Thursday, 7 March 2013

Designing by chance … with the purple umbrella and a dice

This title would make a wonderful one for a mystery play and this TSG workshop with Matt Harris was a bit of a mystery from the beginning. Requirements: an item to de-construct, a dice and drawing materials. My chosen item was a rather beautiful, very old, silk umbrella given to me by good friend, Mary Youles.

After a lot of struggling with pliers and lethal, pointed tools, every single piece that went into the umbrella's construction, was laid out on my table like a row of surgeon’s instruments.

Arranging the components was a design task in itself. The next stage was to number each item and then to throw the dice to select just three items. These were combined in some way to form a drawing tool – we were NOT permitted to choose ‘just the right combination’! This ‘indeterminacy’ was the premise of the weekend and each stage was dictated by the throw of the dice and not personal choice. For a roomful of artists and designers this was excruciatingly painful initially until we started to ‘let go’ and accept the results of the indeterminacy of the dice. In fact, it was quite refreshing to have decisions taken away from you and to learn to ‘make do’ with whatever the dice dictated rather than perhaps making choices that were very predictable to our individual working practices.

Several drawing tools were made (dice-determining of course) and then drawings made of the item itself. These were in response to a list of words, rather than the visual object, which were drawn up before and during the deconstruction.

 

The dice continued to dictate decisions in further development work as we cut up drawings and re-constructed them.

P1060433P1060434

A further rewarding experience was completed back home by assembling deconstructed pieces and work produced on my pin board – this time - without the use of dice.

11 comments:

  1. What an interesting exercise,the marks look very like your umbrella pieces.I like what you've done with the black and white cubes.Hope you are not feeling too confined with your foot.

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  2. oh I love old umbrellas! What a great set of photographs and drawings. It is always difficult letting go but it seems to have inspired.

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  3. What a fascinating exercise. Looking forward to seeing where this is going to take you.

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  4. What a great opportunity to really let go and see what happens looks as if you already have some great ideas, looking forward to seeing where you take this.

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  5. An amazing and fascinating exercise but a rather scary one too! I love where it is going and look forward to seeing more.

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  6. It looks great fun and a great idea to loosen up one's drawing.

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  8. Love the thought of decisions like this on the roll of a die but can imagine how it's difficult not to rebel. Your b/w squares look inspiring.

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  9. Can't help but see wings and feathers in the fray, panel and bottom drawing on the pinboard!! Thanks for such a great record of what happened. A mystery how chance and letting go reveals more... a lesson to value.

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  10. Thank you for all your comments. It is exeriences like this that really make you examine your working practice and allow you to stretch outside that comfort zone to new pastures. It's interesting that you can see elements of 'flight' Judith; perhaps that is what attracted me to the umbrella in the first place.

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  11. Great.

    GOD BLESS YOU.

    http://maakuaohenewaa.blogspot.it/2013/05/why-nations-fail-economically.html

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