This week, we moved onto a new area of field – we moved out of just Graphics, and were put into mixed groups with students from all different areas of study across the art school, including Fine Art, Illustration, Textiles, Ceramics, Product Design and Architecture. The theme of the project was ‘future generations’.
To begin the week, we were told to pick somebody that you had never met or spoken to before and then go and exchange the manifestos that we had each been working on over the last few weeks, in our own subject areas. I was introduced to Darcie from Illustration who had been working on the idea that children these days spend too much time cooped up in their rooms or sat in front of television screens and other electronic devices. We then returned to the group and each individually stood up in front of the class and summed up again what we had been doing. The lecturers collected our manifestos on the whiteboard, giving short titles to each one – after explaining that in graphics I had been creating a campaign to push people to do their part in saving the planet and make the difference, they titles it as ‘Power of the Individual’. After going through everyone, we ended up with around thirty titles, so as a class, we narrowed them down by merging the similar ones until we had about seven.
These seven titles were to be the names of the groups that we would be put into for the next part of the project. I decided to go with something different to what I had been doing in Graphics, so I created a group which was named ‘The Great Outdoors’. The aim of our group was to encourage people to spend more time outside, enjoying the fresh air and nature, rather than being cooped up inside – the idea was inspired by what Darcie had said she had been working on in Illustration.
After choosing which groups we wanted to be in, there had to be a spokesperson for each group who would be sent up in front of everyone and have to be in a debate and argue for why your group was the best group, and why people should join you in your campaign. Although I was hesitant at first and didn’t really want to be, other members of my group pushed me forward to be the spokesperson. Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy the experience of been put on the spot and have people questioning the campaign, but I’m still glad I did it, because I’ll never get good at it if I don’t give it a go – public speaking and presenting is obviously a big part of Graphic Communication too. I think that I hid my nerves quite well and tried to come off across as confident with my speaking. I explained well what our group stood for and what we wanted to achieve and feel that I recruited several more group members from doing so.
By Tuesday, we had a group of eight people and had started planning what we wanted to do and achieve. We agreed that we wanted the campaign to be pushed at children, because they are the future generations, so we decided to aim our campaign at the parents. We wanted to create a fun way for them to encourage their children to spend time outside in the great outdoors, and grow up not as ‘zombies’ in front of digital screens. Also, by teaching the younger generation now, the hope is that they will grow up and one day go on to then teach their own children, and then their children, then their children, and so on, and so on.
Unfortunately, at this point, because we had Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off as self study days, a lot of our group members began making excuses as to why they couldn’t come in and not turning up to our meetings that we had arranged to show and discuss ideas and designs during this time.