Identify 5 books you will read over the summer as a result of Design Studies, and why?
- Where Good ideas Come From (Steven Johnson) - This book was recommended to us during a recent lecture, and seems to have won high praise from many different sources. Focusing on how to come up with the ideas that will shape the future, the video promotion for it is tremendously executed and roped me in easily.
- Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity (Dean Keith Simonton) - I’m a sucker for all things Darwinian, having blitzed through the Origin of Species a good few times, I’m nothing short of fascinated by his theories on everything from evolution to psychological behaviour to religion, the voyage he took on the HMS Beagle and Richard Dawkins’ research into his work. This book in particular explores Darwinian’s process of variation and selection in terms of “creative genius”, and a better understanding of creativity as a whole.
- Quirkology (Prof. Richard Wiseman) - Having read Snoop earlier this year as part of Design Studies, this book comes recommended from the great minds of Amazon and delves a bit more into the human mind and covers topics such as “How does your surname influence your life?” and “What is the funniest joke in the world?”.
- How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul (Adrian Shaughnessy) - I actually received this book for my Birthday way back in January and haven’t got round to looking at it properly yet. I’ve seen it featured on numerous blogs and book shelves all over the place. It seems to cover all aspects of Graphic Design from running a studio to beginning freelance work, and I’m sure will become a vital go-to book in the next year and beyond.
The Art of Looking Sideways (Alan Fletcher) - This came recommended by one of my tutors, describing itself as a “guide to visual awareness”. The fact that it’s written by the late Alan Fletcher, who is has left a huge imprint that’s still running through design to this day, is enough to get me to pick this book up.
Identify 5 things you will do to your blog over the summer and when
- I have plans to update the layout of the LiveLifein3D blog, being so eager to get it up and online I didn’t polish off all the little details I would’ve liked. I’m partial to getting tired of web layouts quickly, and I’d like to introduce something that engages users more when visiting the site.
- I’ve become more and more aware of the importance of ‘tags’, especially when it comes to the sensitivity of Google searches, so am updating previous posts with more specific keywords and ignoring my lazy tendencies to add them properly from now on.
- I have a Tumblr, and a Blogspot archive from way back when which I’m going to attempt to bring up to speed and use to connect and interact with more people, thanks to the way these sites work, this is a pretty simple process and makes it more than easy to find fellow bloggers with similar interests.
- My main focus is to set up my portfolio page, I’ve booked out a production studio which I’ll be inhabiting soon in order to Photograph my work to date. Ideally I’d like to get these displayed in an online portfolio by the end of the summer.
- Carrying on from setting up my portfolio, I’d like to then concentrate on who I’d like to get in touch with (below) and promote/establish my blog in as many different ways as possible in order to gain more visitors, this will include contacting blog authors, contest submissions, collaborations and networking.
Identify 5 people you will connect to over the summer and how? Why those people?
- I’ve just recently dusted off my Twitter and am attempting to make it a part of my daily online routine which includes several visits to Facebook and Daily Kitten. Although I’m nowhere near the the 10,000+ tweet level of others, I’ve had a realisation of how useful a tool it can be, allowing me to get in touch with those previously uncontactable. I’d like to get in contact with;
@Sagmeisterinc - Stefan Sagmeister is simply put, genius. Always pushing boundaries in the Graphic Design spectrum, and is firmly one of my favourites. I got in touch with Sagmester Inc last semester while completing my Manifesto project as I was using a similar technique to the cover of Made You Look and took a long shot in asking for advice when it came to colour swatches. I would like to draw their attention to this finished project when my portfolio is finally set up.
@CarsonMag - For much the same reasons as above, I’m a massive fan of Carson’ work and completed a project inspired by his work for Raygun last year, I’d like to point him in the direction of this work and hopefully gain feedback.
@CargoCollective - Cargo Collective is a web publishing platform which I am very interested to start using as soon as possible, a great majority of my favourite designers/illustrators seem to have a cargo site, and I’m a great fan of their templates and approach to web design.
@MarkWeaver - Mark Weaver is one of many inspiring freelance designers/illustrators who’s work I’ve long been a fan of. He hosts an impressive client list including, WIRED and The Sunday Times. I plan on getting in contact with him to ask how he went about networking and drawing attention to his work, aswell as his venture into freelance work. I figure getting as much insight into how others did this will only benefit me in the future post-degree.
@BunchDesign - Bunch Design is a creative design studio based in London, with a whole host of clients to it’s name. Considering we will be applying for internships come this time next year, I’d like to get a head start and get in contact with companies which I’d be interested in getting involved with.
Although the thought of getting in touch with some of these contacts seems slightly daunting, considering how established they may be, I figure I’ve got nothing to lose and nothing but beneficial advice to gain.
Research Proposal; Online Social Networking versus Human Relationships
For the final assignment of this semester I’m putting together a research proposal in order to investigate my chosen topic from semester one further, ‘online social networking versus human socializing’. Last semester I looked at several books about human psychology in particular how we communicate non-verbally with other people, this includes aspects such as body language and eye contact, looking at how important these are interested me most, as this is what is left out when we socialize online. This proposal is set out to gather research and evidence on the reliability of communicating online, how people have adjusted to this and where it’s going to lead us in the future. I will use methods that were practiced this semester, looking back at the assignments we’ve been given; each has provided a different way of gathering information.
I intend to use a combination of both the observation and interview method (Mecca Bingo and Magazine assignment). For the first part of my research I intend to observe the behavior of people communicating in person, for this I would pick a common meeting place such as a coffee shop or restaurant where you’d often find groups of people discussing everyday things without pressure. I’ve considered how I would record my observations, and as not to invade anyone’s privacy or listen in on personal conversation I’ve ruled out the option of any audio recordings, instead I’d pay more attention to their actions and how much they mirror each other in terms of body language or use physical gestures/contact to interact with one another. This could be recorded by myself using notes and sketches, as any photo or video recording may not provide an accurate representation of what’s going on.
I would then conduct a similar observation but this time looking at how people act when using socializing sites/applications online. When looking at social networking statistics, unsurprisingly the most popular site is Facebook, which trumps competitors in terms of activity and registered users, currently standing at over 500 million and still growing. However I believe a more precise representation of how we can communicate with each other online would be to look at real-time socializing applications, such as Skype and MSN Messenger, where there’s an instant messaging system back and forth The best location for accomplishing this would be an internet café or communal area that offers Wi-Fi.
Although I believe the observation method will play an important part in gaining research about the differences in people’s behaviour while socializing both off and online, introducing the interview method will allow further insight into how we have adjusted to the change in how we communicate on a daily basis on a more personal level. I predict from past experience, the observations that I make will rely on paying close attention to detail and allowing myself to expand and evaluate on what I see. I would assume that people would be less likely to express physical emotion when face to face with a computer rather than another person, but does this affect them in the long run? Do the two forms of communication ever overlap and affect or change how we speak to each other? Which do people feel more comfortable with?
These are a few examples of questions that could be partly answered through watching reactions and how people interact with each other, but to gain as much evidence as possible I’d propose asking users these questions on a personal level and see what feedback is given. Interviewing strangers have proven of more benefit than doing so with anyone you’ve already established a relationship with, it leaves out any personal issues that may affect answers and heightens your awareness of their mannerisms which is where anything such as a sense of anxiousness or positive reactions to questions will become obvious. I’m interested in whether people feel comfortable with this change in our society, have they made the adjustment easily, do they value face to face interaction more than they did before and how it has affected them and others surrounding them.
Whilst at a location such as an Internet café completing observation research, by approaching visitors that are using the facilities, an interview could be constructed by putting together a set of questions about how they use social networking sites. I would record their answers as well as make notes of how detailed they were in their explanations, how elaborate their body language was and any other I believe to gain a first hand experience of the differences between online and offline conversation would be to then request permission to complete a portion of the interview over an application such as MSN messenger or Skype without the use of any video. I could then record any differences I experienced in the conversation with the same person, and whether I felt more or less comfortable conducting it this way, and how both myself and the interviewee felt about the experience as a whole.
I believe this combination would offer a fairly quick and reliable way of obtaining evidence on this topic, and allow you to instantly see the differences between the two forms of socialization as well as individual’s feeling on the subject. It could easily be extended over a longer period of time, a survey could be set up online and involve larger groups of people in order to gain a broader amount of results. The feedback that is gained would give us a better understanding of how our civilization has made the shift to the Internet being a part of our daily lives, and how social networking has changed drastically in such a short period of time.
Tim Brown, the author of Change by Design poses an interesting question, which this research could form answers to, and that is “How does membership in an online community affect the behaviour of individuals once they return to the prosaic world of atoms, proteins, and bricks“.
Are the days of meeting up face to face to discuss our lives eradicating only to be replaced by pixelated versions of each other?
Yoann Lemoine is the directing genius behind this here piece of film-making, major sense of an epic that can unfold from the four minute video. Having directed a range from Lipton tea adverts to Vogue shorts, Lemoine’s work to date is impressive and one to keep an eye on. High Definition//Full Screen as usual.
So the past fortnight myself and peers in 2nd year Graphic Design hosted our end of semester exhibition; entitled ‘Connecting With Society’. Our project brief had been split into 3 parts, each of us given a different charity or organisation which we were to collate research for to then be presented as a moodboard, a broadsheet was then created to attract awareness to our individual topic which then led onto the 3-Dimensional Typographic piece which was on display being the final summarisation of the project as a whole.
Scottish Natural Heritage is what I had to work with, which covers a vast amount of subject matters from protecting turtles to organising hill walks throughout the country. I chose to hone it down to one topic in particular to concentrate my efforts on, which after a lot of deliberation ended up being Deer Management. The main reason being that although there is a lot of controversy about the hunting of Deer (aswell as other species) the SNH actually support Deer stalking, I went on to highlight the reasons for this and how it benefits different aspects of the countryside, and Scottish Economy in the long run.
I chose the target as my main feature in this 3D piece, a classic piece of design which everyone is familiar with and which I believe represents hunting as a whole. Research into the controversy that Deer Hunting sparks led to the finding of some quintessential quotes, from Aristotle to Dickens, they represented arguments from both sides of the spectrum, for and against the subject.
Two weeks, a major stanley knife wound, a screen-printed dartboard and a wooden suspension frame later my final 3D Typographic piece is complete, each ring staggered behind another leading onto a bullet stained backdrop offers the ‘Target Tunnel Vision’ effect I wanted to achieve. Overall a success, good feedback all round, and was worth nearly dismembering my index finger for.