Level 5 PDP

For second year constellation i initially choose the option art, science and the construction of reality. I decided to try a lecture series that was more philosophical based as my first year was based on cognitive development and art movements such as post modernism. I find it difficult to understand philosophical problems especially the kind where the answers are neither wrong or right i prefer something with more of a solid answer based on facts and figures. My dislike for option lies in my capabilities for philosophy, not in the structure of lessons. I can not really comment on this because i only had one session on this topic.It really was not for. I was able to swap to another group where the topic was cognitive future. The sessions were grouped into five hour slots over 5 weeks, as i enjoyed the subject area i found that 5 hours worked well as it takes me a while to focus on tasks. The time allotted allowed me to learn and process more information  than i would in the 2 hour sessions. If i did not enjoy the subject i don’t think i would have coped in the long sessions.


The topics included

  1. The senses mistrusted
  2. Designing aesthetic worlds
  3. Designing futuring
  4. Critical design
  5. Dissertation proposal notes.


Although i was not there for the first session i appreciated the recap of practitioners from the previous year, as it helped to refresh some of the topics from first year but also set up the sessions to come after. I found i was able to see the physical design side of the subject and the cognitive, perception side.The topics were mainly based on skills and knowledge that can be applied to a physical object like the mass production of a washing machine and how it came to be a necessary part of home life instead of being a communal task. Key features that appeared in a few of the weeks were elements like sustainability, or how to communicate an idea or concept in a way that catches peoples for attention, (STI’s in toy form). The majority of the time i don’t like working in groups, but in this situation the group project were short and to the point including a small presentation that by the end didn’t feel that overwhelming.Although there was a certain aspect of philosophy i thought of it as more contextual, which as a maker suited my practice more so than the other options for level 5. In particular i found Wabi-Sabi to be the most interesting topic as i bound the concept behind it useful to my practising, i was very keen to learn about how different design can be in eastern cultures as there was a focus on the west as we are part of it. However i decided to write my formative about Wabi-Sabi because of how hauntingly beautiful i found the extracts from Leonard koren  Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers. I have since incorporated some of the elements of wabi sabi into my subject and field work. From the aesthetic qualities to the sustainability and acceptance of impurities the whole topic of Wabi-Sabi really inspired me. Stuart Walker’s research on critical design and the era of postmodernity was also a highlight of the sessions, i have used it to support my argument within my dissertation plan, the subject links to my practice and possibly the future of making and craft..


The second term of constellation was difficult for me as writing theories and concepts for a dissertation is difficult for me. Surprisingly i found that i had too many ideas to pinpoint a question or even a general direction for my thesis. I decided against an artefact because given the choice to make i would spend more time on the physical side of the project and not the context within the writing. After a lot of procrastination i found the i want to base my thesis on craft, it’s something i define my practice as i find it a very interesting subject. I found the proposal sheet with the questions on  helpful as it gave us questions and certain specifications to include in our writing. I found the tone of the proposal different to what i had previously written. I am used to creating a question, finding research and supporting my argument. However to me this proposal wasn’t as straight forward i found deffincerating between the back ground reading/review of key literature/ critical context to the research plan. I feel like they were all asking for the same information but in different ways. This was difficult to not repeat myself.  

The word count was very intimidating, and i found myself wishing the previous assessment had built up to a higher word count to prepare myself. However after finish the proposal i found it to be a good amount of words i was able to get my theories and concepts across with a certain amount of explanation. As i’m a doing a word count 4000 words is half of the minimum amount for the dissertation so it has prepared me in a way that i don’t feel as intimidated as i was before. The proposal has brought me a lot of clarity about my thesis which may change over summer but i feel as if i can actually tackle the project now. IM very glad that i was able to pick constellation choices in my first and second year that i enjoyed as they have all aided me in the writing on the dissertation proposal. More importantly my subject choice for the 10,000 words reflect who i am as a maker and the practice i want to to explore and work in after university.



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