First week here at university and to get our creative juices and collaborative skills flowing we were given our first project brief to complete.
In the world of the creative arts, mixing of disciplines is deeply encouraged both in academics and industry. This also breeds the conceptual way of thinking and developing ideas. Inspired by individuals like Hussein Chalayan and his A/W 2000 collection and Martino Gamper’s ‘100 chairs 100 Days’ exhibition. We were instructed to work in groups to create a ‘sitting device’ out of anything we could find, around the campus or town centre to build with, construct, glue, hammer, saw, file etc, the only premise was that it shouldn’t look like ‘a chair’. At first I was taken aback but also inspired, from a fashion perspective it’s somewhat easier to assume the usual ideas of fashion and use skills like sewing and draping in order to make something. However within my group we quickly discovered that the use of fabric and contemporary fashion design methods were too cliché and would probably end up being too close to Chalayan’s groundbreaking show.
We allowed our minds to run wild and allow the materials that we found to be our starting point. Finding bits of wood, plastic, metal nails, electric wiring and insulation foam ended up being what turned out to be ‘The Martini Spider’. Our research took us to various shapes and forms, at first we thought we’d build a box and use old cd discs and make a ‘cd storage’ box for a dj that transforms into something you can sit on, all be it uncomfortable-the law of physics didn’t apply here and more importantly the device didn’t necessarily need to be functional or beautiful-it just had to fulfill the brief of being a sitting device.
Funnily enough our frustrations and creative blocks led us to think of cocktails-and thus the shape of a martini glass came about. It was great fun gluing, sanding and filing bits of wood-it reminded me more of my high school days in design technology working with the concept of joinery. To bring in an element of textiles I used some cream yarn I had lying around at home to create a weaving technique to bring a bit of beauty to an otherwise extremely conceptual art piece.
I enjoyed working within the group of the two other second years starting new at university like me. We got to know each other better, and we all quickly discovered each other’s strengths and weaknesses and used them to come together and have a finished product. Both Tia and Lauren were extremely resourceful and had every tool under the sun to help us; I found that by creating moodboard allowed our ideas to formulate better and to ensure to ourselves that our vision would remain clear. The final presentation and exhibition of all the other ‘sitting devices’ was very entertaining and informal which cemented the week’s activities nicely. The winning group created a horror type ‘gynaecology’ chair, and the runner up came up with a chair made out of shopping trolleys, which was very innovative.