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I hope to update this blog as regularly as possible and try make it a daily venture, even if all I did that day was stare at a computer screen. Here I will post about the ups and downs of my 4th year of University and catalogue my final year project.

Day 37.

Went to the Atlantis Waterpark on the Palm Island today. Incredible! One body slide consisted of me climbing into a coffin like capsule, and the floor sliding away from under my feet, dropping me straight down. Sat on the lazy river for a good hour. It has a zip line going over the park. One slide goes through a shark tank – casual. And it has the biggest waterslide in the world too. Brilliant day. No pics soz didn’t want a broken phone xo

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDR6ObwuUFM

Day 36.

Went to the Old Dubai Souk and took a ferry around outer Dubai. We saw the Burj Al Arab hotel – the worlds only 7 stat hotel allegedly – and the Palm Island. Then docked at the Dubai Marine – which is even more of a utopia the downtown Dubai. Amazzinggggg.

Day 35.

Best. Day. Ever.
I went dune bashing (4×4 driving over sand dunes).
I rode quad bikes in the desert.
I rode a fricken camel.
I smoked a hookah.
I got a henna tattoo.
I tried traditional Arabic dress (Full length burkah)
Watched a belly dancing show under the desert stars.
Amazing, everyone should do this, people are just so nice and friendly here.

Day 34.

Had a morning by the pool, the visited the Gold Souk, and Spice Souk. Apparently there is 10 tons of gold in this traditional market at any time, and 300 different retailers selling this. Each one was trying their damnedest to get our attention. It was so full of colours and spice smells, but I didn’t want to buy anything because of the badgering! Still a good experience.

Day 33.

Today I climbed the tallest building in the world. Standing at 828m, we were allowed to the 125th floor of the Burj Khalifa and the view was unlike anything Ive ever seen before. For such a new city (less than a century old), Dubai is like a futuristic utopia. Everything is clean and luxurious and amazing! People have wildcats as pets, supercars for police cars and vending machines for pure gold (rumours still TBC).
We ventured the Dubai Mall before the Burj and it contains every store you could possible imagine. Think of a store right now, I promise you they have it.
We had coffee in a Breaking Bad themed coffee store. It had its own ‘brew lab’ with beakers and dry ice as our mugs – pretty cool.

Day 32.

A day of travelling. Had a 2 1/2 + 6 1/2 hour flight in which I really tried to get some offline work done. But the selfish cow infant of me kept reclining her seat all the way back the entire way so I couldn’t fit my laptop out on my table. I was pissed. She got some serious knee digging since she waited until I went to the bathroom to do it…
I obviously hope to take thousands of pics this week so this thing should hopefully be INUNDATED by next week. I should have some spare time for some work this week but who knows, don’t want to fall behind…
Stupidly I watched nothing but sad films on the plane, who voluntarily watches The Fault in Our Stars on their holiday – dumbass.
(13/10)

Day 31.

I really couldn’t concentrate today. I went to the lecture – and it sucked, but I have the slides for future. I went back to the studio but again couldn’t get anything started. I’m going to Dubai tomorrow with the family so that will be it!
I cut Cosmins hair this morning, and it was as scary as when I did it the first time a few weeks ago, but I guess I’m getting better at it – but who really know because Cosmin wouldn’t admit if he hated it!
Going home tonight to get an early night before tomorrow.
(12/10)

Day 30.

Wednesday seems to be my designated dissertation day. This is me planning ahead to when I’ll always need the workshop – and workshop isn’t open on Wednesdays anymore.
So this morning I stayed home and finished note taking on my friends old dissertation. I got so much out of it and this was surprisingly much more helpful than I was expecting. I’ve had no confidence with academic writing before, and only just scraped passing previously. So seeing how a dissertations could be written and achieving a good grade gave me a lot of insight.
If anything I think next I’ll try another dissertation that explores some primary research techniques and see how this should be properly analysed and written out.
This afternoon was different however. I attended a whisky tasting! Im SO gutted I didn’t take a picture, but I felt like it would be a bit inappropriate at the time…
It was really insightful and interesting, and it taught me how to appreciate whisky, not just sell it at work. But it reiterated a lot of information I gathered during my glass vessel project when I visited the Glenkinchie distillery.
All in all, a good day.
(11/10)

Day 29.

Nothing interesting or new happened on Monday so I haven’t posted about it.
I hit a road block tbh and wasn’t sure where to go with anything. I had a vague to do list but everything seemed disjointed and unfocused.
But TODAY I had the best Tutor meeting with Jon. He helped me refine my direction. He let me talk about all my paths so I could figure out the pros and cons of everything for myself, and in general just made me feel confident going forward.
I feel like this is how all my tutor meetings should be going. Leaving the meeting knowing where I’ve gone wrong but not feeling totally disheartened or that I shouldn’t be doing this course. Encouragement I think is whats been lacking till now. So I hope I can continue to stay encouraged, and know what to say when overly critical comments come my way.
I also went to get a GoPro from the uni. After chatting to Sam about getting some primary research and how to document, he suggested I record myself and other cooking to see what is most commonly used, what people find essential, and what is actually desirable, and just makes life easier.
I cooked myself making pasta bake, which was weird and fun. But it’ll be interesting to see what others do too!
Pics of this soon xx
(10/10)

Day 27.

Saw the family for some Sunday dinner.
Got some last minute ideation done before Monday!
Had a cup of tea with Joanna and she made apple cake the cutie which was delish.
It’s a quite part of the year with not much physical progress, but will endeavour to share each step! At least you know I’m not a hermit?!
(8/10)

Day 25.

Today had lunch with my gran and it was so nice I’ve missed her so much <3
I got some drawings started, just from looking at online videos of conversions. It’s really started inspiring me so get to begin the best part of the design process! Think I’ll spend a while just expanding my options and potential paths, construct loads of ideas!
Tonight, I had a really chilled time watching Roman Holiday as well as sketching ideas.
And I’ll admit – this was my first black and white film that I’ve watched from start to finish. And I really liked it! But then who doesn’t like a little bit of Audrey Hepburn?
(6/10)

Day 24.

Tonight I attended a Drag Cabaret (not cabernet – thats a wine. Wine on he brain) and it was… interesting. An assault on the senses but can’t tell if it was in a good or bad way… One Queen lip synced Shrek dialog which was hilarious. Joe did a presentation of the history of the dab, then there were nipple tassels suddenly. It was like concentrated ECA goers all in one room it was both fantastic and scary!
I got started on dissertation work. Mainly comparing techniques of old dissertations. Probably done more work on this one already than any essay in the past!
(5/10)

Day 23.

Wish I was in my Pj’s still.
Got to uni about midday, slowly got some work done but not nearly enough to feel like I accomplished anything. I made a to do list which is always helpful I suppose. But tomorrow will be about starting the dissertation so can’t really use it yet. At least I know roughly what to do next.
I looked today at some book from the library about small space design. Got some more cool examples of space optimising design. But now I know I need to look in depth at the small spaces themselves and define my initial problem. Basically if someone asks, ‘Why are you doing this?’ my only answer isn’t going to be ‘It looked fun’.
I also tried to narrow down all the aspects of a kitchen into a mind map… If I missed something out let me know!
(4/10)

Day 22.

I worked from home today. Probably didn’t get as much done as I should of. But you know when you just want to sit in your jammies and be cosy drinking tea while you work?? It was one of those days.
I did pop in in the morning to attend the RSA student design awards meeting. It ended up being a bit of a waste of time – purely because the brief I was considering was more focused on disable users in the kitchen, and it down quite tie in with flat pack self assembly too easily…
So that when I went home and did some research based on my feedback from yesterday. It was mostly videos on caravan/loft/small space conversions. And folks weren’t kidding when they said there’s lots of examples out there for me to look at. Was looking particularly at a Canadian gal called Ana white who is a super talented carpenter who has so many great space saving ideas for small spaces.
So conclusion of the day is that my idea is definitely going to develop. I think I can do more with this and I’m going to strive to make it just as cool as all the things I’m seeing in these videos.
(3/10)

Day 21.

Had the presentations todaaaay!
Maybe got about 4 hours sleep?
As nights before presentations go that’s actually not bad.
But the least I’ve slept in monthsss.
I tried to take my travel mug on my bike and spilled coffee on the street (you’re welcome birdies). So I went in with no coffee.
Also still can’t quite make it up that hill to uni on my bike?? unfit AF.
Anyway the pressies went better than I thought. I spoke like a bit of a zombie, with approx 2% enthusiasm. I was fully expecting to get ripped apart by Isla with the old tough love but she and Jon gave some really great feedback. By great I mean lots of stuff I can work on and move forward with, not feedback that makes me want to curl in a ball and quit uni. So YEY.
After that I went home and napped because I’m a student and I still can.
(2/10)

Day 20.

Got into uni about 2pm and did the time lapse of myself assembling the wooden drawer set of 2. It was strange. I do hate looking at myself on camera, but it was different from assembling the metal ones, cause I could feel the camera watching me. Again this wasn’t perfect, thanks to some people walking and sitting within shot… (thanks oscar). But again it was worth a try. I’ll be able to dismantle those drawers again though to thoroughly examine the various joints involved., but they were very different from the metal ones which was ideal. Got it made in under an hour with only a couple tantrums this time… achievement??
Currently sitting with a glass of wine waiting on Joanna so we can have dinner together. It’ll be a long as shit night doing the presentation though… really want to make it good – and by that I mean just better than the last one. But it has to be I suppose because now I actually have content?? Wish me luck – I’ll need it.
(1/10)

Day 19.

Decided to take the morning off to recuperate, plus finishing work at two in the morning doesn’t exactly lend itself to an 8am start.
I looked in the fridge this morning and Leon had claimed his carton of milk with a sharpie… guess its just me and Billy doing communal things :’) (thats a joke Leon)
Managed to cycle into uni about 4pm, and stayed until 11, (so included in todays photos is the first of many studio sunset pics!) This entire time was spent finishing that cardboard model. Who knew that crafting merely 11 cardboard boxes would take up so much goddamn time?? Well it’s done now. It’s not perfect at all, I wish it was after so much effort, but as Jon said it is still something to show. And every time I do it I get better… theoretically.
Made about 20-30 delicious blackcurrent and apple cocktails last night. Making them all at the same time wasn’t fun, but oh man were they good.
(30/9)

Day 18.

Got down into the workshop today and made the couple of sliding joint examples. They probably won’t work in terms of this unit – I don’t think there is enough support from module to module? Gravity will help this I presume… but my accuracy in woodwork is still quite below par…
Either way, a productive day!
Last nights “hot date” was really lovely. I’ve included some pics of some the the restaurants interior design choices that I thought were spot on. But that combined with todays early morning rise will not help me at work tonight – dreading is an UNDERSTATEMENT.
I’m going to need to work through the weekend to prepare for Monday… so tune in!
(29/9)

Day 17.

Had a couple days of family issues so I’ve not had much time for work. It also meant I just missed out on talking with Jon on Tuesday which was a bit disappointing. But from what I could hear he seems to be really encouraging and willing to help. So there might be some good cop, bad cop situs with the tutors?? Who knows, too early to tell. He seemed very laid back about next Mondays presentation.
Today, I got down to the wood workshop to chat to the technician about hand routing. He thought that with the length and amount of varying heights in the quick design I drew up, would be massive amounts of work for the first prototype, and I should just band saw for a rough model. I’m open to the advice and just went and bought a bunch of wood to make a start. I’m maybe taking a risk doing a project I don’t really know too much about…
He was proposing flat pack joints that I’ve read online aren’t too great… so i might have to research heavily into more options? or just perfect the ones he is proposing. He generally knows what he’s talking about so…
MY BOOKS CAME IN AND I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THEM. Not like I have the time to read through them just now…
I changed my dissertation proposal, so will get started on research on that next week for sure. The lecture was useful, and will definitely be using some of the advice on the slides next week when I start off. Perhaps I’ll start by looking back at old essay feedback too?…
I assembled one of my cabinets this afternoon, which was more interesting than expected? It was the metal one I want to actually use under my desk. It had about two screw fixing, and the rest was folding sheet metal in on itself, to keep it in place?… strange but quite cool considering its a piece of furniture and not just a small appliance where you would more likely expect that. I timed myself and it only took 45 minutes with just a couple set backs… not bad.
I still need to finish my cardboard models… sHiT

Tonight is mine and the man’s anniversary though, so having a wee celebration tonight and will be back in as early as possible on a hangover…
(28/9)

Day 14.

Tried cardboard modelling again today and it wasn’t going well. But I realised I was trying to over complicate things. Why do something in cardboard just because its easy to get a hold of, if its easier to make in wood? I think my lack of experience in wood means I’m still not quite confident just jumping in with it. But thats what this two week project is about, screwing up with experimenting… So Sam – the artist in residence – told me about routing into wood, and I think when I get the chance I’m just going to go to the workshop and give it a shot, because why not?
I got to speak to a tutor (Dave) for the first time today for some group feedback. I summed my project down into three points:

  • A modular kitchen unit that fits in a 1x2m space
  • Flat pack and potentially knock down
  • Totally customisable by the user when it’s bought, and potentially interchangeable.

Dave didn’t seem very overwhelmed. That could be either because it’s not quite his type of design field, or because the project I did for him last year turned out shit – who knows? But I got some good critical feedback, and stuff to try answer for Monday’s presentation.
In other news, the studio radiators were on, plus the sun beaming through the windows, meant I almost completely melted.
(25/9)

Day 12.

My watch said I’d been standing for 17 hours solidly today, which sounds quite accurate. I haven’t had such pain after work since my old job. Also I left my work shoes in Dundee – good one.
Highlight of today however was getting to taste £1400 wine… not worth that much but still pretty amazing. Will probably just stick to my <£5 wine though??
(23/09)

Day 11.

First of many set back to come today. Realised after a couple hours of cardboard modelling that my joints won’t work for this modular interlinking structure. So time was wasted but I think theres maybe a way to recover?? We’ll have to see.
This afternoon was… interesting. We had the first to third years present their week projects… and I felt a bit like I’d stepped into the intermedia studios for an hour. For instance hanging over our desk all day was a paper-mache fox, with red painted “kill or be killed” (??!!) It was all very conceptual and quite interesting. I’ve had a lot of fun during previous week projects.
Tonight I’m going through to Dundee to see some old friends, drink a lot, and hopefully will have a solution to my cardboard issue or a new direction for the two week project by Monday!
(22/09)


Day 10.

This week has been filled to the brim with catching up after summer. It’s been non stop welcome meetings, seeing different groups of friends, getting used to the new flat, cycling instead of walking/bussing. It’s been hectic, and it looks like I’ve not done any work… and I haven’t really – definitely not an “accelerated project” amount of work…
But thats to be expected of the first week. And I’m not panicking, the tutors seem quite laid back about this two week result, so doing what I can will turn out fine. The purpose is to determine whether we’re doing the right projects, instead of getting to December and having to start again, and (so far??) I’m fairly enthusiastic about my project themes.
This morning we had a welcome “party” with the ECA Principal (who I’d never actually seen before??) and he very kindly provided us with free cake and coffee. My inner student was screaming out to accept the free food while I could, but my bursting jeans button refrained me from the cakes table… He just wanted to wish us good luck which was really nice.
Almost immediately after we had to march on over to Adam House about 15 mins away, to attend our first Context lecture to hear about our dissertations. I got some really key dates, and I’m feeling motivated to do this course sensibly and NOT leaving it till the LAST night like I have done EVER OTHER time… (but also what student hasn’t done this before??) It didn’t ever mean I wasn’t committed, I just put my studio work first over the ‘history of fashion’ essays or similar past topics. But this year I can choose my own topic completely (don’t know what that is yet though – hopefully something to do with my studio project) and already I can feel I’ve got a different attitude towards it.
I used the rest of that afternoon to update my calendar so I don’t miss any events this time around, with little alerts here and there.
Finally, we had a cute little Product gathering tonight at out flat. Leon attempted to make macaroni and cheese – it came out sweet somehow? was still good – and nachos. Billy made sweet potato fries AND THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER. I supplied wine – as you’d expect. It was a really fun night and I hope we do it often.
(21/9)


Day 9.

I planned today to jump straight into cardboard modelling… however working out all the dimensions and parts took 4 times longer than expected… So no actual cardboard was involved. However it is planned to a T! So I still left feeling like I had a productive day. (:
I fInALlY got round to decorating my desk and I’m way to excited about it. It’s not pretty but its so hAnDY now.
In other news Joe and Billy starting decorating the studio walls with the pin boards from last year’s exhibition. It looks amazing! I feel like we’re the first fourth year I’ve seen to try take full advantage of our space, which is how it should be.
Billy also made a makeshift blind on the huge studio windows with a roll of paper and clips… Rough but inventive. It describes our course quite accurately…
Hopefully soon I’ll have some models to post here!
(20/09)

Day 8.

Got some drawings done today, and I’m really loving my idea so far. But is it not too soon to have such a solid idea?
I’ll upload a photo when its not so rough and sketchy. For now enjoy a dramatic new studio pic.
Got to speak to Sam – our artist in residence – and he had some really great suggestions for starting points in this accelerated project: looking into all types of joining for flat pack furniture that IKEA and similar places explore, to see what’s out there and what I can take advantage of in my design.
The studio has huge windows which meant today was like an oven, cri.
(19/09)

Day 7.

It was so good to be back!
The presentation went better than expected, and I got some really great feedback.
We got our extra huge desks in the studio all claimed and ready to decorate with plants and coffee cups etc. And I finally got to see what everyone else will be facing this year. For the first time I’m so excited to see each and everyones project development. I think this is because of the huge variety of design areas people have decided to take. There are no two projects the same and some of the ideas that were flowing today were incredible and awe-inspiring. Previously, we have all had the same briefs, but now fourth year is going to be a huge mash up spanning all areas of product design.
We were also told about a mid year exhibition to take place in the new ECA building which is exciting but somewhat daunting, because thats going to come around REAL fast.
But today marked the start of a two week accelerated project, where we attempt to cram a years worth of our projects into a fortnight (somehow?) to see if we really want to continue that subject and force us to hit the ground running. So, hopefully exciting this to come really soon!
(18/09)

Day 4.

I set today aside to do Mondays presentation.
It’s about…half done?
Could have done better.
There was a lot of RuPaul (drag race Netflix show) going on in between slides.
I can do better. Perhaps avoiding doing work at home should be a rule this year.
(15/09)

Day 3.

Not so productive a day. I had my introductory meeting nice and early this morning at 11am…
The best thing to come out of it was the important dates for next year ie. degree show hand in, dissertation hand in etc.
The rest of my afternoon was filled with setting up the internet (after a week in the new flat). So tomorrow I can do the entire presentation from my new desk at home…
However, now to go to work tonight and hopefully make some cocktails!
(14/09)

Day 2.

Today I tried to deliberate what my target audience should be for a space saving/flatpack/modular project. At first I considered using my savings to buy an empty caravan and spend the year re-kitting it out (what?!). But then considering the obvious expense that would sum to over and above buying a useless caravan (what would I do with it?!). Caravans are outdated now, it would be limiting my audience tenfold.So what is trendy?… Micro apartments. With the total rise in population in big cities like London and New York, young workers are choosing places close to work rather than space. Which means the market for space saving furniture is higher.Perhaps this may be the way to go! I started my presentation, but didn’t get very far. I have 23 tabs open about micro apartments though! Tomorrow I have our welcome meeting, maybe after I can finish this thing.
(13/09)

Day 1.

The first day of my fourth year in Product Design.
The first day of my final year project.
The first hour consisted of nothing, as I had NO IDEA where to even BEGIN. However. I have begun some research into my proposal presentation for next week. I thought I would start with my most favourite areas in design.
Although its a common subject to tackle, the thing I really get most excited about is flat pack furniture, and you guessed it – IKEA.
Perhaps I’m biased being a designer, but I love the assembling ritual of IKEA furniture. I do know that a lot of people hate it, but I find that really interesting to hear about even more so.
Some other areas of design that I am really inspired by is modular design and space saving/oragnisation led design.
If you would like an example of what I mean. Basically anything designed by Joseph Joseph blows my mind.

So that is my starting point: perhaps building a project combining these three areas – taking three commonly tackled things to create something unique.
Plan for tomorrow: Start the presentation!
(12/09)