Semester Planning and Time Management

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In regards to planning my upcoming projects both practical, oral and written, it was important to me to plan ahead so I can see when I have submissions, key dates, inductions, planned events, freelance work and personal events in order to effectively use my time moving forward.

I initially began doing this on my desktop calendar (see above), using a colour coding system to plan my time, and then realised that this is probably not the best way of planning my time as I cannot clearly see in advance when submissions are in relation to when key events are to plan research, development and practical/written work accordingly, whilst leaving enough time to account for any changes and feedback to be taken into account. Therefore, I felt using a GANTT chart to plan the next 10 weeks, would allow me to see each module together as well as resolving the problems recognised and noted above (see below).
learning-objectivesI found the GANTT chart system quite daunting initially, however through grouping presentations, submissions and learning objectives on the left hand side, I have been able to now work through any issues and populate the next 10 weeks of the semester accurately. I found this rather systematic approach difficult to work with when planning one module in isolation, as I found when I collated all 3, some weeks had an unachievable amount of work and objectives to attain, and found a more beneficial approach to planning doing so by project.

This can be seen on the draft shown below:

gantt-chart-draft

From this GANTT chart, I then went on to planning in-depth weeks, which I found much harder to work out accurately as are more likely to change as projects develop, new ideas arise, or problems arise, therefore I have not digitised these as I feel it would be wasting too much time revising them. Therefore, I have decided to keep these separate for on-going evaluation, reflection and revision each week to see if the work load is achievable to a high-standard, and if not, I will be looking to use the GANTT chart as a guide to see when there is time to reallocate. I am hoping that after using these methods of planning for several weeks any major problems can be addressed effectively to avoid any further issues. By planning to LO’s as well as projects, this chart will enable me to see what objectives I have and haven’t fulfilled as time moves on.

I have included an example of how my weekly plans look and work below:

week-2

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Lecture: An Introduction to Practice Based Research

This is working towards objective 1, 2, 3, 5.

Today Karen delivered a lecture titled, “An Introduction to Research Methods” which was the first of five research-based lectures. There were several points that Karen made which really resonated with me which I have noted below for reference and future reflection.

  • The idea that, research can be something you look back on and don’t agree with, as well as do agree with. I had never really acknowledged this way of thinking about research. Definitions and research pre-empt the idea that research itself is collated data therefore formulating a fact, figure or statistic for example, so why would you disagree with it? This really stuck with me after todays lecture, and made me think about how within my own practice and whilst exploring my research question, I can question research and disagree if I feel I need to do so, as long as I can justify and evidence why.
  • It can be important to acknowledge the five senses whilst researching, as well as reading books and online journals for example – material can be ‘data’. How can tactile forms influence my research? How does material culture influence my methods of research within my practice? How can I begin my research using physical objects?
  • Research doesn’t just happen over night. Acknowledge the “when’s/why’s/how’s/which’s” in context to establish exploratory, experimental, discursive, questioning and effective iterative research.
  • Research can inform the editing and selection process. How will research affect my practice in regards to both processes, techniques, contextual, critical and theoretical understanding?
  • Research is about finding your way – “Savoir Faire” Dallow 2003, p50
  • Does my practice influence my research, or does my research influence my practice?
  • Research can also include talking to other people, gaining different inputs and opinions collating knowledge based discourse. This is something quite significant which I want to continually carry out throughout the year in order to gain different insights, opinions and thoughts on my research question from those who work within the Fashion and Beauty Industries, as well as those who are active consumers.
  • How do my research findings influence my practice and further my knowledge? This is something which I want to continually evaluate and reflect on throughout exploring my research question in order to gain more succinct and accurate final outcomes which can inform final resolutions and my practice going forward.
  • Research Methodologies: What do I do and why? How does this relate to theory? How will I explain what I am doing/planning on doing? Again this is something which I would like to continually reflect on and evaluate in order to further my knowledge and inform my practice through evidence researched.
  • Quantitative research is often inclusive of well-established facts, science, social sciences, statistical and often is aimed at testing existing theories.
  • Qualitative research is often exclusive of existing ideas, and tests emerging theories whilst being discursive of quantitative data.
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Initial Project Planning

The below is working towards objective 4.

In order to plan my projects effectively moving forward, I have decided to collate an initial project plan which covers several exploratory ideas which could be taken forward for further development, critique, reflection, evaluation and final realisation in order to fulfil my proposal and learning objectives.

Not only does this explain what I plan on doing, for whom, how and why, it also has allowed me to effectively plan my time and needs over the next 10 weeks around my other modules.

Coffee Table Book
Low-tech Prototype – Fanzine/Lookbook:

To experiment with the viability of the idea of producing a Coffee Table Book, throughout this module I would like to experiment with different image making processes and techniques, forming a fanzine or lookbook of relevant, theoretical, research-led and practice-led based content, echoing the types of content which may populate the final outcome.

The final outcome would aim to reflect the findings of my research question which explores the responsibilities of the Fashion and Beauty Industries, understanding how Social Media and Magazines influence and affect our sense of self-perception and body image.

I plan on targeting a female audience whom have interests which lie within the Fashion and Beauty industries, and furthermore buy into the associative products, campaigns, magazines and social media accounts. By doing so, I am aiming to provoke thoughts and stimulate conversation within this demographic through collated research and written material showcased as visual stimulus.

Whilst targeting an active consumer audience whom associate these Industries with their daily lives, I want to not only highlight the theoretical contexts which underpin this topic in relation to my research question, but to also make women aware of the affects these platforms can have on own self-perception through research and critical design-led content.

By aiming to produce low-tech prototypes of fanzines/lookbooks throughout this module which I can take forward to further develop and craft into a realised outcome, I plan on experimenting with various digital and hands-on processes to produce various forms of content, which I have outlined below:

Processes:

Screen-printing
Book-binding
Paper-engineering (fold-outs and pull-outs)
CAD Design
Illustration
Collage
Photography

Content:

Screen-prints
Critical Design
Digital Prints
Photography
Research-based Content
Facts, Figures and Statistics
Blog Posts/Articles
Typography
Social Media Posts/Magazine Articles

By collating elements of research and content from different research-led sources through experimental visual process and techniques, I am aiming to reflect upon my own ideas, work, applications and findings, in a critical, constructive and evaluative manner in order to take this work forward for on-going development and final realisation.

I have also outlined various topics of ‘discussion’ and theoretical contexts which I aim to address through the content of this publication, and may experiment with throughout this module whilst producing content for the prototype fanzine/lookbook.

Topics and Theoretical Contexts:

Feminism
Narcissism
Misogyny
Self Perception
Sociology and Psychology
Diversity
Mental Health
Celebrity Culture
Consumer Culture
Norms, Ideals and Expectations

I have outlined a timeframe in which I will carry out various forms of practical experiments and processes inline with the proposed project over the next 9 weeks. These have been planned inline with the workshop inductions at college, whilst working around the planning, research and needs of the other modules I am currently undertaking.

Posters and Blogging (Social Media) Posts
Low-tech Prototypes – Screen-printed Poster Series and Digital Posts:

I would like to experiment with the idea of a Critical Design-led project which features a range of digital blogging posts using speculative design proposals and ideas in order to challenge the assumptions, ideals, trends, pre-empted conceptions about brands, products and objects within the Beauty and Fashion Industries, whilst provoking thought, sparking conversation and debate.

Furthermore, I would like to then develop these posts further to achieve a realised outcome, which would be made up of a carefully selected and curated range of printed posters, which could either be sold or exhibited. The final outcome would aim to reflect the findings of my research question which explores the responsibilities of the Fashion and Beauty Industries, understanding how Social Media and Magazines influence and affect our sense of self-perception and body image.

To achieve this, throughout this module I plan on producing a range of experimental prints and posts which engage with a young female target audience, whom are active consumers and users in these noted Industries whether it be buying into fashion trends, makeup products, trend-led products or pop/celebrity-culture for example, and furthermore, are actively engaging with social media communities.

Through targeting an audience whom are currently and actively engaged with the Fashion and Beauty Industries and Social Media, I am aiming to raise awareness of the issues surrounding body image and self-perception, through looking at the actions, marketing strategies of new, or existing products and brands, Bloggers and/or Vloggers, Celebrities and Models, whilst echoing my findings and work within a theoretical context.

By carrying out digital design-led experiments in order to produce relevant blogging posts and low-tech prototypes of prints, I am hoping to log these on my Social Media platform (Instagram) to actively engage with the target audience, promote the work and raise awareness on the issues at hand in a light-hearted, satirical, yet thought-provoking manner, whilst producing a final range of posters curated from post insight, reception and engagement. Through engaging with an active target audience, I am hoping to use this itself as a piece of research informing further Critical Design-led work, in order to allow myself to continually develop through feedback, and through both reflective and critical evaluation.

In addition, whilst reflecting upon my own work, I will also look at and reflect upon the posts and sponsored posts of brands, users and bloggers for example, to see what is currently trending in order to create new content based on these assumptions, trends and ideals.

By aiming to produce low-tech prototypes of prints and blogging posts throughout this module which I can take forward to further develop and craft into a realised outcome, I plan on experimenting with various digital and hands-on processes to produce various forms of content, which I have outlined below:

Processes:

Screen-printing
Hot-foiling
CAD Design
Illustration

Content:

Screen-prints
Critical Design
Digital Prints
Illustration
CAD Design
Celebrity, Pop-Culture and Trend-led content
Challenging the ideas and concepts of brands
Taboo Topics
Questions (for user-engagement)
Critical Design and Research-led content
Facts, Figures and Statistics
Typography

By collating elements of research and content from different research-led sources through experimental visual process and techniques, I am aiming to reflect upon my own ideas, work, applications and findings, in a critical, constructive and evaluative manner in order to take this work forward for on-going development and final realisation.

I have also outlined various topics of ‘discussion’ and theoretical contexts which I aim to address through the content of both blogging posts and printed posters, and may experiment with throughout this module whilst producing visual and written content and/or analysis.

Topics and Theoretical Contexts:

Feminism
Narcissism
Misogyny
Self Perception
Sociology and Psychology
Celebrity Culture
Consumer Culture
Norms, Ideals and Expectations

I have outlined a timeframe in which I will carry out various forms of practical experiments and processes inline with the proposed project over the next 9 weeks. These have been planned inline with the workshop inductions at college, whilst working around the planning, research and needs of the other modules I am currently undertaking.
Life-size Barbie Doll Style Boxes
Low-tech Prototypes – Scaled-down Doll Boxes:

To experiment with the viability of the idea of producing a range of Life-size Barbie Doll Style Boxes, throughout this module I would like to produce a range of scaled-down versions in order to experiment with different crafting processes and techniques, which may fulfil the needs and specifications of the final outcome, whilst allowing for on-doing development to justify my decision making process when taking this further.

The final outcome would aim to reflect the unattainable toy-like figures and ideals which are seen as ‘ideal’ in today’s Fashion and Beauty industries in contrast with ‘real’ women, in a shocking, honest approach, branding each box as we are perceived by others as a result of built-up perceptive, theoretical, cultural, consumerist and societal issues. This project would showcase inevitably how the Fashion and Beauty Industries affect our sense of self, echoing my research question which explores how Social Media and Magazines influence and affect our sense of self-perception and body image.

I plan on targeting a wider audience with this brief, interesting and enticing those who are interested in art, design, fashion, beauty and the theoretical contexts behind this concept. By doing so, I want to not only raise awareness of these issues in relation to my research question but to really showcase this proposal and idea in a prominent, daring and effective way.

For the final outcome, I aim on having at least two life-size boxes situated within an exhibition or installation context, featuring real models situated within these boxes to encompass the idea of being categorised and pinned down to a certain category of beauty and importance, whilst showcasing the contrasts between ‘real women’ and ‘ideal women’ as previously noted. I would also like to experiment with the idea of using these exhibitive platforms as a foundation for an editorial photo shoot also to feed into other project ideas such as the Coffee Table book, or campaign materials for example.

By aiming to produce low-tech prototypes of scaled-down doll toy boxes throughout this module which I can take forward to further develop and craft into a realised outcome as noted above, I plan on experimenting with various digital and hands-on processes to produce various forms of content, which I have outlined below:

Processes:

Woodwork/Lasercutting
Card/Paper stocks (die-cutting and packaging nets)
Sketches
Branding Ideas
Digital CADs

Content (Thought Processes & Questions):

– How would each box be branded differently in relation to ‘real’ or ‘ideal’ women? (How would the fonts change? How would this affect colour and design?)
– Would this be based on how society perceives them? Or how we perceive ourselves?
– What theory would contextualise this?

By collating elements of research and content from different research-led sources through experimental visual process and techniques, I am aiming to reflect upon my own ideas, work, applications and findings, in a critical, constructive and evaluative manner in order to take this work forward for on-going development and final realisation on a larger scale.

I have also outlined various topics of ‘discussion’ and theoretical contexts which I aim to address through the branding and execution of the final outcome, and may experiment with throughout this module whilst producing visual experiments and written analysis.

Topics and Theoretical Contexts:

Feminism
Narcissism
Misogyny
Self Perception
Sociology and Psychology
Celebrity Culture
Consumer Culture
Diversity
Norms, Ideals and Expectations

I have outlined a timeframe in which I will carry out various forms of practical experiments and processes inline with the proposed project over the next 9 weeks. These have been planned inline with the workshop inductions at college, whilst working around the planning, research and needs of the other modules I am currently undertaking.

Well-being Campaigns
Low-tech Prototypes – Mockups (Print and Digital):

To experiment with the viability of producing a Well-being Campaign targeting and raising awareness of the effects of the Fashion and Beauty industries, I would like to produce a range of mocked up collateral which raises awareness of these issues in a specific context, in an understandable and relevant manner.

The final outcome would aim to reflect how the Fashion and Beauty Industries affect our sense of self, mental health, physical health and well-being, echoing my research question which explores how Social Media and Magazines influence and affect our sense of self-perception and body image.

I would choose to target an audience of females whom are active users of social media, readers of fashion magazines and trend/celebrity followers, whilst targeting those who have already been affected by such forms of visual media and need help, in an aim to showcase what physical and mental affects these Industries can have on susceptible people, i.e. Eating Disorders or Depression for example.

For the resolved outcome, I plan on launching a campaign across both print and digital forms of media, including social media posts, factual and statistical information, diversity and celebrity contexts, and theoretical contexts to highlight the importance of this issue.

By aiming to produce low-tech prototypes and mockups of campaign materials throughout this module which I can take forward to further develop and craft into a realised outcome, I plan on experimenting with various digital and hands-on processes to produce various forms of content, which I have outlined below:

Processes:

Screen-printing
Sketches
Branding Ideas
Digital Design
Wire Frames
Stickers/Vinyl Cutting
Book-binding

Content:

Informative Website
Social Media Accounts
Booklets
Leaflets
Badges/Stickers
Printed Totes
Posters
Postcards

I have also outlined various topics of ‘discussion’ and theoretical contexts which I aim to address through the content the Well-being Campaign, and may experiment with throughout this module whilst producing visual and written content and/or analysis.

Topics and Theoretical Contexts:

Feminism
Narcissism
Self Perception
Sociology and Psychology
Celebrity Culture
Norms, Ideals and Expectations
Mental Health
Eating Disoders
Obsessive Disorders
Selfie Culture
Getting Help

I have outlined a timeframe in which I will carry out various forms of practical experiments and processes inline with the proposed project over the next 9 weeks. These have been planned inline with the workshop inductions at college, whilst working around the planning, research and needs of the other modules I am currently undertaking.

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