Ideas Marathon Day 2

So my spatial typology was hospital for today and I started thinking hospital as a strange, depressive place – I would like to subvert the idea of it or bring some happiness in it. What if hospitals had happiness emergency kits. I started thinking about what kind of objects being happiness to us.

I stumbled upon an article talking about the debate of materiality (gaining happiness from objects) vs experientialism  (gaining happiness from experience) and I agreedthat the experience makes you happier than the actual object. The article says that it is psychologically proven that being attached to an object is a sign of personality disorder, narcissism, social anxiety, dissatisfaction of life but experience is a lasting thing, could be shared, it can be lived and it’s more natural. Also shared experiences, like trips are sometimes memories of life.

So my aim was, instead of creating a tool kit full of objects of happiness, was to create something that by experiencing it, gives you pleasure or it has a distressful feeling. It could be placed in the waiting area of the hospital, next to each chair of the waiting room so that people who wait for bad news to have something distressful to keep them busy.

So I had these little ball things, which I don’t know how they’re called and I created a box which people can use to put their hands in and get a distressful experience.

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And these are some reactions I got from people (at some point I’m saying something I don’t understand, please ignore):

People seemed intrigued by this idea, some people found it disgusting, some knew the material I’ve put inside but overall there was a positive response.


And for tomorrow I’ve got… Communal shower. That gets weirder.

Where do we go from here?

It’s a thursday and I’m blogging about the project I showed yesterday (the post for the new brief will come later).

Well, ok, the brief for the past week was about coercion, de-facto and generally how governments and politicians control the masses with consumerism so they can have them distracted from their evil acts – like wars and nasty deals with corporations.


This video talks about theories of Freud and Edward Bernays and how they managed to control the masses in the 20th century by creating desires and ‘happiness machines’.

Tom Balchin, working with Neville Brody at Research Studios, who came and set the brief pointed out that society is struggling because we no longer understand our own environment and this understanding is what has always facilitated our own evolution. Ads and generally all this propaganda always give us options – like Coca cola and Pepsi – but is it really an option? They’re both pure consumerism and brainwashing.

So the brief was: “As communicators we are the key players in the evolution of all new reality. Where do we go from here?”

The keyword I picked up was manipulation. I found interest in the language the politicians use, and how they deconstruct reality and re-arrange it to persuade us and manipulate us. This whole re-arranging thing reminded me of the Rubik’s cube. Rubik’s cube is confusing just like the politicians. But what’s the real message behind the fake one? In order to find out the real ones, I need to decode the fake ones and study propaganda language. I found interest in creating an object of truth.

So I started collecting words related to politics and society, they all had to be 9 letter words or 12 letter words – the 9 letter words would fit on one of the surfaces and the 12 letter words would fit in one row on all surfaces. DSC_0927DSC_0928all DSC_0908 DSC_0909 DSC_0910

And this is after you re-arrange it – God knows who could someone solve this!

DSC_0918 DSC_0919 DSC_0920 DSC_0921Later on, I had the idea of the Rubik’s cube showing you the real message of a fake one. So a propagandistic message is written on the Rubik’s cube and then when you re-arrange it the de-coded/real message appears. Mind blowing I know, it would take ages to make this.

This is Knitting Book by Jinyoung Joung – a friend showed me this and it actually relates a little bit to what I’m doing here:

Knitting book
“Classic Yi is a syllabic logographic system of 8000–10,000 glyphs. Although similar to Chinese in function, the glyphs are independent in form, with little to suggest a direct relation. There are 756 basic glyphs based on the Liangshan dialect, plus 63 for syllables only found in Chinese borrowings” (From Wikipedia). The columns and rows of Yi glyphs printed are seen on the two pieces of paper. From this one pair, a story can be generated as you move a row of glyphs all the way across along the fixed columns. Moreover, if you bring another row of glyphs, this one page book tells another, and another, different story. Isn’t it amazing?”

Later I had the idea of making many cubes together connected with a string so different sentences can be arranged. A really bad mock-up here:

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My second idea, which I did during the crit yesterday, was coming from the idea of change, how can we change this, how can we bring change. And change doesn’t come by talking in a room, change comes with people in the streets. So, invited everyone to take their chairs and join me outside of the building, which represents a system, an institution, and talk about change. Also the theory of the hundredth monkey says, if a certain amount of people adopt an idea/behaviour, then that behaviour is distributed to the others and at some point all the species can act the same.

This is the first time I’m doing something like this and it was really revealing and powerful for me, there was actually a big change in my work. Although in the end we didn’t take our chairs because another person in my group had a similar idea of taking everyone outside. His idea was to put arrows on the floor, drive everyone to go around the building and finish at the room’s window – but outside of it. He, in a way, managed to get back in the room and talk to us from inside the room and asked us ‘ Where do we go from here?’. So our projects were connected, in a way. It’s a shame I didn’t film myself talking about it before we got outside. Here are some pictures from the part that David drove us to the window:

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The background story was also interesting, David called me earlier in the morning to organise the project, he was outside the window telling me on the phone to join him, although I wasn’t sure. Next to the room we usually have the crits, there’s an emergency door leading to where the path he created, which when you open the alarm go off. I used that door as a shortcut, to go and find him. Neville saw me and told me to come in – he thought I was smoking. I didn’t know anything about the alarm, he informed me. Then I went outside from the opposite side of the building, still looking for David, and as soon I got outside the reception woman came to me and said ‘you opened the emergency doors and you’ve set off all the alarms! You’re not allowed to do this!’ I apologised, but I didn’t really care, I got in and returned to the crit room pretending I was looking for the ones that didn’t turn up yet. Again, it’s a shame I didn’t film this part either, as it ‘breaks’ the system, even accidentally.