MA Project GDE750 20/21

MA Project Week 1: Research Methods & Learnings

Where to start…

In the last module, I felt that I learnt a lot about myself. Ever since I started my lingerie brand – after completing a Contour Fashion BA Degree – and then shutting it down (for many different reasons) I have felt like I have been going around in circles. I wake up every day with a number of different new business ideas, which whirl round and round leaving me feeling a strange mix of confusion, excitement and disorientation. I start researching a new idea, but then a strong voice in my head that says, ‘No Alice, this is not the one!’ so then I go back to searching through the mass of other half-baked ideas in my head, not knowing which one to focus or settle on. 

This course has pushed me to think about idea development in a different way. Two modules ago I discovered how my creative skills could actually help people and I had never felt anything like it. It made me realise how potentially powerful design is within our society today. 

The feeling of fulfilment that I had been searching for with my lingerie brand might well be there, in a slightly different direction, but right in front of me. 

I want to look at combining some different areas that I have worked on that have set my heart on fire throughout this course. I did not know that these emotions existed within me until this course invited me to experience them. 

 The first of these is the fact that I would like to use my design skills and creativity to raise awareness. I learnt this in the second module where I created a series of campaign posters highlighting the very dark and destructive side of the oil industry; in particular an in-depth case study of the historical and current-day Shell and how they have used / use greenwashing to try and convince consumers that they are a force for environmental evil but a green energy source.

The anger and outrage I experienced after discovering that Shell is still trading given a history of not only highly deceptive but potentially criminal behaviour impelled me towards another project that not only had a big impact on my life but had the potential to impact others, in a positive way, too. 

The LifeShine torch and emergency GPS tool that I designed in the last module forced me to watch documentaries about the thousands of migrants that sacrifice their lives in the hope of a better life. This desperation is taken advantage of by smugglers who load desperate men women and children on board flimsy inflatable boats, taking their money and launching them into the Mediterranean Ocean, without regard for safety or provision for emergency recourse. I saw that I could help with my design skills and so, having researched thoroughly, I created a tool that could help guide rescue boats towards them and give them light in a very dark situation (metaphorically and physically). 

Native Buddy is an add on software that I designed in the last module, developed specifically for a school intranet platform, provided free-of-charge with the assistance of Le Collectif des Migrants de Bordeaux (CMB), a charity set up to assist the migrant integration process in Bordeaux.

Another subject that lights a fire in my heart is colour theory and forecasting. I am fascinated by colour and how we can create economic, social and environmental reports to try and predict what consumers will be attracted to in seasons and years to come. But this got me wondering if I could open a colour forecasting consultancy that steers fashion brands and consumers towards producing colours that are less damaging for the environment, that can be produced in controllable and ethical ways and that can allow consumers to start shifting their ideas of what is ‘fashionable’ towards naturally instead of chemically produced colours. This could potentially create a movement away from damaging chemically-based factories overseas, strengthening a growing consumer demand to know where the products they are buying are made and how they are made. Are they sustainable, cruelty-free, natural and kind to the environment?