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.

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.

Look Busy

IMAG07761We’re back, the electives are chosen, the modules are registered, the thesis idea is locked in, semester 2 is officially a go.

And it’s all looking really well actually. Aside from an unbelievably awkward timetable that gives me lunch options of 10am or 4pm most days. Contemporary Art turns out to have been a fantastic choice. You forget how much you miss building things until you start talking about it. It’s been months since I put hands on a saw, screwdriver or even so much as a glue gun. Really looking forward to making things.

Elective number two is a bit of a shambles. It seems a lecturer has yet to be assigned, which was a bit disappointing for the at least 80 strong crowd that showed up last Monday morning to hear about Mobile Application Design. And then again on Tuesday evening. We’ll all just have to try again next week, third time lucky I suppose.

Core modules are both looking well too, with, I think, only one major essay on the horizon. Five days in and we’ve already had a trip out of the lab to take a wander round Georgian Limerick for a project in conjunction with the architecture department.

The thesis went from a fuzzy, distant concept to very, very real all of a sudden. Before Christmas, “I kind of want to work in this sort of area” was completely acceptable, now there’s very scary talk about literary reviews and prototypes being thrown around and I don’t know where any of it’s going to fit. Especially since I’ve developed a new obsession with BBC3 documentaries that pretty much takes all of my time right now.

The Best Post Title Ever

I swear I’ll stop with the non-titles from next week, but this stuff is hard.  Actually, between recovering from the plague and travelling back to Limerick, I don’t have a lot to write about this week, so lets make this quick.

Who has overgrown roots and a B in sociology? I DO!

Atrocious midterm aside, the grading gods (otherwise known as Colm) have decreed that I have enough of an understanding of technologies relationship with society to continue with my education. The horrifying Tinder essay was not in vain. Better even than passing sociology, however, was the doing better than that in every other module, putting my QCA at second-to-all-time high.

The overgrown root situation is a stickier wicket. It has reached a point that I am no longer prepared to live with, but I have no idea what to do with it. Whatever I do I’m doing it tomorrow. The decision will be made as I’m standing there looking at the boxes of dye, so I really can’t say much more about it right now. Looking forward to starting back in college and having something to whinge about.

Scheduling-wise, I think I’m going to post somewhere in the Thursday to Monday range, but I won’t narrow it down more than that. You can probably expect a post every Tuesday from now on then.

Enter Post Title Here

I’m not dead, not this time.

My brother infected me (I maintain intentionally) with what my mother claims was a cold, which led to issues with my sinuses. And this has been most inconvenient.

I tend to be a worrier, so I go about my life with anxiety nausea for sometimes days at a time. I’ve talked about my migraines before and after a few of them you learn to cope with pain. What I mean is, I can handle feeling shit without making too big of a fuss about it. But sinuses, man. They have the ability to render me the biggest baby on the planet. Without making you relive the entire episode, movement and I were incompatible for a total of nine days. And it has completely fucked a lot of things up.

I’m going to be a week late returning to Limerick, a trip that was supposed to happen last Monday. I have little to nothing to show for my thesis project, which I have of course grown to hate, and I think will change quite a bit once I get back in the lab and put a bit of time in to it.


#thesiscountup was completely derailed  after just 6 days because for more than half the time I’m supposed to have been doing it I’ve been in bed with nothing to take photograph. Last year, #fypcountdown really helped record how I was spending my time, but it only spanned the more interesting last bit where I was making stuff and I didn’t have to do any proper write up of my FYP. When I thought about it, the thesis is going to be pretty heavy on days where I just sit in front of a screen with a load of text on it. That doesn’t photograph well. No one wants to see that and I don’t want to fill my Instagram feed with shit. I want to concentrate my Instagram feed on the pictures that get the likes, heavily made-up selfies and paintings of pretty dresses. Last year I wasn’t blogging on a (semi) regular basis, so it’s not like I’m leaving myself with no record.

On an unrelated note, I’m putting doctorate plans on the back-burner. I have long known in my heart of hearts that I don’t want to do a PhD, I just want to have one. And that is not a good enough reason to sink a minimum of four years of my life into a project I don’t care about. Especially not four of the years where I’m still pretty enough to garner Instagram likes. I’m not saying never, just some time when it doesn’t feel like such a waste of life.

I think what I’m saying is I’m dropping out of college to become an Instagram model.

I don’t know how many of these decisions were made in  that feeling-miserable nihilism where you just can’t see the point of anything and how many of them will actually stick beyond a week but here is where I’m at right now. I’m pretty sure about the PhD bit though, not next year, I want to go actually design/develop/produce things for a while instead of just writing about it.

More positively, I’ve honoured one of my 2016 rules and switched my elective choice from Physical Computing to Contemporary Art in the Public Realm. I’ve signed up for 4 months of artsy bullshitting and I’m still feeling good about this decision. Whether I like it or not this is the industry I’m in and I need to learn to talk shite with the best of them. I’m becoming a better rounded individual. I’m so open-minded.

No Post on Sundays

After months of fails, I actually have news and had to make a point of not posting last Sunday. I’m trying to work out how my post scheduling is going to work for the next while since every insert weekday here clearly doesn’t work, but I can’t be dealing with this hippy dippy “whenever I feel like it”. I will sort it out.  It probably won’t happen until I’ve finished rewatching Made in Chelsea though, and that won’t happen until I finish rewatching Sherlock. I will let you know.

The blog is going to move again. For the second time since transferring here, my MySQL host randomly deleted my database, which brings the whole site down. If you attempted to view anything between half 4 and 6pm on Sunday evening, you would have been met with “Error establishing database connection”. The host was nice enough to send me an email to let me know that they had erased all my information because reasons, and thankfully I am obsessive about my  1st of the month backups, so I set up a new database and had it all  up and running quick enough. The last time they wiped me it was the end of the month and the only way I could recover 2 posts was using The WayBack Machine to find cached pages and copy and paste the contents. If it were just the blog I’d be prepared to deal with the inconvenience for the sake of free hosting, but it’s not a risk I can take with the other pages which, until May, are grading criteria. I’m going to uninstall WordPress and redesign the richie server address using plain old static Dreamweaver. The blog will have to go.

You have to promise to stick with me though, because I’m going to go a little crazy and actually pay for hosting. With a dot com and everything. As of yesterday, I’m building another site. I’m building it offline because once I start paying I’m on a clock and I want to be able to upload a fully working site and have done with it. It won’t be until April I imagine, just in time for this site to be reviewed for the Spring semester. In the mean time I will see how we go, but I may move back to the old address.

LouboutinsThe new site will also conveniently time itself for use as an online portfolio in my search for employment/freelance work. Part of why I’m willing to part with cash over this is because I pretty much have my first six months hosting paid for through print sales on Redbubble and Society6. Someone bought a proper canvas of “Louboutins in Ink”. I figure with a bit of promotion, it’ll cover the costs.

So there you have it, a whole lot of “I don’t really know what’s going on”, but it’s in the awkward post-Christmas stage and I’m in my 20’s, how else am I supposed to be?


A letter to the me that exists from tomorrow until Dec 31st 2016,

As we leave 2015 behind us along with it’s ups and downs, we reach the time of year when people resolve to change things about themselves. Obviously, you don’t need changing, so these are not resolutions. They are rules.

  1. Stop pretending you post on Sundays.
  2. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Take Contemporary Art instead of Physical Computing.
  3. Don’t buy a new phone, you don’t need a new phone, what you need is money. Every 12 months is not a reasonable turnover.
  4. You and white wine are done-skis.
  5. Keep the “Not to be opened until August 1st” sign on the bleach bottles. Your scalp needs the break.
  6. Get your cholesterol checked. You eat literally a kilo of cheese a week, you’re probably dying.
  7. Rowing, running, fuck it, go back to ballet, but do something. The stairs in the CSIS do not qualify as exercise and your legs are getting scrawny.
  8. You say it every year, but finish all of the existing projects in your knitting bag/sewing box before you start new ones. #neverhappening
  9. Finish some? Or rip them back/bin them? Just the ones more than 3 years old?
  10. Seeing as you once again forgot to apply for any and all graduate programmes, do not let September be a repeat of last June. Find your next great adventure before you finish this one. And have it be one you’re paid for.
  11. Stay blogging.
  12. Minimum 4hrs on thesis per week, every week from now until May. Obviously considerably more than that between May and September. Do not last minute this shit.
  13. Do not cut your hair.
  14. Do not cut your hair.
  15. Do not cut your hair.


Your optimistic New Years day self. Who has very little faith in you.

PS It felt sensible to start a new Instagram project on January 1st, #thesiscountup is upon us. Happy New Years!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Crit Me.

This weeks post is late (shocking, I know) because I swore to myself that my thesis work would be totally finished before I wrote it, and that didn’t happen until this morning. This is a call to action. By 5pm, December 24th (i.e. tomorrow), this whole site needs to be perfect. Everything from link to alignment issues, typos, missing images, window resizing, colours, and of course, most importantly, fonts. I need your help, I’ve been staring at these same seven pages for much too long now to spot them all. Embrace your inner Clodagh, be unnecessarily harsh.  Do your worst, I can take it. Comment, message me, tweet me, snap me, CRIT ME.Jan-Quote

This also means this will probably be the top post when the site is reviewed, so, hi Mikael! Please don’t read through too many of these posts, they do not reflect well on me or my work ethic.

Photography work is finished, 12 photos under the theme “Affordances”.

Videography work is finished, one short film based on “Behind Closed Doors” by Margaret Cahill.

Audio work is finished, one sound walk and one video soundscape.

All of the above has been reflected upon in some way.

Thesis work is finished, I’ve written up about as much as I know about my project so far. Next update coming January 2016.

The website will forever remain a work in progress.

This ticks all of my boxes for semester 1, so if you’ll excuse me, after spending much too long trying to work out how to word a the project I’ve was so very excited about for the past few weeks, I’m going to go pack a whole lot of festive joy into a very small space of time

Merry Christmas people, I will hopefully get another one in before the new year.

Over It

Shout out to the torrential rain, seeing as it’s trying so desperately to get everyones attention.

I am well and truly done with this semester, and there’s still a week left. Next Thursday cannot come soon enough.

I have stared into the depths of humanity, and come away, albeit a little bit broken, on the other side with a passable (well, we’ll find out in January, won’t we?) essay on the subject. “Tinder Made Me Do It – Technological Determinism vs. Social Constructivism, A Case Study”, is finished, and so too is the sociology module that I have battled so much with. It struggled to the bitter end though, taking a full five days to pull the last 1500 miserable words out of me. Any and all motivation for life I have ever had has left me. I just hate essays and journal papers so much, and there’s so many of them.

You may ask why someone with such a loathing for academic reading and writing wants to do a PhD. If I had an an answer to this question I would give it to you, but I don’t, so whisht. Dr. Clodagh O’Mahony simply must come to be.

You may also ask yourself why someone would share a post like last weeks on Linkedin. Truthfully, I forgot it shared there, but when it was pointed out to me Monday, I made the concious decision to leave it there. Partly because the damage was already done, and partly because any professionalism on my part would be totally fake. I’m good enough at what I do, if I were mature and professional as well it would be unfair to the other children. You might have noticed that I’m totally over the whole “feeling shame” thing from last week. My “attitude problems” are a very important part of me.

Fun fact, I still haven’t done much photography. Back in week 4 I made jokes about it getting to week 12 and I still wouldn’t have it done. Well, it’s almost week 15. Who’s laughing now, brain? You got one week left. The film is very nearly there though. I spent my yesterday dropping my recorded Foley effects, ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) and ambient noise onto the final cut, and after a few final edits…


…we will be good to go. And I won’t have to listen to recordings of myself calling “aaand ACTION” again for another few months at least. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of saying it, that was fun every time, but listening to the playback over and over to sync the audio effects with the guide was painful. Behind Closed Doors will be coming to a screen near you December 16th, provided you are near the Interaction Design studio in UL. Other than that I’ll have it posted here by Friday.

PS, I hope you appreciate the little pop-up on the “aaand ACTION” link, I spent a good three hours not photographing “Affordances” to work that one out. Instagram does not like to be put in an iframe.

I Survived PDT Ball 2015 (Kind of)

This is a second “worst hangover ever” post in a row, apparently my messy college days started in postgrad education. I know I said it months ago, but what I write next will really put the final nail in the “professional blog” coffin. I am not a grown up.

Look at her, with all her shit together

I’ve basically been in bed for three days. While physically I will recover, emotionally, I don’t think my pride ever truly will. There was wine, there was champagne, there was Bulmers, there was tequila, I think there was some Jager and there was definitely a whole lot of vomit. Don’t mix drinks kids.

I have a history of looking wasted in photos from the PDT ball,  whilst actually having been totally sober. This year I look half decent in all of my photos, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more out of it in my entire life. When nights with my product designers are so few and far between I’m disgusted with myself for being such a mess. And for not being able to remember much of it. To any of you who were present reading this, because apparently quite a few of you do, I want to apologise. I know you’ll tell me its fine, and not to worry about it, but I need to write it because right now the thought of actually facing and speaking to any of you makes me want to curl back into the little ball (oh god, don’t say that word) of shame that I’m only now starting to come out of. I’ll never be able to get back up on my high horse again.

My grand plans to get my photography finished this weekend pretty much went out the window the second I started drinking on Thursday, but two modules are now finished. After a week and a half  of procrastinating and developing a colourful snapchat story to illustrate how little work I was doing, the final hand-ins for Interaction Foundations and Digital Media Systems have been met.

I have to admit a small part of me will miss DMS. We got off to a very rocky start, and I’m still no fan of SuperCollider, but I respect it, and I swear I learnt more in those eight labs than I did in four years of PDT. I can confidently build most common synthesisers as Max patches, and I’m not scared of Physical Computing for Musical Interfaces next semester at all any more.

Photography will get done. As will my sociology essay (which, having tanked the midterm, needs to be exceptional), and the Foley effects for the video, and my finalised thesis proposal. I certainly won’t be drinking in the next ten days, or potentially the next ten weeks/months/years, so that should help.

Death by Start Up Weekend

You may have noticed that I did not post on Sunday, but if you’ve been following me for any length of time you will know that 80% of my posts start with an explanation of why I didn’t post on Sunday. This week I have my best excuse yet. I spent yesterday in a coma.

From 6 o’clock on Friday until a shameful hour Monday morning (10am, I got in from the after party at 10am), I was participating in a Start Up Weekend. A phenomenal experience and the most surreal couple of days. While team Beer Friends/Wisp/Evnt didn’t come out with any prizes, I got to spent almost 2 straight days working on my favourite thing in the world, presentation, I had a fantastic time, met a ridiculous number of people, ate well and drank considerably more than was healthy. If you have any interest in start ups, have an idea you want to see worked on, or just want a really fun (but exhausting) weekend, I definitely recommend finding one in your area. SW Limerick will be back in Spring 2016 and they have one confirmed attendee in me at least.

It is really hard to remember life before Start Up, but on Thursday we started filming for the video project with the help of 2 fantastic actors from UL Drama Soc, and we wrapped filming last night. (Apologies to my team for missing it, I just physically couldn’t cope.) The ADR session tonight will be the first real test of my abilities to run the sound side of things, and I promise to be on point.