Throughout this project I have learnt a lot about not only myself but with working with others. Having done the activity previously of being put into external and internal groups really benefited me while working on this project. It made it much easier to communicate with my group members as I felt that we were all on the same level and wanted portray the exact message in our pictures. Although the process took a while it was interesting to see the final result as it was not what we expected, personally I feel that by taking these photographs I not only developed my skills but understood and appreciated the beauty of the visuals as well. During the process of taking the sky photographs I learned a lot about how timing can play an important role in how the sky would look, this is what made our final outcome most interesting.
The most difficult aspect of this project I have faced was probably in the beginning as I was confused and lacked the knowledge of how we were supposed to accomplish this visual representation. Working with my group and communicating really helped me understand the project more as they were very supportive. I never liked working in groups as I thought I was not good at it but after this project I learned a lot about myself, I learned that sometimes working in groups can actually help me in developing a project more sufficiently and working in groups will also help me in the future as I will be put with different people and I need the skills in order to work well with them. Overall, this project was very enjoyable, I learned a lot about visual deconstruction /joinery.
Collaboration with IMAGING I
Introduce my object
What is Merging?
- After I do some research about knowing the meaning of Merging, I end up with this definition:
- MERGING: Merging is the first step of the search process where we bring diverse ideas, objects and thoughts into concert.
- SEARCH: Pursuit, examine. A divergent process with an idea to broaden your knowledge.
- RESEARCH: an investigative process, Precedence studies.
- EXTRACTION: Examining the potential impact and meaning of the chosen avenue of exploration.
- Icon: An icon resembles the thing it represents, such as a pictorial representation, a photograph, an architect’s model of a building are all icons , because they imitate or copy aspects of their subject.
- Index: An index has a factual or causal connection that points toward its object e.g. Green crescent sign.
- Symbol: Has an arbitrary relationship between the signifier and the thing signified. (Direct link between the sign and the object) e.g. Smoke for fire, foot prints for person.
This was the process of my thinking as I tried to decide what sign to design.
- Signs that are important and those that are not. Example: arrow to indicate emergency exit and arrow to indicate direction of lounge in airport.
- Signs we ignore and signs we obey. Example: No smoking signs in cafes in Malls in Qatar and No Entry signs on streets.
- Signs that are important, but that we ignore.
- Signs that are important because they indicate danger, but we ignore or we don’t see them.
The problem seeking: its not known, some people don’t switch off their car while other have no idea how dangerous it is specially that we live in a hot country. Also you hardly find such sign in a petrol station, its either hidden somewhere behind or not there at all.
- Petrol station signs about switching off engine while filling with petrol.
- In a hot country like Qatar, there is a high risk that an engine could create a spark and cause an explosion while the car is filling with petrol. However, most people do not know this. The petrol companies know about this and there are signs that tell people to switch off their engines when they are filling with petrol. The problem is that these signs are small and they are not very obvious to drivers, so people do not usually switch off their engines when they are filling with petrol.
- Make very large signs that everyone can understand because Qatar population is from many nationalities, so a sign is more useful than a sign with text. If the sign is big, drivers will see it and they may switch off their engine.
- At the same time, the sign needs to be clear and does not depend on where a person comes from. This means that it is better to make signs that are linked with local driving, that are high visibility, and that are not so formal (high visibility).
- Aware that it’s a must to switch off their cars off once a car is getting filled with petrol.
- Our goal is that people will be aware the next time they visit a petrol station.
- Meaning for any language speaker and for people who cannot read.
The sign should have:
- a key;
- a petrol station sign;
- an off sign;
- colors that indicate danger;
Global vs. Local
Official vs. Unofficial
High Vernacular vs. Low Vernacular
- Global: understood worldwide without indicating a specific culture.
- Local: specified to one region and only understood by them. (Qatar, Gulf Region)
- Official: government signs that are shown in the public roads, clear distinction without additional context.
- Unofficial: humorous, silly, funny, adding a twist to the official sign.
- High Vernacular: think of museum designs, sophisticated, abstract…
- Low Vernacular: a more exaggerated sign of the unofficial signs, graffiti signs, rapidly designed, a hacked sign in a bad neighborhood.
- the global sign for switch off is to turn to the left.
- The key is the thing that they have to turn.
- The local sign should have more impact to locals if it looks local.
- Changing the brand 4 x 4 as the car. This car is very typical of Qatar.
- I thought of the road sign of a person crossing which shows a man wearing a Thobe and that inspired me to use a very typical local car.
- Signs with a line through them have the standard meaning of something that is not allowed. That is what I wanted to show in the official sign.
- I wanted to make the unofficial sign like something that warns of danger in a very strong way. I thought that red color is a good way to do this, especially if I contrast red with another color.
High vernacular/low vernacular
- I wanted a sign to attract attention, and to be clear what message it was sending to the audience. I know that if a sign is confusing, people will ignore it.
- After critiquing my work, I gathered the comments and I found it so helpful. It helped me to see people’s view and how I can improve my designs.
What I gathered from the comments:
- The High V. and Low V. are similar to each other.
- I got a really good feedback after critiquing my final design, it was so clear as the audience said, and I just have to fix my craft on illustrator and make it more accurate.
• I kept the global sign with a key turning to the left as this seems to be a universal way of turning off an engine. I made it bold by placing the sign inside a circle to attract attention
• For the local sign, I wanted it to be understood by all people, including the many workers who live in Qatar, but who do not read or write Arabic or English. This is why the sign is very explicit and shows exactly what they should do when they are filling their vehicles with petrol. This sign is also inside a red triangle, which is also used on the road to warn of danger with a sharp edges.
• The official sign is a standard line through a circle, as this is the normal way to show that something is forbidden.
• The local sign is very dramatic and represents what might happen if the engine is not turned off. It is a clear warning and does not need to be interpreted.
High Vernacular/low Vernacular
• My final design for this aspect had to be clear and to catch attention. This is why I used the circle and the finger on the key.
The process of designing my signs began with a look at what people do not do, even though they should do this. According to notices in petrol stations, people should switch off their engines when filling with petrol because of the risk of fire, but people ignore these signs because they are not visual and are in languages that many people in Qatar cannot read. This was my starting point.
From there, I looked at how to make my signs universal and also with high impact. I decided that there could be two types of signs – one that is universal and one that is local. The universal signs contain the essential elements of a key and an indication that it needs to be turned off. The local sign is more explicit and also more dramatic in order to inform drivers who are not aware of the meaning of universal signs. In other words, I needed my signs to be available and accessible to the whole population of Qatar and not only to the minority.
I believe that by exploring the design of my signs through a process of thoughts that lead to drafts and finally to the finished product, I was able to create signs that have both local and international significance and that can be used to help to improve safety in Qatar. These signs have value because they inform and also carry a sense of urgency and importance, and are not easy to ignore.