Are you a messy person or a tidy one? If like me, you are a tidy person I know your secret. Yes. I know something you’d never dream of admitting to anyone. I know about your messy drawer.

It’s a strange thing the messy drawer of a tidy person. But I guess it’s kind of like the organised chaos of a messy person, except the other way round. The messy drawer (or if you prefer cupboard, wardrobe, overhead storage) is a dumping ground for all the miscellaneous crap that even we tidy people can’t organise. Stuff even our more than ruthless sensibilities thinks “well I might need that one day…” whereas the organised chaos of a messy person is where nothing has a place or system yet the person to whom the mess belongs could be asked “where are your pearl earrings?” and they’d produce them from under a packet of soor plooms…

Mine consists of things I want to add to my door collage of times that I want to remember – cinema tickets, things cut out of magazines and random objects – as well as instruction manuals, letters I haven’t filed yet, make up i don’t use anymore but could come in useful on “emergency days…the list goes on!

So there’s some solace for the messy people out there – it may appear that all us tidy ones have every aspect of our lives in order but I can assure you we haven’t. Next time you’re in a tidy person’s bedroom (hey hey!) search every drawer, cupboard, overhead storage. I can guarantee you’ll find it…

…and if the above (hey hey!) is true and you find anything…strange…then get.the hell.out.

The writing piece I produced in Semester One lead me to ask many questions about children’s relationship with television today. The book Moving Images by David Buckingham despite being outdated presents well formulated primary research using an interview technique similar to Assignment Four to investigate both the television habits of children in the 90s and their emotional responses to it. On another level, the 2010 journal article Sesame Street to “snack culture” by Michael Newman presents some great secondary source evidence about the way children watch television presently. It states that Sesame Street shaped modern television with it’s varied series of short clips, an idea that MTV, the producers of YouTube and even television on demand websites latched on to. Thinking about the emotional responses that David Buckingham’s team discovered in relation to the changes in the way television is watched, lead me to this question: Are children becoming increasingly desensitised to television? The following research proposal outlines how I would investigate this idea.

The easiest way to interview children would be through schools. Three children per class between the ages of five and thirteen would be selected from ten schools, primary and secondary, across the Angus area using a random sampling exercise. Each set of children would be observed watching television for fifteen minutes followed by an interview process similar to David Buckingham’s, in which they would be interviewed in groups and individually about their television habits. This would enable a comparison between his results and my results to be drawn. Ideally, I would work in a group with twelve other design students, as this would enable us to split into three groups of four, meaning we could cover more schools in a shorter space of time. Schools should be contacted for permission early to mid June before they break up for the summer holidays and if permission was granted, a date would be set and appropriate class lists requested. We would select the required number of children at random from each class and send out permission slips to be distributed to these children’s guardians during the first week back. These would also include routine surveys about home circumstances that would help the researchers to make correlations, in which guardians would simply tick the appropriate boxes in order to maximise discretion. A free adults coffee and cake afternoon invite for the interview day in each school would also be sent out with the permission slips to encourage guardians and teachers to take part. The body of the project should be planned during the summer break and the team would then have six weeks to complete it on return. Each stage of the process should be recorded using blogs.

The whole group would regularly meet during the summer months using video conferencing if necessary. Meetings would be spent making blank interview forms, designing questions for interviews, and choosing appropriate video clips that may provoke emotional response. These clips would be made into 15 minute DVDs that would be used for each observation. Some of these clips would be lighthearted children’s television programmes, which would be varied according to age group, while some would be more intense such as news reports or drama. Popular clips from YouTube would also be shown to see if the children recognised any of them. It may be a good idea at this point for us to contact a child psychologist to discuss our plans with and help us with what questions, clips and styles of interviewing would be least distressing. Once we had returned to university, we would split ourselves into groups and allocate every group three schools. We would then all work together for the final school. A deadline of one month would be set to gather the research.

Each group would travel to the designated school carrying a dictaphone, the appropriate DVD samples, pens and the interview sheets we had made up. There would be two designated note makers and two interviewers per group of four. One note maker and one interviewer would conduct each session while the other two took a break and vice versa. One class at a time, the children would be asked to come into a designated room and the DVD would be played after a quick briefing about what was going to happen. Observations about body language, facial expressions and behavior would be recorded during the DVD. Once it was finished, a five to ten minute interview would take place between the researchers and the group encouraging discussion on how the clips made them feel. An ten minute individual interview would follow to eliminate any embarrassment about feelings or bravado among peers which could be a limitation of the exercise. The children would be asked questions such as How did what you saw make you feel? and Have you ever seen anything on television that you didn’t like? and also Do you ever watch videos on YouTube or other internet video websites? The dictaphone would be left to run through the duration of each interview with the note maker making more general notes and recording thoughts. A small reward would be given to each partaking child to thank them for their help. The process would continue throughout the day and would stop for lunchtime where the coffee and cake afternoon would take place. Attending parents and teachers would be invited to share their thoughts on the subject.
A mini discussion would take place between the smaller groups as soon after each interview day as possible. This should last no longer than an hour or two with a break in between. Here brainstorming sessions could take place on postits using the information gathered in the notes and on the dictaphone. The groups thoughts would also be added to pull everything together. These would be turned into affinity diagrams to show natural correlations which should be photographed immediately to preserve them.

After all the interviews had taken place the whole group would have two weeks to discuss the results in relation to David Buckingham’s and write up detailed blog posts. A motivation matrix could be a useful tool at this point, similar to the one we were once shown how to make in a seminar, to categorise information in a simple and more permanent way. This would make it easier to write our final blog posts about the conclusions we had drawn.

It would be hoped that this research proposal would enable a collaboration of David Buckingham and Michael Newman’s ideas and in doing so create new discoveries into the way present day children watch television.

Here are the Big Fives…

Five Books

1. The Craftsman by Richard Sennett – I was recommended this book after my response to Hazel White’s lecture because I think a lot of us in Jewellery and Textiles came out of that lecture (and admittedly some of our other lecures!) feeling that craft is dead and what was the point of us studying it? This book appears to outline the costs and benefits of coming into your own as a true craftsperson – hopefully give some perspective!

2. Do good lives have to cost the earth? edited by Andrew Simms and Joe Smith – Saw this in the library a few times and kept meaning to read it – basically it’s a collection of peoples fantastic living experiences and proving that these don’t have to have a huge impact on our plannet.

3. The Animated Man: A Life Of Walt Disney by Michael Barrier – I got interested in Walt Disney’s life after our Disnification lecture, particularly the idea that it was his dream to create this huge utopia where people could enjoy being kids forever after getting a taste of hard work working for his father. Disney is such a huge phenomenon that I’d like to know more about what drove it’s creator to push it so huge.

4. Consumerism as a way of life by Dr Stephen Miles – Consumerism has been a topic I’ve been particularly interested in this Semester in both my studio work and as a basis for my design studies. It would be good to investigate it further.

5.  Propaganda Prints: A history of art in the service of social and political change by Colin Moore – Propaganda is something I’ve always been very interested in, not just from studying war at school but just in the way it is an accepted part of life. I would like to find out more about where it came from and where it has taken us.

5 people

1. Gillian Harvie: She was a Jewellery Graduate from Glasgow School of Art in 2010 and I thought her work was so different and amazing. I would love to ask her where she gets her crazy ideas from and how she can so beautifully transfer them into jewellery.

2. Becky Crow: She graduated from the University of Brighton in 1999 and she makes beautiful narrative jewellery. I saw her work at the Dazzle exhibition at the merchants square a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with it.

3. Lauren Currie: Since I missed her lecture which seemed really interesting and judging by her blog her service design passion really seems to have really got her places! It would be good to get her thoughts on why service design has been the right choice for her and what oppertunities it opens up when you have that skill, as I guess it’s something for all of us to consider.

4. Joanna Bassford: as I find her a real inspiration – the fact that she studies textiles and then decided that she enjoyed illustration instead and has now had more commisions than you could shake a stick at! I love how driven she seems, she doesn’t seem to let anyone or anything stop her, especially not the fact that she has a degree in textiles not illustration!

5. Connect with more of the whole Jewellery Course on facebook and add more of their blogs onto my news feed. It would be good to see some of their blogs as they have been blogging for longer and this could inspire me as to how to make my blog more personal, something I tend to find quite difficult…

5 Blog Things

1. Do the domain name thingie…yes I should probably work out exactly what this is first…

2. Make an Avatar…most likely of me pulling a stupid face…

3. Organise the whole blog better – make it more user friendly ie: Posts by month, other blogs I follow etc

4. Start getting better at posting things that inspire me – all the photos I take etc and stop worrying that I sound stuck up… imagine I’m talking to my bestos Mairi…although this may make it stop making sense altogether…Also post sketchbook pages because I love doing my sketchbook and bits of silly humour because that’s such a big part of who I am.

5.  Change the picture at the top again to something more colourful.

Ready to start writing now – woohoo! Finalised plans…

 

Today has been a day of organisation for tackling the wonder that is Assignment 5! To be fair, it doesn’t seem half as scary as I thought it would be, which I think is how most of us feel! Just don’t mention the “e” word…

…”ESSAY!”

I TOLD YOU NOT TO!

But it’s not an essay…it’s a proposal. Trouble is, we’ve never had to write a proposal before. We’ve been churning out essays in one way or another since we started school but the word “proposal” seems a bit foreign. However, still not as scary!

Anyway, to the point, I made a few mind maps today about my Semester One research piece to remind myself, admittedly, what I actually discovered as I’d completly forgotten where all that research had led me. I then discovered “Oh yeah, I realised that the first book I read Moving Images investigated what emotions specific kinds of television evoked in children and the journal article (which I call Snack Culture) proved with secondary research that attention spans were now decreasing and it was easier for children to access inappropriate material,” This led me to think about the time difference between each piece of writing – one was produced in the 1990s and the other in the current day. I then thought that surely due to the fact that children can access material more easily surely they must be desensitised to a lot of things that could have been potentially disturbing back in the 90s. This led me to my topic for investigation for my proposal – are children less frightened by inappropriate material as they have been desesitised to it due to it’s accessibility – the internet, you tube, the more relaxed watershed etc. If I was carrying out this investigation, I could use interviews and compare the results 20 years ago when Moving Images was written with the results I obtained. Here are the mind maps I produced today (and by the by the word “produced” in this context is one of my favourite words so don’t go thinking I’m going all posh nob “I produced these today dontchaknow…”)

I also made a BIG HUGE MIND MAP of the Service Design Tools Website, which is something I keep meaning to do and I thought hey, since it’s the first official day of the holidays that’s exactly what I’ll do…I thought it might come in handy when I was doing some of the assignments and trying to decide what tool would do the job best…so here it is my handywork!

…I was there at the weekend with my Dad and I’ll certainly be going back! Not felt so inspired for a while. I was constantly picking interesting things up, which I’ve now put in a shoe box so that I can use them in my project although the shoe box has got very smelly now due to said contents! I was particularly inspired by the patterns on the sand though, which was what inspired Rachel in her medals project…

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Some thinking about my current project – stage I’m at, I emailed the designer tonight so hopefully she’ll get back to me. I’ve done quite a few sketchbook pages over the past few days looking at her work and trying to pull bits out of it that I can use for inspiration for the final piece I have to make based on it. Because she looks at the relationship between natural and manmade materials and makes this concept into a kind of mutation which she dubs a “growth” I’ve been thinking of doing a similar thing but using growth more in the context of the growth of people (yeah I know – cheesy and awful!) and combining it with identity – so the idea is that people may grow and distort in many different ways throughout their lives but the most important parts of their identity will always remain intact. J’ai Voudrais to use more natural looking textile techniques which could be distorted and manipulated for parts of the design (like Natalya Pinchuk does) and then use metal or plastics or clay for the vital parts of the personality which will stay firmly in place in the rest of the design…here’s hoping! I’d like to do a series of brooches or rings with this concept if I have time – brooches might be more fitting with Natalya Pinchuk’s work but I’ll have to master the art of the brooch pin first! Going home could also be a good move as ma mere can possibly help me using her expertise in textile manipulation. I’ve been asking people what they think is the most important part of their identity and then I’m hoping to choose the ones that are most inspiring to me to make the series. Design studies will be pleased to know I’ve done a bit of brain storming with this, also a bit of mind mapping with all Natalya Pinchuk’s concepts. I’m sorry if this post makes no sense but its just the bumph in my head – hey at least it sounds a bit more like the real me this time!