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!


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?”






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.

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 90210..it’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 www.nikkimcwilliams.com 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! – www.nikkimcwilliams.blogspot.com

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


People Watching…in the Zoo!

21st Century Design, Assignment 3, Photography

Last Thursday for my 21st Century Design Module, I was on a class trip to Edinburgh Zoo. I had never been before so I was really excited for it! As it was a class trip, I had to go there not only to see the many animals but to observe and take a note of the different types of people and their reactions whilst in the zoo. This was quite a fun experiment because it was interesting to see how different people/age groups etc reacted to the animals and the zoo as a whole.

For this trip, I decided to go in a team with Amy Malcolmson and Errin Miller. As the zoo was very big, it was easier to do it in a smaller group!. Whilst walking around the different enclosures, we managed to take a lot of information down about different people’s reactions as the zoo was quite busy when we arrived!

When I was looking around, I was thinking about the sort of social behaviours that are normally associated with the zoo for example, the strict rules (for obvious reasons of course!) not to feed animals etc so this makes me think about how people feel more cautious around the larger animals, how different ages groups react for example, children seemed much more excited and more enthusiastic than their parents to see the animals however, their parents were happy that their children were enjoying themselves.

So when I was walking around looking at the animals and people watching, I noticed particular behaviours among different age groups, here’s what I observed:

  • Children – very excitable, eager to get to the front of the enclosures to see the animals, laughter, raised voices when talking about the animals to their parents,, brothers sisters etc, energetic as were moving around a lot/running.
  • Parents –  Protective of their children when they get close to the enclosures or when the animal came up close. Also, when they were walking about and making sure their children didn’t run off or hurt themselves. Parents didn’t seem as enthusiastic as their children but were happy to see their children happy. Some were telling their children about the animals, teaching them different exiting facts.
  • Adults – Some of the older adults were discussing the animals and maybe discussing interesting facts or reading the information signs. When I went to one of the monkey enclosures, an older couple were there discussing the monkey’s and laughing at the monkey’s playful behaviour…as was I!
  • Zoo Staff – very organised and focused on what they were doing, strict when some children/people got too close.
Here is some photographs from last Thursday!




Whilst on this trip, as a group, we got the opportunity to visit the Panda’s! We were only able to see one of them as the other’s were not on show unfortunately. The Panda we got to see was Tian Tian.


Tian Tian is the female Panda and when her name is translated, it means “sweet” or when repeated in chinese, it puts emphasise on the word so it would be translated as “sweetie”. So Cute! The Panda’s haven’t been in the zoo for a year yet so the Zoo staff said that the Panda’s don’t fully settle until they have been there for a year. It was great to see the Panda’s having never seen one so close before! it was a great experience to see Tian Tian and what she is like in her enclosure. When we went inside to one of the large windows outside her enclosure, we learned all about her and other Panda’s and the many interesting facts! When we arrived for the tour, she was sleeping but we were told that Panda’s sleep most of the day so it wasn’t uncommon for her to be asleep. However, she did move around a few times into different sleeping positions! (so there was a lot of pointing and excitement when she did!)

Whilst in the enclosure, I began to observe again so I could get information about different people’s reactions. As it was mostly my class from our module, we were all roughly around the same age however, our lecturers and a couple of older students were also there.  Here is some of my observations:

  • Students ( roughly around the same age…18-22?) –  Taking lots of photographs so this to me, showed the excitement. Crowding round the large windows to get a good look at the Panda, talking to one another about Tian Tian, listening in to the information being told by the zoo staff.
  • Adults – discussing the Panda’s, taking photographs so it suggested they were still as excited to see Tian Tian! Listening to the zoo staff telling everyone the facts about Tian Tian.

After about 10 minutes or so, I noticed that the students that had been previously at the front, had moved to the back so as to let the other students have a look. Whilst they were at the back, I noticed that a few had their phone and were talking with friends so it kind of suggested that they may be discussing the Panda’s or had seen what they wanted to see already so may have been discussing other things.

To get more information on the different Panda’s, here is a link to the Edinburgh Zoo Website: PANDA’S!  I totally recommend the Zoo if you have never been! was lots of fun and is a great day out!

Overall, I found last Thursday really enjoyable! I learned quite a lot and I think I have become much more observant through this experience as this experiment has taught me to be more aware of my surroundings and not just a certain thing. Seeing all the animals was great as well!

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Assignment 2: What Images Mean

21st Century Design, Assignments

For Assignment 2: “What Images Mean” for our 21st Century Design module, we had been given the task to do an experiment that associated with three random images. Also, we had to go into our own teams so I teamed up with Amy Malcomson, Errin Miller and Morgan Daily. The images that we chose had to be random and they could not display any text. This is the three images we found:

All of these photographs were from the website “Stock.xchnge” and they were selected through the randomiser tool.

The images shown consist of a beach chair on a quiet beach, a woman on a bike in New York City and an old vintage clock. Each of these images are unrelated to each other so this helps our team to understand the meaning of semiotics ( symbols,signs, images that can mean more than one thing). Also, this assignment also gave us the opportunity to experiment to test the concept of Polysemy.

For this assignment, as a team, we had to ask the public about each photograph and what information they could get from it. We then had to ask them to suggest a story that links all three images. For this particular assignment, we could not ask art and design students but instead ask a range of other students, general public, staff etc. Here is some of our answers!

Person 1: Male, 20, Student at Abertay University studying Sports and Exercise.                                                                                                                              

  • Photo of the chair on beach: Seems like a chair that an elderly couple would sit on, quite relaxing.
  • Photo of girl on bike: In New York, warm, very busy day
  • Photo of clock: Beat up old clock that doesn’t work anymore.

Person 2: Male, 21, Student at Abertay University

  • Photo of chair on the beach: Looks quite lonely as the beach is empty/quiet, very hot.
  • Photo of girl on bike: Very hectic and busy, quite frustrating.
  • Photo of clock: Vintage, it’s broken and worn and the clock face is broken. Symbolises death.

Story connecting the three photos: The beach represents childhood, a place to have fun and relax. Then the next photo represented late teens – early 40s, a place where they have to work, it’s frustrating and everything is very rushed. The last photo represented the elderly, retirement and the broken glass suggested that it could symbolise the wrinkles or lines.

Person 3: Female, 20, Neuroscience student.

  • Photo of girl on bike: yellow taxi – well-known in New York. single girl on bike, contrast of busy car build up behind – picture for the environment? Also the calmness of the girl on the bike – very relaxed looking (no blurring of pedals – easy rider) again contrasting the business of the car build up behind. The obvious red lights everywhere – possible symbolism again, contrasting the easy riding being performed by the girl on the bike.
  • Photo of Clock: the face of the clock appears to have fallen to appear upside down contrasting the frame of the clock, possible symbolism to “change in time” ? The clock appears to be vintage (roman numerals rarely seen on modern clocks), along with the rusting copper – possibly a symbol, again, of changing time? The clock has a “brand” (Thomas) again a symbolism of its past. past – present – future?
  • Photo of sun lounger – lounger background – the beach. very natural scene. this contrasts the plastic bright yellow, man-made sun lounger.

Story connecting three photos – The future for our planet is bleak. Pollution from landfills, rubbish-burning and automobiles will soon fill our atmosphere, where clean, fresh air once was. Rising tides, as a result of that pollution, will soon see the end of relaxing sea-side holidays. It is time for change

Person 4: Female, 18, 1st year Geography student. 

  • Photo of girl on bike: new york, saving the environment by using a bike, hot day
  • Photo of clock: old, antique, broken & squint.
  • Photo of beach chair: bright, made for two people, relaxing on beach, hot day.

Story connecting three photos: A woman who likes to relax on the beach to pass time but likes to stay fit so she doesn’t age prematurely.

Person 5: Female, 48, accountant 

  • Photo of girl on bike: Looks like America, New York, Girl out shopping on her bike with basket, sunny hot day – shadows cast.
  • Photo of Clock: Looks like it has been salvaged from an old burnt down house or found at the bottom of the sea.
  • Photo of Beach chair: Thinks it could be some sort of beauty stall when you go to the beach to sit and get your toe nails painted.

Story connecting three photos: Girl is on a cruise ship holiday, stopped off at New York so she hired a bike to explore, then went to the beach to get her toes painted all in time for being back on the boat at 12

Person 6:Female, 18, Dance Student

  • Photo of girl on bike: America, Yellow cabs, L.A. Hot sunny, people have their legs out, busy, people crossing the roads.
  • Photo of Clock: Clock, old-fashioned, squint and broken.
  • Photo of Beach Chair: Beach, sun chair with shade and bits for legs, different looking, maybe for 2 people to share.

Story connecting three photos: Hot day in L.A, riding a bike to the beach and on the way finds the clock washed up on the sand

Person 7:Female, Bio medical Science student, 19

  • Photo of Beach Chair – relaxation at the beach, Blackpool vibe, looks like an advertisement for a holiday
  • Photo of Clock – old, time, broken, vintage
  • Photo of City – metropolis lifestyle, girl is main focus, busy, hectic

Story connect three photos: take time to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures in life

Person 8:Female, Psychology, 19

  • Photo of beach chair – relaxed, feet up, Thomas cook, holiday
  • Photo of Clock– age rusty,fading of beauty
  • Photo of City – annoying cyclists, slow, frustration

Story connecting three photos: Shes running out of time to cycle to her holiday destination.

photographed by Errin Miller

I found this assignment quite interesting as I thought it was really great to find out what different people thought and what information they got from just briefly scanning the photos. Also, I thought it was really interesting to hear what story they got from these photos even though they had only seen the photos for about 5 minutes! This part of the assignment helped me understand the concept of Polysemy ( Idea that images can mean more than one thing) This is true I think  because an image can mean something very different to what someone else thinks of the same image.

For the next part of the assignment, we had to choose a story from one of the participants we asked earlier on, this then became our target story. We decided to choose the story from person 3 as we thought that it provided the most potential and information.  As a team, we had to choose another photo that would connect/relate to our target story and then ask a new set of people about the four photos and what story they get from them. The purpose of this image was to relate to our story and so we could get similar answers/stories. The images didn’t have to be in any precise order as we had to let the participant put them in their own order so they could tell the story that they get from the photographs.

Our target story was from a  Neuroscience student at The University of Dundee.  Her story was very detailed and her views were quite interesting too! She discussed pollution and how we as a planet, are running out of time to change things. This is a true story I think and it is one that has been in the media a lot so we thought that by carefully adding a selected image , it would help spark the stories about the environment, global warming and pollution into the minds of our next participants. Ideas that would relate to our target story.

This was our final photograph linking to our target story.

As a team, we all discussed that this photograph was best because we felt it highlighted global warming and pollution very well. It suggested different ideas to each of us such as: Polar bears (extinction), Melting Ice Caps, Temperature rising etc. Also, it conveys how little time we have to fix these problems and that we are running out of time. Moreover, we thought this fitted in extremely well with our target story and we thought that it would help give a much more clear idea of the story linking all four photographs.

For this part of the assignment, we had to ask a set of different people but only ask what story they got from looking at all four photographs. Here is our results!

Person 1. Male, Library staff, 26.

  • A time travelling polar bear that would have to go to the beach to prevent ruining the city.
 Person 2.Female, History student, 21.
  • People vary in where and what kind of holiday they want depending on their age.
 Person 3.Male, Sport & Exercise student, 23.
  • Polar bears are being sent to zoos so they are out of their natural habitat, which shortens their lifetime.
 Person 4.Female, Cafe worker, 30.
  • Global warming not long left for it to be fixed, we need to be eco-friendly. Time is running out.
From this experiment, the fourth image wasn’t as obvious in our experiment. Some people’s stories were pretty much accurate with our target story but other stories were quite varied. So, after that, we decided to add some words under the photos in order to help people to guess our target story much more clearly. We added the word “Pollution” to our city image and the words “Soaring Temperatures” to our beach chair image. This really helped with our experiment when we asked a new set of people!
Photographed by Errin Miller.
These were our buzz words!
Here is our results from the next set of people we asked:
Person 1.Female, Zoology  Student, 19.

  • Global warming has had a big impact on nature, Time is running out and we are ruining some animals environments/homes.
Person 2.Female, Hairdresser, 23.
  • “Poor polar bears”. Their homes are being taken away from them through global warming (melting ice caps etc), pollution from cities is ruining the environment.
 Person 3.Male, Architect , 20.
  • We have to be more eco-friendly just like the woman riding the bike in the city photograph. Climate change is happening and something has to be done.

From conducting this experiment , it is clear that it all worked and people had a general story about the environment, global warming etc when they looked at the photographs with our added words (Finally!). When looking back at the four photos without the words, it wasn’t very obvious that it was something about the environment as most of the photos looked like holiday destinations and not environmental problems! Overall, I found this assignment quite enjoyable! I found it very interesting to hear the many different ideas and stories that different people got from each of the photographs. I feel that it really opened my eyes to how people can view things very different and can even spot things that may not be clear on the first viewing of a photograph etc. Also, really helps me understand all the different ideas in the book “Snoop” by Sam Gosling.

For part of this assignment, we had to read the chapter “The Rhetoric of the Image” by Roland Barthes. I have to say, it wasn’t the easiest read in the world but I think I managed to understand the ideas being put across in this chapter. In this chapter, Barthes discusses that there is three messages that are conveyed in the advertisement he was analysing.

Photograph from 21st Century Design Module blog.

The first of three messages conveyed was the text (text at the bottom corner of the advertisement), the symbolic message ( The food, Italian themed…) and the non-symbolic message (the pasta and sauce). It suggested to me that just from thinking about these three messages, it shows that there is a lot of different meanings portrayed in one simple photograph or advertisement. For an advertisement, this is a very beneficial factor I think as it would get the customer to think about what an advert is trying to sell, not only the product but the experience conveyed. So for this image, it suggested to me that the company is obviously selling the product but they are also trying to sell the experience if you buy this product. For example, they may want you to think that by buying this product, it will be very similar to Italian dining and their traditional cuisine.

So, in the context of this assignment, I think that this chapter has helped gain more understanding about the concept of Polysemy. Furthermore, it has helped give me a better understanding of the different meanings that the selection of people we asked for this assignment came up with when they looked at our four photos. Each meaning and story varied from person to person so I found it very interesting when  we conducted this experiment. When different people analysed some of the photographs, some looked beyond the obvious and tried to think about a deeper meaning to the image. They didn’t just point out the clock (Photo of the clock) but they pointed out that it had a vintage feeling, broken, conveyed a feeling of death and suggested a later part of life such as, the elderly, retirement etc. So, from reading this chapter by Bathes, I feel I understand the concept of Polysemy a little better than before. However, I did find this read quite hard to understand at times. However, it is interesting.

Here is a photo of the little leaflet we handed out to each of the people who kindly answered all of our questions!

Photographed by Errin Miller.

We thought that this would be a nice way to thank all of our participants and let them see what the results were for this assignment. So a big thank you to all of our participants and I hope you each like our posts containing the results!

21st Century Designer: What Images Mean.

21st Century Design

On Thursday for my 21st Century Design module, we had a workshop in which we had 10 images that we had to analyse with our teams (Team 2). The intention was to look beyond the obvious (what the image shows, black and white etc )and figure out the purpose of each of the images. I found this workshop very interesting and fun! I think that it made me look at photographs differently because from reading ‘Snoop’ it has taught me to examine photographs in much more detail and look beyond the obvious features.

For each of the photographs, we were asked to consider the setting, colours, clothing, expressions and props portrayed. After an hour of analysing, we discussed as a class of what conclusions we had all come to for each photograph. All the images we were given were adverts for different things, some were much more straight forward than others and a few were quite hard to work out so there was some surprises and a few laughs!

I learned a lot from this workshop! I learned that an advert doesn’t just sell or focus on their products but they also try to portray and sell a different lifestyle. For example, when we analysed a photograph for a Coca Cola advert, it showed a very happy family at a bowling alley having fun. Therefore, it suggested to me that it promoted a fun, energetic and a family orientated lifestyle as well as selling the product.

This was one of the photographs that we had to analyse and had chosen for our next task. As a team, we came up with several ideas:

  • Vintage photo – possibly from the 1950-60s
  • In a bowling alley
  • Noticed that the girl on the left was holding red cups.
  • Warm colours were used (reds, yellow, oranges…) conveyed a happy environment.
  • We thought that it was a family environment so suggested that the advert could have been something to do with that.
  • Promoting the ‘American Dream’.

This is the classic photograph that we had chose to use for our next photo analysing task. As a team, we had already analysed it so for this task, we had to ask 4 other students (excluding art students) about what they thought of the photograph and what they got from it. We didn’t mention that it was an advert until the very end. We had to see if they could guess themselves!

So this is what they got!

Person 1: It was a girl who studied IMD.

She thought that it looked happy, was in a bowling alley as she noticed they all had matching t-shirts. That it looked like it had been taken in the 1960s. She noticed that the girl on the left was holding something and guessed it was some sort of coffee advertisement or it advertised the bowling alley. She said it showed a family and fun environment.

Person 2: Male American exchange student studying Physics, English and Chemistry.

He thought that it showed a really fun environment as he commented on the excitement that each member of the family had on their faces. He also thought it also may have been a campaign for propaganda. he thought that it looked staged and fake, this was quite interesting because it hadn’t been mentioned in the workshop from any of the teams! Also, the propaganda campaign thought was quite interesting as well. He noticed that it may have been in the 1950s.

Person 3: Female American Exchange student studying Forensics.

This student was with the previous student so they shared a lot of the same ideas and she thought it had elements of being a propaganda campaign. She also thought it was set around the 1950s and could have also been advertising a bowling alley.

Person 4: Male member of staff from the ISE Gym.

This person gave the most information about the photograph. He noticed that the girl on the left was holding red cups so thought it was some sort of refreshment advert. He mentioned that the photograph was quite blurry so suggested it could have been an older advert. He guessed it was taken or set around the 1950s. He said a lot that the family looked very happy and enthusiastic especially, the boy who jumped in the air! He said that it conveyed a mood of happiness. He was pretty dead on about the photograph and when we told him that it was for Coca Cola, he was only bit surprised as he had guessed it was a refreshments advert.

This was a really fun workshop and I feel that I have learned a lot! It is quite surprising to what I learned from just observing a photograph much more closely. I think if I had looked at it quite briefly, I would have never have guessed it was for an advert! So this experience was quite enjoyable!

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!