Dissertation proposal – Why the Room Divider

The choice of my final dissertation proposal hasn’t been obvious and immediate from the start. In fact, at a certain point, I decided to take a step back and observe more objectively who I am as an artist and where I am heading to.

I started at Cardiff Met as a Textile Designer and discovered myself, one year and a half later, to be half way towards being a Maker. I take inspiration from my surroundings, both physical and digital, to create not only decorative, but also useful artefacts combining different techniques acquired during my studies. I also understood the importance of the awareness regarding Eco sustainable practices, in a time where the textile industry is one of the most polluting ones and where the design process of an artefact is the first step to make the difference regarding all of its life cycle. I also wanted to create something to which I could apply all my skills in combination with different techniques and materials such as paper/fabric manipulation, stitch, print, laser cutting, ceramic and woodwork, to name a few. It is already some years i had in the back of my head to create a room divider and once i started the total overview of my research, it just seemed the perfect product to see applied my knowledge to, in the most creative way i could imagine. My chosen product is, in fact a useful, decorative and versatile artefact that can be easily adapted to different spaces which translates into the possibility to also have more variations of it. Sustainable is another important keyword of my course of study and thanks to the high number of charity shops around South Wales I have the opportunity to employ only, or mainly, reclaimed materials in the creation of my artefacts. This leads to the possibility of an unlimited range of different materials leading to unique, hand made products.

Second of all it is also important for me to not only design a decorative and useful product but also one that has the potential to sells. A medium-high end quality product that I can have as a side job while working for others, in order to achieve the necessary experience to enter and get to know my market, before becoming a 24/7 self employed. A first research in the Furniture market seems, at first glimpse, to support my choice, giving reassuring numbers. According to Statista, in fact, the revenue in the Furniture market amounts to US$ 313.139m in 2018 with an annually growth of 2%.

Pinterest research on room dividers/screens:

Having said that I am totally open to modify or change my chosen product if by any chance I step into essential elements able to influence the outcome I am expecting to achieve.

My Curatorial Project proposal

The general idea is to curate a hypothetical but realistic project, in this case a first-hand experience for people, about what is like to have new abilities.  More specifically, what is like to be a cyborg.

As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, a cyborg is a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body.

The idea was born because of my interest in new developments regarding the extension of our human abilities throughout the use of technology. Every time I browsed I’d find a different thing, in a different place: a research in America, a new cyborg in Spain or a high tech solution for a problem in some other place. The fact is that at a certain point I imagined what would it be like to have them all in one place. Then I imagined more, what would it be like to be able to experience them first-hand. This is how I ended up researching for cyborg related events but didn’t find anything more then conferences. The idea was born.

The experience is set in a futuristic city, to provide a full immersion experience and to amplify the excitement of senses for the visitor. It is designed both for experts of sector as for someone totally unaware about human progress in technological activities but curious and willing to explore them. For both young and old. The city would be built in small scale (2-3 floor building high) and on an extension large as a small neighbourhood of a few streets to freely walk around. Where we imagine that the shops would be located would instead be single ‘rooms’, each providing the experience of a different ability.

Then, the experience as a whole, would be located in a central position of a large city in order to be visible for the citizens and almost advertise it self.

Here is an example of a futuristic city:


Whether somebody is for or against technology, the final purpose of this experience is to make everybody aware of what is happening in the world and technology is a huge component of it. And anyway we are already late to the party. Futurist and head of engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, predicted that by 2030 we will be part humans and part machines. For example we’ll be able to connect directly our brain to the cloud without an interface.

Most of the expert of the sector talk about this abilities as extensions of our body as it is the case of our smart phones or computers.  And there are people out there as for example Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas that are already living as cyborgs. Neil was born colour blind and has an antenna implanted into his skull that translates colours into vibrations.

Each ‘ability’ actually was born as a solution to a biological malfunction, as in Neil’s example, then extended to improve existing features and eventually add new ones.

It is simply fascinating.

The Mysterious Object

Last week’s task was to go to the National Museum of Cardiff and identify an object to study. Look at how the object it is shown to us through the medium of the museum itself, how they categorise it and what’s the story they put around it.

Walking around the first floor with my group we decided to speak about it as a whole, then each of us would chose an individual object to talk about more in dept. Here‘s the link to the Power Point we’ve done.

I chose this piece:


It almost immediately cached my eye. Not because it was interesting or standing out somehow but because I was looking for something uncommon and this matched my expectations. It was placed in a quite central position, considering the floor’s layout, and it had ‘protective’ strings all around it. From this moment a lot of questions started popping in my head about what that object was, so I instinctively started looking for the label to read a description. But there wasn’t any to be found. Not immediately at least. So everything got more intriguing for my head and started wandering seriously on what it could be. What was happening with that object? Was it an object to dispose of and in the meantime they didn’t know where to place it? Was it an object of the exposition and just placed there to fill a whole? In that process I discovered to have a quite imaginative mind:


Was it an altar for sacrifice? A table? A crime scene?

I started to photograph my mysterious object, hoping that I could understand more by studying it. After a few pictures from different angles, and some minutes later, I finally found the label. It was placed on the side of the walkway, far from the object related to. My piece was going to reveal it’s mystery.

‘The jar is a container for the dead’


The first observation is that it took me a while to read through the two languages and through the lines of her description to see what it was.

The second observation is that she describes the jar as beautiful while the aesthetic of it is clearly in contrast with her affirmation.

The third observation is that she talks about a meaningful and profound subject which is the death and in her label she doesn’t say anything that it could immerse the viewer in her reflection upon death and the way she related it to her ‘beautiful’ object.

Forth observation is that either her, or the curator, didn’t create the proper environment (context, background…) in order, for the viewer to appreciate the object’s actually deep meaning.

As a small experiment, while writing my own reflections about the object, I just stood there at a proper study distance and observed the passers. In almost half an hour, everybody that passed by the object did’t seem to bother to give it a glimpse of a look. People were watching the objects before, that were under the protective glass and labelled and just seeing through my object of study, to the photographic exposition right after. Only one girl stopped, a ceramic student from another group but she didn’t have lick in finding the label.

In conclusion I have to say that I didn’t expect this experience to be so interesting. Analysing from different perspectives the layout of a single object and actually having so much to say about it. I will never enter a whatever exhibition with just the visitor’s eye anymore.



My own Structural/Materialist film

Today in class we made our own piece of film to project with an old projector and it was really interesting. I came to have a taste of how films were made before 1973, before the appearance of digital machines.

I attached some pieces of leaves, thread, laser cut outs, pieces of other films with the scotch tape and wrote and draw on it too. I finally cut the edges with a splicer and prepared it to be attached to another piece making together a 6 minutes long ‘movie’. Considering that normally is being run 24 film stripes per second, we would each have a 2 seconds projection.



Since it was almost everybody’s first time to actually make and project a piece of film it was difficult to predict what is that we were about to see. I personally supposed that I would see, even for a glimpse, all the elements I have attached to my film.  I also expected to notice loads of imperfection like the edge of the tape, maybe some scratches on the film (since it has been bleached out and reused), maybe not so strong colours and definitely something different than predicted :). I was right on the series of my second prediction. The film run too fast for a single stripe to be distinguished from the others, and I only managed to see more clearly the round I draw on three stripes and the last dark element of my piece of film. We saw very clearly though a series of stripes representing a fun basic man sketch on a real football game scenes and it was because my classmate represented it in a slow motion from one stripe to another.

Since we had some time left, we run it a second time a bit slower, so we were able to distinguish more details between the stripes.

The overall visual of the film, besides the usage of other real scenes film cuts, was like watching at fast speed a gathering of marks. I also enjoyed the individual process leading to a collective work that we could admire as a whole and the reaction was between surprise and laughter so I’m sure we all enjoyed it.

I discovered a new approach to art.