The recent outbreak and isolation strategies have made it possible to work in my own studio in my home for the current University project. I am designing a new site for the restaurant Box-E in Bristol, to include a light fitting design with a prototype model. We wearer supposed to be having a big Crit this coming Tuesday, but now I think it will have to be virtual instead. Although the latter part of the project is simply not possible without the fabrication facilities at my University, I have managed to get on with the rest of the work thanks to my trusty (but quite slow) Mac and subscriptions to programs like Autocad, Adobe, Sketchup and VRay. The student rates for subscriptions make it just about affordable to use these programs, and if not there is always paper, a scale ruler and a pencil -a reversion to the old ways of designing before computers were invented.
The pro’s of this current situation are that I am not wasting 3 hours a day travelling to and from University. It should only take 40 minutes as the bird flies, but I meet up with all commuter traffic usually, so spend a lot of time sat in jams. This is not all negative as I have a clear ‘thinking’ time, which has got to be good for my mindfulness and wellbeing – as long as I don’t get road rage… Plus I get to listen to lots of music and podcasts thanks to Spotify and BBC Sounds, so I can arrive at my destination bursting with information and inspiration. But I am also finding that being at home and not travelling this week makes these 3 hours really count as productive time.
Another pro is that I can set my computer to render whenever I want, especially overnight without worrying that I am hogging a machine from other students. I also don’t have to pack a huge amount of bags every morning with all manner of equipment that I ‘might’ need, lug large portfolios or make a packed lunch.
The con’s are that I cannot use the amazing facilities at University at the moment, especially Fabrication where I can get messy and experiment with making things. The technicians are really helpful and so full of skills, and as I have done a lot of the induction training on machines I can normally just get on with making samples, trying new things etc. I also miss the extensive library where there are a lot of magazines, periodicals and books on interiors and architecture to browse, the internet is great for information but it’s too easy to scroll and miss something compared to looking at a book in hand.
Also, I have developed a bad habit of not really bothering to get dressed straight away now that I am stuck at home. I have answered the door twice this week to delivery men, had a 2 meter chat with neighbours over the fence, and taken out the bins, all whilst clad in my dressing gown and at around 4pm. Mental note: must try harder….
But in spite of all of the craziness of this week, I have still managed to build my final scale model, finish my autocad and sketchup designs, create visualisations and organise my samples. My A1 boards are done and were ready to be printed tomorrow, (now to be electronic), and I also made a start on other Uni work such as my portfolio.
Considering that I am also working 2 days a week (also now from home), being a mum, feeding the family, doing the laundry, cleaning, gardening and running a house… I think I am doing OK! Maybe I deserve the pyjamas and dressing gown scenario after all.