Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Professor Paul Cleveland

Lecture Notes

Design Futures

> ("Wicked Problems", Richard Buchannon)

> Addressing a cultural/political or otherwise tricky and messy problem.

> ie: Sustainability

> (Tony Fry, Design Futuring/Ethics + New Practise)

> Cameron Tonkinwise (sp?) TEXT MISSING

The Project: Timor Leste

> Country close to Australia

> Substantial upheaval

>close indigenous ties to Australian aborigines.

>Under Portuguese control historically (C16th>C20th)

> 1974: Portugal abandons Timor

> Civil war between 2 parties: Fretelin and the UDT

> 1975: Independence

> Indonesia invades, fearing spread of unrest

> Gangs armed and told to loot/destroy

> Timor culture lost as a result

> UN/Australia gets involved, restores "peace"

> Main income of Timor shifts to oil (unfair mining rights deal brokered with Australian gov.t, Timor on losing end)

> Oil, by nature, unsustainable

> Secondary economics based on: UN rubbish tip salvage, Gravel from river beds, coffee plantations.

How to turn it around?

> Starting point: old art gallery (Arte Moris, Dili)

> Had sustained too much damamge to be used, something more needed.

> Design Futures established a model: institution would need to be built from ground up.

> would need Timor government on side to get this going (tricky design problem: meta design)


>Audit made of developable resources (cultural etc.)

> Cultural mapping (funded by AusAid) was needed for context and clarity

> Both required nationwide fieldwork in dangerous, challenging environments.

> massive database collected (songs, artwork, architecture)

> architectural research revealed the resource of sustainable bamboo based crafts (but the cultural knowledge of how to apply skills was lost)

> This would become to basis of a curriculum

> combat the 80% unemployment rate

> Global search of museums for Timorese historical artifacts.

> festival organised to showcase the benefits and results of this research to the Secretary of State

> formation of an academy discussed from this

> had to educate the Prime Minister on the importance of a CULTURAL INDUSTRY (no precedent in Timorese history)

> The plan is that this sustainable industry will mature before oil reserves run out.

> Symposium of Timorese artists organised, artists educated about industrialising their craft.

> Utilised private sector (independent of political party) steering of program.

> established 5 key objectives (INFORMATION MISSING)

> There is now a base for this culutre to grow again from.

> IDEAS are there, but design fundamentals and industry refinement is needed (strategic use of materials ie: the bamboo)

>Remaining problem: language barrier: Portuguese is the "official" language, English skills needed for international expansion in business.

Where from here?

> Academy planned/set up by 2014/15

> Exchange scheme with QCA

Final thought

> research in design: More important as a method of design problem solving.

> as such this model/methodology could be transposed to helping solve similar problems in other countries.


YARN (Your Australian Research Network) international, virtual laboratory (in development)




> UNDERSTAND your problem, RESEARCH your problem

> NO point in pure gut reaction and jumping to comcusions: there must be basis in FACT

> The idea that often works best is the SIMPLEST.

> Did not realise the extent to which "design could impact, how ethics, philosophy and culture of design problem solving could be applied to such a scale.

> how to apply this to own work? Very deep and academic, far from comfort zone.

> Meta design.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Gyles Lingwood (PM)

Essentials for Effective Idea Generation

Ideas (What? Where?)

 Possible Answers

 Combinations, one thing working with another to make something greater.
 …often the more unexpected the meeting, the more interesting the idea.

No stimulation
No combinations
No ideas


New stimulation
New combinations
New ideas

When you widen your perspective, and see more, you reap more benefits.

Tony Hatter:

“Anything you do in life informs your ideas generation”

Actively Searching for New Ideas

 Ideas do not happen at your desk, sitting still
 Ideas happen during activity
 Look out for the fear of the blank page


Walk around, gesture, talk, get involved in/out of the studio

Is it a “Good” Idea?

 The only way to find out is to have more, more, more.
 Get energised, generate as much as possible
 For a good final idea you have to generate an awful lot.

Thomas J Watson:

“If you want to succeed, double your failure rate”

Think in Stages

 1) Get “food” (research and experience)
 2) Chew it over (think, talk it over, look deeper)
 3) Let it digest.

Utilise (and Trust) Your Subconscious

 Don’t overthink, distract the brain with something engrossing



The open-plan office/library is not always the best idea. Studies have shown they can stunt productivity.


 Collaboration: it’s like idea/concept tennis.

 BUT: be aware that some people are “energisers”, others are “drainers”.

Think of “yes, and…” more than “no, but…”

 More to be gained by sharing ideas than protecting or hiding them.
 The more you give, the more you receive.

Further Sources:

(AM) Initial chat with John and Neil

> MA room is the hub

> Will be roving between areas

>Will have contact with other MA courses (fine art*)

> Mentors will only have a certain number of hours to spare, utilise them well.

> be entrepreneurial with contacts

> Neil And John will be constant support

> Visit all of the galleries/shows

> Notebook/Camera/Dictaphone

> Childlike attitude to investigation, TAKE NOTHING AT FACE VALUE

> record all thoughts

> narrow down, be open to suggestion

> attention to detail: coherence is key.


> Be organised

> it will be about the practical work produced

> maybe a technical manual?

> Understanding, but also a QUESTION

To Consider

> Design is affordance vs constraints? (look into psychological basis)

> Designer is not a consumer, where do I sit as to how much this apply to me?

> How much do i make my practice about me?

> We are designing for a saturated, satiated, consumer society

*Catherine Birch head of course.

Friday, 23 September 2011

>Start development of a system of symbols? (silent comic)

>Look into structure of comics layout

> look into attitudes towards comics: what could be done to change it's structure to make it more accessible?

> Should it be more "accessible?" is this really my aim?

> Focus on strength of character design

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Just found a fantastic piece of interective film via comics saviour Scott McCloud's journal.

Excellent example of web based narrative.


I've started this blog mainly as a means of documenting my thought process, research and general development during my postgraduate study of the comics medium.