Assignment One: Are you what you wear?

21st Century Design, Assignments

This is the first assignment of my new module: 21st Century Designer. Even though it has only just started and I’ve only had one lecture for it, I have really enjoyed it so far! Over the Christmas holidays, I had to read Snoop by Sam Gosling and collect/take a series of photographs of my room/house or photographs from my childhood. As I didn’t have a lot of my childhood photographs at hand, I decided to take photographs of my room in Dundee (as my other room back in Glasgow is now my sister’s room as we used to share…so it’s just mostly her own stuff with a few of my things hidden in some cupboards).

Snoop has been quite an interesting book so far! it’s about how someone could be able to tell what sort of person you are through your possessions, different rooms in your house etc. How without even knowing the person, you could learn to tell what the person is like with just a look around their room or a photograph of their room.The book teaches you how to ‘Snoop’ and contains a lot of very interesting information! it has been a great read so far so I recommend it!

So for this assignment, I had been put in a team (Team 2) and we had to analyse another teams (Team 1) photographs of their childhood or rooms/possessions. This assignment has been a great experience to observe things a lot better and really think about different things in different ways. There was four areas that we had to focus on and they were: ‘Possessions’, ‘Influences’, ‘Taste’ and ‘Environment’.

Analysis and Deduction

So for the first part of the assignment, our team (team 2) had to observe and analyse the photographs of the members in Team 1. When looking at each persons photographs, we had to consider:

Taste – What do they like? what Film or bands they like etc,

Possessions – What do they own? if it’s an older photograph, what do their family own? etc.

Influences – Could be favourite bands, celebrities, family and friends? (may be if a person has a lot of photographs on their wall).

Environment –  How have they customised their rooms? their families homes etc.

So we had an hour to analyse each photograph from each person in Team 1. Here is their photos and some observations about each photograph and what kind of person the photographs are from. Also, everyone’s photographs were anonymous except for a tag of what team they were in. This made it easier to really get into the assignment because then no one knows who the photographs are from. It gave everyone the same chance of guessing what type of person they are as some people may have known others in each of the teams.

Photo Observations

Person 1 – We all thought it was a boy due to the aftershave and Lynx can, a lot of posters of female celebrities and because of the colours of the room. We discussed that he is from Interactive Media Design because we saw the stack of blank CDs and his laptop was lying out on his bed. We all felt that he really liked music because of all the posters of bands and singers and his CDs. We also figured that he was quite organised in certain areas as he has sets of drawers/boxes for different things. There is also some messy areas as well. One of our team members, Alison Best, figured that he still lived at home as he has matching pillow cases and curtains (could have been bought for him or he has had them for a while). Shows coordination. Finally, we figured that he isn’t vain because of the small mirror.

Person 2 – From the photographs, we assumed it was a girl! We could tell it was a girl from her childhood due to the photographs.  We discussed that she is quite a happy, enthusiastic and family person as a couple of her photographs were her and her family or friends at a close age. Also, we figured she is quite active and out-going as the majority of her photos are outside or when she is doing something. ( Playing on the football table etc). Also, due to where she was at the time these photos were taken. We thought that she might have been a Textile Student because of the hand printed T-Shirt she is wearing in the above photograph. We were right! and we found out that her mum had made this T-Shirt for her. Therefore, we felt that she must have been influenced by her mum to become a textile student herself!

Person 3– We figured that from the style of the room and clothing that it must be a boy. We were right! We figured that from the mis – matched furniture that he lives in a student flat. We assumed that from the photographs, drink bottles (above photo) that he is quite a sociable person who likes to have fun. We noticed all the photos around his desk so it shows that he keeps in touch with friends a lot and likes to have little reminders. Also, we noticed that he has old school class photographs on his wall and old cards so this shows that he is sentimental. From the male posters on the wall, we figured that he likes to keep good care of his body and to generally keep fit. We discussed that he is quite an academic person as a few of his books are books based on design. We assumed he was an Interior and Environmental Design Student because of his laptop open on his bed, the piece of art on a wall that looks like a presentation board from a previous project and his selection of books. From the photographs of his clothes, we assumed he is quite a confident and out-going person as his clothes are quite patterned and brightly coloured. Also, from a couple of his art books ( Pop art) and Moulin Rouge we assumed he had a lot of confidence. From looking at the photographs, everyone in the team assumed he is a very organised person as each poster is placed carefully on the wall and the desk is very tidy. Not the typical male bedroom! but it still has a more male style for the room.

Person 4– From these childhood photos, we all agreed hat it is a girl. We figured that she is quite active and close to her family as these photos each have a member of her family in them. We all discussed that she could be a Jewellery and Metalwork Designer because of the matching ribbons she has in her hair in one of the photographs. Shows she cares about accessories. We figured that from the photographs, she is quite close to her grandparents as two of the three photographs have a grandparent in them. When looking at childhood photographs, we had to think about their upbringing as analysing a childhood photograph is a little bit harder than analysing a photograph of what the person is like now. So, from this, we all agreed that she had a comfortable upbringing as of the style of the rooms and places in the photographs. We also discussed that she may like attention as in each of the photographs, she is looking straight at the camera and smiling.

After finishing analysing all of Team 1s photographs, we all arranged to meet up with team 1 and discussed our observations. For this assignment, we had to take notes on everyone’s observations and reactions to what the other team had thought about their photographs. When both teams discussed each others observations, everything that team 1 had said was pretty accurate for everyone in team 2 so there wasn’t any bad reactions and no-one took offence. Furthermore, I think some people may have realised things that they had not known about themselves before so I think that this assignment has been quite an interesting experience! I know that I had been surprised with some of the things that had been said!

When team 1 listened to our observations about their photos, they all agreed that their feedback was very accurate and were surprised that we managed to guess that one of the members still lived at home because of this matching curtains and pillow cases!

Here is a few of my own photos that I had submitted to be analysed.

Before I received my own feedback from team one, I was quite nervous to what people thought of me and what kind of personality I had as most of team 1 did not know me. As I always worry about things like this, it wasn’t a surprise that I was feeling nervous!

Team 1s observations for my photos were that I was very organised, which was right! not so organised when it comes to more important things like managing my time for assessments! so that needs improving!. They also said that I was quite sentimental because of my photos and little things that I had kept over the years (21st cup, little cross stitch pictures etc). team one also observed that I had a religious background because of the cross that is pinned on my pin board. I am a Catholic so this is true!. I was also told that I may be superstitious because of the dream catcher above my bed and with another on my pin board. I was totally surprised by this! (in a good way of course!) I didn’t realise this about myself but I think a part of me believes in it! so that was exciting to learn something new about myself that I hadn’t realised before. They guess that I was a textiles student because of my fashion and magazine cut outs on the walls and seen them as my influences for part of Textile Design (Very true!) So all of team 1s observations about myself were correct! I was very impressed! I couldn’t believe how well someone could analyse me with just a few photographs from my current room!

When team one discussed all of their observations, everyone from team two had said that their observations had been very accurate. So, I think this assignment has been a success!

From looking at the ‘Johari Window’, I think that it helped me really think about this assignments outcomes as it had helped everyone to understand each of the reactions that everyone took from the photograph observations. Here is a diagram of the ‘Johari Window’.

During the feedback section, everyone was pretty open to all comments and took their own observations very well! All were correct and revealed parts of different peoples personalities that even the person did not realise themselves! This assignment has been a very interesting one and I have to say that I really enjoyed it!

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