Further Dissertation Prep & Subliminal Advertising

March 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Design Practice in Context 2 Lecture 26/03/14

Gather together as much information as possible in assembling the literature review – you are light laying the ground work; it sets up different pockets of theory and practice that all come together and enable us to say something new/something fresh. It sets up the platform that can be used as a springboard to say something interesting. Who are the key theorists/texts/practitioners/designers that feature strongly in the argument that you are giving? It sets up a framework and talks about historical works of significance that are related to the topic. Some of the more creative dissertations bring together two things that you might not have thought worked initially.

Outlining and regurgitating ideas that have already been used can get you an acceptable mark but the high grade work tries to say something new. Methodology must be appropriate to the topic. If using questionnaires they must be widespread (100+ responses) in order to get accurate feedback. Interviews and case studies can be used as a reference point.

Subliminal Advertising is where coded messages are inserted into images, sound, film, that may persuade you to do something – a manipulative element. It has a conspiracy theory status that feeds into pop culture as well. There was a particular outbreak of subliminal advertising in the 70s. The idea of hermeneutic (multiple) theory analysis and the structures of social control coming together would lead to an argument that is largely critical.


Geopolitical Futures

March 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Design Practice in Context 2 Lecture 18/03/14


To us, this is the most commonly viewed perspective of the world map – with the UK very central. But have we considered other points of view?

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 17.10.31

This is how Australia see the world. The perspective is completely different.

Wealth all over the world is inbalanced and will continue to be for as long as we are alive. The UK is up there with the wealthier countries, belonging in the top 5. It’s important to realise, as designers, that other countries don’t have as much as us because of wealth issues.

In the Middle East there have been many oil crisis’, and many people don’t think about where it comes from and the issues surrounding it. As these problems increase, it makes the UK look more attractive for immigrators. This causes further problems.

India and China are the two economies that are really growing, have massive potential and outnumber us. India is a very large area which is split up – some areas of which are very westernised, others are not. Beyond the countries borders are potential employment opportunities. China as a whole is ruled by one government, however there are different  regions within China that want to break away from mainland China and it’s government.

Thomas Malthus, an English scholar, talked about population density – where there are simply too many people in one place. This can cause poverty or death is there is an inability to feed everyone.    The divide between the wealthy and poor becomes larger and outbreak in violence can only be stopped by the law up to a point. The UK is one of the most densely populated countries.

Flash Points are areas in the world that are potentially dangerous. The Middle East is one of these. The area has been very heavily affected by conflict. Crimea is an issue related to Russia where it appeared to be coming out of communism but then relapsed. The lack of control has started to fracture some of the states within Russia.

Terrorism occurs when the terrorists argument has been rejected. This day in age, it is no longer an expectation for a world war to occur, instead local terrorist attacks are becoming more common.

Naturally, people don’t like change. Your brain at the age of 75 loses certain proteins that allow change to be accepted. Minor change and major change are dealt with differently. Lack of education is also a key disruptor.

Technology is another disruptor. If you invent something technological, you automatically create at least ten more problems. One example of this is the computer mouse – people thought this was fantastic when it was brought out, but after years of repetitive use, cases of tendonitis have soared.

If you’re out in business, designing something for a client, and you don’t understand these aspects, then you run risk of getting hurt.

Dissertation Prep

March 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Design Practice In Context 2 Lecture 19/03/14

Over the next four weeks, we will be learning about what our final year dissertation will consist of and be shown a little bit about how to prepare for this. Near the end of term, we will do a 500 word dissertation proposal outlining what we want to discuss with our chosen topic. The structure of it is rather like a case study that will use references of other designers work whilst contextualising throughout.

Currently the dissertation word count is 6,000 or 7,000 words – this is subject to change. We will need to provide an investigation detailing a practice or process in report form. The challenging part will be to engage with the topic from this and work with the chosen technique. A major project will then be carried out which considers the themes of the dissertation with the technique and technology of the chosen study.

It is important to think about the topic that we are going to be writing about – we need to be an expert in the chosen area. It may be a good idea to ask  family and friends about our interests to see what their perspectives are – this may give us a clear and well-driven idea to work with. We could also start shopping around for topics to look at – Google Scholar is a good way of attaining information on what other people are referencing and find interesting. It is a section on Google specifically made for academic and educational purposes. We need to seek out references with high citation counts because it will me of more help to us. When writing about other ideas it is better to paraphrase followed by a reference instead of using a direct quote. When echoing ideas by others it is vital to reference the idea.

Some more useful resources for referencing:



White Noise: Media Power & Mass Communication

February 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Design Practice in Context 2 Lecture 26/02/14

Radio History – Listening Communities

BBC Radio launched in November 1922 – broadcasted popular and classical music concerts. Did not want to interfere with newspapers. It became a new social and cultural past time. They could listen to announcements from the King. Education was an important priority – by the 30s education broadcasts were very popular in schools.

The Power of Radio

3 out of 4 families owned a radio and people used to go round to their friends houses to listen to their favourite broadcasts. On Halloween night in 1938, Orson Wells adapted the HG Wells novel ‘War of the Worlds’ into a play and broadcast it on the radio to gain more listening numbers. People believed it to be true due to the sound effects and believability of the broadcast – people killed themselves, fled their towns, went to churches to seek help, rang police. Orson Wells was taken to court for this.

TV History

TV had less of an audience than radio at first. Actors got paid less than radio hosts because the actors only appeared on miniatures on TV rather than hosting an entire show. In 1939 programmes were being broadcast 7 days a week to an audience of 8,000 – but only for a few hours. For defence reasons, the TV was cut off during the World War I bombings as they thought the enemy would use the TV transmitters for their benefit. The radio came back into play and was the people’s source of information during the war. TV started back up again when the war was over.

The Power of TV

The Gulf War of the 1990s was broadcast on TV – for the first time ever war was shown on television for audiences to see. Audiences at that time were glued to the TV set – it would have been very discomforting to them to see such images. Today we have been desensitised so these images are not as shocking to us

TV Trends

The average person spends approximately 4 hours a day watching TV. 14.1 million watched the New Years firework display in 2013. 13.5 million tuned into I’m A Celebrity. 12.9 million watched Britain’s Got Talent. The peak in July 2013 was 17 million that tuned into Wimbledon.

Mass Hysteria & Media Dependency

Princess Diana’s tragic death and the 9/11 attacks are the two most memorable events that caused TV mass hysteria. Bhutan, a country in Southern Asia was the last place ever to get TV – in 1999. To them CNN and the BBC were the most violent TV channels because they were showing real world events that they were so naive to. They banned wrestling from being broadcast because it was too aggressive. The French World Cup in 1998 was the first thing they were showed, followed by the coronation of their King. 70% of Bhutan’s population don’t have electricity – so the impact of TV only affected a small sector of their population.

The future of TV has never looked so healthy – this is due to social media. 61% of people are ‘TV talkers’ – they agreed they watch more TV since they started discussing shows online, such as Facebook and Twitter.

CV Workshop

February 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Design Practice in Context 2

Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Using and presenting data
  • Information technology
  • Team working
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Problem Solving
  • Adaptability
  • Commercial Awareness

5 Rules of Employability

  • Know what you want for the future
  • Know your capabilities
  • Know your employer and customers
  • Reach for high performance standards
  • Take Action

Employer Expectations

  • Nurture creativity – Open mind to new possibilities, engage in creative practice
  • Collaboration – Work with peers and build creative communities
  • Technology – Understand software, a grasp of the processes essential to effective design
  • Experience – Real work experience, placement preparation, business practice essential
  • Usability


  • Prepare CV with a particular job in mind
  • Sort phrases, bullet points, not sentences
  • Simple, clear language
  • Strong statements at top of each parargraph
  • Statements should include activity and resulting achievements
  • Only include hobbies and interests if  they contribute to the job
  • Only one page unless long career history
  • Include honours and awards an awards to impress


  • Don’t use “I” its implied throughout
  • Don’t include a photograph
  • Don’t list references or say “available on request”
  • Don’t list personal data like gender
  • Don’t include full address of previous employers
  • Don’t include hobbies unless they are interesting or relevant

What to Include

  • Personal Details
  • Personal Profile – optional
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Interests
  • Skills

Top 10 technical Tips

  • List technical knowledge first – itemised
  • List qualifications in order of relevance
  • Quantify experience and results achieved
  • Begin sentences with action verbs
  • Advertise yourself, highlight strengths
  • Be concise…one page limit
  • Leave out irrelevant, needless items
  • Get critiques and opinions objectively
  • Proofread!
  • Plain text format for email and photocopy

CV Formats

  • Interactive – Highly visual: slides, video, CD ROM, Photographs, Website.
  • Design – Strong layout: pictures, colour, design highlights.
  • Scan
  • Plain Text

Cover Letter

  • First Impressions
  • Research Organisation – read articles and journals in the field
  • Comminicate something personal
  • Your value to them – why should they hire you?
  • Sell yourself – relate something interesting
  • Close the deal! Arrange a meet

Self Reliance Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-promotion
  • Explore Opportunities
  • Action Planning
  • Networking
  • Decision Making
  • Negotiation
  • Political Awareness
  • Coping
  • Focus and Commitment
  • Self-Confidence
  • Know yourself


  • Telephone – always call first, ask for a name, email, permission
  • Job spec – follow instructions precisely
  • Feedback – request a response…another opportunity for contact
  • Rehearse and plan – Rehearse the call, have pen, paper and materials ready
  • Professional – be clear, confident, polite, and professional

Project Management Brief

February 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Design Practice in Context 2 Lecture 12/02/14

We received a new contextual brief which is based on project management:

Things to consider (Option A):

  • What resources will you need? (Computer/Cost/New Equipment)
  • Programmes/Software/Renewal/Proficiency
  • Location – room to work in/building/desk/equipment
  • How much work are you going to get? Consider scenarios – if working freelance, will you get three projects? Be realistic about what you’re doing.
  • Business cards/portfolio/going out and speaking to people – how much/how long is it gonna take?
  • Think of a USP. Logical order and justification is key. This plan is to cover until the business is open.
  • 2,000 words in report format is acceptable.

Things to consider (Option B):

  • Where is the gap year going to take place? Stay at home/Travel the country/Travel abroad?
  • How are you going to do it?
  • If going abroad – think about currency. Are you willing to accept the exchange loss?
  • Risk assessment
  • Travel Insurance
  • Jet lag/air time/potential problems at airport
  • Passport validity/Visas/Estas
  • Knowledge of where you’re going/support/backup


Introduction > Plan > Explanation > Resource Statement > Financial Statement

Introduction should include choice of option, intent, date to start action, aim date. Build in leeway. Work backwards.


February 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Design Practice In Context 2 Lecture 05/02/14

A contract means to say you are legally bound to do something, and you can be sued if you fail to do it. There are two sides to a contract. The clients side – between you and whoever you are supplying to. The other side is the employee side – you may get into a situation where you have to employ people.

Client Side

Duty of Contract

  • Supply what the client asks for
  • Problems – what does the client really ask for?
  • Ensure parameters are put in place
  • You will become a consultant

Duty of Care

  • Broader aspect – to look after the client and his concerns
  • Know what the clients business is
  • Get a broader understanding of the economic environment

Remember – a company is a ‘person in law’

Employee Side

There is a lot of employment legislation. The aim is to protect employees from unfair actions and practices

Duty of Care

  • To look after an employee
  • Mental and physical care
  • Safe working environment
  • Procedures to resolve issues
  • Clear job understanding

Employment Terminology

Commonly misunderstood terms.

Sacked – thrown out of the firm. Very negative

Dismissed – not as bad – neutral and depends on context. (Dismissed because…)

Probation – period of time you need to serve before permanent employment (with rights) is put in place. Normally 1 year

Released – the firm has no further use for you, released back into the job market. Normally done during probation

Redundant – Company can’t hold on to you, gain a statutory pay off

Resigned – you leave the firm out of your own free will, usually have to serve notice

It is important to know where you stand and what your contract says. Are you a sub contractor? An employee? Are you on a fixed term contract?

The moment you start doing work for someone there is an inferred contract. Do not hand work over until the contract is there. If they want it, they’ll move quicker.


Things will go wrong. How do you remedy the situation?

  • Talk through the problem, understand the issue
  • Develop a plan to correct the issue
  • This works for the majority of cases
  • Most issues are small (in reality)
  • Seek remedy via correct legal processes
  • Law indicates what you must do – quite procedural

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