The City

What’s graphic design? Communicating an idea through words and images. These ideas can persuade, question, entertain, provoke thought, inspire, solve problems, or create problems. Graphic design is where image and text and psychology and history and culture and personality and experience and science and knowledge and feelings and visible and invisible and computers and paper and pencil and modern and retro methods and points of view merge to express something. Graphic design surrounds us in our daily lives and thus it shapes the world and what it is and what people think and as a result who they are. People are not just a distant audience. What we design makes a change and always leaves a mark, so we must be aware of the fact that we carry a serious responsibility for everything we create and share with others.

“Field” main learning outcomes:

  • Work collaboratively alongside not only graphic designers, but also other disciplines.
  • Take a different viewpoint, find the extraordinary in the ordinary in order to persuade the audience to see the city in a different way
  • Understand how graphic design relates to other disciplines
  • Research! Active research!

Finding and showing the EXTRAORDINARY within the ORDINARY Further research after the lecture we had about finding the extraordinary within the ordinary.

  • Cornelia Parker

 (looks at spaces) –  English sculptor and installation artist. “Parker’s compelling transformations of familiar, everyday objects investigate the nature of matter, test physical properties and play on private and public meaning and value. Using materials that have a history loaded with association, a feather from Sigmund Freud’s pillow for example, Parker has employed numerous methods of exploration- suspending, exploding, crushing, stretching objects and even language through her titles.”

“Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View” (1991)
  • Rorschach test 

“The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly. The test is named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach. “

Online Rorschach test :

  • Rachel Whiteread
Rachel Whiteread,”House,” 1993, Concrete sculpture.

. (experiences objects, negative space. ) . “English artist who primarily produces sculptures, which typically take the form of casts. She was the first woman to win the annual Turner Prize in 1993.” “Many of Whiteread’s works are casts of ordinary domestic objects and, in numerous cases, their so-called negative space. For example, she is known for making solid casts of the open space in and around pieces of furniture such as tables and chairs, architectural details and even entire rooms and buildings. She says the casts carry “the residue of years and years of use”. Whiteread mainly focuses on the line and the form for her pieces.” .

Rachel Whiteread, “Untitled (Library)” (1999) installed at Hirshhorn. Dental plaster from polystyrene mold and steel mounting.
  • David Hockney

English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer.Hockney made prints, portraits of friends, and stage designs for the Royal Court Theatre, Glyndebourne, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Born with synesthesia, he sees synesthetic colours in response to musical stimuli. This does not show up in his painting or photography artwork, but is a common underlying principle in his designs for stage sets for ballet and opera—where he bases background colours and lighting on the colours he sees while listening to the piece’s music.”

  • Kusama – obsessiveness.
“Transmigration” 2011​

“Japanese artist and writer. Throughout her career she has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, sculpture, performance art, and environmental installations, most of which exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. A precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements, Kusama influenced contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Although largely forgotten after departing the New York art scene in the early 1970s, Kusama is now acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan, and an important voice of the avant-garde. ”

  • John Stezaker 

John Stezaker monograph.jpg . . English conceptual artist. “His work is surreal in tone and is often made using collage and the appropriation of pre-existing images such as postcards, film stills, and publicity photographs. Art historian Julian Stallabrass said, “The contrast at the heart of these works [by Stezaker] is not between represented and real, but between the unknowing primitives of popular culture, and the conscious, ironic artist and viewer of post-modern images.”

John Stezaker – Pair IV
John Stezaker – Old Mask IV

Ethics -26.01.2015- We had a lecture about ethics. I have mixed feelings when thinking about this particular topic. Indeed, we have to always be thoughtful and to consider our actions so that we don’t harm anyone else. But I have always thought that this system, which passionately supports tolerance, gradually ruins the moral values and the way people behave. Nowadays everything is accepted no matter how absurd it is. This makes the world colorful indeed, but in my opinion there are basic rules of behavior that have to be followed. People gradually forget which is morally right and which is wrong. We discussed the “Cardiff after dark” project and there was an opinion that what the photographer does is not ethical. But I have a few questions: Is throwing up on the streets ethical? Is laying on the floor with a bottle and no clothes ethical?! People should carry responsibility and accept the consequences of everything they do. If you decide that you can get drunk and misbehave on the streets of Cardiff(where I can see that as a citizen), you must be prepared that you might get photographed. That’s my opinion. However, I was impressed to see the ethics rules of our university. Being a formal institution, it has rules that protect the individual and his right to be equal to the others. And as a conclusion, whatever you do and whatever you say causes harm or offence to someone. Even breathing. You’re wasting somebody else’s oxygen. How mean is that?!

Work in a group-how to understand and relate to other people

  • Discover who the person in front of you actually is
  • We tend to make first impression
  • You can’t change someone else – only how you react
  • Try not to make assumptions about others
  • The way to avoid is to find out for yourself is to find the facts
  • Do not rely on gossip, disregard second hand information
  • Try not to have preconceived expectations
  • Be aware/ beware of prejudice
  • Invest time and energy in people who you do like.

5 minute walk Our brief was to go for a 5 minute walk and to express the journey visually in pairs. We had to represent the experience and think about how we can include time passing, weather changes, sounds, smells, sights, and to use all our senses. Bethan and I decided to go to the river.

project weheee crop res
Outcome: Starts at the bottom 🙂

15 tasks with a given location This was the first group project in our “Field” adventure. Being split in groups of four, we had to complete 15 tasks for a specific location. We were lucky enough to be given Cardiff Market which is one of my favorite sites in Cardiff. As a group we decided that each one of us should be responsible for a few tasks, which had to be completed individually. Subsequently we had to meet and make the presentation with our finished outcomes.


As you enter Cardiff Market, a striking smell of fish hits you. For the task “Smell” I’ve decided to use a facial expression as it represents certain reactions connected with senses and emotions. I used blue as a colour because it reminds me of freshness and sea. Watercolour is the used material as it is liquid and spreads on the surface of wet paper in unexpected directions sometimes, which reminds me of how smells work in your nose and go to your brain.

Something I did 5 minutes before the presentation because somebody didn’t do their job 😀

For this 10 minute map I decided to use the architectural plan of the building in which Cardiff Market is situated and to express how bustling with life it is by using strokes varying in colour. The building itself is nothing(just a boring plan) without the active flow of people and activities in it, they make it full of life and energy.

Different perspective
Cardiff Market from a different point of view

This photograph is one of my two results of the “Different point of view” task. It was taken from the second floor of the building and consists of several photographs merged into one wide-angled picture. I was impressed by how the clock is a vanishing point of all elements of the building and roof. It looks to me a bit as an explosion.

Different perspective
Cardiff Market from a different point of view
Different perspective
Cardiff Market from a different point of view

Those pictures are the second solution to the “point of view” problem. I wanted to show the market from the perspective of someone else. So I decided to take you on an adventure through the experience of this little wooden guy.

Time passing
Time passing

For “Time passing” I decided to use the emblematic clock in front of Cardiff market as it represents it in a way. I find it interesting how time goes by and it just stands still, so many things happen around it but it just stays there and does its job. The only thing that changes in it is the ticking arrow.


There is an impressive vinyl shop in Cardiff Market, which I found out during my research is one of the biggest shops of its kind. The similar shapes of the records create an interesting pattern, but if you think about it, it is a pattern carrying years of culture, history and experience. It is impressive how each one of these items has information that probably means the world to many people and was probably once a possesion of someone who loved it or hated it or it was the soundtrack of his or her most important life moments.

The City Research “The City” is quite a broad term, which could be interpreted in a wide variety of ways. In my research the main focus was Urbanism, Urban consciousness and how the city has affected the way citizens think and who they are.

Psychology has always fascinated me and I like exploring its depths. I read some materials on how people living in different settings and surroundings differ in their personalities. I find it extremely interesting and I believe there is a lot of truth behind that.

Scan 14Scan 15

Four topics research From the second I saw these topics I knew I wanted hidden city. 😀 In my research I couldn’t focus much on Migration and Power, because I could’t see them as exciting at that point. Hidden city sounds challenging. Scan 8Scan 9Scan 10

Hidden City group project After we shared with the rest of the people who had chosen Hidden City as a topic what we are interested in, we had to pick people with similar interests and work with them on a project for the next 3 weeks. So the people who had been researching in a similar area as me were Kate(homeless people and their stories), Laura and Scott(comparison between the outskirts and the center of the city) and Eva(different cultured groups and graffiti in Cardiff). What the connection was is that all of us are interested in people’s individuality and how the citizens define the city they live in…That gave the beginning to our three weeks long work as a team. Scan 11

Initially, we started researching the topic of how The City affects people to create who they really are and how the city shapes their sense of self and their personalities. There is no doubt that the city is nothing without its inhabitants. So to stick to our topics, we decided to research how all of those aspects have affected people. For example, I think that walking past a street art piece can shape who you are. If you walk past a violent scene, it is going to change you. If you walk past a thought-provoking positive piece conveying certain meaning, it is going to become one of your own beliefs. Similarly, homeless people have been affected by the city in some way and asking them how exactly through a set of specific questions could have probably generated wonderful content. If each member of the team had researched their topics deeply in this direction, I think that very interesting parallels between the topics could have been made. Personally I saw a lot of potential in sticking to this concept, but the others didn’t feel inspired.
As a whole, our team lacked communication, personally I couldn’t tell if 1)they didn’t care or 2)were not the same opinion as me or 3)they don’t understand my thinking or accent 😀 . We used to gather for a few hours sat in silence, basically that’s what our meetings were like. We were not inspired by each other, we didn’t know each other well, and when you’re working in a team that’s a problem. Becoming a team consists of several stages, the first one is knowing what role you play as a member and what behavior you can show. It is after this stage that you can work efficiently as an unified team. Due to the limited time and lacking desire, we didn’t get to know each other at all.

After a few pointless meetings all with the same fake work simulation (each time similar brainstorming and stuff, no depth), I got tired of wasting my time and sat down and wanted to decide on an idea on my own, or a few ideas, so I could show them and ask for their opinion. I wanted a starting point, and I didn’t mind criticism or refusal. I just wanted some movement. What I was thinking about was Hidden City -> People. And one day on my way to university I suddenly realized that people’s hidden city are their secrets. All their personal little secrets that stand behind the things they do and determine their decisions. Then I thought – but the whole theme is the City. Would that be related? And the answer is yes, would be, because there is no such thing as a city without the people in it. The city is designed by people to suit people’s needs. The city is a people thing. The person is the starting point of the city, just like the bricks are in the wall. So why not think about people’s secrets?

But there comes another issue – who would ever tell US their secrets… They are secrets because you don’t share them. They are your own thing, like an invisible shelter of awkward comfort. I imagined that I was the subject of such a project. Even if I had a wild desire to share my secrets for the success of somebody’s project, the question “Tell me a secret” would never make me think of anything. Asked that way, this question sounds unanswerable. Due to the fact that “secrets” is such a broad term! Almost like another invisible planet. So immediately I thought of creating a form with some personal questions. However, that idea moved me a lot and I decided to share it with one of the team members – almost like a secure way to see what the reaction would be, not yet being brave enough to courageously put it on the table and share it with everyone at once. It was nice to see that this person saw some potential in it but was not as crazily excited as like I was. So to see if we were on the right track we decided to immediately share it with Ray who was in the studio and he agreed that something might come out of that. So that gave the real beginning of our project.

I was trying to figure out a way to collect the answers – would an electronic anonymous survey be appropriate? I thought – no – because the handwriting of a person gives a personal element to the outcome. That fact that this person has touched the paper, left his writing trace on the paper, gives it more meaning and personality. Furthermore, I thought – if we decide to create prototype profiles of the people based on their answers, the handwriting would benefit us. So the process of collection had to be on actual paper, but how would we keep it anonymous? Anonymity is essential because if we make people feel absolutely anonymous, they would be more willing to share their treasured hidden personal truths. So there came the idea of creating a box where people themselves would insert their folded questionnaires.

After we had a meeting, we decided on a few questions to include in our “survey”:

What was the last thing you did for the first time?

What is that thing you do when there is nobody around?

What was the last lie you told?

What is the sentimental item you carry that is special to you?

What is your favorite place in Cardiff?

Personally I think that all of the questions have a lot of potential to make people think and give various answers, which are perhaps going to reveal parts of their intimate personality. Simple yet profound, those questions will give us enough to explore. What exactly – we don’t know yet. It is still not clear and it was dependent on the answers. But it feels right.

-to be continued-


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