My year in Barcelona is ending soon and I am feeling already nostalgic. I’ve had my ups and downs and of course enjoyed the ups and tried to learn from the downs. It’s been a curious year and I will remember it. I created this short video with the idea to make you ‘feel’ the vibes of the city. The quality of the video is not the best, neither the montage, but I did have fun while making it. So, even if you get a slight desire to visit this amazing city, after watching this, my mission would be accomplished. Enjoy! 😉
With the approaching end of the school year, the deadlines are approaching as well. For Coventry University I have to create a poster that should reflect my Erasmus experience, that’s why in this post I decided to share the idea behind my poster and the poster itself.
Being given absolute freedom I decided to create a ‘collage’, using my own drawing skills and some of the pictures i took, that best describe my International Exchange experience. In the beginning of my blog I mentioned that I have something in mind, related to the street art in Barcelona. Well, this is it. I was inspired by Barcelona’s street art and in particular, the many painted doors with lots and lots of stickers on them. This is the reason why I decided to create a collage. Someone might ask how is that connected to my course, Interior design? And the answer is that in one of my projects I researched furniture with meaning and designed a table that tells a story. And this is what I wanted to accomplish with my poster-tell a story about my stay in Barcelona. The graphic drawings that I’ve made contain symbols that are key pieces of my experience and my life in this amazing city and the photos… well I just like them, but they also represent some of my favourite places around the city.
Together with my first Graphic Design Project (CCCP9) I started another 6 week group project. It was presented under the name Lifestyle 600. The project gives publicity of the problems of the current society, such as the biggest financial crisis in the history of our existence or the number of scandals between people and the government. It aims to bring hope for a new beginning, create new reality, retrieve the forgotten values and introduce new life and work opportunities.
We worked in groups that gathered students from different disciplines-Graphic Design, Fashion and Audio Visual Design. We were expected to react and give our position as young individuals to this socioeconomic situation and also figure out mechanisms that can be activated from the design point of view. Possible strategies included: new forms of citizen participation, create communities, patterns of use and exchange, new uses of public spaces, new forms of entertainment, etc.
Together with my group we decided to introduce a problem of the students in Barcelona and their university credits. The system here is a lot different from the one in England, but I won’t go into details. The problem is that all the students are expected to graduate with a certain amount of points (credit RACC), but in order to get them they have to pay for them and because not everyone can afford to do it, we wanted to find a solution and create a web, between students from different universities and different disciplines and make them work together, help each other, use each other’s skills, share workshops, participate in competitions and obtain the amount of credits they need. It was also a great way to bring people together and create a new way of communication between the students, making them more social and open their horizons to new ideas and opportunities. Our project exists under the motto Unify, Collaborate, Create and Share and the name Take & Share.
We had to create a web page, a short film and also think of a way how to promote our ‘product’. We did a test with potential users, students, from BAU, asked about their opinion about our idea. This project was really social and I met a lot of new people, created some useful contacts and learned how to work in group with people of completely different disciplines with completely different ideas and ways of working.
Concept: Laura Peiropano, Pol Checa, Susanna Mateo
Video Editing: Laura Peiropano
Web and Graphic Design: Pol Checa, Aleksandra Venkova
As I already said in my previous posts Barcelona is so rich in exciting places to visit and because it is Spring break I decided to check out some of the most popular museums, which somehow I still haven’t visited. By museums I mean art museums, I find them extremely inspiring and in this post I will share my experience.
Firstly, I will start with the fact that a big part of the museums in Barcelona are free of charge every first Sunday of the month and the rest of them are free every Sunday, which means that even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, you can still check them off your list and appreciate what they have to offer.
Unfortunately there is one negative thing about the museums being entrance-free, they get extremely busy, and the queues are endless, especially now-spring break, when the tourist season is just about to start. I would advice you, if you’re staying for a longer period in Barcelona, like me, go in the months January and February when it’s still quiet.
Anyways, talking about museums, in this post I will talk about the 3 most worth visiting ones:
or Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. What can I say, WOW, a magnificent building, situated in a magnificent place, with magnificent view, and even more magnificent exhibition. It shelters parts of all the arts (sculpture, paintings, drawings, prints, posters, photography and coinage) and has the task of explaining the magnitude of Catalan art from the Romanesque period to the mid-twentieth century.
I was amazed by the exhibition, but I can tell I was also really impressed by the architecture. May be it is just my professional distortion, I will let you decide.
or Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. The CCCB is a public consortium created by the Diputació de Barcelona (Provincial Council) and the Ajuntament de Barcelona (Barcelona City Council). There were some extraordinary exhibitions, by ARISSA, Kazuhiro GOSHIMA, Sabald, etc…, but somehow i was again stroke by the architecture.
Picasso Museum is may be the most famous art museum in Barcelona and sure it should be. I was lucky enough to visit a really interesting exhibition called Picasso/Dali. Dali/Picasso., which examines for the very first time the relation between those two key figures of the XX century. And since I am a big fan of Dali’s odd work I was really excited.
Second term started and it’s been interesting. This term I am doing only a Graphic Design module, which is really exciting and also new to me. Usually I study Interior Design, but since I was given the opportunity to chose from all the subjects available in BAU, I told myself why not do something different. It turned up being really useful and enhancing for me. Also I’ve always been interested in that field. It’s challenging, but I’m truly enjoying it.
My first project was to design a logo for Coordinadora de Cooperatives de Consum del Poble Nou, a ‘union’ between 4 consumer cooperatives in a neighbourhood in Barcelona, called Poble Nou. The CCCP9 is a project that stands for raising awareness of responsible and ecological consumption and proximity. Their inspiration come from La Flor de Mayo.
We got to meet the real client and than we had to present our work to the real client. I’m not going to lie, it was stressful. There is also a money prize for the designer whose logo has been chosen, well…, we’re still waiting for the results. Luckily for me this was the first project of such kind for all the Graphic Design students, so it was kind of new for them too.
It was difficult for me to understand this project, because of the language barrier and although i did my research, most of the information I found was again in Catalan. I tried to look at other people’s work in order to understand fully the idea behind CCCP9 and I actually got inspired by some of the students in my class. For my logo I preferred to play around with the typography.
In the end after all my language troubles and pages of sketches I created my logo, which I am satisfied with. Of course it can be much better, but the important thing for me is that I got out of my comfort zone, used a software I wasn’t familiar with and managed to submit something that was actually liked by the clients.
Last week I had to submit my work on the second exercise for ‘Spacial Workshop’ class. We had to create small spaces from paper, in the very beginning 8-9 small spaces. After that we had to chose 4 and develop them. The whole class had to vote for everyone’s best space and give suggestions and ideas-what kind of actual exciting place it reminds them of. After the vote we had to take the chosen ‘space’ and build a small model, using the exact same materials, we would use if we had to build it in real life.
My space reminded a lot of a honey comb and I decided to transform it into a shop for organic and bio products. I also wanted to play with the lights and shadows, which were really interesting. Another thing I enjoyed was researching different kind of materials. It was funny, because having studied all that in English, I had absolutely no idea how those materials are in Spanish. I struggled a bit with the translation, but I am happy I learned something new.
The more important thing for me in this exercise was seeing everyone else’s work and ideas and how their imagination works. There were people in my class, giving so bizarre suggestions, but this is not bad, it shows how different everyone is. The exercise really showed me new ways of thinking and opened my mind for new ways of seeing.
As mentioned in some of my previous posts this term I have a class called Construction and Installations, which is divided in two. For the second part of it, which is Lighting design I had a project that consisted in Illuminating a well known building, that somehow left it’s trace in the architectural history. This was interesting, because not only did I work on the illumination of a house, but I had to research some of the most significant buildings ever built, the architectures behind them and their work. My list was long but in the end I chose Falling water house, by Frank Lloyd Right. I read a lot about the history of the house and it’s specifics in constructing and I sure did learn one or two things about waffle slabs, reinforced concrete, t-profile columns, light structures and of course, my favourite, compression, tension and flexion.
This was a project in pairs and we had to use a completely new software, called DIAlux.
My partner and I decided to illuminate the waterfall and the base of the house, as it is the most impressive thing about it’s construction. We wanted to show the beautiful flow of water at night as well as during the day. The lighting of the waterfall provides additional security at night and also gives a feeling of spaciousness.
As well as illumination the house, using the specific software we had to chose the right lights and calculate the light we wanted.
The results were not magnificent, but I still learned a lot about lighting design.
One of my favourite classes this semester is ‘Spacial Workshop’. The class itself is a workshop, we are making models and exploring shapes. And the idea behind this is to be able to feel the spaces we are creating with all our senses and also subconsciously. An important thing to say here is that when I left Coventry University and came to Barcelona, I was looking for inspiration and ideas for my final project next year. And this class was really helpful. I was given a list of books to read, among which ‘The eyes of the skin’, by Juhani Pallasmaa and ‘Ways of Seeing’, by John Berger-2 incredible books that every person that calls himself a designer should read and I wonder why haven’t I discovered them earlier.
Another great thing about the class is that it is fully practical and concetrates in model making, which is again beneficial for me. One thing I definitely had to improve was my model making skills and after doing this class I feel more confident in what I am doing and seem to enjoy it more. Also the tutor is really supportive and really tries to make sure that everyone understands the tasks, which is always good and appreciated from my side.
Moving forward.., one of my excersises for this class was to create 3 white boxes (20x20x20) and add different shapes in them and observe how the space changes, aso we had to draw them, which surprisingly was not that easy for me. After adding the shapes we had to add colours as well and again try to feel the space. It sounds easier than it is. My trick was to imagine how I would feel if i was standing in my box, the concept sounds weird but it’s interesting and works your imagination.
One of the classes I am doing is Construction and Installations and it’s divided in two subjects-Construction(from the engineering point of view) and Illumination or lighting design. that class is extremely important and helpful and I am happy that I have the chance to attend it.
I’ve always been interested in lighting design and how it works. I try to work a lot with light and shadows in my work, so this class was really interesting for me. In this post I am going to share what I did in my first classes and also a skill that I am really proud of obtaining.
For our first day we had to bring a lamp holder, 5m cable, lamp socket and a bulb. We learned how to build a lamp, which is a basic skill and may be a lot of people know it already, but I didn’t and I am extremely proud of myself that I learned it.
The purpose of this was for our next exercise, which was to pick an image an abstract photo or painting and than try to recreate the feeling that our first picture suggests. Recreate it, how? Well we had to use our photography skills and take a picture of a place or object, illuminating it with our lightbulb. My feeling was warmth and I had to use cold light. I struggled so much, I really didn’t know what to do, but one day I accidentally took a picture an it was actually the one I needed.
I also started learning a new software, called DIALux, which calculates the amount of light in a certain space and its intensity. This is a helpful software that can really make my design work look a lot more professional. One of our projects was to illuminate a house (Falling Water House, by Frank Lloyd Wright).
This year I am going back home for Christmas, but still I decided to decorate my flat here in Barcelona. The thing is I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on decorations and also because I am staying here just for a couple of months there was no point for me buying stuff and than throwing it away (I think it’s obvious that I can’t really bring everything with me back to England).
I had a few free days, my flatmate was away so I decided to get creative. I used white paper, a few sticky ‘golden’ sheets of paper, some branches I collected from the streets (yes, people were looking at me weird while I was collecting them, but who cares) and I spent 1 euro on some little red christmas star stickers. And that was all. The result was pretty good. I managed to bring some coziness, Christmas joy and also surprised my flatmate.
Talking about Christmas I also decided to make my own name tags, which turned out being something between a tag and a Christmas card.