Thar She Glows

If you’re not following my snapchat, you’re really missing out. It’s crazy.

Plugging in the arduino and finding out I’d actually managed to rig up the circuit right was one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. I definitely wasn’t expecting it. It sure as hell didn’t look like it was going to work. There were wires everywhere, and I did not make my life easier by trying to colour code it. Starting with electronics has been a bit of an eye opener in terms of how much I might be biting off with this thesis project of mine(Again I skipped the Wednesday post this week, but the February update has been posted on the thesis page). Not least the cost of it. No more lunches from Subway for me. My thesis project may save my salt and cholesterol filled heart.

Other highlights of this week include progress with the paper dress and making my incredibly competitive class play musical chairs in the name of science. There was a lot of violence, and I got college credit for it. This was part of a seminar a group of us had to organise, and I have been coasting off the accomplishment of having finished it since  Monday. These were also the presentation slides that I wasn’t designing. But totally ended up designing. Because I have a problem.

This is really short…

I also read lots of things this week. Interesting things. Actually if its something you are vaguely bothered with, Fundamentals of Wearable Computers and Augmented Reality edited by Woodrow Barfield is a fantastic read.

Reading for Two

Unsurprisingly there was no dedicated Wednesday thesis post this week because I can’t handle structure. Meanwhile my “sometime between Thursday and Monday” post is coming to you within the same 2 hour window for the 4th consecutive week. I think I spent more time writing about my blogging schedule than I do anything else.

This past few weeks seem to have aged me. And not in a bad way, curling up with a mug of Ovaltine and a stack of journal papers is fast becoming my favourite way to spend an evening. I’m slowly trudging through my Mendeley saves and working out what’s actually of use to me. I take back everything I said about academic reading. At least when it comes to wearable tech and addiction studies. They’re sort of my jam now. This whole lit review thing might not actually be so bad.

Speaking of growing as a person, I took a major step this week and put a presentation design in someone else’s hands. Granted in was Manasi’s very capable hands, but 12 months ago, letting someone else take the mouse would have been unthinkable. If I’m not the one picking the fonts then what else do I have to offer? Ideas apparently, and research skills. Who knew?

Pity research skills aren’t helping me with the blasted flat pack dress. I know I’ve only been seriously working on it for about a week now, but I hereby declare paper the least cooperative of all the materials. Its squishes, it slips, it tears and does basically anything but fold along the crease you want it to. I never felt like I picked up a lot of competencies during my time in Product Design, but I should definitely have a grip on this paper nonsense by now.

Just as a round off here are some photos from my week. . . studying for an advanced degree.

Pretty Dresses

The second I loosen my posting schedule, I suddenly become capable of military discipline.  Every Friday afternoon for the last three weeks.

Pic via Pinterest and apparently nowhere else on the internet

It’s so pretty. And it is what I am going to be attempting for Flat Pack Museum. It is the Blue Hyacinth evening gown by Sybil Connolly, or at least a maquette (miniature mock up) of it. Maquettes are the next step on from sketching, to show the client commissioning the project what it is their paying for, before investing the time and materials in a full size piece for them to turn around and hate. This tiny picture of the full size piece and the image above are the only visual evidence of it on the internet, so I’m looking forward to getting back to the Hunt Museum to do a bit of sketching and take a few photos of my own. I hadn’t heard of Sybil Connolly before the project, but information on her life and work is significantly easier to come by. She was the first Irish woman to make a dent on the fashion world and designed for everyone form Jackie Kennedy to nuns. Design research is so much easier to do when you like what you’re researching. The plan is to build it from paper, using the magic of origami, without turning against paper for life. Our exhibition opening is the 21st of March, which is not as far away as I think it is, and while I’m not a total beginner at origami, I’m a long way off constructing a replicable dress.

What Clodagh does during exams.

I’m spending more time researching this than my thesis right now, even though that too is about looking at dresses, although to be fair this is due first. Other modules aren’t even competition, not just because they don’t involve pretty dresses, but they’re not asking that much of me. Actually not true, there is plenty I could be doing with Javascript and Pure Data, but none of it’s due until week 15, so that feels like a problem for 10 weeks from now. I’m sure mobile app design will speed up, and when it does I’ll complain about that, but right now it feels like Java for backwards people.

Everyone say hi to Maire, she’s visiting me from the wilds of Kerry this week.

Beauty and the slightly less Beautiful|Thesis Diary



The artist and the engineer within me are at war.

My rational side understands that I have a background and skills in product design and usability. It understands that I got into this degree with the intention of developing my UX/UI design abilities. But things change, I’ve changed, and there is a side of me that wants to let her freak flag fly and build a big haute couture masterpiece of insanity, that you wouldn’t actually be able to sit down in, but would look wonderful at exhibition. And at the end of the day, that is where my thesis project will have it’s moment, at exhibition. But there is also the distinction between MA and MSc to think about. It shouldn’t matter but it does, it really, really does.

From a research perspective, both are plausible in the realm of reacting to social media/ smartphone usage. It will just depend on whether it’s at a personal or public level. I have at least been able to make head way in establishing there are problems with excessive smartphone use and disconnection from reality in academic references. So there’s evidence to support my wild assumptions, or my thesis, if you will.

Of course you have no idea what I’m talking about, because I haven’t updated the thesis page in about 2 weeks and its changed 20 times a day since then. It’s going to be a dress and it’s going to discourage/draw attention to anti-social smartphone use in some way. Beyond this all I’ve got is a Mendeley folder that is quickly growing past the point of being useful and I need a supervisor to make decisions for me help me make decisions, or at the very least, shush me and tell me it’s all going to be OK. I need a grown up.

Picking posting back up to twice a week, because the second all-consuming, sanity ruining project of my short life warrants its own space. I will shoot for Wednesdays, but we know how my scheduling has worked out in the past. Posting on my inspiration, my issues, my progress or lack thereof. “FYP 2 – Now with more chance for electrocution.”

Art for Art’s Sake

Did you know that porcelain is called china because that used to be the only place it came from? People in Europe would send off for their dinnerware and just sort of hope it survived the trip back. Willing to bet a lot of people lost a lot of money on that one.

Anyway, what’d I do this week?

  1. Well, I updated the shit out of this website. All of last semesters media can now be found under the creatively named, “Media” tab, this semesters computing will be found (once I actually do any of it) under “Build” and I put a few assorted other things from outside iMedia under “Design” because I was too lazy to recode the spacings for having six menu items instead of seven. It’s forced me to come to terms with my extraordinarily limited range as an illustrator, and the fact that I am still significantly more proud of it and my graphic work than I am any of my product design. Bachelors degree be damned. P.S. Don’t look at the graphic or product pages, I haven’t gotten that far yet.

    From my “Oh-God-college-is-over-and-I-have-no-purpose-in-life” period.
  2. I took a trip to the Hunt Museum, and I can’t believe I’ve never been in before. Actually that’s a lie, I can totally believe it because I’ve spent the last four years of the opinion that art was a waste of time and resources. But I no longer feel as if my soul is being slowly chipped away at by my degree program, so I have a generally sunnier outlook on life. I can’t remember if I mentioned the Flatpack Museum before (“You could just flick to the next tab where you have the site open and read last weeks post Clodagh” “I could“) , basically the deal is, we pick an object in the Hunt collection and make a flatpack version of it (paper/perspex/etc.). In conjunction with my limited illustration range, I pretty much immediately decided to pick something by Sybil Connolly. This has forced me to come to terms with the fact that I really, really like pretty dresses, which would be fine except that I’m spending a lot of time and money studying every kind of design other than fashion.
  3. I played the not-at-all-new Twenty One Pilot album Blurryface to absolute death, followed by their entire discography.
  4. Mobile App Design has a lecturer! And he has cancelled the Monday morning lecture in favour of a double lecture on Tuesday, meaning I will no longer have to drag myself all the way over to the Health Science building! It’s really far away. And I have such tiny feet. Learning Java and C at the same time may genuinely melt my head, but until the day it happens I shall carry on.

I like numbered list posts, they make it easy to write lots with out having to think of connections between ideas or give the paragraphs any kind of flow. I finally understand Buzzfeed.

Also, my wonderful cousin has launched herself on the blog world, and I need her to stay encouraged so I can have blogger friends,  so check out Dime Eyes for make uppy things.