Tate Britain

Today we visited Tate Britain located in Westminster. Tate Britain comprises of British art and sculptures made by artists from the 1500 to our current period of time. It also includes international and contemporary art.

We were given a task during the lesson was called “A better world” we had around 15- 20 minutes to suggest an idea of how we may change the space we were in.

My group decided to focus on ‘Cunt Scum’ by Gilbert & George (1988). The art shows a series of images that depict life from the 1970s. In the 1970s, mixed raced immigrants began to move to the United Kingdom and were targeted hugely by the National Front.

To link this to the brief we were given, we created a manifesto which will use this piece of art specifically as well as the whole space to portray life from the 1970s. We propose our idea to be shown in a digital form via a video which will show different political subjects throughout that time to illustrate how it affected immigrants and coloured people, such as police brutality, discrimination and prejudice. Due the ever-changing development of technology we thought we could only go with using some sort of digital format as there will be a huge growth in 50 years. Alongside a video, audio and images will accompanied to give more context and ideas behind what happened. This combination will give the viewer a real sense and emotion of how large discrimination was which will almost make the viewer feel like they visited the past. Using a whole room on this subject is very important as we feel this subject should be highlighted more within the art as it is something people can forget about quite easily.


Geffrye Museum

For today’s lesson, we visited the Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch. The Geffrye Museum shows a selection of period rooms ranging from different decades throughout the 1600s to our current period.

During our visit to the Geffrye Museum, we were given 15 minutes to do a task called “Show me the money!” We were asked to identify a source of money within the area we were in or an object.

Our group decided to look at a Drawing room from the 1870s. During this time, a workspace would often be located within the main room on the bottom floor and was used by the ‘Lady of the house’. Furthermore, due to the construction of suburban houses, people started working at home rather than traveling because of the long journeys. This was shown through how their house was decorated, as people wanted to portray a very busy working life to their visitors. (Geffrye Museum, n.d.)

Most ways in which the ‘Lady of the house’ would work is by using a Davenport Desk. A Davenport Desk is a writing desk used, to compose letters/ work and was most popular during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It contained various draws at the bottom, used to store paper and different inks with sloping a desk placed on top to make it easy to write on (Antiques World, 2014). Additionally, every desk would come with a leather surface to write on. We chose to look at this object as most people had one of these in their home which increased the value of their price. Furthermore, today they are seen as an ‘antique’ and collectibles item due to the price they are able to sell at, over £2000. Also, the wood used to create the desks was quite expensive, which means it was a lot of money to manufacture the object.

Geffrye Museum, n.d. Drawing room, 1870. [Online]
Available at: http://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk/explore-the-geffrye/period_rooms/drawing-room-1870/
[Accessed 23rd March 2017]

Antiques World, 2014. Antique Davenport Desk. [Online]
Available at: http://antiquesworld.co.uk/antique-davenport-desk/
[Accessed 27 March 2017].

Westfield Shopping Centre & Caffe Nero

Today we visited Westfield Shopping Centre & Caffe Nero. Westfield is a shopping centre and is located in White City, London.

Our first task of the day was called “Reasoned Action.” In this task, we were asked to show how different media is portrayed within the space as well as show what they are communicating, how they are doing it to the audience and how is it message to suggest.

Our group decided to look at one of the popup stands which informed/ advertised to customers about a new car, the Citron D5-3. The stand was located towards the middle of the shopping centre on the ground floor which makes it  visible to all customers, especially the bright yellow car on show. Whilst at the shopping centre, I noticed most larger stands that where advertising something that did not relate so much to Westfield’s were placed on the ground floor due to it being a good location of getting peoples attention.

From looking at the stand we made a few assumptions on what they were trying to communicated based on the looks. We thought it showed the ‘French high life’ if a customer was to buy this car. Inside of it, customers where able to test out the car seats and see various materials they used. Allowing customers to try the seats will allow them to imagine their life if they had the car and get that experience.  As well as the car, specific colours were used throughout the stand such as chrome, black, sliver, gold and other textures to suggest a luxury feel to the brand and mimic an avant garde style. The luxury feel gave a huge emphasis to the brand as encouraged customers to find out more information and be intrigued about this ‘different’ life you could live.

King’s Cross Station

Today we visited King’s Cross Station. King’s Cross Station provides a railway for the northern part of the United Kingdom. 

During our visit to King’s Cross Station, we were given 20 minutes to do a task called “Get your house in order.” We were asked to analyse two objects which uses a grid system and explain its layout.

First, we read the handout which told us further information on grids; this helped hugely in understanding the task. Our group chose to look at the timetable and signs which were used across the station (both shown in the image above).

Due to the timetable using a grid system, we decided to look at signs and timetable. A timetable is designed in this way so the commuter can find information on a specific journey quickly. They have achieved this is by using a hierarchy from left to right which tells you time of departure, destination, and stops. In any station, the boards will be set out in the same layout so that you know where to look straight away. Additionally, they have created a division between each journey which stops it from looking clustered and it makes it easier to read. Also, what helps the commuters read the board is the use of bright orange led lights and the angle at which the board is placed which makes it visible to everyone.

 Next, we looked at the signs and found that most of them link to the area it located in and they have applied arrows and common signs that are related to the text to let the commuter know the direction they should be traveling. The signs have not been placed in a very visible grid system but they stand out well due to the colours, font size used and location.

Design Museum

We had and independent visit to the Design Museum located in Kensington, London. The Design Museum shows work from digital, graphic, industrial, fashion and architectural design from many new to experienced designers.

I visited Beazley Designs of the Year. This exhibition allows you to explore a space of 70 new and innovative ideas made by upcoming designers that will be shortlisted to for the Design of the Year award. 

I found the exhibition very enjoyable due to the easy flow of designs and the variety of sections you could visit, Renew, Self, Place, Start, Connect and Unite. It did not feel overwhelming or unorganised and the space was used well such as walls, ceilings and floors. There were individual sections of work which allowed you to see different ideas of designers and there was enough information you could explore to understand the whole idea.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

One of the designs that I enjoyed and was intrigued about was called “Joto”. Joto is a live digital drawing board that is connected to the internet and is used from your phone, via an app. From the app, you are able to select various images Joto has created, write words or create your own design and Joto will draw it instantly for you within a few minutes. Drawings can be downloaded from professional artists and illustrations too.I thought this was a very interesting design concept as its suggesting future digital design and showing that you can reinvent anything. The way in which the image is drawn on the board is very entertaining as you are able to see the creation of the drawing in front of you.

Overall, I feel this was a great exhibition and opportunity as I discovered new talent and designs that are engaging to an audience.

Other Designs I liked:

Overall, I feel this was a great exhibition and opportunity as I discovered new talent and designs that are engaging to an audience.



The National Gallery

Today we visited the National Gallery located in Trafalgar Square, Westminster. The National Gallery shows a collection of paintings ranging from the 1200s to today’s time.

Our first task was called “Think About It”. We were asked to create a critical review on the specific environment we were in and explain why it is/ isn’t a good space.

The Ambassadors, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1553.

The room shows various paintings from the 1500s. My group felt this was a good example of layout as it partially uses a hierarchy through the positioning of the objects and paintings. Hierarchy starts from one specific element, in this case we thought it started with the largest painting in the room; “The Ambassadors” by Hans Holbein the Younger in 1553. This painting depicts two well to do, knowledgeable men showing various books they have both learnt from as well as different objects they have used to understand how time is measured. We thought this painting affected the whole space hugely as it is a dominate piece of art which may suggest the differences in lives and religion when comparing it with the smaller paintings in the space. This room and the last gallery of this era start and end with a large painting which helped finish off each section well. Additionally, the painting use spotlights above which specifically face it, making it one of the first paintings you see as you enter the room. Furthermore, we thought the way the seating was place was good as you could see the paintings clearly from each side as it was placed central in the room. We did not feel there were many problems with the placement of and environment.

Overall, this space had a good welcoming environment and is a good example of this type due to its layout and positioning.

Six Big Ideas (Part 2)

Six Big Ideas

This week we continued from last weeks lesson to learn about the the other half of the six big ideas. These were Feedback, Constraints and Conceptual Models.


Feedback in the way of understanding and telling a view of something that a person has seen or happened, for example a error code or downloading or copying a file ; this is a way of notifying the designer that something has happened and a sense of understanding as it is important to know what correct and incorrect. However there is a certain level of feedback you can give a it may be too overwhelming for the person, which may make it harder to the person to respond to  the feedback. In groups we found some examples, like a iPhone. When typing the incorrect pin, the phone will shake, letting the user know that they cannot use the phone.


Constraints are things which stop you from doing certain things such as budget and time. They can be:

  • Physical – shape, shoes, weight, size distance
  • Semantic – doesn’t / does make sense to do it another way
  • Logical – what is not possible e.g., drinking milk before buying it
  • Cultural – language, religion (reading from left or right), power, relationships/ audience.

These are all seen as creative forces which impact design in some way as it may prevent you from doing/ creating something.

Conceptual Models:

Conceptual Models is an explanation of how things/ objects work. This explanation does not have to be accurate, as long it is useful, for example a desktop. The desktop does not show you what is happening inside the computer as the user does not need to know, This makes it easier to understand each task. If there are problems with the object, the model may help you understand that happening.



Six Big Ideas (Part 1)


Six Big Ideas

In todays lesson, we looked a the six big ideas/ principles of design, specifically, what come to mind when we talk about about experience design. There  are different experiences that we think about in design, for example:

  • Emotion
  • Time
  • Ease of use
  • Arrangement
  • Appearance
  • Senses
  • Content

Also the way we use our senses could to split further, so that they can be communicated though different objects.

  • Sight – Visual
  • Hearing – Aural
  • Smell -Olfactory
  • Test – Gustatory
  • Touch – Tactile

This is known as Human Centred Design as we are designing in a way to communicate with humans and for specific things like blindness. However it is an easy thing that people can forget about the designing.

The six big ideas are Affordances, Signifiers, Mapping, Feedback, Constraints and Conceptual Models


This is the relationship between the an object and a thing. It will so have an affordance with a human as they will use the object. An example of an affordance is a door as the user is able to push or pull it.


Signifiers also link to affordances as it points out the affordance and gives communication in order for the action to take place, however the affordance may not be indicated.


Mapping is the arrangement of a thing or object. It has a specific and special relationship which that controls the the thing. Mapping can use relative positioning by it knowing where the object was before it was moved by a person. Mapping also uses Absolute positioning as it know where things are relative to something.

Signs – Critical & Theoretical Studies

To begin the lesson, as a class we decided to play a game of Pictionary. I was asked to draw


a cat which my peers recognised in 6 seconds. I think they were able to recognise what I was drawing due to the memorable features a cat has such as its ears and whiskers. By selecting or drawing specific features of thinks makes signs more recognisable and easier to understand.

An example which we looked at in class that uses Semiotics and Semiology is the IBM logo.


IBM Logo








The IBM uses various types of images such as a, eye for the letter ‘I’ and a bee for the letter ‘b’ to communicate a message with their audience.Communicating though logos is important and it gives you a greater understanding on a topic. However, lots of thinking must go into it for it to be communicated correctly to the audience. One thing you should think about is the type of language you are using, for example the logo uses ‘m’ which is English. People need to know what it means to create context alongside the other signs.

After this we looked at Charles Sanders Peirce idea of Semiotics and Semiology by Ferdinand de Saussure. Semiotics uses an icon which is a simplified version of a thing, an index which is a sign that points to something and a symbol which is a thing that represents it.  Whereas Semiology uses the signifier is the signified meaning, the relationship of sound image and object.Then we looked at Denotations which means an idea that links to its direct image and Connotations which means other meanings of an object. To conclude, we looked at Myth (also known as a meta-language) by Roland Barthes and how things have become signified to create more meaning behind an image.

Bedlam: the asylum and beyond, Exhibition – Critical & Theoretical Studies


This exhibition focused on the Bedlam asylum from the 13th century. This brings together past experiences lived of those who stayed in the asylum and shows historical information, medical records as well as art work created by people in the asylum to reflect how they thought and saw things. From what saw, I thought it helped bring patients together due to the use of art.

When visiting the exhibition, I enjoyed the way in which the information was present due to the various types of media, such as objects, videos, painting and poetry. This gave me an insight into what life was like back then for people and what they thought was appropriate and thought as a mental illness. Also how the exhibition was a arranged allow you to follow a path which led you to almost all the information. I found it very easy to make my way through the exhibition due to the use of ‘scenes’ which suggests the day to day life of a patient.

Map of the Exhibition

I found one instillation very interesting. It was a chess board which included Pre-Columbian figures and was used by a medical company, Schering to publicise treatments in the 1970’s. Each figure represented a different illness such as dual emotional distress and the name of a drug used. This was represented though the use of fragile eggs; the patients. The chess board represented the asylum floor. I thought this was unique as its an usual way to show information.

Schering Chess

Overall I think this exhibition was trying to depict the life of an asylum and although many people can think metal illness is a dark topic to talk about, this exhibitions takes away from that and looks at the things that benefited and helped people which gave them acceptance.

Click to access Wellcome%20Collection%20Bedlam%20Gallery%20Guide%20and%20Map%20%28279%20KB%29.pdf


Cultural Objects – Critical & Theoretical Studies

In todays lesson of CTS we looked how we can engage with different cultural objects.

A cultural object is anything that can carry or express meaning and ideas, such a film, book or website. To find out how they carry meaning, the viewer will have draw connections and links between various subjects. Additionally, this can be used when visiting an exhibitions as you can think about different cultural objects as well as the whole exhibition itself.

To look more critically into cultural objects, questions will have to answered in order to learn about the background of the object. As a class we came up with questions that would be important to answer;

  • What are you looking at?
  • Who made it?
  • When/why/where was it made?
  • What is it about/happened?
  • Themes?

After this we were asked to watched Michael Radford, “Addicted to the stars” video. After watching it we talked about what the story meant and how it was set out so that it could focus on a specific object but still tell you a lot of information. We were also able to apply the questions (above) to the video.

Death of The Artist by Karrie Fransman

To learn about cultural objects more, we were put into groups and given a graphic novel, ‘Death of the artist’ by Karrie Fransman. We were asked to use the questions and apply that to the book to help find information. As a group we were able to find information such as out were the book was published and its topic and its theme of death.

After that we told our class the information we found and realised that we had judged the book too quickly. If we had time to read the book we may have been able to find out more accurate information.


Commercial Catalogues & Shopping Spaces – Critical & Theoretical Studies

In todays lesson we looked at how information is presented commercially.

“How do you buy something from a shop?”

As a group we came up with ideas of the process of how people may buy things such as; visit the shop, pick up the item and then buy it. Although we see this as a ‘normal’ way to buy products from a shop, it is actually a culturally agreed upon thing. The way we buy and look for products has been influenced by people around us which we have copied due people thinking it is normal.

Clarence Saunders created a shop called ‘Piggly Wiggly’ and introduced a modern system of self service. Before the use of catalogues; there was little access to pick of objects quickly, you would have to look through a catalogue and then a member of staff would have to find it.


This system is used today in shops such as Argos.

The process of self service shops have changed and developed so that they are more efficient to operate and process the information. However, there are problems with using this system as you are unable to view the products before buying them so you can only rely on what you see.

In pairs we where asked to find various objects in the Argos catalogue in the fastest time possible. I found certain objects hard to find as you would not link some object with certain categories.


Then we looked at Argos’s older catalogues from the 1980’s, it used the same style and view, however it showed a comparison between all the objects on that page. This allowed buyers to see information in a different way and communicate to one another. Buyers were also able to look at specific things they wanted within an object.