Monthly Archives: February 2014

Grown – The Design Process

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Every project needs a starting point usually a theme or just a word. Mine was Grown. Initially I wasn’t sure what would come of it but I devised a colour pallet from the brief given, the reason I chose this theme was because of the colour pallet. My favourite colour this year is Hemlock and I felt it would go perfectly with this concept. I started researching my theme, looking at growth in nature inside and outside, an obvious thing to look at was trees and flowers but then I began to look at the texture of bark and moved on to what was unfortunately growing in my kitchen… mould.

bark

Figure 1

Once I had gathered sufficient images mostly using the WGSN website I started researching the market Anthropologie, a young exciting brand based on culture and wild patterns, they reach out mainly to a younger audience but can be for middle aged women too. They also deal with interiors which are just as beautiful as their fashion and appeal to everyone including the eco-friendly.

I started researching into print and weave, looking at Linton tweed for weave, which I later discarded and designers like Katie Wattles for print.

anthro katie

Figure 2 & 3

I began looking at the mould in the pots and pans me and my flat mates had neglected to wash up again and as I did and started drawing I noticed some of my pages were covered in ink blotches, I started using the coloured shapes on my page to create patterns that looked like the mould.

 Then I started actually using inks on purpose along with acrylic paint to represent the bark and other textures I found outside that had more substance to them. I continued experimenting with this media and others like wax and brusho’s looking for something that really captured what I was seeing grow without any aid from humans in the bottom of our cups. I even experimented with some inks in shaving foam. Then I took what I had into cad, I didn’t much like it as it was too clinical looking and not to my own handwriting. Eventually I started printing in the workshop with stencils and working around a shape onto different surfaces like felt and velvet to get a furry sort of texture.

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I then started thinking about the product I was going to make, a collection of tea towels used in the kitchen ironically. I made and presented boards that would show what I had been working on as well as my final ideas.

I have yet to create a final patter or make the product but I intend too. As I do not have a final product yet there isn’t much I would change except maybe I would have done more research into the marketing and trend side of things to understand it all more. However I’m very excited about my final designs and will upload to the blog when they are complete.

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(Figure 1) Caroline Milon, Jessica Leclere, Jersey knit with bark pattern foil coating, Comp: cotton, wool, foiling (online) Available at; http://www.wgsn.com.libaccess.hud.ac.uk/content/wgsn/unifiedsearch.html?q=bark%20&tags=&type=all&t=all&_charset_=utf-8

(Figure 2) Anthropologie, radiant petals dinner plate (online) Available at; http://www.anthropologie.eu/anthro/catalog/category.jsp?pageName=New+Arrivals&navAction=jump&id=HOME-NEWARRIVALS&cm_sp=TOPNAV-_-HOME-_-HOME-NEWARRIVALS&cm_re=TOPNAV-_-HOME-_-HOME-NEWARRIVALS

(Figure 3) Katie Wattles, 2012, (online) Available at; http://katiewattles.com/kw3.html

Question time #2

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1.How did these designers begin their careers?

Johan Carpner worked for 10 years as a graphic designer before his work caught the eye of the textile industry after a years break due to children being born he decided that he wanted to branch out into textiles but never left graphics behind, he says “I wouldn’t say that I’d ever leave graphic design behind altogether; right now I’m enjoying balancing the two”. Nina Jobs also has a history of graphic design with a masters in product design however textiles runs in her family and although she never had much interest in the subject its where she ended up. Angel Chang however had a much more dream like rise to fame, she moved from a small town in Indiana to New York to study art with the dream that one day she would have her own line, after school she interned and eventually got a job at Donna Karen where she continued to work her way up the ladder to eventually achieve her ultimate goal. 

 

2. How is their work sold/brought to market?

Most designers start off working for other designers and that was the case with Nina however when getting into making your own line of deigns they do this by working on commissioned work. Angel started her own line in 2007 and to help her brand collaborated with other designers as well as people with other skills that helped her to create something unique. 

 

3. What inspires them?

Angel works with the theme technology but from reading the article I think what inspires her is the modern women, she wants to create beautiful fashion that is practical, comfortable and works for us now in this decade. Her 2008 summer/spring collection was inspired by female secret agents of world war 2. Nina’s inspiration comes from traveling the world and recording what she sees, she likes her work to have a personal touch and so every design is different and incorporates small mistakes that makes it look handmade. 

 

4.What are the characteristics/attributes the designers describe themselves?

What makes a graphic designer like Nina and Johna different to other textile designers is how they approach the theme and the work, there way of looking at things is more about form and shape appose to just simply decorative pattern. Angel is the most exciting of all, her work incorporates wireless technology and heat sensitive camouflage amoungst other high tech things, what makes her designs different is that she is doing things that have never been done before. 

 

5. Are there any similarities in the three designers?

Johan and Nina both came through an unexpected rout where there end goal changed throughout their life, they both came from a graphics background which is what makes them different from other designers and also what makes them stand out. Both Johan and Nina are captivated by the sense of patterns being 3 dimensional and not just flat on paper. 

 

6. How do the designers differ?

Angel’s plan was clear from the beginning and her rise through the fashion world was exactly what she imagined appose to Johan and Nina who changed their minds over time and took opportunities to try new things without knowing where they might end up. Johan however is male in an industry dominated by women and this gives him an edge due to his designs being more masculine than the usual patterns seen in the market. 

People Tree

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“Looking good whilst doing good”

This brand is all about fair trade and sustainable fashion, its been going for over 20 years and is looking to create opportunities for people all over the world, those in developing countries who need good jobs to help them live as well us people like us who want access to this kind of fashion but don’t know where to get it. The people tree has turned Eco-friendly fashion into something desirable and trendy and is continuing to do that. When people see the brand we think about the impact our fashion frenzy has on the environment and hopefully we will begin to care about where are fashion comes from and how it is made.  

To make the brand more well known and popular amongst the younger generations, as we are the ones who are building the future and hopefully we can make it an environmentally friendly one, Emma Watson is endorsing the company. 

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We have a People tree back home in Norwich, however I have to say it is the only one I’ve ever seen on the hight street. Its one of my favourite shops in the city and I’ve noticed that where most cities don’t have shops like this we have plenty of small one of shops that sell products very similar to this one. 

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News Week

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Secret Worlds
This months issue of Marie Claire featured and article about a photographer named Jimmy Nelson who is working on a product called “before they pass away” this a beautiful theme they I personally really enjoy. He has traveled the world photographing tribes they are dyeing out, people who live in a way that would seem alien to us. He doesn’t just take their picture though, as they are some of the most secretive people on earth he lives with them, understands their culture and gains their trust. 
http://www.velvettissue.com/our-story/three-trees-promise.aspx#.Uvagg-Wi9UA
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Eco Sports
Apparel Brand Releases T-Shirts Made from Recycled Beer Bottles (http://www.brewbound.com/news/2014/apparel-brand-releases-t-shirts-made-from-recycled-beer-bottles) There message is simple, “save the world one beer at a time.” This line of t shirts is to promote recycling at aimed at festival goers as festival season see some of the most waste of recyclable items! 
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Naotechnology 
These fibers were originally developed for the army, they have benifits such as waterproof. oil resistant, strong material and so on, so now they are beginning to introduce the fiber into school uniforms, this will certainly help mums with the washing!
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Agree/Disagree

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 1. Our Society values economic gain over the environment. 
Agree
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(http://www.ecouterre.com/infographic-how-many-pounds-of-textiles-do-americans-trash-every-year/)

2. Modern consumption habits cannot continue. 
Agree
The more we buy the cheaper it will get and therefore it will decrease in value. The same idea applies to money, the more money a country has the less value a countries money has, for example a £1 seems like nothing to us but to someone from a 3rd world country they would treat it like thousands. 
(http://cnx.org/content/m41191/latest/?collection=col11325/latest)
The more we can afford the more we will buy and then this will make more waste and an economic crisis! I’m not saying our bad habits wont continue but I am saying the concisenesses will be bad ones. 
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3. In the future our needs for “more stuff” will be met differently.
As I’ve said in number 2, if we continue as we are our way of living will be affected. Maybe one day we will be rationed or there will have to be some kind of strict rules as to what, how and when we can buy things.  It could become like it was in WW2 or maybe even as extreme as in china, the rationing of children.
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(http://www.makedomend.com/)

4. It is up to the costumer to seek out sustainable products
Agree
If the designers wont do it then I guess we have to look ourselves. However why would a designer who wants to make money and sell products create something that wasn’t what we want. It is up to us to show interest in these types of products, we may not physically create the trends but without the public no one would know what trends were trendy. Thankfully its already starting to become a trend and according to the guardian it was a buzzword at this years not so sustainable fashion week in London. 
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(http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sustainable-fashion-blog/sustainability-on-trend-london-fashion-week)

5. It is up to designers to create desirable consumer goods that are sustainable 
Agree
We as consumers can#t buy something that isn’t there, the designers are the ones who put trends out there and we look up to them to tell us what we should be buying each season. They have the influence and I hope they all continue to jump on the band wagon such as H&M and M&S have. However, advertisement is a huge issue that needs to be tackled. Even if we were looking for something eco friendly would we know? Better labeling and promotion needs to be looked into as well. This is not just the designer of the products fault but the designer of the brand. 
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(http://about.hm.com/en/About/Sustainability.html)

6. Natural way is always the best.
Agree
Although I am saying I agree with this due to the harm chemicals can do to our air, the health issues it causes amoungst other problems, it must be handled in a sustainable way. For example Velvets “Our Three Trees Promise” means that although they are useing natural materials they are replacing them so that in years to come we will still have to option to do this as well as not destroying our beautiful landscapes and the health benefits fresh air give us.

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(http://www.velvettissue.com/our-story/three-trees-promise.aspx#.Uvagg-Wi9UA
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Crisis

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The Aral Sea is in Central Asia, between the Southern part of Kazakhstan and Northern Uzbekistan. It used to be the worlds 4th largest salt lake but slowly over the last 60 years or so it had shriveled up to a not much more than a puddle in comparison to what it once was. According to an article in the Daily Mail it has shrunk by 90%, this happened when the rivers that fed it were largely diverted in a Soviet project to boost cotton production in the arid region. Highly salted sand blows through the surrounding regions which leaves locals with various health issues. One local said ‘On the pier, I wasn’t seeing anything, I could see only a graveyard of ships,’ The crisis has also meant unexpected climate change in the surrounding areas. 
I was shocked that I had never heard about this disaster before as i closely related to my line of work, the cotton industry is one of the most important in textiles but this does not mean we should exploit people and destroy their homes for our own benefits. It is our responsibility to make sure this never happens again. 

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1263516/How-Aral-Sea–half-size-England–dried-up.html
http://www.columbia.edu/~tmt2120/introduction.htm