Description of Body Space workshop by Prof. Frank O'Sullivan

  • Update:2009-12-08
  • Frank O'Sullivan
  • Source: No.195 | July 2009
Description of Body Space workshop by Prof. Frank O'Sullivan
Frank O'Sullivan
The most notable recent teaching project was the Body Space workshop which we have just completed at Tsinghua University. Working closely with Professor Zang Yingchung and a group of MA students, from both Interior Design and Fashion Design, we undertook a collaborative design programme aimed at uncovering shared interdisciplinary processes, technologies and design methodologies. The starting point for the development of the programme was provided by the 4 key points which underpin the work of my MA Interior Design studio at Brighton University:
The studio seeks to promote interdisciplinary research and practice; we are looking to develop creative collaborations between fine artists, designers, architects and thinkers.
In anticipation of `The Creative User' all of our proposals originate from a close focus on the existing condition.
Emphasis is placed on the evolution of bespoke graphic techniques and strategies that result from constructive critical discussion of collaborative visual research
In considering issues of technology, we are concerned as much with intuition, desire and chance as with precedent, economy and established practice.
For the duration of the project we would focus on the notion that both Fashion Design and Interior Design share a vital interest in the space of the Body in motion. It follows that designers from both fields require techniques which can document context, identify appropriate technologies and graphically record body movement.
As someone who has been fortunate enough to have worked with Tsinghua graduate students in the past I was not surprised at the very high levels of skill and commitment displayed by the students. However I was surprised at their readiness to adopt new agendas and processes and at the freshness of the ideas which emerged as a consequence of what was after all a very short programme. Speaking from the point of one of the 2 teachers on the project I personally took a great deal from the project both as a teacher and as a designer learning from the graduate students as well as from my colleague Professor Zang.


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