Task 5: Cradle-to-Cradle Thinking

GreenPackagingWFDeli

Whole Foods Deli Container. Retrieved from http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/08/GreenPackagingWFDeli.jpg

Braggart, McDonough & Bollinger (2007) believe humanity should be giving back to the eco-system as much as it gives back to us; it provides energy and food for us, so why can we not do the same? Sustainability is just the tip of the iceberg, it is okay, but it is not the best approach. Braggart, McDonough & Bollinger (2007) argue that instead of using less energy, we should design buildings that produce energy and instead of reducing waste, we should design to eliminate the concept of waste. Up-cycle waste is far better than recyclable waste (Braggart, McDonough & Bollinger, 2007).

Braggart, McDonough & Bollinger (2007) state that “being less bad isn’t being good” (2007, p.79) and this is why they have formulated a list of steps which can be followed to achieve eco-effectiveness. A design which follows at least two of these steps is the Deli Containers designed by Whole Foods (2012). The Deli Containers (2012) are a clamshell-styled container which has been designed to hold greasy, watery and oily foods. The containers are made from “annually renewable bulrush and a blend of other plant fibres” (Whole Foods Market, 2012). They are also harvested from the wild, making them “compostable in 90 days” (Whole Foods Market, 2012).

Whole Foods have clearly followed step one in Braggart, McDonough & Bollinger, (2007) list for eco-effectiveness, because their product is “free of” (Braggart, McDonough & Bollinger, 2007) x-substances, which have dangerous and harmful impacts on all life on Earth. This then follows on to show how Whole Foods (2012) has thought very long and hard about the materials they have used to design the Deli containers and have distinctly shown that they have considered the effect each material has upon biological metabolisms.

The aspect I enjoy most about the design is how it has followed step 5 (Braggart, McDonough & Bollinger, 2007). There is a “reinvention of the relationship of the product with the customer,” (Braggart, McDonough & Bollinger, 2007) where the customer is not paying for ownership of the materials the product consists of, but for the service it provides and I believe this is a very clever approach.

References:

Braungart, M., McDonough, W. & Bollinger, A. (2007). Cradle-to-cradle design: creating healthy emissions e a strategy for eco-effective product and system design. Journal of Cleaner Production. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0959652606002587?np=y

Whole Foods Market. (2012). Whole Foods Market’s Green Mission Report. Retrieved from https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/sites/default/files/media/Global/PDFs/2012GreenMissionReport.pdf

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Task 4: Design for a Sustainable Future

The Puckapunyal Military Area Memorial Chapel (2011) is an eco-pluralistic design, built for a sustainable future, which conforms to certain criteria listed in Fraud-Luke’s (2002) manifesto which can be used to identify “designs that tread lightly on the planet” (Fraud-Luke, 2002, p.15).

Criterion eight of Fraud-Luke’s (2002) manifesto states that by re-examining original assumptions behind existing concepts, one will then avoid innovation inertia and this has been demonstrated by the Puckapunyal Military Area Memorial Chapel (2011). Our concept of traditional sacred spaces for worship and remembrance is that they should be structured to support and reflect a particular religion. They should also be grand and extravagant, using rich materials to show the power of the divinities. BVN Architecture’s (2011) Puckapunyal Military Area Memorial Chapel, in contrast, has re-examined this concept of traditional sacred spaces and shows no partiality; it has been designed to welcome and accommodate all religious beliefs, faiths and religions, making it quite unique. The individual people of the military devoting their lives to protect our country, come from many different backgrounds and religions and the Memorial Chapel (2011) has shown great respect for these variances. Though its aesthetic appearance isn’t grand and hasn’t used rich sumptuous materials, it is still a tranquil and spiritual space made of zinc, stone and timber, materials that have “life cycle benefits” (Arch Daily, 2011).  However, it is not just the experiential quality, or the design of the Chapel, which makes it a remarkable project; it is also the materials and internal structure, which manifest the architecture’s sensitivity to the environment, demonstrating an eco-pluralistic, sustainable design, according to Fraud-Luke (2002).

Puckapunyal Military Area Memorial Chapel (2011) has been designed to “minimise the ecological footprint,” (Fraud-Luke, 2002, p.15) which is criterion three of the manifesto (2002). The Memorial Chapel (2011) reduces the use of energy and water through the use of “high-performance glazing and lighting control systems” (Arch Daily, 2011) and collects rain water instead of using electricity to pump water through  pipes. If the Puckapunyal Military Area Memorial Chapel (2011) did not conform to criteria three of Fraud-Luke’s (2002) manifesto for eco-pluralistic design (Fraud-luke, 2002), there would be “unnecessary daily consumption of massive quantities of electricity and water,” (Fraud-Luke, 2002, p.13) which would inflict further pollution and harm to the earth.

I have come to the conclusion that designers don’t need to create the most aesthetic or extravagant designs in order for them to be considered sustainable, they merely need to equip humanity in their every day lives whilst working with the environment. Our planet doesn’t need much to survive, so why are we not meeting its needs? Designers need to pay more attention the materials they use, how they have been created/manufactured, and what they can design to accommodate both the Earth and its population, without seeking to benefit just one.

References:

Arch Daily. (2011). Puckapunyal Military Area Memorial Chapel/BVN Architecture. Retrieved from http://www.archdaily.com/148296/puckapunyal-military-area-memorial-chapel-bvn-architecture

Fraud-Luke, A. (2002). Design for a sustainable future : introduction to “the eco-design handbook.” Retrieved from https://ilearn.swin.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-5021915-dt-content-rid-25731910_2/courses/2015-SO2-DDD20004-208836/UnitResources/pdf/Fuad-Luke%20A%202002_The%20Eco-Design%20Handbook_Introduction_Manifesto%20Eco-Pluralistic%20Design.pdf

Task 3: Comparing tricks and effects by Michel Gondry and George Méliès

Heard them Say by Kanye West, Directed by Michel Gondry (2012)

Michel Gondry has the extraordinary ability to turn the images he sees in his head into captivating and unique visuals in motion on screen. Gondry’s work can be described as unusual or rudimental in a sense, but this is where his childhood dreams and imaginations come to life. In-camera techniques are used, much like a magician uses his hands, to create illusions that trick the mind, as well as the eyes. Michel Gondry’s films, such as the music video Heard them Say (2012) which he directed for Kanye West, are very similar in many ways to George Méliès’ short films,  such as The Vanishing Lady (1896).

Mèliès and Gondry evoke a sense of wonder in their films and aren’t “afraid to invent visual singularity” (Thill, 2006), but the real similarity between the two directors is their use of in-camera techniques. Substitution splicing (Ezra, 2000), also known as ‘stop motion’ (Ezra, 2000), is an in-camera technique that originates in the work of George Méliès and is commonly used in many of Michel Gondry’s films. For example, in the music clip Heard them Say (2012), throughout the entire clip Gondry creates the illusion that the beds and everything in the shopping centre are moving on their own accord, when in actual fact Gondry has used ‘substitution splicing’ (Ezra, 2000), where he has taken many shots of the bed in different positions all over the store by stopping the camera, moving the bed slightly and the starting the camera, ‘stop motion’ (Ezra, 2000). This technique was also used in Méliès short film The Vanishing Lady (1896), but rather than using it for a moving effect, Méliès uses it to create a disappearing/reappearing effect where a cloth is placed over a lady sitting on a chair and each time it is removed the lady disappears and a skeleton takes her place, which is all done with the technique of ‘stop motion’ (Ezra, 2000).

It is evident that Gondry has been inspired by the techniques founded by Méliès, which brings about comparisons of their works, but I believe there is still contrast. Although Gondry uses similar techniques to Méliès, I believe it is how he uses these techniques which separates him from Méliès and makes his work recognisable for his unique concepts and powerful story-telling, rather than Méliès techniques.

References:

Change Before Going Productions. (2011) The Vanishing Lady [media]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7-x93QagJU

Enigmatic Lucifer. (2012). Kanye West: heard ’em say ft. adam levine (original video) [media]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7Bu3tp4lLg

Partizen Official. (2014). I’ve been twelve forever. [media]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF8kN-M2XNY

Ezra, E. (2000). George Méliès, Machester & New York: Machester University Press. Retrieved from http://onlineres.swin.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/497036.pdf

Thill, S. (2006). How my Brain Works: an interview with Michel Gondry. Retrieved from http://brightlightsfilm.com/brain-works-interview-michel-gondry/#.Vc1_plzuUas

Assessment 2: Task 2: Design Language

A city’s graphic identity can communicate many ideas about that particular city, its location, its people and their culture, a past or future time. A city should not be defined by its man-made architecture, unless it is recognised by it, otherwise it should be defined by the land, people and culture that makes it unique from other cities.

To cities familiar to me are Hobart, the city I grew up in, and Adelaide, the city where I was born. The graphic identities of these two cities are quite contrasting, but similar in the way that they both aim to communicate to the public something significant about that particular city.

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            Adelaide graphic identity (n.d.)                              Hobart graphic identity (2015)

Hobart is known for its location, its shoreline, beaches and cool climate and this is clearly portrayed in the ‘H.’ Blue and Green coloured lines are woven through each other to make the formation of the city’s first letter, while also creating the contrast between land and sea. There are two typefaces used for this logo, Baskerville and Arial, both very contrasting typefaces as one is a sans-serif and the other a serif. I think this places a confusion upon the design and does not necessarily make it legible. Serif fonts are associated with past times; where the use of unnecessary decorative elements on letters is old-fashioned.

In contrast to Hobart, Adelaide is well known for its many churches and this is the main focus of its graphic identity. The ‘A’ in Adelaide takes the form of a facade of a church, the arch. The typeface used is the uniform-like letters of Helvetica and this helps to make the words readable and clear. The circles in the logo seems to represent people. This in a sense represents a culture of religion, purity, community, connectedness and reconciliation and the two white coloured circles within the “church” signify this. Churches are quite historic and quite compelling, but Adelaide “cannot depend on material productivity as a measure of economic success,” (Glickfeld, 2010, p. 32) it needs to revisit its people and culture. Although Adelaide is the city of churches, this identity seems dated and disconnected from its people and its location.

In contrast to Adelaide, Hobart’s graphic identity has captured the beautiful alignment of land and water, which does not represent a past or future time, but rather the relationship the city has with nature. This visual aspect conveys Hobart’s “unique soul” (Glickfeld, 2010, p. 30 ) which is important when designing an identity. The culture of the city can also be seen through the imagery in the logo, where the people and the culture appear laid back and calm; it isn’t busy, because the lines that form the ‘H’ flow together, giving it that easy feel. The only downside to the imagery chosen is that it also takes the form of a bandage/band-aid, which could communicate the idea that Hobart needs to be patched up, that they are delicate and need help.

References

Glickfeld, E. (2010). On Logophobia. Meanjin, 69(3). Retrieved from http://onlineres.swin.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/522077.pdf

Assessment 2, Task 1: Data Visualisation

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Lozano-Hemmer, R. (2013). Zero Noon Clock [image]. retrieved 17/07/15 from http://www.lozano-hemmer.com/zero_noon.php

Data visualisation is an effective way of communication. It enables our minds to view, interpret and understand certain information in a different light, in contrast to how we have done in the past. Data visualisation means as the term suggests, that is, data displayed in a visual way, but there are many techniques and methods behind the process of designing an appropriate form for a set of data. For example, data visualisation can be presented in a time-series visual, where data collected over a period of time is compressed into one single image, so that change is able to be witnessed and more easily understood. In contrast, network visuals display a web of connections, such train stations within a train network. (Reas & McWilliams, 2010) This visual technique can be used to identify relationships that are sometimes invisible and the important connections that some may take for granted or overlook. These two techniques show just how powerful data visualisation can be when it is presented properly.

Understanding the data is the first step in creating the form of that data, as appropriateness is important. The visual technique to be used, strongly depends on the data that it is going to represent. For example it would not be appropriate to display the connections in a train network using the technique of a time-series visual, because time is not being measured. Nor would it make sense to display the rise in sea water levels over a period of time using the technique of a network visual, as the data could not be interpreted properly.

The visual image is a very useful and effective way to present information, but I don’t believe it is “a better way.” I think that, instead, images are “needed,” but to say that they could in fact replace words is unfeasible. Words are just as powerful as images. For example, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s “Zero Noon” (2013) digital, interactive clock. The clock (Lozano-Hemmer, 2013) shows time according to eccentric metrics, where statistics choose what time it is and how fast the clock ticks, which I find to be a very powerful concept. Noon Zero (Lozano-Hemmer, 2013) shows how many babies are being born, how much plastic is being produced and how many tobacco related deaths there have been since noon. I find this clock a reality-check for humanity, it gives us a chance to witness just how fast, or slow, things such as death, birth, heartbeats are occurring without us knowing. This clock is not just an image, it is a series of numbers, which represent statistics, and words, which explain what the statistic represents. The clock is the image that represents time in a way that most of us have never considered, but the numbers and words give it meaning, otherwise it is just a regular clock. Words are needed, just as much as images, no matter how long, short, small or large, they are just like a piece to a puzzle, images can’t work alone. Sometimes, people need more than an image, they want to understand further, and words, as well as figures and speech, can help with this. I believe images and words must work in unison together to be most effective.

References:

Reas, C. & McWilliams, C. (2010). Form + Code in Design, Art, and Architecture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/lib/swin/reader.action?ppg=118&docID=10453751&tm=1429151430391

Lozano-Hemmer, R. (2013). Zero Noon Clock [Online image]. retrieved 17/07/15 from http://www.lozano-hemmer.com/zero_noon.php