Week 6 – LIVING ROOM – 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.

Some things are too painful to speak about, especially if the metaphorical wounds are still fresh and bleeding. This week, some tales will remain untold.

16.03.2022 – Research

Articles used for this research:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Room_(disambiguation)

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

The living room is known under many different names depending on country – longue room (Australian English), lounge & sitting room (British English), drawing room and front room, if it’s placed close to entrance. Its a room used tor relaxation, family time, committing to hobbies and parties.

The person credited with inventing the term living room is Edward Bok, who advocated for using that term rather than parlor or drawing room during the late 19th century/early 20th century.

The living room as we know it today was shaped by the Industrial Revolution’s mass production, where furniture started becoming more accessible and way cheaper.

There are many distinguished styles of the living room. The modern styles are Postmodernism (bold colors, unnatural materials, assymetrical shapes), Neo-Modernism (angles over curves, monochrome or vibrant colors, usage of metallic and eco-friendly materials, experimenting with shapes) and Parametricism (neutral colors, natural materials, large in scale).

While conducting this research I found three plays by the name “(The) Living Room”, as well as one lifestyle program from Australia under that title.

20.03.2022 – Reflection

What is a living room?

Family gatherings, coffee meetings and elegant parties – this is what comes to mind when I think of the living room. I clearly remember the evenings I spent with my grandmother and grandfather, way before the illness took him from us. Accompanied by coffee and cake slices, we would watch shows like CSI: Miami, trying to solve the mysteries, or chat about current events across the globe. For me, similarly to the kitchen, it’s a place of warmth, where family bonds are cultivated.

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 – “Living Room” mini-review

Still from the short film

This short film truly stresses the importance of the “living” part in “living room”. Sentient chewing gum pieces gathering around to create music and swiftly escaping unnoticed before the owner enters the room is an idea so bizarre that I would’ve never came up with it – and I loved every second of it!

What I loved the most about this short film was the message – even if a place is seeminbly abandoned or neglected, it can still be loud, energetic and creative – through the objects that fill it and the memories that they evoke. I think this would really speak to Mrs. Przybylska – a widow living alone in her huge house, surrounded by nothing but memories.

08.04.2022 – Experimentation

Character Design – Dariusz Przybylski

08.04.2022 – Room Design

A Lifetime To Remember – Chapter 6

The women looked at each other, looking for any words that would aid in this heart-wrenching situation. Unfortunately, Mrs. Przybylska was the first one to end the silence.

“But that was long ago. Let’s not dwell on matters of the past. Would you like to see the heart of the house? The living room is my favorite area!” She exclaimed proudly, seemingly forgetting the difficult memory that approached her mind a few minutes ago.

They backtracked through the kitchen and the corridor, as there was no entrance from the bathroom – luckily! As Jenny passed the two rooms, different speculative scenes seemed to play out in her mind. She wondered how many memories originated right here, where she stood. She realized that she never seemed to look at it this way – neglecting the importance of the emotionality of a space and the vulnerability of its owners, and instead, solely focusing on the functionality and availability. After this realisation, she made a resolution examine each detail a space has to offer – not to be nit-picky, but to understand the various stories that played its part there.

“Ta-daa!” Stanisława sung melodically as she opened the living room doors.

As soon as the couple entered the room, a loud bark welcomed them. A small chihuahua hurriedly left its comfy bed and ran towards the strangers to sniff them out, its tail wagging excitedly.

“Aww! Who’s this tiny fellow?” Said Anna, petting the small dog.

“Her name is Coco! She would’ve come sooner, but she’s been quite tired recently.”

As the two women laughed and played with the chihuahua, Jenny stepped in closer to examine the last room on this level. The first thing that struck her was the color balance – the palette present in the room seemed to consist mostly of various shades of green and brown. The walls had a pleasant leaf pattern, with brown accents here and there. Right next to the door, where Anna and Stanisława were playing with Coco, was a tall chest of drawers, with a few years-old issues of Newsweek magazines laying around, and a healthy potted plant. To the left, in a similar deep brown shade, lay another chest of drawers containing a small collection of scented candles.

The wall to the right seemed to contain all that was necessary to Coco, so Jenny didn’t focus on it for too long. The area to the left seemed quite cosy with its fluffy sofa, 32″ TV and a coffee table with two unwashed cups sitting peacefully. Jenny could imagine spending her afternoons with Anna in front of the TV, watching their favorite shows until they fall asleep, wrapped in one blanket. She wondered about the importance of this place to Stanisława, anticipating her next set of stories and wonders that she associated with this living room. Her stream of thought was disconnected upon discovering the pictures on the walls – they seemed to depict a family in various situations. A lot of the frames contained pictures and drawings of a balding man with an aura of respect and intelligence around him. Jenny realized that this must’ve been Stanisława’s late husband – Darek. She decided not to ask her about him, not wanting to subject her to a painful emotional state.

“Yeah, I like it too. This room looks way better than the rest of the house, because we refurbished it quite early, when Darek was still alive.”

Jenny was promptly brought back to the conversation upon hearing a change in Stanisława’s voice. She had no idea what Anna has been talking about with her but decided not to inquire about it.

“It’s a lovely room. I would be proud if I created a space like that.” Said Jenny earnestly, yet with a slight sympathetic smile.

“Thank you!” Mrs. Przybylska returned the smile “Well, yes, I think that’s about it for the room. Do you want to check downstairs?”

“You’re not going to tell us your memories? I really enjoy listening to you.” Said Anna with a hint of disappointment.

Stanisława remained silent and forced a fake smile upon her lips. Her chin was trembling, as she tried her best to remain calm.

“I would like to. He was a great man, and the years I spent with him will never be forgotten. I don’t think I’ve moved on from that yet though. I mean, just look at me. I still look like I’m heading to a funeral. Sorry, excuse me for a moment.”

Stanisława promptly left the room, and the women heard her blowing her nose in the bathroom. Jenny sent Anna a sympathetic look, knowing quite well she feels guilty for what just happened.

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