4th Year Graduating Projects Projects

Consumption vs Souvenirs

1st Project Proposal – Sustainability and Sportswear


My original idea for my project was to create sportswear that embraced environmentally conscious design. I initially thought of placing emphasis was on materiality, wanting to study how materials such as bamboo or organic hemp act as adequate replacements for non-sustainable materials such as polyester.


One of the projects I explored was Nike’s Space Hippie shoe which claimed to have the “lowest carbon footprint scores ever”. The shoe is made from recycled factory materials (fabric offcuts, t shirts and water bottles). The product exhibits sustainable values whilst being visually compelling as Nike have considered both the environmental impact user friendliness.

Nike releases Space Hippie footwear made from recycled factory waste
Nike’s Space Hippie Shoe

Abandoned Stadiums

An idea I was considering at this point was ways of repurposing stadiums for social change. After reading an article describing the numerous abandoned olympic stadiums/venues which had been left disused following their Olympics games, I became excited by the concept of using the spaces for refugee centres or medical treatment for asylum seekers. I researched countries that had been financially affected by an influx of refugees, Greece was a frontline country of Europe’s migration crisis in 2015, when an estimated million refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan landed of the Greek coastline. I ultimately moved away from this course as I couldn’t envision creating prototypes based around this concept.

Soviet Venue – Moscow 1980

Olympic Aquatic Center – Athens 2004

Reusing Sports Equipment

Following my study into repurposing disused olympic stadiums, I explored how designers have repurposed other types of sporting products. Through desk research using sites such as Pinterest, and Instagram, I was able to observe range products that have been reworked to carry out a different function. From here, my project progressed to examining ways of adapting sportswear, not necessarily creating an entirely new function for an object.

Recycled Basketball Zip Bags

Uniforms – What they represent

The type of sporting products I began exploring was sportswear, in particular football shirts. Football shirts carry a lot of cultural meanings, they can represent a place, an era, a player but most importantly they convey a persons loyalty to a club. A shirts colour is the common feature which highlights allegiances, and this was an idea I wanted to experiment with. The first prototype I created was an idea for detachable sleeves.

Prototype 1
Prototype 1
Prototype 1

Using an old t shirt, a long sleeve shirt and a zip, I created prototype which had a removable sleeve, which could be exchanged with another person. What I was trying to learn was whether people would be willing to exchange ‘a part of their club’ to another person. I was also investigating whether people were willing to show another teams colour of their person. Using interview questions as a research probe I learnt that some users would be unwilling to take their sleeves with rivals, they felt it might dull down the rivalry having something so permanent on there arm.

2nd Revised Proposal – Interactions through Sport

Having completed the first gateway seminar, it was at this point that I revised my project proposal. I reconsidered my project, and came to realisation that I was more interested in the social side of sport, as I wanted to investigate the interactions fans have at sporting events. At the same time, I refined my project so I knew who I was designing for. I had narrowed down the type of fan I was interested in was a football one, however there were still traits I wanted to uncover about them. My response to this was to create character profiles which specified characteristics of potential users.

Character Profile
Character Profile 2

Creating these profiles made me realise the type of fan I was designing my project for was one that attends most games, is up to date with team updates, enjoys socializing with other fans, can afford to attend games/buy club merchandize, has experience with technology (tech savvy) and possibly supported club for significant period of time. Other traits I was considering was whether they had family, and do they attend the games with them, what is their age and their gender. On the subject of gender however, I interviewed both male and female participants, asking other they attend games; do they buy club merchandise; how much do they interact at football matches. I came to the conclusion that gender should not affect the design of my prototypes, since despite a higher proportion of football fans being male, there is no reason to exclude the other sex and instead I should design for all.

Character Profiles 3

With a clear idea of my target audience, I tuned my attention to my theorising my prototypes. Some of the themes I wanted to explore related to rivalries, solidarity, anti – conflict and mutual respect. Designing a product which either highlighted rivalries in sport, or combatted them interested me as I started to consider what a neutral fan is. When I was ideating connects I considered creating a attachable sportswear pieces which convey neutrality, this fan attends games to enjoy the experience of a football match, rather than the rivalries and dislike between teams.

I researched the different fan outbreaks of violence or protests that have occurred over the last 20 years to understand the ways rivalries can escalate. This research coupled with the interview probe I carried out earlier in the project made me realise I should careful as to what type of interaction I could expect between fans, if any. And so using this information, I turned my attention to creating a project to support solidarity between same sets of fans. Similar to the Black Lives Matter arm bands, I began thinking of adjustments I could make to sportswear to portray social messages.


Building off what what I had learnt from my first prototype, I created a second model which continued looking at interactions, this time however I wanted to experiment with the permeance of the prototype. I experimented with the idea of having a single use product, only one interaction can occur between fans. I did this by using cable ties, which would need cutting off to remove the sleeve once attached. When I tested the product on people, they were quick to first question how useful this permeant feature would be; they were unsure about the overall aesthetic and finally found the plastic cables uncomfortable. And so overall, I concluded this was a failed prototype, but in all honestly had preconceived suspicions when designing it.

Prototype 2
Prototype 2
Prototype 2

I should mention that a useful reference I used when creating these prototype was the football match that occurred in 1914 between British and German soldiers at trenches along the western front. Photographs, letters and interviews in the Imperial War Museums collection show a temporary truce occurred so opposing soldiers could exchange presents and partake in a football match.

British and German soldiers fraternising at Ploegsteert, Belgium, on Christmas Day 1914, Front of 11th Brigade, 4th Division.

I referenced this since I was interested in incorporating the images into my design. Whether this was the image being printed onto sleeves, opposing fans having different images and so they must trade, this is an idea I was to revisit in future prototypes.


The third prototype I created was a continuation of the first two. I experimented with detachable feature of the design, opting to use fasteners as the attachment piece between body and sleeve. When I put the prototype to the test, I soon realised it was much more successful since users could easily detach and re-attach the sleeve by themselves. What I learnt from creating this prototype however is that despite the metal fasteners being easier to operate, people disliked the feel of them against their skin, and thought the gaps between each fastener was too great.

Prototype 3
Prototype 3
Prototype 3

I continued to develop this idea and created another souvenir which includes details that the previous prototypes were missing.

Prototype 4

Whilst a previous prototype I created used zips, it was not made from the synthetic material that running tops and football shirts are made from. This prototype includes that material. It was difficult sewing this material as it was very flexible and would not sit in one place when trying to attached the zips to the hems.

Prototype 4

Another feature of this prototype is the removable hem from one side of the shirt. This decision was based off the interview probe I carried out earlier in the course. The interviewee claimed that he wouldn’t want such a large part of another teams colour on his shirt. When I asked him if the tradable piece was reduced in size, would be more inclined to trade, his answer was yes. Moving forward from this design, I want to continue to experiment with different portions of a shirt, seeing what is the minimum size of sleeve a person would be willing to trade.

3rd Revised Proposal – Consumption and Souvenirs

At this point of my project I had revised my project proposal to focus more on the interactions between fans in a sporting environment. I became interested I the physical ways people show interactions, which led me to study the value of souvenirs. A souvenir can be defined as a physical/non-physical object that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event. I interpreted this definition as creating something that reminds a person of an experience or memory. I explored ways we make souvenirs, what are the typical souvenirs people keep and why people keep souvenirs. I did this by asking a set of people to show me the souvenirs they treasure most, and give me insight into when they purchased/found/made it and where they keep it. From here I started to create a diagram using InDesign to illustrate how people make souvenirs, and how ultimately how keeping them can reduce consumption of manufactured goods.

In preparation of gateway seminar 2, we were told to created 3 prototypes which pushed the boundaries of our project. I interpreted this as creating two ideas which are the extremes of one another, and creating one idea which is somewhere in the middle. The design method illustration beneath to illustrate my thought process. My project had progressed so that the main themes I was exploring related to consumption, sustainability and souvenirs.

Design Illustration Method

NFTs and Collectable Memories

The first idea I started exploring was based around the idea of creating a device which stores your memories from football matches, and has an interactive feature to it to allow for personalisation of the souvenir. Referenced below are images from my process stage, I created a number of smaller prototypes, some more sophisticated than others, which ultimately led me to my refined model.

Cartridge paper model
Fabric cuttings to speculative digital screens
First idea for wallet shape including fabric cuttings
Sketches of potential screen arrangements
Small, quick paper models
First experiments with magnets on clear base
Paper modelling with magnets
Back of ‘digital screens’
DiCartridge paper model
Diagram of magnets assembly
Sketches of potential design
Cutting through sketchbook
Further sketches of design
Notes of design

The process of sketching and model making led me to creating the prototype below.

Prototype 5

I created this prototype using an A6 notebook, a set of 3 mm magnets, newspaper cuttings, red cartridge paper and two fridge magnets. It is a speculative design as the 0.5x05cm newspaper cuttings are meant to resemble digital screens. On these screens, memories a user has uploaded will remain playing when the user opens the device up. When close the moving images will stop moving. The type of videos that would exist on the device are fan recorded videos of sports moments, these might included, highlights from games, clips of interactions with other fans, photographs of a stadiums atmosphere, food eaten at the game.

Prototype 5

The idea was inspired by NFTs and collecting tradable objects. I thought it couple interesting to create a device which has unique memories which could then be sold or traded with by other fans. This idea came from reading an article describing the difference between a consumer and a fan. Furthermore, I considered the idea of having the device as a ‘legitimacy’ object with proves who us a loyal fan and differentiates them from the casual fan. I began to expand on this idea by questioning whether the object could be only available to an exclusive range of people. Perhaps it is only available to those with season tickets, and they receive the object as a gift at the start of the year, to commemorate their support of the club. When I proposed this idea I the form of interview questions, I was surprised to see the positive reaction to the idea, with some interviewee’s stating they would like to see highlights from the previous season which have been selected by multiple fan entries.

Pre-determined Obsolescence

The final prototype I created for this stage of my project I entitled traces. The idea with these prototypes was to investigate the objects we leave behind when we play sport, and what are the accidental souvenirs we create and do they have value. I came to this idea when asking a friend about their beaten running shoes, they told me they kept them to remind themselves of the London marathon they had ran in previous years. It became a souvenir which reminded them of the training and hours they put in wearing the shoes. Despite the questionable appearance of the shoes they still kept them (not on display though).

This conversation led me onto investigating the breakdown of shoes during exercise. The first probe I carried out was placing shoes covers on my shoes and going for a 20 minute run. At 5 minute intervals I checked the condition of the covers and recorded them. The souvenir was leaving behind was a pair of torn blue shoe covers which I didn’t value enough to keep.

Torn shoe covers
Pressure tracing from 20 min run
Marking outlined with shoe boarder

I carried out another experiment when I replaced the laces of my football boots with elastic bands and cable ties. Once again I did physical activity in them and after the session observed the results. Unsurprisingly the bands and cable ties didn’t last and I was left with another broken object which I did not value enough to keep in as a reminder of that session.

Football boot with cable ties and cover
Cable ties are substitute for laces
Elastic band laces
Bands quickly broke when pressure put on them, change of direction caused breaks

Carrying out these research probes did lead me to developing another speculative probe relating to tying shoe laces. A metal wire surrounds a lace, and overtime the more the lace is tied, the more the wire comes off. Finally, after a significant length of time the wire piece comes off the user is left of a souvenir of that season of exercise. The difficulty I had with this probe keeping the wire on the lace long enough for it not come off after the first time of using it. A positive I took from making this probe however was that it did not affect my performance when I went for a run with the object on my shoe.

Cable ties linked to laces
Wrapping wire round laces, finding right rightness
Prototype 6

Future: Continue to explore souvenirs in sport

Moving forward with my project I see myself continue to develop my ‘tradable sleeves’ idea as I still feel there is potential to create a more refined object. I would like to see how people would react to having multiple zips on their shirts, how comfortable do they feel, do they need more people to help them trade with others as well as a number of other features I would like to investigate.

Moreover I would like to revisit the 1914 football match reference and explore if there is an aesthetic feature I can take from the images and transfer it to my own work. This may lead my project back to solidarity and discovering the neutral fan, however it may be interesting to see how that theme relates to souvenirs and consumption.

I think it would be useful to explore sustainability more with my next prototype, and possibly explore creating a shirt with detachable pieces that are made from sustainable materials.

Finally, a topic I am also interested in exploring is citizen journalism, as I want to investigate how people would react to trading unique clips they have of sport events, as well how people record their clips.

New Making Projects

The “Bandfest” Project

Bandfest bands are an exciting departure from paper tickets for the Edinburgh Festivals. These souvenir bands have been developed to be used both as the ticket to any specific event and as a means of gaining public reviews of each show.

After a talk by Joshua Ryan-Saha’s visiting to give our class information on the Edinburgh Festivals to be deeply intriguing I got to thinking about how I might develop a souvenir for this project. When he mentioned that one thing they found almost impossible was gaining reviews from the public; I knew this had to be my project’s focus.

I began brain-storming measurable festival data, thinking about how I might be able to gain reviews when they previously had been unable to do so, while also being able to create something that could be a souvenir.

Ideally, I wanted to create an object which generated the review data while also being the customer’s ticket and souvenir.

Before beginning my research I asked myself these questions:

How can a ticket be a souvenir?

What form would best suit a ticket & souvenir hybrid in a traditional craft & digital fabrication blended product?

How can a ticket generate data?

How can a ticket generate a review?

Can I keep the design environmentally friendly?


How can a ticket be a souvenir?

Many people keep their ticket stubs and pin them up on their walls or paste them into scrapbooks. I would consider this to be a self-generated souvenir of an event. I liked the idea of the ticket itself being the souvenir and wanted to stick to this within my project. 

What form would best suit a ticket & souvenir hybrid in a traditional craft & digital fabrication blended product?

I looked into digital tickets but decided that I wanted a physical souvenir so e-tickets weren’t the direction I wanted to go in. I began looking into collectables and crazes. When I was in high school (in the 90’s) gummies were all the rage. We used to wear hundreds of thin silicone bracelets and collect interesting coloured ones. These days gummies are still around but more often worn are much flatter and usually stamped or embossed version. These bands are usually momentos of donating to charity, running a race, a rally/special cause etc… and are both highly collectable and easily distinguished from other arm-wear.

I also briefly looked into the slap band craze but decided I wanted something that once on, would stay on. Plus through repeated use, the slap band type product could warp which isn’t what I want for my product.

I had a few traditional choices here, bead-working, silver-working or leather-working. I decided to go with leather-working as it’s a material I have always wanted to have the opportunity to work with and leather would blend really nicely with digital fabrication processes of laser cutting and engraving, blending both the traditional crafting and digital manufacturing processes together.

How can a ticket generate data?

My first idea was having something on my wrist-band that was detachable and colour-coded and could be left at the venue. This could then be counted up — each colour meaning a different number of stars and therefore giving the event staff an accurate and legitimate set of public reviews in numerical form. The event-goer on the other hand would then have a space left in their wrist-band which showed how many stars they had rated the show, giving further value to the souvenir.

After thinking about this idea more I decided it wouldn’t be as good an idea as I would like because the pieces that could be popped out and left (5 of them) could perhaps dislodge themselves and be lost afterward or perhaps during the show meaning that the wearer would no longer have the ability to give an accurate review.

I did not want to try for a lengthy review at the venue as it would likely cause congestion of people coming in and out o the shows which would both make following shows late and most likely put people off of giving a review.

RFID tags

Each band will be fitted with an RFID tag allowing fastback entry into the booked event. The small square on the right side of the band is where this tag will go. It can simply be touched to a scanner in the same manner as you would tap a bank card to use contactless payments. This keeps the movement of people into an event more efficient and also allows for data capture of numbers without manually adding people in. These tags will also be scannable at special booths where festival goers upon leaving a venue can give their star rating and receive a custom star-charm upon receipt.


Having decided that the pop out pieces from the bands were not a good idea, I ruminated over how else to solve the problem. I  thought it might be quite nice if (in the same way that you would scan the RFID tag on the “Bandfest” band to enter the event) You could scan the band on a machine and select a number of stars to give your review, gaining a star-charm once submitting the review containing the number of stars you rated the show. This would again tie in the traditional craft of bead-working along with the leather laser cut stars and would further add value to the souvenir. 

Can I keep the design environmentally friendly?

This question is one I feel every designer should take great care over. I had decided that I would try for leather as the material is warm and ages beautifully. It both cuts cleanly and engraves beautifully so it was the ideal material for my purposes. However, it should be noted that the product could be made from Pleather/PU Leather to lower the carbon footprint. I made the Bandfest bands out of real leather as I prefer the material to work with and could not get a hold of high enough grade vegan leather within the 6 weeks of this project so couldn’t do a comparison.

In the original design I meant for each festival to have a different colour of band. This still could be done but thought would have to go into the extra carbon impact of these extra processes.

Making the “Bandfest”bands

After creating the paternities in AutoCAD and converting to dxf format, the bands were laser engraved and cut. The leather took quite nicely even when I had problems with the file due to a clash during transfer. I would have preferred the engraving to have been a little brighter on some of the bands, but other than that I was pleased with how they turned out.

I tried a couple of different joining methods for the bands including two twisted cords and a Celtic plait in an attempt to make the closing attachments more decorative. However, I didn’t like how stiff the band became. I wanted it to remain soft and flexible. Another concern was that many sizes would need to be made to fit many wrist sizes which most likely wouldn’t fit well for a lot of people. Because of this I opted for an adjustable double sliding knot closure. This means that the band will fit a far wider variety of wrist sizes.

All in all I am quite pleased with the look and feel of my project. I think it could be a legitimate option for something like the Edinburgh Festivals which would generate the data they desire and also simultaneously be a collectable souvenir for the festival-goer.

New Making Projects

Data Driven Imagery

This collection of souvenirs revolves around an image that has its hierarchy determined by the quality of each individuals experience represented through sound data. The image will use visual cues to activate the user’s memory as well as acting as promotional material for the festival.

It’s very easy to slap on a star review without really thinking. A more accurate way of evaluating a comedian’s performance is how much they can get the audience to laugh. Laughter can be quantified relatively easily through decibel levels. The decibel level will be affected by both the quantity and intensity of laughter which correlates relatively accurately to enjoyment levels and quality of the show. If more people are laughing more frequently than the average decibel level will be far higher than only a few people laughing occasionally. This will be represented on your personal experience image.

As the audience arrives to each venue and has their ticket scanned, they are automatically checked into the event and will have the audio recording data added to their online profile. The data is collected by recording the audience and converting the audio file into numerical data (decibel levels). The data is moderated to account for the audience size and is then used to scale the respective shows graphics proportionally. At the end of the festival you will receive an email with a visual representation of your experience. You are given an opportunity to have your image printed onto a range of products including posters, post cards, drink bottles, and phone cases. Giving people an option to choose a souvenir that they actually want will greatly reduce the wastage that is inevitably created from using the one ‘size fits all’ approach to souvenirs. This system also allows people to look at their data, remember their experience, and share it with others without needing to manufacture an unwanted artefact.

Being able to collect and analyse data instantly means that these ‘real reviews’ can be displayed around Edinburgh and help guide people to see things they otherwise might not have. It also encourages healthy competition between the performers and has the potential to create better atmospheres in venues.

This process brings the word of mouth to the digital age, which is great news for up and coming performers. Although a performer may initially have small crowds it rewards them for making people laugh and may in tern help them get the respect they deserve.

New Making Projects

Making Mementos With Modern Methods

Over summer I spent the majority of my time working as a bartender and found it to be one the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences that I’ve had in all of the time that I’ve spent in Edinburgh over the last three and a half years. I made some great friends, shared countless amazing experiences and learned valuable skills across 10 weeks; once it came to an end and I left The Voodoo Rooms, I wanted something to take away with me as a way of remembering my time spent there. After my last shift I took an empty bottle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon (the collective favourite shot of the staff) and a bottle of Peroni (my regular after work staff drink) signed by everyone that was on shift that day. At the time that seemed like a fitting couple of items to take away with me but, whilst both items hold sentimental value, I figured these are things that I could have just bought from anywhere and that, after a while, they would just become bottles I had picked up along my way through working life.

It struck me that if I could take the things that reminded me most of a certain period of my life and turned them into something with purpose, then maybe their sentimental value would possess more longevity. As it stood, the things I’d taken away with me were essentially just items to be stored away, hoarded as such; I wanted them to be things I could genuinely treasure that I would feel necessary to take with me wherever I go from here. I wanted to essentially see if I could replace some of my everyday household items with creations that held sentimental value.

It was at this point that I realised this was something I had already done somewhat in my own home. I’d begun using my favourite bottle of wine as a vase for flowers and bottle of gin as a lamp (using a USB cork light).

From here I decided to pursue the idea of more artistic and abstract ornamentation; using 3D scanning and printing as the delivery method. My thought behind this was that the more I could make my mementos look like a household item the more personal, or private, value they would hold. I took a couple of other bottles and mementos I had obtained over the past couple of years and took them to UCreate workshop to see what results they drew from the 3D scanning equipment they have; specifically intrigued by the effects reflective surfaces would have on the scan results.

As I somewhat expected, the scans on glass returned the most interesting results. The scans were somewhat distorted and, whilst they resembled the objects they represented, there were clear disparities between said scans and reality. From here I headed to MeshMixer to see if I could distort the scans into something that I could take to the 3D scanners and produce something of use to me.

One of the things I really liked that came out of the scans that weren’t a part of the original items was the texture that the distortion produced and I thought, once printed they would make for really interesting pieces, regardless of what they were eventually used for.

I worked briefly with foil on my original items to see how well that worked as a reflective and decorative material, as I wanted to keep the element of reflectivity that they held in my 3D printed models. Unfortunately said models are yet to be produced so a finished article is yet to be available.

New Making Projects


MyTartan is a project which takes numbers and data gathered from the Edinburgh fringe festival and turns it into a memorable souvenir. As a local of Edinburgh, I see countless tourists from all over the world seeking to find a long forgotten relative or clan. They are all seeking to find some kind of belonging and affinity to this incredible city. I also understand the marvellous, creative nature of the festival and the attraction it is to all peoples from around the world. MyTartan is a memento which will have a lasting effect in peoples memories as they come and experience what Edinburgh (and Scotland) has to offer. I also want them to connect in a personal manner with the city and build up an emotional attachment.

Taking the grid coordinates for festival venues visited, numerical data (of the coordinates) becomes the input for CMYK colour codes. This is a great way of converting numerical data into something real and tangible. When choosing what colours should go where and how much there should be, it was best to let the data decide, therefore the addition of peoples experience helped to direct this. 

The pre-existing fringe app, users will be able to directly record their locational data (grid coordinates) within the “MyTartan” page. The user function is simple and easy to follow with only a couple of buttons to click. By clicking the ’ADD’ button, this will record the precise location of  where you have been. The rating tab is used to rate shows which you have seen based on an ‘out of five stars’ system.

Once the visitor has been to the venues they want and are ready to go back home, they will receive their own unique tartan, and a small swatch will be sent home too.

Small number of existing tartans in shop

Now there are a few possibilities of what can happen with their tartan while still in Edinburgh. Going into a local business with your tartan, it is possible to have an item of clothing made with their unique design. Places such as Balmoral Cashmere, The Tartan Weaving Mill Experience, and a whole host of kilt makers in the city, are viable options for products to be made.

Another possibility is for MyTartan and other local producers, such as Edinburgh Gin, to collaborate and print special, one off labels or bottles with your individual tartan on it. This will hopefully increase revenue and tourism within the city.

There is something really special, meaningful, and personal with MyTartan which will hopefully provide the best memories of Edinburgh and the fringe. To have your own tartan will also instil a sense of belonging and build an attachment with the city.

New Making Projects

Skin Crawling Device

Having never been to the Edinburgh Fringe festival myself, I was amazed to learn about the millions that flock to edinburgh each year. In 2018 2.7million tickets were sold at the Fringe alone. Despite being a successful attraction, bringing in lots of jobs and financial growth to Scotland, I couldn’t help but question the issues regarding this mass growth of the population. 

What stood out the most to me was the desruption to daily life. In a variety of news articles, Edinburgh Fringe is compared to a ‘theme park’, which highlights the extent of change Edinburgh endures, which the locals also have to endure. 

The idea of having to go about your day but being burdened with trying to avoid the crowds of people outside your front door almost made my skin crawl. I felt an overwhelming amount of sympathy for the locals.

I wanted to move away from the idea of creating a souvenir for the fringe and focus on creating a device specifically for the locals. I wanted to create a handheld device that locals would take with them they left the house. This device would act as a warning for when they are approaching an over populated area.

Using GPS, the closer the device gets to a crowd of people will determine how quickly the skin will ‘crawl’.

The idea of trying to replicate skin came from the initial idea of trying to mirror some sort of physical aspect of walking through the streets of Edinburgh during the fringe. ‘People’ as a whole are mirrored through this flesh like material.

The skin was designed to create levels of creepiness, data therefore is measured in terms of creepiness. The creepier and more grotesque the device becomes, the larger the crowd that approaches, the more put off or ‘grossed out’ the locals become and more aware that they should avoid the area in front of them.

Servo motors on the inside create the movement of the skin

Using Arduino I was able to program the servo motors to simply move up and down creating the pulling and releasing of the skin which then creates the allusion that the skin is crawling.

Using the skills I had learnt from the previous project in Meshmixer, I was able to manipulate and create a base for the device that mirrored that of organic matter. The lumps and bumps further mirror the clusters of overpopulated areas.

Skin trials:

I experimented with both latex and silicone and found that latex had the best physical properties that mirrored that of human skin. Using foundation I was able to replicate similar skin tones and create a more realistic interpretation.


Make It Memorable

Light installation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

‘Make it memorable’ is a collaborative art installation where people come to share their memories of the festival placing concealing them in tubes within the installation.

The data is used in a way that gives people complete control of what they wish to share whilst remaining anonymous among other contributions.

It shows how data can become something beautiful and inclusive, allowing for people to connect their stories and experiences together as one. The installation then becomes a memorable souvenir within its own right.

At night, the installation comes alive; a correlation between colour with positive or negative emotions and experiences. Individuals will be asked to choose a colour to illuminate their tube which best represents their written response. This turns the installation into a live physical data representation of the participants individual experience of the festival.

In the duration, a time-lapse will be generated to show the progression of people adding to the installation, which can be sent to every participant if they wish to keep the souvenir digitally. The installation can be dismantled and reassembled, whilst also reusing the tubes in a bid for slowing consumption and reducing waste.

The project we have been given is how data can be used to inform the purpose of a souvenir. My research led me to look at ways of how a souvenir can become more than a object, focusing on the overall experience that remains when visiting the Edinburgh Festivals. A souvenir is:

“something you buy or keep to help you remember a holiday or special event

Fleshing out ideas of how to represent a souvenir

One issue of this project is how to represent data in a non-invasive manner keeping people in control of what they share. Could a souvenir be represented through art installation using dynamic responses such as light to represent the data? I abstracted the meaning to redefine the words ‘data and souvenir’.

Development of the tube used to conceal the memory data

I designed a tube in Fusion360, with  ~110 mm length and ~35 mm diameter, to accommodate a scroll of paper but small enough to have thousands of these tubes attached to the installation.

The tubes would be clear acrylic or toughened glass with a simple engraved design on the outter part. This added an aesthetic and also acts as a grip.

The tube consists of two separated chambers, the lower chamber conceals the LED light, leaving the upper chamber for the paper. Two lids seal both chambers.

I then 3D printed the tube, which didn’t work as planned. The bottom chamber cracked as there wasn’t a complete void extrusion in the lower half, I drilled a hole in to see if it worked. Due to the chemical components of the piece, its flexibility meant that a precise hole could not be created, which the crack appeared. The upper part of the lids also were too thin (1mm) which made them break.

I fixed the void extrusion and the thickness of the lids with more success on the second print.

It’s also worth noting the tubes were clouded on the inside and so toughened glass would be a more suitable material for transparency.

I wanted something such as tubes that people can place their memories and experiences into. This required a sculptural body in which the tubes can be inserted. This would be constructed from aluminium mesh with supports for the tubes welded in place. The height of the installation would be 2100 mm (standard door height) allowing taller people to reach the top whilst walking freely underneath.

Once each person has written their memory, they are prompted to choose a colour that represents their shared memory via LED lights.
A map of Edinburgh using the Royal Botanic Gardens as the location of the installation

After much deliberation, it was suggested that the Royal Botanic Gardens would be a prime location for the installation. There needed to be a secure location that would help divert people away from the city centre whilst still remaining central to the city.

The Royal Botanic Gardens. Image sourced from online

The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, also allows for people to submerge themselves within nature, a welcome respite from the hubbub of crowds in the city centre. The Gardens lock up at night, keeping the installation away from theft and vandalism- a concern that if the installation were in an open square, its fate would follow.

Installation at night
Final Prototype of tube

Thank you for reading.


“Could I be a Green Cup” Data-Driven Souvenir Design

Student No. 1942670

Project Brief

As the number of visitors to the Edinburgh festival increases year by year, the amount of garbage and waste gas generated during the festival has increased year by year. The souvenir aiming to improve the environmental awareness of tourists and encourage them to save energy and reduce emissions.

This project is a souvenir cup design based on the parametric design method. It records visitors’ data during the Edinburgh festival and physicalizes it to be a unique festival souvenir.

How to collect data from visitors

Data Physicalization

I visualize the data for three different colour points in grasshopper. If the users visit Edinburgh in a green way, they could earn many green points and the pattern would be covered by more green cells. The following work all based on this parametric pattern, which means all factors are changeable and keep changing as a whole.

Next steps, I covered a cup-shaped surface with that 2D pattern, then I offset the surface to be a brep.

Frames & Cells

At first, tourist could buy a white frame cup in a souvenir shop. Then they could download the app for it, and collect points on the app. Finally, visitors could exchange their points for coloured cells and embed those cells into the frame. They can have a green Edinburgh trip to gradually finish the cup.

Move to recyclable trash collection points to get special points!

When people recycle an object in the collection points, they will have a special cell with Edinburgh landmark patterns recorded into their accounts. After they finish their trip, they could go to the gift shop again to obtain cells using their points on their accounts.

Hypothetical users


Digital Chinese Whispers

Digital Chinese whispers explores the translation of a traditional making process to digital fabrication. The experiment uses an iterative process as a device to explore the relationship between an artifact and its material. In this case, clay throwing and 3D printing were combined to create a new and exciting process. Throwing clay is one of the most hands on and skill dependent forms of making. Digital fabrication on the other hand is automated and can be completed with minimal knowledge of the process. Although ceramics are often seen to have a more premium finish than plastics, 3D printing, like all other forms of fabrication has its own characteristics which should be celebrated. Scanning and printing repeatedly allows for a form of digital evolution. Each process has its own glitches and idiosyncrasies which is then translated through iterations.

We have certain expectations of what characteristics materials will lend a form. What happens when we break it? Reproducing an artifact in another material often drastically changes the impact it has on the user.

Having a material in front of you that you can mold, change, shape, and reshape with real time and real-world feedback simply does not exist in the digital world. Similarly, the ability that digital methods have to instantly analyze and reproduce with immense accuracy is astonishing and unchallenged. Combining the two opposing methods was full of potential.

Altering parameters of scanners and printers provided a wider scope of results and gave glimpses of what may come from repeating the process multiple times. The more abstract outcomes often resulted from faster print settings and lower resolution scans as things were picked up or missed which gave the object the chance to evolve. Even the most subtle changes of texture or material between prints made you revalue the whole artifact. Furthering these experiments, I would delve deeper into the curious world of materiality and exploring the relationship between artifacts and their material.

New Making Projects

Experiments with concrete and 3D printing

How can I challenge the material properties of an old media? In this case, how can I take an ancient material like concrete – used extensively by the Romans – and test the boundaries of what is conceivably possible? Initial thoughts drove me to where I have seen concrete used before, particularly in building construction and the use of rebar to create reinforced concrete. The way in which steel and concrete support each other and cancel the others weakness shows why it is important for there to be amalgamations of material. Concrete has a relatively low tensile strength, but when joined with steel – which has excellent ductility – the concrete structure then has the tensile strength of steel within.

With this in mind, I considered how it could be possible to take concrete, and create forms which shouldn’t really be made with it. How could I take a particular aspect of one material and combine it with another so they are both supportive and dependant on each other? 3D printing ‘skeletons’ (or frames) is a great way to generate quick, complex and delicate forms. On the other hand, concrete is used in its masses as tough, strong, building blocks to establish towers which loom over cities. When combined we get objects which are fragile yet stiff, convoluted yet solid. The idea seems paradoxical yet interesting.

I made some test pieces which would give an indication of how both concrete and 3D printed skeletons would combine. I printed out a simple sheet of PLA with 5mm² holes in a grid pattern. Having holes makes the form much quicker to print. Dipping the PLA in fine aggregate concrete for different times – 3 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 10 seconds with mixing – had changed adhering effects on the plastic, although not much of a difference. In each case, the holes were filled and ‘fleshed’ out, but the smoothest and best result came from mixing. I printed a Meshmixer version of the Stanford bunny which also had a lattice effect, but with holes around 10mm². This time, the gaps were too large for concrete to fill, resulting in only the frame being coated.

The first fully closed form to be made was a simple cylindrical cup shape. As with before, I used Meshmixer to lower the resolution and turn the solid piece to a mesh-like frame before 3D printing. Adhering concrete filled all the holes and gave it a solid, complete skin.

To test the boundaries, I created a helix form in fusion and then used meshmixer to turn the stl into a frame, then printed it. This form was a challenge as it consisted of compound curves and overhangs – neither of which are commonly possible with only concrete. Using gloves, I mixed the concrete by hand, then spread it over the 3D printed frame, resulting in a complex form made from concrete.

I’m not sure what the real life practicalities of this method of making is, but initial findings show the concept works and so can be pushed even further.

New Making Projects

Exploring possibilities with the 3D printer

Although in many ways this course was for me an exploration into combing materials to create new structures, new forms and new textures, it was also  about exploring the possibilities and limitations of the 3D printer. 

Before this course I had never attempted to use a 3D printer, its rigid style of formatting data into a physical thing was unsettling. 

I had always believed that the 3D printer lacked the organic and natural flare of craftsmanship. 

During the exploration period of this course I found myself drawn to the idea of natural forms and organic shapes which were closely inspired by artists such as Antony Gormley and Margaret O’Rorke who had played with this idea and transcended it through there use of sculpture. 

Antony Gormley
Margaret O’Rorke

From being inspired by this I then discovered the possibilities of organic shapes and forms that I too could create using 3D software. 

I converted simple primitive shapes into their wire frame version which I immediately took note of its similarities to a cell like structure. 

It was this organic scaffolding that I believed to be too complicated for the 3D printer to create without using support material. 

The slight over-hangings of the shape itself was also a worry of mine, would the print fail? Would the PLA droop down causing residing gaps which would deform the shape? 

Many Failed Attempts

After many attempts at printing this simple form I began to notice the changes that occurred with each iteration of the print. Although all attempts were programmed on the same file, not one iteration was the same, they were all unique. 

This could be for multiple reasons but I  believe that there is something organic and natural about this event which I believe to be quite interesting. 

To further enhance these already organic prints I combined it with a plaster mixture to explore the ways the two materials would react to one another.

The plaster in its most liquid state merely leaked through the holes of the wire frame and created a puddle beneath the structure. However as the plaster began to thicken it linked itself on to the frame creating  a thin coating which can be seen taking shape of the actual frame it self. 

With the combination of 3D print and a traditional practice I was able to further explore the possibilities of creating an organic form. 


Tensions with old and new…

(Final artifact)

For this project, we looked at how 3D fabrication and traditional craft methods could be combined to purpose a new and experimental materiality from it.

Initial thoughts and ideas…

(image 1) CNC cut Half-lapped Dovetail Joint in scrap wood

I decided to explore the theme of having a traditional craft, and then experimenting with how that could then be 3D printed using a variety of machines. I Found Japanese joinery of particular interest as it takes a great amount of skill and craftsmanship to create the intricate details and precision that is required for buildings or other structures. There is also an aesthetic as much as there is a function, there needs to be strength but equally a small amount of flexibility for the joints to move should there ever be an earthquake.

(image 2) Half-lapped Dovetail Joint – 3D printed

The images, show my attempt at using both CNC and 3D printing to create a half-lapped dove tail joint. I wanted to explore how two modern technologies through the method of traditional craft could combine together as one joint. I used Fusion 360 for the modelling and had no issues, until it came to the CNC machine. The CNC is limited to how much it can cut away due to its X, Y axis and round drill bits. This creates curves (radius depending on size of drill bit) and so it meant I could not fuse the two processes as one without there being some small curves.

(image 3) Curves can been seen in the corners
(image 4) Fusion 360 japanese joinery ready for 3D printing

Since realising the CNC machine is limited for what I wanted to try and achieve, I decided to experiment with some more complex forms to then 3D print.

(image 5) finished cross joint

I decided from here to avert my attention elsewhere as I felt slightly limited with my ambitions and the limitations CNC for woodcutting presented.

(image 6) Plasma Metal cutting stainless steel and 3D printing combined

As I adverted my attention away from Japanese Joinery, I started to look at how metal can be worked, and what is often considered possible in terms of size and scale on such an industrial piece of machinery.

I decided to further experiment with this juxtaposition of intricate pieces (joinery) and how that can be assembled in new ways whilst operating with robust machinery such as the Plasma cutter. I used AutoCad for the shapes and then proceeded to use the CNC plasma cutter.

Initially, my first experiments failed and fell through the gaps from the force. Still, I wanted to see how small and fine the detail could be until I achieved my goal (see image 6). however, I was still limited with fixing the pieces together as I had initially plasma cut the central circle piece out of stainless steel. There were no grooves for the pieces to slot into and so I commenced my ideas of how to hold the two together as follows:

  • weaving thread around each metal piece
  • gluing
  • sawing
  • soldering

None of these worked for a variety of reasons- the weaving was not strong and the pieces did not stay in place, gluing metal, even with super glue serves no purpose, sawing sort of worked…however it was extremely inaccurate, solder does not stick to steel as it turns out.

One other exploration I wanted to develop was how things can be joined but without the help of welding or combining two things together as one.

As sawing was my best option, I then thought about how other printing methods may just so happen to be extremely useful. As the steel is only 1mm thick, it meant that in order to create a slot, the other material also needed to be 1mm thick.

(image 7) TinkerCAD 3D printed disks

By using the 3D printer I did not need to create an infill due to the thinness of the steel structure being 1mm thick.

Final artifacts

(image 8)

Once I was successful with slotting the pieces into the 3D printed disk, I could then explore materiality and further investigate methods of weaving whilst using natural materials seen in image 8. A mix of wool roven was twisted and woven in and out of the metal piece then I secured the wool with hemp thread, which is a tough thread unlike twine that I used earlier on in the combining process. I used a back stitch technique that not only secures the wool but also creates linear lines up the sides, defining the structure.

(image 9) delicate ultra fine handmade paper

Still keeping the structure, I still wanted to investigate the relationship of how something robust and strong such as metal, can be interlaced with a material as delicate as fine handmade paper. It was difficult to pierce the paper with a needle but managed to successfully thread it through the small holes are the ends.

For me these two final artifacts are extremely valuable to my broadening of how traditional craft and modern 3D fabrication techniques can be combined to create something new.