Sunday, 25 October 2009

A clean-living, up-to-date, squashed way of life

I love the subway. This may be sad, but it's true. Maybe it's because I'm orignially from a tiny place in the countryside where trains haven't quite reached yet. Moving from home, living in Glasgow myself for the first time before I came to Dundee brought much appreciation for the city and a kind of awe of :'this can take me...anywhere, yes!' Without having to wait two hours for a bus. The Clockwork Orange in Glasgow does do one circuit around the city (hence the name and it's orange) But one comes along every 20 minutes, and takes you to all the main parts of town within a max. of half an hour. People like to get where they want to go quick n' easy.

My poster consists of my thoughts around a more...friendly atmosphere on an underground. I've been looking at the Tokyo subways stations, searching into their systems a bit and compared to the Western world...Japan has it sorted. Apart from the squishing.
When I was getting a bit ahead of myself I decided to search into making the Subway experience more effecient, and how to avoid crowded times should you not need to be there. I came across the 'Metro Cuff' by Tiffany Burnette online, which is a simple matte metal bracelet (and now being sold for $25) with an etched map of the NYC subway. It's a simple solution if you're an everyday metro user to quickly check that you're enroute to your destination in the right direction. This is a Universal creation, any Underground map could be used on this bracelet.

With my spider diagram up there I came up with perhaps making a personalized train-time version of this, telling you the times of your trains, with little LED lights telling you whether one is on time, if it's pretty busy, if it's late and if it's full. Maybe useful for Business people running through the station who don't have time to look at the screens overhead etc. To upgrade this further why not have a device in the bracelet to replace your ticket? A small chip you scan and top up with money, then scan at a turnstile to let you through. Which would mean you really could dash for a train and not have to look at the display boards for 5 minutes.
As I thought about it more this is useful but doesn't quite solve the problem of the masses of peak-time train users being shoved into a box-like situation.

The Tokyo Subway (or Metro) seems like a sight to behold. The imaculate stations, scattered with Recycling bins and working (at all times) escalators to be confused with the likes of an underground airport, or even space station. Japanese way of life and culture in general IS a clean, organised, 'no need to pick up litter, there isn't any' and more respective of their living environment than the Western World to me. From only photographs online, these stations look safer, friendly and more organised than NYC Subways, no graffiti, no shady characters, not a single speck of dirt.. Is just more care and taking a leaf out of another cultures book the answer? Or is Western Culture just..too laid back to care? Our subway stations would be marvelled at if for example graffiti was an amazing artfrom at every station stop instead of just a 'tag' here and there, there's no need to copy the Tokyo way of life exactly. . but maybe we just see an underground a a dark and dingey place and always's underground it doesn't need to be taken care of? Or colourful, interesting, whilst being an organised fast track to the next place. .

The one fault I will pick up on with the shiny Japanese Metro is the massive amounts of piling people in and squashing them in (with the help of the station's guards). Having said this at least one million people pass through and use the enormous Japanese subway system everyday. There's bound to be some pile ups. This does happen on other undergrounds too around the world, but not quite to this extent. However the Japanese seem to be able to handle pressed up against each other like sardines in a can in a very calm and civilised manner, kind of like in this video:
Not quite as perfect as I'd first thought.
This has become a normal way to travel, is putting on more trains the answer? It's probably not that simple, but it might be a start.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Brainstorming 'The Power Of Context'

A collection of people from our class in different seminar groups brainstormed 'The Power Of Context' which was basically anything and everything linking crime and how to prevent and improve on different areas such as CCTV, the effect graffiti has on street crime etc. Posting anything we could think of we came up with different areas to research into such as Alarms, 'Wall in a Can' (an inventive way to incourage graffiti as an art form rather than as vanadlism) Hidden Cameras. I have decided to research into 'Atmosphere' in certain areas in cities such as undergrounds, bridges, bypasses, crime rates are high because of the general atmosphere 'The Broken Window Theory of vanadlising certain areas discourages the public from going into Subways without having some kind of feeling of 'this is a dangerzone'. I'm going to look into atmosphere to investigate if cities perhaps in Scotland, maybe have a look at New York Subways to see if they have generally been improved at all and how to do so to make this a safer transport for the general public.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The pods are here....

These are my coral based pod-forms so far :) A lot of fly-pressing, sawpiercing, soldering, sanding and filing has been done. . . and I'm pretty pleased with them. Next stage is to make a base, which I plan to make from acrylic and drill holes into it for the pods to be able to sit upright. I'm also going to fly press some rings of different metals to sit around the holes for added interest...I can't wait to polish these up and make them look nice n'shiny! They're looking, but still a bit battered at the mo. Hopefully this will all get done by next week in time...heh...

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Design for a better....coral reef

The designing of Vessels are beginning to take shap this week, I've made two (on the third so far) little pod-type things based on coral forms, planning to make two more....and then a base for them to sit in. This may take some time..anyway!
For just general research in the summer I found some really interesting sculptures by a sculptor called Jason Taylor which I LOVE because they are underwater, for a start. . .
These sculptures have been placed beside a coral reef in Grenada, the West Indies; there is a collection so is now a 'Sculpture Park', not only are these an interest for divers and a depiction of Grenadian people and their history but it also protects the coral reef.
The coral has begun to grow onto the sculptures themselves providing new ground for them, divers/explorers are more reluctant to go too near the reefs because of the art work there; the reef has protection. I think the idea behind this is brilliant, I love environmental design and I think there is much more exploring to be done within this subject. I'd like to do some sculptures with only natural objects and blog them up...stay tuned.

"The aim of the Sculpture Park is to create a unique space which highlights environmental processes and celebrates local culture. By creating an artificial reef of sculptures which depict Grenadian peoples and their history, the project fulfils its dual purpose of protecting the marine environment and illustrating the richness of Grenada" Jason Taylor

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Law Of The Few..

Here is my detailed mind map of the chapter 'Law Of The Few'. I will probably now forever be spotting Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen everywhere I go . . :) Which is probably a good thing since Jewellery Design = finding other Jewellers to chat to/get inspiration from. Networking, observing other people's work; I need some kind of social/networking group in my life I feel, haha. This blog may come in useful. .
After studying this chapter I believe that the main reason that makes a Connector what they are, is confidence. A great thirst for socialising, a love for people, a huge amount of energy and confidence. I've never understood the few people who seem to have an endless supply of this. How do they do it, do they say to themselves everyday YOU ARE CONFIDENT, go and meet at least 10 people you don't know, get chatting to them and make a new circle of aquiantances/friends? Although Roger Horchow in the book is discribed as a natural collector of names and just enjoys getting to know everyone, literally everyone and collects their information like stamps. So...not quite normal social behaviour, and maybe not confidence in this case but just a natural skill for talking to people.
I know maybe two definite Connectors quite well, and I've got to say, they're confident....friendly...loud...full of energy.... *trails off* :)

Monday, 5 October 2009

The Tipping Point and Mind Maps

Here is the first of the Mind Maps I've made covering all of 'The Tipping Point' which I did struggle to get through in large chunks, so broke them down a bit which is odd because I normally read pretty quickly, I had to get used to it. This book needs severe concentration, however I really enjoyed and understood the book a lot better for doing this mind map! It really works for me.
Despite having to power through it I found the Tipping Point really interesting, as it's a kind of universal look on the world's behaviour I've never read anything like it before.
The Law of The Few was particularly interesting, I definitely know at least one Connector, Maven and Salesmen without even trying which makes the book relative to just about everyone I think!
Learning about the Stickyness Factor taught me that children are even more sponge-like than I thought. I knew that learning a language when you're young comes easily and quickly but I didn't know that kids learned literacy and numbers whilst doing several different things at once, half listening and playing with toys is just as good if not better than sitting watching apparently!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Just a thought . .

One final comment on last weeks lecture, Visual Commuincation; signs and logos we're all familiar with and used to.. "Today I was shopping in M&S, I pushed a door that says pull and it still opened; I've beaten the system." A recent musing from Jack Dee.

Tomorrow I might just post something a little more bit more intelligent than this, but that'll do for now!