Curated by Narratives is a one day conference exploring how stories are structured, built and crafted to communicate messages through a range of formats and media. Centred around key practitioners who build narrative structures into their work, telling stories to engage their audience, these stories are realised in a variety of settings formats, can be linear and non- linear, static and sequential, analogue and digital. The speakers share ideas, processes, attitudes and possibilities for the me to consider, and also reveals their influences of the development of the speakers.
Brendan Dawes: Designer and Artist
Brendan Dawes is a designer and artist exploring the interaction of objects, people, technology and art using an eclectic mix of digital and analog materials, for himself and for clients around the globe
When listening to Brendan I gathered that this designer is far more interested in exploring other processes to create designs, rather than using generic tools like Photoshop and other mainstream tools. In turn, I think the main message he was presenting to the audience was that as designers we should ‘make the tools to make a design’ as this will create a more fulfilled and powerful outcome. This opened my eyes as I think not limiting yourself to tools naturally given to us as designers, would allows us to design more freely and create more diverse and meaningful conclusions. I think during task one I may have not fully gained the awareness of how important it is to explore different systems to create other data visuals outcomes. I had a fixed perception that a flat, static image would be the best way to represent my data, and this is not the case as I now realise that other types of outcomes relative to my data, may draw in more emotion, understanding and embrace more of the audiences senses. Also, Brendan used the term ‘interaction’ allot to demonstrate his development of his work. In turn, I think wether I do create a flat, static image or an operating 3D object as a conclusion, it is vital that the outcome is accessible and is able to allow the audience to make discussions based upon whats in front of them.
To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of Dr. No, this design demonstrates through colour, shape and scale the number of kills in the official james bond films. This design itself, though simple and easily produced, contains factual and engaging data, which many of the target audience, (James Bond Fans) will gain an different outlook on all the films and also raise questions from the data within the design. This design somewhat creates a beautiful appearance with its contrast of red and turquoise circles on a plain black surface, yet the subject matter is about the number kills by James Bond directly. This jogged my memory back to what Brody said about making information ‘pretty’ and wether its relevant to the data. In this particular case I do think its relevant as its beauty comes from the simplicity of shape and contrasting colour, which doesn’t disguise or represent the data wrongly. Personally what shocked me about this data was that that my favourite film Goldeneye, coincidently had the most kills. Sequently, I started to ask myself question of why this maybe the case? Do I prefer action rather than storyline? Does it indicate what time of film watcher I am? Do I have a short attention span? Was there a need for that many kills? Personally I could say that this particular infographic is successful as it has got me to raise questions and gain a different view on not only the films but myself. What I take from this is that when creating my data visualisation, the data or the aesthetics in conjunction with the data must raise question within then onlookers mind. The questions raised might be about alcohol abuse directly or the viewer questions there self beliefs on the matter at hand. How I go about this is unclear at this stage, however once I start to compile the the data and process it then appropriate techniques will become clear to produce a successful outcome. Furthermore, from analysing this piece of work I now realise how it is possible to raise questions out of a subject that people would rarely consider thinking about, as interaction with data sets and visuals creates two languages which aides the minds of the audience to understand the information.
For the launch of 4G services in eleven UK cities, EE commissioned Brendan to create a digital portrait for each city, formed from millions of bits of data as people talked and interacted about the biggest events of the day. Based on the same mathematics that create the head of a Sunflower, time explodes outwards from the centre with each point representing one minute giving a possible 4320 points – the number of minutes in three days – to cover the day before, during and after the launch of 4G. When first seeing this and having the process of this data being explained, it immediately grabbed my attention as I have a decent enough background of mathematic equations from taking maths and physics at A level. This got me thinking of how I may use current equations I know i.e. projectile motion, quantum mechanics, quadratic equations etc or even equations I’m I’ve not yet exposed myself to. This has great potential to create some great visuals as I can use this data within 3D max or Cinema 4D to formulate scale, positioning, rotation, colour etc. Depending on wether my data I collect is qualitative or quantitatively stronger, will make that decision of wether to further explore mathematic equations.
Joe Malia- creates interfaces for software and products
In 2006, he completed an MA in Interaction Design at the Royal College of Art. He went on to work on research and software projects for Nokia, KPMG, Sony Ericsson, Luckybite, Beta Tank, IDEO and Deutsche Bank, amongst others.
Berg is a design consultancy, working hands- on with companies to research and develop their technologies and strategy, primarily by finding opportunities in networks and physical things.
When listening to Joe I didn’t find his presentation as inspiring as Brendan’s, due to the fact that the work they do at Berg came across as what I perceived to be happy accidents. He did intact say that ‘not setting yourself a goal, beauty will unfold by exploring’. Even though I don’t totally agree with the methods of their workings, I do believe there is something to come from what he said about ‘exploring’. As previously mentioned my initial intentions were to create a poster image without even considering the vast potential tools and systems I could use to produce a final outcome. I do agree that with further exploration, you will become more aware of your own subject matter yourself, and be more aware of how to choose the appropriate process for that information. Furthermore, Joe emphasised that we should ‘not be bullied by the past… design things with your own process,’ which only backs up what Brendan said in his presentation, and how I need to explore/ create more tools to gain an accomplished design rather then using the generic tools given to us as designers.
Max Whitby- Founder and CEO of Touch Press
Books are one of the defining inventions of civilisation. Today publishing is being transformed by digital technologies. The aim of Touch Press is to create new kinds of books that re-invent the reading experience by offering information that is enhanced with rich media and that adapts dynamically to the interests and experience of the reader. Making possible the Touch Press vision are a team with diverse talents that include backgrounds in TV production, software development, print publishing and interactive design. Partnership with other organisations is at the heart of Touch Press’s publishing strategy. To date ten of the company’s iPad titles have been selected by Apple as Editor’s Choice or App of the Week on the iTunes App Stores in the US, UK and worldwide.
The presentation from Max i didn’t find directly helpful, however I did admire their commitment to develop ing their apps so that they were functional, suitable and able to interact within the iPad itself. The apps that he showed us e.g ‘The Liszt Sonata’ demonstrated clear navigation, interaction and easiness through great structure and thoughtfulness of the user. I think that this made me realise just how important it is to think about our target audience, as if we design just for our own needs it won’t become a success. Its important that when creating my data visual i don’t confuse, mislead or offend the audience.
Patrick Bergel- Creator of Chirp
He previously founded mobile search startup L6 Research, carried out research into sound control surfaces and ubiquitous computing systems, and has worked as a creative director for clients including Microsoft and Ray-Ban. Patrick is also an Honorary Research Associate at University College London, Dept. of Computer Science and an Associate Director of the New Radiophonics Workshop.
Chirp is a unique app that lets you share stuff like pictures or contacts using sound. Chirp uses special electronic birdsong to ‘chirp’ information to your friends so you can share pictures over the air.
Even though this app I can appreciate for its innovative sharing through sound, I don’t think this would be a vital process to for my project. Maybe if I was exploring sounds or picture directly then this would be very inspiring, however with my subject matter, sound doesn’t really come into relevance with the data. However I did come away with knowing the importance of incorporating interaction with the use. Images can easily be sent through iMessage, but using sound as a tool to send information makes the sending of an image more meaningful and beautiful. In turn, what I should be thinking about in terms of the audience is sharing the information with them, so thats it almost enhances the data due to they its being presented.
Kate Moross- Designer, Illustrator, Art Director
Kate Moross is a designer, illustrator and art director based in London. Moross is also known for her typographic illustration. Her achievements include a nationwide billboard campaign for Cadburys, a signature clothing range for Topshop and illustrations for Vogue Magazine.
When listening to Kate, one particular message that I thought was interesting was that ‘you should get to know your software’. This contrasts with what Brendan and Joe said about not restricting yourself to tools made for designers and being bullied by the past. I think both sides would agree that there should be a balance between understanding and getting to know the basics of natural design tools, then expanding that further and exploring different ways of contracting design. In turn, I think for my project I do already have somewhat of a basic knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator, and that I shouldn’t restrict myself to methods that I’m not familiar with i.e. 3D max, Cinema 4D, Modelling, Painting, Hand Craft, Wolfram Alpha etc.