So I started this week with a sore need to reconstruct and organise my studio, after it was thrown into a whirlwind by a variety of other demands and deadlines (ahh life in the freelancer lane!) - but once that was done I finally got the chance to sit down and take a closer look at my recent test print of Making Sense.
I needed to run a final quality control check before getting back to the manufacturers on any final changes/potential problems. This process also gave me the chance to bring the first full version of these cards into the environment of my daily creative activity, and see how they hold up in different workflows, circumstances, and spaces. Firstly, I went straight for the brown paper. My favourite format for project ideation and planning. and decided to explore large scale workflow configurations! To do this in a timely fashion, I revisit some old project planning notes and remodelled them through this workflow. For this - it just had to be my initial project plans for Playces, the last project that I planned at the cusp of identifying the granular ingredients for Making Sense. ...and I must say, after translating the In dry notepad scribblings - it was all there. But through the lupe of Making Sense, that initial project plan came across a lot less dense and much more dynamic:
This big paper workflow enables a really nice feeling of space and with it the workflow reduces the volume of text that is usually required in order to make note of the intra-active connections and implications between the WHY HOW WHAT ingredients for the project plan. What started here, as a whistlestop (neaaaaarly tokenistic) modelling process, quickly became quite a valuable revisit to the original plans because, to my surprise, some intra-active emergences were actually missed the first time around! Thanks to cards that prompted ingredients that I hadn't considered previously I spotted the opportunity to consider the ingredient of [timing] within the [spatial] mode of the sculptures of which could help me [reinforce a theme] for Playces - i.e. the theme of 'what makes a place a place?'. In this case this creative formula chain got me reflecting on the notion of rhythmnanalysis and consider how phenomena such as the time of day and weather cycles can change a location and are very much part of our lived space (hello Lefebvre - nice of you to pop up here!)
...and this is an element which I will very much be looking to double down on in future scaled-up editions of this project. Something that will help the visual element of these sculptures depict evolving rhythms within these locations (something that was largely down to the aural modality in the previous sculptures in this series). This was a pretty leisurely process though. I stood around, stared into space many times, pondered, drank nice coffee. It was lovely.
The second day of workflow modelling, however, was dedicated to a much more considered process in which I combed carefully through the guidebook that comes with the cards - of which provides a detailed step-by-step breakdown of The Prism Framework, the process that gets your planning workflows looking like the one above! However, for this one, I decided to test it out through more personal, small scale workflows. A table, a note pad, and a mindful follow along with the guidebook while exploring some creative themes and ideas. Something that could happen in more humble surroundings, or even in liminal public spaces like a coffee shop or on a train (...remember those?)
Also the cards are holding up nicely when it comes to being blue tacked, taped, stacked, flicked, and thrown about. Perfect for all of the scenarios anticipated. Lastly, towards the end of the week as I started to wrap up the quality control tests, I found myself beginning to use the cards as part of my practice. This is something that I'll be sharing a more dedicated update on in the coming weeks... but this marked the moment in which, outside of the design thinking process for Making Sense, I was finally using them organically for the creation of brand new public-facing projects - ones that I'll be looking to kick-off/apply for/collaborate on in the coming weeks and months!
Oh. Wait. Nope. That wasn't lastly after all. There's one more thing! Following this week of trials in the studio, I also had the great pleasure of running a table-top workflow demo for the team at JOLT in Gloucestershire. Which also served as a great opportunity to get some proper roaming mic and dual cam setups rolling in my studio space for Zoom workshop. I would say for COVID, but hell, I've been remote working since COVID was but a twinkle in Swine Flu's eye (yeah I know... I virology goooood...) so it's a setup that I'm glad to have pinned down just generally anyway! ...and even as a COVID-choked one-way flow of a demo...it seems as though it's been very well received indeed!
"I really love this! I feel this is what our audience in Gloucester needs. You've taken the really important but dry process, of planning and organisation, and presented it in a very appealing contemporary product... I 'm blown away with how much of a game changer it is." Dylan Williams, Programmes Co-ordinator @ Jolt.