1 Semester Down, 1 To Go!
We made it! Semester 1 is over already and it’s been quite the rollercoaster! Full of ups and downs, loop-de-loops and some nail-biting moments, it has definitely not been boring! Three papers and 5 assignments later, we’re one step closer to our degree! With only 12 weeks of the year left to go, I wanted to reflect on the first 12 to give you an update on it all and also for me to look back on at the end of the year and see how things have changed!
Overall, this past semester has been great! Don’t get me wrong, there have been a fair few moments of panic and some restless nights, but it all worked out in the end and we made it through! I have loved each of my papers and I’m really proud of the work that I submitted this semester, I just hope the tutors like it too!
I guess we’ll kick off by addressing the elephant in the room, my major project (we’re not supposed to call it that because it’s too overwhelming, but it’s just so much quicker & easier to say than research and development project!). To say that my project has developed would be a major understatement! I started off the year looking at co-working spaces, and now I’m looking at interactions that facilitate conversation between students (in a brief explanation). These topics have changed but the themes underlying them are the same. Basically I just want to see students sharing things, talking to each other and giving critique, and in turn see those students grow as people and creatives, and have a greater university experience, so that’s what I’m looking at! In swanky terms, my central proposition is, “through the design of a process that creates quick, anonymous interactions on various surfaces, students in tertiary education can become more involved in open discussion with one another. This can positively impact both their creative processes and their well being.” I’ve spent the last 12 weeks getting to that statement and experimenting with ideas to decide where to go moving forward. There’s still a long way to go before the end of the year, but I’m actually really excited about starting to design things and seeing what happens along the way! I’m super passionate about my topic so I’m hoping that will drive me and help me make it all the way to the end with a kick ass project!
My other papers were elective papers, one of which was Interpretive Typography. The brief called for a typographical response to death in some way, and I chose to look at the plague, specifically at the language that we have inherited from plagues throughout history and how we continue to use certain words and phrases today. I chose to do something a bit different with this project, and while most students made books of some kind, I created a fold out poster which began at approximately A4 size, and folded outwards to A1 size. This was super challenging to make work, but I managed it in the end! Printing it was an absolute nightmare because I had to print it on thin stock so that it would fold correctly, but since it was being printed double sided on a large format flatbed printer, there was a huge risk that the ink would bleed through the paper and that the paper would warp. It turned out kind of okay, but it was definitely starting to warp when I handed it in! There was not much that I could do with the printing, but it worked out better than expected so I was pretty content! You can see some images of the project in my portfolio here!
The last paper that I took was Contemporary Letterpress and it was the best thing ever! I actually find letterpress and printmaking quite difficult because they’re quite hands on and I’m not very good at that kind of stuff, but I just love it so much! My family has a history of printers so I think I was biologically destined to love printmaking anyway, but it was actually great! I thought that the theme was a bit strange because it was 2016 trends but when we started, 2016 had just begun so it was difficult to find a trend that hadn’t already been around or started in 2015. In the end I went for Zero Waste kitchens because apparently that’s a trend this year, and I created some posters and products to raise awareness about plastic bag usage and household waste. There was a moment in the middle of the paper where I was so lost and had no idea what direction to go in, but after some rethinking and a quick chat to my tutor, I was off again and I ended up handing in some work that I’m really proud of! You can also see this work on my portfolio here!
So that’s a quick rundown on the last semester! I’m pretty pleased with how it all went, even through the tough times and the moments of breakdown, and I can’t wait for next semester! How did your first semester go? What did you like the best? Let me know what you thought and what you’re looking forward to, and also leave any questions below if you have any about this semester or any others!
Much love, Hollie! :D