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Richard Ashton


Introduction

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Introduction
How are the definitions
of leisure and work
being continually remanufactured in order
to obscure and blend
the parameters that
society once understood
separated the two?

An interest in societys growing relationship


with the moving image (compared to
the still); lead me to develop a greater
understanding of societys obsession
with progression (here described as; the
process of developing or moving gradually
towards a more advanced state). I feel that
our obsession with the moving image is a
tertiary effect of our ever-increasing need to
move forward and progress within society.
Understanding this, through research and
experimentation, led me to believe that
there are many more important factors to
explore relating to the social and working
behaviours displayed by society.
Progression has a direct relationship with
time, especially the way we experience
work and leisure. But how does society
deal with time? The quantification of
time, within our linguistic systems, allows
society to understand past and future.
Initially I felt that this could be explored by
experimenting with language and the terms
used to communicate time. This period of
experimentation was, however, partially
unsuccessful as it was not accompanied
by adequate secondary research. This
lack of research caused the visual results
to lack depth which slowed down my
development and understanding of the
topic in hand.

In order to improve this I began to focus


my research on the term 24/7, an adjective
that is often used to demonstrate a sense
of determination, and constant activity by
encompassing every hour in the clock. The
term 24/7 definitively communicates the
message of all the time, often used in
truth by supermarkets or other businesses
in a practical sense to explain they operate
twenty-four hours a day. However it
can also be used to communicate an
enhanced sense of individual and societal
progression. Jonathan Crary in his book
24/7 Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep,
explains why this particular term is used by
the society. To say 24/365, for example,
is simply not the same, for this introduces
an unwieldy suggestion of an extended
temporality in which something might
actually change, in which unforeseen events
might happen. This gives us a greater
understanding of how society perceives
time; the reduced amount of unforeseen
events within twenty-four hours makes
the term far more relatable. This therefore
makes the term extremely powerful as a
form of communication; it maintains a strong
relationship to the present, or occurs in the
foreseeable future. When used repeatedly
by individuals, politicians and businesses, it
intensifies the need to uphold and maintain
a sense of societal progression. This allows


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Work
1. Activity involving mental or
physical effort done in order to
achieve a result.
2. Work as a means of earning
income; employment.
Leisure
1. Time when one is not working
or occupied; free time.
Definitions taken from the Oxford Dictionary,2017

Methodology

the term to be used


and manipulation, as it
person to consistently
by enforcing the term
expected.

Schedule

for embellishment
is impossible for a
operate 24/7; but
it begins to seem

Manipulating the definition of such terms


can be a powerful tool for communication,
and it is becoming increasingly more
important. With further developments
in the accessibility of digital media, we
increasingly demand things instantly,
whether it be products, services, or
information. We are collectively aiming
to operate within a 24/7 society. This has
resulted in the rapid growth of platform
organisations that speed up the time we
spend waiting for results. The growth of
these companies is accompanied by the
ever-reducing amount of time it takes to
do daily activities. Now, readily available is
contactless payment, self service checkouts,
take away food outlets etc. Even designated
leisure resorts offer a plethora of activities,
tasks, dining and play for us to indulge in
around the clock. This new way of living is
having a major effect on the definitions of
work and leisure, with the parameters we
once understood to separate the two now
becoming blurred.

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This portfolio will give a critical overview of


my research, experimentation and project
development. Visual examples from my first
two phases of research, Society; A Moving
Image and The Quantification of Time, have
been included to show my starting points
under the headings Initial Experimentation.
These have preceded recent research and
experimentation into the topic of Work
and Leisure, which I have analysed and
evaluated in more depth.


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Society; A Moving Image


From Start Finish; Initial Experiment

https://vimeo.com/200800514

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The Quantification of Time


Initial Experiments

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Work & Leisure


Architecture; Work Based Living

Image: Hirschfeld - Mack.L (1963)


The Bauhaus An Introductory Survey. Longmans

Within a 24/7 society architecture can


influence the way we operate. There are
designated structures for work and leisure,
however when the two are combined in
order to maximise efficiency, what happens?
The Bauhaus quarters were designed to cater
for a work/live lifestyle, on the ground floor
were a centralized kitchen and a collective
refectory whose environment and furniture
were expressly designed for discomfort, as
a way of encouraging students to get back
to work. (Holliss, F. 2015) They understood
the benefits of having students live in close
proximity to their place of work, but in order
to maintain productivity elements had to
be specifically designed, perhaps stating
there are potential problems when leisure
and work are combined within a home.
The following two diagrams here aimed
to analyse Charles and Ray Eames Pacific
Palisades 1949 and Leddys and Staceys
Corson-Heinser Workhome 1990. The
main problem I discovered when analysing
work homes is that those able to take
control of their work life, e.g. eliminating a
commute or by accessing work and leisure
environments simultaneously, are usually
successful designers/architects. These
people, who were able to purpose build
work homes did not reflect society as a
whole, therefore I decided to temporarily
suspend this research.


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A 24/7 environment has


the semblance of a social
world, but it is actually a nonsocial model of mechanic
performance and a suspension
of living that does not disclose
the human cost required to
sustain its effectiveness.
(Crary, 2014)

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Time Magazine
Progressive Language

The luxury watch is historically associated


with success. These images show a selection
of watch adverts directed at men found on
the back cover of selected Time magazines.
Most interestingly, these adverts used
language that appealed to the pressures of
working life. Three adverts were combined
with their corresponding cover. This
juxtaposed the pressure of the adverts
language with what Time had deemed to
be the most pressing issue of the week. In
evaluation, it seemed that the introduction
of political issues distracted from the
communication of my research and the
work/leisure subject. The watch adverts
themselves deserved in depth research,
as they combined leisure imagery with
business language.


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Stay Connected
Business Cards for Life

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Progessive Words
Ambition Generator

With increased access to digital media


we are now flooded with language
from journalistic and news outlets,
advertisements and individuals, enticing
us to read and view their company pages,
articles or just personal opinions and
thoughts. The abundance of irrelevant
information proposed to us by algorithms
prevents us from extending our thoughts
past our screens, and disguises credible
information amongst clickbait.
To communicate this, three business
buzz words were selected: Motivation,
Productivity and Goals. The words were
searched on Forbes.com and Hacklife.com;
sites that encourage personal progression.
I extracted language from the initial search
results produced, then categorized them
into four sections; the leading personally
instructive phrase, the call to action, the
inspirational phrases and lastly the search
word. These were then randomly combined
to create a continuous output of nonsense
headlines; clickbait.
The output demonstrated how headlines
and titles can be enticing, yet have no
relative meaning. This research lead to
sponsored articles of a similar nature
appearing on my social media feed, a result
of algorithms calculating my interests.

This technique of analysing, cutting up and


re presenting language with no meaning
demonstrates the state of limbo where one
find themselves neither partaking in work or
leisure but trying to engage with, or at least
think about, both simultaneously.

5 WAYS TO INCREASE MONEY GOALS.

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HOW TO BOOST MAJOR


PRODUCTIVITY.
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Ambition Generator
Words from Forbes and Hacklife Articles

HOW TO WAKE UP WITH MID-SUMMER GOALS.


5 WAYS TO CURE A LACK OF MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY.
HOW TO OVERCOME LOSING YOUR BIG PRODUCTIVITY.
1 WAY TO DOUBLE YOUR WEALTH GOALS.

Continuously achieve
Overcome losing your
Wake up with
Cure a lack of
Increase
Boost
Double your
Manage your
Reach your
Hack you

Inspirational Phrases
Major
Big
Maximum wealth
money
Mid summer

10 WAYS TO CURE A LACK OF MID-SUMMER PRODUCTIVITY

Initial Search Word

How to
Ways to

Call to Action

Personally Instructive
Phrase

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY MOTIVATION.


10 WAYS TO INCREASE WEALTH MOTIVATION.

Motivation
Productivity
Goals

HOW TO CONTINUOUSLY ACHIEVE MAJOR GOALS.

1 WAY TO BOOST BIG GOALS.


5 WAYS TO WAKE UP WITH MAXIMUM MOTIVATION.
10 WAYS TO HACK YOUR MAXIMUM MOTIVATION.
1 WAY TO OVERCOME LOSING YOUR BIG PRODUCTIVITY.

10 WAYS TO CONTINUOUSLY ACHIEVE MID-SUMMER PROD


5 WAYS TO HACK YOUR MAJOR MOTIVATION.
5 WAYS TO REACH YOUR WEALTH PRODUCTIVITY.
5 WAYS TO BOOST MAXIMUM MOTIVATION.
HOW TO WAKE UP WITH BIG MOTIVATION.
HOW TO HACK YOUR MONEY PRODUCTIVITY.
10 WAYS TO CURE A LACK OF MAJOR PRODUCTIVITY.
5 WAYS TO REACH YOUR WEALTH GOALS.


Introduction

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In each case its about using


highly integrated aestheticisation and extremely style
conscious design to draw visitors into closed experiential
worlds, to fully absorb their
attention and to give them a
sense of freedom in their
leisure...
(Hellman, 2016)

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Manufactured Leisure
The Leisure Regimes

We are multitasking within a world of


manufactured leisure. Time spent reading
clickbait articles, or scrolling through
endless social media pages online prevent
us from true leisure; time not occupied by
work or commitments free time. Similarly
this is reflected in designated leisure and
holiday resorts. Tasks, activities and events
are presented in order to fill as much time
as possible.

Zoomed Photo Copy

The experiments here contain words and


images from two leisure market companies;
Virgin Holidays and Travelbag. Virgin
being a digital source and Travelbag a
print source. The words and images were
carefully selected to communicate how
designated leisure regimes are advertised
to society. They were then laid out, printed
and sealed in plastic to communicate their
synthetic assembly. The selection of imagery
demonstrated the aesthetics of leisure
regimes, however all layouts could be
improved in order to highlight certain words
and images. For example the first Dreams
Riviera Resort image was minimised and
isolated to communicate the resorts isolation
from its surroundings, however the overlay
of text on the image takes away from this
purpose. Certain words were also extracted
and used as subheadings, however theses
could have been made more prominent,

or the type could have been set differently


in order to give them more presence. This
experiment was combined with the Word
Generator, labelling each bag with a title,
but I feel this confused the overall message.


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R
OU
KY N
AC TIO
O H IVA
T
ST
AY MO
5 W JOR
MA

Plastic Leisure 1

10 WAYS TO
CURE A LACK
OF MAXIMUM
PRODUCTIVITY

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ITH
W
UP LS
KE OA
WA R G
E
TO
W MM
HO -SU
D
MI

Plastic Leisure 2

10 WAYS
TO INCREASE
WEALTH
MOTIVATION


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Plastic Leisure 3

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1 WAY TO OVERCOME
LOSING YOUR
BIG PRODUCTIVITY

10
MA WA
XI YS T
MU O
M CU
PR RE
OD A
UC LAC
TIV K O
ITY F

Introduction


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The narrative of the sharing


economy is just so huggable:
neighbours can sell the fruit
from the trees in their gardens,
you can rent an apartment in
Rome, a tree house or yurt in
Redwood Forest. In Berkeley,
you can pay your neighbour to
cook you a wholesome dinner,
and now you can even listen
to your own Spotify account
in an Uber taxi. It is just all so
convenient. (Scholz, 2014)

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Free Time to do More


Platforms for Work and Leisure

Platforms for Work and Leisure includes


phrases from the websites of four Platform
Organizations; Uber, Taskrabbit, Deliveroo
and airbnb. These phrases were combined
with imagery from the 2017 brochure for
Silversea Cruises. The aim was to highlight
societys desire to consume on the move
and organisations contributing to this.

Cover

The combination of words and imagery


worked well to highlight this issue, but
the content needs to be re-edited. The
imagery and phrases need to be on the
same page to improve the readability of the
links between both sources. The book form
allowed a lot of information to be grouped
together however it could be edited down
with a focus being put on the images and
words that were strongest in communicating
societys desire to consume on the move.
For example the image of the man running
on the cruise ship and the words from
Taskrabbit under the subheadings you live
life and we do chores really emphasised
this and questioned what defines work and
leisure.


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Book Images

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Going online, clicking through


one site to another, is a cut-up.
A twitter time-line that takes
you from geopolitical events
to celebrity fashion disasters to
cupcake recipes, is a cut-up.
(Hollings, 2015)

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The Cut-UP
A Progressive Society

to keep you going

A Progressive Society is a form of cutup using sound and moving image from
adverts that encourage a society consuming
on the move. Sound consisted of language
used by three mobile phone manufacturers;
Apple, Blackberry and Samsung and
imagery was taken from adverts by Nike,
Pret and Barclays. Handheld devices were
the focal point as they are a primary tool
used to access work and experience forms
of manufactured leisure whilst mobile. The
imagery highlighted the everyday tasks that
border between work and leisure.
The combination of the material was
intentionally subtle in order to disguise the
ownership and origin. This was done in
order to simulate the way we are continually
digesting material from multiple sources.
Further refinement is needed to further
disguise the film as a real advertisement for
this purpose.


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Audience

https://vimeo.com/200800923

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Secondary Research
Practice and Literary Review

(W RK)

My secondary research material comes


from a range of sources. A main influence
is Jonathan Crary and his book 24/7: Late
Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. Crary
explains the 24/7 operation of marketplaces
and how they erode forms of personal
expression. His theories on continuous
human consumption, combined with ideas
by Baudrillard in Simulacra and Simulation
(1995) and Hellmann in his article, Keeping
Busy, (Form Magazine 2016) have allowed
me to develop my theories surrounding
manufactured
leisure.
Baudrillards
examination of the formation of media and
manufactured leisure is expanded on by
Crarys current theories on consumption;
issues which Hellman believes to be
resulting in our inability to experience true
leisure.
Research into current economic structures
which are redefining work and leisure,
started from The Automation Revolution; the
gig economy, and their social consequences
conference organised by the Centre for
Digital Culture at Kings College. This lead
me to explore the writings and theories of
Arun Sundararajan and Trebor Sholz who
elaborate on how personal and professional
services have begun to blend, eliminating
the parameters that once separated work
and leisure. This has been hugely influential

on my visual experimentation, in particular


Platforms for Work and Leisure, and will
continue to be as I gain a more in-depth
understanding of platform economics.
My literature research focuses on subject
matter that has a considerable influence
on forms of design such as advertising,
interface design and architecture. The
majority of my practice based research will
continue to revolve around advertising,
in the form of moving image, print and
business communication through brochures
and company websites. Alongside this, the
work of Martin Arnold and Cassette Boy will
continue to be significant, both for their
editing techniques and their ability to take
found material and represent it in a way that
forces a more focused examination.


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Methodology

Scoping Boundaries, Research Strategies

(LE S RE)

As
previously
aforementioned,
we
are operating in a 24/7 society where
everything is available for us when we want
it, even if it means consuming on the move.
Companies are utilising this to encourage
further consumption of goods, services
and information; all of which is blurring
the parameters of what defines work and
leisure.

advertising from a range of sources.

My work has focused on comparatively


evaluating social themes, in order to fully
analyse and communicate the transformation
that is occurring. By doing this, I discern a
range of relevant communicative elements,
and combine them to highlight current
issues related to work and leisure.

Language will continue to be a focal point


within my research, accompanied when
appropriate by visual imagery. Language
can be analysed and utilised through the
use of typography, but also through sound.
Cassetteboy analyse language extremely
well and present it back to the public in
an accessible manner, ensuring powerful
communication. Understanding which
format to employ across the four chapters
can only be realised through well thought
out and rigorous testing.

My research will be divided into chapters:


Continuous Communication, On the
Go; Freeing time to do more, Platform
Capitalists and the blending of work and
leisure services and The Leisure Regimes.
Working through these chapters will allow
me to comment on and hopefully begin to
explain why the parameters once separating
work and leisure are now blurring.
Researching effectively will involve utilising
existing and ongoing research from
academics exploring related topics whilst
continuing to analyse various forms of

I also aim to expand my research outside


the field of design with well developed,
provoking questionnaires and interviews.
The aim of these exercises would be to test
my theories and visual material by asking
people to question the existing definitions
of work and leisure.


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Methodology
Resources, Audience & Output

(W RK)

The book format will continue to allow me


to construct formulated arguments. It has
given me time to reflect on each page in
order to understand which elements work
well together within a particular spread and
maintain a strong correlation with the next.
This technique of collaging/combining
material in a sequential manner can also be
utilised through the use of moving image
and audio cut-ups. Unlike the book this
gives less time for the audience to reflect,
but perhaps is more relevant to the way
society is currently consuming information.
From both these methods I may extract
single spreads or short clips that are strong
enough to stand alone, to minimise viewing
time, again relating to the way society
consumes. Understanding the importance
and success of these methods will begin
to formulate my future approaches to
presenting and dealing with existing/found
material.
My audience must expand outside the field
of design. My research aims to examine and
comment on society, therefore keeping
it within the studio will not allow for any
theories or experiments to be properly
tested or evaluated. The age range of my
audience varies as I am examining present
and previously existing and modes of work
and leisure, however the focus will be

people of a working age.


It is currently to early to predict what my
final outcomes may be as my outputs
respond directly to my research. However
I will continue to experiment with temporal
and sequential media such as cut-ups
and moving image. The book as a form
of sequential media will also be explored
in greater detail, however problems may
arise in presenting material to be relatable
outside the field of design.


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Bibliography
Crary, J. (2014) 24/7: Late capitalism and the ends of sleep. New York: Verso
Books.
Baudrillard, J. and Glaser, S. (1995) Simulacra and simulation. Ann Arbor: The
University of Michigan Press.
Frayne, D. (2015) The refusal of work: The theory and practice of resistance to
work. United Kingdom: Zed Books.

Scholz, T. (2014) Platform Cooperativism vs. The sharing economy. Available


at: https://medium.com/@trebors/platform-cooperativism-vs-the-sharingeconomy-2ea737f1b5ad#.708dvyebz (Accessed: 29 November 2016).
Schulze, G. (2007) The experience society. London: SAGE Publications.
Slowing Down (2016) NPR Ted Radio Hour, 26 August.
Solaris (1972) Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union

Hayne, C. (2016) Know Thyself, Form Designing TIme, 256, pp. 4653.
Hellman, K.-U. (2016) Keeping Busy, Form Designing Time, 256, pp. 5460.
Hollings, K. BBC (2015) Cutting up the cut-up - BBC radio 4. Available at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05zl52m (Accessed: 10 January 2017).

Sundararajan, A. (2016) The sharing economy: The end of employment


and the rise of crowd-based .. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/
books?id=2Zz2CwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_
summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false (Accessed: 10 January 2017).
The Meaning of Work (2016) NPR Ted Radio Hour, 14 October.

Holliss, F. (2015) Beyond live / work: The architecture of home-based work.


London, United Kingdom: Routledge.
McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q. and Agel, J. (2001) The medium is the massage: An
inventory of effects. 2nd edn. Germany: Gingko Press.
Moore, P. (2015) The Quantified Self: What counts in the neoliberal
workplace. Available at: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/cperc-conf/files/2015/08/
Moore-Quantified-Self-2015.pdf (Accessed: 10 January 2017).
OConnor, S. (2016) When your boss is an algorithm. Available at: https://
www.ft.com/content/88fdc58e-754f-11e6-b60a-de4532d5ea35 (Accessed:
29 November 2016).

Van Meel, J. (2000) The European office: Office design and national context.
2nd edn. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.