Today I have been inspired and mind boggled by 4 very different but interlocking talks put on by DJCAD.

The first talk this morning was by 2011 Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce. Martin took us through his inspiration and thinking. Mainly talking about how he uses his photography to remember, create and inspire his projects. He thinks of photos as the ‘way that he see’s things, the way he thinks’. I think the photographs providing a visual memory of how you are thinking at the time is really interesting. He talked of one image that has always inspired him. The image is of a concreate tree and realtes to the alphabet of shapes he has developed and worked with over the years.


He has looked at these shapes in many different settings, compositions and environments.

I viewed Martins exhibition at the Baltic earlier in the year and remember my favorite bit being the air vents. Why can’t something this functional be this beautiful and interesting everywhere?

He has re-inspired me to pick up my  camera and get capturing memories, inspiration and compositions. You never know when you might need them…

The next talk was from Professor Richard Banks. Richard is from Microsoft and has been researching in to how our digital life is sculpted by what we share. He talked about who might view this information and how it may be viewed. His team have been developing prototypes to record this digital information and personal history in a domestic setting. Allowing you to start a memory full of information to be passed down through the family.  An information heirloom. They have looked in to all sorts of physical storage and interfaces for this. As he says they are mainly contained in ‘wooden boxes’ The one I found most intriguing is the ‘Back up box’. This sits in the corner of your living room and records all the tweets, it then allows you in 10,20,30 or even 40 years to look back and explore what you were tweeting. The seems quite daunting as even looking back a few years on Facebook is cringe worthy. It is however a very interesting way to remember – something I struggle with. He talked about memory a lot. His insight in to technology and photography helping us remember was really obvious but quite eye opening. It also continued to bring home the idea that visuals are vital in remembering so why dont we have them everywhere?

He came up with an interesting fact that he takes around 1500 digital photos a year meaning he will leave his daughter a lot of  photos as his digital heirloom.

Another interesting prototype he talked about that would defiantly up his 1500 photos per year is the ‘Sensecam’. You wear it around your neck through out the day and it takes a photo every 30 seconds. Not only does this give an interesting insite in to peoples daily activity, but can be used to keep a truthful food diary or help people with dementia view their day. I would love to have a shot of one.

One of the last things discussed was the idea of printing out digital things, why does it become more precious when printed? I dont feel I trust the internet enough to take care of all of my memories, photographs and information, but do find it an amazing. The idea that we can share a photo so quickly and to so many people is an interesting thought. As Richard put it uploading a photo on twitter or flicker is your way of  ’participating’ feeling part of something bigger. Great chat and thoughts have a look here for more info:

 We then had a break for lunch and back at 3 for the next talk but Dundee’s V and A director Philip Long. This talk was all around how involved V and A Dundee is going to be within design, in Scotland, Britain and the rest of the world. It highlighted some of the exhibitions and collections at V and A London. I found it interesting to see the development within the design side for V and A but find it very frustrating how long the actual building and concept will take to build. It will be a great addition to Dundee and something to keep an eye on.

I look forward to attending this Saturdays Architecture Adventure talk :

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