Souvenirs of Qatar

Form and Communication

For this project, we were asked to document architectural marvels, gather representations of regional history, design beautiful patterns. We visited the Qatar National Museum for research and to gather images for inspiration.

When visiting the gift shop in the museum, I came across a really nice souvenir idea, which is souvenir license plates. I never saw some that are dedicated to Doha, so I decided to design my own for this project. I thought of designing souvenirs for when Qatar hosts the world cup in 2022, which can be a great memory for the tourists to have something physical from Doha that reminds them of that time.

So, I started researching about the stadiums, where they are located and decided to make a greeting card from each city with a picture of the stadiums in the background.

This is what I first came up with. I used illustrator to edit the text and turn it 3D using extrude and bevel and used the envelop distort to make the wrap. I later transferred the text to photoshop where I edited the images and added the ‘worn out’ effect so it looks like an old greetings postcard. I tried to match the color of the text to the color palette of the stadium and the colors of each of the city’s football club jersey colors.

However, I thought the text was too large and is covering the stadiums. So I tried to change the placement of the text and try to place them in the corners. I thought the right bottom corner works very well, comparing to the other text placements, as it shows the stadium in the background and is easier to read for the eye compared to the top left corner.

Here are the final designed greeting cards.

Reflection

I really enjoyed working on this project, getting the chance to design souvenirs for my country is really amazing and also getting to see the Qatari artists and designers work displayed in the national museum gift shop was also very inspiring, knowing one day my work might have a chance to be a part of it too. Getting to design a pattern with food was also a very interesting way to look at food, I got to create a pyramid of chocolate and glazed donuts that showed a repetitive pattern, which was really fun to arrange. For my postcards, I used the same text style and text placement in all images to show a repetitive pattern between all cards and show some similarities. Thank you Basma and Denielle for ending this course with an amazing project.

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Collection

Type 2

For this project, we were asked to form a collection and create a book out of it. Consisting of over than ten thousand words and over twenty images (along with captions) of our chosen collection.

So I started off by researching for collection ideas, I didn’t want to choose a collection that I already have and try to challenge myself to come up with a new one. One of the ideas I liked is to have an interactive collection, which I tried to do in one of my collection ideas.

The first collection (left), I thought of creating illustrations out of the level of brightness of the shine in the stars (from lowest to highest) and name them. Creating a visual map like the one above, all across the book. The second collection (right), I thought of creating an interactive box, where people can write love letters and express their feelings and emotions and create a collection out of them. I really liked the interactive idea and decided to go with it as I felt more passionate and excited about it than the stars collection.

Here is the critique I received from my classmates and my statement.

My first sketches, just to have an idea of how the letters will be created. I first had an idea of having the people who will interact with this project, sketch their feelings and write a letter, I will later deconstruct their letter and create something like I did above. However, after the critique, Law suggested that I leave the letters as they are and not edit anything in or our or even change the text placement. The process when creating these sketches was, writing a letter, sketching out feels/emotions and later scanning them and uploading them to photoshop to play with their size and placement. I was inspired by this method from a Tasmeem workshop that I attended with Addie Johnson, who came from the Richmond campus to provide a workshop called: Reconstructing Calligraphy. I really enjoyed it and wanted to try it out with my projects.

However, after more critique, I decided to broaden the subject and instead of creating ‘love’ letters, it can be any kind of letter. This will give the person interacting more freedom to participate in this subject.

We were later asked to create five layout styles of our essay section part of the book. I went to the library and did some research online to find some inspiration that I could use, we also looked at some books in class.

Some of the books we looked at in class the other day.

Here are some of the layouts I found interesting and thought might work with my idea. I really liked the over layering technique.

My attempt of recreating some of the ideas I found online. I received some critiques saying how the page is too crowded and how breathing space is needed. Also, no text should be placed inside the gutter.

At the same time, while working on the page layouts, I kept receiving letters from random people. I sent out a prompt question to my friends and asked them to spread the word. Prompt was, “write a letter to someone who’s significant to you.”

Some of the letters I received.

I really liked the text in the gutter idea, but since I couldn’t do it, Levi suggested that I can do something like this. I really liked how the text is centered in the middle of the book and wanted to keep it that way. However, I felt that there is too much breathing space, so I tried to fix the grid a little bit from a two column to a three column which helped me solve the issue.

Working with the grid helped me solve a lot of issues. I had trouble at the beginning using it, but once I figured out how it works and what it does, it saved my life and my book.

For my text, I used four different articles, each starts with a new chapter, talking about the importance and the value of handwritten letters. Which later I will add the citations to my bibliography.

Some suggestions I received from my professors, in support of using the grid and aligning the chapter title to either the center or left.

Another problem I faced was the caption page. I couldn’t figure out how to place them the right way in which the reader’s eyes can easily spot them. The first draft is on the left, second on the right. Having a couple of drafts showed me which is not working and which is, which helped me figure out the final caption page.

Creating a triangle system for the caption helped a lot with my design, in which it allows the reader’s eyes to bounce back and forth between the pages without any struggle. I used the chapter title as the letter number, which creates consistency and similarities in the book and changed the typeface to a lighter one, to create contrast.

Once I had the book layout and letters solved. I had to work on the cover of the book. I searched around for good places to print and did some research on types of materials that work on hardcover and how engraving the title will look like on different kinds of materials.

I came across these books, I really loved the simplicity of them and the material that was used. So, I started to search for places that could print the hardcover for me in this fabric.

I visited two different print shops and called a couple, none did fabric on hardcover. Most did leather, which is definitely not what I was looking for. I later ended up asking Law to use some of his book fabric, that he uses for his bookbinding class, to give to one of the print shops so they can print on it for me. Thankfully, that plan worked out and I also got to print gold on it for the title. The print job was such a hassle, but I am glad it worked out fine, thanks to Law for saving the day.

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Here is the final book.

Reflection

I really enjoyed working on this project the most, it felt really great to see the result of my design come alive. This project allowed me to view text and content in a book differently and taught me breathing space is very important and in some cases, too much breathing space is fine and having some blank pages (for a purpose of course) is also fine. I was too afraid that my book would feel blank or empty but seeing the ending result made me really happy when I saw how the pages flow together. Typefaces and font sizes really matter, it is very important to have contrast between them, seeing my first drafts allowed me to realize this, since at first, I kept using the same typeface to create consistency, but then realized how boring this could be and when I tried using other typefaces and playing with font sizes a little bit, it proved to me that creating contrast can be more interesting. The leading, alignment and the x-height of the text is also very important as it changed my entire paragraph design to the better and made it look less crowded. I also enjoyed learning about the anatomy of the book, as a reader myself, I never thought of looking at a book in this point of view before until now. I will never look at books the same and instead, I will be looking at the front matter, back matter, margins, gutter, and the columns. I faced many problems with the design process and the printing process, but over time I managed to overcome them both. One of the main keys to having a successful design is using the grid!!!!! I cannot express enough how much the grid helped me with this project, I truly underestimated it at first. I really like using inDesign now, I think I have developed enough skills that allowed me to print a book consisting of one hundred pages, but I still want to experiment more with it and learn new skills for upcoming projects. I hope we get to have the chance to use this software again in the future. This project was a great way to end this course, thank you Law and Levi!

 

Demystifying the Mainstream

Form and Communication

For this project, we were asked to demystify the mainstream topics and make them clear to understand through different forms and communication methods. I was interested in the topic Euthanasia, as I thought it was a very controversial topic and would be interesting to talk about in the Middle East since a lot of people tend to be against for religious purposes. So, I started off by doing some visual research.

While doing more research, I was inspired more by other controversial topics, such as abortion and organ donation. I, later on, developed an idea of creating a series that can hold all those topics in relation to each other.

My first draft in an attempt to create three different form and communication methods. My strongest one was the kit, as it includes the three different topics main objects inside and is much more straightforward than the other attempts. I was trying to relate the topics to each other by having “my body my choice” as a constant.

My second draft consisted of a series created in a shocking, ironic, yet emotional communication method. “Banning organ donation/assisted suicide/abortion will not make its practice less frequent, but more dangerous,” was used as a consistent type (along with the color palette and type) between all kits to identify them as products from the same series. I tried to focus on using one object for each kit, to show it’s significance. However, I was highly encouraged by my professors to create a kit that consists of multiple objects relating to each topic.

I tried to research more and while doing so, I came across “survival kits,” “period kits” and “binge-watching kit” and came up with the idea to create kits that hold the same communication method as those kits.

Here is another attempt in creating “survival kits” in different contexts. I had a hard time trying to find objects for the topics organ donation and assisted suicide, in the same way as I did to abortion. So, I decided to settle and focus on one kit, which was assisted suicide. I thought to have several kits will be overwhelming and hard to connect to each other as series since I have changed my communication approach several times.

The process of laser cutting the product design logo. I had two size options, big and small. I decided to go with the small box since it felt more precious.

The process of testing the size and the content of the bellyband on the box. Helped me a lot to figure out the placement of the text, where to remove and put logos and also made me realize having the logo on top was reptitive, which made me remove it for the final belly band draft.

Here is the final product.

Reflection

I really enjoyed working on this project, I had a lot of intense conversations that developed my knowledge towards this topic and helped me benefit more in designing the final product. I received really good critiques from the French students and Peter, which I think will help me develop my design to the better for next time and allow me to think better in a form and communication point of view. Such as, who’s the audience? where would this product be sold? who will benefit from this product? what kind of communication is this product trying to prove? and much more. I am really satisfied with my final product and also very glad I focused on one final product rather than a series because it allowed me to think and work hard around one certain topic and product, which I didn’t think I will be able to do so with a series of boxes.

 

 

The Alphabet – Final

Type 2

For the next part of this project, we were asked to choose a word and a quote that could hold the meaning of the material we are using on our word or be the opposite of it. The quote could also be something relating to the setting we choose to place our word in. Not to mention, since this is the second part of the project, we were also asked to kind of ‘upgrade’ our setting from the previous one. For example, in my case from the kitchen pan, my ‘upgrade’ woud be to the movie theater, which was what I was planning to do.

The word I chose was ‘ornate’ I thought it would work very interesting with the material I was choosing, which is popcorn. So I did some research on movie settings and places I could go that would fit my theme.

My first five sketches, along with my five quotes.

So, I thought of the first place that came in mind, The Mall cinema, aka my childhood. Going there was very nostalgic since I haven’t been there in years. It was also sad because it totally sucks now and isn’t as cool as it was when I was younger. I chose this place because all the cinemas now are very modern looking and I wanted the setting for my word to be in an old school, worn out cinema.

My first visit was just to check out the area and the place and if it is suitable to use or not. I really liked the colors of the cinema hall, which were blue and red, as I thought it will look very pleasing with the word and will create contrast.

Pictures I took while I was there, before editing it and making the colors pop out more. I wanted to use the cinema floors to place my word, so I looked around for places where popcorn mostly belongs to in the cinema, which is the floor. Under the chairs and the stair steps from when someone trips over, like I always do.

My first draft, since I was not able to visit the cinema again, I instead photoshopped my word in the pictures and added my quote, which translates to “leave for me what is left of me,” said by Ahmed Khalid Shawqi but in my context, it was said by the popcorn on the floor. I also added scattered popcorn around the word, as if the popcorn fell on the floor and magically formed a word.

Some suggestions I received from my classmates when we played hateraid in class. I tried to imply some suggestions to my poster for the next draft.

Here are my next drafts after the class critique. It is also photoshopped because I was not able to laser cut the final letters to form the word until the next day after class since it was fully booked for weeks. However, I still tried to fix some comments I have received, such as adding the Pepsi can, the movie ticket, color of the quote and font, fixed the drop shadows and the color of the popcorn so it can match the word. One of the main problems though was the scattered popcorn, when trying to ‘randomize’ it. I had a hard time trying to do so, I had several attempts at doing so and failed miserably. At that point, I wished had a tool like the random character node on NodeBox that can do it for me. One thing I managed to learn to form a ‘random’ effect though is to not to try too hard to make it perfect and do it randomly (unintentionally) several times until it works. So, that is what I tried to do.

After finally getting to laser cut the final word, on a larger scale and uppercase ‘o’, I was ready to visit the theater. I had to make more popcorn and mix it with marshmallow to stick on the final word. I also checked out a camera (Nikon D600) from IT and a tripod to use in the theater.

My next visit to the theater was chaotic. The point where I placed my word on the floor, I truly thought to myself if I have done the word chaotic instead it would have been so relatable right now, but it was too late and I didn’t. So, here is the tea.

I walked in with a tripod in my hands, checked out a ticket for any movie screening and went to buy a popcorn cup and a soda. The entire time security was looking at me, but I didn’t understand why. I, later on, remembered that cameras are not allowed in, when I got in trouble for taking the camera inside the screening hall. The supervisor was called and I tried to convince him that I am a student and I won’t shoot the movie and instead will take a picture of a setting and showed him my work, after some more convincing, he agreed. It was very very very stressful and I couldn’t shoot in peace because I was supervised the entire time.

Here is a picture showing the process of taking the picture of the setting. I placed it one row underneath me and set up the tripod and camera the row above.

Here are some pictures that show the transition from my first takes to the last ones. I tried a couple of different angles, objects inside the cup holder and amount of scattered popcorn. The first picture with scattered popcorn is when I was scared to add more thinking it will be too intentional, but then I realized I am being intentional thinking that way so for the next takes I tried to scatter differently until I felt it filled in the awkward gaps and not too much breathing space. Another problem I faced was when I added the popcorn can, it blocked the word from showing and if I lift the word up the angle makes it look much further than it is which was not working for me, as I thought it was too high up. So, I decided to settle with the last picture as my final, where I thought it was the strongest.

Some of my attempts when trying to use the grid method. My first one was a failure, I was using an invisible grid and was not aligning it to anything specific but the spacing between the popcorn, which wasn’t working. My second attempt after the critique, I tried aligning the grid to the serifs of some of the letters. Which seems to work out better. One of the main problems I faced was the placing of my name and the quote font typeface and color. I managed to overcome my name problem when I started using the grid, however, I did not end up putting my name on the top, but instead in the same line of the grid but at the bottom, as I thought It looked much stronger and less awkward than have it floating at the top alone.

Examples of the before and after of the quote typeface. The first picture I used ‘Tanseek M Bold’ and the second is ‘Tanseek regular.’ I thought the bold typeface was too bold and made my quote cover up my word, which wasn’t working out as a median. So, I decided to use the regular typeface instead to avoid people catching the quote before the word instead, which turned out better in my opinion. Whereas the color, I chose to go for warm colors that fit the setting of the cinema of being warm and cozy. I edited the picture to be brighter, so when printed it will not be as dark since the colors on the screen are different than the ones printed.

Final picture before and after editing.

Reflection

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this project a lot and I am very happy with the way my poster and letters turned out to be, regardless of all the problems I had to face to get it done, I am happy I got to get through them, some were tough while some weren’t. However, they were all learning opportunities for me as I feel like I developed my skills a lot from my mistakes. I faced many problems, such as context, production, and shooting. For example, with using the grid, color on screen vs printed, file formats, intentional vs unintentional arrangements, booking laser cutter days in advance, theater incident and much more. All these things were a major part of my poster success, I believe, which I will try to be more cautious about them for upcoming projects. This project helped me a lot, as I was able to learn how to problem solve, develop an idea from scratch and evolve an idea within an idea, which was so great!!!

 

 

The Alphabet

Type 2

For this project, we were asked to define the binary opposites and choose 5 sets from each language Arabic and English, print them in 10 different typefaces to understand the different kerning and tracking of the letterforms.

Definitions

Bitter: sharp taste or smell/feeling hurt or angry because of a bad experience.

Saccharine: overly sweet/overly polite

 

Euphoric: a feeling of happiness and excitement.

Miserable: feeling uncomfortable and unhappy.

 

Stultify: to make or appear something or someone to be stupid or foolish.

Galvanize: urge someone to take action.

 

Dismal: causing a dark and depressing mood.

Cheerful: causing a happy and positive atmosphere.

 

Ornate: over-elaborated or busy.

Austere: plain or simple.

 

Chaotic: a place or a condition that is disorganized.

Tidy: a place or a condition that is organized and in order.

 

Precise: used to mark the accuracy of detail.

Inaccurate: a false or inexact statement or detail.

 

Hilarious: very funny and amusing.

Serious: poker-faced and uncheerful character.

 

Adorable: charming, cute and appealing.

Repulsive: disgusting and displeasing.

 

Fleeting: lasting for a short time, in a hurry.

Leisurely: acting effortless, relaxed and unhurried.

 

مرارة: مر

حلاوة: نوع من الحلوى

حيوية: نشاط وعافية

شقاء: بؤس، عناء

تقاعس: تهاون

إقدام: التقدم والقيام به

تعاسة: سوء حظ وحال

سعادة: فرح

مزخرف: مزين بألوان شتى

خاوي: لا يملك شيئا

ترتيب: تنظيم، تنسيق

اضطراب: الفوضى

دقة:في غاية الترتيب والتركيز

تهاون: الإهمال، التقصير

جدية: رصانة تدل على الحالة النفسية ور البدنية للإنسان

مزاح: إتيان بكلام من شأنه أن يضحك ويسلي

جميل: الذي يتصف بالحسن.

قبيح: كريه المنظر، سيئ الشكل

زائل: سريع الزوال وغير ثابت

متأن: متمهل متئد ومترو غي عمله

 

I used InDesign to try and display the words in different typefaces and experiment with the kerning and tracking of each typeface.

For the next class, we were asked to print all the words in A3 size and lay them down in the atrium vertically. Leg day came early that week.

We were able to see the mistakes much clearly when the words were displayed on the floor, as we were walking over them. The kerning and the tracking were much more visible and I was also able to identify how each typeface has different kernings.

For the next class, we were asked to experiment with materials. I started to experiment first with letters. I found it difficult to find materials that will come in large amounts so I will be able to create 26 letters out of.

I used plastic, Whiteboard sticker, metal studs, popcorn, candy wraps, stuffed animal stuffings, receipt, colored sand, copper wire, and silver foil. I felt popcorn was my strongest material so I decided to experiment more with it.

I did some research on creating type out of popcorn. I tried to search for background, font, and transition ideas. I was really interested in the movie theater theme, where tickets and scattered popcorn are shown (just how popcorn is scattered all over the movie theater seats and floors.)

Over the weekend, I visited the cinema to grab some different flavored popcorn so I can play with the transition of the alphabet. I grabbed salted, caramel and cheese flavored popcorn.

I decided to use the word Ornate, which means over-elaborated or busy. I thought the word will look very interesting with popcorn. I started first with the corn seeds, transitioning to salted popcorn, caramel and then cheese (which turned out to be very messy to work with.)

The final result turned out to be like this. I liked this gradient however, I decided to try another popcorn arrangement.

This time I worked with Arabic, word meaning the opposite of Ornate, which is empty. In this arrangement, I tried to place corn seeds more with some popped popcorn. However, I did not feel like this arrangement was strong enough as the gradient arrangement because it felt repetitive.

I tried using Mod Podge glue on the letter “a”, thinking it will be much neater than a glue gun, but it turned out to be much messier and started to leak as seen above. Law suggested I could grind up the popcorn as a first layer of the letter, to avoid blank spaces and add another layer of popped popcorn up top.

I made some research regarding how to blend the popcorn and how to stick it on paper, with which glue and such things. I must say, it is amazing the things you find on YouTube. I found a guy who did a video on his channel, testing popcorn with his blender, calling it “will it blend? – popcorn.” I thought the texture of the blended popcorn he did was really fine and needed more texture, which I will try to achieve.

Blended popcorn.

Here is the process of trying to stick the letters on the cup, first I would outline the letter, stick the blended popcorn to fill in the gaps and then stick on the popcorn.

Here is the context I was planning on setting for the first part of the project. With popcorn machine in the background and scattered popcorn everywhere.

The word I was planning on using stuck on the cups. However, after the critique in class, I was told that the idea was not working and should reconsider my plan. One of the main reasons was that it was not realistic to have popcorn outside of the cup, as it is outside of its context. Instead, I should have the popcorn placed inside the cup.

I used the laser cutter to cut out all the letters in lowercase and used them to stick the popcorn on top of it so the popcorn will be able to stand up without it collapsing. I used transparent acrylic for support.

I used melted marshmallow to stick the popcorns together so I will be able to play with the structure and the form of it. With the help of an article I found and some YouTube videos.

Here was the plan of placing the letter inside the cup, where the paper ball represents popcorn to hold the letter up. However, the plan did not work accordingly.

My attempt of placing the letters inside the cup, standing. Huge fail, since it does not show the x-height, descenders, and ascenders properly. It was also in landscape and not in portrait, which I was not aware of at first.

Another attempt with a plain red background, but turned out to be too boring.

After several failed attempts, I decided to think of another setting popcorn would be in.. I later on thought of how popcorn is cooked and decided to use corn seeds and a pan to display my letters in. Where the popcorn was created.

Here are the final 24 letters. I faced many problems trying to complete this project, some problems were lighting, context, and x-height. I tried to find the perfect lighting spots to avoid shadows, which was challenging because I was using a tripod and a huge camera which sometimes the shadow of it shows. When it came to context, I had a hard time thinking of a setting I could use for my letters, but at the end, I came to understand that it has to be realistic and not too out of context of the material I was using. The last problem I faced was with the x-height, the letters turned out to be uneven because of the placement of the descenders and the ascenders inside the pam, which I tried to fix using photoshop but did not work out very well. In the end, all my mistakes were helpful and were there to help me be more cautious for next time.

 

 

Broadsheet – Final

Type 1

For this project, we were asked to promote out modular typeface to an audience who may use it in their field of work, by creating a promotional broadsheet that folds into a smaller format while working with two categories of typography: normative and expressive.

I started by looking up broadsheet examples and getting inspiration for my work. I used Pinterest and the PDF file that Basma and Denielle shared in google classroom as an example, also the broadsheet that was passed around in class the other day.

Here is my final broadsheet. I was inspired to make this expressive typography by the feeling I had over my typeface, as it is oversized and bold, so I decided to overlap huge letters together and play with transparency. It took me a couple of drafts to get to the final outcome, where some colors and transparency methods were not working out for me.

Reflection

I really enjoyed working on my broadsheet as it was nice to see my typeface coming to life and expressed in different sentences and colors. I was also very proud of how the expressive and the normative type complement each other in terms of color and style. It feels very unique to have a typeface that I have specifically created myself inspired by patterns that I never thought I could one day extract to develop a typeface. It is also very interesting to know that I am able to create a typeface completely without the help of anyone now, thanks to my amazing professors who helped me throughout this course to develop my typeface. I would really like to experiment with Arabic typefaces next and see what I am capable of doing. Thank you Basma and Denielle for being the amazing professors that you are!

Deconstruction 4.0 – Final

Methods & Process

While fixing the structure, we were also working on our banners and vinyl cuts at other times. Grab a cup of tea and sit down for this, because the tea will be spilled.

This is the designed arrangement of the banners. Two banners on one string, five strings, which makes it ten banners in total.

We started by choosing a famous quote by each character to place it underneath it’s banner. We made a google document, where each of us can edit. We would vote on which quote to use in terms of how strongly it represents the character and then highlight the one used in yellow.

Going back to printing on fabric, we finally got to print the banners after testing it. It was very large and heavy and took a lot of space. The printing process took a long time too, since it was a large file. We folded it to take it to the tailor so they can be cut to five sheets and stitched from the sides, following the senior’s advice. Zainab suggested that we allow a hole (or pathway) at the top of each banner to allow the strings to go through, since we were stitching them from the sides and would not be able to hang them up. Thankfully, the tailor did a great job at doing it.

The process of hanging them up was a hassle, where the fishing string did not handle the weight of the two banners and it was risky to use it. We were afraid it will snap overnight, so we started using different kinds of strings that at the same time was not as visible. We found a white plastic rope, that surprisingly worked and handled the weight of the banners. After tying it on dear life to the hook, it was a success.

However, we later on noticed another mistake when it came to the placement of the banners. The Walter White image was not clear because the banners had so much distance from each other and needed to overlap to show the full image.

Here, the banners were attached to five strings, two on each. As seen, the image of Walter was not clear, so we decided to change the spacing between the strings and bring them close together. It also did not work. There needs to be so much more space for the viewer to step back to and be able to see the full image, when the banners are close, the image is not clear. Next solution was to limit the strings into four strings, three banners on two strings and two banners on the other two strings. This solution helped the design so much and also made so much more space for the viewer to see the full image.

Moving on to vinyl cutting, we decided to vinyl cut the description, key, footsteps and the quotes. Where we thought it will look very neat and organized. However, we were not familiar with the types of walls vinyl can or cannot stick on. The wall at the balcony is textured, which made us struggle so much trying to stick the vinyl up. I tried to clean the wall off the dust using water and then drying it, where I heard it can help, but it also did not work. We also struggled with trying to pick the vinyl out of the description text, where the text was way too small and just impossible to detach it from the background.

This lead me to find other ways to stick the vinyls, where I used a huge white vinyl paper as a background to help stick the small vinyls up, which worked out. For the description, we printed it on semi glossy paper. Which solved all of our vinyl problems.

 

Here is the final outcome of our Breaking Bad installation.

Reflection

I enjoyed this project so much, even though it was full of pain and stress, but it was all worth it when I got to see the final outcome and know that I helped build this all the way from scratch. It felt very accomplishing. My partners Zainab and Amna were super awesome and collaborative (they both were willing to jump off the balcony with me at some point, that’s how collaborative we were) I couldn’t ask for better partners. Even though some things did not go as planned, such as the vinyl cuts and the strings, but after a few jars of tears and some problem solving it all worked out which I am very glad about. Through this project, I was able to learn how to extract a concept or a theme from communicational platforms and develop methods on how to express it differently. I also expanded my knowledge with problem solving, time management and patience!!!!!!!. I also got to use really cool tools and materials which I plan on using again in future projects such as printing on fabric and vinyl cutting (not on textured walls as clearly, lesson have been learned) and also how to appreciate the wood shop workers more for the amount of work and effort they have to go through everyday, because as fun as it was building a structure, it was definitely not as easy. This project was the best way to end this course, thank you Sam and Liam.

 

Deconstruction 3.0 – Building The Structure

Methods & Process

Next came the planning for the structure, what kind of wood we are going to use? how many pillars we need? how safe will it be? So, we went to the woodshop and Dana Ladki was kind enough to help us out with our planning. We showed her our sketches and measurements and from there, we started working on the structure.

Some sketches of our space and structure arrangement.

 

So, the wood type Shankar and Dana suggested was MDF, as it was an only one day installation and does not need stronger type of wood. We also agreed to it because it was smooth and not as textured and would be easy for it to blend in with our space when painted. Shankar and Dana cut down the bigger pieces of wood, which left us to cut the planks we were using to it’s right measurement using the chopper saw. Each of us had their turn to try using each tool at the wood shop that we have used for this installation, which was a very cool experience!

Our highest wooden plank was at 244cm high, we wanted to use the high ceiling as an advantage to make our space as wide as possible, since it is narrow. Also, another thing we took as an advantage was the railing, which was 33cm high, so we designed the other end of the structure to sit on top of the rail and not the floor, which will not tighten our space more. This ended up with the other rail being 211cm high. For safety, we attached a piece of wood that is stuck on the railing to help support balance our structure. Also, here is us using our professors as rulers.

Here is another support we added to our structure to help keep both planks aligned correctly. At first it was 20cm, but then we noticed that the support was not enough so we made it bigger to 35cm. It is also Pine wood and not MDF, which is a stronger type of wood, that is why it is used here for support.

Process of using the planer to smoothen the texture of the pine wood and cleaning it, so we are able to use it as support and paint it white and it would still have the same texture (almost) to mdf when painted.

Also, I would like to thank Levi because he was kind enough to allow us use his super cool rack at the flex lab to store our pieces and also thanks Leland for texting him.

Before drilling and fixing our structure, we tested out the height of the banner with a test print to see how high we wanted our banners to hang. We settled at 200cm, since the plank is 244cm and the banner itself is 190cm.

Dana taught us how to drill and where for the first structure. From there we picked up the rest. We drilled all the structures outside the space and then dragged them in. First attaching the wooden hook to the rail, because it is the shorter end and then placing the L leg in place. In this process, we were able to successfully install the structure without it falling off the balcony.

We faced some problems with MDF, where it breaks when we drill the screws in. However, we were able to fix the problem by adding wooden glue and clamps.

First structure up! Two more to go.

One more problem fixed, we added a little wooden plank to help support the structure more. Where the power cable in the balcony was taking the space from the wall to the plank, which made it a little unstable. So, we took the measurement of the power cable (box?) and made a little plank to fill it in (7.5cm) It was a such a small detail but it helped the structure so much.

All structures built and ready. Except for the horizontal planks that we were waiting on Dana for guidance on Sunday on which is the correct way to install them. The horizontal planks will be the ones holding the structure pieces together and also the hooks which we will attach the strings on.

Next was priming. We had to prime a several of coats until we got to the white color that we wanted. We also later on added white paint for places that needed touch ups, such as the legs and the supporting corners. It was hard to prime the corners in a perfect way since it was very high and risky (even though we did use a ladder) because of the balcony rail. White paint fixed the corner problem as it paints much faster than the prime.

Horizontal planks fixed!! Structure all white and blended!! Only attaching hooks was left.

The process of attaching the hooks was, using the drill and a small screw to drill a small hole and then pin the hook inside the hole and rotate it manually. It was fixed and stable thankfully. At first we were going to use damage free hanging clips, that was supposed to be taped on the wall, but because we needed much more strength for the fabric, we did the horizontal plank for more support.

Here is the final structure! Painted, fixed and most importantly safe.

Deconstruction 2.0 – Final Concept

Methods & Process

After some critique from our professors, we developed a new design for our concept which is “identity.” We found out we were not allowed to hang items on the walls and that bringing in furniture will be very difficult to manage. So we decided to converge our previous concept designs into one.

Here is our final concept. We thought about showing how Walter White had to face and defeat the villains throughout the seasons and from low to how high their threat level was. The last image, will be Walter White, which is the highest threat level out of all, which also signifies how the more villains he beats, the more powerful he becomes. His picture will be in Side B, built up from 10 banners. Side A will have 10 villains, each one in one banner.

Here is a prototype of our designed space that shows the arrangement of our banners and pillars clearly. It will consist of five strings, two banners on each. We struggled at first when arranging the placements of the banners, where which arrangement makes it more visible and clear to the viewer’s eyes. Whether it was in a V shape or in random arrangement, that will allow the people to walk in and out of the space.

Next we visited the print lab to see if we were allowed to print on fabric, since we chose our banners to be made out of fabric. We were interested in the process of printing on fabric, since we never tried to before and we also wanted a soft material that can float.

Shankar, Rick and Eman were kind enough to help us test print our first banner as seen above. However, we faced some difficulties when trying to print.

We wanted to print back to back but the printer was not able to do so and also we noticed that the fabric we print tested on was translucent which will effect our printing if we did back to back. We then went and talked to some seniors who were familiar with printing on fabric and received some advice from them, such as stitching the sides of the fabric so the fabric does not break apart. We also heard that our professor Michael was familiar with printing on fabric, so we went and talked to him about printing back to back and he suggested that we print the two banners opposite each other and then fold it so it looks two sided. Our lives were literally saved.

(to be continued)

 

Deconstruction – Planning

Methods & Process

For this project, we were asked to binge watch a tv series and try to deconstruct a season or a character to pick a theme or a concept and design an installation that can be installed in the university.

Process

First things first, we needed to choose a series and a space for our installation. My team and I (Zainab & Amna) began by revising our tv show history and try to pick a series that we’re all on the same page on. After some debate on whether we should choose Stranger Things or Breaking Bad, we finally decided to go for Breaking Bad. We thought the character’s development in the series throughout the seasons was a major plot twist and we were also very interested in the vernacular of the tv show and thought that it could turn into a great installation concept.

Next, we roamed around the graphic design department to choose a space for our installation. The balcony (or hot zone) was a great spot for our installation! Because of it’s tight space and length, just how the Breaking Bad RV was. So we decided to go for it.

After settling on the balcony and getting confirmation from Isabelle, we had to measure the balcony with a measuring tape to get the right measurements and be able to design our installation properly.

Here are the first measurements we took for our space.

Research

We started to watch a couple of episodes of the series and YouTube scenes related to the show (such as ScreenPrism) and search for breaking bad references online, hoping to find some information that could inspire us for our concept.

 We found these images that helped us develop a concept, involving Walter White’s identity and power.

Concept #1

Showing Walter’s identity and how he started to feed on his ego whenever he wins another territory, through his clothing and color palette. It is a timeline of clothing that shows Walter White’s empire progress and how each time he defeats a villain he begins to dress up like them.

(designed by me)

Concept #2

A day in Walter White’s shoes. How he goes from a classroom, to his house and then meth lab, which seems to be taking over his entire time and effort. It is very contrast in terms of setting, color and purpose. We wanted to develop a walkthrough in which the person walking in can feel the dramatic life of being a father, teacher and a drug dealer.

(designed by Amna)

Concept #3

Walter White’s priorities and how he prioritizes his meth empire the most, while his classroom and house is faded into the background of his life.

(designed by Zainab)