I began this project by recording every interface I experienced in one day. These went from pulling my sofa bed out, turning on the radio, making lunch, to going in to a betting shop, doing my laundry, ordering a drink at a pub and turning the light switch off before I went to bed. It was interesting to sit down and think about the mundane interfaces that I experienced, and concentrate on the history and meaning behind everyday tasks and interactions.
an hour in a laundrette
These are a series of photographs that I took while I was getting my washing done.
Observations : 0-15min
- all the washing machines are self service.
- There are no customers apart from me and one other woman who is sitting and talking to the owner.
- It is a family business, the owner chats to me and is very friendly. She says most people go to 'Bear and Wolf' for a coffee across the road or to Sainsbury's while they wait for their washing to be done.
-I am sitting on the only chair in the building. It's very old and unused. There are magazines on the table but they are very old too and tucked away. It does not look like many people sit or read here.
- I had a chat with the other customer. She says she has been coming to this launderette and the one down the road for over 40 years now. Although she uses the self service machine she doesn't like doing it and the owner of the store always offers to do it for her. Launderette's have been around for a very long time so it is something that the older generation are accustomed to. It was once a much more popular thing to do - Many people did not own washing machines as they were expensive and a luxury item. She said she likes coming to this laundrette as she doesn't have space for a washing machine at her house. It also makes her feel nostalgic- she remembers coming here when she was younger and when it was busier. She also met her first boyfriend here.
Hangers but no clothes, magazines that have not been read, eight washing machines not in use, three that are out of order.
Observations 30-45 min
- Colour Palette is pale blues and pinks. The blues do make the area feel nostalgic, especially because it is so empty and derelict.
- The room is a bit worn. There are many things that seem old fashioned and/or are no longer in use. For example, the old sowing machine, a rack of empty hangers and at least eight washing machines that are not in use.
- Humorous signs like 'Laundry today or naked tomorrow' make the Laundrette feel warmer, but it also shows how there has been a big decline in the popularity of laundrettes as they were once a necessity but now many people do their washing at home.
Observations 45-60 minutes
-There is slow jazz music on in the background.
-No other customers have walked in - it is still just me, one other customer, and the owner of the shop in the room.
-The other customer leaves, and the owner goes in to her home attached to the laundrette. There is no need for staff to be in the room as everything is self service.
- It is very quiet, all you can hear is the repetitive sound of the washing machine going round.
Research in to design layout
These are some of the design layouts I really liked. Because I am using photography as my main subject for my magazine I thought creating a zine would be the best format to use. I also started to look in to digital design and how I could use this, but I was more persuaded towards print format as its something I really wanted to experiment in. Zines have become more popular recently- I could use this to create a zine that would bring the scene of the 'laundrette 'back to life' by using a format that appeals to many people.
The other design I really liked was to create a newspaper. I thought this format would be good because newspapers are decreasing in demand due to the availability and convenience of digital news- I have never brought a newspaper because I its so much easier to read the news online. If I created a newspaper design about the decrease in demand in Laundrettes this shows the relationship between context and my choice of material.
I really enjoyed how the text flowed through a double spread page in one of the designs. I thought I could spread my photo's over both spreads of the page too and play around with this.
I started to think about the colour palette of my print. I really enjoyed the magazines with bright and contrasting colours but that still looked quite minimal and simple. I started to think about using shades of blue to represent nostalgia and how the laundrette is becoming a thing of the past, and contrasting that with shades of red. (danger, loss of money, and the struggle of the stereotypical laundrette business.)