During my time at Manchester School of Art, I was lucky enough to earn a place in Ian Anderson’s (The Designer’s Republic) workshops. The workshops were built on seemingly impossible tasks; ‘Rebrand God’ and ’Give me something I want to keep forever’ are just two examples. Granted, the workshops didn’t create the most sleek and aesthetically pleasing design, but they made you think. Think about what you’re truly communicating, problem-solve and throw out the noise.

I’ve included my responses to two of the workshops;
‘Give me something I want to keep forever and
‘Do something pointless for an hour’.

Brief 1: ‘Give Me Something I Can Keep Forever’.
Titled: ‘(no) ctrl, alt, delete (?)’

Message sent to Ian:
You said “if a picture tells a thousand words, I’ll have a thousand words, please.” so that’s what I’ve given you.
Debatably, in such a throw-away society there’s few things that most of us will keep forever. So instead of looking at
what you want to keep, what about the things you have to keep? It’s long been argued that things put online can never really be deleted, and somewhere, in the crevices of hard-drives and archives lies your digital data. Is it really as simple as “ctrl, alt, delete”? Search history, who you follow, who you don’t, who you’ve blocked, where you live, where you’ve been, IP addresses, metadata (whatever the hell that is), what you’ve bought online...the list goes on. Will you be forever tied to the things you posted and did online? Perhaps this is the one thing you can’t throw away as easily as you would like. Or perhaps you do want to keep it, a modern way to truly exist forever. Immortalised in a series of tweets and pixels, these statements show who you are. A digital self portrait, if you will. Forever it could be known, “Ian Anderson, founder of The Designer’s Republic, hates Tories, and who’s body mass became ’95% seafood at Botafumeiro’ on the 21st November 2015”.

Brief 2: ‘Do Something Pointless For An Hour’.

I chose to interpret ‘pointless’ as attempting a task that will inevitably fail; as such, I attempted to lick my elbow for an hour (yes, I actually did it and yes, it drove me crazy- see the above image...). The task was pointless since I knew anatomically the chances of me being able to achieve this task was near impossible. I used coloured stickers to indicate time scales throughout the hour; every ten minutes the sticker colour would change. As a result, the final images become a sort of naive data visualisation, mapping the progress of the hour.
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