Getting Organised

This week was mid term break, an opportunity to structure my time as I want and  a trial run for how  the summer is going to go. Now, if you have been reading since before Christmas, you will be aware that structure and I have not always gotten along. But I’ve been getting better the past few months and I am an eternal optimist, so as I do in any time of stress, boredom or day that ends in a Y, I planned.May
What I set out to get done:

  1. HTML5/Js Project
  2. PureData Project
  3. App Design Midterm
  4. Arduino/Processing Project
  5. Updates to Website
  6. Start writing thesis.


What I actually achieved:

  1. HTML5/Js Project.
  2. App Design Midterm
  3. Finally added content to the Graphic and Product design pages
  4. Started writing thesis. (42 words and counting, 14 of which are the title.)
  5. Gave my hair the protein treatment its been craving for weeks now.
  6. Caught up on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Which basically sums up my life, highly ambitious, but lacking the motivation to actually see it through.

I actually don’t think the result is too awful, especially considering the Hunt catalogue continued to haunt me right up until yesterday. Having started to put any words at all down for thesis feels like a massive weight off, and I’m now at least clear on what I want to achieve with  Arduino and Processing, which is more than I could say on Monday. My past self found it hilarious to put it in my to do list as this. Still iffy on PureData because I really don’t like it as an interface and do not find it’s capabilities in the least bit inspiring. It just seems like an ugly form of Processing.

All in all, B+ Clodagh, could do with improvement.

The Journey So Far|Thesis Diary

It took me more than a month to follow up my first totally going to be weekly post, because of course it did.


Achievement Unlocked, Supervisor Acquired. And if my time with my FYP supervisor is anything to go by, Nora, I apologise in advance.


Since I’ve changed thesis idea so many times and been less than devoted to my posting about it, it would be easy to get the impression that it’s just my short attention span jumping around. So I want to take a minute to clear my name and prove that there is a certain amount of method to my madness and write up what I swear to Christ is my locked in, final, never changing ever concept.


I started before christmas with an idea to do a piece of wearable tech that you can read all about in the December entry of my Thesis tab. I knew in September I was doing a wearable. I am obsessed.


The Christmas break gave me a lot of time to think on the fact that I was going to be looking at this project for a very long time, particularly the three months of the summer. I took a hard look at my project and realised, unlike my FYP, it didn’t need to be in the least bit commercial. What it had to be was interesting. The idea I had was small time, so, inspired by the woman who has been my design hero since 2013, Anouk Wipprecht, I decided to go all in a build a dress. I dropped the location based thing because when asked why it interested me, I didn’t have an answer.


I give it a week

After a while of reading broadly in the area I decided to focus in from general social interactions to smart phone addiction, and the anti social side to social networks. The concept was that LEDs in the dress would dull with prolonged phone use, to represent that the wearer was being dull. This was the idea I presented to Nora in our first meeting, she said it was a good jumping off point, but wanted me to go bigger, which in hindsight, I shouldn’t have needed to be told.


Finally, direct from the message I sent my supervisor, is the final product:


“After reading around I still wanted to look at the anti social element, so I started thinking about why it was anti social and started looking at multitasking and how a person can only properly focus on one thing at a time. I essentially circled back to a similar function, but with a more detailed reasoning behind it.


The concept is to treat the physical world as another website/app/social media platform. To be active on one, means to be inactive in the other. In the same way you can only have one tab or app open on a screen, your attention can only exist in the digital or physical space. When the wearer is active online, they are therefore inactive in physical space, and the lighting (thinking fibre optic fabric) in the dress goes dead to indicate the wearer is “offline” in the  world around them.


I’m also playing around with the idea using white noise (possibly in a hood) as a sort of sensory deprivation to push the “out of body” feel a bit.”


And that is our journey so far.

Suffering for My Art


To see the un-photoshopped version of this click here, because I think what I did with it is quite impressive.

I call this one “Dignity”

Against all odds, this is actually a thing that exists in the world right now. “Totally finished on Saturday” turned into “One skirt and may never walk again on Saturday”, when I pulled a muscle in my back and had to waddle home after about 6 hours work and lie down. I didn’t get up for a full 24 hours. It would seem that I have reached an age where crouching on the floor all day gluing newspaper together is no longer an acceptable pastime. The loss of those days led to a bit of panic (and pain) Monday and Tuesday. But it got done.

Not that the stress stops there. I don’t know why I volunteer things, but I do it. I think I just like to martyr myself. I could have been finished with this project on Wednesday morning, but no. “I’ll do the catalogue, no problem”. “What? Thesis? No, I don’t actually want a degree”. Putting together the actual booklet wouldn’t be a problem, but getting other people to send you their stuff is trying to get blood from a stone. It’s Friday and Flat Pack Museum is still my first priority. This is why I hate people who aren’t me.

I’m venting at people who really don’t deserve it, I appreciate the deadline and brief were very fuzzy and you got stuff going on. I just had a frustratingly unproductive day yesterday and I have so much to do. With that in mind I’m going to stop spending time on this and go back to waiting for people to email me.

If you’re interested in seeing it live, Flat Pack Museum runs in the Hunt Museum for three weeks starting next Monday. We hope.

Here are some photos of the build to tide you over until, wait for it, WEDNESDAY! When there will finally be a follow up to Thesis Diary.


Happiness is

This is really long, because apparently I still have a lot of internal scars and I decided to just go with the flow. If there’s one thing I can write at length about it’s how happy my time in product design made me. It is also horrifically dramatic, but so am I, and mental health being the hot topic that it is these days, I’ve just found this the most amazing realisation over the past few weeks.

What a difference 12 months makes. Thanks to Facebooks insistence on living in the past, as well as getting to question whether my friend Nicola and I were high all through secondary school, I’m getting to relive my FYP instagram countdown from last year day by day. It’s highlighting to me just how unhappy I was in my work last year, and how much happier I am this year. My FYP drained me. For about four months, it was all consuming and I wasn’t enjoying any of it. It twisted so far away from anything I saw it being and became an exercise in box ticking. The environment I was in was toxic, creatively (That’s right, I really just said that without irony).  And I captured every gloriously miserable day of it. It’s mostly the captions that put across how thoroughly destroyed I felt, but some of the photos are equally as depressing. Here’s the reason for the post, a really cute one from this week.


My hair was admittedly phenomenal though.

This was after a particularly unpleasant meeting with my supervisor, and is the point I gave up on creative integrity (again, no irony). I was tired of being angry all the time, so for the last two months I was just sad. I finished out all the parts of my FYP to the best of my technical abilities, but my heart wasn’t in it. I stopped fighting because I realised there wasn’t any point. It wasn’t just the FYP either, there were four years of something a kin to emotional torture that left me feeling consistently beaten.

The day solidworks won #fypcountdown #day78 #productdesign #selfie

A photo posted by Clodagh O Mahony (@yodaomahony) on

I find it hysterical that I still tagged it selfie. Never let despair stand between you and IG likes.

I’m not sure how to make this in anyway advisory beyond “don’t study product design, it will ruin your life”, but I do have a happy ending. Since September, I haven’t done anything I’ve hated (except report writing, but we don’t talk about the report writing). While it’s sad the bar is so low, it’s a massive leap forward. I’ve liked my module even though some of it overlaps with things I have covered and remember disliking. Guys, I’m talking critical and speculative design and all that other conceptual nonsense, like Dunne and Raby levels of nonsense. AND I AM LOVING IT. I’ve been proud of my submissions and enjoyed the time I spent working on them. Above all, I have been  working with tutors who are entirely reasonable humans, who don’t suffer from delusions of infallibility or anything (Yes CENSORED, that’s a dig).  My work is better for it, and I’m better for it. It turns out, I’m actually not that angry a person. I am still and always will be sarcastic, but I’m much a bit less mean about it now. I’m much less irritable in general. I am a lighter, brighter person. Although I’m still pretty mean. People are just too ridiculous not to pass comment.

Waking up dreading the day no longer feels normal. Because last year was not normal. It’s not normal to get up in the morning nauseous at the thought of going to college. It’s not normal to come home in tears. It’s not normal to hate how you spend 80% of your time in between. Fuck Product Design for ever making me feel like it was.

PD studio scores two points for not being air conditioned to minus twenty degrees and having its workshop located in the same building.

Disclaimer: I’m taking my fellow students in both cases out of the equation. So if anyone wants to get uppity about it, don’t. This isn’t about you. Not everything is about you. It’s about me. Because everything is about me.

Adventures with Paper

The crease pattern is more or less there and a sizeable quantity of newspaper has been acquired, I even have paint I want to try. With an entire week left I have absolutely no excuse not to at least attempt a life size origami dress. Although I don’t think it’s origami if you use pritt-stick. If my maths is correct (which, of course it is), the circles required for the skirt will be 3.2m in diameter, or approximately 2 of me end to end. This is all going to go horribly, horribly wrong, and I can’t wait.


The first shot in the workshop is a bit crisper than the others because it’s from before I had to carry it from the ERB to  the CSIS building in the rain. The fact that it survived at all is quite impressive.

It’s been a bit of a weird week here in iMedia, for reasons I won’t go into, so I no more word today. I sleepy.