I have all of Frightened Rabbit’s albums, that’s not a boast, it’s just a simple fact. They look like this;
I don’t want to do the whole “my favourite band because…” thing, but these three albums are all truly outstanding in their own different ways. Other than when I was younger and Hot Fuss was literally the best fucking album ever, I can’t recall three albums that I’ve played as much as these three. The fact that they’re all by the same group is even more impressive. I could name Kings of Leon, but they FIRMLY shat their third and fourth albums (the fourth one more so).
I can see myself listening to these albums over and over again this year, as I tramp through, complaining about everything.
Moving on to talking about fourth year, I’ve still not had an epiphany yet. No sudden insight or revelation. In fact I’m still writing out what really interests me. I wrote down “Super Powers”, had a little chuckle, then thought “Hold on…”. If we take the two most common and best super powers;
How could I design something that would give the user the feeling of being invisible, or could it be the feeling of being invisible from something specific? What would give somebody the feeling of flight?
Bill Gaver’s Drift Table does something like that;
The Drift Table is a coffee table with a small viewport showing a slowly changing aerial view of the British landscape. Shifting items on the table changes its apparent height, direction and speed. The current ‘location’ of the table is shown on a small screen on the table’s side, and an electronic compass aligns the photography with its actual surroundings. The Drift Table is designed to allow exploration and daydreaming, rather than to fulfil any particular task. People may use the table to explore the country, to travel to a friends house, to explore questions about geography, or to simply watch the world go by. It is intended to provide an opening in the home to other places and other landscapes.
It’s a nice premise that I’m going to tell myself he thought of when thinking about super powers.
It’s started. It started almost 12 hours ago. The work load has been unveiled like some sort of glorious cake. I couldn’t have been less enthusiastic about today if I’d tried, this morning was the earliest I’d woken since the last time I’d worked an 8-4. Still, up I got, and the three of us left the flat despondent to say the least. After almost 2 hours of “desk cleaning” Pete came through to talk to us, and I became a little more interested again. This went on throughout the day, Pete speaking, and me wanting to do work, but when he stopped speaking, I was like; “Fuck this…BBC Sport website.”
I can see this being a problem.
This year is all about self initiated study, and on shit that interests me. So I’ll go into tangents of what I do. I’ve recently (March) started running properly, I’ve taken it quite seriously, totalling 204 miles since then. That’s like from my house, to Aberdeen. Illustrated below.
Looking back, in six months it’s not that far. I think I could have gotten to Inverness but I sprained my ankle in August. Running is something I always associated my dad with, I’d foolishly thought that he had only done it as a hobby though. In truth, he’s ran 10ks, half-marathons and marathons. When I was younger I couldn’t be bothered with running, I took one look at how spent he was, and decided that wasn’t for me. Running didn’t have the glamour that football did; money, sponsors, summers off. Running looked like it hurt, and gave you little or no encouragement. Running looked boring.
Now though, I’m doing running, for two main reasons;
- Football, I realised, is fucking hard to be the best at. To be a footballer, you need to be picked up by a top club at the grand old age of 11 or 12. If you weren’t, then why bother. Without playing regularly, I found that I’m definitely not as good as I was.
- Football has gave me too many injuries to mention, specifically battered ankles, weakened by countless twists and sprains.
That’s one thing I do. Another is listen to a lot of music. But so does everyone. Here’s a list of some things I do, or am interested in.
I’m fascinated by Scottish scenery. I love old pictures. I spend Saturdays listening to football on the radio. I support Kilmarnock because my friend does. Fog/mist makes every photo look instantly haunted. I only seem to go on about 4 different websites. I tweet, and I have done 2258 times. I do a bit of blogging but it’s poor quality and has no real purpose. I worked out that if third year was worth a degree, I’d have gotten a 2:1. I like to make lists. I like to constantly check my bank balance. I can’t grow a beard. I keep telling myself that I’m going to stop drinking. I like to nurse a pint with friends. My hero is my nan. I have crooked toes. Scott Hutchison and Laura Marling are my favourite vocalists. The hate olives.
This has went on for too long. Here’s a picture;
I think it’s a zombie?
My weak ankles are currently annoying me. Spraining each one twice has left me as sure footed as Bambi on ice.
I liked to think that before I’d sprained it the most recent time (start of August), I was reaching into a good level of fitness. I was regularly going for 6 mile runs, hitting roughly 40 minutes for them. But now everyday I wake up with a grumpy ankle. One who refuses to cooperate for the first 3 hours I’m awake. I try and sweeten him up with a little light stretching, but that seems to annoy him further, and he just screws his body up. On the rare occasion I’ve been for a run this month I had to get an ice bath and submerge him in it to cut the swelling.
My main groan is that now, right now, it’s fine. Loosened up from the days activities. So I keep saying to myself that I’ll be able to go out tomorrow. When I wake up in the morning it’s a different matter. It’s very frustrating to know that because I’ve not been out running, my athleticism has faltered. My legs have lost a little strength, my lungs have lost a bit of volume capacity.
I then thought how this transferred to my design work. Out of practice for a strong 5 months, and when I return I’ll need to complete what’ll seem like a fucking ultramarathon. What makes me feel even worse is that I wasn’t exactly at a good level of design fitness before I started to do fuck all. So where I am now is anyones guess.
Currently listening to;
Peace and fucking, yeah?
I’m Scottish, and so pessimism comes very naturally to me. Especially when watching our floundering national team frustratingly struggle against Baltic minnows Lithuania. Cheering a corner, greeting a freekick with a cuddle and a kiss. Scoring a goal is something that, although rare, we cherish like no other country. Winning a game puts us on some sort of unreachable plateau of unimaginable beauty. Qualifying however, has become an impossibility. Frustration doesn’t quite cover it, in 2008 qualifying, we beat France twice, yet succumbed to Georgia. In my opinion, we’ll never have a better chance to qualify for a major competition again.
Our national cricket team … well the image below explains it all.
There’s a sliver of hope though, we’re pretty good on bikes, see Sir Chris Hoy (Scotland’s most successful Olympian) and Mark Beaumont. And we’ve got a pretty decent Tennis player, who’s British whenever he’s doing well. There’s Mark Cooper, who’s assumed some sort of superhero role; Office worker by day, Marathon Man by … well day.
Scotland birthed Billy Connolly, the greatest comedian of all time. Staying with comedy, Frankie Boyle certainly proved to be what made Mock the Week a good show.
I digress. What this post was intended to say was this; there’s a thousand reasons for me to be disappointed to be Scottish, but there’s a million more that make me proud. And I simply can’t list them all.
I’m off to get some ice cream from a farm. Can’t say that in too many places.
It’s been almost an entire summer and I’ve trundled through work, slept through my days off and forked out £2.45 a pint in our new favourite local. I’ve spent days doing nothing on my own, and days doing nothing with Ross and Craig, going back on all the promises I made to myself as the summer began;
“I’m gonna do fucking loads of work this summer, loads of reading, and heaps of design stuff!”
I lied to myself. I seen this happening though, clear as day, floating through days at work then collapsing on my bed. Sleep patterns became a complex mess, staying awake till the small hours of the morning. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve woken before 10am. I would say Design took a backseat, but it’s more like I threw the fucker into the boot of the car, bound and gagged.
I can’t just blame everything on work however, I’ve most definitely fell out with design. In fact only yesterday I’d proclaimed I’d rather have gotten a trade than went to University. Or rather I’d chosen a different course. A friend of mine does a sport related course, and after exams at Christmas, he’s simply got a dissertation to complete. He could be finished by March. Compare this to us Product Designers, a fucking sweaty, stressed out 8 months lie in wait.
I want to be excited. I want to hit the ground running like a mighty puma. I want to have fun. Instead I see returning to Dundee as a chore. I’ll hit the ground with a fucking thud and the tangle of flesh and bone will take me a month to sort out. On the plus side I will have fun, we always do.
Last Monday, I had an incredible urge to read. In particular I wanted to read Lance Armstrongs second autobiography. I looked everywhere for it but it’d hidden like a ghost. Instead I found Man & Boy by Tony Parsons, which I chewed through in 4 hours.
It wasn’t that good. My brother chastised me for reading it. That wasn’t important. What was important was that I’d just read a book for the first time in 2 years. And I’d developed a small habit.
Fast forward 24 hours and I’d found another book, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, a story set in second world war Germany, following a small girl who steals books, narrated by death.
I hope to take this reading thing into fourth year, and maybe get back on track with my dissertation that I’m undecided about doing. So in summary;
Work = (Respect for Yourself – Hours Worked) * Money.
Friends = The Pub + Laughter.
Days Off = Poor Weather + Sleep
Where Days Off is a constant.
Therefore, Summer = (Work – Days Off) + Friends.
See? Design doesn’t feature. I’ve also missed out Youtube. And cups of tea. Prevents things getting convoluted.
Rick and Michael Mast are two guys who are extremely dedicated to their hand-crafted chocolate, personally sourcing cacao beans from family farms in Madagascar, Venezuela and Ecuador to name but a few. If that wasn’t enough to give them an edge, the also design the packaging, and hand wrap each bar.
Awesome example of how a personal touch and simple branding make a huge amount of difference. Another thing that makes a difference, is an impressive beard.
video from The Scout
Finally figured out how to post vimeo videos on here. The quality is usually better, so here, have a nice video. Bloody Beetroots – Cornelius.
Looks like a smashing night out.
So fourth year is metaphorically RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, and I’d definitely be lying if I said I was feeling super confident about it. In a little over 9 months, I’ll be prepping for a degree show to showcase my work. The main problem? I’ve not really given it a thought. Not being surrounded by design has completely knocked me out of a creative flow, something that I’m struggling to find whilst working. I wanted to hit fourth year ground running my legs off, not floundering around like a Magikarp.
I think if I name each fourth year related post as a number it could spur me to do some more.
Seen these on Drawn! a while ago.
Nice cut out illustrations from UK artist Peter Slight. He does some 3D stuff as well. It’d look really nice in a book or on a poster for something like global warming, but not really related to Product Design except in it that his quite a refreshing simplicity.
Short post tonight.x
It’s been a while since I was here last. I don’t know what I want this blog to be, a design blog, or a sport orientated blog. Either is ten-a-penny on the internet. Both, mashed up in some car crash of a combination, seems niche. I post too infrequently for it to be satirical.
Speaking of sport, I announce here that it is in my best intentions to run the Great Scottish Run this September. Inebriated as I was, I’m confident Mike and I will go through with it. I’m already running 10k each time I go out these days anyway so I’m looking to increase the miles in my legs and pick up a good slice of speed.
Highlight of the World Cup apart from Diego Forlan? This.
Tremendously difficult piece of skill to pull off. I’ve tried for days and I can do it at about an 80th of the speed.
Other than what I’ve said here, there’s nothing to report. . . The Drums are awesome and work is not.
Peace out squires. x