This project was a completely unique experience. I really enjoyed working with my team, because I love group projects. Secondly, all the group members were punctual and creative, they put in a lot of time and effort. Even if someone couldn’t come the others would take on the missing persons role and complete it with excellency. There wasn’t any dominance we were all equal and discussed everything very peacefully and open minded. We inspired and supported each other, allowing all of our ideas to prosper and flourish. The part of the project that I enjoyed most was research. I spent countless hours digging up information and artefacts that were rare and unique. I think I really did it justice. I visited the Imperial museum twice, carefully examined every display and learned a variety of very useful information. The university offered the students a selection of different sources and video clips (e.g Shrouds of the Somme, by Rob Heard, and Danny Boyle’s Beach takeover to honour WWI soldiers) to help them begin their research, and I watched every single one. I also visited the Tower of London during the memorial time when it was lit by 10,000 lights, representing all the peoples lives lost in the war. I visited countless antiques shops, searching for various artefacts from the war that would suit our project ideas such as, medals, books, post cards, letters and even children toys. After days of choosing I settled on the post cards and letters as those spoke to me the most. I am very satisfied with how much I’ve learned about the war how I have developed as a person.
The biggest challenge that I faced during this project was linked to research, it was analysing the information I’ve gathered. By going to all of the exhibitions and scouring any valuable source I have found a lot of information, and narrowing my findings to what I actually need for this project required a lot of work and time. Other members the group did the analysis of the information much faster than I have. My group was dependant on my research because as it turned out I had a lot of very valuable pieces. However, for me the problem was that I could only give them the information that I gathered and when it came to bringing ideas about what our project should be to the table, I couldn’t contribute much because I struggle with developing my ideas into something worthy. Most importantly, during this project I did not get the chance to use my “professional personal skills”(what I study in class) because unlike other people’s, mine were not developed enough to integrate them into our project. I contributed to the project a lot, especially during the last few days when we had to prepare for the presentation but others could use their skills in photoshop, graphic design, or laser cutting (etc.,) and I didn’t see that the skills that I studied really applied to any part of our final idea.
I’ve learned a lot by working particularly with this group of people. The main piece of knowledge that I will carry on into my future projects is to “do a bit more”, by that I mean that I shouldn’t only do what the university teaches me, but that I also I need to develop personally at home. I learned the from my team mates when I’ve discovered how much they knew, even though the university never taught that, the skills that they possessed were their own personal development and that is what I plan to do too.
“War is not just about fear and hate. War is about warmth and love. During WW1, many letters were transported between the front line and home front. Whilst the long-existing connections between soldiers and their family and friends were made invisible during the war, these letters formed tangible evidence of love. These important letters are still kept today at archives, passing on the emotion of war to the next generations. What message do you have towards your lowed ones today? Airmail offers the experience to fly your thoughts to your loved ones across the Chelsea Parade Ground as well as encouraging you to unravel and read others’ messages.”
Statement of Airmail project. Group A9.
Our work has been selected for a showcase at Parsons in New York alongside work from their students.
One Natsuno’s friends went to New York and she poped by the exhibition and send us images of our work. Airmail was actually displayed in Parsons University.
It was wonderful project for all of us. I am very proud of my group. Thank you guys.
Today is one of the most important days for our project. We as a team, along with all the others are presenting our creations at the Chelsea Ground Parade. Everything that we have worked on for the past few weeks will be finally seen by tutors, guests, and our peers. All the teams assembled at the meeting spot at 9 am sharp. After the tutors gave us the instructions, each team received a cardboard box to present their projects. The boxes were given to us for a reason, which was because all of our projects were authentic, unique and very diverse from one another, and if they were to be presented with these boxes it would unify the entire display. The boxes show that even though the projects are different they are all made with the same theme in mind, World War I.
When everything was finally ready, our stand started to draw a crowd, and the people wrote all kinds of messages on their planes. It felt really good hearing all the positive feedback from the people coming to our stand, we finally saw that all our hard work payed off. For example, our tutor Nick, was very proud of how far we’ve come, from having the idea in our heads to recreating it in real life. We also had a very interesting conversation with one of the guests, Ciara Phillips, she asked us a lot of questions, and inquired about our initial ideas and how they developed, our research, and how we created this project step by step. We even sowed her the postcards we used as inspiration for the project, she was very fascinated by them, and congratulated us on the great research. For me, this has been by far the most successful project through out my time at Chelsea College of Art. I am very grateful for my team mates, who are all so creative, initiative, and hard working.
Our project goals and ideas:
Our initial idea was to explore methods of communication during the WWI.
We looked at letters and postcard which were sent during the time.
We wanted to create an experience which is interactive and brings personal thoughts to participants.
A way we thought of doing this was through inviting people to make their own paper airplanes suggesting transport of messages.
These planes are dazzled with the use of patterns created from flags of different countries and stamps, relating it to the Dazzle Ship Project.
Today is our last day to assemble our project before presenting it on the Chelsea Parade Ground. All the parts to the project were ready so all we had to do is put the pieces together like a puzzle. The complicated part was making the labels. All of them were made with laser cutting, and to be honest it was a pretty complicated process that had to be done multiple times before we actually succeeded. We drew our stamens on the top left side of the board using a stencil and spray paint. The spraying only took a few seconds while preparing the stencils took 15-20 minutes. That day was very windy so half of our writing got smudged and I got upset because I was the one making it. However, in the end it played out well as it looked like it was done on purpose to create an old vibe, it was a happy mistake. We did all the things together as a team, and each member of the group was ready to put in time and effort.
To present our project we required a big table, split vertically down the middle with a large board. On the front side of the board we will have the title of our project, our statement and six planes pinned around it. Under each plane there should be a stack of paper for making of the planes, each stack had to be labeled with a country whose flag was represented on the paper. The labels of the paper stacks will be made with laser cutting. On the other side of the board there will be instructions of how to fold the airplanes as well as a space for people to write their messages.
On one of the meetings we discussed how we shall present our project, along with that we had to come up with a name for it. After flipping through many ideas we still couldn’t find one that perfectly described what we were trying to present. I associated our airplanes with pigeons, as pigeon mail was very popular during those times in Russia. James came up with a point that the name of the project should have the word air in it, and I thinking about pigeon mail suggested that the title should be “air mail”, a mix of both our words.
The revised idea was to explore how we could bring to light more positive aspects of the war; being in the centenary this year we wanted to remember in a different way. Our goal was to create an experience that provoked thought, but also an emotional response. A way we thought about doing this was through inviting people to write letters or messages which they could transform into paper airplanes and show across the Chelsea Parade Ground. We also encouraged people to unravel other paper planes that landed on the Parade Ground.
When creating the design of the paper, we drew inspiration from flags of six countries: Russia, Germany, England, Osman Empire, and France. On each piece of paper there was a stamp of one of the six countries from WWI.
That was a way we wanted to show the connection between the postcards from that time and our planes. It also relates to the Dazzle Ship project.
We developed a prototype of a tin can telephone installation , because we thought it was more interactive and more of an experience than just a board, which looks like an exhibition. When we told our tutor Nick about it and he suggested the paper plane idea which still goes with our theme of communication and is an interactive experience, so we went along with that instead.
We had to begin with scratch because our new idea was cardinally different than the previous one which was a big challenge since we had to: develop a new colour palette, pick the new proper paper that would be best for crafting an airplane and its design, and choose the design of the airplane as there are many different ways one can be made. We also had to rewrite our statement about the project.
The presentation went extremely well, and after, our groups got feed back from the teachers and our peers.
I truly loved our idea of the book, but the teachers thought it did not comply to the requirements of this project, the main negative thing was that only a very small number of people would open and read it. The book is for a very limited amount of people, unlike an installation that is a much more accessible option. This is why we had to amend our original idea and turn into something that is more public. We had a meeting before next Friday and we discussed the installation. I didn’t like the idea but I hadn’t other one.