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Uni – 14/11/14

Presentation of the nine weeks of study for DFS,
learning and reading philosophy almost solidly, I had spent many hours working on my idea, and I thought the theory that I had worked on would be well received, certainly I had included the criteria, and Mark had explained three weeks prior that no one would be to interested in my theory, that I understand, the reading of great philosophers in comparison to anything I theorize would be like a speck of dust in awe of a galaxy of overwhelming knowledge that these geniuses craft from the deep unfathomable reaches of their minds.
To say it went badly would be an understatement in my opinion, and from this I have concluded that as an artist there is little room for us to express our thoughts, which to me seems to be frankly disconcerting.
This has been a steep learning curve, and I have to rethink my art piece for DFS, I will speak with Gerda when I next see her.

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Design for Simulation Project

DFS Project Presentation

A glass of water refracts light to produce a distorted image if you place a straw into it. The distortion alters based on the shape and dynamic of the glass. We know this to be an illusion, complying to Plato’s theory of fallible senses. However, if a collective group see the refracted straw and draw a conclusion correlating this to be true by some unexplainable magic means, it would be accepted as a homogeneous perception of reality based solely on the ignorant faith and a rudimentary understanding of observed physics, lacking any logic, replacing it instead with a simulated knowledge.

Jean Buadrillard theorises about simulation and dissimulation, stating to dissimulate is to feign that “one does not have what one has” and that this leaves known reality intact. Adversely, to simulate threatens reality, for reality that appears as true can be accepted as true. The false, the real and the imaginary can be blurred.

We paint a picture of reality to what we hold witness to in life. An easy example is that some of us measure the worth of clothes by a design of fashion, and for others it is measured by the design of function. I doubt that the colour of ideals that we paint on the canvas of the world will ever change. I do not think it should be a question of how to deal with a simulation, however the recognition of a simulation and the ‘real’ in our being, and to render it as fact or fiction, thus the question lays on the brush that we use.

Sherry Turkle takes a look at the way people choose to live in a more simulated world, deciding to personify them through a hyper reality, quickly becoming a simulation of a reality. This can raise ethical as well as health, addiction and freedom of choice issues.

Elyn Saks suffers from a crippling mental illness known as schizophrenia the definition of which is a brain disorder, a psychosis that leaves the sufferer out of touch with reality, and delusions that aren’t responsive to reality, hallucinations and false sensory experiences. Everyone experiences schizophrenia in their own way, at some point in their lives such as a miss representation from a periphery view or shadow. Although Elyn was told that she was going to be housed under care and at best perform menial jobs, she instead went on to become the chair professor of Law, Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Southern California and is highly respected by her peers.

The earlier concept about distorted objects in a glass of water is only strengthened when these theories and philosophies are studied. To build a visual representation, I plan to take a transparent mannequin head and fill it with water, placing a prismatic triangle inside, making it difficult to see, then casting a powerful LED light from the neck. The light will refract through the prism. I will also add one-way reflective film to aid light distortion and reflection. The water hiding the prism is representative of the simulations of reality, the prism itself represents how easily reality may be distorted and understood by individuals and collective groups within society. The mannequin head represents the personal humanising aspect of the piece and the one-way reflective film represents the internalised belief that we may be given.

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” -Edger Allan Poe

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Ashwick City Details


Where did Ashwick City get its name?
Founder’s name was Lucian Ashwick, who funded the cities first buildings and infrastructure.

City’s Founding
Founded during a civil war fought between a dictatorial government and a group of revolutionary dissidents determined to overthrow them. The revolutionaries that realised that they were losing mounted an expedition to the island now known as Ashwick in order to found a small nation of their own. A settlement was founded roughly in the centre of the island and steadily grew as people sympathetic to the revolutionaries began to flee their home country. A fort was built on a smaller island to watch out for retaliatory forces.

The Sovereign War
Ashwick’ home country sent an invasion force across the sea. A naval battle ensued, where Ashwick’s navy fought to delay the invasion long enough for Ashwick’s army to prepare for the landing. The invading army landed and met fierce resistance from Ashwick’s defence force. Despite fighting hard, the invaders could not gain any ground and retreated after a long and bloody battle.

The Great Disaster
Caused by the accidental detonation of a natural gas deposit beneath the city docks. Simultaneously created a fire in the docks and blocked the sewer system by caving in its only exit. The fire spread across the city while the sewers flooded out, sending sewage and rats into the city streets and creating a hotbed for plague to spread. The government building, being close to the gas deposit, was swiftly consumed by the fire, which killed most of the government. The people were evacuated from the city, and mud walls were built around it to stop the fire spreading, with stone walls constructed behind these as a permanent fixture. Temporary constructions were built to house the city’s people, and the plague swiftly spread among them due to squalid living conditions within these makeshift settlements. The plague’s spread was eventually halted by a combination of the practice of burning the dead and makeshift quarantines that separated the infected from the healthy.

Formation of the decentralised government
The power vacuum created by the death of the majority of Ashwick’s government created an opportunity to overhaul the government model. A series of political parties were formed from the most influential people that survived the Great Disaster – The Artisan guilds that made up the old merchant class. These guilds took over responsibility for the areas surrounding their guildhalls, eventually formalising the process in the election of Ashwick city’s first Mayor.

Ashwick City’s re-opening
When the city was deemed safe to enter once again, the government initiated a three-stage scheme to repopulate the city. The first people to migrate back into the new city were people chosen randomly from amongst the poorest demographics. Two years later, the government held auctions for some of the more expensive properties within the city, attended by the descendants of the former aristocracy. The final stage comprised an elaborate ceremony involving the opening of the gates and the presenting of the keys to the city’s Mayor.

The Failed Coup (and the Establishment of the Criminal Guild)
A plot was discovered, whereby one of the Guilds planned to seize power in a violent coup and topple the democratic government model in favour of the old dictatorial government style. The guild’s leader was swiftly tried and sentenced to execution. The execution was carried out on what was to be later discovered as a lookalike, and the guild leader was never found.

Present-day Ashwick City
To be completed.


Ashwick City uses a decentralised government model, consisting of a number of ‘guilds’, or political parties responsible for the various districts. A Mayor is democratically elected from the leaders of these guilds and appointed to make major decisions regarding the city and its laws.


Ashwick Isle is relatively flat, with a low mountainous region in the north western-most portion of the island. The island features a natural harbour on its eastern coastline and several smaller islands to the southeast.

Ashwick Isle is situated within a temperate climate, with warm summers and relatively cold winters.

Ashwick City is divided into three major portions. The inner city is made up of the areas constructed after the Great Disaster, and can be easily distinguished due to its modernised environment. The outer city, informally referred to as ‘Uptown’ by its inhabitants, encompasses most of the rest of the city, with the slums of so-called ‘Downtown’ making up the rest of the urbanised area. The city is further subdivided into several districts, with the districts of the inner city divided again into blocks.

Ashwick City plays host to a number of different architectural styles, distinguished by age and proximity to the city centre. The oldest surviving buildings stand in Uptown, where the city was reconstructed around the walls built during the Great Disaster. These buildings are the most decorative, made of stone with embellishments typical of the period they were constructed in. Some of these buildings still bear the old guild iconography in the form of stone reliefs set into prominent places within the stonework, or else permanent metal-wrought signs hanging over doorways. The buildings of Downtown are far more basic in design, having been hastily constructed, and are more likely to be built from bricks or even wood. The inner city, being the most modernised part of the city due to its reconstruction after the Great Disaster, has a more contemporary architectural style, its buildings formed from concrete and glass.


Ethnic groups
No racial majority, no margin minorities, all ethnicities have roughly equal demographic representation.

Roughly 55% of Ashwick’s citizens practise Auzrielism. Of that 55%, 35% are Traditionalists and 20% are Progressionalists. Of the remaining 45% of the population, 10% are Atheist and 35% belong to other religions.

Ethnic and religious tolerance
Racial tolerance is a non-issue in Ashwick; there are no hate groups based on skin colour or ethnicity. Religious tolerance is a current issue, with a shift in the prevalent trend moving towards becoming more tolerant on the whole. There is a minority supremacist subset of the Traditionalist called the “Order of the Dragon”, who are well known for their hatred of everyone that isn’t a heterosexual Traditionalist.


Wealth distribution
Ashwick City has a pronounced rich/poor divide; though many of its citizens fall somewhere between, a large portion of the city’s wealth and resources lies in the inner city. Citizens of Ashwick find it very difficult to move between the informal ‘wealth bands’, especially if that move entails relocating to the inner city.

Imports and Exports
Ashwick City’s main exports are Oil, Wine, Meats and Vegetables, Pharmaceuticals, Aeronautical Equipment, Railway Construction Materials, Building Materials, Military Equipment and Heavy Construction Equipment.
Ashwick City’s imports are Metals, Precious and Industrial Gems and Stones, Coffee, Sugar, Rice and Fabrics.

Ashwick’s Currency is the Ashwick Dollar (AD – A$). Ashwick’s Dollar has a highly competitive value on the global market.


Ashwick’s military is formed of six different divisions. There are Army, Navy and Air Force divisions, as well as an elite Special Forces group called the Ashwick Special Tactics Unit (ASTU). In addition to these groups, a secret police force exists. Known as Wraithwatch, they have far-reaching powers and a mysterious agenda. Finally, there is the Traditionalist military arm, a leftover force from the historical days of establishmentarianism when the Traditionalist Church had a much greater hold on Ashwick’s politics.


Buses and trams
There is a wide-reaching bus service throughout Ashwick City, and a well-maintained tram network that runs through the city centre.

The inner city roads are arranged into neat square blocks and intersections, with very little curvature. These roads have tarmac surfacing and are maintained on a regular basis. By contrast, the outer city roads are characteristically winding, with many a roundabout and patchy maintenance that differs by area and worsens as you reach further out into the Downtown slums. The inner city is separated by tollbooths across all points where the two different road systems meet.

The majority of Ashwick City’s rail network exists underground, with aboveground trains taking travellers from the major travel hubs to the outlying settlements and farms.

There are three airports in Ashwick City. Ashwick North Airport lies on the boundary between the outer city and the Downtown slums. Ashwick East and Ashwick West both lie within the city’s centre.

There is a ferry service running from Ashwick Port to the mainland.


Higher Education
Ashwick City has two major higher education centres: Ashwick University (AU), and the North Ashwick Academy of Performing Arts (NAAPA). Ashwick University is central to the cities higher academic education, specialising in the sciences, mathematics and humanities. NAAPA, in addition to being Ashwick’s sole performing arts academy, also tailors to the fine arts and music. Both institutions govern their own curricula and awards.

Primary/Secondary Education
A specially appointed government committee regulates Ashwick City’s education curriculum, and very little leeway is given to deviate from these curricula. Ashwick’s education budget is relatively high, giving rise to a large number of state and public schools. Private schooling does exist, but is heavily regulated by the government committee.

Crime and Punishment

Ashwick’s Firearm laws are very strict, with ownership governed by licence and restricted to the inner city and outlying areas of the island. Capital Punishment is used in Ashwick’s Judicial System, and is used to punish severe crimes like multiple murder (at minimum, 3 people), treason and ‘grand theft’ (with a very high minimum value). A landowner cannot be tried for the killing of a trespasser granted that valid visible signing is placed, and at least one warning is given on sight.

Police Force
Ashwick’s police force is numerous, highly trained and well equipped, with every officer carrying a personal firearm. Discipline within the force is relatively lax, leading to a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ mentality among its officers. Because of this, petty crime rates tend to be lower than the average for a city of Ashwick’s size.

Ashwick Penitentiary is situated in the north-western part of Uptown, and houses all of Ashwick’s inmates. The criminally insane and those deemed especially dangerous are instead sent to Ashwick Asylum, located in the old fort.

Work in Progress


Uni – 12/11/14

Visiting the UCAS fair today I took the car down and picked up Gareth at the college, we arrived and shortly after so did Avi, I opened up C4D and started building a model from some concept art I had worked on earlier in the week. I believe it went well, Gareth spared no passer by his sharp silver tongue and Avi worked on some impressive looking art that caught the eye of more than a few people. Mark seemed a little nervous himself but was very much in control. I believe it was quite a successful day.1072376_10205434551127785_8714572725679332187_o

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Study – 10/11/14

I went through C4D and worked on a few basic modelling techniques and concept art in preparation for the UCAS fair, including some X-Presso work.
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I decided to work on some of my DP ideas, since that has come a long way since I started, Introducing a map of the world with details running through topology, settlement history, railway system etc. I have some A1 paper that I picked up a while ago, I am intending to create a tangible copy of the map with finalised details, and research some cartography in order to make it more real. When I have this all down I can create solid scenery concept art.