4.2 Creating & Crafting
The student discusses the influence of making in the design process.

4.2 Creating & Crafting

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No designer can deny the pivotal role that crafting, prototyping and creating plays in the process of designing and production. For me, as a designer, it is essential to get my hands dirty, experiment and to do as many trial and errors as I can. This not only helps me to examine the effectiveness of my ideas and vision but also helps me become more creative through the exploration of forms. Creating and crafting is a vital part of my creative process, and I can refer to examples within most of the projects I have done in the past few months.

For the Living Roadmap project, before starting work on the computer, I began by sketching and doodling in my notebook and tried to envision the general flow and framework needed behind the app. Basic squares and rectangles symbolised buttons, images and text. Slowly links appeared between pages and a general sense of logic appeared. Working with my project team also helped here as we could quickly make changes together, feeding off of each other's energy and ideas as we scribbled on paper or the large white boards.

For the Biometric Feedback project, after the concept and direction had been finalised and we knew that we wanted to create a visual representation of depression and emotional levels of the users, I started sketching and doodling numerous possible variants of the monster or creature we were to use for our project. From the various versions, I expanded on seven of them, creating detailed drawings and character art which showed the creature more clearly, focusing more on the expression and unique traits such as hair or shape of the belly. One was then selected as the creature that was to represent the different levels of emotion.

My task was to then bring this 2D character into a 3D environment. At first, I found it difficult to shape the creature in virtual 3D, so in order to further understand the form, I modelled it with clay. Once I had created the clay version of the creature and was able to feel it in my hands, I understood how I was to make it digitally. Crafting the creature in real life helped me to understand how I was to approach it in a digital 3D world which is something I hadn't realised before this exercise.

For the final example I will address Useless Machine. During an early stage of the project, Jolijn, Rowan, and myself brought in objects and artefacts which we found to be aesthetically pleasing, ridiculous and/or relatable to our project. We disassembled them and started experimenting by combining them with other materials, creating different forms and shapes. This process included dismanteling, soldering, attaching and general play. Through our exploration and experiments, we came across creations that were very interesting, as well as ones that were absolutely useless. This process was very liberating not only in the sense of creating forms but also keeping our hands busy while our minds were occupied, and helped expand our vision to think of new ideas and concepts for the projects.

All in all, I find being active with my creativity and experimenting, exploring and creating both in tangible and digitally ways to be very important in my creative process.