Reflection for Task 00: Ideas Factory

Practitioner: Kate Moross

Award-winning multi-tasking illustrator, art director, director and designer Kate Moross burst on to the creative scene back in 2008 when her love for colour and energetic squiggles caught the eye of anyone and everyone, spawning a host of imitators and propelling her to be one of the most sought after collaborators in the design world.

Since then Kate has spent her time applying her magic touch to music videos, textiles, identities, murals, fashion and magazine covers for big-time publications. 


People love Kate because she unapologetically works for what she truly believes in. She pretty much is colour. She loves sweet packaging, dogs, pizza, stickers, knick-knacks, trainers and clothes. She's the real deal, and that's why everyone wants to work with her, to get their hands on a slice of her cheeky, infectious magic.

Book: Make Your Own Luck: A DIY Attitude to Graphic Design and Illustration

I feel that Moross' work has a certain kind of playful nature and naivety. Initially making me think they would not appeal to a wider audience, however Moross has been commissioned to do many works for large modern companies and individuals, for example Top Shop, Adidas, Nike. All of her designs are very colourful, connecting worlds/blocks.... her own specific typography style, makes her stand out...


Book: Type & Typography, Phil Baines & Andrew Haslam

It is important at the outset to point out that certain terms have meant slightly different things at different periods of history. In these digital times, font and typeface are used interchangeably, but in the days of metal type they had quite distinct meanings ... Type is the physical object, a piece of metal with a raised face at one end containing the reversed image of a character. Font is a set of characters of a given typeface all in one particular size and style. Typeface refers to a set of fonts of related design; since the end of the nineteenth century the term has referred to a set of related styles, italic, bold, bold italic and so on.

Video: This Is Me

"On your own I think it is very difficult to just pluck originality out of the air and I think thats why I like to focus on good ideas, rather than on things that just look good"

"My core foundations are typography, which I have always loved... pattern and geometry, which I have loved equally and I think they just come from the basic fascination of making something bigger out of lots of small components"

"code cracking ... building of details ...  fixing something that is broken, which is kind of like design where you have to solve a problem"


Practitioner: Ai Wei Wei

Ai Weiwei is China's most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.

Sun Flower Seeds

Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds is made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique. However realistic they may seem, these life-sized sunflower seed husks are in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain. 

Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Far from being industrially produced, they are the effort of hundreds of skilled hands. Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall’s vast industrial space, the 100 million seeds form a seemingly infinite landscape.

Porcelain is almost synonymous with China and, to make this work, Ai Weiwei has manipulated traditional methods of crafting what has historically been one of China’s most prized exports. Sunflower Seeds invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today.


Practitioner: Akatre Studio

Akatre is a creative studio founded in 2007 in Paris by Valentin Abad, Julien Dhivert and Sebastien Riveron. The expression domains of the trio are graphic design, photography, typography, video, installation art and musical creation. Their clients come from cultural and artistic institutions, the world of music, fashion, the press as well as luxury.


Process: Connect

  1. bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established.
    "the electrodes were connected to a recording device"


    secure, make fast, tie, tie up, bindfetterstrapropetether


  2. associate or relate (something) in some respect.
    "employees are rewarded with bonuses connected to their firm's performance"
    synonyms: associatelinkcouple


When I think of the word connect, I immediately think of people and their cultures... links. But also the bringing together of objects and items - this could be in a slow meditational way or very violent and fast.

Book: The Art of Beadwork, Valerie Hector

the idea of beads being connected together by one singular wire to create something... 


Above: Larry Sanders, formed of glass bugle beads that seem to mimic steel girders.


Wendu Gu

Wenda Gu was born in Shanghai, China in 1955. He graduated from Shanghai school of arts in 1976. Gu’s parents worked in the banking industry. His grandfather was one of china’s important filmmakers from the 1920’s to the 1940’s.

Exhibition: United Nations - Man and Space, at the Saatchi Gallery

Recently I saw Gu's installation, United Nations - Man and Space, at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Firstly I was amazed by the extent and scale of the piece, but after realising each flag was created with hair, it made it very strange but even more interesting. I researched into this concept and was fascinated with the outcome... The project was started in 1993 and is a series of installations that involves the use of human hair and cryptic calligraphy to convey a meaning of "Internationalism." Gu has completed a total of 21 projects and more than one million people have contributed their hair to his project.

"By utilising the real hair of the local living population, I’m strongly relating to their historical and cultural contexts, to create monumental installations and land arts to capture each country’s identity, building on profound events in each country’s history."

By creating all of these flags and joining them together within an installation, Gu is connecting the countries together.


Chiharu Shiota

Shiota's portfolio contains various art performances and installations, in which she uses various everyday objects such as beds, windows, dresses, shoes and suitcases. She explores the relationships between past and present, living and dying, and memories of people implanted into objects. To these she adds intricate, web-like threads of black and red.



The two pieces above (“Dialogue from DNA”, 2004, Manggha, Centre of Japanese Art and Technology/Poland and “The Key in the Hand”, 2015, The 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, Venice/Italy) link very well to the idea of connection even though Shiota's intentions were to symbolise the path through life as well as the imprint of journeys taken, I feel that even visually you can see that each item touches, not by connecting directly but through the use of the yarn/string, a distant but very interesting way.

Material: Concrete

Concrete: a building material made from a mixture of broken stone or gravel, sand, cement, and water, which can be spread or poured into moulds and forms a stone-like mass on hardening.

The Properties & Characteristics of Concrete

  • Strength and Durability: used in the majority of buildings, bridges, tunnels and dams for its strength; gains strength over time; not weakened by moisture
  • Versatility
  • Low Maintenance: does not attract mould of lose its key properties over time
  • Affordability: concrete is less costly to produce and remains extremely affordable
  • Fire-resistance: naturally fire resistant
  • Thermal Mass: concrete walls and floors slow the passage of heat moving through, reducing temperature swings
  • Locally produced and used
  • Albedo Effect: high reflective qualities; meaning less heat is absorbed, resulting in cooler temperatures 
  • Low life-cycle CO2 emissions

Book: Concrete Architecture, Catherine Croft

Concrete is a strong material. It has been used - particularly in it's reinforced form - for most types of engineering project. Approximately 70 percent of all bridges built in Britain since 1945 have been made of concrete.

Its strength, and the use to which it is put, is determined by its constituent parts - cement, water and aggregates. The cement - a chemical mix of calcium, silica, alumina, iron and gypsum - is the basic material. The proportion of water is added to the mix establishes its permeability, its resistance to the weather and wear, and how it is used in construction. 

Concrete is now a favoured material. not just of architects but of designers, style magazines, and, increasingly the general public. A material once associated with urban brutalism and Modernist rigor (and hence seen as challenging to appreciate) is now equally at home in chic restaurants, couture houses, churches and even country houses. 

Book: Sculpture in Ciment Fondu, John W. Mills

Ciment Fondu's Industrial uses: 

  • Construction of corrosion-resistant foundations (pilings, rafts and footings)
  • Lining of steel chimney stacks
  • Sewers and drains in corrosive soil


Above: 'Horses at Caltex House' Sculptor Franta Belsky

These horses are built up in concrete over an armature of steel and expanded metal. The main support is from a securely anchored reinforced beam. The mix is 3 to 1, using sand.

William Hall

"There were many masonry task that need to be done, pouring slabs, laying tile, finishing sidewalks and driveways. As I worked, I noticed how good cement felt, how versatile it was. It began to speak me. It revealed to me textures, colors and surfaces that I had never seen before! My brain began to whirl with all the many applications this new medium could foster in my work." - William Hall




Ron Pruitt

Jo Woffinden

Dzmitry Samal

Fabrice Le Nezet



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