Category Archives: Assignment

Design & The Market: Research Your Business

For our first Design & The Market we have been asked to identify an enterprise, such as a company or freelance designer, to research and evaluate, followed by a presentation about that business. This should help us understand and acknowledge of what running a business is like.

Today, we allocated ourselves into teams. My team includes Linsay Thompson, Lucie Hunter, Cat Doyle, Rachel Bruce, Jennifer McGurk and myself. We sat down and had a brainstorm of which successful designers and companies we would benefit  from most and decided on Steven Webster, who creates cutting edge, almost glam goth, jewellery.

We decided as a group which individuals were best at talking, researching and presentations, thus, making sure we were organised to proceed knowing which person was doing what in the continuation of the project. Through the technique of brainstorming our team thought about different questions and things to look for in more detail when researching Webster’s company, including market research; what is happening in the Jewellery industry?; What are the trends? And so fourth.

It was a successful first meeting, everyone seems to be excited and enthusiastic about the project. So looking forward to hopefully getting in contact with the ‘Webster’ himself.

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Design Proposal: Smoking


Four million people die worldwide each year from smoking and tobacco kills 60% of its customers. Why don’t these figures scare smokers? Smoking is becoming a big problem around the UK as more and more young people take to the fag. In Semester 1 I created a mind map titled ‘Suicide, Smoking and the Search for the Unsticky Cigarette’, a chapter from ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell, and discussed with others possible ways in which to resolve the issues explained. Through utilising my findings in Semester 1 and different methods from Assignment 1 to 4 in Semester 2, I will be researching the topic of smoking in depth to find out real reasons why young people begin to smoke and what influences them.

Research Method

Our first assignment in Semester 2 ‘Are You What You Wear/Buy/Sit On/Sleep In/Talk To?’ was about analysing photos of someone’s house or childhood photos to determine what kind of person they are. I believe this method would not give you genuine reasons as to why people smoke because you need to find out what kind of person they are from talking to them. Some people create false statements through their room, thus talking face to face with them will give you valid answers and real emotion straightaway. Perhaps you may find some hints like stubbed out cigarettes in an ashtray or equipment for smoking but this information cannot explain why they smoke or if they had been influenced in any way. Thus, I feel you cannot determine a person’s motives for smoking by simply snooping around their house as information gathered may not be supported enough.

Observing people smoking could be a method of noticing similarities between smokers. For instance, you may become aware that smokers generally light up in groups thus suggesting that smoking is sociable and beneficial in making new friends. A means of recording this information could be writing a survey for yourself, having a list of possible situations of how people are smoking (smoking in groups, smoking alone, girl smoking, and boy smoking). To gather more blunt results go out at night and record how many people stand outside pubs and clubs, determine how many people are smoking by themselves to people who are smoking in groups. You may notice a huge difference between the two. At the end of the experiment you could see what situation was most common in how people smoke, thus implying that perhaps this is a reason why people smoke. This message of ‘smoking is beneficial in making friends’ creates a positive image in young people’s brains. Adolescents crave the idea of fitting in, being accepted, and being part of the ‘cool’ group but why is smoking perceived as ‘cool’? I have read many articles arguing this issue and many of them utter the same reasons. One study conducted by E. J. Salber, B. Welsh, and S. V. Taylor in November, 1959 to students in the public high schools of Newton, Massachusetts demonstrated that ‘conformity to peer group’ was by far the commonest reason as to why young people smoke. Conformity meaning compliance in actions or behaviour: ‘“to follow the crowd”, “because it’s fashionable”, “to be one of the gang”’. These statements are echoed among young people today and consequently emphasising the idea of ‘sociability and cigarette’: perhaps the main attraction and cause for young people smoking. In Semester 1, we discussed how cigarettes are well designed: they have been cleverly advertised; conveyed as elegant, sociable and sophisticated; they are sticky. The tobacco industry has lied to customers by portraying positive images of smoking and not showing adverse side effects. How can adverts communicate to young people more effectively? Instead of advertising how bad smoking is for your health, perhaps we should almost embarrass young people’s actions: that they copy and are influenced by their friends smoking rather than their parents as motives are more powerful than actual behaviour.

An assignment called ‘What Images Mean’, Semester 2, involved giving a person three photographs and asking them to create a brief story using those photos. I consider this a beneficial technique because you can learn how adolescents think and perceive images. In a case for smoking, you could give an adolescent two photographs: one of someone with a cigarette, the other without. Ask them to perhaps describe the person in each photo, you may notice a difference in the attitudes. It is likely the person holding the cigarette will be portrayed by youth as sexy, cool and sociable suggesting how wrong the image for a smoking has become. Ask the adolescent to create a story using the person smoking linked with two other photographs and then another with the person not smoking. Is there a distinct dissimilarity between the two stories described? This method of asking young people to tell a story using images of smoking and non-smoking is an effective technique because it can show that tobacco use has been portrayed to young people as a positive activity, not a deathly cancerous addiction.

I believe a good method in receiving truthful views, reasons, and suggestions are from interviewing young smokers, discontinuous smokers and non-smokers. Interviews would be a good technique because you can ask questions to people who have actually experienced smoking in youth culture and get real explanations as to what influenced them to smoke. A documentary film ‘Scene Smoking: Cigarettes, Cinema, & the Myth of Cool’ by Terry Moloney talks about smoking in films and how it possibly has an effect on youth today. Films including tobacco use are portraying the complete wrong idea to young people, that smoking is a popular, sultry, socially seductive, and normal behaviour. When have you ever seen a film with someone dying of a smoking-related disease? This normalising of smoking can increase the chance of young people to light up because they will perceive the cigarette as being safe and ordinary: “The more young people are exposed to smoking images, the more it normalises the behaviour to them”, Alisa Lyons, UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies. Perhaps when interviewing people you could ask questions related to film: “are you influenced to smoke by your favourite movie star or celebrity?”, “do you believe that what people see in films influence their behaviour?”, “what is your view of tobacco use in movies?” In addition, asking them what their favourite film could reveal why they smoke, for instance, ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, there are numerous scenes of Bridget smoking which conveys images into adolescent’s minds. What surprises me is this film was in fact rated for children aged 15 – could this be a reason why smoking is attracting today’s youth? After reading an article from The Sunday Times Online: ‘Smoking kills? Yaay, that’s so cool, say teens’ my thoughts turn to warning labels and anti-smoking adverts: have these messages caused young people to rebel? I am beginning to believe that young people are starting to light up because it activates a rebellious side to them. Thus, questions about anti-smoking messages could be asked: “do warning labels on cigarette packets affect your smoking habits?”, “do you think young people smoke because they want to rebel?” Another way of obtaining different suggestions is by interviewing health professionals or tobacco sellers. Asking salesmen, “how do you think young people get hold of cigarettes these days?” and “what ways are there to combat this problem?” Therefore, I think interviewing young people, health professionals and tobacco sellers is an effective method in obtaining genuine thoughts, suggestions and reasons in youth smoking.


I think this research should be carried out when the town, schools, and universities are busy, thus, during term time when all the students are back from holiday. This allows you to have more young people to interview and carry out research on. All the experiments will most likely need about six months to finalise as after every process you would need to write brief summaries of what was said by students, conclude surveys, discuss results and thoughts from other fellow research partners, and analyse results from all investigations. I believe working with others would be greatly beneficial because there would be different opinions, varied thoughts and additional results, therefore, the overall research would be more accurate.


I feel observing, analysing and interviewing smokers, discontinuous smokers, and non-smokers would be a beneficial way of helping to determine the reasons for young people to light up. Seeing smokers in action can help reveal the attractions of why adolescents want to smoke: because it looks sociable and helps in meeting new people; asking youth to analyse photographs of smoking and non-smoking can determine their views on tobacco use – whether it is seen as a positive activity; and the most effective method, interviewing can provide researchers with honest, varied and truthful reasons for smoking.


Bee, P., (May 10, 2010) ‘Smoking kills? Yaay, that’s so cool, say teens’, The Sunday Times

Gladwell, M. (2000) The Tipping Point, Great Britain: Little, Brown.

Lyons, A., (Cited by Bee, P., 2010) UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, ‘Smoking kills? Yaay, that’s so cool, say teens’, The Sunday Times

‘Scene Smoking: Cigarettes, Cinema, & the Myth of Cool: Smoking in Film and Television’ (April 2001) Moloney, T., USA [documentary]

Salber, E. J., Taylor, S. V., and Welsh, B (June 1972) ‘Reasons for Smoking Given By Secondary School Children’, Journal of Health and Human Behaviour, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 118-129


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Summer Reading and Other Plans

Now it’s time to plan for summer. For I will read 5 books as a result of Design Studies and explain why, identify 5 things I will do to my blog over the summer and when, and lastly, identify 5 people I will connect to.


The 5 books I will read are:

  • ‘Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking’ by Malcolm Gladwell

I enjoyed reading Gladwell’s ‘Tipping Point’ and liked the way it was written, hopefully this book will help me in making decisions in my chosen discipline.

  • ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’ by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

This book deals with the topic of recycling which I am interested in. I would like to take this into consideration when making jewellery and help minimise waste in the process (chemicals when etching/discarding of metals).

  • ‘In The Bubble: Designing in a Complex World’ by John Thackara

From reading the summary of this book, I can see it talks about how people have lost sight of what stuff is for. It focusses on services and people instead of relying of technology, thus, may spark inspiration and where to go with my work.

  • ‘Persuasion: The Art of Influencing People’ by James Borg

Throughout Design Studies, we have been assigned tasks which involve sociology and people, for jewellery, this book should aid in talking to possible clients and persuading them or even persuading people to employ you.

  • ‘Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come Unstuck’ by Dan Heath and Chip Heath

Design is only successful when people actually by your products. Perhaps this book will help me with designing jewellery which will sell and how to create good design.


So, now turning my attention to blogging. What ways are there to improve my blog? What else can I do to my blog to make it more attractive? How can I get my blog read by more people? Here are 5 things I attempt to do to my blog:

  • Comment and read more of other peoples blogs which may help in increasing popularity of my own.
  • Consider utilising other widgets and plug-ins to make my blog look more sophisticated and mature.
  • Possibly create a timetable of blogging minimum 3 times a week about things I have seen/read to get me into the rhythm of things and improve my blogging.
  • Link my twitter page to my blog page to increase popularity.
  • Add a delicious widget to show viewers my interests.


5 people I have decided to connect with over the summer are:

  • Liza Maclean a lady who is design-business related.
  • Kate Pickering through Vanilla Ink who has had jewellery design experience.
  • Patricia Lip, a girl of different ethnicity.
  • I am particularly excited to connect with 2 jewellers who I have not spoken to before because it will be a new experience and mature.

Hopefully this means of connecting with fellow design students will improve my skills in talking to people through the web which will help for future job employment and connections. All very exciting, bring on the sun!

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Assignment 4: Interviews

After researching how people act and their behaviours in certain environments, we were asked, in this assignment, to interview people we did not know through the theme of one main question. The question I chose was:

What do people treasure the most and why?

Before carrying out the interviews I decided to brainstorm different areas the topic covers, different things I wanted to find out, and the types of questions I could ask.

I held the interviews in my bedroom with lamp lighting and incense burning because I wanted to create a nice chilled-out atmosphere where people would feel comfortable and relaxed. To begin the interview I informed the person of the main question to give them an idea of what the interview was all about. At first they seemed a little unsettled and indecisive, perhaps they have never thought about it. However, I told them I would ask different questions to get closer to what they treasured most, such as ‘what is the best present you have ever received? Why?’, ‘what is your favourite pastime? Why?’, ‘which person had a huge positive impact in your life? Why?’ I was surprised by the amount of contribution and information people gave me as they ended up giving me very personal and sentimental stories – there was one story which brought a tear to my eye!

Overall, I found that what people treasure is, in fact, other people – relatives, friends and family. One girl said she would not be who she was because of her best friend, everything she does reminds her of her friend. So does this mean whoever you get close to you become similar to them? You get inspired by their actions? Begin to think the same way? Possibly, Pierre Bordieu suggested that over time you begin to dress similar to the people you spend a lot of time with. The majority of the people said they feel inspired and determined to do better by the people they love most, thus, friends and family are very influential in things you, for instance, my dad is a very hard worker and smart which makes me want to do well at everything I do.

A girl told me she treasures some sacred rosary beads handed down from her great grand-father. Firstly, I felt very touched that she would share this with me, but it also conveys how an item can be transformed into such a powerful and intimate thing. It is as if the beads have healing properties that can curb loneliness, this stresses the importance of items which are given from close relatives, as if they have left behind their presence in an item.

I discussed my findings further with others. We all had similar results, people were of most importance. I read part of an article: Jussim, L., Wayne Osgood, D., (1989) ‘Influence and Similarity Among Friends: An Integrative Model Applied to Incarcerated Adolescents’ , Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 2 pp. 98-112, which discussed how we are tied to each other – how other people act and express feelings can become a strong influence. These findings suggest just how important people are in shaping the way we act and behave in everyday life, perhaps we do not know or even want to believe we are so easily influenced but in reality you are influenced.

Overall, I believe my interviewing technique was good because all my questions were not yes and no answers, people expanded frequently on what they were saying. I got a lot of useful information out of people. I actually think people contributed more because of the atmosphere and the manner I spoke to them, as if I were just having a casual chat with them which in return made them feel more comfortable. All the interviews were recorded (I informed them beforehand) which did not make a difference in the way they spoke, I think it was because of how relaxed the conversation flowed. From my findings, I believe people treasure family, friends and relatives the most, as they shape the person who they have become, strive them for a better education, and are there for support when times get hard. Objects can only do so much in the end.


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What Images Mean

Assignment 2

For this next assignment, we were asked to find out what images mean to different people. The purpose of experimenting with images and objects I think is to try and consider how you could use this as a research method and to understand the concept of polysemy.

First I shall explain what polysemy means: with many significations or from Greek polusēmos having many meanings.

For the first part of this assignment we were advised to read Roland Barthes‘s essay ‘The Rhetoric of Image’ (essay taken from the book on right) which explores the relationship between images and text. He uses a Panzani advert, as an example, to demonstrate how from just one image can open a whole variety of underlying messages. I found this essay very tricky to read as Barthes first wrote the piece in academic French then translated it into English, but the main key points I think were conveyed well. Such as:

  • Images in advertising are purposely made to be easily understood so that the public can quickly grasp what the advertisement is trying to sell/say.
  • He sees two linguistic messages conveyed from the Panzani advertisement: the labels and captions on the produce create a denoted message. There was also a connoted message implied by the word ‘Panzani’ illustrating a cultural ethnicity, in this case, of Italianicity.
  • He then sees another underlying meaning, a symbolic message. For example, the half-open string bag portrays a come-back to the market meaning; tomatoes and peppers imply a feeling of Italianicity; the gathering of objects and vegetables signify a culinary service; the arrangement of the scene is similar to that of a still-life.
  • The third message is the literal message, the actual individual items in the image (a packet of pasta represents a packet of pasta), thus this is a message without a code.

After reading the essay and feeling confused I selected three random photographs using the website Stock.xchng and began the experiment. The pictures I chose are below, not in any specific order.

I asked different people to look at the images and tell a brief story linking all three together. Next I wrote down the key information from each story told, which were all completely different. When I had summarised all of them I selected one to be my target story. The task was to add a fourth image so that everyone I showed the images to would come up with the same target story.  The fourth image is below.

The initial story was from Kirstie, aged 23, female, studies Physiotherapy and born in Brunei Darrusalam. Her story went something like this: A couple owned a fruit and veg stall, whilst on the stall their kids are looked after by their grandma, she takes them to play ground to go on swings, this is where they find stray cat, they take it home.

The result was really surprising! 4 out of the 5 people told a similar story from the four images, without me even putting them in the correct order! Each of the 4 stories ended with kids taking the cat home. However I was determined for the last girl to follow suit. It was pretty simple, I just added one word for each image (fruit stall – couple, swings – children, cat on grass – stray, cat in bed – home). I then asked her how I could have made the target story more obvious. Her answer was possibly to have a cat with a collar on, the cat playing with children inside or the cat sleeping on someone’s lap. I also noticed in both stories that there was no suggestion the cat was a stray, her reason behind this was because she loves cats and does not want to imagine them stray and abandoned. This is interesting as now I think people’s taste can have a huge effect on image meaning.

Now from reading the essay and through experimenting with images, I have found that my understanding of polysemy has grown. That, indeed, an image can have multiple layers of meanings but can also have an affect and become misunderstood by different people, perhaps due to their cultural background, bringing up, schooling and, in Pierre Bordieu’s book I read, it could even be down to social class. So polysemy in jewellery can create problems as you may percieve your own piece in such a way but others may see it in a totally different light. Maybe you did this purposely to keep the public questioning about your piece but sometimes it is important to fix the meaning of your work (Lighting, colours used, composition etc), or else your work could be reviewed in an art newspaper for everybody to see besides the fact that what is being said about your piece may be complete nonsense.

However, the essay as a whole raises the question ‘how does this relate to my discipline’ – jewellery? Well I think it relates to me as an individual. How do I come across to other people? How do others percieve me? How can I present my work in such a way to attract clients? Because if I place my piece on, let’s say, some sand, it may detract from the true meaning of my piece. I think this plays a big role in my discipline because if a client wants to interview me and I come in with a frown on my face of shabby clothes, it will turn the client off straight away. Appearance, enthusiasm and confidence in your own work is essential in luring customers in.

Are You What You Wear/Buy/Sit/ On/Sleep In/Talk To?

For this assignment we were asked to team up with a student from a different discipline who we did not know well and swap photos and contact details with one another. We were NOT allowed to discuss the photos with them. We then had to analyse them asking questions to ourselves like ‘What do they like? What are their favourite colours? Who are their influences? etc’. For my partner, I received three photos of her bedroom.

Analysis and Deduction

From looking at her pictures, I can say that perhaps she likes animal print (blanket), knitting and craft (needles on her desk and probably craft box beneath them), fashion (posters of fashion above her desk), handbags (hanging on the back of door), clothes, and tattoos (Ed Hardy book on top of her stack of books on her desk). This suggests she likes patterns, enjoys making things herself especially using fabric (and also supported by the fact she does textiles), likes to keep up with the latest trends and fashion (especially supported by the Gucci hand bags), and takes an interest in tattoo designs. There is a Cream book on her desk which probably implies she likes the band? There is an abundance of pink and black in her room, possibly colours she likes?

Her influences could be from her friends as there is a picture of her and her friend, both looking alike. They look like they take pride in their appearance and takes care of themselves. She perhaps is significantly influenced by ‘what’s hot now’ (magazines, tv, fashion) due to the amount of fashion pictures above her desk. My partner looks like an extrovert, supported by the crown symbols on her duvet which emphasises the idea that she likes feeling like a princess? Thinks highly of herself? There is alcohol next to her window suggesting she likes going out, socialising and having fun and, in addition, there is fruit suggesting she likes to keep healthy and look after herself.

She possesses a laptop, a variety of creams, hair products, alcohol, shoes, hand bags, clock, Ed Hardy book and a paisley print scarf, thus, looks like she is middle class. Everything looks new, well looked after, organised and tidy, backed up by the boxes and containers to keep everything sorted and neat and the calendar. Everything looks like a similar style but bought from different shops.

My partner has customised her space by placing nic-nacs and objects in containers: organisation and tidiness is obviously crucial to her, the space is uncluttered possibly suggesting she feels stressed when surrounded by mess. Her room is well-lit, maybe due to the needle-work and her discipline, her space is also comfortable – a sign of high conscientiousness.


After analysing the photos, we contacted each other and discussed our findings. I was pretty accurate apart from she did not like the colours pink and black and no she did not like the band ‘Cream’ at all. I got everything else right – how she takes pride in her appearance, she likes to look after herself, she loves tattoos, fashion and craft.

Her analysis of me was pretty much spot on! She said I was well-travelled, influenced by my sister and brought back objects from all over the world. She has not revealed anything new about me, I already knew I love colour and pattern and that my home is comfortable.


From this experiment, I learnt that my personality and home ambience can easily be conveyed simply through looking at pictures from my past. On the other hand, looking at my partners life, apart from feeling like an intruder, I felt very different to her. Different in personality, lifestyle and culture because in my room there are objects and trinkets from all over the world and in my partners room there were none. In the end, this saddens me because sometimes I wish I had just grown up in one place so that I would feel properly settled and feel like I properly fitted in. But in a different context, I feel fine that somebody has analysed my pictures because it would maybe give them an altered perception of life or they may just gain something from it. Who knows.


What do they like? Animal print (duvet), hand bags, knitting (craft, needles on her desk), fashion (from the posters above her desk), Ed Hardy tattoo box on desk
Who are their favourite bands or TV Stars? Cream
Favourite authors?
Favourite Colours? Pink, black
There is a picture of her and her friend, they both look like they take pride in their appearance, take care of themselves. Looks like she keeps up with the present trends due to the amount of pictures above her desk and the Gucci hand bags hanging on her door. Looks like an extravert due to the crowns on her duvet maybe thinking she’s a princess? (sorry!) Also the picture on her bedside table she’s with her friend, looks like they’re at a party or club thus likes to socialise and have fun.
What do they own? Laptop, creams, hair products, alcohol, shoes, hand bags, clock, Ed Hardy book, Cream book, paisley print scarf hanging on wall.
Are they middle class? MIDDLE
Is everything new? Looks new, well looked after, organised, tidy.
Is there a mix of styles or does everything look like it was bought at the same time or from the same shop? Everything looks the same but bought from different shops.
How have they customised the space around them? Everything’s in containers, a calendar with a pencil under it, organisation and tidiness is obviously crucial to her, the space is uncluttered, well lit, comfortable and her books are organised a sign of high concientiousness.
How have they made their own? Yes, I think she likes pattern.


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Assignment 4: Reading and Reviewing

Learning Through Sesame Street

I enjoyed doing this assignment as I learnt how to use the library cross-search engine to find accurate journals and articles, understand how to make children’s knowledge develop effectively and write a harvard reference bibliography.

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Assignment 3: Looking up, Looking Down


Today we have been busy advancing our understanding from Assignment 2 by looking at different journals, web sites and magazines. Initially we had to understand the difference between journals and magazines: “Journals” have been read by peers to approve it before being published so it will have a lengthy list of contributors, “Magazines” are unlikely to have any valid facts and will usually have just one ‘editor’.

Examples of journals are:

Jewellery: Goldsmith’s Review, Craft Arts International Review, American Craft, Metal Smith

Design: Cabinet, Dmi Review, CoDesign, Leonardo, New Design

Websites Useful for Jewellery

Klimt O2: Excellent for discovering new jewellers from around the world, getting involved in debates, and receiving information about contemporary jewellery.

Mike Press Blog: A place to exchange ideas and thoughts with other fellow designers and gives recent design news.

Goldsmiths Hall:

New Designers: Offers designers a chance for getting recognition with big companies and organisations by exhibiting work.

Gallerie Marzee: Displays current exhibitions and events of modern jewellery in the Galerie Marzee, one of the largest galleries in the Netherlands.

Websites Useful for Development News

The Gaurdian: Can read the latest news on various topics (science, business, law etc)

BBC News: Get the latest news and watch it live, can also see other topics (health, politics etc)

National Geographic: Inspires people to take care of the world. Displays excellent photographs on various subjects. It’s interests include geography, wildlife, science etc.

New Scientist: Great site which involves recent scientific discovery and its industrial, commercial and social consequences in a wide variety of topics. Includes fascinating facts, news, features and stories.

Wired: Recent technology news, articles and blogs. For people who want to know the next upcoming technology. Includes fascinating content and photographs.

We also used the library search engine Cross Search to find books and abstracts associated to our topic brainstormed in the previous assignment. I am looking up the psychology of Sesame Street.

Harvard Referencing Bibliography

Evans, M. A. (2009) ‘Letter names and alphabet book reading by senior kindergartners: An eye movement study’, Child Development, vol. 80, iss. 6, pp. 1824-1841.

This study explored the eye movements of twenty 5-year-old children as they read an alphabet book. It was aimed to discover how the letters, words, and pictures in the book were attracting the eye and if printed alphabet interested the children. Results indicated that the print were unsuccessful for getting the kids attention, it took longer to understand them than the pictures. In addition, children who knew the letters began looking around the featured letter – looking at the whole word and its first letter etc. Therefore shows alphabetic books may help not only with letter recognition but word recognition.

Heine, A (2010) ‘What the eyes already know: using eye movement measurement to tap into children’s implicit numerical magnitude representations’, Infant and child development, vol. 19, iss. 2, pp. 175-186.

In this article, Heine uses primary school children’s eye movement measurement to examine the growth of basic knowledge about numerical size. The experiment consisted of 2 similar versions of a number estimation task, however one was limited to behavioural measures, and the other to eye-movement.

Linebarger, D. L. (2005) ‘Infants’ and toddlers’ television viewing and language outcomes’, American behavioural scientist, vol. 48, iss. 5, pp. 624.

This study examined the effects of watching television on the development of vocabulary and language among children, over a two year duration from ages 6 to 30 months old. Using hierachical linear modelling techniques and growth charts allowed researchers to observe the relationship between television viewing and the child’s vocabulary knowledge and expressive language. The results showed that children viewing television increased their language skills rapidly. Certain programs like Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues and Arthur resulted in greater vocabulary knowledge and higher expressive language scores, however Teletubbies resulted in fewer vocabulary words and smaller expressive language scores. Sesame Street’s results related to fewer vocabulary words but more expressive language. The reasons for the differences are discussed in the book. In conclusion, the exposure of television to children can have great impact for their vocabulary knowledge and language skills.

Minton, J. H. (1975) ‘The impact of Sesame Street on Readiness’, Sociology of Education, vol. 48, iss. 2, pp. 141-151.

This book deals with the first season of Sesame Street, investigating if the show affects the readiness of kindergarten children. Results suggest children from advantaged homes scored higher on the alphabet subtest. However, the test concluded there were no differences between subgroups. Proved that Sesame Street is a great teacher for letter recognition on kindergarten children, nevertheless the results were not consistent.

Reynolds, G. D., Richards, J. E.(2005) ‘Familiarization, Attention, and Recognition Memory in Infancy: An Event- Related Potential and Cortical Source Localization Study’, Developmental Psychology, vol. 41, iss. 1, pp. 598-615.

This book examines the response of familiarisation, recognition and attention in infants ranging from 4 ½ to 7 ½ months old. The children were either familiarised with 2 stimuli that were used in later tests or shown 2 stimuli which were not used later. The children are shown an episode of Sesame Street to draw out attention or inattention and shown familiar stimuli and novel stimuli. The researchers compared the two groups of children’s responses.

Rice, M. L. (1990) ‘Words from “Sesame Street”: Learning vocabulary while viewing’, Development psychology, vol. 26, iss. 3, pp. 421-428.

Rice discusses that the children’s programme ‘Sesame Street’ is well suited for vocabulary development of preschoolers. Five 1-week diaries about the television programme were collected from the children; 1 group were ages 3 to 5 and the other 5 to 7. The group of children aged 3 to 5 benefited more from the programme than the group aged 5 to 7. The outcome indicates that the subject matters and set-up of “Sesame Street” are positively apt for the growth of preschoolers’ vocabulary.

Richards, J. E. (1997) ‘Effects of attention on infants preference fro briefly exposed visual stimuli in paired-comparison recognition-memory paradigm’, Development psychology, vol. 33, iss. 1, pp. 22.

This book explores the effect of attention in babies 3 to 6 month old and their event-related-potentials throughout the recognition of short presented visual stimuli. They were shown the movie Sesame Street that brought forth phases of attention and disinterest. One visual stimuli was familiar to the infants and came up frequently throughout the movie, a second was familiar but came up less frequently, and a series of 14 stimuli were also played less frequently. Results showed that attention helps the brain respond during children’s recognition memory and show that changes in development of recognition memory are very similar to the changes in attention.

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Assignment 2: Brainstorming

In our 2nd Seminar we were asked to get into small groups and brainstorm one part of the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.  Our group of 3 focussed on the Stickiness Factor chapter. To begin, we wrote as many ideas and words associated to the chapter, then tried to come up with ideas to solve the problems. For instance, in this chapter, we wrote many problems concerning Sesame Street and how it was not ‘sticky’ with the kids, then wrote possible solutions like  letting the children watch the programme at nursery then after the show let them draw memorable parts and characters. This allows the kids to remember the particular bit chosen better and may make them pay attention more.

Next, we discussed how design could be related to the ‘Stickiness Factor’. This took A LONG TIME. We came up with weird things like “textiles relates as they could make inspired costumes from Sesame Street for the kids to wear whilst watching the show”. Then we started to get possible ideas that could actually work: create ipods in the shape of sesame street faces and have educational play station games etc.

To finish we made an A2 poster showing where our thinking took us.

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The Tipping Point Mind Map

In our design theory we have been studying the book The Tipping Point. We had to create mind maps for each chapter of the book using Tony Buzan’s Mind Mapping techniques.

We were also told to pick a section of The Tipping Point that we were interested in and add as much detail as we could. I chose chapter seven: Suicide, Smoking, and the Search for the Unsticky Cigarette.

After creating these mind maps I find I understand the book much better. I believe mind mapping is a great aid for studying as they are visually stimulating and concise. I have added code-words and images to help me remember certain things.

We then had to produce an annotated bibliography in Harvard style and instead of just annotating one section of the book I annotated the WHOLE book! Oh well… least I’ve really had a good read of the book. To view my annotated bibliography please click on the link below then again at the new window.

Harvard Referencing TABLE

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