Week 5: Competitive Context

The Task

  • Research the requirements of each of the four preselected project briefs. Post initial thoughts onto the Ideas Wall and elaborate with sketches and notes to rationalise your project selection. Add these to your blog.
  • Research three competing agencies, studios or practitioners who have created work in a similar field to your selected project brief. Post website links onto the Ideas Wall and critique their work in your blog.
  • Distill your research and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of three competing projects and post the results in your blog.
  • Communicate a 200 word evaluation for each of the three competing projects, which summarises their strengths and weaknesses. Post the results in your blog, with supporting reference material.

This looks like a great second part of the module and I can’t wait to get stuck in!

Research the requirements of each of the four preselected project briefs. Post initial thoughts onto the Ideas Wall and elaborate with sketches and notes to rationalise your project selection. Add these to your blog.

International Competition (Live)

Brief_review 1

International Competition (Concluded)

Brief_review 2

Live Collaboration

Brief_review 3

Research and Development

Brief_review 4

Consult experts in your life (from the video by Stuart Tolley)

The project I have chosen to work on is … Research and Development with the Science Museum. As Stuart suggested, I talked to Ben Norland, Executive Art Director, and Maria Soler Canton, my manager, to get their opinions on each of the projects. I always had an instinctive pull towards the Science Museum brief, but I wanted to get unbiased feedback and so although I told Ben and Maria that I had a preference, I didn’t tell them which one I was leaning towards. Luckily, we had similar thoughts on and they identified the Science Museum as one they thought would suit my skills, and the one they would likely choose themselves! Had they had different opinions, I would have listened and considered, as I really respect their views and their measure of me over the time I have been working for them.

    • Research three competing agencies, studios or practitioners who have created work in a similar field to your selected project brief. Post website links onto the Ideas Wall and critique their work in your blog.
    • Distil your research and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of three competing projects and post the results in your blog.
    • Communicate a 200-word evaluation for each of the three competing projects, which summarises their strengths and weaknesses. Post the results in your blog, with supporting reference material.

I’ve tried to go outside the industry of museums and look at how other projects have presented large amounts of information, because I feel a cross-disciplinary approach will be the key to an innovative project.

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Project 1: UNIQLO LifeWear Day by Pentagram

“A major exhibition that dramatises and codifies Japanese clothing brand UNIQLO’s LifeWear concept… the large-scale immersive, experiential event showcases UNIQLO’s popular LifeWear concept from three perspectives: Art, Science and Craftsmanship”

A museum? No. A novel way of displaying a collection? Yes. The show is broken down into three sections to show the collection in different lights, art science and craftsmanship. It displayed at Somerset House, a venue that hosts art and fashion displays as well as commercial ventures (such as the Fortnum Christmas Arcade). The exhibition takes the visitor through different immersive experience from a six-metre long area hung with the brand’s AIRism fabric to demonstrate its lightness, an  interactive 3D exploration of HEATTECH and was riot of colourful technology. It also had an area dedicated to Uniqlo’s sustainability programmes such as their Jeans Innovation Centre.

For the cynical, it’s a marketing event for Uniqlo’s products: they will hope for increased social engagement and increased sales. However, to me, it’s a way to really demonstrate the core values of the brand in a non-sales environment and to bridge the gap between everyday apparel and art.

brenda-street-party12

Project 2: Ex-Warner Project

Closer to home for me, artists Lucy Harrison and Katherine Green started an archiving project centring around “Warner” properties built in the Waltham Forest area of East London from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. The Warner properties are a longstanding project of terraced, self-contained flats that allowed people in social housing to live in safe, clean and dignified settings. Many are preserved and are sought after properties in the area.

The project started in collaboration with the Walthamstow Historical Society and sought to capture the previously unrecorded social history and aimed to “document the current residents of ex Warner properties, including long-term renters, new renters, those who recently purchased or who had purchased directly from the Warners.” With further sponsorship from the Arts Council England and local companies, they called out for further contributions and built an app through which participants can explore oral histories and guided walks around the area.

navigating-nightingale-01

Project 3: Navigating Nightingale

The free app Navigating Nightingale was created by Archives, AIM25 and the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing to provide an augmented-reality walking tour of central London, following in the footsteps of the pioneering nurse, Florence Nightingale. The app includes innovative features including a cartoon that ‘comes to life’ and sophisticated map overlays. It is accessible, as it is free, and draws on the archive of historical photos, illustrations and stories to bring Nightingale, the archive and the history of the city at the time and allows people to physically explore the area rather than visit the museum.

Its drawbacks could be considered that it is available on iOS but not Android, so it can only be used by users of that operating system, though it could be expanded. The app also focusses on Florence Nightingale, which is its strength and its weakness, that it would only appeal to a small number of users. Overall, I think this is a great use of archival material to bring to life a central character in British history outside of the museum.

References

Making Historical Collections Accessible. (2019). 1st ed. [ebook] London: Wiley Digital Archives, pp.1-12. Available at: http://images.news.wiley.com/Web/WileyEnterprise/%7B06852548-647f-4642-9e4c-bf20ca43290c%7D_W269M_Wiley_Digital_Archives_Ebook_030718.pdf [Accessed 26 Oct. 2019].

 

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