Archive

Context

Week one. Exposure.
Analytical process of keynote presentation> Each keynote> Issues, Concepts, Contexts> 3 Keywords

Main context points below… to many notes to type up…

Main Contextual Issues;
Alastair Donald’s lecture I found to be really controversial.
I understand what Donald is saying about change and that restrictions can hinder this process, his examples were that the world needs to put the human race back into the centre focus of the world and that everything else should be second.

However, I don’t feel that restrictions affect the creative process in a negative way, without restrictions the ideas and possibilities can become overwhelming (take an really open brief for example). I don’t think that the human race should be put back into centre stage. Since long before the industrial revolution we have taken the planet for granted, we have disregarded our actions and effects on the environment and its future.

He said that we should celebrate the use of oil because understanding how to use it is an amazing thing, but what about when we run out? Will we celebrate then? The world is already having wars about land and where oil is underneath it, tensions and crisis’s will arise more so if it runs out.

His theory seems to be – do what you want now, and we will fix the problems later when they come up.

Surely prevention is better than cure?

Three Keywords;
– Sustainability
– Change
– compromise

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Week one. Exposure.
Analytical process of keynote presentation> Each keynote> Issues, Concepts, Contexts> 3 Keywords

Duncan Wilson – “Positive difference in the world”
-Modern technology aids new architecture, different shapes…
-How the web/ info tech affected design
-Foresight Company
-Help people take educated leaps of faith
-“We identify and communicate the trends and the issues likely to have a significant… WEBSITE”
– Drivers of change…
**stopped taking notes after this as it was impossible to hear and he was unbelievably monotone when speaking…**

Main Contextual Issues;

Duncan Wilson’s lecture I found really hard to understand, therefore I don’t feel like I have enough understanding about the subject or what he was trying to say.
From what I could gather, that the user of technology can be used for positive change. Such as looking at way finding systems, testing them and looking for complications before they are put into place and effectively saving money as well as time.

However I don’t like the ideas surrounding the issue with data generated information, such as google. Google uses previous searched keywords to then generate new articles that link. I find it worrying that a piece of technology can determine what I can and can’t read, or what it feels I would be interested in, obviously suggested items are helpful but missing out other pages completely I don’t agree with.
It all feels a bit like a big brother society, its as though we let the internet and technology dictate to us what we should know and not know about.

As a graphic design student i’m constantly told when creating a layout, that we should not use design tools such as indesign to dictate to us how to design. Everything should start from an idea, on paper. As another lecture pointed out the labour government wanted to use technology as a solution and not as a tool. I feel that many people may feel that technology is the answer when it is only a platform for ideas to become reality

Three Keywords;
– Balance
– Influence of Design
– De-industrialisation

Week one. Exposure.
Analytical process of keynote presentation> Each keynote> Issues, Concepts, Contexts> 3 Keywords
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Neil lawson – when there is to much choice we become traumatised, anything more than 6 items and this happens… (somehow this links in with politics)

Politics

You’ve got the the left hand politics, Libya, wall street, banking crisis, coalition
Then on the right you have UK uncut, cooperation, tax, riots (?)
Key phrases/mentions;
– environment, changes
– loads going on in politics, nothing changes
– No bankers have been sent to jail, justice?
– poor are getting poorer
– politics, democracy, triple crisis
– “Old is not dead, news not born”
– In the middle, thins haven’t yet happened
– lots going wrong, obvious changes are needed
– gap between the right wing & left
– there needs to be a coherent alternative
– why has there been no change
– the power of dreams

– default options, leads to capitalism, leads to crisis
– on the right party they like to conserve, to remain the same this system now to stay on place, segregation
– left party wants change
– 1940s ideas, dreams, welfarism, due to the depression of the 30’s
– labour building the NHS was a dream people thought it was crazy, impossible now it is an everyday thing, probably taken for granted
– when times are hard the biggest dreams occur
– took 30 years to dominate, the only dream on the table, no other alternatives, feasible or viable
– failing but we can’t change or see another way of living
– all alternatives are ignored. Plan A is the only option
– those who say different or shout about change are ignored, crushed, ridiculed anything that challenges, a cultural army
– at the moment we are in turbo consumption, shopping is our only choice
– identity, groups, social class,
– come together and change there’s only shopping

– socially break the seduction, why would anyone want to fight it
– we are aware of this buying machine that we are in
– we know that shopping doesn’t really make us happy
– but they have ruled out all other things
– to be a realist you have to be an idealist
– thoughts make the world, you must attempt the impossible to makes things possible
– other countries put a small tax on financial transactions, Germany,France, the robin hood tax
– lives are not about shopping, no one thinks on their death bed “I wish I brought more stuff” people think of priceless things, such as spending time with their family, enjoying the outdoors
– the people outside St. Paul’s don’t know the answer to this problem, but they are making a stand and making a point that changes need to happen
– as a country we can not go on like this, the governments can stop this, systems are in place else where and they are working
– the system in the UK pays for people to stay out of work, the dole
– Germany have got out the recession twice as fast as UK due to their governments investing into people and he country, once people have jobs they work and pay tax, that money goes back into the countries economy

– people have to start creating ethical decisions
– the left have no cultural soul, work, tax, money
– we have to break out of this typical process of leaving school going to college, uni, full time job, buy a house, mortgage etc
– design is not just selling stuff, it’s about beauty, skill, beyond the commercial value
– constriction: must spend? Mustn’t spend? Mustn’t keep spending on personal things, second car, new pc etc the rich need to spend more in general and middle class, poor, need to invest in long term, public, hospitals etc
– companies are there to make a profit, by anyway possible. In the 1940/50s it was wrong to flaunt your wealth, everyone flaunts it now, celebrities and media picks up on this and embeds the idea if you don’t have money your not important/glamours
– capitalism; where is is right to make money

– if we are a democracy then the public have to be let in on decision making
– tesco’s throw away 15/20% of their stock every night. This show to much choice and things become thrown away (links with the consumerism part)
– the squeezed middle, flat line wage, don’t do so well then anxiety
– we are all born equal, with our life what we want to make it, but life then becomes a race if someone is more well off than you financially
– being successful is not being middles class with a conservatory and having a BMW
– A book called the spirit level, the more equal a country is the less social problems it has
– people who use tax havens and avoid tax have a larger effect on the economy than people who live off benefits
– fear creates ideas then hope this is where change happens

I agree with many of the points about wealthy people becoming to wealthy then people at the bottom cab become jealous and this than create anger and inequality, a lot of the London riots was related to this divide about who has money and who doesn’t, then again this is also to do with consumerism and why these felt the need to steal items, they feel materialistic items will enrich their lives.

I Don’t have a problem people making money or having a successful business, I have a problem people holding onto it and are not pumping into the country. Such as Philip Green, Richard Hamilton, they all avoid tax by having their money offshore. The amount of money the government would generate from these people’s tax would enable them to not have so many drastic cuts in areas most necessary.

As a designers I feel that this lecture really focused on me and what I do as I have can influence on people and what their purchasing style is. I can influence people to invest into products that are quality or invest into systems rather that partake in this consumer culture.

Main Contextual Issues;

– Politics needs to change, people need to think in a more social view rather than just about themselves
– There needs to be more equality within Britain as tensions between classes will get more extreme

Three Keywords;

- Consumerism
– Hierarchy system
– Change

Week one. Exposure.
Analytical process of keynote presentation> Each keynote> Issues, Concepts, Contexts> 3 Keywords

Martin Rowson – Philosophy and Satire

Martin Rowson is a political satirist and cartoonist. His work appears regularly in the Guardian and elsewhere. Martin will speak about the traditions of drawing and satire in Britain.

Satire

Political commentator
Illustrator for magazines and newspapers. Cartoons based of visual satire.

Laughing;
– A form of control
– To make friends
– To keep people in their place – the elite

This is a 300 year old tradition almost. That right through the age of enlightenment. Its journalism, but its used to make you laugh, not serious.
Key things when being a satirist;
– Don’t attack people who are less powerful than you.
– Don’t attack people for what they believe, who they are or opinions they may have.
These images maybe offensive, but not as offensive as what the people in the pictures are usually doing. Such as bankers awarding themselves bonuses when countries who are suffering from natural disasters are receiving a significant amount less in aid they their bonus money.

Debate within the groups, points raised;

Agree with;
– Using humour as weapon, due to people who can’t laugh at themselves are suddenly accused of doing exactly that.
– The images summarise sometimes, whole political debates.
– It puts the people in their place, stops the people at the top getting to big.
– Politics can get extremely serious and sometimes just needs to be lightened up.
– Social networks have started to effect media, news articles now online, does the need for cartoons remain?

Disagree with;
– Propaganda.
– Critical of peoples actions but no actual constructive comments.
– Abusing his position, slander.
– His work is predicable, you can tell it will be something mean.
– Does he even have the right to say this about people.
– How is this a tool for change?
– The work appeals to certain people, a selected demographic.

Main Contextual Issues;

– It puts people in their place and stops people getting to big, I agree with this, I feel that in graphic design the whole discipline seems to take itself far to seriously and needs to step back a bit.
– I also feel that it is just a commentary on the events at the time and that this doesn’t really help suggest what should be done. It is just journalism.

Three Keywords;

- Humour as a weapon
– Politics

– Designers influence

Week one. Exposure.
Analytical process of keynote presentation>Each keynote>Issues, Concepts, Contexts>3 Keywords

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Aditya Chakrabortty
Aditya is a senior economics editor at The Guardian newspaper. He will be reflecting on the relationship between economics and society in our world and asking, how can we keep going?

Sociology & Economics

Lead writer, writes a column every Tuesday in the Guardian.
Britain, whats gone wrong?

– First example Barking industrial estate – East London/Essex (I’d say essex, as any post code with barking is Barking, Essex…)
– Swift engineering went from a company with 100 people down to four, and they do a three day week, with some days only one person being there, that usually being the manager.
– Maybe ten, twenty years ago it was normal for people to finish school and do what their family did, so if your dad worked in a car factory you would probably to. University wasn’t the main option, working seemed to be the norm straight from school. Skilled jobs, nothing that you need to be taught in a class room necessarily.
– Example; Anthony Harris, worked in Harold Pipe Work’s for 35 years. He is a well skilled man. His son, around his mid 20’s has never had a full time job, only part time, on temporary contracts. He also suffers from depression.

– When industrial jobs start having a mechanical work force, the idea is to create time for the workers to do something else, perhaps more constructive jobs. However this isn’t the case and people end up losing their jobs to a machine. Or jobs leave the area, region, country to places that are cheaper, materials and labour costs.
– There is a knock on effect when work moves out of an area, the community within the factory and estate disappears, communities become isolated, people move away to find more work and the whole area changes from what it used to be.
– In the UK we have the biggest loss of industry since the end of the world war.

– Politics have a big part to play in sociological economics. There has been three big changes/ways of taking on this subject of the UK becoming/entering a financial crisis.
– Thatcher Argument, Blair Vision, Cameron Updates.
– In the 1970-1980s there was a question “is Britain dying?” and in response to this Keith Joseph, Margret Thatchers advisor wrote a speech in which he said “Growth means change”, therefor changes were made resulting in 1 in 4 manufacturing jobs disappearing, people either went into jobs they didn’t want/like or ended up signing on the dole.

– Tony Blair talked a lot before he acted.
– Labour focused and tried to embrace a young & creative country. However using technology to save Britain would and will not work, you can use technology as tool or platform but not as an actually solution to the poor economy.
– They tried to sell culture rather than things, as we, have nothing lift to sell, steel, furniture, cars etc are all being made else where. All we have left is ideas and culture to try to sell to other countries.

– Richard Florida likes this idea, he believes there are two types of people, Thinkers & Factory workers, and that these two kinds of people don’t cross over, and that people should adapt to change.
– This is all well and good if your a young person starting out, and deciding what kind of career you want to pursue as you can see what sector there are jobs available, but if you are a 50 year old man will skills to make a car, you either have to retrain in college or apprenticeship or not have a job.
– Another reason why there is a collapse is due to poor management, through bosses, government etc. the systems in place help the rich get richer and everyone else gets left behind. If companies invested into themselves and the profit margin was not the key focus of all manufacturing then perhaps we would still have a lot of manufacture in the UK.

– Consumerism and greed has forced the industry to other parts of the world that may have poor working conditions or general exploitation of the workers. Consumerism we can only really blame on ourselves. As a graphic designer if i chose to work for a company that manufactures offshore and has awful morals and worker exploitation, then I am contribution to the rich getting richer. As a designer I have to make a conscious decision of who I work for and what impact my work will have on the economy, environment etc. Designers, especially in advertising promote items for people to buy, if these designers are aware the products are made in other countries when they could be made in the UK then they are contributing to the deindustrialization and the finical crisis in the UK.”
– There have been schemes to try and promote the UK, a strange kind of propaganda that tries to bring life back into areas that have seen a decrease in economy, such as the “The North East” scheme. Pumping money into areas with expensive looking buildings, art etc when this is not what the area needs, making somewhere look cool does not make people want to go back and work there. The issues is trying to be covered up by making the area look nice to suggest that the problem has been solved, when instead its just been hidden.
– When Thatcher was in power there was 30% of people in industrial work, when Brown was in power that went down to 11%.

– Germany is slightly bigger than the UK, however there manufacturing industry has grown even with them using more machines to work for them.
– The UK seems to have an obsession with buying things, we buy more than we sell to other countries, literally everything is imported from other countries and because of this it has had a knock on effect to jobs, causing more people to rely on the state whether that people state jobs or on the dole. As we now have a coalition government, they have decided to cut back on state jobs and benefits leaving people with not many options.
– Example; MG Rover, a well known British car manufacture company. Completely shut down. 90% of the people who worked there now have a full time job, on a permanent contract, however they ear around £5,640 less a year, forcing them to use their own savings to pay to live.

– Management still believe that regeneration is important to help bring the economy up. for example the “Liverpool One” – Europe’s biggest regeneration project. This does not solve the problem having jobs, and that our own manufacturing industry is failing, it promotes people to buy things, this isn’t a long time solution.
– David Cameron tries to balance the thoughts and ideas of both Thatcher and Blair. He is aware people are to depend on state housing and general state handouts. This is why public spending cuts have been made to try and reduce the deficit that labour has put the country in.
– People always talk about community, community sprit, but no one tells you how, they suggest this solution but no way to implement it.

Questions –
– What justification would you give Anthony Harris?
– If we don’t find a replacement what is the consequence?

1. How can you justify what has happened, it doesn’t to seem to be one single persons fault, its been a gradual shift and process that no one has found the solution to solve yet.
2. If we don’t find something to replace this, then Britain will become totally reliant on other countries to produce goods and for them to be willing to trade with us. If trade relations broke down we would be in a even worse state than we are now. To me the only replacement can be the reintroduction of manufacturing in the UK.

Main Contextual Issues;
– Culture is to blame, if we didn’t want quantity over quality then perhaps manufacturing would remain in the UK.
– Designers influence of the public, moral questions should be raised before taking on a job.
– There needs to be some kind of balance between creative and skilled work.

Three Keywords;
– Consumerism
– Deindustrialisation
– Designers influence/Moral duty

Contextual Studies. 4 Week Project.

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Today is the start of a week full of lectures pretty much all day. The lectures today were a introduction to the unit, the process, what is expected of us etc. I have recored the lectures and plan on recording all conversations involved with this unit, to try and take notes in a better way, due to when I take notes i’m not giving my full attention therefore not listening or taking in the information properly, as well as making it easier to refer back to lectures incase I missed something.

First talk; Paul Rennie – Introduction
Second talk; Library Staff – Learning resources
Third talk; Paul Rennie – Academic Writing & Presentation

Over the next week there will be a lot more blog posts as part of this unit is to document every evening a post dedicated to what was spoke about in the lecture and our thoughts about it. This blog will be a UAL site, however I will post the same here.

**The quality isn’t great as I kept moving**

Introduction
Library Resources
Academic Writing & Presentation