Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wiki Entry- Assignment 1

Mass production and design
Catherine Myles
Interior and environmental design

Mass production is the process in which products are created using production lines to produce large quantities.
“Adam smith had made this point [that hand made products were not “economically viable”] in the late eighteenth century ... in the industry of pin manufacture... one man working alone might be able to make twenty pins a day, Ten men working together dividing the work into separate tasks, could make a staggering 48,000 pins a day” (Whiteread, R)
William Morris was against the production of products of a mass scale. He believed that products should be produced from localized materials, creating quality handmade items. He wanted to create products that lasted the test of time.
Henry Ford led the way in mass production in the 1890’s, creating the model T car.
“The model T was one of the first platform-based products ever produced in quantity and one of the most efficiently designed” (Alizon, F. 2009.)
Henry Ford was the ‘fuel’ that started mass production on large scale taking production methods and practice from the meat packing industries and developing them into skills to be translated into the “automotive industry”. He is the “father of mass production” (Alizon, F. 2009).

Statue of Adam Smith, Scottish economist, author of The Wealth of Nations.

Detroit, 1908, Henry Fords Model T was launched. The Model T was successful for its high performance and for being surprisingly inexpensive. The Model T became the U.K’s first affordable car, which was very popular in its time. Detroit’s wealth grew due to the success of the motor industry, all thanks to Henry Ford and the Ford factory. This industrial era was soon known as “fordism”
Production lines are what make mass production work. Instead of having individuals working as a team with no structure, production lines were created, where each individual worked on few specific tasks. The process is then repeated so that on each stage of the production the product becomes more and more complete. Thus creating quality products as each worker will be a fantastic ‘cog’ in the production line. Obviously, the more the worker produces, the more skilled he becomes.
When Henry Ford opened his factory, he needed trained, specialized workers. Ford needed them to be focused on their job within the production line. He expected these workers to learn quickly. “Anyone who was not able to perform his tasks within this period was fired.” (Quispel, C) Each man was had to do his job perfectly, in an orderly way so that the production line could run smoothly. The employment was very strict and had to be controlled.
I found it quite interesting though that in 1916, Ford commissioned social workers/ psychologists to assess that his workers “had the right morals, did not drink and had a stable family life.” (Quispel, C) It’s interesting because he obviously needed to find out if his workers had any factors outside the factory that would affect the cars they produced. If their minds weren’t completely focused on their role in the production line, accidents could occur in the development of their task. This would create the start of a weakened pattern starting to form in his cars through the production lines, potentially creating risk to the consumers. William Morris would find this attitude abhorrent.
Henry Ford and the Model T

Mass production and furniture design go hand in hand. For example the work of American husband and wife designers, Charles and Ray Eames who use, cheap laminated plywood, being bent and shaped into frames for chairs and things revolutionized our lives today, by creating cheap products. Stores like Ikea have made it easy for everyone to have well designed stylish furniture in your home no matter what your budget. It is this consumer led attitude which causes the most problems in our society today.

Furniture, electrical goods... are so cheap to buy these days. If your microwave breaks you are more likely to go out and buy a new one, than have it repaired. Advertisement draws us in and make us want to go out and spend our money. This then puts pressure on the factories and companies to develop with newer products and to produce these on a mass scale, using as cheap resources as possible to gain maximum profit.
“Generally speaking, electronic products tend to have limited lives.” (Boradkar, P)
This throwaway society creates huge pressures on landfill sites and the environment. The constant throwing away and buying of products is a giant cycle which is all caused by the mass production, of products.
“We cannot conceive how to serve the consumer unless we make for hum something that as far as we can provide will last forever. It does not please us to have a buyer’s car wear out or become obsolete. We want the man who buys one of our products never to have to buy another. We never make an improvement that renders any previous model obsolete.”- Henry Ford (Boradkar, P)
This is a refreshing quote from Henry Ford; one might expect his philosophy to encourage the regular replacement of goods as they wear out.
Planned obsolescence is when a product has a ‘sell by date’. Basically it isn’t made to last very long, the parts and materials used to create the product are cheaply sourced and are likely to fall apart. It’s this Planned obsolescence that drives our throwaway society today. It’s how companies make money.
New products are always being developed, for example the Apple Ipod. A new version of the Ipod is launched practically every couple of months creating a surge of trendy teenagers and adults running out and buying a new one. Seduced by aesthetics, new gadgets and ‘hooks’, people get excited and succeed in fuelling throwaway society. Birthdays, Christmas’s are driven by materialism. We all want the latest and greatest fads, thinking it will make us more attractive, better people.

Today most of our products we find in the supermarket and stores, come from abroad, bananas from Ecuador, Toys and trainers from China. It’s hard to find a product on the shelves that hasn’t clocked up the air miles. Mass production in places like China, South America and India have created an almost ‘slave labour’ force, many workers are young children. Mass production has become like a modern day slave trade, all so that we can have products which are slightly cheaper. I am not against modern day mass production but I am against the age of the workforce and the conditions they work in.

Boradkar, P. (2010) Designing things, Chapter 7 ‘planned obsolescence: unsustainable consumption
Parry, Moss. (1989) William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, London: Studio Editions.
Fabrice, Alizon. (2009)Design Studies 30, Henry Ford and the Model T
Quispel, Chris. (Unknown), Built environment VOL 31 NO3, Detroit, city of cars, city of music
Whiteread, Rachel, history of mass production,
Images sourced from google images.


Friday, September 3, 2010


Dissertation, its coming. I haven't a scoobie what I'm going to write about. panic! I am looking forward to writing my piece but i just cant seem to think, what I'm supposed to be writing it about... obviously relating to interior and environmental design. Should i chose something obvious?! A topic I'm really interested in, but which doesn't really relate to my degree.

I suppose you could say, its a combination of nerves, fear and drive to do well, that's making me question so early what to write about. If i take 2nd year's tasks into consideration and review my work over the past two years at art college I'm sure ill find something inspiring and exciting to get hooked on.

I have a passion for nature, evolution etc. I am a true activist- wannabe! for example Taiji Japan + Faeroe Islands dolphin drives. The harpooning of whales in a conservation zone in the Antarctic... None of which really relates to my degree. Can i make it relate? Could it relate? Mmmmm...

I could play on the environment and speak about wind turbines and compare the power between turbines in towns to those in the highlands... (to me... this is too obvious)

I need something simple and broad, unusual, inspiring, different. Otherwise i fear ill just get lost, get lost in the vast black hole of dissertation hell. ha, ha.

Hopefully when i am back at Duncan Of Jordanstone i will get help and be guided into the right dissertation path.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cai Guo Qiang

When visiting the the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice, France, I discovered the work of Cai Guo Qiang. He was born in 1957 in Quanzhou (a Fijian Provence in China, He emigrated to Japan for 10 years before eventually settling in New York.

Using gun-powder a lot in his work he has developed these beautiful elegant looking exhibits. Taken from something traditionally made to kill/ destroy, he creates beautiful lines and shapes.

(Unfortunately under glass) I was able to see a lot of his personal style and technique. Without focusing too much on the history behind his work and himself i want to show how his work inspires me as an art student. After seeing this exhibition personally and then doing a little research when i was home i can how really understand why he uses these unusual techniques.
*this videos were playing in the exhibition to explain the process behind the work*

This is like the work i saw in Nice, Explosions precisely used to create patterns and symbolic meaning. As the film says, "its the power from within, not what you see". He truly is an inspiration, not only in exhibition design but in his methods of taking something ugly and making it beautiful.


He also has famous exhibitions in the Guggenheim Museum. Here is a short video explaining some of his work.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Holiday Inspiration.

The girls in spain wash their knickers in the rain and the boys in france do the hula hula dance!

Firstly i'd like to say... France rocks my socks.

Wont ramble on about how amazing my holiday/ trip was! I think a summery of pictures will illustrate my time in Nice, Monaco, Ville Franche, Antibes.

(These are my 'arty farty' pictures from looking at nature, culture, galleries & art)

(these pictures are just a very small selection... i spent most of my time looking into bushes & trees, trying to find lots of different abstract inspiration to help me in my 3rd year. I love the green palm leaves... for example, i can see something very sculptural and almost architectural in that. The next stage of my process is to make and design a sketchbook/ scrapbook. I want to have "designs on file", sketches and different bits and bobs ive collected and created. Please comment if you have any feedback for me!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Viva La Français!

Bonjour ma chérie!!
Just thought id update my blog over the summer holidays!
Im off to Nice, France for two weeks! Lots of stunning architecture, culture and sights to see! Cant wait!
Hopefully be taking trips to Cannes, St Tropez, Monaco & many many more destinations! I think this holiday can give me inspiration for my disertation and also projects for my up-coming third year in my course. A little tan will also be very helpfull in the relaxation process before the start of the semester in September!
Hopefully go and see some exhibitions and museums while im out there!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Interior design Scotland

After a few too many drinks on Saturday night, come Sunday morning i glanced down at the newspaper. It contained as it normally does a home section which i usually have a quick look through! In this weeks edition there was a little magazine which is sponsored by the 'British institute of interior design'. It was actually very good and shows lots of interior's companies all over Scotland. What i found interesting was where these companies have worked and what they have accomplished. Honestly when i started this degree i thought... 'there aren't any jobs in that field but id rather do something i love than something i can just get a job in!' but after recent lectures and reading into interior/ architectural firms throughout the UK i have realised that yes, there aren't many jobs but the jobs out there are looking for something special. I need to stand out. Show my work. Read and research.

While looking through this little 40'ish page booklet i found nicely designed homes and hotels. Companies such as Malcolm Duffin in Fife, who have worked throughout Europe and America!

It was also very inspirational to see a snippet in titled, "the expert view, Iris Dunbar, Knowing interiors inside and out". Iris has been the president of the British institute of interior design... She has had 40 years of experience in the feild and now provides professional courses at the interior design school in north London! She also studied at Duncan of Jordanstone! Its good to see that people who have done my course in the past have moved on to achieve great things. I'm sure there are many more people to look up to but to see in a magazine a woman who has been in my position move onto teach and be so successful, its really promising!

If anything it has made me want to do better! and achieve greater! Whatever i decide to do after my degree is mine to achieve! I cant wait!

Carbonmade, Some first year projects.

This is a quick website i created which includes project presentation boards for our S.H.E.D project. It also shows my CAD class presentation, which shows my design for a new public seating which can be used in a mannor of ways.

Have a look! i achieved an A3 for my S.H.E.D project, which was inspired by drMM architects sliding house...

Portfolio website-

Sliding house-

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Assignment 5B

Relating back to semester one furniture project!

In this task i was asked to write a bit about how i would change a recent studio project by adding skills from semesters one and two if had the chance to it again.As this year we have mainly focused on group briefs i was unsure which to write about but i think i shall go with the furniture project of semester one.
For this project we were put into groups of three and asked to design a piece of furniture. After awhile we came up with a concept for creating a chair. we researched different kind of chair designs and loved designs by droog so decided to incorporate the idea of mobility with a seat. Our main idea was based around the idea of sitting next to someone. We designed 3 stools which can be connected together or become totally isolated. this was our main idea behind it. The idea was that if you wanted to sit next to a friend you could connect to them. if you didn't want to sit next to someone you could take the stool away and connect to someone else. We were also asked to incorporate colour and show what that colour represented and what mood we were trying to portray.
Observation skills were used a lot during this process so i would be lying if i said that we should observe people to see if the sit next to strangers willingly... On a bus for example people try to find a seat by themselves, they don't want to be sat next to.
Using the pictures could work from assignment two as we could ask people what emotions different chairs bring or different colours make you feel... there could be a series of photos and we could ask them to write their own imaginative story based around them.
Maybe we could have done more research into how people sit and want to sit for example we designed our stools to be based in a shopping center, ideally they would be tagged and let loose almost to see where in say the overgate they would end up. We found this really interesting how people can move their seats in public. its a fun game. As they are on wheels its very simple to move them.
We might have been a lot more aware about the design of the product for the public through what we have learnt from design studies. Perhaps we could have thought more about the durability of the product, oak is a good, strong material to use but is very expensive also, would this be possible in a cheaper form? will it still look good? do the job its made to do? We might have designed different sizes, different styles, different personalities for our chairs i think. I personally would have liked to see a "family" of them. Taller stools, shorter stools, thinner stools, longer stools... the possibilities are endless.
I think the main thing Design Studies has shown me, (without sucking up too much!) is that blogging is what we need to do today to get ourselves seen and heard by the world. The world is too huge and without blogging how will anyone hear of your work? blogs are brilliant! i have found different blogs i am really interested and am loving! For example Ric O'barry's 'save japan dolphins' blog is really inspiring and i really look up to his conservation efforts. I think the blogging process makes you more laid back about writing also. Its not as formal as an essay, its almost like your notepad its somewhere for you to connect with your friends in the world of design/ the world! Get yourself heard!!

Assignment 5A


Successful product branding is dependant on lots of things. If you can clearly show the message and get to know clients needs and wants you will ultimately be onto a success. I want to investigate how some brands are defeating other brands, what makes some brands more successful than others? how can we change our perceptions of perfection? i want to find out the meaning behind the advertising, the production of the products and how much toxic chemicals are released into the atmosphere each year. facts like that will shock the public and change our idea of a perfect lifestyle.

The American marketing association (AMA) identifies a brand as a ‘name, term, sign, symbol, design’, or a combination of them. Therefore good branding is achieved by understanding your target market and providing answers to their problems. You must not only deliver the message well but connect and motivate the client in a way in which they want to use your work again, you need to prove your loyalty to the project. You must also take the time to research and produce the message behind your brand. Why? Who is it aimed at? You must ask yourself these questions while in the process of creating a brand image.

Brand image sells your product. The product sells your brand. Good quality and aesthetics lead to your brand becoming a success. Word of mouth is spread from person to person like an air born infection if a new product comes out which is about to revolutionise how we live our lives on a daily basis. Ground breaking technology seems to come forward, gradually out-doing its competition. It’s crazy; we live in a throw-away society. The “stuff” we buy turns into junk within a matter of months. New “stuff” comes out, promising to be better, do more “stuff” and make you look good, feel good. Landfills are piling high full of our so called revolutionary technology.
Recently I saw the film ‘valentine’s day’ and it made me think of the pressure we are subconsciously put through. The amount of brand power involved in the film industry is immense. Everything and anything is advertised through the film industry and celebrities. In this film there happened to be a tone of celebs, they all seem flawless. You buy into this persona, they are acting. People see on these films how good the actors/ celebrities look and buy into it, they want to create this perfection for themselves. It’s a lot of pressure to be under, especially for young teens. Magazines are a prime example, flicking through any magazine but especially things like vogue you can see a tone of adverts calling out to you. They are crammed full of pressure brought forward by the branding and advertising to make you want to buy their products. I like to call it the “coolness factor”.

As i am focusing on brands it would be an obvious start to pick a couple of brands that that popular and work well, appealing to different categories of people and contrasting them with brands that have failed. These failed/ failing brands may have been regenerated, like Marks & spencers. They may have gone out of business. But that is what i would start of by doing. Researching different brands and where they stand in the current market. I would look at profits and comprise a series of line graphs to show the increase of sales/ decreases over a certain time period. From there i would then decide if that brand is a successful one or a negative one based on the facts on paper. This would be a good starting point because after all my research is conducted i can compare the “facts on paper” with the more “psychological experiments.”

Why are some brands more successful than others? To answer this I need to really think outside the box. I will need to use lots of different social experiments to help me come up with the answer. I don’t want to focus on one type of product i want to focus on many different ones. Clothes, technology, kitchens! You name it. One of the brands i really like just now is innocent smoothies! I particularly even like smoothies. Its the simplistic packaging and easy message that has gained the respect from the consumer. Products like this deserve to succeed, that use simple messages and that are good honest products.

Through thinking of branding in a supermarket i would randomly select a few different well known products from well known companies and then also purchase the same cheaper supermarket equivalent. I will then go and ask a random selection of people to choose which product they would go for if they would go into a shop. Then using a quick set of questions I would then ask about the packaging, design, ease of use, also ask things like which one looks simpler to cook and which looks nicer. Why did people choose that? What kind of people were they? Using observation skills, what wear their physical appearance? Were they healthy looking? Did they have children? After the interviewing process did I notice a visible difference in results? Did I expect the results to be that way?

Relating to the short video we watched in Design Studies based on young teens who were obsessed with labels and brands. I also decided to focus on clothing. Using different styles and focusing on the latest trends i would do the same experiment as the supermarket food but instead buy clothes from high end retail store and low end retail store. I would then see if different age groups act differently to branding. Would children care more than their parents? I found this quite interesting after watching that cringe worthy programme! Was I as bad when I was growing up? Yes i was obsessed with ‘Tammy Girl’ and ‘Claire’s accessories’ but i don’t think it was as bad for me growing up as it is now. Kids get physically and mentally bullied by not having the latest trends or by wearing old trainers. I decided i would test this in my proposal. I want to find out why, and if we can convince people to change their opinions on branding.

As i have decided to repeat the test again i can then compare the results i gained. This will make the results more accurate and if it all goes wrong i have a plan B. If the results fail completely i would then re-do my experiment and use banners and observe how many people went u and viewed the banners. I would have one for say a high end retailer such as topshop and a less desirable one such as Primark. I would have information on the posters about the hottest new trends in store so if it was topshop it might be the ‘new’ boyfriend blazer trend, and in Primark it could be simple printed cotton tops? I would want to make it a fair test by having the same amount of information on each. After doing this, I would place them in certain locations, around Dundee/ Scotland? I would then choose a safe distance and tally the amount of people that stopped and viewed each poster. I would observe the type of people, are they fashionable? What body image do they portray? After doing this i would count the results and see if i could count as people with bags from the two shops and almost observe how many people would choose topshop over Primark and vice versa.

In conclusion i propose to to answer the questions relating to brand power. I plan to observe, interview, test and research my line of thought in an attempt to change public perception of branding itself. i hope that as a human beings we can look past packaging and see what is beneath the exterior of the purchase. Are the two contrasting companies products made in exactly the same companies? with exactly the same materials? what makes something more expensive. why is topshop 10x more expensive than shops such as primark? these are the things i would like i look into further. I want to test the public and show them what is under the sexy branding surface. I want to dig deeper and uncover the truth of the products.
Lake Laura, American marketing association (AMA)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Wanna see my sketch book cover?! no? ok... ill show you anyway!
I usually just buy a sketchbook from DoJ but recently in class we have been attending a book binding class at the DCA! its all to do with our project and lets us have one-on-one time with Emma Fraser our client. Its good fun... and at home while i was ill and bored i decided to have an attempt of making a cover for my sketches... i used paper mache! simple stuff then tore out different colours and textures from magazines and newspapers and made a wee collage!

Assignment 4- Interviews

I chose to interview people about how celebrity culture effects branding of products!

I started thinking how these interviews could help me in the proposal writing process so decided to focus on a sub-topic of the branding culture.

I started off asking people who their idols were. who they looked up to... almost like a pre-interview attempt... i found that this varied depending on the gender and age.

The experiment

The question

I asked 3 people who their celebrity idol was. I also asked why and if they would buy a product endorsed by that particular person. Who wouldn't they buy a product back by...

An eleven year old female was asked the question, she responded Miley Cyrus because she is pretty, young and successful. She also started out singing when she was around the subjects age and looks up to her. She said she wouldn't want anything advertised by a man as it wouldn't be girly enough especially not a sportsman, such as david beckham.

20 year old male, was asked the same questions, he responded obviously different than subject one. he said he looks up to "the usual people" so when i asked who they were he struggled to come up with a name which i found quite strange. Maybe because he was on the spot i don't know but he struggled! eventually he said he looks up to music bands especially pop/ punk bands such as muse. When i asked why he said he wasn't sure just because of the way they dress and likes their music. He said he wouldn't buy products endorsed by younger singers such as Justin beiber...

19 year old female, was asked the same thing, responded quite interesting actually... she said she would buy a product from a man and a woman. i found this interesting as my other subjects had a clear dislike to a certain person or image. She didnt seem to mind. what she said was interesting as she said if a girl was selling you a product like cheryl cole she would buy it because if she thought a successful woman would buy it and use it then she should! She also said if a hunky man was telling her to buy a certain perfume or something she probably would because he would like the smell and she would appeal to him more... this got me thinking a lot...

There are some things that cant be done! Say if Gerard Butler was to advertise tampons?! Would women run out and buy them?! probably not... they wouldn't because he doesn't understand what a woman needs and wants. but if he was to advertise say a t-shirt then they would probably buy it! As subject 3 said she would buy something to get the attention of the celebrity. He obviously liked it enough to advertise it so people respect this and want to buy it because they want him.

I then asked them what they thought about interior design in general... i asked them to sum up my discipline in 3 words. what i got back was pretty expected... "pillows, throws, wallpaper" not "ground breaking brilliance!" i asked myself why?! why do people not understand what interiors is about?! i realised i had to admit ok... it is a tiny proportion to do with wallpaper and cushions and throws... but it is more to do with emotion and expression! Peoples needs and wants. Architecture, historic features, design for hotels... Design is about people, my discipline is no different, Laurence Llewelyn Bowen is the reason people believe interiors is a about decoration. flamboyant patterns and faux fur galore! Its not... Even when i tell people on the street what i do they say to me ... "oh i need my living room decorated ill give u a shout!"... Its quite annoying how stereotypes are fueled by hundreds of TV programmes. don't get me wrong i loved watching changing rooms when i was younger but it has totally destroyed peoples opinions on interiors in my opinion.

Pre-essay posting!

= ) (some of my notes and workings)

Just as i was writing my essay proposal i noticed that my previous post really is almost the same thing im saying in my proposal... on the same topic anyway!

I am actually enjoying writting my proposal, i never thought i would... (sorry Jonathan!) but as i started writing my introduction and also thinking what to include in my plan i realised it's a dead intresting topic and relates to design a lot... even interiors!

By reading articles and bits and bobs online i was really inspired and ready to rock and roll!

With radio 1 playing in the background and 3 cans of diet coke later i found myself sucked in and ready to put myself in a brandy markety mode!

Monday, March 29, 2010

bigger is better?!

So recently i got a digital SLR a huge camera which cost a fortune! ha ha! It got me th-th-thinking about products we buy and relating back to what Jonathan said in the final lecture about the business of design i thought id think about it further...
Personally i am a bit of an innovator and an early adaptor! (if i do say so myself!)... Usually the things i buy which make me an innovator do not usually become a big trend! But occasionally they do... for instance i was one of the first idiots to buy a mini-disk player! so hard to use, it didnt take off... The ipod nano though! the first one... the first credit card sized ipod out there at the time, i bought which caught on. (Don't know if that's because i bought it or not!... only kidding!)
Ipods became huge because of branding and advertising. they were made to look cool! and by people buying them they revolutionized music, and turned it into something easy, download-able tunes! So if i was to advertise a smelly old sock? and have advertising with everyone who is anyone wearing it on their head as a hat... everyone would do it? maybe... Lady gaga might be seen with one soon! I wouldn't be surprised!

but anyway back to my mighty nikon camera! I recently saw David Beckham on an advert with a huge camera up to his face, he then gave a cheeky wee grin! i was just wondering if maybe i am an innovator/early adopter for the slr revolution! ... i know what you are thinking, SLR's have been around for a long time... but digital SLR's are quite new things to have especially for teens... is this because of the price? maybe because they aren't seen as, for being cool?!

I predict that big is becoming better! people are starting to prefer having chunky good quality things! for example a cheap table from ikea and a gorgeous solid oak table... people would usually prefer the oak chunky, more expensive yes... but something that will last forever and not break and fail instantly! fashion's change and new things become popular and come back into style all the time! recently chunky jewelry has come in... and looking back to one of our lectures at the start of the year where Jonathan pointed out that everyone is wearing stripes! stripes are so in right now you are a no-body without stripes! that's what this advertising has done to us! we think we are being independent and new! but in fact these decisions have been made for us!

What a world! I just hope i can be proven right! and if lady gaga has a sock on her head next week! ill be sure to post about it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Task 3 - "Design safari"

For this task i decided to observe somewhere i am quiet familiar with, the bus stop! As i get the bus into uni through the week and work at the weekend i am pretty familiar with the process in which my 45 minute - 1 hour journey takes! So usually what happens is i leave my house in Carnoustie at around 8 each morning which then gets me into Dundee at about 9...
Today i am the first person at the bus stop i have approximately a 5 minute wait for the bus. As i wait it becomes clear that the bus is late... 5 minutes pass to 10 minutes and eventually it comes. What i noticed though is that when people walked towards the bus stop they stood around the corner behind a building... It was a very windy day and at this particular stop there was no shelter... So one by one they crossed over the busy main road and gradually popped their heads out from the corner, to see if the bus was coming...
I found this quite clever as the were almost creating a new bus shelter that i hadn't been aware of. As i stood and waited in the open being blown about and sand blowing in my face i felt quite silly that i hadn't thought of that before! for me i am a regular super bus-goer! and these pensioners out-smarted me!
So eventually the bus came and the pensioners raced to hop on the bus but what i noticed was i was almost the decoy! because i was standing there the bus had to stop and let me on... but if i wasn't there would they have waited that couple of meters away?! Quite a crucial distance for their zimmer frames!! ... So i decided to test this..
.The next day at the same time... I decided to do what they did the previous day, so i left my house that little bit later and lesuirely walked out to get the bus. There was no one on the corner so i thought to myself... "mmm that interesting!" as i walked around the corner i saw that there were 3 old ladies at the bus stop (2 of which were their the day before)... so i decided to wait on teh corner untill teh bus came... i wanted to see if the bus driver would treat me any differently than they would treat a pensioner! (obviously it would be a different driver and maybe it wasnt that much of a windy day... but in general i did wee experiment) so as i saw the bus appearing in the distance i gradually started to walk towards the bus stop when the bus passed me, the pensioners got on and the doors shut! I had to run and flag down the bus before it drove off without me...
As i got on the double decker bus i noticed there was a teenage boy sitting at the front of the bus on the lower floor. I decided to sit at the back of the bus and observe how people reacted as they got on the bus... (note: the boy had a cast on his foot/leg? so he must have not been able to get up the stairs) I found this interesting because as the oldies got on the bus they glared at the boy as if he should move but in fact he deserves the seat as much as they did, if not more... i found it really funny as well because he was wearing adidas track suit bottoms with the stripes down the sides and a grey hoody... so maybe this posed as a threat to the oldies! no one sat next to him until they had to and even then they turned their backs and talked to their friends. he struggled to get off the bus and no one helped him. I have witnessed hundreds of times people helping frail elderly people up but what made him so different? was it his clothes? if he was wearing something else would he have gotten a help? Maybe his body language showed he didnt want to be helped? Everyone completely ignored him even the bus conductor...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Update on 12 week interiors project...

Just a quick update on my line of thought for this project...

Although half way through i cant seem to get very motivated(probably because its such a long project i tend to think... oh i have plenty of time!) . So i think if i update on my blog every so often just so i can see and show my process almost like a written sketchbook!
Just a little background on the project first of all...

We need to re-model and develop a Victorian house for a book conservationist, Emma Fraser. She requires a work space and a studio within the large house, this needs to be 40m2 and somewhere within the house. There are all sorts of restrictions as books need to be kept in a constant low temperature, somewhere without direct sunlight and so on.

As well as a studio we have been asked to design living quarters for her! especially somewhere to relax and entertain her friends!

Emma has spent a lot of time travelling, throughout Europe, China and South Africa where she studied and lived... As different cultures are oobviously quite interesting to her i decided to adopt the feeling of different traditions, and almost merge them together subtly... i started off looking at African design and styles (quite stereotypical objects and prints)... I found that a lot of dark ebony wood is used to create bowls and structures. I came across a lot of stereotypical thing as well such as bone, shells and rich colours.

different prints + textiles...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Activity 2E- Adding text

I felt i didnt need to add text to my photos as my subjects were quite clear on the story...

I dicovered that people can tell a lot through photographs that dont belong to them! At first people look at you and say "oh god i dunno!" but when you tell them to look at anything in the image they can start to reveal little stories and try to uncover what is actually going on in the photo! its amazing how personal photos are to yourself but probably could be understood by an on-looker!

Activity 2D: The fourth image

I decided to add a fourth image to see if doing so would give the same kind of response if asking a different person!
I decided to go with Subject 1's story as i found an image of a couple watching the fireworks!

I then asked the same questions to a different group of people.. the reponce was quite a positive one!

Subject 5-
Im on holiday in Australia with what appears to be my wife/ girlfriend. we are cuddling as we watch the fireworks. It looks like we are older and perhaps on our honeymoon?
- Male, 19, art student

Subject 6-
On holiday perhaps with my parents? We are in Sydney and and standing watching the fireworks.
- Female, 18, art student

Subject 7-
Obviously with someone i care about in australia watching the fireworks display? maybe on new years?
- Male, 20, geography student

I found it amazing by adding just one extra picture i managed to give slightly more visual information to people which led to them almost discovering the same outcome! (romance, watching fireworks, holidays?!)

Activity 2C: Talk to people

After selecting my random pictures i then asked a few people to create a story based around them. I let them choose their own order and jotted down their response...

Subject 1-
I was traveling with my boyfriend, somewhere abroad. It was a cold autumn night, clouds formed above us. We looked up to see fireworks shooting through the sky above us! It was very romantic.

- Female, 16, high school

Subject 2-
While visiting friends in Sydney, we sat and sheltered under bushy trees and waiting for the firework display!

- Male, 21, law student

Subject 3-
I had just immigrated to Australia. I arrived in March, coming from our winter to their autumn. I had moved into a lovely suburban neighbourhood surrounded with trees. My first night in Australia, I visited the Sydney Opera House where i watched the firework displays. Almost as if Sydney was welcoming my arrival with a big bang!

- Female, 19, psychology student

Subject 4-
After a long day on the way to watch the fireworks in the city we stopped the car and stood under beautiful apple trees where we rested in the shade looking up at the blue sky through the branches.
- Female, 20, art student

Activity 2B: Select random images

Three random pictures from

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Project, Year 2, Semester 2...

(Follow on from Natural design project... This is almost a project to build up to our first interior/ architectural property development. Ill recieve the breif on Monday so more to come...)

Update on mini project...

Researching into wearable books & book making.

discovered a few designers i liked for different reasons.

doing little sketches to help me decide the over look + design of my peice.

Allison cooke brown <<

the black spot books, >>

This then made me think...

what defines a book? does it have to open/ close?

can it just contain words not sentences?

can you slide it along instead of turning a page?

does it protrude? Is ut static?

does the contents of it give information? if so what kind?

Then i started looking at the form of the fuction... Including materials?
Glass found on the beach? Wood scraps from the workshop?

This quick wee sketch illustrates my line of thought... it isnt a book literally... printed or engraved writing could be used to transform it into a 'book'


Recently i have started watching documentaries about wildlife, but in particular the film "the cove" and series like "whale wars".

The cove is a film based documentary, exposing the brutal killing of dolphins and small whales in a town called Taiji, in Japan. After watching this film... i felt angry. What gives us the right as human beings to take innocent animals out of their natural environment and brutally kill them with harpoons and axes.

The lucky ones are selected to perform for our entertainment in sea world and dolphin shows all around the world. Are they lucky though? Swimming around a minuscule tank of water with screaming people cheering and chanting...

Personally when i was younger, on a holiday to Florida with my family i visited sea world. At this age i was,( as every young person is) obsessed with them, They are cute, and friendly and have a permanent smile! Whats not to love... But its not till i watched 'the cove' i realised that they in fact aren't happy. Many aquariums cant keep their dolphins alive. Dolphins can stop breathing and 'commit suicide.'

In Taiji, the dolphins not selected are tied up to boats and taken round the corner and never seen alive again. The water turns from clear turquoise to blood red. They are slaughtered, mainly for their meat. Over 2000 dolphins are slaughtered each year.

Mercury spreads up the food chain into dolphins. (mercury released from factories etc...) When people eat dolphin meat the mercury enters their bodies at an alarming the town of Taiji, Japan (where 'the cove' is filmed) the people there contain over 10 times the national average of mercury in their bodies.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Assignment 1: the consumption of design...

I decided to focus on someone i know for this project. So i focused on one of my friends. I took random photographs of objects in her room (how they appeared naturally). I gained a lot of information which i did not know about/ didn't think i would be able to gain from pictures. I was able to tell a staggering amount of information about her appearance, music taste, habits, obsessions, past and future.

Looking at her desk... it is quite tidy, she was obviously in the process of using her laptop and needs reading glasses? shown on top of the blue book. obviously keeping certain things on show that might mean something to her, such as ornaments and cards and jewelry, while keeping things hidden away underneath. Maybe she is embarrassed of these things she stores away? Or maybe they aren't used as much.

I think she uses her desk as a place to read and do her work, a psychology book is lying on her desk which i can tell she has been in the process of reading as her glasses beside it.

Her taste in music is quite interesting as she has punk music and generally music that would be stereotyped as music a boy listens to. This contrasts with the flowers for example because flowers are associated with femininity. This makes me ask questions... are they old Cd's from her past? do they belong to someone else? Were the flowers given as a gift? or were they selected by herself? The cards show me that they were probably a gift. On top of her shelf lies some junk (bottle of booze + some candle holders?) this shows to me that she probably doesn't use these Cd's anymore... if they were used regularly they might not have as much on top of them.

Moving onto her bed section of the room we can see that there is a simple standard double bed and beech effect headboard + bed side table. Quite tidy looking... some jeans and clothes on the end of her bed, also a handbag and a small 'dobbies' carrier bag. By this section you can tell a bit more about her age, she is in her late teens which can be shown by the double bed... The colours are quite a good example of modernising a room as a child grows. Pink carpet was probably fitted when she was younger and as every child does... loves pink! maybe been painted green as she grew older through her teens. (less expensive to replace than a carpet.)

It is quite a big room with new PVC windows? quite a recent modern house. quite big windows also...

Looking at her DVD shelf we can see just how organised she is! The DVDs are displayed in alphabetical order!! Shows how neat she is and proud of her possessions. She might also suffer from slight O.C.D by the looks of it! Again the shelf matches the other furniture in her room (beech laminate). Looking at her DVDs you can see again the range of genres, from chick-flick to horror. She also has a book and computer games so there is a variety of technical and more traditional aspects.

The cuddly toys keep this element of childhood, obviously penguins mean something to her. variety of sizes + types of materials with smaller ones kept to the front. Again so they can be seen and displayed.

Under her bed i found ucas papers which could show she is already in university or college. Also books and folders containing information. There was also a calculator? maybe shes studying maths? "third party fire and theft" - car insurance? does this mean she has a car?

An empty packet of cigarettes... secret smoker?! (terrible!!), maybe they were left by someone? hidden away... not wanting anyone to see them...
This is quite interesting as there are several things she likes to keep from people seeing. Others that she wants people to notice, such as her DVDs (arranged in alphabetical order!)

Waiting on a reaction...

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Year... New project's!

Happy new year folks!

Just been given our first brief of 2010!! (scary!)

Been asked to focus on natural design and over the course of the week, join with a few people and find out what it is!

Natural building materials and facts that are quite surprising...

-Straw bales used in buildings, easily shaped, assembled, cheap AND 3 TIMES MORE FIRE RESISTANT THAN A CONVENTIONAL HOME! (Because the bales are so tightly packed there is so little oxygen so if a fire breaks out it'll take a lot longer to burn than you would think!) Also can be treated with fire resistant chemicals and things...
I remember watching 'grand designs' where a straw bale house was built in the woods. It is totally energy efficient and runs off solar? and wind power? (i think...). At the time i thought it was a bit hippy-ish! but after reading and researching more and more Ive become fascinated! I think its amazing! So simple... Yet effective and cosy! (has very good insulation! + thick walls). Usually plastered with natural materials like lime and cob.

-Adobe! [A-do-bee] (NOT photoshop!) ... In fact it is a very substantial material made from clay, water, sand and straw to strengthen... Usually used in the African continent. Seen usually in poorer countries where bricks and other resources aren't available financially and physically. Adobe involves the mixing of these materials, it is then poured into square brick shaped moulds then left to dry in the sun. Some people say that the amount of clay in the mixture effects the strength... and that it could break up... this wouldn't be ideal for building if the wrong mix is produced...

There are so many more natural materials such as - Rock, Cob, Earth Covered Roofs... etc...


The next project involves working with a client! I am really looking forward to this project as it is something different and new skills can be gained. The brief is pretty broad and asks to make and design a book out of natural materials... it has to be handmade and can be in any format. For example it could be a physical book? or even a piece of jewelry or clothing?! (Could be anything really!)

So what makes something a book?! is it the writing? is it the cover...? is it the context? The Vocabulary? What is it?!

I really want to make something physical that i can keep and cherish... Particularly something i can wear and use! almost as a talking piece. I really like the idea of recycling coke cans/ bean tins and creating a really nice broach or even bracelet? What it is... is up to me.

But if it is a piece of jewelry or clothing... what can then turn that into a 'book'?! Is it bit opening like a book cover and revealing hidden text?/ Pictures?

I'm quite looking forward to how open the brief is and what i can produce in the short period of a week!

Updates to follow!!