Fun with Collage. Printing Ideas.

Border Crossings, Photography, Sketchbook Work, Textiles

For Project 3 of my Border Crossing brief, I have been looking at the old Slovenian Currency (The Tolar) and the Euro. Recently in the studio, I have been creating some black and white drawings/ mixed media pieces so that I can create some more interesting printing ideas! So why black and white? Well…the reason for this is because when the image is black and white, it makes it easier to see and create pattern ideas! For a few of my images, I took inspiration from one of my mixed media drawings.

I took my main pattern idea from the third fine liner design down from the top. Here’s what I came up with!

That’s a few of my ideas so far…

As I am thinking about print designs, I have to think about pattern, colour, detailing and texture. I haven’t created a lot of texture so recently I have been trying to create an interesting effect with some lino/ cardboard prints! I feel that they work quite well!

From these drawings/prints, I started to think about pattern again…

That’s a few of my ideas so far.

Even though the drawings/ mixed media drawing’s look fairly simple and do not include a lot of fine details, I think they are very effective when it comes to creating some screen print design ideas. The black and white contrasting tones make it easier to create different patterns and eye-catching print ideas!


21st Century Design Assignment 4: Interviews but not as we know them!

21st Century Design, Assignments

For assignment four, I had to select a question that links with previous projects from this semester or last semester. I then had to conduct about three or four interviews to people who I did not know. This is the question I selected:

What object to people treasure the most? and why?”

I chose this question because last semester, for our mini assignment over the Christmas holidays, I had to post a blog about the best gift that I had ever been given. Best Gift Ever? This was my answer to that question. I also thought that the above question would be something that everyone would have an answer to and that each and every answer would be very different from the next. It would be quite personal and every answer is unique to them.

For part of this assignment, I had to use a service tool(s) to help research my chosen question so that I could gain enough questions that I needed for my interviews. When I got a lecture from Laurie Currie from the company Snook, I decided to look back at my notes for the key points of the service design tools. I recently done a post about it called “Snook: Transforming People”. I decided to use the mind map tool because I have found through earlier assignments and projects, that mind maps have been very useful for me. Mind maps have helped me expand my original ideas and got me thinking about what I need to do next.

I created this mind map to gather information about the possible answers, my ideas on what people may say and to gather possible questions ideas that accompany the above mentioned question.

When I was creating this mind map, I was thinking about all of the possible things that people may select as their answers such as photographs, objects/technology that is used every day such as a phone, iPod, laptop etc.  From thinking about the different answers that may arise, I started to think about the different questions that I would ask to accompany the main question. Questions like:

  • Why are these objects treasured? 
  • How do they make you feel?
  • Do they remind you of something or someone? 
  • Does it have a story behind it? 
  • Was it a gift?
  • Was it expensive?
  • Is it vital in your daily routine?

For a test run in my pre-interviewing stage, I asked a few friends my question to see what their responses were and what they thought. Here are some of my responses:

  • “my phone and my pc”
  • “my knitting machine, it’s a godsend”
  •  “I love my iPod but I’m going to say whatever sketchbook I’m working on, also any wee notes people write as thank you’s I keep them all”
  • “definitely my iPod and phone, id be lost without them”
  • “My bed, as you need to have a good nights sleep, to have a good day the following day”
  • “my new bracelet my boyfriend gave me. We live far apart and its a nice bracelet as you saw today!”
  • “Definitely my iPod – leave this world and enter you own wee world”
This was quite an effective experiment as I got quite a varied range in answers and each person posted why they thought it was a treasured item. I had asked from a range of ages from late teens and above so that I could get a variation.


For my interviews, I took a semi-structured approach so I prepared some questions and then worked on from there.

I kept the names of the interviewer’s anonymous as a couple did not want to have their name used. This is my answers from the question: “What object do people treasure most? and why?”

Person 1 – Male. His answer was very effective as it gave me a clear view of how much his most treasured object means to him. His object that he treasures the most is his snowboarding equipment/clothing etc. His answer was

“When im snowboarding I don’t need to worry about anything else, no debt, no work, no stress, only going down the slope and loving every second of it.”

From this answer, I can sense that he is quite an adventurous person who isn’t afraid to take risks and is a very outgoing person. He mentions that he doesn’t worry about anything such as debt, work etc and it suggests that he has a pretty busy lifestyle but also likes to have a fun and exciting social life.

Person 2 – Female. When I asked what she thought people treasure most, she replied

my phone! connects me to home

as she is from Ireland and lives away from home whilst at University. This suggest that she is quite sentimental and likes to still be connected to her family and friends even though she isn’t living at home. It also suggests she is very caring and keeps well-connected with her family back home. Also, suggests she is quite a family orientated person.

Person 3 – Female. Her answer wasn’t an object but it was something that she sees every day and it means a lot to her. Her answer was her pet dog Connie. She described her dog as her “child” and it is obvious she is very attached to her. Perhaps she has had her since she was a pup? or has grown up with her in her home? I then asked

How does your dog (Connie) make you feel when she is with you?” 

and she said that it made her feel a lot less stressed and seeing her just cheers her up whenever she needs it. This suggests to me that she is obviously an animal lover and a really caring person. I then asked:

“How long have you had her?”

She said that she has had her for about 6 years so it is obvious she is very attached to her and she is a big part of her life.

Person 4 – Male. When I interviewed this person, he immediately gave me an answer.

Photo of my dad and me because it reminds me of him and of me when I was young

The reason for this was that the photographs remind him of his dad and himself when he was younger. This shows that he is a very sentimental person as he has kept all of these photographs. I then asked:

How do they make you feel when you see these photographs?” and:

“How long have you had these photographs?”

He says that when he looks at these photographs, he feels determined. This was a really clear answer I thought because it suggests that his father was a very big influence on him and means a great deal to him. It also shows he is a very caring person and when he said that he felt determined when he looked at these photographs suggests that he is quite confident and not afraid to take risks. He said that he has had these photographs for as long as he remembers so this clearly suggests that these photograph are very precious to him as he has had them all of his life.

Person 5 – Female. When I asked her my question, she asked was it about her most treasured item or was it people in general. This was interesting because she was the only one who asked before she gave her answer. Everyone that I asked immediately thought of something they treasure most. This is a very natural response because it is hard to think about what objects people treasure without knowing them.

“My most treasured item is a little porcelain dog that my gran gave me when I was about 7, because it reminds me of her and it is a german shepherd which reminds me of the dog I used to have”

This suggested to me that she was a very caring person who is quite family orientated. Also, she said that the dog was a German Shepard and this reminded her dog that she used to have. This shows that she is an animal lover and that her dog helped bring back the memories of her Grans gift to her.

Person 6 – Male. When I asked this question, he gave me a more practical view as he said that as he is a Chef so his answer was:

“I treasure my knives, as it’s the tools of my trade and I can’t perform my job without them”

This was quite an interesting answer I thought because he chose something work related rather than say a gift or something he may have kept over the years. Therefore, this suggests that he is very work orientated thus he is very committed and really enjoys his job. Also, as he said knives, it suggested to me that as he is a chef, that his knives must be professional therefore, quite expensive. I’d imagine that he would use them with care and really take care of them. I also asked:

“were they a gift? and “How long have you had them?”

He said he has had them for a year and bought them himself. This suggests to me that he is quite particular in what he wants and as he said a year, perhaps he buys a new set annually so as to make sure his food is always at a top standard? Also, it suggests to me that he thinks practically most of the time as opposed to an emotional view.

I didn’t ask a lot of questions as I did not want to pressure them into answering every question so I chose questions that were appropriate to their first answers.

I created another mind map to show my answers from my test interviews and actual interviews.

For the second part of my interviews I asked the same question but asked them to tell me what they think are the most common treasured items amongst a lot of different people. I was intrigued to ask this question as the majority of my answers had been based on that persons own treasured gift, not people in general.

A lot of my responses were quite similar to each other as everyone had said that technology, mobile phones, iPods, laptops, games consoles etc must be a lot of people’s treasured items as they use them all daily. Whereas, an older generation could say something more sentimental as they have not grown up or needed the technology as much as the younger generation do.

These were a few of my responses:

“Well I would say people of the younger generation most treasure things like mobile phones and laptops as they treasure their friends and that’s how they socialize and stay in contact with them.”

“I imagine a lot of people picking technology”

“electronics, phones, pc’s utilities etc”

The younger generation (teens and above) have grown up with either a computer, mobile phone, TV, music player (or all of them) so have become accustom to using them daily. Therefore, they are more advanced in technology than say the older generation so they depend on technology a lot more. However, as much as we need technology for studying, work etc there is some that we do not always need but would feel “lost” without it. Mobile phones for example. However, as useful as mobile phones are, they are not considered a “necessity”. They are useful but do we need to use them all the time? do they need to have a camera? etc. Mobile phones have many different views, the older generation may only see them for their purpose and that is to call or get in contact with someone. Moreover, the younger generation would agree that a mobile phone is for more than just calling as Mobile phones are becoming more and more advanced. I agree with this, I have become quite used to using a smart phone that includes apps, internet, messaging services (blackberry messenger etc) so I think that by having everything on my mobile phone, it’s sometimes easier to do a current task or find something out quickly.

I was reading an article in The Guardian and it was about Mobile phones and it asked “are they about to change our lives?” This was quite an interesting article and I’d have to say that I could relate to it in some way! I was guilty of how dependent I have become on my Mobile phone! For example, there is a section of the article that discusses how texting is used to deal with different situations in a more private way for example, if you were in a room with a group of people and your friend wanted to tell you something important and didn’t want to say it a loud, she would text you. It’s something people are becoming much more comfortable with as it seems like a more convenient way of contacting people. Also, the article discusses how texting can be used to overcome shyness as the two people involved in this conversation cannot see each other therefore, it makes them feel much more comfortable when chatting to one another. I am quite guilty of this. I am a very shy person so I find texting a much more comfortable way of contacting someone who I do not know as well. However, unlike talking face to face where the conversation may flow a lot better and questions are answered much quicker, by text, the conversation would become interrupted as people do not often reply right away. Therefore, this is possible a disadvantage to text messaging.

For more on this article, here is a link. The Guardian: Mobile Phones, we love them, we hate them, but are they about to transform our lives?”

After my interviews, I met up with Errin Miller to discuss our findings from this assignment. Errin and I both used the same Service Design Tool, mind mapping. She found this method very helpful also as she felt that she could gain the most information in this way. Her question for this assignment was:

“How do people accumulate stuff”

For her results, she found that she got quite detailed results. Also, she noticed a difference in answers between different age ranges for example, she said that she found that children collected toys (as you would expect) and at the time, they see them as an important part in their lives and cannot part with them. Whereas, the older generation may collect things that are much more reasonable such as photographs etc. Hoarding would be an interesting point to consider here and to research as many people hoard things and even some without realising! (Guilty of it myself!) I have researched a bit into hoarding as I had been looking at it for one of my current projects so when I seen this question, hoarding immediately came to mind.

So, In conclusion, I found that a lot of people have their different views on what means most to them such as photographs to sports equipment. It shows that everyone is different and what they may treasure may not be totally obvious to what another treasures. However, when I asked what people in general would most likely collect, they answered with technology. Technology has become a big part of our lives and most said they would seem “lost” without it. Overall, I feel that I got a lot of different answers both from a professional and sentimental view. I feel this process went well.

I found this assignment quite interesting! I particularly enjoyed the pre-interviewing and interviewing stage because I found it really interesting to hear what people had treasured most. Each answer I got was great and I’d like to thank everyone that answered my questions!

Beautiful birds and more…Project 3 so far!

Border Crossings, Photography, Sketchbook Work, Textiles

Over last semester and this semester, I have been working on a brief based on my identity/ culture. For my brief, I had to split my project into three parts:

  • Project 1 – My Identity/Culture
  • Project 2 – Developing from project 1 and then create a collection in my chosen specialism…which is print!
  • Project 3 – Taking parts from my first and second project and creating paper samples/drawings that represent the Slovenian culture.
I started project 3 with a couple of mind maps so I could get all of my ideas down and start developing my ideas further!

 So for part of my first project, I had drawn some coins as I wanted to portray my indecisiveness! as I’d say a part of my identity is my inability to make decisions! …Nightmare sometimes! For project 3, I thought I’d look at the old currency of Slovenia (The Tolar) and then the Euro. They changed to Euro in 2007 but decided that they wanted to have their own Euro coins as opposed to the Eurozone that is used in most European countries. The old currency is quite interesting I think, each of the coins has animals on it as opposed to heads or symbols like ours. I’ve never seen animals on a lot of coins…that I can remember anyway! so thought it was quite unique.

This is an examples of two of their coins showing each side.

As well as just drawing currency, I am very interested in drawing the animals and those that are particularly common in Slovenia. As a part of this project, I had to speak to students from Slovenia via email, Facebook, the university’s social network site set up for this project which is called “NING”. I have found Facebook particularly useful!  One of the students recently sent me a message telling me about some of the coins and the animals, the coins with the birds in particular:

  • 20 Stotins – Long – Eared Owl

  • 2 Tolars – Barn Swallow

  • 20 Tolars – White Stork

I think this could be quite an interesting approach to part of this project so I’m exciting to get cracking with it! When I was speaking to a Slovenian student, she said that the White Storks are on the coins and that Black Storks are quite common in Slovenia.

When I first seen these photographs,the very first thing my eye was drawn to was the bright red beak and legs! Against their black and white feathers, their legs and beak are really vibrant and eye-catching. When thinking about my colour palette for this project, I will definitely look at the animals for inspiration as of their vivid and interesting colours.

One of the Slovenian students told me some very interesting information about the Barn Swallow as it is a very common bird over there. She said that when she grew up (not in the city) that the older people said that when you see this bird coming back from a warmer country or part of that country, that spring has arrived. Also, they said that if a swallow is flying near ground, it is a sign of bad weather to come. I really liked the symbolism and the stories associated! The swallow is a very symbolic bird and has a lot of different meanings depending on the type or how they are seen. For example, swallows are tattooed quite a lot and thus they have various meanings depend on how they are drawn. Swallows are known as an old sailor’s tattoo and they were tattooed if the sailor had sailed over a great amount of miles. The swallow always returns home to their countries so a swallow tattoo symbolises the return home of a sailor and that they will always return home! Also, when Swallows are drawn in flight, it symbolises freedom. A very very symbolic animal!

I love swallows! the more reason to draw them as a part of my project.I also really want a tattoo and have been thinking of a swallow so maybe after this project, I might have a good idea of what kind of design I would like…who knows though!

One of the Slovenian students also told me that years and years ago, the people of Slovenia were very attached to nature and animals and so that is why there is a lot of stories and legends about the more common animals in Slovenia.

I am very interested in the bird approach because I really liked the colours and patterns. Even though there is a lot of common animals, I think the stories about the birds…the Barn Swallow, The Long Eared Owl etc are very interesting and would be exciting to look into! The Olm is another common animal in Slovenia and is very unique because it has only even been found in Slovenia. It is quite an odd-looking animal and there have been stories and legends that it is associated with dragons and dragons are a symbol of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Quite an unusual looking animal! The colours are very complimentary and are really beautiful.

So…That has been some part of my research so far! I have started project three and have been looking at currency at the moment so here is a few photographs of some of my work so far!



Here is a slide show of all my photographs and a few close-ups.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Snook “Transforming People”

21st Century Design

I had a lecture today from Lauren Currie, the director of Snook. Snook is a service design company and it focuses on social innovation.  It also makes new tools to help deliver a service. It’s all about how you use it and it’s solutions! Snook is particularly passionate about public service design as they love to work with people and help make a difference in their lives…which is just a great thing to work towards! They give the people the opportunity to take more control over the services Snook brings or at least make these services suited to their own needs for their community or themselves. I think this is a great way to approach design, asking the people what they want and showing them ways in which they can help make the difference.

I have never really thought about service design that much since Lauren’s lecture last semester but I think that I am starting to grasp the concept of service design and how important it really is in a company! Something to definitely consider when designing a collection or product because you need to know who you are designing for and make sure their needs and wants are met. This lecture helped me understand this a lot better. As well as learning about service design, we learned about the wide range of service design tools. Tools such as:

  • Prototyping
  • Story Boards
  • Mind Mapping
  • Persona
  • Journey Map
  • Interviews
  • Touchpoints
  • Future Visioning
  • Rubber Chicken (it’s fun and lightens the mood,so why not!)

and many more…Empathy is also a key element in service design! It is so key because it is important to listen to the people and get their insights. Also, Lauren also said people tend to feel much more comfortable with a neutral person (someone who is not the police, counsellor etc) so it is good to have someone who has good people skills  to talk to the people as it makes the people feel much more comfortable and more willing to answer.

“Listening looks easy, but it’s not simple, every head is a world” – From Snook presentation from Lauren Currie

Before the workshop in the afternoon, Lauren gave us a little project to do! In pairs or preferably on our own, we had to go and ask at least 5 members of the public or more if we didn’t a lot of results . This mini project was based on the community and how it could be changed to suit the needs of the public so we had only one question to ask:

Who do you know that makes a difference in your community?

I asked six people and these are the answers I got!

  • Person 1: No idea
  • Person 2: The Army and those on the front line. The people who are saving our country.
  • Person 3: Her local shop as she said she lived in a small community.
  • Person 4: The guide dog/ company/guide dog community
  • Person 5: No idea
  • Person 6: The local Priest, her dad as he is a policeman.
The service design tool that I used was: Interviews.

When we returned for our workshop, everyone discussed their results and we found that there was a few main themes going around and similar answers…which was probably expected since we all went out in the city centre of Dundee to ask our question!

So for this workshop, we had to write down all the information we got in groups or pairs and then select an answer from each of our lists and pair up with someone who we were not sitting with. I paired up with Rosie Reid a fellow Textile Student! We decided to go with one of my answers and that was from a woman who answered with the guide dog community. For this part of the workshop, we had to create a “Persona” based on this woman. We had to portray what we think she is like from the little information we received so this is our persona:

Very sketchy persona profile!  and a funny drawing (not a portrait of the person! only things like hair colour…)As to keep the woman anonymous, we gave her a fake name/age etc so this is Jenny Smith!

We had to say what we thought this person would be like and based on her appearance and job, we guessed she was friendly, bubbly, happy and caring because she mentioned she has children. This is our quote we made for her based on her thoughts and her answer to “Who do you know that makes a difference in your community” …

“Above all of the answers I have in my head, I have to say the guide dogs/community”

We then had to have interviews and someone from each of the pairs had to be the persona. Rosie volunteered to be Jenny and did a very good job! I interviewed her and asked questions like: What do you think the community lacks? Do you volunteer anywhere? and what would you do to change the community? Rosie (as Jenny)was great and gave me lots of interesting answers!

Q: What do you think the community lacks?

A: A neighbour hood watch as I feel that my children are not as safe in the community. By having someone there to help keep the community safe, I found feel at ease because I know my children are in/playing in a safe environment.

Q:Do you volunteer anywhere?

A: Yes, at charity stores such as Oxfarm. However, I feel that more charities could be promoted a lot more so it encourages more volunteering! anyone can do it and it can help a lot of people!

Q:What would you do to change the community?

A: Hold fundraising events, informal interviews to listen to the opinions of those who wanted listened to and those of the community, have posters, informal meetings with police etc so it makes them feel more approachable because even though they are supposed to be there to help the community, people still feel intimidated about approaching them.

After the interview, we all had to present our results. This was quite a fun exercise! there was lots of laughs and everyone had great results!

I really enjoyed this workshop! it was quite fun and I feel that I have learned a lot and I think that I am learning more about the importance of Service Design and Service Design Tools!

Here’s a link to the website for SNOOK It’s a really helpful site so check it out!

So…what do you think? if I were to ask: “Who do you think makes a difference in your community?”






KONY 2012


Only a short post today!…You may or may not have heard about Joseph Kony but please watch this video about this amazing campaign!

Please help and share this video and spread the word.

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice. (From the website in which the video is from) KONY 2012


Thank you!

BINGO! Assignment 3C: Observe and Record.

21st Century Design, Assignment 3

So for the 2nd part of my “21st Century Designer” module assignment, I had to team up with a few people and people watch in one of the following places:

  • The Bingo
  • Football Match
  • Casino

I decided to go to the Bingo hall in Dundee with Errin Miller and Amy Malcolmson! Neither of us had ever been before so no one knew what to expect (unless of course, family members who go to bingo told us!). We were to go based on an place that we would never normally visit as opposed to a place we always tend to visit. So, we picked the Bingo!

Firstly, to get into the Bingo, we had to become members and pay £4.90 for 7 books and an extra Easter bonus game (this was for the second half as we arrived during the first game).I found that the staff were particularly helpful and explained everything that we had signed up for and made the membership quick and easy! We got allocated our welcome pack and free dab pen in any colour that we wanted too! A member of staff explained the rules of the game as we obviously didn’t look like frequent bingo game players! The concept of the game seemed fairly easy but the staff were at hand if there was any problems. Having helpful staff made the environment much more friendly so I think it would make the players feel happy and welcome. Especially newcomers.

So…as we had an assignment to do, I tried to get as much information I could before and in between games as Bingo is quite a fast paced game! Before the game started, I decided to put my people watching skills to the test and began to observe my surroundings. There was still a game going on when we sat down so this gave me a chance to see the bingo players in action! this is what I observed:


  • Probably one of the first things I noticed about the players was that they were all very focused and very quick! whereas, I found it quite intense! I would have probably got a headache if I had been there a while!.Suggested that a lot of the regulars are very keen players and found it particularly easy to concentrate without getting distracted. They could be avid readers? or dedicated to certain hobbies such as knitting/cross stitch? something that requires a lot of concentration.
  • I noticed that a few of the players had electronic game cards as opposed to paper ones. This suggested to me that they were frequent players. They may have been computer literate? so they may be used to using computers everyday or every other day.It suggested they were fast learners and opted for a more modern approach so were keen to try to experience new things.
  • That a lot of people sat by themselves or in small groups. Also, they seemed to sit a part from one another even though the bingo hall is very big and has many seats and tables. Each area was also coloured coded (Red,Blue and Green) so it would make it easier for the staff to find the winners.
  • There was a lot of older people there but it was surprising to see another group of younger adults and a few other younger couples!
  • We had also noticed that the staff had glanced over to our table a few times whilst the games were on. Most likely because they could tell who the newcomers were! We were also quick to realise who the regulars where as they were very quick and were frequent winners. This felt quite intimidating I thought.


  • Highly patterned and a lot of bright colours on walls, carpets, furniture etc. This suggests a fun and welcoming environment that would make you want to stay and play more games! As well as the bright interiors, the game packets, tokens and dab pens were also brightly coloured! This emphasise a much more enjoyable atmosphere.
  • When walking through to the large bingo hall, we entered a room filled with brightly coloured flashing slot machines and change machines! It felt like being at the carnival or in an amusement area with all of those bright lights! This could have been a plan when planning out this building? ways to encourage more money spending and gambling.


  • On most of the tables and the reception/help desks, there was a few leaflets on different offers held throughout the week for example, Monday was “Play for a Tenner” and Friday Mornings was “£1 for the Friday”. The colours used for those leaflets were also quite contrasting so It encourages more players as the deals are temptingly cheap!
  • We noticed that the food and drink was also at cheap prices so I think this tries to encourage players to stay longer and spend more on games.
  •  I noticed from a flyer that Mecca Bingo has online game playing so this suggested that the Bingo could be branching out to a wider age range and are also trying to encourage players to become much more comfortable with electronic equipment.


  • During game play, it is very quiet so there was no talking, only the sound of the bingo dab pens on the paper game cards. I noticed that this could be part of a “rule” .The only other noises are those of the bingo caller and anyone who shouts “House!” (which was a lot!). I noticed that whenever someone had shouted house or held their game cards up when a member of staff went over to check, other players would whisper to each other or would have sighed or “tutted”. This suggests that some of the regular players could have been impatient or even jealous as they did not win, perhaps a sore loser or easily angered?
  • There was a few slot machines in the main bingo hall but they were only played in-between game play. This seemed like another “rule”. They were quite loud machines so it would only be polite to play when a game is not on. I witnessed this during on one of the breaks.

After all of the games, we all discussed our observations and how we thought we coped with the speed of this game. We were not the only students there so we got a chance to discuss what we observed with two other 2nd year textile students. Dione Bowlt and Eilidh Alexander. When we all discussed, we found that our results were pretty much the same! Fast, intense but oddly addictive! Dione and Eilidh also spotted the much more experienced players in the hall right away whilst they were playing.They had arrived an hour before us so they had got really into it by the time we had arrived for the 2nd half! Overall, I think that we had all really enjoyed the experience and agreed it was very addictive!

When I was thinking about things that related in previous workshops or lectures, I had thought about our Subcultures and style tribes workshop and the brief lecture as I had missed the main lecture due to being in beautiful Paris with a few other textile design students! When I thought about subcultures and the bingo, I tried to think of it as in how the bingo attract their players and is it with their offers? I noticed it’s mainly an older audience, about 60 upwards. However, the brightly coloured interiors and flashing lights suggest a younger audience and more fun environment, not an older and more calming environment. I think this is because they want the players to stay as long as possible! keeping the interiors bright and fun makes the environment much more exciting and relaxing I feel because if it was dull and grey, the atmosphere would quickly deteriorate. It could also be a way of trying to attract a wider player range and not just the usual age groups. When thinking about style tribes, I found this one quite unusual as the bright colours and flashing lights do not necessarily attract the older generation, more so the younger generation so what attracts the older generation? could be that it was something very popular years and years ago and they had been brought up with it.

During some breaks between game play, I put my observation skills that I learned from “Snoop” by Sam Gosling, to the test! Snoop taught me to look between the lines and look for things that are not as obvious, things that could tell you something brief about a complete stranger. Encourage you to ask questions like Why did she sit there? Do they come here often and if so, is it daily? As I was facing the back wall ( I know, not the greatest place to sit!) I noticed an older woman at the very back. She was by herself and seemed a little angered when other’s called “House!” so this suggests she could be impatient or easily angered? Also, could suggest that she likes to be on the go and constantly having something to do. It was clear she was a regular because she was very fast, had her own dab pen and from what I presume, had a few different bingo game books (she wasn’t as close to see how many she had) so this could suggest she is a fast learner and can easily multi-task. When I decided to observe much more closely, I started to gain much more information.The objects and her behaviour whilst playing this game helped give me a brief insight into what I think could be part of her personality. Her impression on me was that she was a regular due to her speed. I noticed something quite strange whilst in the Bingo but then it came clear that it could have been quite common, who knows! Anyway, there was a couple who were sitting just a few tables away from us and when they left, that same woman who I had seen up the back, moved down to the recently emptied table for the next game. Odd?…perhaps but I thought that maybe that was her regular table so that was another point that made me think she was a regular player. This gave me another insight to her personality, maybe she was a very fussy person and who liked things done in a certain way? neat, organised and likes to stick to a routine or schedule.

When I imagined the bingo, I imagined it to be quite slow and maybe a bit boring?…oh, I was very wrong, it’s fast and quite addictive once I got into it. It was an interesting experience!

Overall, I found this assignment oddly exciting! I think it was great trying something completely new and in an environment that I am not entirely used to. When I first started playing the game, I found that it was quite intense and really fast paced but when I play a few games, I got quite into it! Once I figured out and remembered things about the bingo that my Gran had told me such as, the numbers being in a particular order, particular place etc it became quite addictive! If it hadn’t been for this assignment, I probably wouldn’t have stepped foot into a bingo for a long time so this experience was quite fun!

Assignment 3A: Service Design Tools

21st Century Design, Assignment 3

Last year, I studied a module in University called “Change By Design”. In this module, I learned a lot of interesting and very useful information about design and information like how to design for a purpose as well as a particular person or client.There was a particular topic that came up during last year and it was based on Service design. Service design is about planning and organising people, communication and the materials of a service in order to improve the quality and communication/interaction between clients or customers.

For one of the lectures last year, we had a guest speaker who discussed her company and what service design is all about. Lauren Currie, our guest speaker, is the director of her own service design company called Snook. She focuses on changing the lives of people in Scotland with service design and practical actions. Her lecture was very interesting! there was a lot of different information about service design and it was something that I had never knew about before.

For one of our very first assignments last year, I was put into a mixed group of different second year design students. This gave us the opportunity to get to know different students from a different design specialism and experience different ideas and views from another students perspective. So for that first assignment, we had to brainstorm and then create a mind-map based on “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. We had also been assigned to read The Mind Map book so it would teach us how to mind map properly and more effectively. Also, when Lauren Currie held some workshops, she taught as effective ways to brainstorm and mind map.  From doing this assignment, I feel much more confident with mind-maps and I think that since then, I have learned to use them a lot more within my projects.

Mind Mapping is a service design tool and it has been one that I have come to use a lot since my “Change By Design” module!

At the start of each new project, I start my first page in my sketchbook as a mind – map. Reason being, I feel that after my previous workshops in last years module, the skills I have learned have really helped me with my work. When doing my mind-maps, I always create them the way that I had in my previous module. This has helped me remember a lot more information about any theme or project work because of the effective layout of my mind maps. For example, it is essential to use different branches that show the different points that have to be remembered and it is best to colour code them so they are easier to remember! Also, it is also suggested to include small diagrams as this helps makes things easier to remember. Good excuse to get creative! Also, the mind map is always there to refer back to if needed.

Here is an example of a few mind maps done in my “Change By Design Module”. I really liked creating these mind maps and I have found them useful in my sketchbooks. Not just for me but I think that by having them there, it makes it easier for the viewer to understand parts of the project illustrated in the sketchbook.

There are many different Service Design tools such as:

  • Mind Mapping
  • Mood Board
  • Affinity Diagram
  • Story Boards
  • Task Analysis Grid

and many more…

Throughout my studies, I have only used the mind-mapping tool as it has been the most effective and perhaps easiest way to approach any new projects or tasks. Even in school, mind maps proved useful (even though they may not have been done correctly!). When I was looking through a website based on Service Design, I looked at a lot of the different service design tools and related case studies for more inspiration and ideas on how to approach new tasks, projects etc.

A Service design tool that I came across that I would like to explain is the Mood Board. A mood board is basically a visual composition of photographs, pictures, drawings or ideas. When together, it is easier to see all of your ideas and thoughts on a current task as they are arranged neatly in front of you. I have never used a lot of mood boards in any of my current projects but from reading about this tool, I think they would be highly beneficial. If I were to use it in my current project at the moment or projects to come I think that I would first start out by creating a mind map and then once I have my key ideas that I really like from my mind map, I would create a mood board based on those ideas. I think that this would help me visualise what would be best to do for my project as I think it would give me a much clearer idea of my current theme. Also, I think that by doing this, it could also spark off other ideas. I think it would be important to have your mood board looking very neat and precise as I think it is key that it must have a good composition so you can clearly outline your main ideas.

This is an example of an effective mood board.

A peek in my sketchbook!

Art, Border Crossings, Photography, Sketchbook Work, Sketching/Drawing, Textiles

it’s been a while since I last showed some of my current project work so I believe it’s time for an update! From before, I showed some work from the first section of my project and that was drawings/paintings etc of different things that are associated with my identity and being indecisive. I had been drawing objects that mean a lot to me and thing’s that I can’t decide whether to throw away or even put away somewhere..they mean to much to me so wouldn’t want to hide them! For example, I have drawn an award from my HND in Fashion Textiles given to me by the rest of my class! so it was a very meaningful and fun award as everyone got a little hand-made textile related award.

Here is a photo of this award. I think it’s really interesting and cute! and sums me up and this theme for my project VERY well.

I recently found something else that also means a lot to me and it’s something I would never ever throw away. To make more sense of it, I have to say that I am a big fan of music, both listening and playing! I have played the trumpet since I was in 2nd at secondary school and before I decided to study Textiles, I had thought about studying music! I playing in a couple of orchestras and various bands as well. Was great fun! sadly, I do not have a lot of time to play anymore due to my course studies…sadface. Although, I have thought about bringing my trumpet up for the new semester and join the music groups in my University! So…to get to my first point again, the object that means a lot to me that I had recently found was a tuning fork. Something very random indeed but it was given to me by someone very special who is sadly not here anymore. My Grandad. So I will always treasure this object as it reminds me of a lot of wonderful memories.

This is the tuning fork!

 it’s quite a simple object but is quite meaningful to me as it reminds me of the musical memories and of course, the person who gave it to me.

So for the next section of my project, I had to develop my drawings and create some design ideas for screen printing. This part of the project had focused on the ideas of stacks of collections as I think it links with my first theme based on my collection of objects. I looked at objects such as magazines that I have collected but do not want to throw away even if I have read them already. It is something a lot of magazine lovers do so it’s a very common collectible! would definitely love to get a magazine subscription at some point. Anyway, I had also looked at the idea of Hoarding as I found out that one of the traits of hoarding is indecisiveness!…potential hoarder maybe?

One of the stacked items that I looked at that I personally don’t collect myself, was stacks of newspapers or bound newspapers. Reason being, I found a few images online that I really liked as I found them very interesting and they appealed to my style of work. I feel that my work has a much more graphic style so the mono-chromatic colour scheme appealed to me! However, for this project, I wanted to introduce some colours so I had introduced highlights of a pastel pink and turquoise. I used these highlight colours in my prints as well as well as the blacks, grey and areas of white. However, I feel it has been a bit of trial and error as I feel they have not worked as well as I would have hoped. Therefore, I think I am going to mix up a new set of colours and use some of the colours that fit in a lot better with the mono-chromatic colour scheme and work on some linen fabric as oppose to silk. Reason being, I found the silk hard to work on as the printing dye bled a lot within this fabric!….So, I am definitely going to work on something a bit more sturdy!

Here is some photographs of some current sketchbook work relating to this side of the project!


The above drawing was a development idea from stacks of collected magazines. I really like this drawing because of the interesting placement of collage and use of small highlighted colours. When I was thinking about re-doing my colour palette, I was thinking about either taking a small highlighted colour from one or two of my drawings so perhaps the above mixed media piece or this mixed media piece:

I think that some of these colours from either of the two photographs above will compliment my mono-chromatic colour theme. I definitely want to continue on with my greys, smoky whites and blacks!…My neutrals colours I think and then add a hint of a much more complimentary colour.

Have a look at some of my other photographs of current work! There is also a few of my sample prints as well but they are not finalised.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hoped you enjoyed this very long post! I do go on a lot sometimes..



Subculture & Style Tribes

21st Century Design, Fashion, Photography, Textiles

On Thursday afternoon, I had a workshop for my 21st Century Design module that was based on subculture. Subculture is a distinct social group within a wider social culture that has a distinct behaviour etc. For example, a group of “punk rockers” within a larger social culture. There is a few things that make these groups stand out with the wider social culture and they are:

  • Identity 
  • Aesthetics – distinctive style, for example, with the “punk rockers” it could be leather, spikes on clothing/accessories/band t-shirts etc.
  • Commitment – committed to a thing that happens in everyday life.
  • Distinctiveness – members that not only have similar styles but similar tastes, ideas, values and beliefs (a truly committed group!)

I also learned about Style Tribes! Style tribes are people who are grouped together based on their style. You may be wondering what these Style Tribes could be? well…here is a selection of different style tribes!:

  • New Romantics
  • Steam punk
  • Death rocker
  • Cyber Goth
  • Lolita
  • Emo
  • Punks
  • Pin Ups
  • Primitive

and many many more! it’s really based on the styles of groups of people so there could be hundreds of different styles out there! Here is a few photographs of a few of the Style tribes from the above list! :

New Romantic

Pin Ups



So that was a few examples of some of my above mentioned style tribes.

So the task for this workshop was to creat our own or dream style tribe for our particular product. As I am a Textile Design student, I have a few possibilities for a product as I could design for fashion, interior etc. From thinking in a more fashion based perspective, I started to think about a possible style tribe that I could imagine my own product being sold to. I thought about different things when scanned some current magazines and decided that I would like to create a much more casual but edgy collection so I think my target audience would be late teens – to early 20s. This is a very rough draft from the workshop!

When I was looking through some magazines, I was looking for something casual but edgy! I then started to think about the “surfer look”. Well, the reason for this, I watch a very well-known TV show called’s awesome! but there is a character called Ivy and she is what you call a surfer girl. From watching this show, I found that I really liked her style because it was so laid back, casual “thrown on” look. Also, she styled it up with different accessories as well so I think that my dream style tribe would be the “surfer girl”!



That’s just some examples from the “Ivy” character in 90210! I think that this actress has great style both on the show and off and I find her style really cool and interesting! definitely a style that I could see myself wearing. I think I do wear some of this style…I think. I’m very much a fan of denim shorts and have a fair few!…some in some different colours aswell!. I think the that this look also has a sort of indie/slight light punk style to it and I think that could be the edge in the look that I would like to go for when designing a product.

So that was just a little insight to my thoughts on my ideal style tribe! hope you like this look as much as I do. Depending on my product however, my ideal audience will probably have a range of age groups so i’ll just have to see what happens!

Hope you enjoyed!

Nikki McWilliams.

21st Century Design, Art, Textiles

Yesterday, in my 21st Century Designer module, I was lucky enough to hear a talk from Nikki McWilliams!

Nikki graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), the University of Dundee. She studied fine art but also took a screen printing course at Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre after she graduated because she had always wanted to screen print and sadly missed the opportunity whilst in University. After she graduated, she first started to make badges with various different designs for family and friends but then realised that they became quite popular so she decided to sell them online. She then moved on from badges and started creating her own fantastic cushion collection!

Here is some of her badges and brooch designs!

She uses her screen printing talents to hand print each and every cushion! I think this is really personal and makes the product even more brilliant I think because it shows that she cares for each and every product she designs and sells! Her collections are inspired by British Culture and Pop-Art.

Here is a few of her great designs!

How great are these!? I especially love the Bourbon… best.biscuit.EVER!

I find these cushions really interesting and very cute! the detailing and colours are so perfect and simple and would easily make any interior very eye-catching!

All of her fantastic products are online at so have a little look! well worth it!.

Nikki has also attended a big trade fair in London called Top Drawer. She was in a section called “Spotted”. After the trade fair, she was then contacted by Selfridges in London. Massive fashion department store in London (if you have never heard of it!). So later in the year, her collection of fantastic cushions will be on sale in Selfridges, London.

If your a keen blogger or slightly addicted…like myself! Have a look at her own blog! –

So check out her website and fantastic collection of art,prints and beautiful cushion designs!