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Course Reflection--Collaboration

This Wednesday we had a workshop with Shane.

He told us to bring magazines and tools, find examples of creative collaborations that are of inspiration to me and think of a skill we know and bring all materials, and equipment necessary to demonstrate it to others in the group.

During the course, we were asked to divide into several groups and use collage and painting to explain our understanding towards "Collaboration".

I appreciate Wonzy's idea. She used a metaphor to explain collaboration. She said there are two types of collaboration. One is like a pair of chopstick. Each of them has common specialty and has one common purpose, it is more effective to work with each other. Another is like a fork and a knife. They have different specialty and each performs its own functions to overcome one's weaknesses by acquiring others' strong points.

Omer said collaboration has many potential possibilities and has many directions. Our roles will not be defined in the process. It is flowing. we get inspiration by accident.

And then we think it can be associated with collectivism and individualism. Some people are accustomed to collaborate with others from different background (different ages, nationalities, genders, races, religions, majors, languages, customs, personality, characters). However, someone adapt to independent working. Collaboration may bring disturbing to them and make them can not focus on their own area. It depends on people's major, character, etc.

In my opinion, I want to expand the boundary of normal meaning of collaboration. I think collaboration is not limited to design for an object. we can collaborate for a purpose such as a space, an exhibition. After I saw the information about "U-Tsu-Wa" exhibition, I consider that this is a collaboration. Lucy Rie and Jennifer Lee’s pots are placed on translucent stands in a large pool of water, a device that makes the vessels seem to hover above the water’s surface. Combining several artists' works can create a special experience of visiting exhibition.

Reflective vessels: An installation at 21_21 Design Sight of ceramic pots by Lucie Rie and Jennifer Lee ( Image by Hiroshi Iwasaki )

Definitely, collaboration of visualizing the expression of different ideas through making collage benefits us a lot. In the collaboration activity, we discussed different ideas about collaboration, pointed out the problem or unique insights of ideas from everyone. However, collaboration may lead to disagreement. Because people from different background has different values. Someone who has strong personality Insists on persuading others to accept his idea when he is opposed. People who participated in collaboration all hope to be recognized by others. Besides, According to Samantha, because of herd mentality, the result of collaboration is generally according to most people's opinions. Some excellent ideas may be strangled in the cradle.

Image by Ericka Go

For other designers, Adam Guy Blencowe and Marine Duroselle collaborated and created more possibilities. They combined textiles and technology to create their unique interior collaboration.

According to collaboration in craft, they emphasise that this collaboration was never simply a question of one person providing the tool and another the pattern; instead, the process was rather more organic and, at times, ever so slightly troublesome. ‘We were trying to think of what to do, but we weren’t really doing anything,’ Blencowe recalls. ‘At first, we were kind of sitting and talking and I think you have to go through that phase. But then we realised we made proper progress when we were both there, trying things and playing.’ (2016) From this point, I think there could be a bit of friction in the process of collaboration and I do think that’s quite important. if you don’t have friction that possibly means you’re not pushing each other.

I think I cannot collaborate with a machine or a material or a technique. Because collaboration is an activity built on more than one person, is not a person and an object. It is an interaction with other people, needs conservation, discussion and evaluation. I am very appreciate the seminar because it is a collaboration that many people solving a problem together. At the beginning, I was immersed in my own imagination. I want to criticize blue and white porcelain with patterns in Qing Dynasty from perspective of aesthetic. But after discussion with others, I realized that I need to consider that every age has its own limitation of aesthetic. Aesthetic is a thing very subjective. So I need to make a balance of reflection by myself and communication with others.


Samantha P. (2005) Conformity and group mentality: why we comply. Available at: (Accessed:20 October 2017)

Systems Changers The Craft of Collaboration Available at: November 2017)(video)

Crafts Council (2017) The Craft of Collaboration Posted by Crafts magazine Available at: November 2017)

#collaboration #method

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