Monday, 29 November 2010

_the power of influence on youth

On Friday in the lecture I was taken back to the 90s when I was a kid and reminded of the youth in that day. (yes that includes me..) and looking back at the BBC panorama clip Jonathan showed us I realised how narrow minded many of us were. The reason it was like this was because the power of influence was so great, either from the media or friends/family. There was this constant pressure that kids felt they had to fit in from such an early age! And to fit in and not become a victim of the bullies, you had to dress in a certain manner. Many kids felt they had to wear the latest and coolest brands of clothing to fit in with their peers and to not stand out as wearing something 'uncool' which could lead to them possibly becoming threatening. Many of the parents were open to this being the scenario and complied with it, and kept buying their children what they wanted basically, and when they wanted it. Just to keep them happy..

Is this the right attitude? Should parents address every whim of their childs', or perhaps from the start have their say in their children's life, tell them this is how it is. Certainly I feel it's the better way to be brought up, not to get everything you want and become a spoilt brat. But start appreciating the value of things you have and receiving what you deserve and from what you earn. I think this helps to shape someone's character as well, being thankful and less expectant. As being this brand conscious then - does that mean they remain like this for the rest of their life, does it grow worse as they get older? or do they learn from this as they mature and then think this is not how to bring my children up...

It just shows you the power of advertising these days. I think in many ways this same pressure applies for a lot of people. The advertising in magazines and shops is just as powerful today to urge you to buy. Paco Underhill's book 'Why We Buy' is about the techniques used within the retail industry. The fact that in most (not all) shops the tills are on the left hand side of the store because as you enter a shop you tend to veer towards the left..and to avoid stumbling across the till so soon, it forces you to head anti clockwise round the shop and head right first. Bet you hadn't thought of that before? The store layout is designed to make you want to buy every piece of merchandise, whether it is how the product is displayed, what it's displayed next to, the colours it's beside, or under just the right amount of light to make it sparkle that extra bit more to tempt your hungry eyes. Whatever they do - it works. We can all admit to at least one time where you have been sucked in by their tempting offers.

Anyhow, back to my main point, is it right that just because you child wants to 'fit in' you should splash out on  Gucci handbags, Bench hoodies, Miss Sixty Jeans at the age of 8-12 when they are going to grow out of it in a few months anyway...or of course the fashion changes.. or will making them happy by splashing out money be the best option...? Or from the beginning drill it into them that the inside character is much more important than the outer layer of labels and if your 'friends' can't see that then are they really your friends?

Monday, 22 November 2010

Assignment 3

For this assignment we were able to explore the facility of ‘cross search’ the library facility and deepen our research skills by accessing not only books, but also journals and articles both on and offline. The topic I chose to look into was retail design and how interior designers can design shops in such a way to boost profits. How can the layout of a shop get the customers to follow a certain route through the store to a particular item, which perhaps conveniently passes certain items on offer etc to persuade customers to ultimately buy more. Here is a Harvard style reference of the books/journals/articles I found on the topic which I found interesting.


Bearne, S. (2010). Bolland holds fire on M&S brands. Drapers; (Nov 12), p1-3
Bollard’s masterplan is to reinforce M&S as a name in its own right, backed by clothing and footwear ranges that are more inspiring and make better use of fabric innovations. The retailer will also bring in much-needed brand specialists with the know-how to create clearer in-store signposting and help customers to make sense of confusing sub-brands. A feature that seems to occur in a few of these articles/books is that the design of the shop layout needs to be clearer.

Billings, S. (2005). A profit-building prescription. Design Week; (Vol. 20 Issue 18), p11-11
This article is about Boots and how they have designed a thorough treatment to improve business,
Scott Billings looks at the elements from packaging to stores. One example is the development of the prominent department signage so customers found it easy to locate where to pay, as before it was found to be confusing.


Fareast Design Editors Inc. (2008). Spa-de Special Retail Environment Design 1, Tokyo: Gunshiro Matsumoto.
This book focuses on the interior designs of commercial spaces from around the world. Spa-de reports on cafes, restaurants, beauty salons, and larger retail stores such as shopping malls and department stores. The design reaches beyond architecture and interior, but includes product development, store fixture, environmental graphics, signage, packaging and advertising. This book looks at a number of design firms who have produced commercially successful projects and interesting designs.

Green, W. R. (1986). The Retail Store Design and Construction, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Inc.
Designing and constructing a retail store involves a number of people, the developer, leasing agent, the designer, merchant tenant, bankers, builders, tradesmen, store personnel and shoppers. The success of a store depends on the combined efforts of all participants to achieve an appropriate blend of product pricing, quality and variety. Different chapters go into the likes of store image and spacial organisation, product display, the storefront, materials, systems and lighting.

Riewoldt, O. (2000). Retail Design, London: Laurence King.
This book gives a thorough international overview of outstanding retail projects and what they have done in terms of layout to entice customers into their stores. One example is ‘Zero Lustrum Pukeberg’ in Stockholm, Sweden. Their concept was to draw people inside by creating progression from the ‘soft’ home-interior pieces up front to the ‘industrial’ bookshelves at the back. Also using different types of wall design ensures that the route the customers follow to reach the distant areas is constantly interesting.

Tucker, J. (2003). Design, Display and Visual Merchandising, Mies: RotoVision SA.
Visual merchandising is at the heart of retail design – the fine art of persuasion.
Window dressing is now only a small part of display and visual merchandising, which
encompasses the in-store 3D environment, graphics, audiovisual media and point of
purchase material – all the way to the store as total embodiment of the brand.

A list of the top websites I like to keep up with, within Interior and Environmental Design:

websites I keep up with in general:

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Continuation of 2C..

The aspect from the brainstorming that interested me most is basically how Airwalk got the recognition it did. So more specifically I have looked into brand recognition and how companys produce goods and services of such a quality so as not to get a customer disappointed. Infact the opposite, the companys aim is to gain their loyalty, so no matter the price, the quality is always good and they know what they're going to get and continue to buy from them. Then by word of mouth, this loyalty is passed on to all their friends and family, everyone gets involved creating an epidemic and producing the stickiness factor, so their produce will remain high in demand amongst the market and stay there, and finally the company gain the status they were seeking for. So that wherever you go, their brand/produce/service will be the talking point, everyone has heard of it  or has one. 
This poster I produced is basically to show what branding suggests; price, social class, exclusivity, repetition, style, colour scheme, glamour, celebrity etc. But this is what people want, and to gain this status or name for themselves to be seen in such clothes they will spend the money. 
The catwalk model wearing a money dress represents the money involved. She is wearing a hat/holding a cane to show her social class. She is deliberately brighter than the background to gain focus on her, to show her exclusivity compared to the maddening crowd in the background, all reaching for what she has. I have included celebrity as well, as many company's use a technique called celebrity endorsement, so in advertising their product or service they use a celebrity's face, as many people would like to be like this person and therefore this encourages sales.


Celebrity endorsement examples...

Cheryl Cole - L'Oreal
David Beckham 
George Clooney
Eva Longoria

Friday, 5 November 2010

Make Things Make Sense...

Observing, Imaginating, Visualising... As designers there are three aspects and skills we have and encounter in everyday life. Observation is an exciting part of life, taking everything in, in the world around you, noticing what is going on, recognising people's needs. Then stirring up the need to want to do something about it. The recent few lectures we have had have been on focusing on design and the way we think about it has been a huge part. And I have to admit I had been really encouraged about it all. I'm not saying I had a really narrow view on design necessarily, but I just didn't realise the scope of it was as big as it is and the possibilities out there. The options are limitless. Design is powerful, it can change how people behave. Imagine a world where technology was out there exceeding what was thought as humanly possible. In today's lecture technology used in jewellery was a totally new concept for me. Hazel White was telling us she was linking jewellery, and putting it through technology so it was causing movement on screen. So the jewellery had a totally new life, a different side to it's personality. But it did get me excited, thinking how could technology be used in other disciplines? I'm going to leave this open for thought...
Hazel White's jewellery

Assignment 2A-C


So we got some time together today to complete the brainstorming session for Assignment 2A. We enjoyed doing this as a team and felt we learned different things about the book from each other.

We then we went on for assignment 2B-C to complete the the discussion and thinking aspect. I definitely found the last few lectures have helped with regards to thinking about design more openly, and so when discussing we found it interesting that varies design disciplines were brought up for example, graphic design, interior design, service design and linking that to 'The Tipping Point' topics.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Cheeky brainstorming action!

Ok so the brainstorming action has begun! I have teamed up with fellow course mates Fawn, Shona and Ross :) And we have decided to take the approach of doing a brainstorming session together and doing the 3 topic areas between us on the one page, and then doing a poster/mindmap on our own topic more in depth. Shona and I are tackling Airwalk the company and how its tactics relates to design. Ross is looking at the rule of 150, and Fawn is looking at crime, so all together as a whole we are helping each other out to produce the final thing! Here are few photos of the goings on!

-  we plan to finish this by the end of the week! Watch this space :)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

I+ED; Bomb Project

This week us Interior students for the first time in a long time worked together as a whole course in mixed year groups. Which I enjoyed from the aspect of being forced to get to know and work with the students in others years which I wouldn't normally get the opportunity to. So the brief was to design a conceptual portrait of a building typology - and our buzz word was SHOP. So we had a wee brainstorming sesh to begin with to see what words came to mind, to realise that shopping means different things to different people. So we decided to convey this in some way that we could. The idea was to create a shop window, as window dressing, is a huge part of shopping and advertising to get people in. So this is what we did first, created a timber cube frame about 2m x 2m, and what we did was cut up a man's shirt along the seams, so at the cuffs, arms, collar and back. We covered the pieces in either advertisements from magazines and newspapers, paper money we printed, and a huge collection of receipts we managed to get a hold of. We hung the individual pieces at different depths and heights so that the shirt looked disturbed and disrupted from different angles, but only form certain angles could you see the shirt as a whole. This is to represent how everyone sees shopping in different ways - either they see shopping as money, a necessity, or perhaps they are bribed easily and persuaded by advertisements around them. We later added the trousers and shoes to help fill the space. Here are a few photos:
Here is a few photos of our design. the bottom 2 are focused in photos of certain aspects, 1) the receipts used for the legs and arms. and 2) moneys used on cuffs and collar.