The proposed project, Fictions, looks at how physically working with materials, can generate new ways of working for a designer. Working with tactile and handmade processes, the project disrupts the boundaries between art and design, and evokes a sense of play and experimentation.
Design as play originally began as a thesis project, which then became a process in which I work as a designer. The research looked at how childhood play can be relevant and useful for designers, and generate new and refreshing ways of working in a field often understood as commercial or corporate. Psychologist, Stuart Brown directly connects childlike behaviours such as building and thinking with one’s hands, to greater creativity: he writes, “In playing, we create imaginative new cognitive combinations, and in creating those novel combinations, we find what works (Brown 2010, 4).” Brown’s research supports the convergence of learning and thinking through physically working with materials. Children may not have certain constructed meanings of how things should look or act like. Curiosity and imagination are unbound, creating endless possibilities and combinations, which I think becomes refreshing when applied to a design context.
Nicole Beno is a graphic designer/visual artist from Toronto, working with bold colours, layers and screen printed compositions. Her playful process combines hand drawings, materials, and textures with computer generated illustrations to form a unique graphic style.