Day 11 / Concept development + Group Dynamics

Joanna’s research: Self-agency (one’s control over movement/intention) + ownership = self body recognition

this works with the broader concept discussed in the Asset testing session yesterday. The notion of inside/outside, external to internal.

2016-02-18 12.37.40
Break down of Joanna’s concept development


After looking at Joanna’s research, we worked together to create this simplified version of how our visual narrative would develop:

  1. We lack self agency
    We are outside/external to estuaries.
    The sequence begins zoomed out with the estuary form at a distance, representing our understanding of our impacts on estuaries – that we don’t know the full extent of our actions on Estuaries.
  2. We go inside the living system
    We ‘dive’ into the estuary and are now inside it.
    Immersed in the environment, we are exposed to our actual impact on the estuaries. The camera movement become angular and erratic – showing the viewer that the living system is not as stable as it seemed from the outside. The point of this is to shock and disorient the viewer and in that way make them more aware of it’s chaotic state to finally see what impact our actions actually have on estuaries.
  3. We come out of the living system with new perspective
    Coming out of the living system, the system floats past us and returns to the distance, however its colours are dulled, it’s form is changed and it finishes slightly off centre – representing the change in the estuary after human intervention as well as (we hope) the change in perspective the viewer now has on understanding the relationship between the action and impact.
    Through this we hope to inspire conservation/awareness and bring about more self agency to our actions.

After coming from the Asset test, to make sure everyone was on the same page I presented this break down to everyone individually. Darryl and Joanna agreed it made sense and were happy to move forward. However, when presented to Matt he went through it briefly and was quick to say it didn’t make sense, and he didn’t get it. At that point, I was very much confused as to what was not to get? The narrative was built around the assets we had already created and tested (which drew on many aspects that he had mentioned while creating the assets) and had supportive research material necessary, to back it up.

I think the most frustrating thing here was, feeling as though my work was undermined, undervalued and pushed to the side – if it wasn’t his idea, it wasn’t worth pursuing. Which became increasingly frustrating since the work we did, was always in consideration to the work he was doing. The research and narrative worked off the work that he directed Darryl to do in MotionBuilder when producing assets.

After trying to explain it to him, I really just needed time away from the situation in order to keep my cool. Therefore, I let Joanna and Matt work it out and discuss things with Chris. After that discussion these were the themes that they distilled:

  • Balance / imbalance
  • Fragility of environment
  • Environmental awareness – Conservation

Matt suggested that I take the broader them of Balance/Imbalance and apply it to our visual style and incorporate it over all components of the brief: the presentation and visual style of final sequence. Here I started to look at Bauhaus typographers such as Herbert Bayer and how he placed elements on a page to achieve a sense of balance, energy and movement in his posters.

Joost Schmidt Bauhaus poster design
Herbert Bayer Assuh Zigarette poster design

Reflecting on today, it was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotional stress. After everything that happened, all the issues and challenges that arose, the main issue was just feeling as though our opinion wasn’t heard which resulted in a constant back and forth over things discussed previously. One of the most exciting for things for me when applying for this lab, was it’s interdisciplinary nature. I was excited to collaborate with other design students, and create something that is beyond me and my ability, something that could only be realised through our collaborative efforts. After writing my design manifesto on collaboration last year, I read a lot of Poggenpohl’s work and it is only now that I completely agree with her statement:

Diversity can give rise to conflict, reduce cohesion, and limit communication and coordination within the group. [On the other hand] It can also stimulate new ideas and possibilities.” – Poggenpohl

But I’m hoping that we can resolve this as soon as possible, so that we can really produce work we are all proud of presenting on Monday.


Bayer, H. 1925, Assuh Zigarette, MoMA, viewed 18th February 2016, <;.

Schmidt, J. 1923, Bauhaus Exhibition in Weimar, Bauhaus Arkiv, viewed 18th February 2016, <;.

Poggenpohl, S. & Sato, K. (eds) 2009, Design Integrations, Intellect, Chicago, IL.



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