Tuesday, 17 November 2009

For the second part of the third assignment I had to choose 5 websites related to my textile discipline and 5 out of discipline.
This magazine is amazing. I love looking at all the different designers work. It's great for inspiration!
Again, a fantastic source of inspiration and really motivating.
Fashion illustration is something which has really interested me for years now. This website is great for seeing the variety of styles and techniques which is out there.
It's an original but a daily read for me :)
This is one of my favourite websites. It's unique, original, I just love it!!
For assignment 3 we were given the task of finding resources which are linked to the idea which evloved in assignment 2. For myself this idea was based on social behaviour. After finding resources the task is to post them on this blog using the harvard method and then write a short summary on how they relate and their relevance.

Booth and Hasking, C and P, (4/5/2009), Social anxiety and alcohol consumption: The role of alcohol expectancies and reward sensitivity, Austrailia, Elsevier Ltd.

I decided I wanted to take my research into the field of alcohol within the social context. This journal focuses on alcohol consumption and abuse. It talks about these subjects in relation to social anxiety and how individuals place themselves in situations to observe the effects of alcohol for the purposes of research in this area which is greatly needed. A survey and questionnaire was carried out and recorded in this journal on 454 young adults accessing this problem.

Copello, Orford, Hodgson and Tober, A, J, R and G, (2009), "Social behaviour and network therapy for alcohol problems" , Routledge

This book I found in the library in some ways could play a key role concerning my design idea. It is meant to be a manual for clinicians. It explores previous research into alcohol addiction and how social interaction intervenes as well as several treatments. I have included this as part of my research as I feel that a lot of crime and alteration of normal social behaviour is fuelled by alcohol or drug consumption so if we can gain a better understanding on this topic I feel that my designs would be much more diverse and may meet the needs of society much more successfully.

Goman, C K, (11/2009), "The secrets and science of body language at work", Reliable Plant Magazine, Troy Media.

I found this article while doing my research online. I found it really interesting and quite relevant to my research. It is about the language of the body and how to read it. For example by studying the feet you can tell a lot about self confidence. Apparently if you stand with your feet very close together you are timid or hesitant whereas if you have a stance which is more firm and further apart you are more confident. This could be a very interesting topic to study into further as I feel that if security guards studied this in great depth then the social behaviour of people may be more easily read and therefore could possibly combat crime sooner.

Jackson, M P, (1985), "Youth Unemployment", Routledge Kegan & Paul 

The next part of my research I began to think about how crime is associated with social behaviour. I decided to look into unemployment rates and how closely these were related to crime and in particular concerning youths. It investigates how unemployment especially among young people relates to a spin in social activities due to no longer having financial income.

Pease, A and B,(2007), "The definitive book of body language", Manjul Publishing House Pvt Ltd 

Taking the idea of reading into body language a bit further I decided to look for books about it. This book looks into the insights of human nature and body language. It teaches you how to read into peoples body language in more detail which I feel would be highly useful in relation to my design ideas.

Philippot, Feldman and Coats, P, R and E, (1999) “The Social Context of Nonverbal Behaviour”, Cambridge, The Press syndicate of the University of Cambridge.

I have chosen this book as I feel that researching deeper into the actual psychology of our behaviour would be really interesting. This book aims to give the reader an understanding on the subject of nonverbal behaviour in a theoretical manner. It is edited by three professors but throughout the book has numerous contributors who are all highly respected from all over the world. A lot of the information is science based and is written based in conjunction with a variety of theories and studies. I feel this would be a really interesting read and something which would be highly useful as once we can begin to grasp an understanding on the psychological reasons we are half way there as body language and our actions are linked directly to our thoughts and minds.

"Alcohol and Anti-Social Behaviour" Youtube Url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DydZpdiJ1QQ

This video on youtube is a documentary on alcohol how it influences anti-social behaviour. It 
interviews a wide variety of people with different views and opinions concerning the effects 
of alcohol consumption. The general feel was that alcohol brings out aggression and can be
the spark which begins fights and criminal activities. They also interview a teenage girl who 
was the victim of an attack influenced by alcohol fueled anti-social behaviour.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Design Studies 2c

The third part of our task was to create a poster on a more narrowed down subject taken from the previous discussions. I found this part probably the most difficult out of all three as I think I chose a subject which I thought would give me more potential than it did. I began by thinking about fighting crime and how the police and security officers are a key role to play in this area in society today. Here is my poster:
Having investigated this area in greater detail now and having discussed it with fellow colleagues I feel that social behavior is an extremely complex area which could every well have a huge gap for design to intervene with. Social behaviour in our society today is so diverse and is something which is completely different worldwide that it could be difficult to come up with a clean cut solution but a design to help combat even a part of social behaviour related crime I feel could in the future be achieved. 
Some of my ideas do seem very futuristic and far fetched but with the way technology is moving forward I wouldn't be surprised if in the next century they became a reality.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Design Solutions through Brainstorming (2B)

Continuing on with the idea of brainstorming and studying design ideas and solutions in relation to 'The Tipping Point' the second part of our task was to discuss design solutions in relation to the various social issues we discussed in our previous brainstorm session. For this I met up with the same group of people and we decided it would be best to note our ideas and thoughts on a spider diagram this time.

To begin with the stickiness factor we took a problem which is huge and is still growing in society today, smoking and began to bounce ideas about designs which could help fight this horrid habit for the upcoming generations benefit. We came up with the idea of having some sort of fabric or ink that would stain when you had a smoke so basically the more you smoked the more obvious this stain would become. Whether or not this guilt approach of shaming your self esteem and pride would work or not would be the question. However in saying that we discussed ways in which once having smoked and as a result are stained badly there could be a reward system such as if you waited so many hours the stain would fade and this then could be a coaxing agent to make people smoke less. This in return would hopefully benefit non-smokers as in it would help decrease the chances of passive smoking.
Another aspect which contributed to our discussion on the stickiness factor was about drink and drug driving. In relation to the driving on drugs we thought about how your eyes can give you away and from this we came up with the idea of having eye scanners which you had to pass a test with before the vehicle allowed you access to drive. Each individual car would have its own personal eye scanner and only the eye identification of the owner of the car would allow access. The only scam with this would be that the owner of the car could be totally sober scan there eyes and then let someone else drive who was under the influence but in saying that it is still another element which would make it harder to do which is better than nothing. A similar preposition was made for drink driving where breathalyzers would have to be passed before being allowed to drive. However, in saying that there is implications with this idea also.

Moving on now to the next key chapter we covered which was entitled 'The law of the few.' Taking into consideration the previous conversation about this chapter we came to the conclusion that it was all very much to do with advertising and the internet. So carrying on with this train of thought we spoke about social networking and how or even if it is possible to make them safer? The idea about ID cards came up again and false accounts leading onto a topical discussion on whether it would be viable to prevent these so called fake accounts being created. Would it be possible to create some sort of barcode that you would have to use to sign into sites on the internet which would then only allow a limited time keeping internet use short and snappy and hopefully a safer environment.
The power of context was the final chapter we discussed in detail for this task. As with the last brainstorm session crime was a main focus for a starting point. The broken window theory and prison environments in particular the experiment sparked quite a few potential design ideas. This was the area which I found the most challenging but most interesting. One of the questions posed was 'how can we change the environment/system to change both officers and prisoners attitudes?' In response to this we spoke about whether if they swapped roles would this make a vast difference. The uniforms the police force wear and also other safety officers wear such as bouncers in nightclubs became one of the areas which I felt had a lot of potential to expand further for the third part of this task 2c. Aspects such as body behavior in relation to the broken window theory was only one of many issues discussed for this section.

Lastly we spoke about anti social behaviour and methods of preventing this such as scare tactics, making community service compulsory and role playing environments such as the courts

Design Solutions through Brainstorming (2A)

So for the next part of design studies we were given the task of brainstorming the design ideas related specifically different aspects in Malcolm Gladwell's 'The Tipping Point.' For this I met up with some of my fellow textile colleagues and we brainstormed as a collective group therefore benefiting from each others ideas and train of thought. We began with a huge blank canvas on which by the end was completely bursting with potential design related ideas and topics. The chosen method to record our thoughts was post it notes. None of us had ever used this method before but since it had been recommended to us we decided to give it a shot and I'm really glad we did. It was quick, simple and really effective as well as allowing us to keep it organised by colour coding the different areas using different colours of post it notes. So to begin with we started with 'The Stickiness Factor' which were recorded on green. To kick start this brainstorm we talked about the Ipod and how it was one of the stickiest pieces of technology any of us could think remember. We spoke about how convenient it was for the consumer i.e. it was lightweight, portable, a single unit, easy to use and most of all affordable. From this we moved on to thinking about advertising and how certain advertising methods where the reason why certain products have become so sticky. For example the colours related to certain companies, cadburys and the colour purple. Also the different types of advertising methods, tv commercials, the internet, magazines, posters and slogans to name a few. A key advert which sprung to our minds was coca cola and how this is always on around the christmas period and has a polar bear or the father christmas figure as well as being associated with the colour red. Examples from the slogan discussion would be the famous nike slogan; the tick and also the catchphrases supermarkets have such as Tescos; 'Every little helps.' This is only touching the surface of what we discussed concerning the stickiness factor.
Moving on now to the next main chapter in 'The Tipping Point' we tackled, the law of the few (pink post it notes.) Within this field of discussion the main three points were Mavens, Salesmen and Connectors. Out of the three areas this was probably the most successful concerning the sheer amount of ideas we were firing out there. We began by posing the question of what relates to salesmen? Key issues and words such as publicity, catalogues, internet and shop layout came up. How the salesmen target their consumers? How they attacked each generation for example offering student discounts or having offers and promotion nights. For the connectors we came up with the idea that they connected people, industries and ideas all around the world. Twitter, facebook,google, call centers and social networking in general was a huge area which our discussion was based upon. We found as we went on further into our discussion ideas from previous areas all connected and this was the useful thing about using post it notes as we were able to move them about easily therefore being able to visually see important links and connections. Finally we spoke about mavens such as watchdog, review websites and price comparison for example compare the meerkats which when we spoke about it had the horrendous sticky tune from the advert in our heads all day!
Lastly we discussed the power of context in relation to design solutions. This area proved to be the most challenging for coming up with ideas for. Crime was one of the main points which we based this section of our brainstorm on. Topics such as the broken window theory which Gladwell spoke about in the book and the prison experiment made us think about the prison system which sparked a lot of potential. From uniforms to community projects aiming to prevent youth crime and advertising
where some of the main points. Another crucial topic was identity and we spoke about how some people would consider this an invasion of privacy and whether finger print checks, eye scanners and id cards are acceptable in society today. Finally the we spoke about the No.150 theory and how it may determine the level of success for a business. If you think about it if a firm or business has only a close knit number of people then it would a more personal and comfortable environment to work in. However on the other hand it could spark big egos or too many different ideas could arise causing conflict and subsequently causing a lower rate of success. I also took part in a documented video of our discussion but unfortunately I have been unable to upload it here but it can be viewed on my colleagues blog using the following link http://helenwhithamtextiles.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 1 November 2009

A whirlwind flying visit....

This weekend I found myself having to return home to Northern Ireland, it was a flying visit which went far to quickly! The journey back however was interesting to say the least. As I woke up this morning and looked out my window the weather was horrendous and my first thoughts were if my flight would actually go ahead and if so how bumpy will it be? Having arrived at the airport, checked in and standing in the queue for security I looked around and it overwhelmed me how many people were passing through, laughter, cries, the vast array of emotions as people said goodbyes and embraced people. As I began to get impatience standing in the security queue for so long I began to think about how fussy they have to be these days compared to years ago when you just simply walked through a detector. The sheer quality and cleverness of the design of the computers which xray the contents of your personal belongings is incredible, but is this an invasion of your privacy? In some ways I think it is although it also could be the difference between a terrorist smuggling something onto the plane and your safety. As I walked through the security I felt as though I was being victimized, as though I was just another figure walking through up for judgement. Would there be room for improvement in this area? Is there a way they could make it a pleasant experience?
Flying from Belfast to Dundee is a unique experience as the plane is so tiny as you can imagine. All I could think of as the pilot began to speak to us over the speakers is will this tiny plane be able to cope with the weather conditions. Would it be sturdy enough? As we took off it became evident that it was going to be a bumpy journey. The experience was more pleasant than I had first anticipated although on landing the sensation of the plane swaying up and down and side to side was one which one passenger did not appreciate as on landing she let out a scream. This state of panic rippled down the plane as we all looked at each other, my heart was in my mouth. Now that I am safely back in my flat and looking back at the experience it is incredible to think that technology and design is so far advanced that I was in one country this morning and a few hours later I'm back in Dundee...