Constellation Reflection; Learning to look at: ‘The Body’

During the second and third term I have been studying ‘Learning to Look at: The Body’. Throughout the course of the two terms I really enjoyed the topic. I found that I was always engaged and interested in all the sessions. I believe this topic has helped me in a number of ways; it helped me to look at the wider world and things very close to me with a more open-minded approach and see things in a way that I didn’t before, looking at them as an individual rather than following socially constructed views. I also found that it helped me to consider new and exciting ideas within my own subject area, such as how ‘The Body’ reacts to different spaces and how that experience is different for everyone, although sceptical at first how this would fit into my subject area, I know can see a whole new stream of ideas of how I can apply this to Interior Design. It also helped to give me theory behind these ideas and theories that I can apply to my everyday life, and in my course.

Throughout this course I have felt that I have been able to develop my knowledge on a subject that I was interested in, however had never studied or had a lot of information on. ‘The Body’ has always been very important to me and interested me greatly. I have been able to explore some of the social constructions that exist and look at them in a different way. As a group we were also exposed to a lot of different clips and images of different roles models that break socially constructed values and opinions and do things their own way. This didn’t just inspire me academically but as a person too.

This however was not the only valuable things that I have taken away from this course. Through the work of out tutor I have been able to develop skills such as my creative writing, academic reading and essay writing. These are all things that I have felt as more of a creative person that I have struggled with, not being able to express myself through writing by rather using other creative forces to. Using the sessions every week I have hugely developed these skills, this is now something that I will take me and be able to use them and feel a lot more confident in the future. We as a group were encouraged to do a lot of academic reading and then rewriting this to help with essay writing, this is by far the best thing I could have done and wish I had been earlier encouraged to do this as it hugely developed my writing, and a skill I used through writing this essay.

Although my writing I feel has developed I did feel that I struggled with starting my essay. This is because I couldn’t find a way in which I was happy with that linked this subject to my course of Interior Design. I could make links such as, how the body reacts within different spaces or how each individual person experiences everything differently, however none that I could find enough research and reading on to create a whole essay from and the thought of not having enough to write about, panicked me. So, I decided to write about Women in sport and how they are represented; this is something that I am interested in, and I was able to find a lot of information about this subject. I was also attracted to write about this subject as one of my personal heroines is Kathrine Switzer, she was the first women to run the Boston marathon and faced a lot of discrimination and set back in her life however she was strong and ran to help other women fulfil their potential. I was excited at the opportunities to write about her as I am inspired by what she has achieved. Through writing this essay I have been able to look at lots of other women like her and be inspired by them to. I still found that I struggled with my writing, I took in all the advice I had been given through lectures about essay writing and I have tried to produce the best outcome possible. However, I am not completely satisfied with my writing as I feel that I am still learning and haven’t done enough reading yet to be able to write I as well one day will able to be. I also found that I struggled to fully understand all the theories mentioned within the lectures such as the panopticon affect, so I had to do some extra reading to get an understanding on this. Personally, I struggled with keeping up in all lectures, writing notes, not just from the board as I was able to access all that information online, but I found keeping up with verbal notes hard as a lot of what was being said was more valuable than what written down on the board. I am taking some personal steps to help me keep up with writing in lectures and not allowing me to miss out on that information.

Not only do I feel writing this essay has helped me academically with essay writing and my academic reading, but I feel that the content to the lectures has really helped to develop my thinking about ‘The Body’ and how it is seen within society.

I know to develop my skills further now, that I have learnt on this course I need to read more, especially academic books. This will hopefully help me to develop my skills of writing and reading from academic books. I also know to use the library more and not rely on what is online, as I have found that the best information from my essay come from books and not online. Next constellation I know I will be able to transfer the skills I have learnt through this subject and they will help me greatly in developing and improving my work.

Constellation: First term reflection

This term for constellation I chose the topic ‘How Things Are.’ This is because I believed that I could relate it most to my study of Interior Design. I believed that it would state things how they are and help me to explore different fields of interior design deeper and with more philosophy and theory behind it.

I found that I really enjoyed this topic, I was able to grasp the basic understanding of what was being said and apply and adapt it to fit my field of work which lead to big and better ideas for me. My first ever session in constellation was an eye opener, one of the first task that we were set was to identify and module a piece of creative writing just from smelling the inside of a pot and trying to guess what it was; which although unusual, I found very and surprising enjoyable. I was so inspired by just the first session on ‘Sensography’ that I based my whole final essay from this topic. Although I did enjoy the first topic the most I also found the rest of this topic also inspiring and that there was always something within the subject that I could relate back to my chosen subject of Interior Design no matter how small it was. I found this in topic such as constructive perception, learning about how things are what we expect them to be, how we project already set emotions and memories onto an experience before we have even experienced something ourselves, a pre-set judgment to a space or experience. Onto the next session where we explored the idea that humans are just robots and the tools are the ones who really create the work, as without the tools there is no way that we would be able to create pieces and work. Next onto how we work within the world and not upon it, how we only collaborate with things in the world that respond to us, rather that working as one. From then on working on the idea that tools and equipment that we use become part of us when we work and that they enable us to create whatever we desire, that they are an extension of our body; this idea includes technology and that it expands our bodily way of knowing the world and ourselves. Moving onto how objects and tools have changed the way that we as humans look, and this then affects the way that we see the world, through mediums such as clothes and technology.

I found with constellation that I really enjoyed being pushed and challenged through the philosophy in a way that I didn’t expect to be in the duration of my course. I found that it has picked my brain on different ideas, big and small. I have also been shocked at how much I have learnt and how much I have developed my idea within interior design using techniques and ideas from constellation. Thinking about each lecture I found that I did struggle to follow everything that was said, and I didn’t pick up or understand everything however, from the bundle of information I was given every week there was always something that I found within the whole lecture that was inspire me and open my horizon to new and exciting though processes. I did struggle with following the course as due to some issue I wasn’t able to attend most of my constellation lectures, however I did try to catch up and follow online. I found this hard as within this subject I found that I need to have the theories and ideas explained to me to fully understand what they were talking about and to fully grasp the idea and concept, to be able to apply it to my work, or even just to write about. However I was able to overcome this by doing my own further research into topics that really interested me to help me gather an understanding. And as every teenager did I struggled with the early morning starts that constellation threw at me.

I believe that this term in constellation has set me and prepared me for next term. I now know what is expected of me and what this process entails. I will make sure that I attended every lecture and make the appropriate notes and continue further research into the topics that interest me so that when it comes to writing an essay I am more than prepared rather than having to do all the hard work at the end.

I found my essay harder to write than I had expected to, I knew that I would find it challenging as I had missed so much preparation work leading up to it, however writing the essay its self was a challenge for me. I was very interested in the topic and the field itself but producing two thousand words on this topic was what I struggled with as I felt that I needed to do more research and more preparation before starting to write. However, whilst writing my essay on a topic that I found fascinating, I was teaching myself techniques and still learning about theories within this topic that I will carry with me through the next three years of my course and through any interior design carer that I have in the future. I was able to structure an essay that overall I am not happy with and don’t believe that it is my best work, but I believe that it portrays the purpose and meaning that I wanted it to and shows how passionate and involved I became in this topic and how much I soaked up the information from it. I am very excited to see what my next constellation entails and what I can take from it, and what I can apply that I have learnt in this topic to my next and how it will help me through my interior design endeavours.


The first few weeks in Constellation:

I found that constellation has opened my eyes to so many new things. Through being shown new concepts and idea that I can include in my own work through the Interior Design course but also my own personal work too; it has also allowed me to meet new people in the university that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. So far I have really enjoyed the course and what it is teaching me, however to gain these insights I have had to struggle through the early morning starts. When I first started this course I was anxious to see what it would entail and if I would even enjoy it, but I was also excited to see where it could take my work.

I have been coping with the course well and this has lead to me enjoying it more. Through the work and lectures I have found that my strengths are that I am able to manage my constellation work and interior design work well and focus on them both without falling behind in one area. I have found that I need to strengthen my creative writing, I believe that this is important to the course but is also a key skill that I need to improve.

I plan to overcome my weaknesses, to do this I will strengthen my creative writing. To do this I could seek assistance from my tutor, practice more creative writing pieces, extra reading, or even attend classes. I also plan to strengthen my ability to make links between theory and practice. This will not only help my constellation and interior design work now but will be a very useful skill in any future projects or pieces of writing.

I believe I struggle with some of these things because I haven’t even been properly taught them or I haven’t had enough practice using them. When I finish a piece of work written or practical, I like to feel a sense of excitement that when I look at it I smile or have the need to send a picture to my mum for her final verdict. However I find that if a piece of writing or design goes wrong I struggle to move on from it and try to focus on how I can fix it, instead of moving on and trying something new.

I measure success on what other people think of my work, encouragement that what I have done is good and someone other than me likes it.

Reflecting on my work so far has given me an insight into what i need to focus on and look into, to improve my work.

Ocularcentrism & Sensography

My first constellation: Sensographies of objects blindly- Pot 3

My first instincts when I smelt the pot were that I sensed a sweet and fruity smell, this lead me to the memory of my mums clean washing and snuggling up into clean bed sheets. I didn’t feel that I was getting the full flavour with the lid on the pot, so without looking and still keeping the mystery alive I smelt further into the pot; I found it to be spicy and sharp, this lead me to another memory of cooking, a zesty but still fruity smell of my family mince pies at Christmas. I then ventured into using touch. This allowed a new sense to be involved in the investigating; the object was dry, crunchy, small and there was lots of them, I felt that it might be small seeds or crushed tea leaves. I associated the smell of this object with a burgundy colour, deep and rich. I believe this was because of the rich smell of Christmas spice that I associated it with. I see burgundy as a warm and comforting colour; a warm crackling fire, mulled wine and a cosy tartan blanket.

After much investigating through my nose and fingers, to my surprise I discovered that pot 3 contained Twining’s Lady Grey Tea, Zesty Orange.