Designing a lantern is an enjoyable challenge, but I did initially feel daunted by the theme ‘Disruption / Innovation’ and found the process of developing a design challenging. I wasn’t sure how I could illustrate the trying times we are in, and express the human response to my given theme. However, one of the aspects of Covid-19 I have enjoyed witnessing are the creative ways in which people have been responding and adapting to the disruption and restrictions put upon their daily lives, both work and play. Out of the chaos, innovation has thrived. I have been inspired by this, and not only for this project.
During lockdown we have been confined by necessary restrictions, most obviously by a restriction of touch, manifesting in the two-metre distancing rule and a curtailment in our freedom of movement. I wanted my lantern design to somehow refer to this, and I felt the use of arms and legs would be the most appropriate way.
For the main body of the lantern I chose an arrow-like shape to represent a change in the direction of ideas, as well as a continuation of bold innovation. Strapped to the base are figures, their feet dangling off the ground and their heads becoming iconic symbols of innovation (ie: cogs, a bolt of electricity, an unfolding seedling, a question mark, etc).
It goes without saying that the design process of my lantern began when I received the brief on May 16th. We are living in fast-changing times and already restrictions have eased a little. By the time the lantern is complete and on display our lives will be different again.
Jo became part of the Same Sky team in 1996.
You can follow Jo’s progress here or on our Facebook
Initial design concept
I had clear ideas of what I wanted my lantern to be about but found it difficult to visualise, so decided to make a collage. I flicked through the Guardian supplement, tearing out images I felt were relevant. I laid the images out & cut & pasted onto a piece of paper. This was the result, it really did help.
I felt happy with my initial design but it needed more development. The arrow didn’t seem right, it felt too ‘stumpy' & needed to be taller to give the shape a sense of direction & projection.
For me the journey of an innovative idea is energetic, almost electric. This drawing shows the development & changes to my design.
After making a quick mock up of a zig zag arrow shape I decided to revert back to a curvy arrow. I felt the combination of zig zag & figures would visually look too much.
Maths challenge, changing a cylindrical base into a square topped arrow & still managing to keep a good shape.
Test pieces, trying to figure out how best to put the figures on the lantern.
8 pairs of arms and legs, prepped, glued and out to dry.