The External Brief project has been a learning experience since the beginning. It has been particularly exciting to have the opportunity to work with a live client and to create a model that can have a use and a purpose for somebody else.
The most daunting aspect of this project, however, was the unpredictability that came hand-in-hand with learning to adjust pre-established working habits to fit new restrictions enforced by the pandemic. I believe I had the best intentions at the beginning of the unit when I was creating my project plan – I divided the work into certain stages that heavily emphasised the design process while leaving enough time to make the model. I portrayed this through a Gantt chart. In retrospective, however, I should have set aside more time as a fall-back for when the unexpected occurred. Additionally, I should not have underestimated the amount of time I would spend on experimenting with different ideas, techniques, and materials.
Consequently, the outcome has been affected. At the time of hand-in, the model is unfinished. It must be assembled on the planned stand and mechanism. A final layer of protective spray must be added to the model to protect the finish. The rest of the puzzle pieces must be finalised.
On the other hand, the outcome does meet the client brief. There is a recognisable form of an ammonite, which demonstrates water filling the animal’s chambers that ultimately influences its buoyancy. There is an interactive element as represented by the puzzle piece. Placing the puzzle piece into the chamber adds weight to the model. In this state, the model can be used to demonstrate the concept of ammonite buoyancy as a presentational model. It can be used by a handler to complement their explanation of the concept. There is definite opportunity for engagement with the model, which the audience can use to increase their understanding of ammonite buoyancy. Through this, the model does fit the context of immersive museums, and ultimately, The Etches Collection.
Once assembled and finalised, the model will also complement the context of the collection of the museum. The mechanism will add a secondary interactive element that will further increase audience engagement.
Lastly, The Etches Collection has expressed interest in increasing their online presence as a response to the current pandemic. In its present state, the model can also be utilised to create a short video demonstrating the concept of ammonite buoyancy, that can be published online.
In summary, my project management of this unit could have been improved by more realistic expectations of the impact of the new and the unknown. The outcome must be finalised to fulfil its potential, although it can be used effectively to represent the concept of ammonite buoyancy as of this current moment.