DR3005 – Week 2

‘Victor Papanek- design for the real world’

Our interpretation of Flusser (The beautiful and the nice)

Concrete experience cannot be substituted for a communicated idea or concept because they are not equivalent, because when the concrete is transcribed into another medium for means of communicability, it loses its ‘essence’ so to speak. It is a personal and unique endeavour because each person views it and by extension their life and environment, through a film or a veil, a pair of ‘glasses’ if you will, that has been tinted and coloured by their inherent predispositions and the sum of events from birth up till said point, that have shaped their worldview. As such we believe it is an issue of nature and nurture. Both come into play to colour and flavour our experiences and this is the reason why no two concrete experiences are identical. The nurture refers to the social and cultural environment and atmosphere that one exists within, and our thoughts, opinions, perceptions and actions are arguably shaped by both nature and nurture which are inextricably intertwined.

Art and design are reflections and indicators of the environment they are borne of, they reflect the values and sensibilities of a culture or society at a point in time and space. Art is simultaneously a reflection of the individual, and as such is not a “generalisation of the artist’s experience”. The extent to which something is beautiful is defined by Flusser as how much it deviates or differs from that which came before it, by how unique and dissimilar and innovative it is. “Increasing the parameters of experience of the real” perhaps refers to how, with a new model or proposition, the number of possibilities in which we can experience our reality increase. Notions of beauty are based off previous works, in the sense that what is traditional is conventional and therefore not beautiful because it does not provoke. Conversely what deviates too profoundly from tradition is inaccessible because it does not contain enough of what is conventionally understood, resulting in only the artist and a handful of intellectuals privy to the essence of the creation. As such there exists the endeavour of a balancing act between accessibility and exclusivity. Kitsch art and consumable media is used as a tool to control the masses, because what is conventional is familiar and thus relatable. Conversely, ‘high art’ attempts to challenge our perceptions of reality, galvanising us to question convention. This is perceived as dangerous and threatening, especially by arbiters of certain ideologies that rely on a set pattern of beliefs to exist.

As such, the takeaway is that neither us or that which we create exist within a vacuum, we are predisposed by biology and nurtured by culture and society. Art is an extension of ourselves, it is an attempt to document the state of the times and the state of the mind.


Sculpture based on the project brief and the Perec reading

Materials: 3mm Clear Acrylic, Oil, Water, Marbles

Title: Journey of learning and self-improvement

We came up with the idea of representing ‘the journey of learning and self-improvement’ through the use of metaphorical representation. We created a model, which comprised an acrylic container, oil, water and marbles. The container has 7 alternating downward angled steps, each representing a milestone. Each marble represents an NTU student, while the mediums of oil and water represent the ‘thick and thin’ the students go through.

As soon as a ‘marble’ is released from the top of the acrylic container, it travels through the different steps before eventually reaching the end. The steps represent the various stages and milestones that the students achieve during their time in NTU. In addition, there are imprints engraved onto the surface of the steps. These imprints increase in number from one to seven sequentially as the steps descend. The intention is to convey the gradual increase in difficulty as the students progress through their years in NTU, while also showing their increased capacity to deal with said challenges, as well as representing their realised potential.

In addition to the stresses and difficulties faced in their schooling journey, students also experience the ‘thick and thin’ of life, or the everyday ups and downs in their journey of life. As represented by the different mediums of oil and water, they have different viscosities and densities. The marble travels faster in water, representing a path of lower resistance, and slower in oil, the path of greater resistance. Education is not just about memorizing facts and figures or book knowledge but understanding oneself through personal-discovery. Students learn to understand more about perseverance; the continued effort to do or achieve something despite facing countless difficulties, failure, or opposition.

Increase imprints engraved onto the surface of the steps.

30/1/18 In-Class Activity

For the in-class activity, we were told to create sculptures within 10cm x 10cm  Single-Wall corrugated cardboard. These were the 3 different expressions that we made during class.
1) Rain,
2) Angry Wind and
3) Pinocchio flys out of the whale’s spout.


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