In term two we have begun our first field project which focused on ‘The City’. I began carrying out research into various areas of the city such as the hidden city, power and technology and migration. During my research I have carried out primary and secondary research. I have looked at the ways in which urban foxes migrate around build up area dominated by human presence. I have also looked at the ways in which big cities are monitored by the use of CCTV cameras. I have visited the CCTV control room in Cardiff from which the whole of Cardiff is monitored via an incredible monitoring system and help of the Police. This research experience helped me develop more of an understanding of this project as well as it helped me to understand that in order to get the best information which you need, you have to explore the subject fully and experience it yourself in order to interview people who are involved in the area and know all the weaknesses and have ideas of improving the system.
Once everyone has completed their research, the whole class presented back their findings and area of interest to each other and following on from that we have arranged ourselves into groups with people in our class who have carried out similar research or we have simply been curious about each other’s research. In our group of five we began to combine our research into the migration of wild life and Chernobyl. From this point on we began to research deeper into the radiation in Chernobyl and the wildlife there. The fact that all of our research has been slightly different we managed to combine it well as a team and come up with many different ideas which we have explored and eliminated the ones which we thought to be weak after conversations with lecturers.
After previous group projects we knew that everyone has to turn up on time and we need to stay in contact at all times in case anyone doesn’t know what they are supposed to be doing or in case there are questions or new ideas to be discussed when we are not together. We have therefore started a group chat which helped us manage our communication and everyone participated in it, in order for the good communication to happen. The fact that all of the group members have studied product design made this project easier because we have all had the idea of locating a problem in the area of our combined research and then designing a product in order to resolve the issue.
During the development process of our design we have all looked at each other’s strengths and skills and assigned each other tasks such as building specific parts of the model. Some group members have been better working with certain materials, some of us have been better at animation and some at using the CAD software. However, we have all helped each other and gained new skills. I have definitely enjoyed working with people who I don’t know well or I have not worked with before but share common interests with because the project had a nice flow, the design process was clear and everyone understood what they were doing. I believe that this helped us achieve a very nice model and a strong presentation.
I really liked presenting this project with my group members because everyone has given their opinion and spoke about the parts which they have contributed to. This made the presentation easy and professional in my opinion because each member spoke at the right time when it was necessary for them to explain their part. I have also enjoyed that the audience knew who to address with which questions in order to achieve the best answer because it was clear who did what and which part of the project they are an expert at.
The second field project of term two has been less enjoyable even though similar approach has been taken into account by all the team members as in the first project, everyone knew that one person can bring the whole team down, the only difference between this project to the first one was the fact that my group was combined not only of product designers but also a textile student and fine artists. We have soon found out that all these subjects are similar in a way but they have very different priorities and aims.
I have found it particularly hard to create a brief with my group members because their aim have been different to mine they were not looking to identify a problem and resolve it. The idea was to create a persona, a character from a fictional past, purely based on the objects which they have owned.
We have assigned each other tasks but not everyone understood what they were doing, lack of attendance from some group members meant that people in the group were getting confused or have not been there when significant decisions have been made which then has set everyone behind when for example someone didn’t agree with something which has been agreed during a meeting which they have not attended.
Although the work process was less enjoyable in comparison to the first project I have opened my mind up a bit more because the fine art students have showed some creativity and unusual thinking which intrigued me. Now I like to look at briefs and problems from a different perspective. The final solution does not have to be the easiest way to resolve the problem, the solutions can be creative and complicated.
In term two field projects I have learnt that communication and similar mind sets are a key to a successful group project in my opinion, everyone has to be motivated and aim for the highest which can be achieved. I am glad to have developed my presentation skills more during this experience, I feel more confident when presenting in front of a large group of people, I’m not scared to put my point across and explain my ideas, I have also started to understand CAD more which helped me this year, I was also inspired to explore working with rendering software’s in order to help with my product development and presenting my models.
I would like to try a similar project with people from other disciplines in my second year to now improve up on the last experience and make it better by learning on my previous mistakes from the group work in the second and first field projects.