HURLED BACK BY A TERRIBLE WIND, THEY FELL LIKE DOMINOES
For this metaphor I again went through the same process of breaking the sentence down word by word. I immediately found this sentence interesting as it was already taking on a metaphorical language. My thinking behind this to not try and represent every element of the sentence within the object(s), rather I wanted to leave space within the visuals for the audiences imagination to work and play off the image. The ‘Hurled back' and 'wind' part of the sentence was the part that I chose to leave for the viewer to decide upon. Whilst the 'fell like dominoes' is implied through the formation of the golf balls. To conclude I attempted to capture a moment of tension by stacking golf balls on top of each other. The wind and hurling motion is not captured but implied through the tension presented in the balancing of the golf balls.
Whether the execution of this metaphor is as successful as the others I am as yet unsure, but this is something I can work on and experiment with in arranging the golf balls in different situations as to better suggest the metaphor. For example perhaps capturing them at about to roll off a table would be a more successful way of representing such a metaphor.
Here are two other variations of the metaphor All creatures odd and small. I explored these variations to see what communicated the message with the best simplicity. I also like the fact that the coin on top of these two is representative of an odd number, fifty, and five, adding to the odd part of the metaphor.
ALL CREATURES ODD AND SMALL
I completely understand that the previous metaphor was perhaps a little hard to understand at first and as a designer it’s best to maintain that things are easily understood.
So if that didn’t work, then here’s a blue eraser made to look like a rhino.
ALL CREATURES ODD AND SMALL
The thinking behind this metaphor comes from the meaning of ‘creatures’. as well as meaning ‘an animal distinct from a human being’ I discovered ‘creatures’ can also mean 'A person or organisation considered to be under complete control of another.' With this in mind I began thinking abstractly about representing such a definition. I came to thinking that something being under control could mean to weigh down something. With this also in mind, I came to a conclusion of representing such a sentence through the use of money. The creaturesrepresented through the one pence piece and the two pence piece. These two are kept under control by the one pound coin that lies on top of them. This supports the definition of creatures. The odd comes into play because the one + two = three, which is an odd number. And the small comes into play because both one pence and two pence are smaller in value to one pound. This fact regarding value once again supports the definition of creatures and something being under the control of something else.
EAST AND WEST ARE HEADING NORTH
This is the first metaphor I have tried to create, with the article headline ‘EAST AND WEST ARE HEADING NORTH’.
By going through a quick process of analysing the parts of the headline and breaking it down I came to thinking about how a necklace could be representative of East and West, with the right hand side of the necklace being east and the left hand side of the necklace being west. The two then begin to meet by heading up that is representative of heading north.
This is to just showcase my ideas and process, and in the coming days I’ll be working on the best way to communicate this idea and others best and most appropriately.
Along with John Smiths’s Associations proving relevant to Work the Metaphor, so to does Daniel Eatock’s work, or rather the submissions on his website courtesy of other people. Again like Associations I’m really interested in the coming together of two different elements to communicate something new or just reiteratea point. Eatock has a participate section on his website called Numbers/Words. This is interesting not only for the reasons just mentioned but also due to the process of trying to find something new within something familiar. This again is something I am trying to explore by extracting new ideas from familiar words and objects.
As well as trying to explore the spaces between text, image and message with Work the Metaphor I also feel that the project works with exploring process , and this is something that I have had in mind from the very begging, with reference to the Manifesto project. This is where I first read Bruce Mau’s An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. The curators of Manifesto stress the importance of process that stemmed the project for them. I felt that this is something I should in turn acknowledge and will keep in mind whilst going through the process of Work the Metaphor.
'To say that the end result is what counts is just not true. Especially in design. Rather, a good designer is more concerned with the process; that winding, potholed road he embarks upon every time he gets a new job.'
Note the metaphor used as well!
John Smith’s Associations (1975) is a relevant pice of work for Work the Metaphor. It’s relevance comes in the fact that Smith attempts to bring together elements of spoken word and visual material that don’t logically correlate to one another. Further to this is the execution of these ideas in the format of film and a still image film that is something I can see potentially working with my project and being a suitable and applicable outcome. I’m trying to work with very similar ideas to Associations in Work the Metaphor, as the project is about trying to make written words and objects, that at first have no correlation to one another, meet communicate a unified message or theme.
This time round I’m starting with newspaper headlines and article headlines. I kind of see these in similar vein to overheard conversations. They can be enigmatic at times and I like the way that I can take a headline away from it’s context and not know too much about the article it was representing. This was something I was trying to keep in mind when finding the article headlines, just something that had flexibility and not too specific to a certain event, person or place. By doing this I think it will allow me to not get tied down with fitting a context within the metaphor when it come to working on one.
With a new direction for this project, starting with the metaphor first, rather than the object, I decided to go back to the projects roots. Part of doing this goes back to a poster I designed last year, that was based on an overheard conversation. The conversation, or sentence rather, I over heard was ‘Oh you are not my friend.’ To communicate this I represented the sentence metaphorically through a pin and a balloon, creating a tension between the two, as if the balloon was saying to the pin ‘Oh you are not my friend.’
link to the poster http://samuelwilliamjones.tumblr.com/image/41310255778
I refer to this project because this project started with the metaphor in some way. I didn’t start by looking at the two objects of the pin and the balloon. Based on this, coupled with the fact of making it more easier and logical I have began with trying to find sentences (metaphors) before the object.
Above are the objects that were donated to me from family members. With these objects I asked everyone who gave me an object to not tell me too much about the narrative of each object, i.e where it came from, what’s it’s relevance etc. By doing this my initial plan was that ideas may arise based on the personalities of the people that the object belonged to rather than the object itself.
Work the Metaphor
Two weeks ago I thought I had came up with a good and strong stance from which to start this project. With the idea of collecting a variety of objects from a variety of places. These were;
- Objects that I had found, for example in charity shops.
- Objects that were donated to me, for example from friends and family.
- Objects of my own.
The idea behind gathering a collection of objects from these various places and sources was that I thought these different places would effect the metaphor that could potentially be worked out of these objects. For example a metaphor created from an object given to me from a family member may well prove to show different qualities that a metaphor that came from an object that I had found within a charity shop. To put it simply, I initially thought that the narrative of objects could have an effect on the kind of metaphor that could be attached to it.
I quickly came to realise that I was starting in the wrong place with this project. I had said previously that found it important to start with the object and not the metaphor as I found that the quote, 'Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.' was directing me to start with the object and not the metaphor. I knew this was going to be challenging to start this way but it proved even more difficult than I first thought. As I started to collect various objects form these various places I found myself over thinking and trying to come up with metaphors by breaking down the objects, trying to find meaning within them by analysing their form, purpose and function.
Stepping away from the project for a few days really helped me to return to it with a clearer mind and re-approach it from a different perspective. With this in mind I decided to start with the metaphor first. rather than starting with the object first.
Above are all the objects that I found within charity shops. When buying the objects I tried not to think too much about what I was buying, rather I wanted it to be based on instinct and a sub-concious attraction to the object as best I could. I did this so to avoid myself from getting to weighed down with what the object could stand for too early on.
Although the direction for this project has changed slightly I still find the exercise of going a collecting objects from these different places a valuable thing to have done for this project as each object has the potential to sit within this project somewhere.
Work the metaphor
This is a self initiated project that I’m currently working on. The project is in it’s early stages, but from here on in I can see it moving along at a quicker pace. The project is based around one of the points mentioned upon in Bruce Mau’s manifesto, An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. Mau writes,
'Work the metaphor. Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.'
I read this line and the rest of his manifesto at the beginning of my second year, and since then this point has kept in my mind. I find it really interesting that the metaphor is almost a language in itself. This is well highlighted through James Geary’s talk Metaphorically speaking.
'Metaphor is a way of thought before it is a way with words.'
These references along with an interest in the communication of something without explicitly saying it has fuelled me into exploring this project.
Going back to the point that Mau makes I have tried to use this almost like a small brief. With this in mind I started to look at what the ‘brief’ really asked. I came to the idea that I needed to start with the object(s) rather than starting with the metaphor. Mau says ‘Every Object…’, I find this interesting because it’s kind of like a challenge, saying that every or any object has the capacity to stand for other than what is apparent.
From this I have broken this project into three initial pathways. The first one is dealing with found objects. These will be objects that I will find from charity shops, and objects that have no relevance to myself, I also won’t have any knowledge on their history or context in which they have lived in. The second bit of the project will be dealing with personal objects. This title of ‘personal objects’ is only initial as I find it a little deceiving, they won’t necessarily be personal objects that have sentimental value, rather they will be objects that I already have awareness of their history and context in which they have lived. Again these objects could be anything and even inanimate objects, they will just be objects that I come across now and again. The third pathway of this project will be dealing with a mixture of found and personal objects. These will be objects that I ask people I know to donate to me. I find this interesting as although I might not now anything about the object they give me, I will know them and associations between them as people and the object they hand me could be evident in the metaphor I try to work out of these objects.
This leads me on nicely to explaining as to why I have broken this project down into these three categories. I think that these three categories could prove to produce different outcomes with the metaphors that are created from each object. For instance working a metaphor out of an object that I am aware of may show differences between the metaphor that I work out of an object that is found within a charity shop. This differentiation will add another layer to the project that not oily explores the metaphorical value of objects but also the difference in how I approach and respond to certain objects.
Although this initial stage of the project has some sort of a plan I don’t have a preconceived idea of what this project could turn out to be i.e. a book, film etc. This is something that I have weaned to stay clear of from this project, as it could be easy for me to say that I’m going to explore objects and their metaphors and then just place the results within some sort of a catalogue of objects and their metaphors, rather I want my approach to be open ended and heavily process driven. I hope that by breaking down the project into three initial parts will help me to do this.
Working with Polly Chan on clearly communicating elements of Sickle Cell disease to young children we started to run through possible ideas that would fit King’s’ ideas of models. We understood this term to be interpretive, as did many other people that took on this project, with some creating animations and digitally interactive work that all could be interpreted as ‘models’.
There were a few briefs within the overall brief that we could chose to approach. The brief that myself and Polly chose to take on was the communication of sickle-shaped blood cells blocking up a blood vessel where normal disc-shaped blood cells could easily pass through this same vessel.
Polly and myself came to an idea of re-appropriating a simple ‘water pump’ game that we both remembered playing as children. The game is simple and the example we found consisted of pushing a button that then pumps pressure into a compartment filled with water in an attempt to get the basketball through the hoop.
What made us approach such a game with sickle cell disease in mind was a number of reasons.
1. We wanted to communicate elements of sickle cell disease without it seeming so scary and intimidating as it can sometimes be. We wanted to do this whilst being able communicate it as clearly and as approachable as possible to children.
2. The way in which the basket balls flow through the water when the button is pushed reminded us both of how blood cells flow through the blood when pumped around the body.
3. Learning through playing. We both believe this is an effective way for children to learn. Especially when learning about things that seem complicated and far from their knowledge.
4. Not only is a game like this approachable to children, it can also act as an incredibly simple way of visualising the flow of blood cells and non flow of sickle cells to older children and even adults that don’t speak English as their first language. (This was something made apparent during the briefing, where their are a large number of sickle cell disease patients around London who don’t speak English as their first language, and therefore the explanation of the disease becomes harder to communicate.)
5. It’s handheld. The size of this model could be used by both doctors and patients. The element of fragility that is sometimes present in hospital models/diagrams/demonstrations can be eradicated. This again emphasises the approachable aspect of the model.
As already stated we intended to re-appropriate this water pump game to accommodate the communication of normal disc-shaped blood cells flowing through a blood vessel, and sickle-shaped blood cells getting suck and not being able to flow through the same blood vessel.
The realisation of this idea was to design a water pump game that had two compartments instead of one. The first compartment would have a long relatively thin vessel shape inside and normal disc-shaped blood cells. When the water pump was pushed for this compartment then the blood cells would easily flow through the vessel, demonstrating the normal flow of blood cells. The second compartment would be completely the same as the first but instead of normal disc-shaped blood cells, it would contain sickle-shaped blood cells that would not be able to flow through the same blood vessel. Demonstrating the unsuccessful flow of sickle-shaped blood cells.
Having thought of a strong idea with potential, we both went about dismantling and analysing the water pump game we had at hand to get a full understanding of how the mechanisms of the game worked. Through doing this we found out that it was even more simple than we first thought. From doing this we got a good idea of how to design our model. As we had two of these games to our disposal and we realised that the pumps from these games could be easily and cleanly removed from the body of the game we decided to simply re-use the pumps of these games to make our prototype model. This made the process of designing our model a lot less complicated as we didn’t have to design a complex pump system to accommodate our design. Rather our design could start and evolve around this pump that we could take away from the game.