After the three rounds of the Design Dating activity I felt really discouraged. The three people that I spoke with really didn't have much to say or offer about my topic and I kept having to drag answers out of them because the Forest wasn't a topic they were familiar with. Luckily my team mate Mary had a lot to offer, and I am excited to look into her recommendations.
When it came time for tutorials, I found myself frozen when I was talking to Georgia about my project. I didn't know which direction I wanted to take as I had originally wanted to move towards focusing on comfort and bringing the spirit of the forest into the domestic home, possibly through a furniture piece. But as I'm moving forward I find myself interested in survival, the different techniques and tools that people use as ways to survive. It was good to put it out there because Georgia convinced me to go with my gut and focus on survival for the project. Some areas I hope to research are different groups of people living in the forest, materials and designed objects and textiles, survival kits to use in the forest, forest schools, food, shelter, and the emotional side of survival (keepsakes, photos). I need to find an aim and vision, whether the narrative for the product is that the use has chosen to immerse themselves in the forest and be cut off from interactive life, or maybe even that the user is escaping to the forest to find ones self. The feedback I got was very useful because I did feel extremely lost.
I was unsure about the Nature group in the beginning, but I am actually finding it quite useful. So far we have been working together great, and everyone is making an effort to be involved and bring something to the table. I'm keen to set up some materials experiments with my group, but am also nervous that in the end I will have a bunch of experiments with no success. I guess that's the point of experimenting though..
We were able to set up an appointment with Jess in the Materials Library to look at natural materials. Not only did she provide useful books and materials, but she was able to share some trade shows with us. I have now signed up to visit the EcoBuild and Textile Forum shows next week in hopes of finding information on natural materials like leather, glass, wood and fur, as well as other interesting materials to experiment with.
© Lauren Holly Best, all rights reserved