Saturday, 4 December 2010
Sunday, 28 November 2010
“How ethical is your fashion?”
This shocking article covered by BBC journalist Madeleine Holt discusses the burning issue of “how ethical is your fashion?” This question is a raising topic of concern within the textile and fashion industry today. Within the society we live in, it is evident that high street fashion is making a huge impact on the environment. Consumers are so addicted to shopping and having the latest fashion or celebrity trends for as cheap as possible that the issue of how well designed the garment is, where the materials were sourced or how ethical just simply don’t get given a thought the majority of the time.
The key question posed within this report would be how we can help reduce landfill and become more sustainable. It seems that it is a matter of raising awareness and educating people on how buying sustainable and ethically made fashion will reap huge benefits long term. However, in this report Jane Sheperdson reckons there is a gap in the market for quality, beautifully designed pieces that last. (Holt, 2008) If this is true then we as designers need to address this issue before the consumer can make a difference. Madeleine Holt states a few shocking statistics. We are buying around 2m tonnes of clothes every year and nearly 1.5m of this ends up in landfill. This means we are buying a third more clothes than we were a decade ago. (Holt, 2008) Figures such as these back up the seriousness of this argument that sustainability needs to be addressed and quickly.
The conclusions we can draw from this article are that the public needs to buy less and hang on to clothes longer as this will have knock on effects such as less landfill, less pollution and an overall positive effect on the environment. Dr Corner, London College of Fashion states that we need to find the fun in holding onto clothes for longer. She says, “Customise them, exchange them with other people, eventually recycle them into something different. I think it will be much more fulfilling for people in the end than the throwaway frenzy we have now." (Corner, 2008)
If the sustainable, ethical clothing market took off and became available to the public on the high street it is assumed that people will want to support this. We are assuming that the general consumer cares about the environment and ethical issues enough to pay that extra few pounds for something similar they could have purchased in the fast fashion high street for cheaper. Are morals really going to rise above this cheap fashion fetish which has become like an addictive drug to our society? Through this article awareness will be raised of both the social, economic and environmental implications of fast fashion versus the ethical clothing market. This could have the potential to spark and inspire both designers and consumers to take a bigger interest in this subject as a whole. Without raising awareness and education on such a global and important issue nothing will change. We will simply stay stationary with the possibility of slipping backwards but never moving forwards.
M.Holt (7 Feburary 2008), How ethical is your fashion? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/7232563.stm
‘Cradle to Cradle’
This novel ‘Cradle to Cradle’ written by Michael Braungart and William McDonough focuses on how we can avoid environmental disaster. From reading this book it gives the reader a totally new perspective on the phrase ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ which is so commonly used when discussing environmental issues. They challenge us to take a new, innovative approach, to turn your thinking around and instead of focusing on eco-efficiency to apply direct concentration on eco-effectiveness. It discusses many pressing issues which commonly aren’t thought about for example the real implications from recycling.
The key question posed within this book is how it is time for a paradigm shift from trying to make products ‘less bad’ and figure out how to be ‘good’ i.e. minimizing damage isn’t good enough. The authors discuss how up-cycling may be the secret answer to this global problem. We need to rethink our design processes.They discuss how the use of the ‘cradle to grave’ approach to product cycling which many environmentalists are using ends up producing waste and how this needs to transform into the ‘cradle to cradle’ approach which is a natural process. This approach enables the change of one material to enable and nourish another. A good example of this would be how the decomposition of a leaf enables nutrients to be released into the soil resulting in providing more encouragement of growth. This brings ‘cradle to cradle’ to the conclusion that waste simply does not need to exist.
Throughout the book the authors use various diverse examples and key sources to back up their theories and opinions which makes it easier to visualize just how important it is to take this suppressing matter so seriously.
I found the last chapter entitled “Putting Eco-Effectiveness into Practice” the most engaging and informative. We are told in this chapter Albert Einstein cleverly observed that if we are to solve the problems that plague us, our thinking must evolve beyond the level we were using when we created those problems in the first place. (M.Braungart & W.McDonough, 2009) It all seems to come back to being innovative to the highest possible level of our ability and through our creativity constantly challenging our design processes. Braungart and McDonough in this chapter have come up with 5 key methods with are vitally important in relation to putting eco-effectiveness into practice. We as upcoming designers need to address these ideas and take them onboard otherwise eco-efficiency will never fully transform into eco-effectiveness.
One of the main assumptions made by the authors in my opinion is that everyone is willing and ready to truly fight for these issues discussed in this book. They assume that every designer and consumer sees the need and has the desire to come together to combat this environmental problem rather than sit back and watch it slowly perpetuate. If we do take their approach and line of reasoning seriously a huge environmental transformation could potentially be reached which would sustain the precious world we live in today for many future generations. This could also have an enormous effect within design and how innovative we can become. We need to address the other side too, the implications for us if we fail to take the author’s line of reasoning seriously. If we ignore them I think it is pretty clean cut, if we continue using the worlds resources as we are now and wasting too much we are facing an environmental disaster which is mind blowing so much so I feel we could face an end to society concerning the worlds design industry.
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Thursday, 7 October 2010
POPULATION OVERSHOOT AND DESIGN
Population and specifically population overshoot are very complex topics which have many contributing factors. A population is the number of inhabitants in a given place and so it is inevitable that it will experience growth and if excessive result in overshooting i.e. overpopulation.
A population grows and declines by a particular combination of births and deaths, growing when births exceed deaths and declining when deaths exceed births. (Sarre and Blunden, 1995) At a closer glance there are many reasons for these changes and many global problems which have resulted from overpopulation, this being when a population becomes so dense it results in environmental depletion, a population crash and a reduction in quality of life.
“We can’t resolve many of our most pressing long-term problems until we reduce human population. Overpopulation is the engine behind global warming, pollution, peak oil, social injustice and poverty, crime, resource wars, biodiversity crash, deforestation and drought -- just to name a few.” (Burr, 2009)
Many scientists and researchers have various opinions on this topic, population overshoot and many questions get posed such as whether it is a cultural problem?
One of the most influential statements on overcrowding was the Reverend Thomas Malthus’ famous essay on the principle of population where he argued that overcrowding was inevitable because population tends to grow geometrically. (Sarre and Blunden, 1995)
Many of the worlds greatest historians agree that changes in population have changed the world and by the end of the 19C observers began to see how fertility, mortality and migration were interconnected. (Connelly, 2008)
One may argue that there are limits to growth. This was a phrase introduced in 1972 by a group entitled ‘the Club of Rome.’ The researchers in this specific group made interesting projections through use of technological advances such as computer modelling of the world system to find that “humans are likely to overshoot the earth/’s resource capacity.” (GeoDZ, n.d.) This projection throws many factors into the equation such as sustainability and designing for the future.
In the past vast measures have had to be taken by governments to attempt to control their countries populations. The key example of this would be China. In 1980, the government introduced a policy that each family was only allowed to have one child. However, shortly after this drastic decision was introduced a shocking discovery was made. By 1990, the Chinese population had overshot by 14 million than “ the government had thought, according to the country’s most comprehensive cenus.” (Long, 1990)
This however is believable and understandable when one takes into account what Connelly, the author of ‘Fatal Misconception: The struggle to control world population’ stated in 2008, that the earth was gaining around 80 million inhabitants every year by the 1980’s. (Connelly, 2008)
The UK’s population particularly in the past century has also varied quite a bit. To begin with a brief statement of fact; in 2004, the UK contained a population exceeding 59.8 million people.
The population in the second half of the 20C began to noticeably age due to many advances made within the medical sector therefore giving a higher survival rate and low birth rates due to an improvement in sex awareness education in schools. This diagram below states that the percentage of the population aged 65 and over has risen from 15 per cent in 1984 to 16 per cent in 2009 equalling an overall increase of 1.7 million people. Furthermore by 2034 it is projected to have reached an impressive 23 per cent. (Office for National Statistics, 2010)
Population by age, UK, 1984, 2009 and 2034
Source: Office for National Statistics, 2010
The rate at which a population grows at can vary immensely and from 1951 to 2001 in the UK, the population grew at a very unsteady pace. As previously mentioned this was mainly due to reasons causing the fertility rates to exceed the mortality figures with an exception in the year 1976. (Jefferies, 2005)
POPULATION OVERSHOOT AND DESIGN
Design is a vital element within society today if we are going to attempt to deal with the global dilemma of population overshoot. Burr states that, “We have overshot the carrying capacity of our planet.” (Burr, 2009)
As designers for this generation and the future we have to be thinking ahead innovatively on how to combat such vast issues and push boundaries. The textile industry needs to accommodate its wide variety of consumers but at a rate which fits in with the worlds resources.
Mass production has become a global trend resulting in well known high street brands such as Primark churning out goods for cheap prices. There is a total of 127 primark stores across the UK and Ireland alone.(Jones,2006)
Is this the answer to providing for the needs of an overshooting population?
Many people would argue that mass production of clothing detracts from the quality of the product and the amount of detail and attention possible. In an article based on research in denim trends in Great Britain entitled ‘Britain’s Bargain Boom’ Nina Jones states,
“High Street stores counter that the same amount of research and development goes into a pair of their jeans and they said they don’t skimp on quality.” (Jones, 2006)
Contradictory to this statement George Wallace, ‘chief executive officer of U.K. retail analyst Management Horizons Europe’ said,
"With the High Street denim brands, there will always be a certain compromise on quality." (Wallace, 2006)
The issue of whether the sheer quantity of the world’s population is being economically friendly is also an upfront topic in the sense of the resources available and what the textile industry needs. Designers strongly need to take this into account as resource depletion seems to be a growing concern which could potentially in extreme circumstances put an end to society and the textile industry due to the complete exhaustion of the worlds ecological resources. How do we then design to combat this suppressing disaster?
With the population continually expanding and therefore the demand for textiles growing it is vital that the textile industry takes the direction of designing with a lower environmental impact.
In a short clip based on technical textiles, Rob Holoway, the sustainable design consultant for Giraffe Innovation states,
“Any designer should be interested in new materials, processes and new opportunities for designing things that people want to buy, something which has a lower environmental impact.”
Technical textiles and sustainability work alongside each other as the theory behind technical textiles is to improve materials and products to deliver better quality and performance to the consumer. This evidently would then provide a garment or product which would last longer. Furthermore, this would have a knock on effect on reducing landfill as a large percentage of the population today throw things away instead of recycling and reusing.
The textile industry has a duty to create an awareness of prominent environmental issues and to design according to these especially if the population is projected to continue to grow and overshoot the worlds carrying capacity. In the short clip on technical textiles previously referenced it is stated that if everyone was to wash at 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees it is estimated that this would save the equivalent of up to the amount of energy used by 2500 villages annually. Furthermore, ‘The Saving Energy Trust’ states that, “Washing at 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees would save the same amount of CO2 as taking 300, 000 cars of road per year.”
This without a doubt would create a significant difference which could have the potential to be a break through for future generations.
BBC, Learning Zone, available [online]: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/technical-textiles/6260.html [Accessed:2/10/10]
Burr, C. (2009), Overpopulation is a cultural challenge, available [online]: http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/376/68/ [Accessed:30/09/10]
Connelly, MJ. (2008), Fatal Misconception: The Struggle To Control World Population, available [online]:http://libproxy.dundee.ac.uk/login?url=http://site.ebrary.com/lib/dundee/Doc?id=10309089 [Accessed:2/10/10]
GeoDZ, the earth encyclopedia, available [online]: http://www.geodz.com/eng/d/limits-to-growth/limits-to-growth.htm [Accessed:2/10/10]
Jefferies, J. (2005), The UK Population: past, present and future, available [online]: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_compendia/fom2005/01_fopm_population.pdf [Accessed:30/09/10]
Jones, N. (2006), Britain’s Bargain Boom, WWD: Women's Wear Daily, Vol. 191 Issue 112, Special Section p46-46, available [online]: http://link-to.dundee.ac.uk/dundee?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=BRITAIN%27S+BARGAIN+BOOM&rft.jtitle=WWD&rft.au=Nina+Jones&rft.date=2006--0-5-&rft.issn=0149-5380&rft.volume=191&rft.issue=112&rft.spage=46B&rft.externalDBID=WWD&rft.externalDocID=1045386021 [Accessed:30/09/10]
Long, S. (1990), Chinese Population overshoots government forecasts by 14m, The Guardian [0261-3077] Long yr:1990 pg:10, available [online]: http://link-to.dundee.ac.uk/dundee?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=news&rft.atitle=Chinese+Population+Overshoots+Government+Forecasts+by+14m&rft.jtitle=The+Guardian&rft.au=Long%2C+Simon&rft.date=1990--1-0-&rft.issn=0261-3077&rft.spage=10&rft.externalDBID=MG&rft.externalDocID=3206916 [Accessed:29/09/10]
Office for National Statistics (2010), Ageing, available [online]: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=949 [Accessed:30/09/10]
Sarre, P. and Blunden, J. (1995), United States, New York: Oxford University Press Inc., The Open University.
Saturday, 25 September 2010
So third year has begun and so a new semester of design studies is underway. This year the format is different as we are working in groups of eight made up of student designers from various disciplines such as textiles, jewellery, graphics, product design and IED. I think this will work well as we all are acquiring different ways of thinking and so in turn can bounce various ideas of each other and learn from each other.
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Last semester my chosen topic for research and analysis focused on social behaviour. This stemmed from Malcolm Gladwell’s, ‘broken window theory.’ This theory explored the essence of how areas which would typically be left after incidents such as window breaking or car graffiti lead people to a natural feeling of a lower constraint leading as a result in a higher crime rate. An example of this would be within the New York subs when cars would be disrespected through the act of graffiti and as a result omitted a general consensus of lawlessness. This led my thinking into the field of how social behaviour relates directly to crime and so to grasp the roots I needed to delve into understanding social behaviour on a deeper level. Social behaviour is often something which is very influential on environment, circumstances and also the company you are surrounded by. I discovered through my research that within social behaviour the issue of communication is highly complex and an issue which social behaviour stems itself around especially in relation to crime.
Literature was a key source for my research in semester 1. I researched many books but the main ones where,
"The definitive book of body language" and “The Social Context of Nonverbal Behaviour”.
I read these in order to broaden my knowledge on the complex subject and to find out opinions and information contrasted on various related topics.
If I was to continue research into this chosen topic of discussion I would ideally gather a lot more primary based research and evidence. There are a number of methods I project I could use. By having a diverse range of research methods I feel my analysis would be more thorough and effective. From previous tasks undertaken this semester I have been introduced to a few specific research methods which could be possible starting points if I was to undertake this research project again in the near future.
One of the methods was the use of observation. The aim of this exercise was to observe how people interacted, the study of ethnography, rather than objects, a key aspect in understanding design.
In relation to my chosen topic of discussion I could see very clearly how observation could potentially play a vital and key role within my research. Who could I observe and where? My target audience could vary greatly dependent on the location. For research in social behaviour in direct relation to crime I project I could observe first hand some of the behaviour associated with root factors which can fuel crime related incidents and crime as a whole. One such topic could fundamentally be alcohol consumption and more specifically the study into the psychology of why people drink so much and the effects of this. Potential places I could carry out these observations in would be bars, clubs, in major cities at peak weekend times. By observing the social behaviour of the public in the actual setting where my topical problem stems from will give me first hand experience and a feel of the environment which could be highly beneficial as it would be an experience that I could not source from any other method. It should in theory provide me with a clearer view and could fundamentally give me a more direct approach to my investigation. Furthermore, by conducting this first hand research I can have an assurance that my findings would be accurate and non bias as I wouldn’t be relying on secondary sources which could have a high probability of being prejudice.
There are certain factors I feel I would need to take into consideration in order to make my results valid. Firstly I would need to vary both the time and place in which I would conduct my observations. For instance, I would have to observe in more than one area in a city as one area could be more partial to crime incidents than another. In addition, if I was to take it one step further to assertively affirm validated results I could vary the city rather than just solely the location within a city. Another possibility to ensure the delivery of non bias research could be to get a variety of people to observe as well as myself as everyone has a different manner of thinking and in response would take different things from the environment and behaviour seen.
The subject matters which I would observe would need to be carefully thought about, in the respect of what I wanted to get out of my observations. Would it need to be a cross-section of people or would it be an age group which would be the most liable to commit a crime?
Another key aspect I project I would assess would be whether I could find a pattern or certain structure in the observed behaviour?
In order not to assume results and rely on solely this one method, ethnography, I feel it would be useful to undertake others to feed my research in a fuller manner. The other method taught this semester was that of interviewing. In relation to my chosen topic of discussion I could easily have a variety of subjects which I could interview to get a wide spectrum of results from many angles for example, bar and club owners and staff, the police, taxi drivers and the general public. This again would feed me with ampules of qualitative first hand research. I would write up a pilot interview to conduct before interviewing my real subject matters as this would allow me the most potential to gain the best information through getting my questions exactly spot on.
Finally a method I feel that would be highly useful which was not adapted this semester would be cultural probes. This method unlike observation which says more about what people do focuses on what people feel. It elicits information and helps access that difficult environment and captures more the emotional status. This could be a good variety and slant to approach my research with. Another advantage of culture probes would be that it is a method which is effective over a long time period which could be good for social behaviour and crime. Over the year for instance looking at when the peak times of crime occur and the variations in social behaviour at these times.
In conclusion to all the points outlined above I feel that I only scratched the surface last semester with regards to investigating my preferred topic. I have projected that I could hugely benefit through the use of the method of observation. The only downside I could see with this would be that if the subject matters being observed noticed you, an observer watching them they would probably be inclined to change their behaviour and as a result would disturb the results. However, in saying this I feel it would still be a throughly exciting and potentially successful body of research. The other methods I have mentioned where the act of interviewing and cultural probes. I clearly have a vision of how these two methods put together could have the potential to be fantastic as their qualities complement each other perfectly, and are on similar levels in the respect of gaining primary thoughts and feelings.
For the second part of this assignment the task is to choose a studio brief that I have tackled this year and reflect and discuss like I did in part A on how I could improve my manner of researching if I was to undertake the same assignment again. My chosen brief is going to be my self motivated project in which I was given free rein on a topic. The aim was to embark on a visual, exploratory and explanatory journey to further develop design thinking and production of textile designs. It was also a project in which I would gain experience in proposing and creating a self motivated body of work including a written synopsis.
To begin with the secondary research methods learnt in semester one, I would definitely brainstorm more concisely and thoroughly by possibly using the method of group discussion using post it notes as I think you can gain so much from listening to one another and be inspired by fellow peers. I found this exercise in semester one widened and deepened my thought process of brainstorming. This could have the potential of leading to more exciting and innovative ideas and perceptions. My focus was based upon the ideality of being alone and more directly solitude. I aspired to go on a journey which explored the theme of ‘solitude’ and to pose many questions such as what emotions are evoked from places of solitude? My aim was to make critical connections between the areas of solitude such as mountains, beaches and forests and the nature inhabited there. Furthermore, I intended to explore the emotional response to these places and connections.
The secondary research method, which is a very common but nonetheless extremely effective is research in literature. Reading and finding out facts, articles and documentaries related to a chosen topic. For this studio brief an example of this could be to look into fashion forecasting trends from highly regarded fashion magazines such as ‘Textile View.’ By thoroughly exploring these I feel it would give me a good solid base of what is already out there and give me a general indication of perhaps where the gaps are in the market so this in turn could spark inspiration for colour palettes and themes. Another approach I feel which would make my body of research more concise and comprehensive would be to conduct deeper research into current affairs and issues within society today, so read newspapers, and articles more often and even by listening to radio 4. Also using literature and secondary resources to gain contextual research, and to gain insights into designers and artists working in this field. For this solitude project looking into landscape artists and textile designers who were influenced by nature perhaps, or even designers who look at the emotional response of something as their source of inspiration.
With regards to first hand research methods from semester two, the possibilities are bountiful. Due to my interest into the emotional response to the areas of ‘solitude’ I could easily adopt the skills learnt to further develop my research to the next level. The concept of interviews fits ideally into this scenario. I could conduct them with a wide cross section of people on what their views and perceptions on what solitude is and find out what emotions they feel are evoked personally when they find themselves in these situations. The idea of what qualities makes an area peaceful, is it the naturalistic aspects and why we as human beings are either compelled towards the idea or repelled. There are many more questions which I could use, so to make my interview as successful as possible I would need to conduct a pilot interview to narrow it down and find out what the key elements of information I would want to gain were. Comparing the results would also be very interesting especially to find out the differences in opinions with people who love alone time, and solitude and people who are urban lovers.
Within the interview process I feel I could use the method of visual stimulus. For example, I could present a collection of places and ask them to describe to me what images portray this idea of solitude and how imagining you were in these places makes them feel, again referring back to emotional response. The final method of observation could also play a vital role in research for this brief. I could observe behaviour in the typical areas of solitude such as forests, beaches and mountains and then completely contrast this by observing areas of chaos such as major urban cities.This could make a really interesting find and could develop into rather complex and intriguing design based responsive work. One further idea within the method of observation would be to observe the behaviour in areas of solitude in different cultures opening the body of research within the project up to a new level.
For the interviews I would need to gain consent for my subject matters and within the observation method would need to place myself in an area which would not distract the environment making my results unreliable. By conducting primary research as well as secondary research I feel I would gain a better balance in my body of research and especially of non bias material.
Reflecting back over the last two semesters of design studies I feel I have learnt so many valuable skills which will help equip me and hopefully carry into level three as well as my career in the future. Through practice and use of these research methods I feel more confident that I could tackle many of the global issues and affairs within a brief which as a young designer I feel is an excellent skill to have and to begin to build upon at this early stage of my career. I aim to use many of these techniques in level three and hope that they will become more and more natural to me and become part of my set way of thought process when tackling a studio project brief.
Pease, A and B,(2007), "The definitive book of body language", Manjul Publishing House Pvt Ltd
Philippot, Feldman and Coats, P, R and E, (1999) “The Social Context of Nonverbal Behaviour”, Cambridge, The Press syndicate of the University of Cambridge.
Gladwell, M (2000) "The Tipping Point London":Abacus Little, Brown Book Company
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
For assignment 4 the task was to choose a question or theme and conduct semi-structured interviews and then analyse my findings in relation to each other. The question I decided to investigate was "How do people accumulate 'stuff'?"
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
For my next assignment we were asked to go into the public sphere and blend into the environment and observe. The task was to watch how people went about their business and daily life and to note my observations on their behaviour. My chosen place from the list provided to us was a coffee shop. My chosen location was the Tartan cafe on Perth Road. I went with two other design students on a Saturday late morning so we got the shift over of people from late breakfasts to the busyness hustle and bustle of lunchtime rush. I noticed a lot of people came in and paused for very different periods of time deciding where to sit as it was self service to find a seat creating a more personal choice and relaxed atmosphere. A lot of people if in groups tried the back of the cafe as there are big comfy leather sofas located there. This demonstrates the service design of this cafe as attracting social gatherings to mull over conversation while enjoying the refreshments available. I located myself at the side near the entrance of the cafe where I had a clear view of people entering, leaving, paying. I wanted to blend into the atmosphere so people would act normally and not amend there behaviour as I would suspect people would if they realised someone was watching them. It was really interesting to see the array of emotions conveyed, some people came bouncing in with friends full of joy and laughter while others seemed to be there for more of business type, serious meetings. A stressful vibe was also emitted as consumers rushed in to grab a quick bite to eat and even just had time to grab a takeaway. As the morning progressed I noticed the shift in people as they replaced each other at each table, different conversations and situations arising every time. There was one table in particular which was designed for two people which on entering through the door would appear to be quite tucked away whereas it is actually located quite far out from the wall which I feel would make someone feel rather uncomfortable if by themselves. From personal experience I would always try to tuck myself away and not draw attention. I noticed that nearly every person who was there alone at some point read a newspaper while eating or drinking or waiting to be served. Once someone would get up to go to the toilet for instance or to go and look at the cake stand they would always try and leave a possession, most commonly a coat to mark their territory. However, I also observed that people wouldn't leave anything of value lying about for example their mobile phone, purse or handbag. In the time I was observing there was also quite a lot of children there with parents with nearly a ratio of for every child there was one adult. This could suggest having more control in the public environment. Nearly every child seemed to have their coat off and quite demanding in the respects of needing a lot of attention. The cafe provided the children with colouring in sheets to amuse them which I feel is a good design. Other observations included how well the staff worked as a team and the communications between them. They were all distinguishable as they were all dressed in black and they seemed to integrate really well with the customers. Coffee shops to the consumer, the outside eye can be a relaxed environment in which to contemplate and reflect whereas to the staff member can be the total opposite, a lot of rushing about and stress. While there I did a quick sketch which I have scanned in which you can see that the top of this post. It was drawn from my position at the side of the coffee shop. I have noticed from looking back at it that on entering the cafe you are immediately beside the tray bakes and yummy things which would persuade you that your eyes are bigger than you belly, again a smart design element. Each of the tables were spaced out quite nicely, I didn't feel too isolated or that my privacy was invaded. This also gave the waitresses a comfortable amount of area to walk about and serve people in, I also took a video on my phone while there. Admittedly I felt like a bit of a creep trying to take this video discreetly so no-one would notice as you can hear me say in the video! Overall I enjoyed this assignment as I openly admit I am a natural people watcher and could happily sit for hours watching the world go by with a cup of tea. It truly is amazing what you can pick up on and learn from reading into and observing other peoples behaviour!
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Friday, 5 February 2010
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
For this assignment the task was to collect photographs of growing up through childhood and then swap them with another student from a different discipline who you don't know very well.