Ideas, Research and Impending Disaster

by liamdaisley

Speaking to Paul, he explained that it was problematic that I didn’t have secondary references that back up my work and that this communicated a sense of naivety in the use of my footprint designs.

I argued that the idea I have produced has spawned from research, however it was primary. As it stands, I currently believe primary research provides wider potential for originality because the thought (in coming from me) speaks to me as a designer more.


Here is the reasoning behind the use of footprints:

  • My research revealed a sense of diversity to the city. To convey this would illustrate an “unvarnished view of the city”, a request that Dan would like seen in our outcomes.
  • Footprints provide a recurring motif that is flexible enough to demonstrate a bespoke application to each section of the book (i.e. working shoes in Attainment & Ambition to might indicate commitment to working).
  • Footprint designs give an impression of individual personality whilst potentially supplying the audience with familiar aesthetics. This may create relatability and encourage reading.
  • Dan wants the report to “provide a baseline of how the city operates”. I think that I’ve achieved this by using the footprints to guide paths that demonstrate peoples behaviour (i.e. footprints walking towards each other in the “Living & Working” section of the book might indicate a social interaction between people).

As a designer, I don’t see the necessity of searching for inspiration in people’s work I see. But as a person I do see the necessity for seeking inspiration in everything I see hear, which in this case, I did

Because human perception governs their focus, I want to use visual language that’s familiar to people to create an approachable document that encourages the reading of it’s content. I think this is more important because I don’t think  the audience aren’t looking out for the latest graphic trend in my work to ensure that they read it.

Deviating from my design methodology seems silly based on the grades I’ve received since second year. This is why I’m less inclined to take Paul’s advice.

Paul recommended researching graphic uses of footprints. But I feel like I’m back tracking by doing that. It connects and looks more holistic. It’s just not authentic.

Am I simply justifying the first idea that comes into my head and excusing it as an easily understood means of design communication? I shouldn’t say that I’m right, because Art and Design is subjective. But if that’s true. Should I be marked down for designing based on my opinion of the purpose design serves?

Ultimately, what Jo said the other day about the designer challenging and shaping the meaning of what design is and how it functions places a full stop at the end of this article. I believe that secondary resources should provide glimpses of inspiration, but that the bulk of an outcome should be embedded strongly in primary research, and human observation.