Final Major Project Learning Agreement

While looking back over my previous projects the common theme which has occurred in all my units has been modification. In each module I have created products which the user can customise and adapt to suit their own personal needs. This is a premise I would like to carry on into my final project. I like the way in which modification can be used to engage the customer and make a product personal to their needs. I am also interested in exploring ways to engage a user in order to keep products fresh and exciting to them.

Another aspect which appeals to me is traditional craft and handcrafted product. I am intrigued by the view of Sebastian Cox who stated “If we can develop a product that possesses subtle evidence of craft, then I believe it resonates with a customer’s primitive maker urges. As a result, the customer will enjoy that thing all the more, and everyone has enjoyed keeping it out of landfill for longer.” (Cox, 2014: Online) In particular I am interested in the notion craftmanship and tradition could help to increase a products lifecycle and give it a unique quality.

I am still looking to explore traditional craft techniques as I did in my last unit and how they can be taught to wide audience. Many historical skills are at risk of being forgotten as digital manufacture takes their place. I feel craft can offer users a uniqueness mass manufacture cannot. I would be keen to explore materiality and the ways in which new materials could be used with traditional techniques to appeal to a more contemporary market.

I plan to research the ways in which I can engage users through an interactive product as well as exploring the current market and designers which have used interactive components in their work. I also want to further explore the ways in which product and craft can enforce a sense of sentimental value to provide longevity. Another aspect I’m interested in is the way in which product or craft can be used improve a user’s well being and promote a positive lifestyle. I briefly touched on this in my last module but it is something I would like to explore in greater detail.

It is important to me to create a marketable piece as opposed to a concept idea. I am interested in becoming and independent designer maker with products which could be sold through independent retailers. With this in mind, I would be looking to collaborate with a practitioner, crafts person or an appropriate retailer who would appeal to my target audience.

I feel an MA would most suit my intentions as I am very interested in the emotional connections people have to products and customer engagement. I am also interested in the ways products can have a positive phycological impact. Although I have begun to explore CAD and engineering I am still predominantly interested in exploring material and process through experimentation and making.

Overall it is my intention to create a product which sits within the interior product market and targets those who want unique and interesting pieces in their home but don’t have the budget to shop bespoke. I would like to create a lower cost piece which the customer can make bespoke through personal customisation, while perhaps learning new skills. As Norman mentions “Perhaps the objects that are most intimate and direct are those that we construct ourselves, hence the popularity of home-made crafts, furniture and art…Their surface appearance is less important than their ability to evoke the memory of particular people and events.” (Norman, 2004 :48)


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