Highlights of Studying Interior Design at Cardiff Met

Studying Interior Design has taught me more than I ever thought it would. I didn’t have any expectations of what I would take from the course; I went into my first year knowing that I wanted to be doing something creative and that Interior Design felt like the right way to do that on a big scale.

Throughout my studies I have faced some challenges. Within the first week of the course, I fell over and dislocated my knee cap, resulting in reconstructive surgery on my leg (not ideal!). The university were great and supported me working from home and catching up on the work I had missed. But, looking back this has never taken away from what I have achieved during my time at Cardiff Met.

In my second year I really felt that I found who I was as a designer, when I completed my first installation ‘Lilly’. This was my first really successful project and pushed me to want to achieve bigger and better things.

Straight after my Lilly project came the opportunity to gain some work experience through the ‘field’ part of the course. After an interview and presentation, I was lucky enough to gain a place on the Arts Council of Wales project, ‘Part of the Furniture’ where me and two of my fellow students (Eleonora Piga and Jarret Williams) completed a 10 week project where we taught interior design in a primary school in Pembrokeshire which resulted in constructing new furniture and redesigning their classroom, to show the impact that design could have on how we behave in our environments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt2rcW2Zal0&t=235s – Pembrokeshire Video

I am most proud of my final project that I completed ‘Explore’, which was set to allow us to design whatever defined us as a designer. I created ‘Floatable Lifestyle’ which was a range of sustainable, tiny, floating homes that set out to help the population in numerous ways. Not only did this project help me massively in achieving a First-Class degree, but also win the Cardiff Metropolitan University Interior Design Award. I have now received an unconditional to return to Cardiff Met, on the MRes Art and Design Research course, to continue developing ‘Floatable Lifestyles’ (which I am very excited about!)

After finishing my degree during the corona virus pandemic, I was disappointed – as was everyone – that I didn’t get any exposure for my work due to the end of year show being cancelled. So, through lots of research (and hundreds of emails) later I was lucky enough to have my work featured in a few online galleries including, The Social Distancing Art Project and Points of View and Shim Emerge. I was also featured on the Student Gallery, who not only shared my work across social media but interviewed me and published an article on my work as their ‘featured artist of the week’.

My work ‘Floatable Lifestyles’ also appeared in Design Week Magazines, “Design Weeks favourite projects from graduate season” Having my work featured in such an esteemed magazine is a huge achievement for me and something that I am incredibly proud of – a great way to end the course.

Online Design Portfolio: https://www.jaisysdesigns.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaisy_davies/

Summer Show Display

Unfortunately due to Covid- 19 the Interior Design summer show was canceled. So as apart of my submission for our final deadline, which would have been in the form of the summer show, but now will all be digital I have got creative with still producing.

  1. Exposure

I wanted my exposure project to be the main element of my display, it is the project I am the proudest of, I also believe that it shows who I am as a designer. This display included a poster 1600 x 1900, a detailed book on all the research done through the project, and a scale model.

Poster:

Exposure - 1600 x 1900 poster (Jaisy Davies)

2. Perform

Perform was the first project that I completed this year, again I am very proud of what I produced, so I still wanted a poster to be apart of my display, this one sits at 1600 x 500, it is accompanied by a detailed book of research completed throughout the project and a scale model.

Poster:

Perform Exhibition Poster

3. About me

Also on my display, I am going to add my personal statement and CV, this was so possible employers and visitors of the show know who I am and a little bit about me and who I am as a designer. I have also produced an A5 portfolio of all the work I have produced since being in CSAD, these hand-folded booklets, and there to be taken by whoever may want one, with a business card tucked inside; this is to show some other pieces of work which I am proud of but have not gone on display. There is also the information inside where my work can be found in more detail and how I can be contacted.

4. Dissertation

I wanted my dissertation on display as I am very proud of what I achieved through my research. Not that at the show people will be able to take the time to read it, but it may interest some enough to read later on, online.

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5. Exhibition

I created a digital render of what I had planned to display at the summer show, putting every mentioned above together.

Final Display (In Situ) - Jaisy DaviesFinal Display Diagram - Jaisy Davies

How Constellation has Influenced my Project – Exposure

Constellation this year comes under my dissertation. I researched how spaces can influence how we feel and perform in space, highlighting the importance of design; for my dissertation. Never really enjoying research and essay writing before I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed my dissertation.

I found that my new found passion for research hugely influenced my final ID project ‘Exposure’. I went into this project with the same mindset that I did with my dissertation, researching different elements of the project, really understating them and referencing them. Through this project I had an ongoing document which I continually added to and referenced back to; this included details on materials, building regulation I had to pay particular attention to and other project which I have looked into which have influenced the project in some way. For the majority of the project I was treating these designs as a research project, alongside fulfilling the requirements for the interior design course. It made me realise that this is what I want to do through any project, and hopefully if I can carry on through to a postgraduate course, I will take an interior design/ architect project and treat it as an research project and really understand what is going into my project, the greater impact that the materials that I am using have and if my work really does help to solve a problem.

Constellation this year comes under my dissertation. I research … for my dissertation. Never really enjoying research and essay writing before I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed my dissertation.

I found that my new found passion for research hugely influenced my final ID project ‘Exposure’. I went into this project with the same mindset that I did with my dissertation, researching different elements of the project, really understating them and referencing them. Through this project I had an ongoing document which I continually added to and referenced back to; this included details on materials, building regulation I had to pay particular attention to and other project which I have looked into which have influenced the project in some way. For the majority of the project I was treating these designs as a research project, alongside fulfilling the requirements for the interior design course. It made me realise that this is what I want to do through any project, and hopefully if I can carry on through to a postgraduate course, I will take an interior design/ architect project and treat it as an research project and really understand what is going into my project, the greater impact that the materials that I am using have and if my work really does help to solve a problem.

Exposure – Reflection

The brief for this project was open, allowing me to create my own brief and project to leave university with. I wanted to create something that would help to solve a problem in the world, and that I would feel passionate about. I decided to create floating tiny homes.

I struggled to find a host building, that already existed and was floating. Ideally, I would have liked to create my own building. Throughout the process the project developed from designing one tiny floating home, to four homes that suit a range of client’s groups which I created. This then grew into also designing three extensions, to allow the homes to grow and adapt along with life. I also added an extension externally to all the homes, a platform that floats around the existing building, to allow outdoor space for the home owners, and maintenance to the outside of the building.

The way that the project that progressed it was heading into more of an architect’s project, I was focusing on how the buildings fitted together and how it worked as a village rather than the interiors of each home. Realising this made me focus on how each interior worked, change and adapt between the different homes. I worked a lot harder to complete the interior side of the project so that I could also work the architectural side and present it as a whole.

The interior design side of the project involved design a general theme that would run through all the homes, such as using bamboo and a storage unit that contained all the essentials for a home. I also added elements such as chairs and sofas that hang from the ceiling using thick rope (to give connotations with tradition décor of boats, and a sense of floating as the building is). Themes such as grey ran through the building, any fabric surface such as cushions, bedding and the covers of the sofa were in a dark grey colour. This is a neutral modern sophisticated colour, which I believed fitted the aesthetics of the homes.

I did not include decorative details such as picture frames as I wanted the homes to be a blank canvas that whoever brought the home could take ownership of. Some of the renders used in my final presentation do include plants and book, however this is to show that certain spaces could still be utilised.

The architectural side of the project was completed at the end, where I had completed the interior side and I was happy with the outcome. This side of the project involved how all the homes fitted together as a village. This allowing me to create a ‘community’ within the village designing different activities such as a green house, community hall and bike and kayak renting buildings, and make them fit into the host building. This part of the project felt very important to me as it I believe that it makes the village a desirable place to live and these extras help to sell the interiors more.

I found this project really enjoyable; it has been my favourite project to date. I really believe that it has potential and could be carry through and help solve a number of problems in the current world. I struggled with working within the parameters of a host building, and ideally, I would have likes to design my own building.

I struggled with the amount due to having to make sketch up models, renders, plans, sections and axos for every building and different configuration that I had made (which was 7). I found this very repetitive and struggled to keep on top of things, and due to the amount, I feel that I could revise my drawings again as they could be more accurate and possibly rushed.

Covid 19 – I don’t really feel that this has affected my work, I did enjoy being able to get on with things from my own home. I was able to download all programmes that I needed with the help of Charlie. The only technical problem I came across was my glass not rendering as transparent, but a solid blue colour. I was also not able to create the model that I wanted for this project as I did plan to laser cut the materials, however I do enjoy making things by hand.

I really enjoyed the project, I am proud of what I have produced and hope to carry on this project through a masters degree next year, starting with the general concept and working from the bottom up.

 

Exposure – Model

As a part of my project, I have created a model to demonstrate certain elements of my design. I have chosen to make a specific section of the interiors, the storage unit which is situated in the studio home, the unit is also seen in every home but slightly different variations. I have chosen to make this as it is an element of the interiors that I designed, and shows how the homes function. I made this model to a 1:20 scale. This model is made from hand-cut thick grey card.

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I also made a 1:100 scale model of the different extensions that the I have created to adapt the homes to develop as a family grows or a person needs change. These are made from hand cut thick grey card, painted white.

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Exposure – Communication Review

Communication Review

Our final communication review of the course was a little different from usual. Due to the covid19 situation, we had our last review through a program called Microsoft Teams. We video chatted with all of our tutors in groups and presented our work through sharing our screens, which we had all created presentations to show our progress. In a difficult situation, I felt that it was very successful.

In my presentation, I first started by introducing the brief that I had set myself, and the clients that I have designed the homes for.

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Next, I referred to my host building and showed the existing structure created my Alan Gillard and Associates, which currently sits as an office in Cardiff Bay Marina.

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I then talked about my sun path, as my homes are nomadic I decided the best position for my homes to be in, and choose the location in Cardiff Bay accordingly.

Slide5Slide6For the purpose of this presentation, I picked five of my key moves to describe. I felt that these were the most important, and represented the biggest changes in the host building.

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My presentation then moved on to talk about each client group, showing floor plans. and rendered images of each model.

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Next, I demonstrated three alternatives on how the homes can change and grow, to grow with family life. This demonstrated that these are homes for life, and can be adapted to fit any family lifestyle.

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I then carried on to explain the larger concept of these designs and how they all come together to form the floatable lifestyle village.

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I am pleased with how my project has come along so far. There is still a lot of work to be done, the images need to be tidied up and the lighting needs to be altered. Ensure that all my floorplans are technically correct and label them correctly, which I have not done here. There were also some health and safety problems pointed out throughout my presentation, which I will change in the coming weeks.

Exposure- Scheme Review

My design has developed into a solid scheme for each home and each client group. I have also decided on how to show that these homes will develop; this is through a range of configurations of the homes.

Materials:

  • Bamboo Wood

I have decided to cover the interiors of each home in bamboo wood (floors, walls, ceilings). The consistency in color and texture throughout the homes will create an illusion that the space is bigger than it is. This is because there is no break in color. I have chosen to use bamboo as is it a sustainable material, it grows fast, it is light in color and weight, and is extremely hardwearing. Although it is expensive to transport and make into sheets of wood, once brought it will last a lifetime.

bambooNL

  • Glass

I have also chosen to use glass throughout the design, as a small barrier on the mezzanine floor and around the edge of the platform. This will be recycled glass, made by Dr Tara Oseng- Rees, which is a sheet of glass created by smashing old used bottles and melting them into sheets. This glass does not appear completely clear and you can still see the cracks the pieces of the bottles. This will be ideal for this project as it will allow a little privacy but still allow the natural light to flow through the building.

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Commodities: 

  • Solar Panels

The solar panel allows the homes to collect solar energy to help power electricity within the homes. Solar panel installations (sometimes referred to as photovoltaic installations) are pretty much maintenance-free. So, once they are installed, they’ll generate electricity for years without any additional investment or maintenance cost.

  • Wind Turbine

The location of these homes generates a lot of wind, a wind turbine will allow the homes to use this energy and power electricity within their home. The wind is both a renewable and sustainable resource. Unlike reserves of fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, and gas) it will never run out. This makes wind turbines a viable option in helping to meet our future energy demands. Wind energy is one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources known to man. This is based on the simple fact that wind turbines don’t create pollution whilst generating electricity

  • Electric radiator

As most the energy for the house is going to be generated through renewable sources such as solar panels and wind turbines, these homes will need an electric heating system. Each home will be fitted with one electric radiator, as they are small spaces and will not require more than this.

  • Electric boiler

An electric system also requires a small boiler, which will be contained in the storage unit of the house. This will power the radiator and the taps.

  • Water Tank

A water tank will have to be a part of every home, to allow clean drinking water, water to wash, fill the toilet and cook with. These tanks will filter water from the sea straight to the home.

To show that these are lifetime homes, I need to show how they will develop and grow as life does. To do this I have come up with a range of solutions. These solutions involve attaching two homes together with a corridor, internally these are reconfigured to adapt to the style of living. Also an alternative, rather than having to but a whole new home, you could buy a small box attachment with just includes one bedroom.

Apart from practical, I aim to make these homes a desirable place to live. I will be adding elements into the homes that make them fun and exciting, e.g. a climbing wall in the family home.

Sketch Book Drawings:

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Exposure- Concept Crit

Host Building Anaylsis.

The host building currently sits in Cardiff Bay Marina as a floating office, known as Quay Pad. (Alan Gillard Associates, 2015.) I am going to change and adapt the existing structure depending on the client group I am designing for. The structural changes I will make will apply to the designs that involve a bedroom on the first floor. I will be creating a 1500mm extension up, to create a ‘sitting’ height bedroom. The shell of the building will then extend with this, to keep the original look designed by Gillard Architects (Alan Gillard Associates, 2015.) but taller. I will also be adding a floating structure (Perebo Schwimm Systeme. 2018.) around the home, to allow people to be able to walk around their house for cleaning, but also to create a small outdoor space, which could be utilized into a garden, sitting area or room for a small shed. This platform will also help to support the home with its new extension and keep it buoyant. Internally I will not be making any structural changes, due to it being a small area and no columns or other obstacles to work around. The only small change I will be making will be to add a ramp into some of the homes, depending on the client; as half the building drops by 300mm, creating a small step.

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As portable homes, they could be put anywhere in the world, with a body of water. I will be keeping my intended ‘village’ in the Cardiff Bay Marina, where the existing building currently stands. The sun path changes on where I place each home. I will be aware not to put the sun path directly into the large glass side of the homes, but over the top, as the water beneath the homes will reflect light into the interiors.

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Dissertation Reflection

Dissertation Reflection

 

Design as Medicine- A Study which Investigates the Relationships Humans have with their Surroundings.

This dissertation was set out to show the importance of Interior Design, and how it used correctly could solve a current problem, Mental Health. Possibly dis-prove some opinions of Interior Design which suggest that it is just ‘making things look nice’. The writing covered a wide range of topics such as design in different environments, interior and exterior, Mental health, Social Media, Psychological impact of environments and then the building of and response from an installation which was built to invoke feeling based off the immediate change of design.

Academic writing is not my strong point, considering this I feel that I have explored this concept of Design working as Medicine for mental health issues and portraying the wider perspective that design invokes feeling, well. I have been able to bring a topic which I feel very passionately about to life and show the immediate response of people experiencing certain feeling because of design through my installation. Building the installation was the most exciting part for me; building an environment that people can physically experience and hopefully enjoy.

The secondary I research I conducted throughout the writing was the part of my writing I was very worried about. I started reading very early on, however I made the mistake of reading book that had been published by authors rather than academic paper on the subject that had been peer- reviewed. This had led to some mistake in my writing, if I had been reading academic papers early on, I feel that my writing would have developed further and I would not have to of found academic texts as late as I did. This was through fault of my own, reading the publications I began with was also beneficial as I gathered an understanding of the direction of my dissertation, and what I wanted to include.

I felt that I should have focused on specific authors throughout my writing, I explored a range of different people who are all experts in their own field, this was because of the nature of my dissertation being so varied and exploring so many different environments. Although this has helped to support all different areas of my dissertation, I don’t feel as if I explored one author or publication to the extent that I should have. More involved research into one author could have led to a more in- depth understanding of a subject area. This will be something that I will develop in my future research.

Through writing I have developed skills which I never thought I would have. My academic writing has developed and I have been able to confidently submit my dissertation. I have also research in depth different authors, and subject areas using academic databases such as MetSearch through Cardiff Metropolitan University and other sites such as Google Scholar. This has encouraged me to keep researching and develop my ideas further through academic studies.

The dissertation felt quite general, showing that spaces invoke feeling involved talking about a wide range of environments. Possibly focusing on one environment and how it impacts the users would have been more successful and drawn a more specific conclusion. Focusing on one environment also would have allowed me to find expects in that field and gather a more cohesive understanding of the impact that design can have on an individual.

Building the installation to gather direct feedback from the users of the space was set out to achieve an understanding of the immediate change in design would affect how they work in the space. Although the questionnaire allowed me to see this to an extent, I feel this would have been better achieve through a study group who filled out a questionnaire on the room previous to the installation and then again whilst the installation was in place. This could still remain anonymous to an extent and would have gathered a more cohesive answer to if the installation invoked feeling. This would have also insured more responses to the questionnaire as a struggle throughout the installation was gathering responses from people using the room, and I ended the study with only eleven responses, a wider audience response would have drawn a more accurate conclusion.

The installation led to other problems, the materials involved in the design were delicate and had to be semi- permanent without damaging the existing room. I had put signs all over the room to be careful of the installation and warning those using the room not to touch the wool that was stretching from ceiling to floor. However, at some point during the period the installation existed, there were large groups of people in the room and when moving around pulled some strings of yarn down. I had to be available to go into the university where the installation was every day, so that I could fix the problems as they occurred, so it would not affect the outcome of the questionnaires. The installation is very adaptable and could be altered to fit into a range of environments, however will have to be made more structurally sound so that it could withhold some interaction.

Writing this dissertation has encouraged my passion for design, I want to carry on my research through higher education. I believe that this will take my research to the next level, where I can narrow my research into one area of design focusing on how this space invokes feeling and continuing to build installations and environments for experience throughout my research. I am unsure of the specifics of what direction I will take my research into; however, I am excited to see where I can take it. Short term I will continue to allow how individuals feel in the spaces I design to drive the projects I am a part of, I believe this will lead to the best possible outcome for people who inhabit my future designs.

Lino Printing

With the house renovation that I have had the pleasure to be apart of coming to an end. I have created a Lino print for the new house, of the new house.

The printing involved drawing the house onto a A5 piece of lino, then using a fine cutting tool, I cut along the lines. It was important to keep the lino hot, I did this by continually ironing the back. I then used black printing ink, and created a few copies before getting the print I was happy with.

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