Common Works is a Design and Technology studio based in London.
Formed in 2013 by Christopher Waggott, Sam Tripp and Jonny Garrill as a platform to experiment across their individual fields.
The studio has developed its practice with a focus on art direction, interactive work, moving image and emerging technologies – exploring how these disciplines intersect to create unconventional and unexpected results.
We work closely with clients and brands to establish intriguing areas of exploration and develop richer outcomes.
Common Works' core principle is to create meaningful, lasting experiences through playful interactions and rigorous design thinking.
¬ Art direction
¬ Graphic design
¬ Moving image
¬ Web development
¬ Atlantic Records
¬ Transgressive Records
Taking it’s name and narrative inspiration from the 17th century Japanese art form Ukiyo-e, Pictures Of The Floating World is an experimental animation made entirely from woodblock prints, produced using traditional cell animation techniques and custom digital programs.
Each hand drawn frame is laser cut into wooden boards before being hand printed, scanned and reassembled into a moving image. The film represents a meeting point between tradition and technology: the fusion of ancient craft with the digital production possibilities of the modern day.
The project is also an exercise in efficiency and automation. To create a film from woodblock prints using traditional methods would be a near impossible task, so we needed to develop automated CAD/CAM processes and programs to reduce the amount of frames needed to be cut.
Printing by Matt Young & Michelle Avison at Slaughterhaus.
Score & Sounds by Cassini Sound.
9th - 12 June 2016
Into The Wild - New Wing, Somerset House, London.
29th October 2016
Craft Council’s Make:Shift – V & A Museum, London.
4th May 2017
Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival – Picturehouse Central, London.
6th – 7th May 2017
Festival of Making – Blackburn.
21st June – 27th September 2017
How Will We Work at Vienna Biennale – Angewandte Innovation Laboratory, Vienna.
29th - 30th September 2017
13th September - 22nd October 2017
Cheongju Craft Biennale – Korea.
Duration: 4 minutes 45 seconds.
We partnered with the expert printmakers at Slaughterhaus to develop a process of printing woodblocks large enough to accommodate as many frames per board as possible.
Each woodblock is printed using traditional techniques and printing presses.
Each print has 21 frames on it which had to be scanned and cut out before being reassembled into a moving image.
A total of 3312 frames were needed to create the final film spanning 53 large scale prints. These were scanned at high resolution and batch processed through our program to reassemble the image sequences.
We developed programs to aid the digital to analogue workflow by automating lengthy and laborious processes. This included removing any repeating frames form the finalised image sequences, arranging the frames into contact sheets to be laser cut into woodblocks and recompiling the image sequence - reinserting the aforementioned repeating frames after printing and scanning.
We collaborated with Sound Design studio Cassini Sound to supply the Film’s soundtrack and sound effects.
The soundtrack was created by sampling and layering recordings of wood percussion instruments and blending them with synthesized sounds. The resulting composition reflects the processes used to create the film through the merging of traditional analogue instruments with modern synthesizers.
Pictures of the Floating World was first exhibited at Somerset House as part of “Into the Wild: Decoding the Creative Journey”. A viewing space was constructed from the inky black woodblocks, engaging the viewers with all aspects of the project, including a selection of the prints, a ‘making of’ film and the final animation.
Full portfolio coming soon
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