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Research Week One

Updated: Feb 12

FINAL PROJECT TIME! Before I start this project, I want to reflect on what has worked and what hasn’t while on this Journey. In my last module, I would describe it as a disaster and need to not repeat the mistakes I made. I know that if I wish to finish this course with distinction, I have to put a shift in.

Before I would start anything, I felt it would be good to start building a plan. I will keep editing the document as I understand where I am headed in this project. I will likely explore a more in-depth program to have a more detailed objective as the week's progress.



The first exercise I undertook was to access what I have done well at and what I struggled with. I highlighted the last module where I struggled with the longer-term projects. With the exception of the Streets of Crewe essay, all my projects that broke the three-week mark were my weakest projects.


Streets of Crewe was a high performer, however, was likely let down by the writing content that I know I have to get on the money for the essay or business plan aspect of this project.



One project that did do well was the thoughts of Tim series. This was a series where I just talked about design ideas and theories that come into my head. At the time I liked the idea of progressing it further and as a consideration, as the series can be broken into smaller projects it could be a way around actually not getting bogged down into a longer project that I might struggle with.


Something that I would say is positive is that I would consider myself at this stage, multi-disciplinary in my approach to thinking of design solutions. I am certainly not one for hiding behind a computer and have shown to be a maker at times. One of the more positive pieces of feedback has been that the lecturers have trust in my abilities to create from challenges and that most of my work has been engaging. I am able to create challenging projects that question attitudes. I believe I am capable to be fearless in my approach.


In the introduction of this module, it is suggested we examine and create a project that will help us in the next step of our careers. Some of my more successful projects have been around fashion and footwear. As I have a keen interest in both this has probably aided the engagement process and my sneaker infographic and EDIT projects sit as some of my favourites to date.




Fashion is a field I think I could excel in, and it would be foolish to not consider a brief in this area.





 

To pick a topic to carry into a long-term project is not as easy as ideas of what to cover. There are plenty of subjects I would like to explore, the issue is more towards the one that I will engage with the best over this time. I have compiled a shortlist of areas that are of interest and will get feedback on each one to help this decision. Although my peers can help with insights, as I previously mentioned I want a project that will keep me interested during this period.


A project based on streetwear


In every module, I have covered footwear and streetwear in some capacity. This is a real go-to idea. Fashion has a negative perception of the environment and brands go as far as to destroy their surplus stock before using it to help those less fortunate to protect their brands. I question could a fashion brand be created and produce goods? It is not uncommon for people to create brands to pursue a good message; Tom’s shoes run a campaign that was the Buy-One-Give-One model (Hessekiel, 2021). This model saw western consumers buy a pair of Tom’s and have a feel-good factor that another pair would go to disadvantaged people. With the decline of sales and almost filing for bankruptcy in 2019, the brands model has now changed to giving 1/3 of its profits to organizations creating grassroots goods (Hessekiel, 2021). There is an area of interest into, firstly why the brand held immense popularity, was it the feel-good factor for the consumers or was the shoe itself just an en-vogue silhouette of the time and the brand failed to capitalise on the success to bring forward new designs.


Others have tried brands that focus on issues such as mental health, however, have not reached the successes of other brands that have broken into the market, such as Palace Skateboards, which started in 2009 (Nast, 2021) and within 12 years have four global stores, in; London, New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo (Palace Skateboards, 2022).


For this project I hope to discover the key to brands success and if it is possible to not only create a brand that is popular but also to one that can hold and sustain a good conscience in the process.



What if zombies were real


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In 2011, Headquarters United States Strategic Command released a theoretical strategy plan for junior military officers in the event of a zombie outbreak (CDRUSSTRATCOM CONPLAN 8888-11 “Counter-Zombie Dominance,” 2011). Although the document has a disclaimer to be theoretical, the fact of its existence, I would argue that they are enough weight in the theory for the United States Army to even consider this as a training exercise. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has given insights into how the world's governments have reacted to the spread of the virus. As recent as December 2021, the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, variant Omicron has seen the United Kingdom record 113,628 infections on 25th December 2021 alone (Baynes, 2021). With the country already experiencing long periods of lockdown and long-term damage to the economy, The UK Government Health Care Secretary, Sajid Javid Stating; “We need to learn to live with it” (Patel-Carstairs, 2022), which suggests placing the economy before the wellbeing of the population. This living with the virus concept can be seen in popular culture, through films like Warm Bodies, 2013 and iZombie, 2015, which depicts people living among those infected with a zombie virus.


Through the use of popular culture and recent reactions of people and governments of a pandemic, could a deep investigation be achieved on what to do in the event of a zombie outbreak?



The Thoughts of Tim Series



Back in GDE730, Studio and Entrepreneurship, one of the projects that we undertook was to generate an idea to develop and author. My chosen topic for this was a concept I called the Thoughts of Tim. This was a concept for a web series in that I explored ideas and theories in my head. These ideas were based on my ethnographic research, surrounding design ideas that I had thought, which could have potential if I was able to find the right collaborators or situations based on working in the real world as a designer.


With the issue I faced with getting lost in more long-term projects, this is a concept that can be broken down into a series of one- or two-week projects with fast-paced development to create a series of small projects under a theme of a much larger one.

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