Brendan Dawes
Analogue + Digital

That Was The Week That Was — 29th May 2019

This week I was focussed on getting a piece of work completed for an upcoming talk in Germany for Trend Micro. I had been given the attendee data for the event and the idea was to create something that would be printed as an A5 postcard which each attendee would receive as a gift following my talk. We decided on the A5 size as there's no point in creating a larger poster when people would be travelling to and from the event.

I originally started the process in Processing, getting all the data in and creating a basic layout comprising of each data point. Yet I wanted to use Houdini for this, continuing my need to escape last year's comfort zone. To do this I exported the cleaned up data, together with some starting x,y,z coordinates, into a CSV file which could then be read into Houdini. The nice thing about this process is I can then import those x,y,z vectors and have Houdini make points for each data entry, together with any other metrics from the data I want to bring in, such as if the attendee has indicated they're vegetarian, or their gender.

As I often try to do I looked at the context of where the event is taking place — the beautiful city of Heidelberg. The city is surrounded by forest, so for this piece I wanted to create something organic, that was suggestive of plants and the like, but not in an clichéd way.

After many iterations, on the Friday I sent the final image to the client so she had time to print it for the event on June 4th. A few minutes later my phone rang and it was the client telling me how much they loved the image and they couldn't wait to show it to everyone. It really makes a difference when things like this happen. An email would have been fine but taking time to actually speak to someone just makes it that little more special.

As a finishing touch I ordered some bio-degradable A5 clear sleeves — made from corn starch — to put each print into. This for me makes it feel more like a precious thing rather than just some other piece of merchandise.