Mandala patterns are common for the support of the Buddhist religion. Throughout Thailand, these shapes and patterns were frequently seen on textiles and wall art. They have beautiful meanings such as strengths and knowledge. I have searched for some patterns and ways of creative these symbols from tattoo designs that many people have.
I wanted this project to be quite personal so I could get the best result from it in terms of passion and outcome. I have created a 3D photo book that has been annotated with my stories, comments and quotes from Buddha that represent my trip to Thailand, India and Singapore.
I have also filled it with potential materials to use later on and sketches using mixed media which will hopefully trigger ideas and designs for my project further on. This photo book is a handy reference to refer back to and to always gain inspiration when stuck for drawing and developing designs. It was also a helpful source for choosing my colour ways too.
Here are some pages from my personal journey.
Customer Board – My customer is female aged 20 – 30 years of age with an interest in travelling and has money to spare to visit exotic countries and for an affordable luxury bedroom interior.
Colour Board – This is my colour pallet, inspired by some of my photos and from the beautiful rich temples. The dark blue is one of my main colours. I would also like to work with metallics, especially rose gold to give that luxury look.
Theme Board – My theme is obviously Asian design and style. It uses imagery and iconic symbols that represent Thailand and what I want to focus my theme on.
My Brief – Exotic Paradise
The aim of this project is to design a bedroom interior collection suitable for the mid/mass market retail sector during the spring/summer of 2016. Inspired by Asian backpacking travels for the woman between 20-35 years of age with an interest in Thai design.
Backpacking to exotic countries has become a trend to follow over the last few summers. Thailand, India and Singapore were the countries I had recently visited last summer along with hundreds of other people similar to myself.
Paradise and foreign, exotic lands have appealed to designers as of late because of their variations in colours, textures and natural forms. It is particularly fashionable today in the western market as there is this desire to be reminded of such beautiful places that distract from the current place they are in now.
Asian design is an expression of Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cultures. Home decor from these areas often emphasises Zen-like open areas for relaxation and meditation along with feng shui furniture arrangements. Silk chinoiserie wallpaper gives the sense of richness and simplicity. This style can vary immensely. A room could hint at an Eastern influence with a Buddha sculpture and prayer beads, or completely re-create the feel of a traditional Asian house. Asian furniture and accessories, such as tatami mats, futons, tansu-style cabinets and shoji screens create a Japanese aesthetic, while red lacquer, foo dogs and paper lanterns add Chinese style. Asian art and interior is incredibly intricate and created by hand with both drawn and painted designs to hand crafted and carved objects.
The mid/mass market has a range of shops that compete in the interior market. The companies that would be competing against my designed range would be John Lewis, Debenhams, Next and House of Fraser. Each relate heavily to British design and have a centralised westernised identity throughout their products.
All their company values stated on their online sites question how unique each company is. Similarly, they all speak of keeping the British heritage and how John Lewis never forgot its
heritage. However, today travelling the world has become more popular every year as well as foreign design in both fashion and interior.
Values associated with the competitors:
* Quality and Value
* British and Local
* Affordable Luxury
* Quintessential and Recognition
To allow this projects designs to have the ability to compete against such successful brands, they must be able to qualify for the above aspects. Although, to achieve that individualism and difference to stand out against the listed competitors, this exotic range will be massively influenced by Asian design, specifically Thai, and then westernised for recognition in the retail market.
Foreign design isn’t brand new to the market, but it does open up a niche market for a specialised company to focus on exotic interiors inspired by areas such as Thailand that could be recognised in the British heritage not only for those who have an interest in travelling and understanding in cultures but also those who have moved from overseas would enjoy a related interior design style that would be acceptable in both a British home and foreign home.
The objectives to follow are:
* Complete a detailed research file and photo book from previous travels on Asian, mainly Thai design interiors
* Explore concept of customer based research
* Create Mood Boards; Theme, Colour and Texture, Client and Competitor
* Drawing and development of hand created designs
* Experiment with samples and create technical file, working with heat press, screen printing, dye and mark making
* Create final collection of wallpaper and fabric designs
* Organise Press Packs (x6)
* Written synopsis of work
Here are some images from my travels:
The temples in Thailand were just out of this world, everything was just so unreal and amazing. It was a truly beautiful country and experience.
During my third year in constellation I have definitely gone through many highs and lows. I felt that I have always struggled with academic writing and research methods which was made clear throughout my tutorials and written feedback. Since receiving my Dissertation Proposal back with a low grade I have switched Constellation tutors from Morag to Ashley which has resulted in a huge positive development.
Throughout my progress of writing my Introduction and Chapters for my dissertation, my main question to answer and study for was clarified and made concrete, which was starting to worry me when I was with Morag because I was told to focus on just research but it was confusing to do research for something I did not really understand and how it would help with just an undecided thesis. However, Ashley read through my work I produced over the summer break and marked it as a fail. At this point I was about ready to give up, but I took on board her critiquing and advice and started my whole Dissertation again. This was heart breaking and very stressful to do, but this gave me the urge to catch up and do a large amount of work in a short space of time. This taught me to time manage my work more, realising the more frequently I do work on my Dissertation the more involve myself in it and actually put 100% in to it because I know what I am talking about and ideas are continuously produced in the process. Ashley also helped my find more of an interest in it as that was partly the struggle of finding the motivation to get on with something I did not really connect to. She helped me draw links to English textiles and my favorite designers to study which led to inspiration as to where I could go next with my studies.
I feel that I have had a big turn around since the start and found my writing has become more confident and fluid as now I enjoy my content more. From this I have realised that really involving myself into my work will beneficial for my actual Subject area in Textiles for my final degree show and has given me inspiration as to what to do during the term after Christmas by using personal interests and experiences I have had. Before having tutorials with Ashley, my Dissertation was focusing on quite a limiting area of study, explaining why British textiles has died out compared to stronger textile cultures such as India. This was almost negative and hard to prove, setting me back a lot as I don’t think I fully understood what I was trying to get out of the question I started off with. Now, I have developed my study into the rise and decline of textile cultures and how other cultures seem to have a higher level of longevity that Britain. This study has lead me into interesting topics and readings that I have enjoyed learning about, especially seeing as I am British and studying textiles for my degree, it was interesting to know why and where the origins of specific textiles came about. This made me want to share my passion and progress with Ashley to show her how my studies were going and to see if she could develop them further, whereas before I would be hesitant to show either tutors my work as I knew it wasn’t as strong as it should have been at that stage. At the moment I am flying through my work and creating interesting ideas to use and argue in each of my chapters. I am now confident I will be able to finish my work at a higher level and on time unlike before.
Throughout the three years of the constellation process, I cannot say I have had a positive experience until now. I do believe the tutors have a huge impact on the work and motivation for it. I did not feel the connection with Morag as I now do with Ashley and I do feel I could have progressed a lot more if I had changed tutors from the start so I could have developed constantly throughout this progress instead of just towards the final months. Personally in my opinion from bad experiences throughout University, a tutor that really works well with you and can talk to you professionally and on a personal level create a better over experience to deal with stressful situations that some students like myself try and hide from, laying it all out on the table with the right person takes some weight off your shoulders, which was something that I definitely needed.
I do feel that the concentration on the dissertation itself was not enough throughout the first two years and could have been organised to prepare students like myself, who are not used to writing academically slightly better by having focused seminars on how to write, research and study for such a big chunk of the degree. I am aware these were in place but in just a couple of long seminars that were not enough. I feel particularly this should have been done in first year rather than what we actually did which in my eyes seems quite pointless which how it has played no part in my writing of my Dissertation. I believe the work we started to produce in second year should of have started in first year and the research process should have started earlier than it did.
Although this is all too late to consider now, I feel at least more positive about where my work is going and how far I have come throughout all stages of University as it has not been easy it all. I am more confident that I will at least pass my dissertation now after changing tutors and hopefully receive a 2:1 as that is what I feel that is the highest I am capable in getting at a real push.
This term of dissertation writing has been highs and lows. Over summer I tried to research and write as much as I could in terms of what I knew had to be done. My dissertation tutor changed when I came back for my first term of third year. After meeting up with her I saw what I actually needed to, even if it was heartbreaking to know I had to start all over again, it was a positive step forward. She definitely pointed me in the right direction and made me more interested in my work by making myself more involved into it so I can relate to it better. This improved my writing massively and I feel like I am actually making progress now.
However the deadline is coming up soon, towards the end of February, and I am freaking out as to whether I will actually finish it let alone pass.