Tag Archives: assignment

Practicing our Presentation and New Project Thoughts

Presentation Takes Practice

Right well our team have been doing very well keeping on track for our 20 minute presentation which will be presented on Friday. We’ve been able to allocate topics on Stephen Webster for everyone on the team which I think is good organisation. I’m doing the introduction and talking about how Stephen Webster’s techniques and methods of grasping the public has been successful in the inspiration section of the presentation.

We have been using Google Docs to share the presentation online so that each of us can alter and add to our own slides. It has really been a team effort, giving advice and suggestions to one another. This really has made a strong bond in our team.

Yesterday, we were lucky enough to practice in one of the the Matthew Building’s lecture theatres. We even had the powerpoint up! This abled us to really see how the presentation would be like both visually and orally.

So today we are going to practice again and apply our final touches to the presentation. I am feeling very positive about our presentation as we have put a lot of effort and time into it. I have enjoyed working in a team as it gains techniques and ideas from others in the class which I can take on for the future.

Assignment 2

Yesterday morning, Chrissie Hirst, one of our module leaders, explained our next assignment. Sounds daunting! We are to write a 1,500 – 2,000 word enterprise proposal which will also outline what we are wanting to research over the summer. I am quite worried about this already as I feel a bit weak in my writing skills! This proposal will then develop into a lengthy 7,000 word report which we will write in the first Semester in Level 4.

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We have been advised to use Nesta Enterprise Toolkit Startups, which will aid in the writing of our report and help us understand how businesses start up.

Chrissie then asked us to fill out one of the worksheets from the Toolkit about what we think our values would be in business. It will be viewed by another person from our discipline which they think and will talk about with us. This will give us a better understanding of what the important values consist of for our own potential business.

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Design Proposal: Smoking

Introduction

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.

Plan

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.

Conclusion

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.

Bibliography

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.

ME LIST OF BOOKS

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.

WORK ON THE BLOG

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.

KEEP IN CONTACT WITH PEOPLE

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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Design Safari

This assignment was all about observing people. I enjoy watching people (not in a creepy way!) thus took great pleasure in carrying out this experiment.

Firstly, I read a passage from The Ethnography Primer which explains tips on becoming an Ethnographer, how important the relationship between what designers make and the meaning of their products has for people, and how observing people can relate to design. There were bits in this passage which were particularly interesting such as:

  • Ethnography allows us to understand norms like, for instance, different cultures. Muslims wear a head scarf (tudong) because of traditional reasons, and due to keeping with the commandments of Allah. However, in UK people do not wear headscarves, and sometimes we like to expose more skin than others. This may be normal to the everyday UK civilian but what about Muslims? This is all about respect, and I guess if you have come to UK from a country full of tradition and customs, you would expect to see more skin than usual. This should not affect the way you talk to them or think of them as you are in their country which has no rules on these customs.
  • Ethnography takes into account how powerful communications are. Whilst listening to a lecture I may disagree with the person speaking and react with an expression of awe. It was the power of words that caused my reaction. Sometimes I may see someone looking confused suggesting they do not understand the way in which the person is expressing something. For designers, you  may have to work out exactly why they are confused and design a method which they will understand. Maybe it’s visually?
  • By observing reality you should discover that watching what people do than say is much more meaningful. For instance, I knew a girl who announced she was vegetarian. The next day I saw her eating a bacon roll. For a designer, they could research real emotions and intentions and convey these realities through a piece of work to the public. People may become inspired and feel they ‘connect’.

Play and Observe: Primary Site

After reading the ethnography extract, I headed out to find people to observe in what’s called a ‘Primary Site’: somewhere I have not been before. So I decided to give Mecca Bingo a try.

As I sat down I realised just how big the hall was, the carpets and walls were dramaticly coloured in reds, blues, pinks, which create a sense of excitement, speed and energy. Whilst glancing round the people sitting completely absorbed into numbers, I noticed a surprising variation in age. The room was completely silent apart from the caller giving out the numbers and scribbling of pens, which created a feeling of suspense as if a climax was growing. This feeling of tension made me feel a little uncomfortable at first.

A mature lady, about 58, sat at a table on her own diagonally to me. It was clear she was a regular here as she seemed to be extremely fast with her hands and reactions. But why was she sitting on her own? In fact, I became aware that there were many older people who sat by themselves. Where was their husband/wife? Was this her/his alone time? Or did she/he prefer the wins for herself/himself? I believe this was just a hobby this lady enjoyed playing by herself as she did not look up and glance at what other people were doing. She wore a blue cardigan, a striped shirt underneath, glasses and hair cut short.

As we entered the hall we had to buy a little booklet to play the game, the one I got cost £1 but the person who was selling them was beginning to explain the other booklets you could get. She said things like “you have a chance to win £4000 if you get this booklet” or “this booklet is a common winner” etc. She actually enticed me into buying these things but I had to keep reminding myself it is very unlikely I would win anyway. There is also a little coin slot machine and numbers built into your table area where you can play more bingo but win bigger money. This entices you because it is in very easy reach and of course the money. The staff are amazingly friendly and calm, we had a good long chat with the manager of the place. I told him how surprised I was to see such a variety of people playing bingo. He said monday afternoons are usually the most varied, people from 18 to over 85 come and play no one in between. Why is this? Students wanting to make a bit of cash between lectures? Pensioners I think just come and enjoy a day out which sounds nice.  However, this sense of friendliness is clever so that people will never feel afraid to come back. Between games there seems to be a bit more chat and almost a sense of relief from concentrating so hard. I felt it too.

I then observed a couple, roughly in their late 20’s playing quite happily. Perhaps they met at the Bingo hall. The man was wearing a grey shirt, dark blue jeans, and had a tattoo on his arm. The woman had a white thin blouse on, black leggings, dark brown hair in a pony tail and a black flower in it. This makes me feel that Bingo isn’t just a hobby for old people, it is for young people too. At first I was unsure about playing Bingo, but as I saw the huge age range of people, I felt more content and comfortable. I guess you can say it is because being around people like you doesn’t make you, by yourself, stand out and look weird, thus makes you feel less nervous and self conscious.

I then seeked out my secondary sites

So today after a busy day, I sat  on a bench in front of Claire’s and Office in Overgate. There was music playing in the background to create a casual but comfortable atmosphere which is beneficial because it relaxes people whilst they go about doing their busy shopping. On the windows of Claire’s there were 4 over-sized red posters which had ‘RED NOSE DAY’ and one which had ‘ALL EARRINGS 3 FOR 2’. Simple signs like these can make all the difference as it catches people’s attention and lures them in. I finally laid my eyes upon a lady, possibly in her mid 20’s, average build and long dark reddish-brown hair (most likely dyed) which stopped just below the shoulders. She wore a beautiful black corset jacket, black glasses and a black fedora-like hat (notice everything is black?). She was accompanied by a friend, who she chatted seriously to for a second then made their way into Claire’s – possibly being enticed in by the massive posters. She tended to pick everything up and feel it, to me, this suggests she takes things into great consideration, she is inquisitive or maybe just simply interested in the tem. I believe it is important for customers to be able to touch things as they will get to know the piece and identify with it. If everything were in plastic casings it would be less of an attraction: you would not know how well it had been made and how it feels to wear.

Another two girls walk right past, about 16 years of age, one of the girls is chatting away to her friend in an annoyed serious tone. Was she talking about a someone she found annoying? Or was that just her normal manner of speaking? She looks like she takes great care in her appearance: fake tan; thick eyelashes; leopard print top; chestnut-brown hair. As she speaks she does not look once at her friend, is this a real friend or is she on the look out for other people?

Two old men, both wearing glasses, green weather-proof jackets, black trousers walk casually past, enjoying conversation with one another. It is clear they are extroverts and have been friends for many years just by looking at their cheerful and relaxed body language. They do not look into shop windows, in fact they do not look like they are shopping at all, perhaps just having a nice walk through the town. Why are they dressed the same? Is Bourdieu right? Is it because of their friendship they have begun to dress similar to one another?

I made the Health Care Centre in Wallace Town another Secondary site as I was waiting for my appointment with a doctor. The room had a low ceiling, drab lighting, old faded carpet and furniture and was very quiet. There was a mother and her daughter sitting across from me, the girl had a white cardigan on, glasses, hair tied in a pony tail, black trackies on and trainers.I suspected she was the one in for the doctor. She was immersed in playing a game on her pink phone. Was pink her favourite colour? Pink symbolises energy; excitement; fun – does this represent her personality? Her mother was watching her, glancing round every so often. I was never allowed to play games on my Nintendo in front of my mum unless I was really ill, was this the case in this situation? Was her daughter really ill? The mother had pursed lips, a dark blue weather-proof jacket on, jeans, a flowery bag and nicely-kept hair. This to me suggests she is not very confident with her body as she is wearing quite plain colours whilst her bag is the opposite. Her pursed lips imply that perhaps she is a serious kind of person, worries a lot and is a hard-worker.

Discussion

After my observations, me and two of my friends gathered and talked about our experience when we went to play Bingo. We agreed that the hall was coloured to entice people in and create a fun and exciting atmosphere. The staff were overly friendly, welcoming and down to earth as if they could relate to anyone so that they made customers feel at ease and comfortable. Gamblers attitudes in the game were:

  • Over-excitement – for example, a lady shouted “HOUSE!” really loudly and excitedly over winning a tenner. Possibly this was her first ever win at Bingo, as I would probably be the same!
  • Adrenalin – as the numbers are given by the caller everyone’s heads are down and you can see they are all on edge, biting their lip, not blinking. I guess the adrenalin of winning something can be so addictive, I experienced it too.
  • Tension – between games people chat but as soon as the game begins a whole sense of suspense settles into the room. Complete silence.

We also discussed how easy it is to spend money, due to the well-designed and easy reach coin slot machines on the tables. You become influenced by other people inserting coins into them because sometimes they win, which, in turn, makes you believe you have a chance. In addition, when someone wins a round, you realise people become more competitive and attentive as they shuffle in their seats and whisper. Some tables were occupied by, what looked like, families as though the parents were wanting to make more money for the family because her job does not pay quite enough.

Conclusion

This research into observing people into detail gives me a great insight into how design effects how people act. From the relaxing music creating a casual atmosphere in Overgate to the anticipating silence conveying a sense of suspense and excitement at Bingo. Luring people by dramatic posters in Claire’s to the easy reach coin slot machines at Bingo. Simply being able to interact and touch items in shops can increase sales dramaticly. All these pieces of design makes such a difference, not only for the customers pleasure, but for the sellers pockets too.

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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.

Discussion

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.

Evaluation

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.

 

TASTE
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
INFLUENCES
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.
POSSESSIONS
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.
ENVIRONMENT
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. http://www.klimt02.net/

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

Goldsmiths Hall: http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/goldsmiths%27-hall/

New Designers: Offers designers a chance for getting recognition with big companies and organisations by exhibiting work. http://www.newdesigners.com/

Gallerie Marzee: Displays current exhibitions and events of modern jewellery in the Galerie Marzee, one of the largest galleries in the Netherlands. http://www.marzee.nl/galerie/

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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