Wednesday, 17 December 2014


After the presentation Tony then briefed us on what the workshop was going to consist of and the purpose of the brief.


To create a sustainable christmas tree for life, using card or foam board to create a 3D design to be used in Holbeck Urban Village. The workshop was to work in groups so we decided on girls vs. boys and this was fun alternative due to never working with Laura and Ellen before and also increased our competitive side because we wanted to beat the boys!

Holbeck Urban Village

The brief was influenced by what Tony had done for the Holbeck Urban Village in Leeds where he created a really cool sustainable tree that allowed other plants and objects to be held within it.


To start the brief I researched into existing tree designs as a source of influence, while some of the members started to mock up potential ideas of how the tree could look and it's function.

Design Milk


This simplistic arrangement of this tree really works, I like the simple two triangles that slot together to create a sustainable tree.

I really liked this concept of constructing beams to create the tree, which could be used with cutting foam board into strips.


After some idea generation, we decided to come up with the idea of created a stacked tree that allowed business cards to be placed onto the design, so that the workers within Holbeck could network and establish their business through the festive season.

This tree would either work on the front desk near reception or work as a centre piece within the entrance of the main area of the building.

With our concept set in stone myself and the group began experimenting with cutting triangular shapes and piecing them together with wire to assemble the tree into an upright position.


We used A3 sheets of card and cut them out to create four triangles out of each, as shown in the photograph above. 


We experimented two designs and  with the hinge idea it was hard to keep the shapes in a strong upright position and was becoming quite complex to use for the final design. We then experimented with anoter design cutting the triangles half way and slotting them into one, another to create a more sturdy design which proved successful and decided to go ahead with this approach.   
Myself and Vicky began to  experiment with using hollow squares as well as full squares to create a shelfs for the business cards to sit on.

However in the process we decided not to use squares for the shelves as it would be too hard to create accurate designs hand when cutting out the foam board. So we considered using cirlces instead that we experimented with through a protractor.

Once we had decided on our final design, Laura started cutting out the final thing using foam board. We decided initially to use the black foam board for the main structure, and then the shelves using white.


(As you can see by my facial expression I am really enjoying this workshop!)

This is what the two pieces look like when they are apart. We had to initially cut the line half way up on each piece and then Vicky was responsible for cutting out the width of the line to make sure that they would comfortable fit into each other.

While all of the crafting was taking place, Ellen considered how she could add a digital aspect to our work. She has thought about how we could apply a QR code to the tree to make it interactive and encourage people to not only hang a business card, but to also explore the Holbeck Urban Village website.

Once the main structure had been made, we had to make sure that all of the business cards would be able to hang loosely without being caught by one of the shelves. I measured the total height of the tree and divided it by four so that we could calculate where the shelves should be placed and how much we room we should leave for each one to be able to fit on the tree.

Further Production

In doing the workshop with Tony he provided constant feedback on how we could develop the design further and things we could consider.  

He suggested that we should consider creating a box made for the base of the tree to keep it stable. He asked whether it would be possible for us to have this produced in time for Wednesday next week and whether we could approach woodwork with our idea. The reason for us creating this box would be to not only keep the structure stable, but also to have a drawer to put a hole punch and string in to encourage people to interact with the tree by punching a hole in their card and hanging it on the tree. 

With this idea pitched to us, as a group we decided to push the brief further and ask woodwork to help define our idea. Myself, Laura and Ellen went to woodwork and asked if it was possible for our design to be created and luckily it was! The girls decided to pick up the tree the next day and we would all work on putting it together on the Wednesday before our visit to Holbeck.

Ellen also designed a QR code star to put on top of the tree which I printed and we all assembled to tree for it's final outcome.


With our group outsourcing and taking advantage of the college facilities I think our final design came out amazing and I was really pleased with the end result! Although the brief initially stated we should only use foam board, we decided to push the brief a little further and experiment with more sustainable materials and this definitely benefited the end product for the brief.

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