Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal – Week Two

What Is A Narrative? 

Essentially A Story

After the first study group I said that I hoped to learn more so I could look at Product Design in a different way, After this weeks study group I am getting more confident that this will be the case. This weeks study group began by Dr. Mahnaz talking about narrative and how it plays a role in every Art and Design course that is being held at CSAD.

Dr. Mahnaz talked about how product designers could think like an artist whilst artists think like product designers and ill be honest, I was rather confused at first i mean, all I originally wanted to do was design literally anything just as long as I was working with materials, sketching and using what skills I felt I had to create something others would also appreciate and this made me think about the other side of product design where it is done because individuals want to share a story, a memory or an experience through their design.

Dr. Mahnaz had asked how we would tell a story through our field and immediately thought of form, materials, style and ergonomics – I was happy that she had agreed with me that form is probably the best way to tell a story through Product Design and of course, not to forget how powerful colour can be too.

Colin Rowe (1920 – 1999) – Rowe’s significance largely revolved around the issue of formalism.

“Should visual and spatial forms be seen as design’s irreducible essence, or does form represent only one layer in a set of values that includes psychological meaning, social intention, political ideology and other human factors at work in the urban whole?”

This exercise required groups of three or four again and once in a group we discussed what we thought of this quote and Colin Rowe was right, here is some of what I wrote down during the study group session:

‘A good design to me includes line, form and material – for me, if the design is too simple and neutral in tone, it cannot be depicted as a good design or ‘art’ I feel like it ruins the concept all together’ – Now, I feel as though I am understanding these sessions, I am beginning to think in a more phenomenal sense than literal which I feel is what Dr. Mahnaz wants but I still feel like I need more sessions to understand how and why I want to think this way.

Overall I really enjoyed this weeks study group session, I have began to think about design and advertising a lot more and how different aspects of narrative are being used to try to connect the company with the consumer, trying to associate the lifestyle within the advert to say “You need this, If you have this product you’ll get this life” which is very interesting to think about and I feel this discussion will continue next week when our group visit the Museum.

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