Design Practice In Context 2: Anna Powell

Today we had our first lecture with Anna Powell. The Lecture series will be a combination of Art, design, history and philosophy as Anna is from a mixed background. After a brief introduction she began by going through what each lecture is going to entail:

Lecture 1- What is theory?

Lecture 2- Using Semiotics

Lecture 3- Iconography and Iconology

Lecture 4- Modern Life

Lecture 5- Modern Life part 2

Lecture 6- Simplicity and abstraction

Lecture 7- Conceptual Art

Lecture 8- Post modernity

Lecture 9- Post modernity part 2

Like the schedule says we began with “what is theory?” Theory provides substance as well as style and is about asking why- critical thinking. It is also about ideas, and without theory there would be no innovation. We explored the idea of theory “authorship”- becoming your own client and identifying work- knowing who you are as a designer. The example Tim Burton was used.

We then moved onto how theory translates into practice and used an example of a silk cut cigarettes advertisement. This poster by Alan Burles, showed no cigarettes, simply slices of bread and purple silk material. It also never mentioned the word cigarette or smoke as they couldn’t really promote yet still managed to advertise.

We then began talking about manifestos. Anna provided examples such as Ken Garlands “First things First” which I am very familiar with, however only today realised that this year an updated version of the manifesto has been created. I intend to analyse it in comparison to the original in my spare time. Anna showed us videos and got us answering certain questions on paper which I liked as it was more engaging. One video we watched was the manifesto of designer Daniel Eatock “I would like to…”. This manifesto was a simple list of all the things he would like to do, as daft as some were. However it was creatively inspiring as well as entertaining.

I found Anna’s lecture interesting and generally pleasant. Looking at the schedule it seems that we are going to cover some interesting topics, some in which I am already familiar with and therefore look forward to finding more out about them.