Hi, I’m Emily!
My course is BA Graphic and Media Design.
This first DPS blog post reflect on my experience setting up a display for WaterAid. It is part of Emmergence exhibition for London Design Festival at LCC. 14thSeptember – 16thOctober.
When I asked about taking part in the exhibition, I naively felt that it would be straightforward and relatively stress free. How wrong I was. This is my first participation in one and I knew nothing of the amount for planning, good time management, and absolute dedication required.
Mai Elamin ( BA, Interaction Design )
Emily Hawes ( BA, Graphic and Media Design) (DPS)
Catarina Bernardi ( BA, Illustration and Visual Media) (DPS)
Nino Mariano ( BA, Illustration and Visual media) (DPS)
Theo ( BA, Graphic and Media Design ) (DPS)
Our Aim: for viewers to question the extent clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene is taken for granted. Our concept is for water, toilets and hygiene and to be viewed as precious as gold.
Original Pitch to WaterAid:
The original pitch to WaterAid was to create a series of posters situated in Old Street tube station, which would then have a corresponding Instagram account and a hashtag #WaterForGold attached to posts. Additionally, there is a link to a donation page providing the public an opportunity to purchase a limited edition, metal, sustainable water bottle. The posters have three illustrations representing the three goals for Water Aid: clean water, represented by a gold tap with diamonds pouring out; decent toilets as a gold toilet; good hygiene as gold soap bars.
For our display we brought our posters to life by recreating everything in 3-D. The toilet, soap and tap are full scale, spray-painted gold and mounted on plinths. Mock-diamonds glued and hung from clear elastic hug from the faucet.
The participants of the exhibit are young students mostly in their early 20s, therefore our view-points had some similarities. There is a desire to design exhibits that help viewers relate our everyday habits such as considering a scenario of ordering a coffee that would 2 hours to collect water for. There is a theme around what we take granted and the the privilege of having on-demand water facilities.
Frustrating elements include not receiving delivery of materials on time and the inability for all the team to physically come in and set up. A real low point to the week was when I threw away the dots of the i’s for our vinyl writing and the despair I felt when realising that I left a shoe mark on our newly sprayed toilet seat.
The best moments were when I finished spray painting, received encouraging comments from peers, and the satisfaction after gluing the last diamond on clear elastic thread.
As designers not only are we educating and informing others about WaterAid’s mission, but we are empowering ourselves. We have greater knowledg about campaigning for non-profit organisations, WaterAid’s specific mission, understanding how have a positive impact through design.
It was an invaluable experience being part of a great exhibition that exposes thought-provoking work Just make sure you prepare, prepare and enjoy.