PDP – Dissertation Research Proposal


Information is Power – Ocean Trash Design Progress & Outcomes

In the last stage of this project I decided to go with the animation video showing the effects that plastic waste has on us and how it eventually returns back from oceans through the food we are eating. For this idea I got inspired by a documentary from National Geographic channel where they talk about the cycle of plastic.

The idea was that I’d pick something of interest and collect enough research and information on that topic to back up my design idea then create a powerful visual representation of the data through design. That could be anything, from pottery to computer graphics and handmade objects or animation.

Initially I wanted to animate 2 pop up scenes. First, showing the content of tap water including microfibers and secondly, a fish containing microfibers as well.
Also after animating my first draft I decided to cut out this scene out as it seemed a unnecessary to for the message I was trying to convey.

This project gave me the opportunity to explore my creativity and designing skills further and experiment with data. It helped me to understand the importance of Information Design as it makes everything so much easier for us.

Overall, I had a great fun working on this project. Although in the future I would like to work towards improving my Creative Suite skills which would allow me to create more professional work and to a higher quality. Also I chose the topic of ocean waste as it seemed like one of the huge problems the world is facing right now. I felt that I could help using my creativity and skills to raise awareness about the issue, so I have decided to address it by designing an animation video on the subject matter. The idea of plastic in our food sounds horrific, yet it appears to be true according to Telegraph seafood lovers eat at least 11,000 bits of plastic every year. In my opinion that is a dramatic number that needs addressing as soon as possible. Therefore, my video focuses on the fact that plastic ends up returning to us through the foods we’re eating, and that as a result of land and ocean pollution.



Information is Power – Developing ideas and Research


Using mind maps I begun writing down potential topics of interests including world politics, world problems and personal related issues such as Romanian Deforestation and many more ideas such as the endangered species and many more. As I was quite familiar with the issue already I decided to go with the Ocean Pollution, particularly plastic debris.

So to get a better understanding on what I am working with I decided to look up some more data from different sources such as government agency websites and documentary videos along with a reportage and vlogs surrounding the issue.


As I understand the Plastic Pollution around the world has increased in the past decade especially with the population  on the rise there is more demand for more products therefore more plastic is being produced as a result. Yet, as plastic could be useful it is also extremely damaging and it can eventually transform into a huge problem as it usually take around 450 years to decompose.

Information Source: U.S. National Park Service; Mote Marine Lab, Sarasota, FL (decomposition times); National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration Marine Debris Program



A bottle of soda takes about a day if not hours to consume but it takes years to decompose resulting in a huge amount of plastic being collected and only a certain amount being recycled and the rest ending up in landfills or most commonly our oceans.



So I looked for facts and interesting points surrounding the Plastic issue and used that to sketch out different design concepts. I was thinking of mediums such as plastic made sculptures and experimenting with plastic within itself maybe create something out of plastic that would be sustainable as well as presenting a powerful tone.



Also to get some inspirations I looked for other artist’s works of art or related designs as well in order to see whats already out there that would hopefully influence my design decisions and help me to come up with a unique idea myself.

I really like these designs as they stand out in different ways even if some of them represent the same type of data, each one of them is still very creative in the way they are telling their story using visual language.




I begun thinking of a story line and the idea of info graphics showing the things damaged by the plastic waste such as the amounts of plastic compared to the highest point on Earth or the weight of the ocean plastic compared to the weight of a whale in order to show a significant comparison. Yet, it wasn’t something that hasn’t been done before. I was looking to tell a message that people didn’t already knew. So I after a tutorial with my tutor he suggested I looked deeper and pick something more specific. Rather an unknown story that hasn’t been told yet or a deeper area of the issue that hasn’t been explored by other designers yet. At this point I was just experimenting and still not sure what to go with.


I was thinking of plastic bottles filled up with water and colours showing different statistics such as the amount of plastic in the ocean starting from 1960s up until 2000s and the outcome if we do not stop it now. Like a bar chart using bottles and colours.

Yet, I don’t think this idea is engaging enough. So I will move on for now.

Watching these National Geographic documentaries was extremely eye opening, it helped me to understand this topic more like finding out the causes and the results of the effects of plastic waste.


So after some more research I came up with this idea of the world’s map using animated dots representing ocean waste being drifted by ocean currents from continent to continent, and how it spreads across the oceans infecting even the less polluted part of the earth with garbage.


Another idea was to go and collect old plastics and waste from the beaches around Wales and try to identify how old are they then photograph them and use them to design posters. Such as “plastic chair 1960s”.  Obviously putting the fact that we are in 2018 and just found an object dumped onto our beaches from “1960s” into perspective would be rather eye opening.


Another idea was to create an animation showing the potential causes of marine waste and the effects it has on us people as well. The cycle of plastic and how it returns back to us through food or within other products such as toothpaste or drinkable water.

Information is Power – 1 Week Project

For this 1 week group project we had to design information based on the data we’ve collected. First we sat down and decided on what kind of data we want to design and how we will do it. After we had a group chat we’ve decided to do a social experiment using a paint tub and a brush left on the floor then record people’s reaction to it and use the recorded data to design a piece of information design, though at this point we were not sure what.


So here is our recorded data being divided into 5 different behaviours.



Then we begun our idea generating where we thought of different ways to design our collected data. So we begun by drawing little icon idea for each category.

We wanted to give this a bit more context by being able to visually distinct one from the other.


Then, we’ve sketched down some ideas of graphs using the icons that we’ve created for each behaviour. We thought of using different mediums to do that. Such as shoe Laces, Plasticine, Foam, Collage etc…


Next, we begun exploring with the shapes and came up with a comparison graph using the simplified versions of the icons.




After having a tutorial with David our tutor, we decided to think how to bring elements from the actual painted area itself into the design.



So, we’ve sketched down the shape of the area that is being painted and created a graph using colours and depth.

Next, we’ve used what we came up with already and expanded on them. Then we all split the jobs in order to have 3 designs showing different statistics of the data through different design ideas.

Number 1, was the idea of colours representing each behaviour and comparing them by the amounts of paint in each cup. Then the cups are being placed on top of the colour sheet which give more context and detailed explanation of what you’re looking at.



Number 2, was the paint trap experiment showing the movement of the people during the experiment and their behaviour.


And number 3, is a 3D bar chart of each behaviour category. Showing the statistics with the most interaction within the painted area. For example, green was the people who stepped over the most as compared to other behaviours as they were passing through.

Overall, this workshop put us on the right track with the major brief, making us to critically produced and analyse our own data. I think it was quite interesting to be able to record your own data and then design something to represent it. I quite enjoyed the idea generation as we had plenty of ideas to work with. All we had to do was to choose the best one and improve them. I also enjoyed the fact that we all worked together to produced each of the final outcomes. We also signed in for a laser cutter workshop where we cut and built our bar chart 3D model. It was a good team experience where we all were critical over the outcomes and fully committed as we kept in touch through Facebook group-chat in order to ask each other for opinions. In the end the outcome might of not been the best as it happened to face a few problems in our development but it was a great experience to work as a group and identify and fix the issues that we’ve faced during the design process.

Information is Power – Intro and Group Works

With the beginning of this collaborative project we have been introduced to the subject of Information Design and also had the opportunity to complete a small group work and a one week project related to the information design concept as well.

As quoted on the InfoDesign website.

Modern life is saturated with complex information and data. For information to have impact, it must be easy to find, simple to use, and instantly understandable. In short, information needs to be designed!

As I understand, information design is all around us. From way-finding to data being recreated and made more clear using creative techniques. Few examples are things like, maps, and understanding your utility bills, signs, instruction manuals and much more. It is the idea of narrowing down or simplify and design a clear piece of information. Or to make complex ideas such as boring, ugly graphs and bar charts to be more interesting and clear using creative techniques and tools.

So, we were also shown some examples of Information Design and David talked about the techniques and talked about some strategies within the works of different artists as well. He was talking about the Map of London Underground and showed us the difference on how it really looks behind the sharp and clean design of today’s London Underground Map, and how it has been simplified and improved, making it more clear and easier to read and understand. I picked the Tube map as it seemed like a great examples of effective clear information design.


The original.

After it has been redesigned and simplified.



However, after the keynote, we had the opportunity to work as a group for a half a day project which we were asked a bunch of questions where we had to write our answers on small notepaper then leave it on the table next to the question. Then, we have been assigned into small groups where we had to create a piece of information design based on the answers given by the whole class on a specific question. My group’s question was “When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?” 

We started to analyse the answers and sort them out by categories all the answers in small groups based on how they relate to each other. Creative and Academic, what is left in the middle are the ones that stood out and somewhat relate to the both categories.



Then we had an idea of creating a simple symbol for each one of them. Or, only 3 symbols for the different category. Such as “Aid, Health”, “The “Pen” is for Academic and Writers. And the “Megaphone” is for actors, singers and artists that communicate something to the world.



Then, we had the idea of balloons, where each colour represents a category. Orange is “creatives”, yellow is “in-between”, and academic is purple, and white representing “other”.


In the end we put together a little 3d/2d piece where we show the statistics using little colour balls to show the numbers as how many chose to do something academic, how many chose to have a creative job and the middle being the in-between line. The white ball represents others such as “cowboy”.