Blog z Warszawy

Hi from Poland!

So this weeks blog is a little different and will consist of a reflection of the crit, some ideas for Easter and some references/ ideas I’ve seen in Warsaw.

Crit reflection
Overall I felt the crit went quite well (but a lot better than the previous crit). Although, I think the speed and amount I spoke to explain my ideas didn’t get my proposal across that concisely so I’m going to work on that for the final crit! It was also nice to see where the rest of DS7 have gotten to with their proposals.


Easter Break
Over Easter I am hoping to continue with numerous drawings and ideas, most prominently:
– design development of proposal
– work through comments from crit and use matrix to ensure all required areas are in the portfolio
– work on drawings, such as server city etc. to take them out of a draft stage and into a more final style
– continue work on portfolio layout (discuss further on Tuesday)


References from Poland

A rather strange occur range happened today whilst out in Warsaw. I saw the cosmetics brand ‘Helena Rubinstein’ and a surreal link to my project jolted in my memory. Helena Rubinstein was a Polish cosmetics entrepreneur in the 1920s who was onboard the Berengaria when the stock market crash happened. She was travelling to New York to promote her cosmetics line, but closely watched the stock market. On the day of the crash she was already in the floating stock exchange and as the crash happened she gave the order to sell her stocks, but by the time the trade went through, she had lost around $1 million dollars! Clearly, she managed to recover after the crash and her cosmetics line lives on!


We visited the Museum of Technology at the Palace of Culture which was similar in ways to the City Reliquary in New York, but was a huge museum with different sections showing how technology of objects has developed over time. There was a huge range of objects, from cars to radios, but the computer and server room was most suited to my project. The server shows the internal workings of the machine and how it has changed into smaller, faster machines (pictures to come!)

Whilst at the Museum of Modern Art, the style of the building and interior had similarities to the server room idea of my project. The glass facade that surrounded the entire museum allowed you to view the inside from the outside, which reminded me of how the server room could look from the outside, especially at night.

See you on Tuesday when I should have developed the portfolio thumbnails and have more of a clear work to-do list for Easter!

4 thoughts on “Blog z Warszawy

  1. Elyssa, I was thinking about what you spoke about on Tuesday regarding the intent to render the stock market more intelligible to the public and the nautical themes of the work. I wondered whether the depth markers you see painted on the hulls of ships to could be relevant? The greater the weight of the cargo on board the lower the vessel sinks into the water, determining whether the ship has been overloaded…

  2. That is a coincidence! I must admit I have never seen that cosmetics range. I wonder if the journey of her products was limited by that loss on the Berengaria?!

    The view from inside to outside is an interesting area of tension in your project and I think this is a productive issue to be thinking about. I always thought that this was an interesting dimension to your project, bringing something so out of view (the servers) that people don’t realise they exist, right into a space of view and confrontation. Do you know Foster’s Willis Faber and Dumas HQ in Ipswich? I mention this reference as it is an example of an interior that is visible by night and not by day. I ran into it by chance last summer when I was in Ipswich for an hour. I came around one of the tight street bends and there was this black glass curtain wall, which when close to it is in fact transparent by day, and at ground level all I could see was some kind of machinery or plant. You can see in the first picture at this link
    I forgot the building was there and at the scale of the street I had no idea what I was looking at. It was an incredible and surprising encounter.

    So think about the encounter you want people to have. What is it to see these objects that really we have no visual recognition or understanding of? If they are to be revealed by glass this will be an interesting technology study. How do you get over the issue of heat generation? Are the servers sensitive to light / external heat? As we discussed in the crit also think about the other SE activities that are transferred. What is the minimum of space and programme needed? How visible are the other activities?

    Enjoy the rest of the trip and looking forward to seeing the latest developments on Tuesday!

  3. Thanks for the comments Danielle, your questions about the Helena Rubinstein intrigued me so I researched further into it. Her brand was very successful across the globe, but sold it to Lehman Brothers in the USA in 1928. After the stock market crash, she bought it back for around 1/5 of the price she sold it for. She was very wealthy and had married a Russian Prince which brought her into even higher society circles. She was in charge of her company until she died in 1965. After this time, the Colgate-Palmolive company bought the brand in 1973 for $142.3 million worth of stock, but sold it in 1980 for only $20 million, as the brand’s peak demand was in the 1970s. By 1985, the brand had ceased trading in the USA due to low sales and was bought by L’Oreal in 1988, to which it still belongs today. The Helena Rubinstein Brand is still sold as an individual brand in parts of europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East.

    Thanks for the F+P link, will take a look and consider the other questions posed about design details.

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