Nicholas O’Donnel Hoare

What an amazing day 3rd year Critical Makers have had today – former graduate of DJCAD Nicholas O’Donnel Hoare  gave an inspirational talk about his work and  projects he’s worked on since graduating. It was awesome to hear the background to the famous kiss ring –  made without human touch until worn – how is this possible ……. using 3D printing thats how – until a few weeks ago this was unknown territory for me – this technology has been around for at least 10 years now!!! Nicholas’ recent work is a far cry from jewellery  and shows that as designers it is possible to cross disciplines and  use new technology – a collaborative project was Helveta looking at provenance of trees which are cut down.  This was done by crafting ‘twin’ beehives from the felled tree each fitted with a QR code so the consumer can track where the object has come from, one is sent to Europe where it is sold and one stays in the area of the felled tree –  hives were selected to encourage bees this leads to pollination of plants and the cycle of growth continues.

His latest work is all available to see on the NODH website.

Pod – Ed fun and learning

Over the last few weeks the third year critical makers at DJCAD worked together on a series of briefs – my last update is here.  Well things have been moving along quickly and time seems to have flown.  Presentation day dawned – here is our idea.

Our team name was Voden chosen as it means balance tying in with the Health brief…..

Introducing Pod-Ed – in response to the current focus on childrens’ health and monitoring their body functions, Pod-Ed is a multi functional interactive pod for young children.  Our aim is to educate children and parents in a non threatening environment from an early age on the benefits of keeping healthy and monitoring health.  Possible areas for monitoring are dexterity, cognitive behaviour, weight and temperature.  Upon entering the pod the fun begins, weight sensitive flooring records the child’s weight ,  height is taken using the centre of the pod which is a giant carrot and surrounding the pod are interactive pockets containing games and big comfy cushions cover the floor.

very very quick sketches!!!

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This project was chosen out of three other idea storming sessions as childrens’ health is often in the headlines the focus often on weight, obesity and eating disorders.  It also allowed all 5 of the team from IED, JMD and Textiles to contribute something from their area of expertise and meant that the 5 team members would be fully involved.    We were looking at an ideal world – expecting that parents would want to bring their children along!  The final decision only came together in two weeks so not bad going even if I say so myself.  In hindsight I realise that we only touched the surface, if more time had been available more information could have been researched, e.g. Asking parents if they see a need for this type of service, contacting schools, nursery’s, hospital’s etc to actually see if something like this would fit in their environment and work!  and also to find out what is actually out there.

Our team had great fun as we worked together the girls from IED, Cara and Shona  created the super pod and layouts for the presentation and Zoe, Ros and I focussed on exploring the world of smart materials and using these as aids for the children and the pod. My areas of research were thermochromic dyes and conductive threads.

I put out a question on twitter to see if anyone knew where I could quickly get hold of some thermochromic dye, within minutes I had numerous replies one from a lovely fourth year from the  textile department – she had some and I could have it!!!  The next day I created my separation for the printed cushions and collected the dyes, and as it was my own silk screen I did the printing at home over the weekend as time was running out. I then printed and dyed and machine embroidered with metallic thread ( as a stand in for the conductive thread as none was available locally)  and printed some little business cards. Well presentation does count!

creating the separation on the light box

this cushion is printed with thermochromic dye

the red changes to pale pink when heated

this cushion would also be printed with thermochromic dye

and the conductive thread when pressed would link to a

mini computer chip and play back the number pressed

this cushion would be dyed with thermochromic dye

and also contain a  Pulse Sensor  which monitors and

records heart rate and pulse

my studio desk – great having a wall to cover up!

It has been a new learning experience for me as I’ve never worked with a team in this way before, it was a good experience as everyone worked towards the final outcome.  Last week we entered the world of 3d printing, I have lots to show you very soon – and tomorrow laser cutting! we also have our new brief and there will be more to follow.  In the mean time you can also follow the blog for our module – The Body and Technology, it has some great information on technology.

Critical making – self directed study day

another get together day with my group in the Expansive Learning Module – Critical Making – our ideas really grew today and lots of researching took place in the new study room in the DJCAD library – a brilliant idea by the way.

So I’ve been researching smart materials and temperature sensitive dyes – there’s so much amazing technology out there and because its associated with textiles makes me more interested!

The power of the internet showed its strength tonight when I asked a question on Twitter – within minutes I had numerous replies and messages and I now have the lovely Victoria giving me the very thing I was interested in!

Watch this blog for the results 🙂

critical making – the beginning – group task day one

Interior Environmental Designers (IED), Jewellery and Metal Designers (JMD)  and Textiles Designers (TD) all met Thursday morning for our first introductory talk and brief.  The aims of the course are to

a. help up to develop a clear understanding of critical thinking and making.

b.To develop an understanding of materials, construction and fabrication.

c.To explore historical context and contemporary making.

We’ll be looking at;

traditional techniques using traditional materials.

Traditional techniques using new materials.

Technological innovation and traditional materials.

Technological innovations and new materials.

The course is bought to us by

Dr Sandra Wilson Jason Nelson Andrew Pelc and Fraser Bruce, quite an impressive range of knowledge.

During the introduction we were shown videos of  incredible work.  A Day made of Glass showed technology we’re using now but applied in a huge way in the future – have a look it really is incredible

We were also shown work by recent graduates whose work in textiles, jewellery and IED won them prizes and recognition because of their use of smart or “out of the ordinary” materials. Here are three textiles designer I was fortunate to meet whilst they were in their final year





The brief was then disclosed to us!!! and because we are working together across the three disciplines we were shown an  IDEO video which showed how to work in a teams brainstorming ideas – 

It was then just a case of getting to know each other here are three of the team plus me!

From left to right –  Cara from Interior and Environmental Design, Ros from Textile Design and Zoe from Jewellery and Metalwork.  We had a great afternoon brainstorming and coming up with brilliant solutions to answer our brief – ” Health – this could be a response to the current focus on healthy eating and obsession with monitoring our body functions,  Blood Pressure, weight etc”

There’ll be much more on this over the next two weeks, so watch this blog:)