Sunday, 21 February 2010

The fourth image

As the stories I received from my three images were very weird and wonderful it was quite hard to choose a fourth image to try and get everyone to come up with the same story. In quite a lot of the stories the rabbit ends up dying so I had thought about a gravestone as my fourth image however I predicted that this would probably take people off in a whole other direction so I chose one of the simple outcomes as my target stories.
A man had a whole fridge full of Rockstar so he decided to take a few cans in his bag whilst he went on a mission to take pictures of rabbits in the forest. The only rabbit that he found to take a picture of was sitting next to a large wooden tree house.
Female, 32, Secretary

I added this image to my three images to try and get everyone to write a similar story to the one above.

I asked a new group of people as the first group of people would probably try and fit this image in to there old story instead of creating a new simpler one.

Here are the second round of stories:

A young photography student had to take pictures of the forest for his project but he had a hangover and couldn't muster up the energy to do so. To cure this problem he drank a big can of Rockstar and then proceeded to the woods. Whilst there he found an interesting tree house to take a picture of and a lovely wild rabbit that sat posing for 2 minutes.
Female, 20, Law Student

Stuart had been sitting for an hour now in his magnificent wooden house in the woods and still he was as bored as when he set out on his quest for an adventure. He decided it was time he had something to eat and drink. He was sipping away at his can of Diet Rockstar energy drink when a rabbit appeared in the woodland down below so he got out his camera phone and took a picture. Now he at least had something to show for his day.
Male, 19, Waiter

There was a young boy who was fascinated with rabbits. He was walking home from school one day and saw a nice grey rabbit. He decided to follow the rabbit for a while. The rabbit took him to a destination that was better than he could have ever dreamed of. It was a massive wooden tree house in the forest. He climbed in to the tree house and came across a can of Rockstar (his favourite drink!). The young boy drank the Rockstar and climbed down from the tree house. He then took a picture of it to remind him of his great time.
Female, 23, Bar maid

Diet Rockstar was the new craze in drinks so Nigel got himself down to the supermarket to get some before going on a walk to the woods. He was going to the woods to carry on building his giant tree house so he decided that the energy drink would be perfect for providing him with enough strength to get on with the building. Unfortunately when he was walking down the woodland path he tripped over a rabbit and fell flat on his face breaking his camera phone in the process. He was upset and angry because he loved taking pictures on his phone so he gave up his hope of carrying on his tree house and went home to sulk.
Male, 40, shop assistant

As you can see none of the second round of stories were exactly the same as my target story how there were many similarities. The stories were all a lot shorter and less external objects were included. I think this is because there were more things to focus on and write about so they did not feel the need to make it more interesting, they were to busy focusing on how to bring all 4 images together. The fourth image did make everyone include a man in their story and quite a few of them did say that the man took a photo of either the rabbit or the tree house which is identical to my target story. One of the stories also mentioned the man going a walk to the woods which is identical and they all seemed to have the man on some sort of adventure or quest to do something so this is very similar to the target story. I was happy with the results because even though they weren't perfect the addition of the fourth image created very similar stories to the target story.

I continued my experiment by returning to my 3 original images and this time instead of adding a fourth image I added some text. I added the words: "for rabbits" to my image of Diet Rockstar and chose this story as my target story:

Once upon a time a rabbit buzzing off the effects of the highly caffeinated drink Rockstar built a tree house in 20 minutes.
Male, 46, Engineer

The results were perfect, they all included the rabbit feeling highly energetic as result of drinking Rockstar and either had the rabbit building a giant tree house or climbing a giant tree house. I found it quite remarkable that everyone came up with the same story but the words I added hadn't really left much scope for differentiation.
This shows that with the right images and words you can definitely get people to think in a certain way. This relates to Graphic Design a lot because the discipline is all about communicating a message. I feel that it is easy to get a message across but the important factor is experimentation with layout of different images and words so you can arrive at the perfect way of getting your message seen and interpreted perfectly.

Assignment time!!

Assignment 2 asked us to gather three random images to then show to people and get them to tie them together in a story. I asked a range of people of different ages, gender and background to get a mixture of outcomes. The stories I got were either very straight forward or very random.
As you can see above my images are of a can of Diet Rockstar energy drink, a grey rabbit and a large wooden treehouse in a forest. Below are some examples of what people came up with.

If you drink Diet Rockstar you no longer have the ability to build extensive tree houses in forests. However if you drink Rockstar which is full of sugar you are able to build amazing tree houses like the one Bill made one day after a refreshing can. Unfortunately after he had finished the tree house of his dreams it fell to the ground, killing a lovely defenseless rabbit.
Female, 18, Illustration Student

Rockstar energy drink was created in 1941 by Sir Joseph Rockstar. Josef was not a happy man- he had lost his left leg in the war and had been born a hermaphrodite. Whist hiding from the Nazis in an architecturally orgasmic treehouse (built by Josef himself after his wooden leg gave him a taste for wood) a small grey rabbit appeared at the door. The rabbit told Josef that it was also a hermaphrodite. Josef felt a sudden surge of empathy for the creature. When the rabbit told him he was thirsty, Josef vowed to make the most wonderful, taste bud- tingling drink for the rabbit. Several days later, Josef, satisfied with his creation , presented the rabbit with a can of Rockstar. The excited rabbit took one sip- and died instantly. Depressed at the loss of his friend, Josef decided to patent the drink and sell it to humans who loved it. Josef became a millionaire and for the rest of his life lived of Prozac and bourbon in a new, rabbit shaped tree house.
Male, 19, Accountancy Student

There was a big party at a tree house in the woods. People got really high on Rockstar and were so loud all the rabbits came out of their holes and scared the people at the party.
Female, 16, Academy Student

Once upon a time a rabbit buzzing off the effects of the highly caffeinated drink Rockstar built a tree house in 20 minutes.
Male, 46, Engineer

A man had a whole fridge full of Rockstar so he decided to take a few cans in his bag whilst he went on a mission to take pictures of rabbits in the forest. The only rabbit that he found to take a picture of was sitting next to a large tree wooden tree house.
Female, 32, Secretary

As you can see some people took the images very literally and tied them together quickly and efficiently where as others decided that they were more interesting and more complicated, strange stories were produced. I think this says a lot about how people react to what they see. Some only look at the surface where as others dig deeper for the meaning of what and why, and if they can't make sense of something they will add there own meaning to it.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Lectures make me hate the world!

Today we had a lecture titled "The Disneyfication of culture," at the beginning I was very sceptical as it looked as though it was going to be a history of the Disney corporation and their films, we did cover these things but in a lot more depth. Because of the Disney corporations enormity in the world they have a lot of responsibility of what messages they are sending out to young children with there toys, films, games etc. We watched a small video about how male and females are portrayed through Disney characters. The video featuring a compilation of female Disney characters really shocked me as every female character is made to be extremely seductive. I already knew that they were all made to look pretty so that they are pleasing to watch and attractive to children but I had never noticed the vulgar behaviour they have been designed to carry out on screen. The flutter of there eyes, the flirtation dancing and sexy movements were something I would expect to see in a pussycat dolls video not in Snow White or Beauty and the Beast. There were interviews with adults from various Universities across America who were slating the messages and morals that Disney films and characters send out. I feel that there views were quite extreme but I can now see exactly where they are coming from. Parents are innocently letting there children watch these films that are sending out underlying messages that may effect them with there life decisions without themselves or there parents noticing.
So yes here I am again ranting on about how terrible things are but I always feel this way after a lecture. When we had the lecture about teenagers being obsessed with brands I hated brands. Last year we had a lecture about how consumerism is killing the world and it scared me in to recycling and I became obsessed with trying to save the world. I feel that what I hate is the big powers of the world that make the wrong decisions for all the innocent naive people out there who are being shaped in to people that are not healthy for our environment. So basically big powers stop thinking about money and think about the world for once!!.....You've got enough money already!
Our lecturer talked about "Celebration" which is a village in Florida owned by Disney. We were shown a magazine article about Celebration that described it as a "super-modern Disney town with an old time pastel perfect it's almost surreal." Celebration has it's own school, it's own malls all under the Celebration name, all residents have to obey by strict rules: they can only paint there house certain colours, there lawn must be cut to a certain length. There is a large billboard that states "The destination your soul has been searching for." This not only freaks me out but kind of makes me feel sick. Disney have created what seem's like the perfect place to live but it sounds more like the army or prison with all the regimented rules. They are brainwashing people on a giant scale to think that this is perfect. We can't just ignore all the problems in the world. It's like something out of Wall-E where the made up company Buy'n'Large has brainwashed and taken over the world. Is this what we are heading for?
The lecture gave me a lot to think about and left me more angry at our consumer habits and our ability to be sucked in to the consumer world by major companies.

Good quotes from the lecture:
"Airports-big shopping centres with a few aeroplanes"
"we live in a melting pot of values and don't know where our moral compass should take us"

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


I came across an interesting leaflet the other day advertising "The Identity Project" at Dundee Science Centre; Sensation. It asks, who are you?, what influences our sense of self?, and what makes one person distinct from another? Straight away I thought Design Studies!! As our assignment is all about analyzing peoples childhood photos and trying to guess things about a persons personality by looking at there surroundings and possessions and since one of the books we've been advised to read (Snoop) is all about what are possessions say about us this Project seemed like the final part of the journey. There are many workshops on to help you find out more about yourself. Design Studies field trip...I think so!!

Chapter 4

After struggling to deal with my anger at not being able to understand every second word in Chapter 4 of "The Culture of Design," I forced myself to calm down, get a grip and read the whole chapter. The chapter titled "The Consumption of Design" did highlight some very important points and theories. It is pointed out that consumers do not know anything about the production or labour that has gone it to create the products they decide to consume. The products history is forgotten about and all the buyer cares about is the products future and how it will benefit them. Julier claims that every product has a "biography," it's own story just like a human being. This makes everything around us instantly seem more important. Humans are entitled to be treated equally so why shouldn't products be of equal value. If people appreciated the history, and work gone in to a product then our "throw away culture" could hopefully diminish.
The Chapter also provides the perfect line to describe the role of designers; "to develop future desires."
So although Julier angered me with his language and used the word "thus" far to many times, the Chapter made me think a lot and gave me a new outlook on products and their consumption. I feel like I am going to learn a lot from the book as it will introduce new ideas to me to make me reconsider my views on the world around me.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Assignment 1: analysis of photos

For assignment 1 we had to swap photos from our past and present with another student so that we could try and guess what kind of person they are. I have found this quite hard as the photos I received to analyse are all of the girl when she's about 7 and under. At this age most children go through the same experiences and you can't make many judgements about there tastes and personality. In most of the photos she is with family which shows that she is close to her family and had a happy upbringing. There is photos of her with different toys, dressing up and playing with children the same age, she always looks happy in the photos. I feel this shows that she had a very normal upbringing and one that would provide balanced values and beliefs about people and the world for her to expand upon when maturing in to her teens. There are also photos of her first day at school and the celebration of birthdays so she definitely had all the education and happy experiences one would hope a child should have.
I feel the assignment would have been a little more interesting if I had received some pictures of when she was older or even of her room so that I could do some more guessing of her personality and interests.

No more colour!

Every time I come on to blogger something stops me from writing a new blog entry. It may be for a number of reasons but I can't quite put my finger on why I can't bring myself to click new post. I've decided re-customising my page might my give me a happier outlook on my blog so I have got rid of the scary black background and I'm going to give up the multicoloured blog posts. It will definitely take away the stress of having to pick a colour each time I do a post. And hopefully everyone might not be scared away from reading my entries anymore!