On the move

 

The tale of a zealous student’s first interview for an extremely exciting and promising industry job.

At last things have been happening. A month of unfruitful emails and tentative flat searches passed before anything happened. I got one response offering an interview but unfortunately they ‘found our new Studio Assistant’ before I had the chance to get my foot in the door. Until, while I was sat at my desk trawling through Dezeen Jobs one afternoon, I got the email from Philip Watts Design.

‘Thank you for your application for the placement position we have in London. I would love to meet you to discuss your work and get to know you a little more.

Are you available this Friday at all to meet at OXO Tower and we can get a coffee and discuss your work?’

At last.

The next week was spent lovingly touching up my, now shoddy, first year AutoCAD plans for my makeshift portfolio. I say makeshift because I have a designed portfolio, one I painstakingly laid out and made perfect for a hand in. Unfortunately, despite explaining to my lecturer that I had an interview and the submission having already been graded, I was unable to collect my actual portfolio from the studio. So, I made a makeshift portfolio of all of my original A3 layouts, which meant I could rearrange the work to suit what I knew Arun (my interviewer) wanted to see. And include hand drawn work from first year which is much more charming on its original, slightly crinkled layout paper. I’ve only just learned how to hand draw but it already feels like hand drawing is a dying art.

The interview went well. I survived the social shun of admitting that I don’t drink tea or coffee, then plumped with a much more palatable orange and mango juice. In fact, Arun made me feel right at home in what seems like the Philip Watts family. We briefly talked about me, then him and then the job itself. Over our drinks, the hot London sun warming our necks, he told me there’s often dogs in the office, that I get two weeks off at Christmas, and one of their biggest clients is Greggs while I sat and listened in rhapsody, hoping that the black A3 presentation folder wilting between my Nikes and the chair leg was enough.

It turns out it was. In a stroke of luck, I got the email from Philip Watts himself a week later, 10 minutes before my brother and I were due to meet my parents in Victoria for a family pub crawl back to my brothers Brixton flat.

‘You met recently with Arun at our London office and he was very impressed! So it gives me great please to offer you a placement opportunity with our company.’

Since then I’ve been looking at affordable and practical rooms in house shares around London and I think I’ve found a steal, but more on that later…

 

 

Note to Self

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I always think it’s vital to start any day or task with a plan of what you hope to achieve, as a way of ensuring you stay on track. I personally like to do this in the form of a physical list so that I can tick things off as I go and make notes or adjustments without relying on my frazzled and probably elsewhere mind.  I’ve been told by almost everyone who knows me that I’m extremely organised, bordering on obsessive when it comes to making lists and plans. I never shy away from careful colour-coding or frantic post-it noting, also techniques I find very helpful when I’m organising my workload.

As you can imagine I’ve worked my way through my fair share of notebooks (as well as highlighters, pens and various other stationary) but my Bullet Journal is my favourite companion by far. It remains tucked safely in the bottom of my bag, always there when I need it to jot down notes or sketch something quickly.

I also take lecture notes in my Bullet Journal, which you can see below. Since first year I’ve developed my own style of handwriting when taking notes, more as a necessity than by choice, as my regular handwriting is extremely difficult to read, especially when written in a rush. This has helped enormously when it comes to looking back at my notes at a later date, as well as when I’m getting my work looked at by lecturers, this process is made much quicker when I don’t have to read every other word to them.

Ultimately, what I’m saying is, get yourself a good notebook and a good system for making and keeping notes.

TITle

So I’ve been thinking a lot about my image lately, the need to be, or at least appear professional. The idea of creating a brand, or maybe even being my own brand. Especially as I’m currently looking for placement, emailing a lot of companies my portfolio and CV, along with accompanying social medial accounts which needs to adhere to level of maturity. This unfortunately means censoring myself and some of my old and more controversial work, such as my Free The Nipple project.

I worked on this project during my final year of college and am very proud of the outcome, as well as the project itself. During this time I explored a lot of avenues within the idea of feminism. The project asked questions regarding the censorship of women and tentatively pushed the boundaries of what I discovered is ‘appropriate’. I took great pleasure in asking the sniggering kids in my school exactly why they found my braless breasts so funny, while pointing out I could see all of the boys nipples who were giggling at mine. I tried to challenge the stigma of misplaced embarrassment that surrounds harmlessly revealing the female form. Ultimately, despite mine and many other feminists best efforts, I still believe that women are unfairly sexualised in all forms; the media, social stereotypes, porn, adverts, music videos, sport.

While I resent the fact I cannot parade this project I also respect that it is sensitive and controversial. I am putting this project out there for whoever it may interest, because the idea of censoring it goes against the exact reason I made it. This project was made to challenge, to ask why we women must be so modest with our bodies.

Damn being a grown up…

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Below is the link to my Free The Nipple project, please be warned that there are many images of naked women and probably some misspelled words. Peruse at your leisure.

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The First of the Second

I have always loved to learn and theres no better feeling that gaining knowledge in a subject that truly interests you. So naturally, I was awake bright and breezy ready for my first lecture of second year. Bag packed the night before in excited trepidation. Now, we have all laughed at the new year 7’s with their man sized bags that are undoubtably bursting with useful as well as what they’ll soon realise is surplus school equipment. However, there comes a point where having a bag full of stationary is cool and you’re the class idiot for not having a pen. After all, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. With this in mind when I received an email from my lead tutor this year, Paul, with an attachment for us to read I printed it straight off and began to devour it.

Our first lecture back, like most peoples, was a formality spent covering module information. Taking a quick note of all the boring but necessary information like how many credits each module is worth, the final hand in date and the distribution of work between coursework and exams.

My next semester looks a little like this:

In Design Studio: Close Up – taught by Felipe Lanuza – we will be redesigning the foyer of the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, inspired by the innovative theory of Garden Cities.

Below are my notes from the first studio lecture. We looked at previous plans for Garden Cities, using the images as a stimulus to imagine the interior.

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Final sketchbook page

I was inspired by the green areas visible in the image, immediately envisaging a fresh modern square accommodation block surrounding a circular green space and fountain. Taking heed of the geometric shapes in the image, specifically the grid windows in the top left hand corner, I sketched a rough modular design. Also thinking along the lines of a minimal, yet interchangeable layout. A space you could make your own with customisable storage and kitchen units, for example,  which can be updated and moved around. The premise of being able to update the design was also at the forefront of my concept.

The modern world is constantly coming up with new gadgets and clever design ideas, a space that could be upgraded to accommodate these new innovations would in itself be somewhat innovative.