Real World – Less Stress More Art

The first project of the third year is finally over, which is definitely a relief as it was one of the harder projects that I have experienced so far. There were quite a few problems with communication from both the lecturers and the clients in regards to exactly what it was we were supposed to be doing. Although I don’t feel as if the difficulty came from the vague brief, but instead from the fact that the level of guidance and direction wasn’t as prevalent in the Real World project than it has been in previous ones.

Once my team and I had figured out the aspect of health & well-being that we wanted to focus on, stress, it was time to start focusing on certain ideas that we had brainstormed. One of our key ideas that really started to spearhead the notion of relieving stress through art was an a fun exercise which would allow students to throw coloured paint at a giant white wall to relieve stress while creating a beautiful colourful piece of art. We evolved the idea to incorporate the use of colour psychology, meaning that each person would be encouraged to choose a coloured paint ball that represented how they were feeling at that particular time. The stress relief wall would then turn into a crazy piece of information design that would portray how the University if feeling during that week or month, which would also add the possibility of making the wall a recurring feature throughout the year.

Although we were pleased with where the idea was heading, we knew that we should have something more. So along with the wall we thought of featuring other fun and interesting stress relief options like a bubble-wrap dispenser and an origami workshop. What we didn’t expect is that during a tutorial with both the client and our tutor, they loved the idea of an origami workshop that also used colour psychology and ended up as a piece of information design. So that’s the route that we then decided to go down, relieving stress through origami. And even though I loved the wall of paint idea, I found it interesting how we used that idea as base for a chain reaction that lead us on to the idea that our client could really get behind. Another benefit of course was the origami was practical and would require people to get off their phones, which was a big message that our client was trying to communicate with the students.

So cracking on with the project the team did a great job of splitting up the workload, and I think that the fact that we were all on the same page throughout the whole project is the reason I learnt so much from it. We even came up with a catchy title for the even, Less Stress More Art, which reflected the simplicity of the idea. Each person was assigned to make a Japanese inspired coloured pattern which would be used to make the two types of origami that we chose, the crane and the lotus. Not only were these some of the most recognisable types of origami, but they weren’t too complex either.

Once we had made the patterns we folded them into the origami, took them to the photography studio and took pictures of them to be used in some of the posters that Kuba and I were designing. We also then filmed a video which would go along with our client pitch, which mainly served as a nice background to our presentation instead of a standalone video.

Once the instructions were designed by Zuzanna and the posters were done it was time to focus on the presentation. We all practised our parts separately and then came together on the day and rehearsed together. What we didn’t want to do was have a standard presentation where we would stand to the side of the screen and talk at it. Instead I thought that everyone should learn their part so they didn’t need to hold anything while they were up there and I also suggested that each individual stands in the centre of the room while talking so all of the attention is on them.

The group was so proud when the pitch was completed as we did really well and the feedback we got from the tutors and the mentors was great. One of the key points was that it was definitely a realistic idea that could easily be made a reality, but there was big room for expansion. It was such a tough project so it was amazing to see all of the brilliant outcomes that everyone had created.

The team dynamic was brilliant throughout and each member always had an opinion or a suggestion instead of one person dominating the conversations. We all became very conformable with each other so giving constructive criticism was never an issue and no-one ever took it personally. I tried to lead the brainstorming sessions in the same way the the agency I worked at over the summer did, by letting each person speak their mind and share their ideas no matter how crazy they are.

It was definitely a roller coaster ride of a project, but I couldn’t be prouder of my team and how we worked together. The Real World project has taught me even more about how to tackle a challenging brief and more importantly how to work successfully as a team.

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