In the first week of semester, I had three ideas for a project.
- A photoshoot
- An abstract painting
- Something for the Garden.
I went with the third idea because it was something I haven’t done before, and figured it could be something that I build to have an actual purpose other than appearance. In the summary section of my project proposal I stated that I would build a hanging herb garden with a mural as a gift to my parents, to have a feature in the garden where there is nothing. While one of the purposes this project is for aesthetics, the main purpose was to fill a space and meet someone else’s need. The motivation behind that was giving a gift. This project gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore a little bit about landscaping, gardening and exterior design. I had a structure for how I developed the project. I was purposeful behind everything that I did, however it felt as if the structure (stages of the design process) fell into place. My method below:
- Concept sketches
- Concept Development
- Shopping for materials and tools
(sometimes this became more research)
Between every task that related to my project I documented it by taking photos using my DSLR, and writing blog posts. Taking photos required a mini side projects: editing photos and making a portable light box for macro photos. Making the project didn’t take much time at all. Most of my time was spent researching, documenting and shopping. Some of my concept sketches I would consider research for my project because I was learning patterns, different brush stroke techniques and about different types of plants.
During the research phase, I focused on why I was designing what I was, the purpose behind it, target audience/client and current fashions and trends for interiors/exteriors (Pantone colours, trendy plants and modern canvas art patterns). Even when I started making the project I referred to my research and concept development.
Fig 1: Monstera Araceae Poster Canvas.
For instance: when I started painting the pegboard I changed my design from my concept sketches because I felt it needed more attention to detail. I did further research into plants, looking specifically for indoor plants to find an image that looked like what I was trying to interpret in my mural. What I found in my search was a plant called Monstera deliciosa which has exactly the shape and form that I was looking for to paint.
Research was the largest part of my project as I referred to my original sources and found new ones when I came across a challenge or problem with my design. I would say I spent the most time on research because it was something I did constantly throughout the design process.
I did concept sketches for the overall project and for the mural design. Concept sketches helped me to think about the materials I would need, product style, structural build as well as have an estimation of potentially, what my project could look like. The concept sketches only took me one and a half hours to complete, and another hour to document in my blog.
Like my concept sketches I used this stage for both the structural and the mural design of the project. When doing the concept development, I made annotations on my previous concept sketches and chose my favourite design to work on further. I made notes about the positive and negative characteristics to help me narrow down the best factors in each design, to possibly implement in my final design. I also painted on separate canvases two different idea prints. Concept development helps shape your product and starts to bring it to life. During my concept development, I also used a blank sheet of canvas paper to experiment with hues and tones using paint so I would know exactly what shades and colour pallets I was going to use. In my early research, I mentioned I was going to use pantone colours and I recorded the names (codes) of the paint, but I needed to test the paint on canvas to bring more life and depth to my mural. I did my concept development immediately after I finished my concept sketches which took between 1-2 hours for annotated sketches, in the future I would spend more time on my concept development drawings further to avoid changes in the final stage of production. I estimate that I spent about 4-6 hours on concept development, including draft paintings and the time spent documenting it with photos and blog updates.
Shopping for Materials.
This phase was both fun and a learning curve. I first went to Bunnings to investigate potential materials I could use before I did my final concepts as research. I went again to Bunnings a second time to purchase materials after finishing my concept sketches. It was very easy to get distracted and find almost too much inspiration that I almost changed my project the second shopping trip, in the end I stuck to my planning. I did however make minor adjustments like the screws I would use to fix the timber onto the pegboard. The last shopping trip I made was to Ikea and that was for the plants and pot plants. I went to Ikea with my client and we both agreed to getting succulents instead of herbs for the project (which differs from the original project proposal). In my final blog update, I explained the reason for changing plants was due having more balance of design, cost effective and less maintenance. Each shopping trip took roughly between 1-2 hours. I would estimate that I spent 4 hours of my time in total.
The final stage of my project was the construction. I spent eight hours in one day painting the mural. The painting took longer than I anticipated because I used many layers of paint to bring out highlights and shading on my pattern. I went over and over with diverse types of paint strokes using different shades and assorted colours. Once I the paint was totally dry I gave it 2 coats of adhesive spray which took 2 days to let it set properly, to protect the wood from decaying. The only real challenges I faced during building my piece was getting the texture and thickness of the paint right and maintaining the shape of my leaves when painting while I only used one paint brush. In the future, I will invest in brand new paint brushes for specific projects.
Summary of Evaluation.
Overall, I am well pleased with the result of my project. I learnt a lot about my own design methods, skills and area’s I can work on. One of my main personal goals from this project was to challenge myself to try something new and I did. I learnt some handy gardening skills and learnt about the importance of fashion colours in design industries. My Clients are also enjoying their new feature in their garden. All evidence and photos of my project can be found in my blog posts in the following reference list page.
Pantone Research Blog Post https://vnessblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/blog-post-title/
Project Proposal Blog Post https://vnessblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/project-proposal-design-ideas/
Project Development Blog Post https://vnessblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/project-development-update/
Monstera Araceae Poster Canvas retrieved from: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/279575089346841982/
Mural Update Blog Post https://vnessblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/project-update-mural-time/
About Me Professional Study Blog Post https://vnessblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/about-me-professional-study/