Our First Year students have been recently ‘team working’ on a collaborative brief designed partly as a ‘getting to know you’ exercise, (we like to encourage them to mix beyond their immediate social group) and also because being able to work successfully with others in a team is an essential skill for every Graphic Designer. We see this project as an important step in developing and refining these skills. This was also very much about opportunities for research, creative thinking and confidence building through presentation and performance.
What did they do? The first task was to research a ‘given’ 20th Century creative, (these may be Graphic Designers but could just as easily be Fine Artists, Architects, Fashion Designers etc,etc). Then to make a group presentation about ‘their’ creative, and to follow this by creating a sound work on ‘home made’ instruments (what else!) in response to the creative’s work. We recorded this performance, turned it into data and then tasked them individually to make a graphic map from the data with reference to graphic mapping and graphic scores. (Simple…Art – Music – Art).
The brief is a real test of creative and interpretive thinking, a chance to engage with making and testing as primary research, and a way of exploring the links between creative practitioners and disciplines, and of course you need to work successfully as a team order to ‘pull the performance off’.
Here are examples from the sketchbooks and the mapping outcomes. Three special mentions here… for Ashley Gillott who decided to investigate etching and intaglio printing in his response, Tara Wilson for her experimental ‘light projection map’ (well done both, we like this kind of ‘alternative’ thinking), and Aiden Walsh for his beautifully hand rendered map.