UK: SummerMAKE: Week 1 Design

I was interested in SummerMAKE  for the location and also the chance to be involved in collaborative design tools and processes.  At one stage, there was a view to use such experiences to then help facilitate my own design-builds and summer camps.

The brief is “Symphony” with an exploration into sound-making, and the final build is on a sloping natural “amphitheater”.  Each day starts with a brief, a chat and some inspirations and related images

This has been Week 1.

DAY 1:  Instrument Model Making.  Individual work to create sounds and instruments.  “Design without drawing” was helpful and probably only works with a workshop full of stuff, random bits, tools and and off-cuts to explore.    OBJECTS:  woven drum, string, swing, fan clapper

DAY 2: Site Registration.  Individual work to map a site.  “Site analysis without a map” was also a different experience to force creative description and find place qualities.

DAY 3: Design Prototype.  Groups of 5 people were formed by site choices. It was difficult to start but the group worked well when we found an idea.  GROUP OBJECT: rolling ball instrument

DAY 4: Design with Materials.  Groups started 1:1 testing.  OBJECT: See-saw rocking instrument.  I helped on a seat/spring model

DAY 5: Detail Design Development.  Groups continue 1:1 models.  Indecision within the group meant we built 2 ideas to test on site.  OBJECT:  See-saw rocking instrument, and new idea of a tumbling ball.    Testing on site gives new ideas

DAY 6: Further Design.  Groups continue 1:1 models.  OBJECT: rocking mechanism for see-saw and new double sided drum.

Design collaboration is always a dynamic process, and this is a purposefully intense program.  It’s been generally OK but i think everyone has frustrated, challenging and tired moments in it.  There have been some challenges in language and communication at times but it has been powerful to see the universal language of models and drawings help.  To the outside world it probably looks like random objects and junk, but in review, I guess it has been a fast progression of ideas and wide exploration in just a week.



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