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Week 2: Visual reference categorization and new form ideation

After Richard shared Mia's mood board with me, I was inspired to create a board for all the reference images I found since last semester and sort them. After quickly browsing all the images I decided to put them into 5 categories and some are in the overlapping area. It really looks more clear when I can see all of them in one board instead of a folder. Another important takeaway is that there are apparently more images in the absurd/super abstract and artistic/expressive groups than others for now. It helps me to realize what kind of aesthetics I really liked and more comfortable and passionate with(maybe unconsciously). I will keep add into this board when I see more good fits for my beak masks. I've added Richard and Anna in the board and please feel free to comment.

Another exercise I did this week was a brainstorm of a list of things the mask could do. This is inspired by the reference work Verbalist I receive from the 1 on 2 meeting. I personally really enjoy doing brainstorm so I just started off listing things that I thought the mask could do and related to an experience of confusion/misunderstanding.

Verbalist, by Richard Serra

I didn't end up with a huge list because I stopped at an idea I really liked about and then started sketching a few more ideas around that. It started from "a mask that changes shape when you speak", and I immediately associate that with a balloon-blowing experience. It could be both funny and confusing when someone sees a growing mask(which has a ballon inside it) or the balloon gradually grows into a shape that covers your nose and mouth like a mask. I like the interaction that is intimate, not too technical and pretty effective. If the production quality is good, this could be a very engaging and experiential interactive piece which also has a potential to be turned into the DIY kit I mentioned in the last post.

I will buy some balloons and soft/elastic fabrics this week and try to make some prototypes. One thing I need to keep in mind is do not drift away from the BEAK concept! The wearer should feel that they are blowing up a beak mask made of balloon instead of just blowing up a funny balloon. They should look like a beak at least in an abstract way.

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