Week 1: Magical Objects in Museums

Find an Object:

We will start the year with this prime project ‘Magical Objects in Museums’, which is set to explore ways of seeing, understanding and interpreting museum objects, associated events, places, stories and learning to look beyond the visible into the unseen.

In this way, you are asked to find the historical, cultural, social or ecological background of ONE founded object, and more importantly, to add your own imagination, narrative and interpretation to it based on these findings.

Weekly outputs include:

  1. A studio diary/workbook that documents your daily exploration and reflections around this museum object, includes background knowledge, concerns analysis, the original site interpretation (where it’s from + contextual analysis), your inspirations etc. try to draw all visible and invisible qualities of this selected object.

Note: This studio diary is part of your development work, which is normally 35-40% of your overall mark by the end of the semester. It will be the primary resource of your study and your design thinking, please take care of it.

Example of a good studio diary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X70cekbATM4 (Olivia Hornby)

  • Magic of Objects: Conjuring up the Unreal – please try to produce Two A3 (Physical or Digital) drawings that show the hidden spectacular of the object. Use your imagination to conjure up ideas, simulate novel objects, people and places in the mind’s eye. It is like a cognitive process used in mental functioning and involves thinking about possibilities.

Please feel free to draw inspirations from art, novels and films, make this object can evoke tangential thoughts, from sentiment to extravagant illusions.

“The real is never beautiful. Beauty is a value which applies only to the imaginary and which entails the negation of the world in its essential structure”.  – Jean Paul Sartre, The Imagination

Note: All students will be asked to pin up two A3 and show their studio diary on Monday 4th October in studio. Please produce a 250 word (referenced), critical appraisal explaining your drawings and any relevant associations between the works.


The Lonely Hearts Club by Qiuyu Jiang

Inspired by the song – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from the Beatles, this digital drawing explores bionic objects from the natural science museum, and the drawing portraits a new relationship based on the future connections between humans, objects and technology development.

Recreating the Musical Score

The curation process of ‘Recreating the Musical Score’


  1. Stick with one object
  2. Conduct an in-depth analysis around this object (+ relevant events, places, stories)
  3. The A3 drawing ‘Magic of Objects: Conjuring up the Unreal’ can be curated through one perspective of your research + interpretation, don’t overthink it.
  4. Make good references if you draw inspirations from other works
  5. Take time for your critical appraisal explaining your drawings, and make good reflections for the pin-up next week.

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