This week’s keynote lecture was a discussion panel with Theo Humphries, Prof. Clive Cazeaux, Cath Davies and Dr. Mahnaz Shah. I found this lecture rather intense and interesting how that lecturers from different academic background criticise and analyse a question in so many different ways. The questions asked were:
“Is there an historical component to meaning?”
“Is the literal phenomenal and the phenomenal literal?”
” You seem to be saying that ideas are material, are in the world. But you’re having a laugh, aren’t you? Ideas are in my head! if I have a thought or an opinion, its mine, in my head! How would you respond to that?”
There was some very interesting answers to all these questions which puzzles the mind as you don’t realise how they link to the question. One particular topic that was bought up by Clive was a question of “If a tree falls down but no one is near it to hear it fall, does it still make a sound?” My first initial reaction to this was of course it still does just no one was there to hear it, but as Clive mentioned in Philosophy it wouldn’t have made a sound. As the definition of sound means waves passing through the air from one object to another if there is no second object to pick up on this sound then surely a sound hasn’t been made.
Another point which Clive mentioned was about meaning and how that we only understand something because of its meaning to us. Like our language, it’s only a sound that we produce, the actual sound doesn’t have a meaning. It is only because of how we interpret that noise to have a meaning, something which we then can understand and relate to. This is something which everything in the world applies to and which we take for granted everyday because it comes natural to us.
This weeks study skills session was based on applying theory to images and objects with Cath Davies. I found this session most valuable and one of the best ones of the term. This session was great practise for the essay writing that we would be doing next term and Cath helped us understand and read images better, also how to write about them in an essay structure. I found her method of ‘description–>analysis–>academic perspectives’ a very effective one and something that I will come back to when writing my essay next term.
This week in constellation study skills Professor Clive Cazeaux gave a lecture about argument. Before hand I could not see how this is linked into art and design but after the lecture I realised that most art is built upon argument and different viewpoints and opinions. In the lecture Clive set us with constructing an argument ourselves in groups from a topic of our choice. My group chose “Everyone’s fate is already set out in life and it is not possible to change it.”
From writing the argument paragraph and the feedback after I realised that you can’t just base an argument on your opinion and that’s the end. You need solid facts that persuade and convince the reader that what you are saying is true or better than the opposing side with real life examples.
This week in constellation study skills the topic was ‘identify a question’ with Dr. Mahnaz Shah. She started off by asking “what exactly is a question” proving that in fact there is no answer to this and is often what sparks research. Also how that sometimes its still not possible to conclude a question and needs on going research and investigation. The significance being don’t just put an answer to a question, that’s school practise, go beyond and outside of the box to explore every possible eventuality to a problem.
This week in constellation study skills Jenny Godfrey spoke to us about visual literacy. She explained that pieces of art don’t need words because if you look deeply enough into them they tell you a story in themselves. She also showed us how to use the online library to find pieces of art that relate to what you want. Jenny then set a task of finding a piece of work from one of the sites that related to our subject and personal feelings and to then present this to the class of why it did. I personally chose an image of the lemon squeezer by Philippe Starck, as I am doing product design pieces of art don’t interest me and products do and I explained that through this image.
This week in constellation the main lecture was based around William Morris (1834-1896). After listening to the lecture I found myself inspired by Morris and wish to carry some of his philosophy’s into my own work. I find it amazing how that even over 100 years ago a lot of his theories still stand today and how his work still comes in and out of fashion. Another aspect of Morris that I am inspired by is how he was multi skilled and start off as an artist an developed into a ‘Morris the manufacturer’. The final thing that I find most unique about Morris is how he named and credited each of his workers for what they had created. This is especially special as this is a rare occurrence in todays organisation but something I believe should stand.
Following the lecture, later on in the study skills session with Steve Thomson we learnt key presentation skills for a successful presentation. Steve showed us that you need a central core of which your point is and you develop your spiral to suite the purpose of the presentation. As well as this everyone has different techniques of presenting and its a matter of finding your own that you are most comfortable with.
This week in constellation we were initially introduced to the ideas of ‘post perspective’ and the different techniques artists and designers use to make their designs and images stand out. The 4 we were introduced to:
– ‘The multiplication of views and viewpoints’ – The use of different vanishing points.
– ‘Adopting a none-human viewpoint’ – What’s the focus point? Where is it taken from?
– ‘Doubling and repetition’ – No viewpoint possible. Split images that you cant combine.
– ‘Historical Perspective’
Later on in the afternoon study skills lesson with Dr. Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulos. He taught us the idea that now we have to be interdisciplinary in what we do as that is the way the world and industry is heading. 50 years ago it was the idea that everyone worked separate in their area of skill but now we are joining together to make a better products or services no matter what area an individual is skilled or specialised in. It is much better to all work together not only to create a better outcome at the end but also for the purpose of meeting new people from different walks of life as you will always have something to learn from them and gain.
He also went on to explain about design and colours how that different shapes, colours and images automatically have a meaning to us just from what we associate with them. Also how it is hard to move away from these associations as they are built into our brains and when we try to move away from these and describe them in a different way this can help us in a design process.