Companion Project


This project is the series of work I created during my final year in my Bachelor Degree, the end result of this work culminated in an online archive of the pieces created - With this work I attempted to make an alternative archive that shares and collects recipes, methods and thoughts around bread. Celebrating bread as an object and material that provides a reason for us to come together. The title of this project comes from the Latin translation of "companion", meaning "with bread" and "those you share bread with".

This project aimed to create a sense of companionship in an increasingly solitary time. Sharing is an integral part of the history of bread and this work was an attempt to expand on this history and create an archive using traditional and alternative methods of collecting and distributing information. This project resulted in multiple outcomes including the online archive, a book, video piece, and sculpture all of which I explain further on in this portfolio.

Image created as part of the work

It felt important to make this online work as a way to allow people to interact with the work in a time where no physical exhibitions were taking place. With this I attempted to make a digital garden to discuss the ideas and themes I had researched, share the information and visuals I had made and collected while also including some interactive, ephemeral pieces in hope that the site would not only act as a way to exhibit work but become work itself as a place for sharing and growth of ideas.

Map to find the information for the project

Towards the completion of this work I wanted to continue sharing the pieces of work not only as an archive of the work but also as a recipe of how to continue this piece. Taking all of the data, research, code and works involved in this project and sharing it with others to be adapted, used, deleted, shared. As this site was created to act as a digital garden it felt fitting that this information would be shared as seeds of data or knowledge to continue and grow the project in different contexts and environments. To do this I placed all of the data online in downloadable folders as well as on USBs and left them in areas for them to be found. This included facilities for other students as well with people who were key figures in the creation of this work including my lecturers and family, Finally I made a map to where these are and can be found, this map was then included on the 'Companion Project' site.

Next Project

Previous Project


Learning Gardens - Annika Hansteen-Izora

When starting this work I was very interested in the themes of sharing and collecting espeically as we were still very much in lockdown. I wanted to create website for this work and for the work to be the site itself. I really enjoy making websites and felt that it would be important to have work that could be interacted it with the lack of in person exhibition. When starting my research for this work I came across this idea of treating a website as a community garden. With this someone ‘plants’ a seed of knowledge which they add to and maintain with others. I liked this act of giving a website a new meaning or context and decided to treat mine in this manner to see what I could do with it.

I decided to apply the ideas of a community garden to different sections of the website. I felt like they would work for the different themes that I want to deal with.

Learning Gardens - Annika Hansteen-Izora

I also came across these need sheets from the same artist that wrote about digital community gardens. I think this could be a really nice idea of connecting people.

Could this be a space for exchange of ideas, materials, conversation?

Web Rings - Various People

I found web rings in use and really liked this idea of a randomised experience and how this can be both chronological or in an order which the creator would like the viewer to experience.

Companion Project - My Own Work

I attempted to make this kind of web ring with the different titles of what makes a good community garden.

With this you could select the title or click the random, next or previous button to be navigated to a page.

I liked this design at first but as I cam back to it, it felt too boring and uninspired.

Test web ring

Companion Project - My Own Work

I played around with images and backgrounds for the website but still felt it wasn't very intriguing or exciting.

More experiments web rings

Computer Lib - Ted Nelson

One of my lecturers suggested this book about computers and the Internet by Ted Nelson. I really liked the format of this with the book beginning at a very technical and factual viewpoint. Then shifting to a more Utopian, dream nature.

I felt this would be interesting to apply to the website. A quite factual look into bread, sharing recipes, adivce etc flipping then to a idealised or Utopian look into bread and it’s future.

I also really liked that where the book split between these two sections the author states that either could be a starting point or a point of focus, similar to a web ring.

Digital Garden - Annika Hansteen-Izora and Dan Taeyoung

I did some more reading about these digital community gardens to further my knowledge and expand the work.

“A collection of seeds dedicated to the tending of digital gardens. Knowledge re-imagining online worlds through design justice, Black Speculative Thought, Afrofuturism, AI justice, disability justice, slow web, Black Feminist Thought, emergent strategy, queer and trans justice, and other modes of thought.”

Teachings of the Garden - Carola Platzek

“In contemplating Japanese gardens, it becomes clear that these cannot be viewed as isolated from other arts or social processes. Within them, approaches of the most different provenances connect, all of which seek to achieve a balanced arrangement of the elements which comprise the spiritual and physical worlds. Thus, the Japanese garden appears as neither wholly contemplative nor purely aesthetic, but rather as a social compendium that might tell of the order which is underlying a society. The garden is a Gesamtkunstwerk, as well as an applied philosophy.

An eleventh-century Japanese gardening manual was the origin of Carola Platzek’s studies which explore the history of Japanese gardens. The essence of the Sakuteiki prevails today: the precise observation of nature in order to design a garden according to its surroundings. The Viennese cultural researcher and art historian converses with gardeners, garden historians, academics and researchers, as well as Buddhist and Shintō priests; to illuminate how they work with traditional and modern concepts which inform garden arrangement and design in Japan. The book introduces the reader to these fascinating concepts and their interconnections, which include: orientational principles such as the theories of harmony and spatial consciousness; the five elements and the four cardinal points; aesthetic paradigms as formulated in the Way of Tea, or in the genre of the Eight Views; and waka and haiku poetry.”

I again think it is important that I do more reading about gardens and community gardens especially in a more Utopian and less serious or technical manner. This is one piece of text I found that I really liked.

Various Designs - Roberto Greco, Forsythia_Forsythia, the_doe____

I came across these designs and was really drawn to them for their use of text and imagery. I think it is really interesting and some kind of design style I would like to apply to my work.

Works by various artists

Companion Project - My Own Work

I started to redesign the website. I wanted to play around with what a digital garden could look like? Especially one that was dealing with the material and themes associated with making bread. For this I found images of oats and wheat in different styles - botanical, scientific, decorative.

I’m felt this approach was a much more interesting approach to web design than the web ring. I also felt this work was a lot more sophisticated.

Test desktop layout

Test mobile layouts

Companion Project - My Own Work

I was approached to do an exhibition with Emerge magazine so wanted to display this work. This was really helpful in making me put my work together and show it to an audience for their input, feedback and interaction.

This also made me work quite quickly and really put my ideas and designs to paper. I wanted things to be simple and to evolve around this idea of a digital community garden.

Test page

Companion Project - My Own Work

While it in the end turned out very hard to get people to submit work it showed that this is because the website was too busy. It was clear to me how to navigate the work but not for others seeing it for the first time.

Gathering submissions

Companion Project - My Own Work

I also wanted to use this opportunity to work through most of the ideas I had and to begin to eliminate what didn’t work as well. One of these was the idea of the future of bread. I tried to imagine free ways of creating bread by using ingredients that could be found or grown yourself. For this I made 3 breads with recipes using found ingredients. I then made photogrammetry models of these breads.

While I really enjoyed this section and making the models I felt this work was too much on top of everything else and was work that should be explored separately as it's own piece.


Making 3D models of bread

Companion Project - My Own Work

I also created this part of the website in which I used The Game of Life to represent the cells found in bread starter. How the actions of the cells on screen recreate what happens in starters especially when shared and how this could be used as a way of sharing food when we are apart with the swapping of starters to recreate each other’s environments.

While again I really enjoyed this section and making the models I felt this work should be explored as a single piece and would be lost within this work.

Website Design Ideas - Simon Sweeney and Michele Horrigan

From both the initial exhibiton of work and asking other people to test the site I realized I had to cut down the amount of work I had. Only keeping what was most important. I also had to create clearer navigation.

I went back to look through websites of designers and artists for inspiration and ideas around navigation. From this I found the scroll bar and sideways scroll used as an effective way of navigating a viewer and displaying work clearly.

Companion Project - My Own Work

As it was too busy and difficult to both display and ask people for input I felt it might be better to use the website as an archive. Showcasing the works I had made and interactions and input I had received from others. Asking for input from people throughout the end of year showcase as the beginning for the next version of the work and archive. With this I felt the work was given more room to breathe and was clearer to navigate through.

I started to take out what I felt was important from the older version of the website and display things in a clearer way. For this I felt the use of zines and books in which I could describe my work would work nicely and be an interesting way to interact with the work. With this new design people could now click on the different images which would display the work.

Screenshot of site

Screenshot of site