Information is Beautiful ReflectionPosted: February 11, 2016
So, this was my second term field option, Information is Beautiful. I wasn’t completely sure what this was going to be when I first chose it as my option, but I thought it would have something to do with infographics. Thankfully it hasn’t been infographics because I’m really not a fan of them! On the first day, we got told that it was going to be all about information design, which was something I hadn’t heard before, and were shown some really good pieces of work, all of which were far better than the ‘infographics’ I was expecting to see. I don’t think I had ever really paid much attention to pieces of information design before, but after being shown a range of work and through doing research throughout this field, I’ve definitely developed an interest in it.
All of the pieces I thought were best had a really interesting way of displaying their information, often using clever imagery. I think that throughout these projects, I’ve tried to make myself do the same with my work. I’m not sure if this has helped me or not.
The work I produced (with my group) for the 1 week project at the start of the term, 3 pairs of shoes with information displayed on the shoes, was done because it was something a little different to just making a poster and it was a more interesting than if we had made posters, but I’m still torn about what the graphics on the shoes should have been. At the time, I was pretty happy with this work because I felt we had produced something different, but I keep wondering whether we did produce something different or whether we used the same basic ‘infographic’ systems (graphs), just on a different medium.
I struggled a lot with my final piece. I knew from the start of Significant Information that I wanted to do something that had meaning to me because, from the work I had seen so far, I loved the designs that were completely based on personal thing, particularly Christoph Niemann’s Good Night and Tough Luck.
I had the idea of doing something about my local pubs and how I used them because the pub, to me, is all about socialising with my friends. After my first tutorial with David, I realised that I misunderstood just how significant the information we used had to be. So, with help from David, I started to slightly deviate from how I use a pub and research pubs a little more. Even after deviating a little bit, I started to lose what little passion I had about pubs. After a little more time, I had another tutorial, in which I realised that I wasn’t going to get enough significant information about pubs, so I made the decision to scrap it and think of something new.
This is when I thought of doing some work about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I knew that there was definitely a need for information about this illness to be spread because I suffer from it and have only once had somebody know what it was when I mentioned to them that I had it.
I’m pretty happy with the idea I had of making it a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey kind of game for this because I think it gives people an idea of what the symptoms are quite well and does so in a slightly humorous way, but I’m still not sure that I’m happy with the entirety of the final work. I’m having the same problem I had with the shoes. I’m just not sure that what I’ve produced is unique, or just the same stuff in a different form.
I have enjoyed this field option, if only because it’s introduced me to area of design which I had previously overlooked, but I can’t ignore the fact that it’s left me feeling slightly confused. I certain don’t think information design is my forte, but I’ve not helped myself by second guessing everything I’ve been doing. Choosing this option has pulled me pretty far out of my comfort zone, so I’m looking forward to some new Subject work now, as I want to get a little closer to my zone again. I’d be interested to come back to this work at a later date, to see if I still view things the same way and whether or not I’d do things differently.