Sarah-Pi Design

An earlier design of a hand fan clock.
For my design outcome 3 things came to my mind ‘preservation’, ‘contract’ and ‘time’ which have the strongest caterogy from what I’ve analysed since the beginning of this project. For my concept I had a thought of designing a clock or a bracelet watch that show the period of stage within the geisha’s contract. This is a representation of that.
How Does It Work?
When they approach a different rank which they need to complete in 2 years, for example, the clock hand forms a layer and works until the 2 years is over, and when they approach a new rank for the next 1 year (after the 2 years) a new layer forms working till’ that year is over. Each fan has a time limit, they will slowly fold out till’ it’s in its complete shape (representing the end of the geisha’s stage until she proceeds to the next) and when she completes all her stages the clock will finally complete its original shape.
When I say layer I was thinking to add an object on the clock hand to resemble one of the geisha’s most commonly used icon. Hand fan - used in all geisha’s performance, symbolising beauty & seduction. 
  • Geisha Education System
  • Geisha Training System
  • Geisha Ritual Codes (Before Training)
  • Geisha Ritual Codes (In-Between Training) 
  • Geisha Contract Letter for Older Sister (Dark Pink)
  • Geisha Contract Letter for Younger Sister (Light Pink) 

“You are enlisted to permantely train with our mentors for 5 yearsof active service. When your service is complete, you will re-enlist for 5 additional years to take the position of a “senior geisha” rank. When you pass this service, you will agree to train your little sister from the same blood mother for 1 year until she is ready to proceed her training. When your service is complete, you can now proceed finding a husband who will bare your children. You will finally train as the next mentor for 3 yearsbefore retirement”

Island Ideas

The section is taken from Kyoto - Japan, which are homed to most of the traditional geishas in modern society today.

Just a little update or perhaps, BIG! So I didn’t get the job from Dezeen, but I successfully got jobs from 3 different design companies all on September, which is even better!

8th August, I went to an interview with Sam Winston who specialises designing books, but in a odd unusual sense using typography. He gave me a task to do for a new children’s book about a child who lives in various places, such as: clouds, woods .etc. I had to research different mythical characters who connects with children and use a form of creative writing for the images on the books (using words to form an image of a cloud for example) something like this "garden eden brightly coloured petals first mother of our land…" talks about Lilith (the first actual wife of Adam until she turned into a demon stealing children’s souls). Without realising, he was testing me if I was good enough for the job so he gave me another role on September.

14th August, I’ve applied for a volunteer job at The London Design Festival and I’ll be attending one of the meetings next Tuesday. The festival hosts every year on September to gather all designers and works in an exhibition. Considering it’s only voluntary I’ll have a chance to work with others in a well known design event and I’ve always wanted to experience working in a gallery or museum.

18th July, I had a meeting with one of the owners (Rory) from designers block he gave me a chance to see other exhibitions that are going around at the moment at the South Bank Centre as the company was also calibrating with The London Design Festival. The company helps with over 45 design shows from all over the world and help design the events which are tasked to them. The interview lasted 2 hours, but he was really testing me out and I honestly knew I was screwed when I didn’t hear from him for two weeks, so I got an email today that he’ll make arrangements with his other colleague for September.

Never give up on what you want to pursuit, even there’s a closed door, force your way back inside because it’s the only way you can get notice while others are not watching!

Brief Ideas for Chapter 1

— Spitting in some cultures

— Colour in chinese culture

— Marriage in some cultures

— Monkey Buffet Festival

— Concubinage

• ‘Tesseography’ - a divination method using patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds & wine sediments. Once the cup has been drunk, the user places the cup upside down to dry so they can see the image that represents good or bad. I have a friend who has a family that reads fortune telling from a cup and she summons the images she see’s from other people’s cup. Mostly the events she told were true and some she can’t read cos’ the patterns didn’t form properly.

I’m not sure if I take this a design opportunity as it feels a too superstitious subject, but the patterns can be essential.     

• ‘Etiquette’ - different backgrounds perceive different codes of manners within society & groups. I wanted to observe the different etiquettes how they communicate within objects, such as utensils, table and food and imagine an island that extreme ethical codes matters to gain more respect to their surroundings with others and their offerings. 

However there are many things that have already been done to this, so it’s hard for a design outcome although I was more interested in the use of ‘cutlery or ustensils’ as it has a more strong reference.


• ‘Geisha’ - a group who acts as hostess, performing arts & music and given long years of training to achieve perfection of a real entertainer and beauty. I was interested in the ‘femininity’ of the geishas and the traditional values they have in Japanese culture. Although geishas are observed strictly to represent fine perfection and talent they have the free will to make their decisions themselves e.g. choose to sleep with their clients & retire whenever possible. 

• Why?

The geisha have gone through a variety of changes in their roles in the past and are now totally different from where they started out. Today modern society has around 1,000 geishas, fallen greatly and are more of a show to tourists, so the geisha tradition are not recognised anymore on what they do as great artists yet society still believes they are considered weak and vulnerable since they’re actions portray like servants rather than performers.

• My Plan!

Through my ideologies I want those characteristics & cultural tradition to stay the same, but setting a new strict code of rules so the tradition doesn’t disappear (as it used to be the art that was valved once and discipline required to becoming a geisha is not that important in Japan anymore). The activities, rituals, objects and systems will change the world on my island since geishas provides perseverance and instrumental to real Japanese culture and arts. 

•  Ritual codes!

These are just brief which are not formally planned out yet, but I want to give an impression how society viewed geishas, but through my mind will be ‘from the complete opposite’ as how the geishas were wrongly portrayed and geishas have a more stricter code to religiously follow to . So becoming a geisha is compulsory “to become a geisha” the rules follow as one.

•  One has to bare another female sibling who is younger so they can follow tradition as part of the next generation. 
•  You must not marry or have a relationship with your clients or from outside until your contract has finished. Your devolution virtually is learning the arts. 
•  Dancing eroticly is considered very bad manners even if the client complies one should not expose one’s lust. 
• You can only work with one geisha group. A geisha cannot split their loyalties between schools.
• Agree to attend all classes all clean and prepared. Becoming a geisha requires a commitment of time and energy.

22 June, I had an interview with the design company Dezeen and it went really well. Now just waiting for the results next week *fingers crossed*

Office Style - My second attempt using ArchiCAD 15.

Simple House - My first ever attempt using ArchiCAD 15. 

Snow Fall @Greenwich University ~ 06 | 02 | 12
Cafe choices @Baker Street ~ 15 | 12 | 11