Tuesday, 27 December 2011


•Understand the term ‘avant-garde’
•Question the way art/design education relies on the concept of the avant-garde
•Understand the related concept of ‘art for art’s sake’ •Question the notion of ‘genius’
•Consider the political perspectives relating to avant-gardism 

•Question the validity of the concept ‘avant-garde’ today 
Avant-garde: work that is progressive, typical avant-garde Marcel Duchamp

Dictionaries link Term – ‘avant-garde’ with terms like innovation in the arts or pioneers 

idea of doing art/design work that is progressive – innovating
but also it refers to the idea of there being a group of people being innovative  

1. being avant-garde in the work you do - challenging, innovating etc.
2. being a part of a group – being a member of the avant-garde 
'Fauves' Wild Beasts
Visual Communications
‘The second level aims to let you experiment within you chosen range of disciplines’
‘Our aim is to encourage students to take a radical approach to communication’
To be a student on the course you need to enjoy:-
‘Challenging conventions’ 

+Printed Textiles
& Surface Pattern Design

Our aim is to provide an environment which allows you to discover, develop, and express your personal creative identity through your work’
‘Level one studies concentrate on ‘... experimentation’ 

‘Throughout the course you will be encouraged to form a personal vision and direction based upon critical self –analysis’ 

+Art and Design (Interdisciplinary)
‘What will unite all your creative output will be the ability to apply your creative and technical skills in innovative ways, which are not limited to traditional subject boundaries’ 

We encourage you to develop your individual creativity to the highest level . . .

LCA quotes prioritise certain concepts:
-Creative genius
When something is culturally avant-garde we are saying they are the leaders.

Art for arts sake Whistler in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1875) : No politics, no engagement with the world, when it was published, critic, John Ruskin said Whistler as been paid for chucking a can of yellow paint into the audiences face- disbelief/shocking.

End of 19th century/ early 20th century, two approaches to avant-garde art, art that is socially committed
Clive Bell:Significant form, the relations and combinations of lines and colours, which when organised give the power to move someone aesthetically.  
-The 'Arts for Art Sake' approach dominated much thinking and practise in the 20th century - Chris Burden (Shoot) 1971-  Seeking to be really shocking.

The “Art for Art’s sake” approach dominated much thinking and practice in 20thC art 

-A major problem for the avant grade is that it seems to be necessitate 'elitism'

So for those members of the ‘left wing’ [interested in social change] there was a tendency to have to rely on ACADEMIC TECHNIQUES in order to appeal to the ‘public’. 

Socialist Realism
Vladimirski ‘Roses for Stalin’ (1949)
Constructivism Rodchenko ‘Books’ (1924)

What is Kitsch?
Opposite from avant-garde, everything thats not avant-garde- Greenburg
Constable- not kitsch, in a wooden frame, print on a plate- becomes kitsch
Warhol, using images from kitsch culture and presenting them as art 

Kitsch  is a form of art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an extant style of art or a worthless imitation of art of recognized value. The concept is associated with the deliberate use of elements that may be thought of ascultural icons while making cheap mass-produced objects that are unoriginal. Kitsch also refers to the types of art that are aesthetically deficient (whether or not being sentimental, glamorous, theatrical, or creative) and that make creative gestures which merely imitate the superficial appearances of art through repeated conventions and formulae. Excessive sentimentality often is associated with the term. wikipedia
Thomas Kinkade, richest living artist, commercial big sales of paintings (bad) turns work into mug, tee shirt etc.
Constable Haywain (1821) [Not Kitsch]   

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Five interesting facts I found to present to my blog group:
-Worcestershire Sauce is made from dissolved fish
-The Queens christmas speech was first televised in 197
-You would have to walk seven hours straight to bur off a super size coke, big mac and fries
-There are more than 10,000 varieties of tomatoes 
-Coconut water can be used (in emergencies) as a substitute for blood plasma

Questions that were asked:
-How many varieties of potatoes are there?
-What is the fat content of a big mac and fries?
-What type of fish is used for Worcestershire sauce?
-Why was the speech televised?
-How log was the broadcast?
-What was the Queen wearing (what hat)?
-When was Channel 4's alternative Christmas speech started?
-What is BBQ sauce made of?
-What meal has the largest amount of carbs in a McDonalds in America?
-What meal has the largest amount of carbs in a McDonalds in England?

Monday, 12 December 2011


Facts about FOOD:
-Coconut water can be used (in emergencies) as a substitute for blood plasma.

-Worcestershire sauce is made from dissolved fish

-Many mass produced ice creams have seaweed in them

-Cheese Products Contain Less than 51 percent Cheese.

-You would have to walk for seven hours straight to burn off a Super Sized Coke, fry and Big Mac

-An ounce of chocolate contains about 20 mg of caffeine.

-Wine is sold in tinted bottles because wine spoils when exposed to light.

-There are more than 10,000 varieties of tomatoes

-Americans eat twice as much meat as Europeans, gobbling up some 50kg (110 lb) per capita.

-cook -bake -eat -healthy -diet -carbohydrates -kitchen -ingredients -harvest -digestion

-recipe book -oven -fridge -freezer -bowls -plates -cutlery -microwave -toaster -menu -food

-Jamie Oliver -Gordon Ramsey -Nigella Lawson -Michael Bauer -Bobby Flay -Heston Blumenthal -Mario Batali -Delia Smith -Nigel Slater -Ken Hom

Facts about Holiday traditions:
-The Queens Christmas speech was televised for the first time in 1957
-CAROLS weren't sung in churches until they were introduced by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century.
-Diwali gets its name from the “diyas,” or oil lamps that are lit in clay containers during this festival.
-The business community celebrates Diwali by opening new accounting books.  Diwali marks the beginning of the new financial year, hence, traders and business men start it by offering prayers to Lord Ganesha 
-Christmas -Eid -Diwali -Easter -Thanksgiving -Hanukkah -Guru Nanak Jayanti -YuanTan (Chinese new year) -Buddha Day -Celebration

-Christmas tree -Hanukkah Menorah -Easter eggs -Presents -Crackers -Mistletoe  -Lights -Food -Stockings -Snow
-Santa Claus -Rama and Sita

 Facts about time:
-Time can be perceived differently by our brains depending on our activities. A boring day will 'drag' on whilst if we are enjoying ourselves time will seem to 'fly', this phenomenon is referred to as 'temporal illusion' by psychologists.

-Time appears to accelerate the older we get. Some (including Stephen Hawking) suggest the reason for this is that when we are ten years old a year is a tenth of our whole life and seems a long time, yet for a sixty-year-old a year is just a 60th of their life and therefore perceived as a shorter period.

-Some modern atomic clocks are so accurate they can lose less than a second in 400 million years.

-Time is not a constant; time is relative to different observers. The only constant in the Universe is the speed of light which means no matter how fast you are travelling the speed of light will remain the same although time will slow down

-Brazil sets its Summer time by decree every year. Some states / counties observe Summer time on a year to year basis. 

-It is said that the reason Greenwich is seen as an important point of reference is because of the existence of the Greenwich Observatory. A conference of astronomers in 1884 argued that this was an important landmark from which all calculations about time should be made. Interestingly enough, Greenwich remains the prime meridian even though the original observatory has moved elsewhere.

-As far as we know, time began with the formation of the universe in the instant of the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
-According to a man named Paul Couderc, only one one-thousandth of a second is gained in sixty years of traveling at the speed of sound.
-Early clocks only showed hours.
-The age of the universe is believed to be about 12 to 13 billion years old

Facts about Student Life:
-Students -Independence  -University -Drinking -Working -Lectures -Night life -Money(lack of) -Friends -Social

-Books -Laptop -NUS Card -Student I.D -Pen -Paper -Work Book -Bag -Calculator -Student Loan

-Professor Brian Cox -Stephen Hawking -Jeremy Paxman -Stephen Fry

Facts about Budgeting:
-Economy -Bargain -Sales -Cheap -Value -Asset -Saving -Shops -Money -Pound land

-Money -Items -Receipts  -Calculator

Facts about Leeds:
-30th most populous city in the European union
-Leeds is a city and a metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire
-750,000 people make Leeds the second-largest metropolitan district in England
-Leeds Bradford International Airport serves 70 destinations in 30 countries, including North America and Asia
-Leeds became a city by Royal Charter in 1893
-Natives of Leeds are known as Loiners
-Leeds is one of the greenest cities in Europe, with greenbelt land covering over two-thirds of its total area
-112,000 people work in the city’s financial and business sectors
-Leeds is the home of the Royal Armouries Museum (Royal Armouries is the United Kingdom’s National Museum of Arms and Armour, including artillery.)
-Birth place of Sir Leonard Hutton

-Yorkshire -Leeds United -Leeds University  -Leeds town hall -Leeds city council  -Elland Road -Hyde Park -Headingley -St. James Hospital
-Corn Exchange -The Roundhouse 

-Harewood house

-Henry Moore -Barbara Hepworth -Jimmy Savile -Leonard Hutton -Helen Fielding -Brian Close -Thomas Chippendale -Alan Bennet
-Barbara Taylor Bradford -Beryl Burton

Facts about Christmas:
-25th of december is Christmas day
-THE tradition of putting tangerines in stockings comes from 12th-century French nuns who left socks full of fruit, nuts and tangerines at the houses of the poor
-NEARLY 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe
-THE world's tallest Xmas tree at 221ft high was erected in a Washington shopping mall in 1950
-IN 1647, after the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell banned festivities. The law wasn't lifted until 1660
- BEFORE turkey, the traditional Christmas meal in England was a pig's head and mustard
-SANTA Claus comes from a Dutch folk tale based on Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, who gave gifts on December 6
-THE Beatles hold the record for most Xmas number 1 singles, topping the charts in 1963, 65 and 67
- THE word Noel derives from the French expression "les bonnes nouvelles" or "the good news"
- IN the Czech Republic they enjoy dinners of fish soup, eggs and carp. The number of people at the table must be even, or the one without a partner will die next year

-Christmas cards -Church -Carols -Jesus -Santa Claus -Three wise men -Wrapping paper -Fairy lights -Family -Celebrations

-Christmas tree -Crackers -Mistletoe -Holly -Sledge -Christmas dinner -Presents -Christmas pudding -Bells -Tinsel

-Grandparents -Scrooge -Santa Claus -Children -Families -Elves -Rudolph -Mary -Joseph -Jesus

Sunday, 11 December 2011



  • What problem did you identify?
  • Our group originally got put together because we had the 'food/cooking' topic, after narrowing down our options our problem became 'How to cook an affordable and time saving meal' which then changed to 'how to save time and money at Christmas' but after researching and spending the first week making design sheets and mock ups, we went to the crit and our 'how to...' changed direction.  We combined the Christmas holidays into our project and it eventually became 'How to cook a stress free Christmas dinner.'  After the crit it became clear that we were trying to cover too much, and our focus was too broad, it was also highlighted that the two things we were trying to address in our 'how to...' were contridicting eachother, because to save money you had to waste time, so we decided in the end time was more valued this time of year and thats how are 'how to...' became 'how to make christmas dinner less stressful'

  • What evidence did you find to support your decisions?
  • Originally we researched student recipes, tips on how to budget as a student, tips on how to save time, time saving recipes etc.  However after the crit we changed direction and researched: tips on a stress free christmas dinner, planning a christmas dinner, Christmas recipes, price comparisons of Christmas food, a questionaire about Christmas dinner, blog conversations about christmas dinner and the stress that comes with it.  We also looked at info graphics and found some interesting ones to do with Christmas to help us progress further with our ideas.

  • What methods did you use to gather your evidence and what forms did it take?
  • Throughout the whole project I used various methods to make a body of research in order to create the final designs, I made two questionaires with my original 'How to make a curry' which helped me to discover more about peoples preference on certain cuisine etc.  I made a questionaire about Christmas dinner to try and see what people would find most helpful.  I looked at websites with basic christmas recipes, blogs where people wrote about the stress of Christmas dinner, statistics about the cost of Christmas dinner, websites about tips on making it stress free etc.  Looked at layouts of previous recipe cards to get an idea for our desgins.

  • (categorise your research using terms primary, secondary, quantitative and qualitative)
  • survey, questionaire-Primary
    photographic documentation of me making a curry, ('how to make a curry')- Primary
    research on tips for a stree free christmas dinner, research on lay out, research on basic christmas recipes-Secondary
    facts on Indian cuisine-secondary,quantitative.
    Blog converstaions on The Guardian Christmas Dinner Blog- Qualitative, secondary

  • What methods of research did you find useful and why?
  • The questionaire helped get an insight into the stress of christmas dinner, also looking at secondary quantitative research of peoples opinions on blogs and chat forums helped because it was an insight into real opinions of the situation.  Things that helped to build the foundations of research helped get a better understanding of the topic in hand, so all the secondary research on the interent.  The secondary research of other peoples tips on how to make it less stressful and recipes were the most useful because they ultimatley gave us the inspiration to create the final design.

  • How did these inform your response to your problem?
  • It made the issues of what we needed to address clearer, finding out what was stressful helped us to recognise what we could do to help with the Christmas dinner being less stressful.  I feel as a group we had quite a broad range of research that helped us to make informed decisions about our final design, we could of done more primary and secondary quantitative research, although are 'how to' questions relied more on the results of qualatitive research.

  • What research could you have carried put that would have proved more useful?
  • More quantitative research would of helped, although the nature of our 'how to' relied more on qualitative research.

  • What methods did you encounter as problematic?
  • I think for the first week of the project we weren't quite sure what single idea we were going to stick with, we were generating loads of different ideas that all linked in some way but I feel like we took too long getting all our ideas together and deciding and maybe if we'd discovered what 'how to' we were doing from an earlier stage we could of focused more on the final design of the idea.  Format, I think, was quite a hard thing to address, because we were aware that we didn't want to make something, that when distributed, would just be glanced at and thrown away  We eventually decided to go with an ordered set of recipe cards that told you step by step how to make a traditional Christmas dinner, on one side of the card would be the ordered step and on the reverse the recipe to make the certain dish at the certain time.  We also wanted to incorperate a more comical aspect to the design because, originally, this was the idea but we realised if it was purley comical tips it would serve no real purpose.  Some of the 'joke' tips we included such as 'have a liquid lunch' or 'convert to another religion' were placed on one recipe card at the back of the pack.  If it wasn't for time we would of ideally liked to have the recipe cards ring bound at the top so you could flip through in chronological order and make it stand so it was easier to read whilst cooking.
    Possible design ideas:
    We all made possible designs for the recipe cards, we decided to go with Lizzis in the end.

    For the final designs we decided to go with typical festive colours, red and green, and also a light pink, we also used two quite contrasting typefaces, a bold eye catching one (bebas neue) used with a more classic and feminine font.  The overall design is quite simple, this is because we wanted it to appeal to a wide range of audience and so a simple, yet eye catching, intriguing design would attract a wider range.  Too much information wouldn't appeal at first glance, the illustrations are basic yet festive, which I think works nicely.

  • How did you overcome this?
  • We overcame the format by just having them displayed as recipe cards in order, with a sleeve that keeps them all as a set.  Because we didn't know how to combine the humorous tips with the real tips and recipes we were going to leave the comical aspect out but we decided they could still be used just on a seperate card as a final joke in the pack.

    I feel the final design suited the 'how to...' problem, I think it was appropriate, in terms of visual design, for the Christmas period and suitable for the target audience and the supermarkets where it would of been distributed.  I feel like it effectively solved the problem and communicated well, the end design provided a stylish, compact and informative guide on how to make Christmas dinner less stressful.  I feel as a group we worked well, as an individual I feel I could of given more in terms of mock up designs, because I'm not as advanced on illustrator it takes me longer to design some quick designs.

    List five things that you have learnt about the design process over the last two weeks:
    -That thorough and well constructed research helps to make practical and informed decisions about the brief
    -Research is an important starting point for any brief 
    -A variety of research (quantitative, qualitative, primary, secondary) always helps to broaden ideas and enables you to work more with the body of research
    -The more research you have the more informed you will be
    -It is vital to draw up design sheets and mock ups to get a clearer idea of your final design
    List five things you would do different next time:
    -Spend more time on the final design
    -Collect more quantitative primary research 
    -Decide on a final idea quicker, so we have more time to develop the final design
    -Find other sources, other than the internet, for secondary research
    -Use time more efficiently