Design and development – part 2


Week 12: Assessment 1 – Activity 6: Reflection

I don’t think I can narrow it down to one overall ‘favourite’ or most interesting topic for this unit. All of them had something of their ‘own’ to bring to each discussion and activity/task. In saying that, I have whittled it down to three choices:

  1. Michel Gondry – he is an inspirational character. The way in which he uses his own life influences (whether a conscious decision or not…) to create his works of art, is astounding.
  2. Data visualisation – the ‘Zero Noon’ clock, designed and developed by Lozano-Hemmer is amazing. This subjet was my first choice for my essay, however felt I was drawn more towards my final point below..!
  3. Design activism – there is definitely something about having a skill and using it for the greater good. Having the ability to change ones perception on a topic is something that should be commended. One day I hope to have the ability to do this.

I feel I learned a lot through each of these weeks. However, design activism is something which has definitely taken my fancy and honestly think I would enjoy learning more and using it in my chosen career.

I think I enjoyed Michel Gondry the most, discovering he directed one of my favourite film clips by the Foo Fighters made it even more enjoyable! However, I think the design activism is something that has definitely helped me build my skills the most.

Week 11 – Assessment 2 – Task 6: Design for nature

1392424_10151783109877633_1908269913_nThis place, while it has been touched by people, is a place where old still has a sense of being, a sense of home. There are so many antique pieces here, from old tractors and plows to the jetty’s which have been restored and made new again. This reminds me of Marris’ comments about conservationists restoring a site or park (Marris, 2011). This is a resort at Tarthra on the east coast. Surrounded by bushland and native fauna. It was the first time and place my son saw a family of kangaroos and possums eating outside our cabin and both my children hearing kookaburra’s as they sat up in the gum trees which surrounded us.

{image source: Hurley, R. 2013. Tarthra, NSW}

IMAG0918While Marris writes about an imagined place, somewhere distant, where no people have been, with no roads, fences or power lines (Marris, 2011), this is it for me – while people have been there and stepped foot on its beautiful white sandy beach, it’s free from roads, power lines and anything else human like. This to me, is a ‘pristine wilderness’ and it’s somewhere I get to venture to quite frequently. Somewhere I get to take my kids to enjoy, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

{image source: Hurley, R. 2015. Tomakin, NSW}



Marris, E. (2011) Chapter 1: Weeding the garden. Rambunctious garden: saving nature in a post-wild world. Retrieved from

Assessment 2 – Task 5: Cradle to Cradle and the Lite2Go

(Source: Lite2Go by Knoend via Tree Hugger)

The Lite2Go is an environmentally safe product, designed so all of the components in the packaging form the finished product itself. The outer case of the packaging becomes the lamp shade, it contains a small 7w globe and the electrical cable. The only part of the packaging which wasn’t really designed for end use was the cardboard label and some twine. All things considered, this is a pretty amazing product – of which ALL parts can be recycled.

This product easily fits into steps 3 and 5 of McDonough and Braungart’s (2002) list – 5 steps to Eco-Effectiveness.

Step three – Creating a “passive positive” list

Knoend have hit the nail on the head here by ensuring they looked beyond “the contents of a given product, we conduct a detailed inventory of the entire palette of materials used” – everything in this packaging is ultimately used to make the final product. They definitely thought about how it was going to be used and when no longer required that each and every piece could be recycled.

Step five – Reinvent

This step fits in with McDonough and Braungat’s comment that “design is based on the attempt to fulfill human needs” and with the world taking on such an environmentally sustainable view, why not take something that people use everyday – such as a light and make them feel good about buying the product, by knowing that they are purchasing something which is completely recyclable and good for the earth.


McDonough,  . Braungart,  . (2002) Cradle to Cradle. Retrieved 17 September 2015 from

Week 7: Assessment 1 – Activity – Resource list for essay


Few, S. (2014). Data visualization for human perception. As seen in The encyclopedia of human-computer interaction 2nd edition. Retrieved 30 August 2015 from

Retrieved 30 August 2015 from

Kirk, A. (2015). Retrieved 30 August 2015 from

Warden, P. (2013). Retrieved 30 August 2015 from


Hohl, M. (2011). From abstract to actual: art and designer-like enquiries into data visualisation, Kybernetes, 40, 7-8, 1038-1044. Retrieved from

Schneiderman, B. (2014). The Big Picture for Big Data: Visualization, SCIENCE, Vol. 343 no. 6172 p. 730. DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6172.730-a.

Kosara, R. (2007). Visualization Criticism – The missing link between information visualization and Art, in Information Visualization. IV ’07. 11th International Conference, vol., no., pp. 631-636, 4-6 July 2007. DOI: 10.1109/IV.2007.130


Week 6: Assessment 2 – task 3: The wonder that is Michel Gondry

“There must be a lot of brain in there” (Grohl, D. Partisan Official, 2014) and what a brilliant brain it is.

Gondry used a number of effects in this clip, the lights flashing with the beat of the music, also features in the Daft Punk film clip “Around the world”.

Another is the use of stop motion or as Melies referred to “substitution splicing”. One of the first times this technique was used was in the 1896 film L’Escamotage d’une dame chez or The vanishing lady (Ezra, 2000, p. 28).

Defined by Ezra (2000, p. 28), substitution splicing created the sudden appearance or disappearance of a person or object or…one object for another.

While this film clip doesn’t substitute, it does stop the take and move items from one position to another to create an animated effect.

This is demonstrated below by the chairs and children being moved to look like they are dancing;

Gondry_West example(West, K. Gondry, M. – Heard them say 2005 sourced from )

Gondry has an amazing way to make his clips playful. It’s fitting the Partisan Official documentary was titled I’ve been twelve forever, it’s as if he’s been stuck in a childhood fantasy (or nightmare as the case may be) and uses this as a form of therapy.


Partisan Official. (2014). I’ve been twelve for ever – documentary – Michel Gondry (2004). Retrieved 13 August 2015 from

Ezra, E. (2000). Melies does tricks. Retrieved 13 August 2015 from

Film clip  2005–  Heard them say – Retrieved 13 August 2015 from

Week 5: Assessment 1 – Activity 3: Journal Research – Data Visualization

My first reading comes from Michael Hohl, From Abstract to Actual: art and designer-like enquirers into data visualization.

Hohl describes how “multi-disciplinary collaboration may be key to find such a balance between complexity of data, clarity of conveyance and ambiguous-aesthetic qualities which stimulate individuals’ imaginations” (2011, p. 2).

Hohl further alludes to the work each person contributes to the end product aides not only in the learning of people outside the research piece, but also assists their own learning about fields which they previously may not have known “for example, physicists learn about music, while musicians get deeper insights into physics and astronomy” (2011, p. 2).

The second; The Big Picture for Big Data: Visualization article talks about how a healthcare researcher identified a clue using a data visualisation technique, which with statistical confirmation led to an important scientific breakthrough (Schneiderman, 2014).

This style of data visualisation Schneiderman explains, helps scientists/doctors etc. by exploring complex data which can then lead to more potent and meaningful insights (Schneiderman, 2014, p. 730).

Comparing the two, both Hohl and Schneiderman identify how the use of data visualisation can be key in helping to teach – but down two completely different paths.


Hohl, M. (2011). From abstract to actual: art and designer-like enquiries into data visualisation, Kybernetes, 40, 7-8, 1038-1044. Retrieved from

Schneiderman, B. (2014). The Big Picture for Big Data: Visualization, SCIENCE, Vol. 343 no. 6172 p. 730. DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6172.730-a.

Week 4: Assessment 2 – Task 2: Design Language

Born and bred in Canberra, it frustrates me when people put a downer on what is architecturally and aesthetically a beautiful city. Sure, the layout could do with some improvement, the overuse of round-abouts where traffic lights would be more beneficial are some of the down sides but we have some incredible cultural learning experiences and outdoor areas which leave some other cities green with envy.

2013 saw the Centenary of Canberra – we celebrated by re-branding the city!


(Image Source: Canberra Times & Content Group)

“Australia is no stranger to logo bashing” (Glickfield, 2010 pg 26) and this is no different – I LOVE Canberra, but the image above – which cost tax payers $2.6m (Canberra Times, 2013) is just the use of the international abbreviation for Canberra – a lot of comments when this was released agreed that not much thought went into it. The idea behind the campaign was to dismiss the drab and boring reputation Canberra seems to have, but grey in the colour scheme doesn’t do anything to help. I like that the the typeface was designed to pay homage to the architectural drawings by Walter Burley Griffin (Canberra Times, 2013) but if I hadn’t of read it, I wouldn’t have put it together – which defeats the purpose in my opinion. You should be able to get an understanding from the image of what it’s portraying.

darling harbour(Image Source: Campaign Brief 2014)

Darling Harbour – not a city but an iconic part of Sydney had a re-brand, one of which “was designed to unite the entire precinct experience under one brand for the first time” (Campaign Brief, 2014). The ‘bubble’ typeface and the ‘giant duck’ promotes it as fun and exciting – which I agree with!


Glickfield, E 2010. On Logophobia. Retrieved from

Canberra Times (2013, November 28) Born-again Canberra gets a brand Retrieved from

Brand CBR (2013) Retrieved from

Campaign Brief (2014) Sydney’s Darling Harbour launches a new ‘inflatable’ identity via Interbrand Retrieved from

Week 3: Assessment 1 – Activity 2 – Design Activism

Viola Design works with non-profit organisation International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) to effect change in poverty and oppression in developing countries focusing on the Asia Pacific region.

Keeping in line with Thorpe’s approach that “activism is only effective in conjunction with broader campaigns and movements” (Thorpe, A. 2011, pg14), IWDA worked in “partnership with 195 women’s rights and alliances across every continent except Antarctica” (IWDA, 2015) and are now focusing on the Asia Pacific region. They have developed a number of  communication materials which incorporates the same ideals. These include fundraising brochures and newsletters.

I believe this campaign meets Thorpe’s criteria (2011, pg6) for design activism: as both organisations are calling out an issue and are working to advocate change for a neglected group of people, people who are poverty stricken and where women’s rights aren’t being heard, a group of people who may not be able to help themselves.

Below is an example of IWDA’s and Viola Design’s collaboration:

International Women's Development Agency

International Women’s Development Agency

(Viola Designs, 2007)

Thorpe, A. (2011).
Defining Design as Activism.
Retrieved July 2015 from

International Women’s Development Agency
Retrieved 24 July 2015 from:

Viola Designs (2015)
Retrieved 24 July 2015 from: