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  • Writer's pictureSiiri

Design Studies: Final Thesis, part 5 – Sketching 2

Dearest reader,

This was the week of sketching when I finally went to the dance studio to explore bodily knowledge through dancing and somatic exercises. It was challenging to say the least but I am glad I was still able to generate ideas and continue this thesis process.

That being said, this week was also the most diffucult week of the thesis process so far. Unfortunately, I had a small meltdown (Dramatic! But I have recovered now, don't you worry) and on Tuesday evening I had a little cry about how I did not think I could go on, how everything seemed so difficult and how I simply do not have the talent to complete this task. We all have those hard moments from time to time, and while I certainly have work to do in terms of my though processes, I also believe that these hard points are natural in any challenging project. So thankfully, this time, a vitalising shower and couple of chapters of "Pride and Prejudice" were enough to restored my strenghts for the next day.

I wanted to tell you this because I often feel that what I share here seems effortless when it is not, but also because a few tears are part of the process and I promised to be as open about it as possible. However, I don't want to complain any longer. So yes, this week was difficult (in my small world) and I want you to simply be aware of that before jumping in and assuming that it was all glitter and glamour.


S K E T C H I N G   2


The Second Sketchbook Week

This second week of sketching focused on deriving ideas using bodily knowledge which I explored through dancing and somatic exercises. In the next pictures you can see my process within the sketchbook and after them you can find a video where I explain my findings with clips of me dancing that hopefully aid your understanding of my process.

Going through Bartenieff Fundamentals again and investigating how bags locate on the body according to its body patterns.

Dance day 1

On the first dance day I explored with core-distal and cross-lateral somatic exercises. While compliting these exercises I tried to focus on sensing different sensation in my muscles and recorded my findings. I found two types of movement quality: reaching and crumpling. Reaching was the social, curious and brave part of the movement and reminded me of a fan opening, while crumpling was the withdrawing, comforting and protective part of movement and had something similar with paper crumpling up.

Somatic exercises from the first dance day exploring cross-lateral and core-distal movement.

After those somatic exercises I investigated cross-lateral connections through ballet positions inspired by Swan Lake and use my notions of fan and crumpling paper to generate some design ideas. I also did an improvisation where I contiued exploring the fan or wing like motion.

Ballet positions inspired by Swan Lake and studies of how they can be used in bag design.

Dance day 2

On the second dance day I explored head-tail and upper-lower yiel & push connections during my somatic exercises which you can see recorded in the picture. I also did a spiraling head-tail dance exercise which was really fun, airy and energetic practise.

Head-tail and upper-lower yield & push exercises and notes.

The last exercise of the week was upper-lower inner character improvisation where I explored the difference of movement qualities on my upper and lower bodies. The goal was to get an idea who is my upper/lower body and discribe it with words and drawings. In the picture you can see my upper body character on the top half of the page and lower body character on the lower half of the page. Next to the character explorations you can also see quick ideas of how I could use them in bag design.

Upper-lower inner character exercise and rough bag design ideas.

View the whole second week sketchbook process through this video with clips of me dancing:


What do you do when you hit the hard spot, or, as I like to call it, the meltan breakdown phase, during your project?

Have you ever experimented with dancing in your creative sketchbook process?


Yours truly,



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