Field Conclusion Essay

At the beginning of the five weeks, not a single person in our group had a clue how to write a code or link up a circuit via a board. We were more of less going in blind, but we were eager to learn since it linked strongly to our own interests – Plus, personally, I think that in this day and age electronics is a pretty useful thing to know.

Although three out of four of our group was on illustration, we hadn’t previously talked very much, so it was nice that the Field project had brought us together. Our last group member was in product design, and found it really valuable to meet and interact with this person from a different subject since they had a very different  and interesting way of approaching things.

When coming up with our initial designs, we used a piece of A1 paper to sketch down ideas and thoughts that we had. We very quickly came to the conclusion that making a robot that could draw was something we were all happy and eager to create – plus it linked back strongly to most of the groups’ illustration background. We also decided that the robot would have a strong aesthetic appearance, thus connecting to both illustration and product design (Maria, the product design, person was very interested in making children’s toys).

Subsequently, one of the illustrators in our group, Jack, was very interested in sea creatures. He works a lot with marine life and knows a lot about them.  Because of this, we thought it would be interesting to link back to link our robot’s aesthetics to that. By creating a personality for our robot and giving it the appearance of a living being, it would make it more endearing and aesthetically pleasing to both children and adults.

During the construction of the robot, we often found complications with the coding and wiring. It, at times, seemed like as soon as the arduino coding was working, the robot would break; and as soon as the robot was working, there would be a new error in the coding. Over all, we quickly realised quite how big a task we had set ourselves – but it nevertheless this didn’t deter us from trying to achieve our main goal.

On the final week, after numerous absences from the group for reasons that could not have been helped, Maria and I managed to scrape together on the second to last day and finish the robot. We decided that a colour scheme would really bring the robot and its art together, so we used the same paint colours to paint the robot’s casing as what we put on its paintbrush feet.

Lastly we decided to make a short movie of our deep-sea creature in action. We created a small set and filmed the robot painting as it moved. Maria then edited the video and added sound effects and music. Despite this not being a necessary addition to our project, we thought it was a strong extra touch, and highlighted the thought processes of our illustrator and product design minds (being it a sort of exhibition piece as well as an advertisement for our robot).

Over all, I think that, as a group, we worked together and got along well throughout the duration of this project. I have personally found it very valuable in the relationships I’ve formed, and the skills I’ve gained from Kinetic Environments.  I feel like, in the future, if I wanted to create a piece of illustration which reacted with the person viewing it (something I’ve been very interested in producing in a long time) I now have a very good head start in doing it.

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