Week 5 – BATHROOM – Semester 2

PROJECT SUMMARY:

My project is a process of creation of a story inspired by research, as well as by my family members and memories. My aim is to educate myself and broaden my horizons – that’s why I decided to collaborate with my friends and colleagues and collect their responses.

These responses collected on my research cards will then be turned into inspiration for my story – the house and character designs, as well as the chapters themselves. Through trial and error, I’m still learning the best ways of creatively challenging my peers, as well as incorporating their feedback into my project.

As it’s my final semester at Aberystwyth University, I decided to come out of my shell and make the process much more external than all of my previous projects.

Not all family members have to be related in order to be considered family. This week, we’re exploring the familiar bond of a chihuahua and its owner.

Pexels – Curtis Adams

12.03.2022 – Research

Article used for this research:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathroom

The bathroom/washroom is a room dedicated to self-hygiene, usually containing a bathtub or a shower (sometimes both). In some cultures toilet is excluded from the bathroom and having a separate room dedicated to it. It’s also worth noting, that in North American English a bathroom is any room that contains a toilet.

Historically, bathing was a collective activity, taking place in public baths. This tradition is still alive in some countries, for example the Japanese sento and onsen.

The first recorded use of a bathroom dates back to 3000 B.C. when water had strong religious value, and it was often a requirement to cleanse oneself before entering a sacred area.

There are different terms to describe the various designs and circumstances of the bathroom – a full bathroom contains a bath/shower, toilet and a sink. An en suite bathroom is attached to a bedroom. A family bathroom is accessible from the corridor. A Jack and Jill bathroom is placed between two bedrooms. A wetroom is a waterproof room equipped with a shower.

Other than the things mentioned above, a bathroom is usually equipped in towels, teethbrushes & toothpaste, mirrors, a cabinet for hygiene products and medicine, a washing machine, a bidet, as well as items for cleaning.

13.03.2022 – Research + Experimentation (Cont’d)

20.03.2022 – Reflection

What is a bathroom?

As someone who (for some unknown reason) feels a great connection to the element of water, the bathroom is a place of peace and tranquility. The feeling of water washing your fears and bad experiences away feels almost ritual – we’re not only letting go of the sweat and dirt that gathered around our bodies, but all of the negative energy we managed to surround ourselves with.

Another point of interest in the bathroom is the mirror and all the connotations it brings. We can not only see straight through ourselves, but also observe the change that occurs within us before and after we cleanse.

In short, the bathroom is a place that reflects our state of mind after we let go of the negative energy we surrounded ourself with. Clean, pristine, and refreshing.

20.03.2022 – Group Experimentation

For this group experimentation, I changed the formula a little – instead of giving my classmates free range in providing their feedback, I prepared instructions for this process. These instructions go as follows:

  1. Starting with the blank side of the page, think about the bathroom and the first things that come to mind in association with it.
  2. Next, write down a word or a sentence that comes to mind when thinking about the bathroom, and draw something – it doesn’t have to be tied to your sentence.
  3. Now flip the paper. Read its contents and think about the bathroom again.
  4. Repeat step 4 with the inclusion of the contents of the paper affecting your thought process.

20.03.2022 – “Bathroom Boarder” mini-review

Still from the short film

The Bathroom Boarder is a short (approximately 1 minute long) animation depicting a spider’s brave skateboard performance on the familiar bathroom surfaces. Starting with a brave descend on his silky web, our thick friend quickly begins to show off his amazing skateboard tricks. Unfortunately, his tiny board ends up ‘swallowed’ by the sink’s hole, leaving the poor boarder in a lifeless-like state. This amusing tale has a bittersweet end, as the depressed spider ends up being pushed through the same hole that took his board away – which we can only hope ends up with a reunion.

The magic of this short film lies in its creativity – making a small world out of familiar surfaces, turning everyday objects into landscapes with vast creative potential is a very interesting concept. The anthromorphisation of the spider itself makes us develop empathy for it, despite only witnessing a small fragment of its tale. And finally, the lifeless state of the spider after becoming separated with the board is a very strong statement – who are we without the things that define us… us?

07.04.2022 – Experimentation

Character Design – Feedo

07.04.2022 – Room Design

A Lifetime To Remember – Chapter 5

Mrs. Stanisława returned to her two guests with a helpless, apologetic smile – the kind that rarely fails in receiving sympathetic responses. Both Anna and Jenny felt sorry for the old lady, yet the sense of awkwardness looming over their heads resulted in another awkward silence

“Don’t mind her,” said Stanisława after she finally gained the confidence to speak “she has a tough character, but she’s not a bad daughter. Her life wasn’t too kind to her.”

“We don’t know her, so our judgement really doesn’t matter.” Replied Anna, trying to ease the old lady’s hurt feelings.

“Right, that’s true…” Stanisława exclaimed and pondered for a while. “Sorry, we should probably crack on – just there is the bathroom.” She pointed to the white doors in front of them

“Kitchen leading to a bathroom is… an interesting architectural choice, I have to admit.” Jenny said in her typical irony-overfilled style, yet this time, a slight smile gently rose on her lips.

Stanisława, having noticed the sudden change of heart in Jenny, couldn’t help but reciprocate the smile. All the negative side effects of her daughter’s less than pleasant visit seemed to evaporate in a second, returning her usual bright demeanor.

“Yeah, this house has its little oddities… The person we bought the property from has been quite eccentric. We made it look decent enough, but the layout is still quite puzzling.” She said with a slight chuckle.

As soon as Stanisława and her guests entered the room, they were welcomed with yet another pristine clean room, possibly more so than the kitchen. The white tiles on the floor, the squeaky-clean armature, the navy-blue tiles on the wall – everything seemed to shine and illuminate this room proudly.

Jenny took a quick glance and searched for imperfections – she only found typical signs of wear, nothing truly standing out. Among the most notable discoveries here was the large, expensive looking bathtub, a vanity table with no makeup on it, and shelves upon shelves filed with bath salts and differently colored soaps in various shapes. Besides that, there was typical bathroom equipment not truly worth mentioning.

“Who’s the family member that reminds you of the bathroom?” Anna asked without thinking. “Oh, I don’t mean it like that! I just noticed that you tend to relate one family member to each room and I’m curious what kind of memories can take shelter in a simple bathroom. These stories have been interesting, and I’m curious to hear more.” She said while trying to hold down laughter at her faux pas.

Stanisława chuckled.

“I don’t really think I have any stories connected to the bathroom. I mean, as you put it, it’s just a simple bathroom. You come here to take care of your hygiene and leave to do other tasks.” She hesitated for a moment. “But if I had to pinpoint a particular bonding experience associated with the bathroom… I think I would choose my chihuahua, Feedo. He’s long gone, but I still manage to accidentally call my current dog by his name.”

“A dog? Why bathroom and not anywhere else?” Jenny asked with confusion.

“It’s simple, really. We used to regularly go on long walks near that muddy pathway you passed while driving here. He was tiny and short, so dirt stuck to him like a magnet.” Stanisława said while chuckling. “It was our ritual to come here and wash him right after the walk. At the beginning he couldn’t get used to the water, it was quite hard to console him, but… in time, he got used to them. Sometimes he would excitedly run to the bathroom to get washed. That assured me, that family isn’t exclusive to animals. That was a true bond – as simple as this bathroom. And…”

Mrs. Przybylska paused; her expression filled with sheer sadness.

“Perhaps… Perhaps it’s due to that bond, that he came right to me to inaudibly say goodbye before he passed.”

Neither Anna nor Jenny knew what to say. The story told by Stanisława was simple, yet it grasped their hearts. But what they were supposed to say? ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’? ‘The bond you had was beautiful.’? None of the answers that came to their minds seemed to truly reflect how they felt for that old woman.

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