As part of our Professional Studies module, we try to understand the design process and the professional world of textiles so that when we inevitably leave university we have an understanding of the industry.
One of the tasks last week was to, in groups, design a motif/piece for a brief that only contained the title and a few images. My group was given the title ‘Rave New World’.
Within the groups we had to take one specific roles. As I am a natural leader, I was assigned to the role of the manager. My job throughout the task, therefore, was to record the happenings and manage my group. Prior to the session, everyone in the class was assigned a colour and asked to bring in an A1 swatch of their colour. These swatches were the only tools we had for this task. This meant that within the group we also needed a ‘buyer’: someone to negotiate the trading of swatches. I also had to assign designers, production assistants and a pitcher – as our task for the following session was to pitch our work to our client (our tutor). Nobody in my group felt confident enough to pitch our work, as the presentation would also be in front of the rest of the class. I volunteered myself for this role as well as I don’t feel uncomfortable talking to large groups of people. I used to, but I chose to study Drama at GCSE so that I could overcome the anxiety as I knew I would encounter situations like this at some point in my life. It helped. Any teenagers who struggle with anxiety and are on the verge of choosing their GCSE options – I recommend taking Drama. It’s fun; it does require work but not hard work; it’s so rewarding; and you’ll be a whole new person when you come out the other side.
We were only given an hour for this task. So just to clarify: design a motif/piece for a brief that only has a title, with people you’ve only known for two weeks, in one hour.
It was a tad daunting, to be honest, but once I got my teeth into it I was absolutely fine. I think as a group, we got on well with each other. As a ‘design team’ we struggled. Everybody just froze, really. I was stood poised with pen and paper, asking for ideas and it took a good few minutes before anyone spoke. Once the ideas started flowing things picked up a bit. We decided that the title ‘Rave New World’ made us think of the nineties, as this is when raving was in its prime. The word ‘rave’ made us think of bright colours, loud music and drugs. Because of this, I sent the buyer out to find us some brighter colours than the ones we started off with, and set the designers about trying to create some kind of shape or motif that could represent a rave. While discussing with them what ideas they had, I thought that maybe we should use geometric shapes as the images given to us in the brief all feature a geometric shape of some form. The designers agreed and, with the production assistants, set about cutting out shapes from the newly sourced colours.
As a group, we decided the best approach would be to make the layout of the shapes quite random; as a rave has no rhythm or rhyme to it.
This is how the final piece came out. Honestly, I think it could have been a bit more sophisticated and refined; as it looks quite naïve. But in the small time frame we had, I think the group did well to achieve what they did.
I arranged for the group to meet up between lectures prior to our presentation, so that we could rehearse and prepare a presentation. The majority of the group went straight home after the lecture, leaving just myself and 2 other members of the group. This wasn’t enough people to have a thorough or useful rehearsal and as a result I found we were quite unprepared for the presentation. As no one else had the confidence to speak up I did almost all of the talking. It was difficult to pitch something successfully when I didn’t feel like I had a team behind me, and as a result out tutor had to ask quite a few questions to receive the information she required. Had the group met up as planned, I think we would have been more prepared and delivered a more insightful pitch. However, this was not to be. Lesson learned: make sure I prepare myself better in future so that if I do find myself in a situation where I am let down by a group I can still complete the task.