Constellation:- Theory as an Object (session 3)

In our third week of studying ‘Theory as an Object’, we looked into archaeology and genealogy as methodology.

Archaeology is the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains. Archaeology as methodology is the change which has taken place over time to a particular object.


In this diagram we can see the change over the years with the shape and material of pots. This has changed to enhance many different aspects such as handling, weight and strength. Here we look at what remains constant and what changes and why.

Genealogy is different as it doesn’t look at how things change, but who, what and why things change and adapt. In his 1971 essay, ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,’ Michel Foucault introduces the term ‘genealogy’ as the project of tracing, “The singularity of events”, where the event is, “Not a decision, a treaty, a reign, or a battle, but a relationship of forces that reverses itself, a confiscated power.”

“Genealogy examines process while archaeology examines the ‘moment’, however temporally extended that moment might be. Genealogy offers us a processual perspective on the web of discourse, in contrast to an archaeological approach which provides us with a snapshot, a slice through the discursive nexus” (Phil Bevis, Michele Cohen and Gavin Kendall. Archaeologizing genealogy: Michel Foucault and the economy of austerity)


Family trees can be used as an example of genealogy as it is a continuous natural process which occurs over generations, where changes occur due to social circumstances over time.


Constellation:- Theory as an Object (session 2)

For our second week of constellation we looked at diagrams. Here we asked the question, “What is a diagram?”

A diagram can be describes as, “A simplified drawing showing the appearance, structure, or workings of something; a schematic representation.”

Taken from a chapter in the book, .’The Culture of a Diagram’, John Bender and Michael Marrinan state that,“A diagram is a proliferation of manifestly selective packets of dissimilar data correlated in an explicitly process-oriented array that has some of the attributes of a representation but is situated in the world like an object.”

From our group discussion we realised almost anything can be interpreted as a diagram. Not only an image but also an object, as long as it shows the workings and the details of what is being represented.


How do you develop a brand?

A  brand has an identity, culture and personality. This is how the brand is perceived by others. It’s making an impression, and creates a target audience.

A brand has beliefs, a behavior and an attitude.

Why create a brand?

A brand is created to build reputation, to become recognised, to create emotional attachment and value. Most importantly to make, MONEY.

When creating a brand it is important to learn from competitors. Existing brands and products are great starting points when building research. It is also important to have a target audience. Questions that need to be answered are ‘Where are they located?’ ‘What are their interests?’ This is called market research. A target audience has characteristics. These can be categorized into 6 typical types-

  1. Geographic
  2. Demographic and Socioeconomic
  3. Psychological
  4. Behavioural
  5. Product related
  6. Motivations

Corporate Identity- What is Visual Language?

A visual language consists of-

  • Materials
  • Shape
  • Word
  • Colours
  • Images
  • Mark
  • Textures

There are four different names for the visual language of a company. These are-

Signatures- This is where the name of the company can be easily typed out, such as Google.

Word Marks- Here the type has been custom designed. FedEx is an example of this as they have incorporated an arrow into the name through the ‘E’ and the ‘X’.

Monograms- This is simply the company initials. An example of this is used by CMI.

Constellation:- Theory as an Object (session 1)

For our first week looking at ‘Theory as an Object,’we firstly looked at what ‘Theory’ was. It can be describes as “An idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action.” We then looked at ‘Art and Theory,’ where we learnt that there is no opposition between practice and theory, but a relationship that is mediated by the subject matter of the work of art.”We then need to consider that, there is always something else about a given subject matter that can be said, and that practices change over time and thus the approach to a given subject matter also necessarily changes. Also, every practitioner has a philosophical position and moves through a cultural and historical context

Throughout this session we also had a discussion on the best way of reading when researching something. The first thing we learnt was that you need to be quick, scanning for key words and looking at titles. you also need to read the context page as well as index page for sign posting, allowing you to find the information you are looking for without having to read irrelevant information. We also learnt that an author will often communicate his argument in a brief summary when opening and closing paragraphs. This is where you would find the relevant information you are looking for.


Year 2 Begins

After a long summer, and passing my first year, we are back in uni and go headfirst straight into a new project.

Before I talk about our first brief of the year I’d like to talk about the work experience I did with Grey, a design company in London. For one week I stayed in London and worked along side the design team, engaging on a number of different briefs they were currently working on. These were, a TV ad for The Sun, logo designs for Grey’s blog….

Brief 1:- Branding

Before we got stuck into the project, we had a week of discussion sessions where we considered the question ‘What is a brand?’ Many people in the studio answered with ‘a logo,’ but we learnt that it is a lot more than that. A brand has an identity and to create a brand you need to express it’s personality taking into account it’s brand values.

For our brief we were first given a type of company, where we had to act as a client. With this then, we had to create, from scratch, the company name, description, personality and values. We did this by completing a branding brief as well as producing a mood board. This was then given to another student in the group, who had to go away and design a brand identity around the information I had given them. I was given a ‘Security Company’ which I named ‘Sentinel’. Sentinel is another word for protection.

As a designer I was given a carpentry company called ‘Wood For The Trees.’ This was a tree house making company that had the branding values, community, environmentally friendly, fantastic, quality and friendly. With this, alongside other background information I then had to create a number of design outputs such as, a logo, website, business cards, van vinyls and web banners.

My finished outcome will be uploaded in future posts as I will also blog more on branding and visual language.