Critical Thinking with Sara

For yesterdays workshop we had critical thinking with Sara which I was quite looking forward to. Critical thinking is the ability to think rationally about what to do or what to believe; for art and design I find this to be essential as you need to think logically about the effects of your work on the world around you.

The morning period consisted of a talk from Sara about artists and various different components of critical thinking such as metaphysics which is a branch of philosophy that explores and examines the nature of reality such as the relationship between mind and matter. Once we had finished the talk were were given the brief which was to pick 5 questions and answer them visually. I only managed to get through 4 but the ones I picked were:

  1. What do we assume about the things we see?
  2. What do we take for granted?
  3. What are the boundaries between the precious and the everyday?
  4. What should learning about design require?

I immediately went into answering them visually, they can be seen below.


To me everything we see either catches our eye (colour) or just becomes background like everything else (black and white). I used one of Piet Mondrian’s pieces to depict this as some people see it as a colourful work of art whereas others see it as just another art piece that can be thrown on the pile with hundreds of others.


I believe that one of the most important things we take for granted is the planet itself (mother nature). It in itself is a work of art and we choose to ignore what we are doing to it, from global warming to cutting it down to build more skyscrapers.


The boundaries of the precious and the everyday all depend upon what is precious to someone. Here my image is depicting that what is precious to a grown man (money) and everyday (a toothbrush and toothpaste) is very different to a little boy who has two of his new incisors coming through. To him the toothbrush and toothpaste is a very precious item to him as it holds great responsibility, making him a ‘big boy’, where as the sun is an everyday occurrence that tells him when the day begins.


If you don’t have imagination then how can you learn about design? How can you see what they saw which inspired them to create their piece? How can you complete a brief given to you when you can imagine what to put on the page. It is a key component in the design industry and without it, I don’t feel its possible to become a designer.

For the second half of the workshop we visited the design museum in Tower Hill to take a look at the exhibitions they had and answer 3 more of the questions we were given. Upon entering the first exhibition the first thing that caught my eye was the BMW i8 they had on display:

I was so drawn in by it that I had to draw it, which made me think of one of the questions; How do we evaluate beauty? When I find something beautiful I am immediately attracted to it and want to know more about it. So beauty is linked to attraction whether you are attracted to a person or an object. The drawing can be seen below (it is quite faint however I will be working into it more over the next couple of days):

There were a couple of other interesting things on the same floor such as a couple of dresses (Thomas tait, far left, Fausto Puglisi, far right) and some computers designed by Brydge Keyboards.

On the floor below there was a bike exhibition which was quite interesting for me as I used to be a bit of a bike nerd. They had everything from choppers to 3 wheel trikes. It was fascinating to see the development of bikes and how each design can drastically change your experience of cycling.

I’ve really enjoyed the workshop so far and am looking forward to Thursday’s session.



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