally against change, changed after smelling the toxic air. She mentions how this was a lot more powerful than any data she could compile.

I agree that stronger methods need to be explored in getting people to shift their attitudes towards climate change. We've almost become desensitised to facts and statistics now, information of any kind really, there is a need for people to experience something that stimulates them more, stimulates them into changing old habits and ways of thinking.

Workshop Challenge

I was inspired by the lecture this week and Maziar talking about his fashion students and the ethical problems facing the fashion industry. Like everything else fashion has become faster, seasons change quicker, fashion trends change quicker and we end up with mountains of clothes in our wardrobes that rarely, if ever get worn. One report I read mentioned how as much as 40% of clothes within our wardrobes don't get worn regularly. Fast, affordable fashion has its pros but a quick as we are to buy it, we are to disregard it.

I have previously volunteered with UK charity Help Refugees. One of the areas I helped in was helping to sell donated clothes that weren't suitable for refugees and the funds from those sales going straight back into the charity. Charity shop shopping for second-hand clothes is very popular, however, I wanted to explore if perceptions would change if the context of the clothes changed. If the clothes weren't in a charity shop but in a high end setting.

One Thousand Books

I was drawn to One Thousand Books which is to showcase books as accessible yet elaborate art objects and to serve as a platform where actors in the field of book making can meet, connect and share ideas and perspectives on current issues in the frame of publishing, editing and exhibiting books. In the images below books are being sold within a supermarket, beautiful books next to everyday groceries. I like this as it feels like the need for nourishment and the need for knowledge are on the same level, both are needed for a functioning society. Nourishment fuels knowledge and so why would they be separate?

Image: https://lodretvandret.com/one-thousand-books/

Image: https://lodretvandret.com/one-thousand-books/

Prada Marfa

I was also drawn to the The Prada Marfa store by Elmgreen and Dragset which sits in the desert with no one around. The highway traffic levels are low which is why this is a sculptural object. Had it been in London, Paris, New York it would be a functioning store. It could be a functioning store as it has all the requirements to be one, yet no one works here. It's out of the context for being a functional store. I like this as we're viewing it from a completely different perspective. In it's "normal" setting we wouldn't really like twice at a Prada shop yet within a completely different setting it almost becomes surreal. The last thing you'd want in a desert on a baking hot day is a pair of Prada shoes, you'd want some water. It's interesting to think how our needs differ yet our primal needs don't.

Image: https://www.pradagroup.com/en/perspectives/excursus/prada-marfa.html

Image: https://www.pradagroup.com/en/perspectives/excursus/prada-marfa.html

Shortly after the lecture, I read an article that Burberry will be donating unused fabric to fashion students in need. This is a positive change which I hope will be echoed by other designer brands. Designer brands are well aware that they're in the media spotlight and that consumer mindsets are changing and want brands to be ethical and sustainable. Sustainability has become fashionable.

Image: https://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/51357/1/burberry-fabric-fashion-student-british-fashion-council-education-riccardo-tisci


My idea is to strip down high-end fashion, shops to their blueprints and fashion to sketches and reconstruct them with charity shops in mind to alter perceptions. The idea is to reconstruct our attitudes to consumerism.

Image: http://bitterempire.com/the-ban-on-blueprints-you-never-knew-about/

Image: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/548031848400101689/


I began thinking of ideas of high end out of context, such as this NYC subway perfume.

Learning to sketch via a Youtube tutorial. I chose Oxfam as I feel it's the most recognisable charity shop.

Image: TUTORIAL - Fashion Figure Step by Step - YouTube

Creating the blue print on illustrator, in spired by the Prada Marfa shop.

Final Draft


This was a really interesting week and I feel I could've delved deeper. However, the resources were very interesting and exciting. It's great to see designers across all spectrums thinking, planning and making for a better future. And I completely agree with Maziar in that we should be in design to make the world better.


Cornerhouse Publications. (n.d.). Richard Wentworth. [online] Available at: https://www.cornerhousepublications.org/publications/richard-wentworth-making-do-and-getting-by/ [Accessed 9 Dec. 2020].

Anon, (n.d.). One Thousand Books | Lodret Vandret. [online] Available at: https://lodretvandret.com/one-thousand-books/ [Accessed 9 Dec. 2020].

Jain, A. (n.d.). Transcript of “Why we need to imagine different futures.”[online] www.ted.com. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/anab_jain_why_we_need_to_imagine_different_futures/transcript#t-5683 [Accessed 10 Dec. 2020].

SustainabilityXTM (2017). Sustainability in Fashion. [online] Medium. Available at: https://sustainabilityx.co/sustainability-in-fashion-34a4852f0aab.

flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/685/pages/week-12-lecture-1?module_item_id=42786 [Accessed 10 Dec. 2020].

flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/685/pages/week-12-lecture-2?module_item_id=42787 [Accessed 10 Dec. 2020].

PencilTips (2014). TUTORIAL - Fashion Figure Step by Step. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U68FvwHaOoE [Accessed 11 Dec. 2020].

30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All