Primary Research

1-100 Project

Research Brief:

The theme for the next project is learning the process of batch production. Batch production is producing a series of more than one identical object using a mould. You will be working in slip-cast ceramics for this project. The following designers often use batch production in their work. Please start to gather some research on designers working with casting any of the following materials: concrete, metal, glass, plastic, resin, ceramics or plaster. For this project we really want to see design based examples rather than craft based examples. You are welcome to investigate the following list of artists and designers, but it would be good to see evidence of designers work that you find through independent research.

Main Brief:

For this project you will be designing specifically for the CSM college building at Kings Cross. The college is situated within historic, ex industrial, buildings that have been sympathetically converted to accommodate all the artistic disciplines underneath one roof. This state of the art complex is designed to unite heritage with modernity. In this project you will be working in ceramics, using a traditional production technique (slip-casting) to produce contemporary vessels designed for use in the college. Slip-casting is a ceramic production process that uses liquid clay inside a plaster mould to quickly make multiple, hollow, ceramic forms. For this project you will use industrial factory moulds, supplied by your tutor, to make hollow shaped vessels, these will be the main component in your designs. The cast components must be used at 1:1 scale. 

Small Change Project

Research Brief:

After the e-research session and over the Christmas break, we would like you to gather as many materials as possible that are found within your own cultures and geographical locations. You will need to collect a resource of materials that you can draw from for the Small Change project. You should be able to discuss the relevance of your chosen materials in terms of sustainability. This may be simply through your choice of material, how it has been produced and perhaps by who, the environmental aspects that make your material a good choice and also the cultural aspects that made the material appealing or significant to you. Over Christmas we want you to continue researching into sustainability so that you develop a knowledge and understanding of all the considerations you will need to address as a designer/maker. Start making your research more specific to your pathway related interests of Product Design and Ceramics. Collect information on the work of contemporary practitioners. Analyse it. Evaluate it.

Main Brief:

As professional designers you will be asked to design products within a given budget and to consider the price of the product for a particular market. For this project, you will be designing a product that can be easily batch produced (by you!) and for a very small budget. Your project should be sustainable. Your products will go on sale to your fellow students and tutors on 26th January. This is also an UP event, and staff from your future courses will be invited. 

Child Project

Research Brief:

The theme for the next project is designing specifically for children. You will need to start this project by researching designers working in the field of children’s products, furniture, toys and educational items. It not advised to produce primary research for this project by photographing any children that you do not know or have agreed to photograph by their parents or guardians: There is no law against taking photographs of other people's children, provided you do not harass or harm them, however it is strongly advised that you do not do this by your tutors and the college. Although for non-commercial use it is fine to take photographs, as long as the pictures are decent, there may be bylaws that prevent photography. If there are bylaws in place than you will need to seek prior permission from the authorities. You would need permission if you were shooting commercially which would include publishing the pictures on any online resource. Some of you may have access to researching children, possibly siblings, relatives or family friends through photography or sketching over the Christmas break, this is fine as long as you have the permission of the parent or carer. We recommend that you show this photographic research in your sketchbooks and not online on Workflow.

Main Brief:

In our culture childhood is precious. It is prized as a rare time of carefree play, joyful learning and stress free enjoyment. The Victorians established the idea that children needed specialist products, their own fashions and they established a lucrative market that still thrives today. In 2016, the Telegraph reported that the cost of raising a child up to the age of 21 in the UK was over £230,000. This includes money spent on hobbies, toys and furniture. For this project you will need to research the ever growing market of children’s products, you will also need to employ memories of your own early life as you develop your designs for children. Possible starting points to consider could be: imaginative play, learning, growing, eating or sleeping. There are also many other important aspects to consider when designing for such a specific audience, important issues to consider should be: the age of user, developmental milestones, safety and choice of materials. As the buying power generally comes from adults, parents or carers it is important that the product has both parent and child appeal.

Utility Project

Research Brief:

For the next project you will be designing for a specified client and you will have to consider their hobbies, activities, talents, behaviours and traits. You will be designing some kind of ‘tool’ for your client that enables or improves their chosen hobby or the activity that they enjoy. This activity could be: sporting, making or playing an instrument for example. It may be an outdoor or indoor activity. Your work on Friday and over the weekend is to gather information about your own habits, hobbies, talents and pastimes.

Main Brief:

For this project you will be given a client and you will have to consider their hobbies, activities, behaviours and traits. Your client will be another student in the group. You will receive copies of their primary research and will have the opportunity to find out more about them and the way they live and all the things that they enjoy doing throughout the project. For this project you will be designing some kind of ‘tool’ for your client that enables or improves their chosen hobby or the activity that they enjoy. This activity could be: sporting, making or playing an instrument for example. It may be an outdoor or indoor activity. 


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