Leeds Met Creative Arts Festival. A Creative Event In Itself.

On the 9th of June the Leeds Metropolitan University Creative Arts Festival 2011 opened. It was a chance for all the art and design courses within the university to exhibit their Degree work to the public.

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I arrived at the exhibition (having skipped my own degree show at Newcastle) but what I found was an extremely well organised and creatively thought through exhibition that encouraged you to take your time and view all the work on display.

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Walking across the entrance to the courtyard the first signs of the exhibit begin to appear. A sculpture made up of different colour and material cubes, representative of the departments building design displays the name of the exhibition. The piece is brilliant, eye catching and bold. Its concept fits well, reflecting the building as well as the exhibition.

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The exhibition ticket (top image) featured a series of symbols, white patterns on a colour background. Each symbol represents a different exhibition and the symbols are used throughout the building to guide visitors to each of the exhibitions.

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Floor guides feature the symbols alongside cubes mirroring the design of the outdoor sculpture. If you know which exhibition you want to go to you simply find your symbol and follow the prompts. This could be the coloured cubes dotted around outside, the stacked white cubes inside and then you know you are on the right floor as your symbol is featured on the stairwell. Excellent!

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For the more spontaneous guests just there to have a nosy there was another option to pick where you wanted to go. The wooden object below is like a game. You drop a ball in at the top and it can land in a number of slots, each representing an exhibition, where it lands is where you go.

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Each of the exhibitions featured their own little quirky additions. I hate to admit it but the architecture department looked like it hadn’t really made that much of an effort in comparison to some of the other courses displaying work.

The interior design exhibition had balloons in the entrance. Each with a tag tied to the string at the bottom of the balloon. They made you want to interact and pull down a balloon to find out what it was all about. Each tag had a persons name and details on one side and a very apt, considered quote on the other. A fabulous first impression that wasn’t let down by the quality of the work on display. The interior design room was the one that really got me excited. Some of the display ideas were fantastic.

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The graphic design room had the best ideas for getting the designers details out to the public and for getting feedback to the students direct from the public (typical clever clogs!).

A notice board at the entrance of the exhibition featured a tear off block of plans. The plan was a floor plan of the exhibition space, numbered to show the different display areas of the artists. On the back of the sheet was a key, a list of the designers and their contact details, blogs and websites. I really like this idea! A concise way of getting a huge amount of information across and a memorable addition to the exhibition.

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Alongside the plans was a series of hooks, on each of the hooks was a little tag with phrases such as ‘this got us chatting’, ‘this touched me’, ‘this required skill’ and ‘this got on my tits!’ Visitors could take a tag or two and hang it on a hook next to each designers work. This was my favourite part of the exhibition. The students who created the work were around the exhibition and the look of delight on their faces when they walked in and saw that people had liked their work was fantastic. After all the hard work that had gone into the production this simple feedback technique was fun for visitors and exciting for the students.

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I visited the exhibition to see my sisters degree work and finding a ‘this got us chatting’ tag on her work made mine and her day!

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Filed under Art, Branding, Exhibitions, Interiors, My Travels

Seat and Book Storage In One. Perfect For Students!

I am loving this little stool by Nju Studios. Inspired by a bunch of students using a stack of the designers magazines to prop open a door the designer was prompted to use the proportions and weight of magazines to create a functional piece of furniture.

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When I saw it, I thought how perfect it would be in a student house. A place full of books, that often requires extra seating. It is ironic that it was students that inadvertently sparked this idea in the first place.

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Having just packed up my student room after the end of another year, I seem to have added another box of books. Not only would this seat be perfect for its primary uses but would also make the books it stores easy to transport, a feature great for students who often live a split life between home and a university house.

Now where can I get my hands on one?

Images via Core77

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Filed under Furniture, Interiors, Materials, New Uses

Preston Graffiti 2

Walking in to university today (well to the pub to be more precise) I noticed that the graffiti on the side of the Ship Inn had changed once again.

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The geometric patterns in this piece show a big change in style compared to the previous graffiti work I showed you last month. I wonder if the piece is by the same artist. UCLAN has a great creative community, I would love to know more about this particular artist!

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Filed under Art, Cities, Graffiti, My Travels

Not Just A Floor! Take a Closer Look.

This installation, simply titled Floor is by the artist Do-Ho Suh. the piece is made up of glass plates that look as if they are being supported by little people. Standing on the platform visitors can only really see little dots of colour below them, It takes some closer inspection to really discover what the piece is about.

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The piece created specifically for the Indianapolis Museum Of Art is extremely subtle in the space, unusual considering the complexity of the piece. The idea is that the piece discusses how people explore places, particularly communal spaces.

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The idea of standing on people may evoke other thoughts within the exhibitions users but I have to say I think this is extremely clever. A simple idea that has been executed very effectively, producing an exhibition that is a real experience for its users. Fantastic!

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Filed under Art, Interiors, Just For Fun

Incredible Mini Models by David DiMichele

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For longer than a decade the artist David DiMichele has been producing these fantastic miniature installations in his studio. But it is the photographing of  the pieces, only a recent part of his process that has been grabbing peoples attention. His photography has created a whole new portfolio of work, not only recording his installation models but creating beautiful pieces of photographic art in the process.

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The collection of images is called Pseudo Documentation and with the artists careful consideration of composition and lighting the result is spectacular. On my discovery of the pieces I was convinced these were full size installations not scale models! I am completely in awe of his abilities, the models are so clean and and realistic. He is certainly someone I would love to sit down with to pick up of few tricks of the trade from.

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For the source of these images and more information about the artist and his works head of to his website here.

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Filed under Architecture, Interiors, Materials, Models, Photography

New Blog Coming Soon!

I came to the realisation that as a designer I am full of confidence during the design phase but when it comes to the presentation of my work there is something missing. I have set out to pin point exactly what is missing in my presentation skills repertoire and then document the learning of these new skills.

I will begin with hand drawing and end at photo realistic rendering and exhibition display, along the way producing how to guides as a personal reminder and as a kind of cheat sheet for you lovely people.

At the end of this process I hope to have a newly gained set of skills and a high quality, professional presentation style that I can rely on.

This new blog alongside my current blog documenting my design research process (as an MA Interior Design student at UCLAN) will represent who I am as a designer; my skills, aesthetic and portfolio.

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Filed under Designer Tool Kit, My Work

Nod To A Blog–Patternity

In a search for something completely different Google in all its random genius led me to patternity.co.uk.

“SEEING PATTERN EVERYWHERE// MUNDANE TO THE MAGNIFICENT// INSPIRE INFORM IMPLEMENT ENJOY” (sites strap line)

In a few short minutes I was hooked. The blog is brilliant in its simplicity. It is a collection of images, some personal, some borrowed each depicting pattern. The subjects featured are vast and varying but each is held up to the same value and each recognised as beautiful.

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So take my advice, if stuck for inspiration, get stuck into this blog. You will be sure to find something to motivate your creative side!

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Filed under Materials, Nod To A Blog, Photography