Talking To My Big Bro Is Research. Awesome.

This past weekend I had my big bro visiting through from Glasgow. A weekend off you say? Okay, maybe a little bit, but we did speak over a lot of stuff relevant to my business proposal I’ve been working on. My brother is the co-founder of Glasgow animation and motion graphics studio Touzie Tyke. They’ve been working with broadcast work, advertising, and various other lines of motion work for the past few years from Glasgow’s Film City, a complex full of other creative businesses of various disciplines.

The topic of my business plan has evolved into becoming more of a market  research essay, a means to find a niche in the market and see how motion graphics is being used unusually and applied in new and interesting ways. My example of this last week was “3D Projection Mapping”, where animation is projected over real world objects to blend digital motion work and reality.

I asked Ewan if he knew of any other unusual examples of applying motion graphics and it turns out he’d already worked on something incredibly different. Ewan has been a nurse for a number of years at local Glasgow hospitals and it’s provided a basis for a number of projects he’s done, including his final university degree show project. Earlier in Touzie Tyke’s lifespan the duo tackled the subject again. making an interactive 3D model demonstrating how certain joints in the body moved. This wasn’t motion design for entertainment purposes, nor was it for commercial purposes, to promote somebody else’s cause. It was a service to help medical professionals visualise how certain parts of the body work. The project was progressed into more interactive applications too, expanding the educational potential of their work.

Courtesy of Touzie Tyke, Glasgow

Courtesy of Touzie Tyke, Glasgow

This last part of the process turns their service into a more tangible product, something more recognisable to people and less risky than a design service. The disadvantage with having a design service is not knowing what will be the end result. RCA Tutor and design writer Adrian Shaughnessy sums it up as trying to sell somebody a sofa without showing it to them. It’s the toughest kind of sell. Packaging your work like Touzie Tyke did has its own risks, but makes customers feel safer in what they’re getting.

What makes this approach so unique is the audience it focuses on is very specific. Ewan’s experience in a medical environment opened up a whole new perspective on what needs design could satisfy, one not so open to other designers who have spent all their time in art school. It gives them an edge and provides them with a niche. However Touzie Tyke don’t focus solely on this audience and do a lot of great corporate work too. It’s a further demonstration on how smaller studios are thriving and playing a variety of roles for clients, despite their size. Looking at Touzie Tyke’s new website the variety of talents is obvious. They’ve struck a nice balance between focus, and a niche but also diversity of talent.

Courtesy of Touzie Tyke, Glasgow

Courtesy of Touzie Tyke, Glasgow

Me and my big bro started to talk over places doing interesting research in terms of what can be done with how motion graphics is applied and through what technology is can be applied through. We started talking about Ars Electronica, an organisation based in Austria dedicated to creative technologies. They hold an annual event and additionally an awards ceremony for creative use of technology, and motion graphics could quite easily find a place in this research. Motion design’s ability to help people visualise complex subjects clearly is unparallelled, and nowhere is that more obvious than in an institution like Ars Electronica. One recent example of this is helping demonstrate scientific research of the brain and how it reacts to music and other arts.

This visualisation of lectures, of complex concepts could be an interesting area to explore, as presentation of ideas is something I’m not only fascinated by but also quite good at. Presentations at university seem to be my fortay, so why not try to combine that and motion design?

Courtesy of Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria

Courtesy of Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria

Academic institutions are only just starting to explore how new technologies and the arts can help them communicate and educate more efficiently. Ultimately the easier things are to understand, from their perspective, the faster their students will learn and the more time their will be during their studentship to push boundaries and embark on more pioneering research. I’ll be looking more into how Ars Electronica utilises technology, not just with teaching, but in their actual research, and I’ll most definitely be talking about Touzie Tyke again at some point. In the meantime I’ll leave you with the incredibly pretty looking Ars Electronica complex above. Look at it. All shiny and whatnot.


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