Motif Tsunami Symposium

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Motif Symposium
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The Motif Tsunami Symposium 2020 NTU will provide a forum for discussions and debate on how the crystallisation of an ever-reductive visual language (motif) is charting changes across society, identity, retail and manufacture.

Perspectives are invited from across the academic community, from Cultural studies, Creative practice, Design theory, Marketing and manufacture etc.

An investigation into the dismissed semiotic shorthand of motif and its impact on aesthetic, consumer and design culture.

  • From: Wednesday 29 January 2020, 9.30 am
  • To: Wednesday 29 January 2020, 5 pm
  • Location: Bonington Building, Bonington Gallery, Atrium and Lecture Theatre, Bonington Building, Dryden Street, Nottingham, NG1 4GG
  • Booking deadline: Monday 27 January 2020, 4.00 pm

Event details

The Motif Tsunami Symposium 2020 NTU will provide a forum for discussions and debate on how the crystallisation of an ever-reductive visual language (motif) is charting changes across society, identity, retail and manufacture.

Perspectives are invited from across the academic community, from Cultural studies, Creative practice, Design theory, Marketing and manufacture etc.

An investigation into the dismissed semiotic shorthand of motif and its impact on aesthetic, consumer and design culture.

The short hand of Motif is dominating multiple aspects of the aesthetic landscape, from accelerated trend signposting and design development, to recalibrated consumer behaviours and communication rituals. Its influence as a recognisable signifier of tribe, status, and identity grows stronger year by year. This Motif Tsunami is part of the broader cultural phenomenon of a constant reduction in our modes of communication.

The emergence of, and dependence, on this new visual shorthand is driven by everything from the pictograph world of digital emoji vernacular to the illustrated self-branding of tattoo culture. Built off the back of 80s and 90s brand logo loving and the postmodern ironic re-appropriation of cartoon and manga culture, a new set of trend semiotics emerges, creating the next generation complex cultural hieroglyphics – Motif.

Participation is open researcher academics, PhD students, and anyone interested in addressing one of the following sub-themes;

  1. Motif – Individuality and neo-tribes: The semiotics of cool (Dr Vanessa Brown)
  2. Motif – Trend Tsunami: Erosion of design individuality and creative innovation (Tim Rundle)
  3. Motif – From Interface to Gamification: Digital impact and the standardising of taste. (Dr Bill Balaskas)
  4. Motif – Pattern Potential: Design narratives and brand identities (Kate Farley)
  5. Motif – Want v Waste: Driving new consumer behaviours and environmental consequence.

Notes on potential themes emerging from broader analysis:

Motif – easy badge of individuality

The consumer uses motif to create a Morse code of multiple potential messages and gestures. From their last text, to their new tote, they have become experts at selecting and curating images that best represent their ideas and speak on behalf of their aspirations. As a badge of individuality or as a sign of tribal belonging. As an icon of credibility or an emblem of conformity.

Motif – eroding design and creative innovation

The inconsistent and tardy nature of trend adoption within contemporary product development and design practice highlights a lack of originality in response to trends. As evidenced by the homogenisation of motif across in the design community (from design student to established design brands). This phenomenon is exacerbated by the limited methods and services that support the effective anticipation and interpretation of motif. The forecasting industry has evolved to offer information in a very narrow format, with little differentiation. This form of information seems out of sync with new design practices by artificially compartmentalising trend information. 

Motif – defining digital impact and the standardising of taste

In the wake of the digital revolution, changes in the ready access to design images, the profile of design industry and the erosion of design discipline barriers have resulted in fundamental changes in the design process itself. The Web and the associated tide of images it has released have heavily influenced the nature of inspiration and coloured the development of design outcomes. This vast shared visual library has magnified the impact of common consciousness and created a need for designers to push for greater variety with a more timely and individual response to trend.

Motif – altering consumer purchasing behaviours

Driven by the consumers increasing dependence of motif as a badge of credible participation in the culture of trend, Motif has become one of the greatest villains in the drama of fast fashion. Consumers are rejecting and repurchasing, driven by the need to have key motif trends evident on their key style identity markers (apparel, interior, tech etc.)

Programme

Time AgendaLocation
9.30 amArrival and refreshmentsBonington Atrium / Gallery
10.00 am            Welcome by Professor Peter FordBonington Lecture Theatre
10.05 am         

Keynote Speaker Presentations

  • Tim Rundle - Motif – Trend Tsunami:
    Erosion of design individuality and creative innovation
  • Dr Bill Balaskas – Motif - From Interface to Gamification:
    Digital impact and the standardising of taste
Bonington Lecture Theatre
11.15 am

Pecha Kucha Presentations

Chair: Natalie Brown – Deputy Dean

  • Prof. Amanda Briggs-Goode – ‘Motif, Pattern, Repeat’
  • Andy Pepper – ‘Imposter’
  • Dr Naomi Braithwaite – ‘Shoe-Arama. How the banana inspired a shoe and other stories......’
  • Melanie Robertson – ‘The Performance of Perfection’
  • Kate Farley – ‘Pugin’s truth to materials’

Discussion of presentations

Bonington Lecture Theatre
1.00 pmLunchBonington Atrium
2.00 pm

Key note speaker presentations

  • Dr Vanessa Brown – Motif - Individuality and neo-tribes: The semiotics of cool
  • Kate Farley – Motif - Pattern potential: Design narratives and Brand Identities
Bonington Lecture Theatre
3.00 pm

Pecha Kucha presentations

  • Prof. Peter Ford – ‘Products and Imagery’
  • Jonathan Hamilton – ‘Motifs for Creative Technology’
  • Alastair Waite – ‘COMME des GARCONS to Dover Street Market : Rise of DSM Brand, Logo and Beyond’
  • Tim Rundle – Motif Mash Up
  • Lorraine Warde – ‘So Cute!!’
  • Rose Davison - ‘The Bow’

Discussion of presentations

Bonington Lecture Theatre
4.00 pmPanel Discussion
Chair: Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode

Dr Bill Balaskas; Natalie Brown; Dr Vanessa Brown; Kate Farley; Professor Peter Ford; Claire Lockwood; Tim Rundle
Bonington Gallery or Bonington Lecture Theatre
4.45 pmClosing themes from the day and recommendations
Prof. Peter Ford
Bonington Gallery
5.00 pmClose

Location details

Room/Building:

Bonington Building

Address:

Bonington Gallery, Atrium and Lecture Theatre
Bonington Building
Dryden Street
Nottingham
NG1 4GG

Still need help?

Tim Rundle
0115 848 8230