[Moonlighter] Shoot Evaluation

blogphotoThe project is over for the time being. The quick one week spring was fun and challenging, and it allowed me to make without overthinking things. I’m still debating what I’m going to do with the table now, also because I’d like to continue something of the sort as a personal project and extend it to a series. It was interesting to set myself some boundaries which, only thanks to my own self-discipline, made the project meaningful. It was only that strict adhesion to the my self imposed rules that made it successful. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been a challenge and just completely pointless. I working with a clear issue at heart, which I clearly identified early on in the process. I’ve realised that it’s really important for me to have a strong “why” backing my project throughout to keep me on track and motivated. I know myself all too well and I have the tendency to start wondering “what is the point of this?”. I also pushed myself to give the whole project quite a specific look in itself, from the table to the final pdf, which is quite different to the kind of design I usually do and which I enjoyed more than expected. It involved a lot of running around and good time management, but overall the project was enjoyable. Short and sweet, I would say.

[Moonlighter] Street-Sweeping Highlights

My weekend has been all about collecting objects. I’ve tried to push myself to find materials that are as different as possible to a table and furniture in general. I’ve been scouring the web for giveaways and have travelled across London in search for “stuff” with potential. I look around my now incredibly cramped room and I question whether I will actually manage make anything decent, aside from wondering how the hell I’m going to get rid of all this stuff once I’m done. To get the ball rolling, I decided to take some pictures of the highlights.

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By taking these pictures, I forced myself to look at each object, or set of objects, individually, understanding their different structural and tactile properties. One of the things I’m most excited about is this set of 30 red leather menus I managed to collect from a set design studio in Haggerston. I have no idea how I will use them, but I imagine I could use their hard covers to create some kind of structure. They look a little vintage and can easily be made to look cheap, but my aim is to steer well away from tacky and make them look sleek and modern. I think they have the potential to really add an element of surprise.

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moonlighter best_29moonlighter best_26I also collected a few interesting fabrics from a textile designer’s house in Canada Water. I chose structural and durable materials like vinyl and leather, as well as different types of foam and padding. In New Cross, I found some varnish that could come in handy as a finishing touch and some metal napkin holders with springs.moonlighter best_21moonlighter best_22moonlighter best_33I dug out some bits and pieces around the house, like an old paid of hob guards/grates, and I visited various skips where I found this metal plate. It seems like an extraction unit of some sort with its four fans and small motors. I love the petroleum type shine it has.moonlighter best_35
moonlighter best_36I also managed to get hold of various bits of a flatscreen TV from Camberwell. There are various frames, metal and plastic, as well as an interesting back panel with delicate strips of light, originally used to illuminate the screen. I also have the lcd panel of the actual screen, which I was surprised to find is only a minor component of the larger hidden systems of cables and circuits. moonlighter best_39moonlighter best_40




[Moonlighter // Research] Key Influence

John Smith is a really interesting experimental filmmaker whose work I only knew briefly before doing my dissertation on avant grade film sound. The more I learned about him, the more I fell in love with his work. One of his pieces, entitled “Unusual Red Cardigan”, is particularly relevant to the Moonlighter/ Coffee table-making project in its approach. Smith, who regularly checks the internet for mentions of his work, grew particularly interested in an anonymous character who was selling a VHS of his films on eBay. The more he researched about them, the more absurd their imaginary persona became. He tried to piece their life together through the other items they had on sale online, eventually buying them all and putting them together in an exhibition.

View an excerpt of the film here: https://vimeo.com/74526129

What I like about Smith is that he seems to be completely unaware of where his projects will take him, although somehow it always ends up being somewhere interesting. He pursues non-traditional methods in the creation of his works, which often become a comment on our contemporary society and habits. Most of all, he has a sense of wonder. He sees something worthy and interesting in the most unexpected of places, and is successful in communicating his uniquely creative point of view to his viewers.

[Moonlighter] The Project

We received a new multidisciplinary brief, entitled Moonlighter, which attempts to push us into areas of practice we might not be familiar with. Whether it be coding, furniture-making or audio, the paper slip we picked out of a bag promised to make us more well rounded designers. One week to learn something new? Bring it on.

My slip asked me to “Make a coffee/side table”. I must admit I was hoping for something spatial, since I’d been itching to return to the workshops for some good ol’ making. At the same time, the process of making something by hand wasn’t at all out of my league, as the brief supposed. I felt as though I wasn’t truly being pushed to learn something new, but simply given the chance to do something that was already in my skillset, more or less. So I’ve decided to give it my own twist.

I’ve been asking myself how I can push this week-long project further and give it some depth in terms of the skillset I want to exhibit, turning it into a starting point for a larger personal project. For a while, I’ve been thinking about the ideas of repurposing and creative thinking, and about the importance of wit and an element of surprise in the work I want to produce. How do I make a coffee table different, innovative, interesting or surprising? How do I make it as something I’ve never seen before?

Like a true experimentalist, I’ve decided to set myself some boundaries/conditions and allow the outcome to be open-ended and driven by chance.

Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated by the potential of broken or discarded objects. I hated throwing things away because I imagined all the other things the objects could potentially become. Although I might have a bit of a hoarding problem, I really believe that things can be reused to create new objects, often more interesting that what money can buy. In effect, I believe that so much can be made with just the things around us and that good ideas remain good regardless of their price tag. So I’ve decided to see what I can achieve on the cheap, or even for nothing at all.

So that is my first and only rule: I must not spend a penny. While this might just seem like an excuse to give my bank account a break, I think that having to source all my tools and materials for free will really push my out-of-the-box creative thinking. So instead of simply going to the shop for some nice plywood, I will have to find other means of collecting materials, whether that be scouring the streets of London, making dodgy Gumtree arrangements or, god forbid, claiming unattended objects. My project is in the hands of the people of London and what they decide to get rid of this weekend.

I have no idea what I’ll be able to put together, if anything, but that’s the fun right?