Lecture 29/10/10

At today’s lecture Jonathan showed us a T-shirt design by Nadia Plesner. She designed the drawing on the T-shirt as a part of her campaign called Simple Living (which was a TV show with Paris Hilton and her best friend travelling around America and making a fool out of themselves). She started this campaign to raise awareness about how media can manipulate our life, our thinking, our opinion. She found it very upsetting that during the genocide and other atrocities was happening in Darfur in 2007 all news was about Paris Hilton going to jail. So she designed this T-shirt with a naked black kid wearing a Louis Vuitton bag and holding a chivava as Paris does. Her idea was if carrying a designer bag and a small, ugly dog is enough to be the top sensation in the media than why we don’t give these accessories to people who really deserve attention. So she did.  But Louis Vuitton wasn’t happy about the campaign. They thought that was a violation of their copyright even Plesner wanted to donate the whole profit to Darfur.

So was it a successful design? I think it was. Jonathan said it didn’t solve anything. This is probably true. But I think start a conversation is almost as important as to solve a problem. Well, people who don’t care about real news but gossips probably wouldn’t get it anyway. But people who do care about news will buy the design, wear the T-shirt and spread the information. That was just a lucky coincident that Louis Vuitton sued her. It made the whole thing even bigger. It went into the media and became a big deal. Famous people started to wear her T-shirt like Don Cheadle and Mia Farrow so it got even more attention. People started to react by writing emails and it definitely made them think. Although she had to finish the campaign because she couldn’t pay 22,500$ per a day to satisfy Louis Vuitton she donated 30,000$ altogether to Divest for Darfur.

So it did started a conversation, it did raise awareness and it gave her new ideas how to go forward and try out different ways to solve this problem. I totally respect her and her design. I just started to think what if she wouldn’t use a Louis Vuitton bag. I don’t think any ordinary bag would have the same message. It had to be a designer one. Paris wouldn’t wear a Primark bag doesn’t matter how cute it is. It is the power of context. Although she could have use another designer bag and the whole story could be different.

Another interesting point about today’s lecture was Jonathan’s question. Do you feel yourself lucky or unlucky? I usually feel lucky but sometimes just totally the opposite. He mentioned an experiment when people had to count heads in a newspaper. There were two types of people. One group count the heads exactly and people from the other group found a little article said if you find this stop doing the experiment and claim your £200. These people said before the survey that they feel lucky in their life. The message is if you pay attention for details you can be lucky any time but if you concentrate on one thing you will miss your opportunities. I have to say it’s completely true. I’m such a daydreamer and I love to be lost in the details. Guess what? I keep finding money for example. I found £90 in the Overgate shopping centre one day. I took it to the customer service but nobody asked for it so I got it back. I always notice pennies on the street too but not always pick them up just when I feel I have to.

But most of the people not like me. Once I was waiting for my mum at Prestwick Airport and a young couple came to me. They had two train tickets to the city centre and they wanted to give it to me because they didn’t need them anymore. I didn’t need them either but they left them anyway. I thought someone would be happy with them so I put them on the flour with a wee message said free tickets or something,  right in the middle of the pathway where people was coming out. They were bright orange but nobody noticed them. People kept walking by. So I put some change on the top. Nobody noticed. I put some more change onto the tickets but it didn’t solve anything so I had to give up. It’s not easy to give people if they don’t want to receive. I still don’t know what I supposed to do. So if you want to feel lucky keep your eyes open and take your chances. 


Semester 2 Project - Trend forecasting

Aged by time look, geometrics - I started to draw a metal object I found ages ago on the street. I think it's beautiful.
First attempts




 More colour

Life Drawings

We had a life drawing week at the end of the year. 



Halloween is coming again. I found something refreshing on my friend's facebook page instead of cheap costumes. For more unbelievable designs search Ray Villafane on facebook.

Assignment 1

Mind maps

Based on The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The whole book

Chapter Five
The Power of Context (part two)

I had two reasons to choose this section. First it emphasises a link between humans and apes. I saw a documentary recently on a BBC channel about apes. They will die out soon. Humans exterminate their forests so they have nowhere to live and also kill many of them. Through poverty and civil wars African people ate lots of them. They became 'bush food' so they hunt them. Of course not the massive gorillas but the baby ones or smaller monkeys. I found it very upsetting because they are so similar to humans. Not just their appearance but their behaviour. Apart from the unnecessary aggression and their ability to live in accordance with nature. 

I also found very interesting human's social channel capacity. Lots of businesses don't pay attention to organize their company and they become bankrupt. Relationships in our environment are very important. You can't lead a business successfully if there are tensions between your colleagues. It will come apart. 

Chapter five
The Power of Context (part two)

Page 176.
Miller, G A 1956,”The Magical Number Seven”, Psychological Review, vol.63, no.2.
Gladwell using the psychologist’s quote from this essay to explain our natural channel capacity:  
“There seems to be some limitation built into us either by learning or by the design of our nervous system, a limit that keeps our channel capacities in this general range,”

Buys, C J, Larsen, K L 1979, “Human Sympathy Groups”, Psychology Reports, vol.45, pp. 547-553.
A quote from the same page by the memory researcher to explain why our telephone numbers have seven digits:
“Bell wanted a number to be as long as possibly so they could have as large a capacity as possible, but not so long that people couldn’t remember it,”

Page 177.
Washburn S L, Moore R 1973, Ape into man
The biologist explains why our sympathy group (the most important people in our life) is about 12.
“Most of human evolution took place before the advent of agriculture when man lived in small groups, on a face-to-face basis. As a result human biology has evolved as an adaptive mechanism to conditions that have largely ceased to exist. Man evolved to feel strongly about few people, short distances, and relatively short intervals of time; and these are still the dimensions of life that are important to him.”

Dunbar R I M 1992, “Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates,” Journal of human evolution, vol.20, pp. 469-493.
The British anthropologist discovered the link between the size of primates neocortex and the size of the groups they live in.

Page 187.
Wegner D 1991, “Transactive Memory in Close Relationships,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol.61, no.6, pp. 923-929.
The psychologist set up a memory test with 59 couples to prove that we create a joint memory system with our other halves or with members of our family.


Studio Project

My studio space

Semester 1 project



 Collages from my drawing sketchbook

Final pieces

Mixed Media





 Building Drawings

Maggie's Centre

Final pieces