Looking at the past few weeks I noticed that I had learnt much more than I had imagined I would. This could be because I ended up experimenting twice, but apart from that, experimentation became necessary for the most part on almost every step of the process to ensure that few things went wrong. Although things always go wrong, no matter how much you experiment and test. Something I noticed after putting the sign up was that my choice of not completely sticking the felt down let the edges ‘adapt’. They would remain in position, but if someone touched them or wanted to lift them, they could also be bent over.
Positive critiques I got were on the typeface that I had created. I used weaving to create a pixelated/bitmap type of typeface. If I think about it, some of it must have been inspired by the research I did for Arduinos. People found it interesting that I created a digital looking typeface using physical materials and the fact the materials being used together itself was unexpected: hence adaptation.
Suggestions for improvement were that I could consider a checkered background for the wooden text, like how weaving tends to look. The wooden base peaked through the edges at the top and bottom, I could trim those down. Some people had problems with the legibility of the type, I could have considered black felt or the green felt I was initially using, to increase the contrast between the background and the type. Or I could have even used darker coloured wood instead of settling for…wood coloured wood that was available in the woodshop. Something Levi had said during critique was that
it’s a dangerous practice to let the design be set for you. A good designer should always ask questions.
I learnt a huge range of skills, more than I had anticipated. These included drilling, using the band saw and laser cutters and working with the laser cutter software. Learning that plywood can be a pain to work with. So, learning about the limitations of different materials in general. Wax cooled faster than anticipated, it didn’t stick well to some surfaces, how quickly and efficiently wax can be melted and through which methods. How to test and the importance of testing whether two materials stick together or not. Quilting, weaving and working with different types of felt were things I touched on.
Apart from learning these technical things, I learnt skills like bargaining…My most important lesson probably came from what I struggled with the most…
Psychological struggles. I struggled mostly with the idea of moving on from one idea to a completely different idea. To be honest, it took me less than a lesson to switch ideas as soon as I realised that the second weaving idea would work better. I must have been hesitant to try something new after I had been trying so hard to make the wax work. I learned that it’s important to be able to move on…and adapt to the situation. If something doesn’t seem to be working, it’s okay to work hard to try and make it work, but it is also a good idea to try something different.
Something I had noticed and that was brought up during the critique was how the background board peaked through the top and bottom edges of the sign. I would trim that out. To work on the legibility of the type I could experiment more with different colours of felt/wood or weaving techniques. I would also like to see if I could cut slits in the wood strips to be able to weave through it with the metal strip.