In design, peer reviews and feedback is very important. I and my class recently received feedback on our concepts from both staff and masters students within the design school. This review was set in motion to help us ask the questions that needed answered before we made a final decision on what concept to take forward as our honours project. I received help and tips from many people but there is always one person that shares you interest more than others.
Brigid Collins is a Design lecturer at the University of Dundee and has taught me on several occasions and was able to give me vital information about the core of my design field. Brigid has a strong interest in the values and elegance of things and tea falls beautifully into this category. She was able to give me insights into the areas of design that I could draw from and seek further knowledge in. one of the main areas that I was told to look into was materiality and the culture behind the use of materials. Brigid introduced me to “Wabi-Sabi” a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic, centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The cultural value behind this world view is the kind of value that I need to implement if I am to successfully appropriate my design to the cultural values I wish to adhere to.
Another piece of writing that I was introduced to was “Remembrance of Things” by Marcel Proust, specifically volume 1: Swans Way: Within a Budding Grove. Within this passage Proust describes the harmonious joy that comes from the first sip of tea. This passage is the exact feeling that I wish to share via my product.
“soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? I sensed that it was connected with the taste of the tea and the cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savours, could, no, indeed, be of the same nature.”
–Proust, M. (1913-27).
the main aspects that I took from the peer review was that of value and just how important appropriately design my product would be. I must now to a vast study into the cultural values and aesthetical appropriation that must take place in a design within my chosen field.