After exploring new primary and secondary research techniques over the course of both semesters I feel many could be greatly beneficial when applied within my studio work. I will use my ‘self motivated project’ brief as an example of how I may implement these techniques. Within this brief, my aim was to research densely populated spaces and explain the strain which has been inflicted on our environment and architectural building due to our ever increasing population. My intension was to create a body of work capturing the essence of city living with the potential for development into textile designs.
Within these areas where many people reside housing seemed to be of a low standard. The slums or shanty towns in countries such as Peru and India display a prime example of such conditions. Western countries have also had to accommodate for the rise in population. Architectures answer to this problem in many cases was to design tower buildings which were when first built an innovation although now are deteriorating quickly and commonly known for having a low standard of living. With these issues in mind I will explain how I could have researched this subject differently with my current knowledge.
Research techniques from semester such as exploration of relevant literature would be beneficial. I could read architectural journals and magazines with which I could collect source material as inspiration for my designs. Reading Textiles magazines containing trends which relate to my project would be another means of incorporating these skills. I could also read articles which addressed my topic such as individual’s views on tower buildings and whether they feel they should be demolished or left as part of a city’s heritage. Part of the reason why I chose to explore this issue is due to the recent demolition of many high-rise buildings which would surely mean it would be easy to access these through library records in the affected areas. Literature written about the lifestyle of someone living within a densely populated area would allow me to replicate this idea into my designs. It would increase my understanding of the world I am designing for by learning about a wide range of cultures and lifestyles. Reading academic literature would result in my awareness of what has been done before and allow me to be innovative.
Another technique used throughout my design studies assignments was brainstorming. Applying this within my studio research would allow me to highlight initial thoughts which I could later elaborate on. During group discussion and brainstorming issues are highlighted along with possible solutions. Interacting with fellow students and collecting their opinions at the first stages of my research would provide me with more opinions on my chosen subject, rather than just starting from a point where my thoughts could potentially lead me to only explore something within my comfort zone.
Primary research techniques from the second semester assignments such as observing and recording, within environments which relate to my subject, would arm me with documentation of an experience that I am trying to portray through my textile designs. I could visit and explore tower buildings to really grasp how their interior and exterior structures are up close. I could establish how these buildings had been built first-hand and study their extreme dimensions giving my designs an increasing chance of success. Watching how residents interact within the communal areas in the building could also be recorded in quick observational drawings and note taking. Source drawings recording what I saw would be much more expressive if completed within the exact environment I am studying. It would not be possible at present to visit a range of other locations I feel demonstrate the living environment I aimed to portray throughout my body of completed work due to costs. These include previously mentioned locations such as Indian slums and Peruvian shanty towns.
Finally interviews would be another likely choice for collecting information. By interviewing residents from areas concerned I would compile inside information for someone who has experienced living in tower blocks for the majority, if not all their life. I would use a semi-structured layout to gain qualitative results allowing interviewees to tell me in detail about what it’s like living in a building which houses so many people. I could interview an older inhabitant who was one of the first to live in these huge innovative buildings and compare their thoughts to that of an individual who has only in recent years lived in the same building. Interviewing as many individuals as possible of differing ages would be essential in gaining valid informative results. I could also find out through surveys what the general public thought of these buildings. Interesting survey layouts would encourage participation. Allowing each individual to personalise their thoughts by providing them with space to draw and highlight sections which they believed were most important to them for positive or negative reasons.
The research skills I have learnt to implement effectively throughout assignments I feel I would benefit me greatly if used within my studio work. They would if used correctly allow me to delve deeper into the subject I have chosen to explore and develop my ideas. My research would be reliable as most of it would have been conducted personally. The outcome of researching at this higher level will only increase my appreciation of my subject matter, in turn creating a much more believable case. In future projects throughout my third year I will implement these extensive research skills at the beginning of my brief carrying this new mind set I have acquired to break new boundaries with my research. I believe I will be much more adventurous in general when tackling future projects as I now feel I know how to obtain the information I need the most. I will use these skills to further research all fields of design and broaden my knowledge of the market. Finding out about the world I am designing for is important in order to progress with my designs. Continuation of design literature reading literature is also key in helping improve my design knowledge as well as being aware of contemporary design throughout all disciplines. Prior to completing these assignments over the course of the Design Studies module, I believed I could only implement my skills and designs within my own field of Textile Design. I now understand I have the freedom to explore design in general and have more confidence which I believe has equipt me for tackling bigger issues in the future.