Throughout the two study groups my understanding of constellation has developed and I have enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I found that my two study groups have informed my discipline differently. Smells Like Teen Spirit has taught me not just about street style, its about how material, culture and meanings can allow you to express ideologies through your work. I now realise that I am looking at things in a different way. In the first 8 weeks it altered the way I saw things and I now approach my work differently. I look at different elements and unpick them trying to understand how an audience will view my work and whether I can communicate my meaning through visual and typographical detail. The way that the subcultures express these meanings suggests how different subcultures have shown their beliefs and ideas visually in the way that they dress. This has shown me how you can make a political or cultural view powerful visually in a piece of deign work and the strong messages that you can communicate to a viewer. Re-signification occurs in all of the sub-cultures we have looked at throughout this study group, this shows how they all borrow things from the past and change the function of it or by exaggerating an object. Materials, forms and functions can provide meanings that can be communicated through design to make a statement in my work. I can relate this to my practice by looking at traditional designers and breaking their rules of ‘good taste’ and fusing together different sources to create a new meaning in design work. I have more confidence in challenging visual material cultures and being able to question traditions, stereotypes and mainstream notions of beauty and taste.

I found Neo-furterism very interesting and enjoyed this study group as Nick made it very interesting. When looking at the futurist manifesto the language used had been written in a similar way to some manifesto’s that we have studied in my subject area. The manifesto’s are very one sided and communicate a strong argument. This has taught me how powerful language and communication can be to persuade an audience. Within the study group we looked at people such as Marinetti who believed that we should not look to the past for inspiration and everything should be designed for the future. To some extent I agree with this as I think designing for the future can help innovative ideas as technology is always improving. However, I think that like my first study group, the way that they draw inspiration from the past to develop new ideas is important. As everything has been designed, I think that we un-intentionally draw inspiration from the past and everything around us. To some extent I think Sant’Elia’s view that decoration must be abolished depending on the context could be true. Within graphic design when it comes to web designing for example, decoration can be confusing and misleading therefore does not work well. As a website needs to show clear hierarchy and help the user on their journey through the website. Although I believe that within the Art & Design industry, decoration can create visually aesthetic outcomes and can communicate messages through visual decoration.

Whilst I enjoyed the Neo-Futurist study group I wanted to write my essay on Smells Like Teen Spirit as I really enjoyed how the subcultures drew inspiration from the past and bought this into their street style. I like how punk encourages women to speak out and express this through their subculture; they do this through their fashion, music, designs etc. I felt that this is an interesting topic to look at when it comes to my discipline as it shows that you can communicate ideas and beliefs in a number of different ways. I have found the constellation side of this first year a challenge as I really struggle with writing. I found that by using Cath’s columns it really helped with structuring my essay. I also found the column analysis helpful when applying theory to my essay so I was able to find theoretical studies to back up my points. In both study groups the academic readings that we were given I found difficult to understand and take in the content. To overcome this I made sure that I read the readings before the study group so when we were depicting the text I was able to understand the information more easily.

I think that constellation has helped me within my discipline by researching existing artists work to inform my designs. I have begun to research a wider range of practices, not just from Graphic Design which is beginning to push boundaries within my subject area. By constellation helping me to improve on this from the start of the year I found that when I reached field, this benefited me as I was already beginning to explore trans-disciplinary techniques. I also feel that my reflective writing within my blog has improved as I have become more confident at being critical within my own work. I have found that the study groups were a lot more helpful to inform my practice as they were engaging and each week provided interesting points which I could take away and apply. Although I did find some of the key notes interesting, some weeks I found that it was more difficult to apply the weekly topic to my subject area. Before I started at CSAD I would only do the research for the project that I had to. Now that I have been in an exciting environment since September, and around creative people sharing similar interests, I enjoy going away and researching other artists and designers for inspiration. As I progress onto Level 5 next year I want to expand my theoretical readings as I think that this will improve my writing. I would also like to explore different study groups to expand my knowledge of constellation as a whole and widen my influences.


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