The session started with a discussion about different authors and each authors unique writing style. We were briefed that in the next couple of weeks, we were going to experiment on creative writing.
The topic jumped to ‘Invisible Cities’, a novel by Italo Calvino published in Italy in 1972. The book describes 55 fictitious cities, all of these cities have female names. After reading a few paragraphs of the book, we started talking about his way of writing. Later, each of us were given one city to read and study. I had to read the city ‘Octavia’.
Octavia- the spider web city or the way I see it- the upside down city. A delicately woven city that is gently hanging between two steep mountains and death, it can break apart any minute. Chains, ropes and catwalks connect the two mountains onto which the whole city is hung, like wet cloth laid out to dry under the sun. The ropes act as a passage and as a support, the city’s life depends on them. Walking on the wooden ties is like walking towards death, one wrong step and you fall into a void of hundreds and hundreds of feet.
The inhabitants life is uncertain but when clouds pass through the city and with a view so spectacular that notion escapes your mind. As the houses, hammocks and trapezes are hung upside down, you learn to defy gravity, as though the concept of gravity never existed. Octavia is an intricate city hung in the sky for the rest of the world to look up to.
For review week, each group had to club their seminar and studio work into a single presentation. We had two minutes each to present and explain our work. The presentation included our research, photographs and perspectives for studio and a project brief for seminar. We made a short video to capture a day in the rails.
After presenting our work to the class, we got inputs from the faculty as well as our peers. The plus points of our presentation was the amount of information, the video and our mind map. We were asked to improve on categorising our research and our project brief.
The review helped us realise where we were going wrong and we had the next couple of weeks to correct our presentation and work on the project.
‘Journey on the rails’- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgBZJZG4W4s
For this session, each group had to write a project brief. A project brief consists of aim, objectives, action plan, methodologies and observations. We sat down as a group and broke down our research and started making our project brief.
To solve the problem of lack of recreational space in the ISDI campus.
- To study importance of recreational spaces in schools
- To understand how recreation helps students of design school
- To look for potential spaces at the ISDI campus which could be converted to recreation centers or just an open area
We went around the campus looking for potential spaces as well as interviewing faculty and students to learn what they feel about having recreational space in the college.
- Do you think there is a need of recreational spaces in the campus?
- When you feel stressed, where do you go to escape from your daily routine?
- Do you think the ISDI recreational space is sufficient for stress relief?
We listed down the questions we wanted to ask to the students and the faculty. Later, we compiled all the answers to draw a practical conclusion out of it. We made a presentation to represent the same. We then went about the ISDI campus looking for space that holds the potential of being converted to recreational or refreshment spaces to break apart from the mundane. We also studied recreational spaces from different design schools and offices and take inspiration from the same.
After interviewing students and faculty, we got to know that lack of recreational space is a major issue in the ISDI campus. Recreational space is essential for stress relief, socialising, staying mentally and physically healthy. It is essential that a design college has a space where students and faculty can take a break from the daily busy routine and let their minds open to new inspiration. We recognised some places like the fifth floor annex, the closed galleries, the third floor space and the unused parking area which is capable of being converted into a recreational space.
Writing the project brief helped us transform all the information we collected into a short and simple write up. This gave us a better direction and understanding of where we were heading with the assignment; others were able to understand our project with no further explanation.
All the groups were ready with their presentations. Each group had to gather information on their problem with pictures and videos. The main problem our group identified was the “lack of recreational space”, the ISDI campus is a concrete building and there is no space where the students and faculty can cut away from their daily routine. Here is how we went about our research:
1. Problem identification:
2. Campus research:
We found empty unused spaces that could be put to use.
3. ISME campus:
The ISME and ISDI campus have the same layout but in ISME there are these small ideation corners where the students and faculty can sit and relax.
4. Looking at recreational spaces in other universities:
We did research on some of the recreational spaces in India’s design colleges.
After presenting our research to our peers and faculty, they appreciated our comparative research and the way we went about with it. We were told that we went a little into the solution part of the research and that we should cut back to the ground research.
It was also interesting to look at the different ways people went about with their research, one group had an entire video of their space and the problems identified. Towards the end of the class, we just individually spoke to the faculty about the next part of the projects
Having done a semester of integrative seminar I, my writing skills were far better than before. I knew my strengths and weaknesses in writing, I was ready to face Seminar II. The class began with a brief about the subject, we were going to work along with integrative studio.
Research is essential for a designer; we were told that this semester, we’ll be concentrating on research. We had an in depth conversation about the stages of research. The stages are: primary research (observing), secondary research and consumer research. The proof of research is your writing skills.
As a starter, we were divided into groups and each group had to think about problems in the ISDI campus. The problems we identified were: very small lockers, lack of recreational space, no access to the AC regulator and unused space. We then decided to work on lack of recreational space, The ISDI campus is a concrete building with no open space, students and faculty need a space where they can sit and work or relax and let their mind wonder.
For the next week, each member of the group had to pick up one vertical of the problem and work on that. We had to present our research in whatever way we wanted, pictures, videos, sketches and so on.