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Multidisciplinary designer, combining digital and analogue processes, with a love for colour, focusing on 3D, CMF, Surface Design and Design Development.

Experience: Ryan Gander RA OBE, Freelance Design & Consultation, Young Artists In Suffolk co-founder alongside Amy Falla

Exhibitions: LCB Depot

Final Project

Word Vomit

How can you use textile design to communicate how it feels to have ADHD?

Word Vomit came about from sheer frustration. The sheer frustration being that it took me 21 years to consider that I might have ADHD. Let alone seek a professional ADHD diagnosis amid Covid-19, during the middle of my degree. I wondered perhaps that the reason it had gone unnoticed for so long was because I was a female.

The more I got talking to friends and family, and through my research I discovered that yes, it probably was.

I knew early on that I wanted this collection to help raise awareness of ADHD symptoms in undiagnosed females in the general population and to encourage others to start a wider conversation with friends, family and colleagues and to consider seeking professional help if they feel that they might have ADHD.

To channel the frustration into something positive, I asked myself, how can I communicate what it feels like to have ADHD to other people through textile design by drawing on my own personal experiences of ADHD? And after a trip to the Barbicans Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art Exhibition I knew I wanted to create a 3D installation and immersive collection. Word Vomit was born.

Three key areas drove the development of Word Vomit to visualise transient ADHD thoughts;

1. Colour and Surface Design
2. 3D Experimentation
3. Materials, Processes and Scale

1. Colour and Surface Design

I love mixing and working with colour and colour theory, so it was a really important design aspect behind Word Vomit. I wanted to convey the emotive journey of having ADHD, and the emotional ups and downs through colour; feelings of joyfulness via the Magenta, Indigo and Windsor blues for a calming effect, and an acidy Linden Green for contrast and visual impact. I was particularly inspired by Robert Indiana, Roy Lichenstein, Zandra Rhodes and Do Ho Suh.

As a 9 piece sculptural textiles collection Word Vomit draws on my personal experiences of ADHD symptoms, specifically a multitude of transient thoughts and ideas, and struggling which one to pursue. Each sculptural letter has its own identity to reflect this, and each letter has it’s own individual colour, material choice, surface design and scale.

I’ve found having ADHD is an incredible trait, I have found it helps me to adapt and personalise designs for each and every project, and as much as I get frustrated at myself because of my ADHD sometimes, I can’t control it, so I wanted to celebrate this through surface design and colour.

The devil is really in the detail in this collection, there are little Easter eggs that require a good look to find hidden over the surface designs that are really only visible in person!

2. 3D Experimentation

3D Cube Samples

I decided to create Cubes of potential materials to best see how the materials held their structure and to see how pigmented and saturated the prints could be, and to check the transparency.

3. Materials, Processes and Scale

VR Letters

I worked in collaboration with Dr Gary Burnett of Social VR at Loughborough University for the VR visualisations. I needed to get across the impact of ADHD so I decided it would be important to do this through scale and interaction to keep the viewer engaged, much like designing for someone with ADHD. I used blender to apply the surface designs and Gary helped to situate the letters into two respective environments, a long art gallery-style space and a forest.

In the gallery environment, the letters were scaled at various sizes and were given different movement properties, much like someone with ADHD. The viewers had to walk through and be immersed by these letters to reach the forest environment, where users can then interact with the letters, pick them up throw them around etc to keep the viewer engaged.