Five books I plan to read over the summer -
1. Personality - Daniel Nettle
"It is one of the great mysteries of human nature. Why are some people worriers, and others wanderers? Why are some people so easy-going and laid-back, while others are always looking for a fight? This brief volume takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of what modern science can tell us about human personality. Revealing that our personalities stem from our biological makeup, Nettle looks at the latest findings from genetics and brain science, and considers the evolutionary origins and consequences of different personalities. The heart of the book sheds light on the "big five": Extraversion, Neuroticism, Conscientious, Agreeableness, and Openness. Using a stimulating blend of true-life stories and scientific research, Nettle explains why we have something deep and consistent within us that determines the choices we make and situations we bring about."
- After reading Snoop by Sam Gosling I was really intrigued into the whole psychological aspect behind the book and how the mind works. This is where the big
five, mentioned above, was first introduced to me. I have always liked looking at
different peoples' characters, so for the chance of this to be explained further this
book sounds like a good one!
"Unabashedly inspired by Malcolm Gladwell's bestselling The Tipping Point, the brothers Heath—Chip a professor at Stanford's business school, Dan a teacher and textbook publisher—offer an entertaining, practical guide to effective communication. Drawing extensively on psychosocial studies on memory, emotion and motivation, their study is couched in terms of "stickiness"—that is, the art of making ideas unforgettable."
- This book seems to stem from the The Tipping Point which I read earlier in the year due to Design Studies, I preferred Snoop to read just because it's something I have personal interest in, but certain aspects did keep my attention. The Stickiness Factor being one, and this book seems ideal for explaining further the reason why some ideas stick and others simply, don't. I think this will be will useful from the creative perspective and for when I'm thinking up ideas, what helps make them stick.
3. Happiness - science behind smile - Daniel Nettle
"What is happiness—is it an unpredictable emotion like joy? A rational construct like personal fulfillment? Or is it some subtle, elusive combination of both? In this enjoyable, thought-provoking book, Nettle digs into the subject with great insight and just a bit of cheeky irreverence. In clear, succinct prose, he argues "that what we are programmed for by evolution is not happiness itself, but a set of beliefs about the kinds of things that will bring happiness, and a disposition to pursue them." He cites survey after survey that report that people's sense of their own happiness outstrips their actual material well-being."
- Again along the lines of questioning something we see hear about so often but when it comes into question we often son't realise all that lies under the skin.. I feel this book may shed some light on these things, especially taking something like an emotion that we all relate to - sounds like another interesting read by Nettle.
4. Blink - the power of thinking without thinking - Malcolm Gladwell
"Blink is about the first two seconds of looking--the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of "thin slices" of behavior. The key is to rely on our "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet--that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea."
- This also sounds a good read, the review appeals to me, and again it is by a well recognised author. After reading the review that give little insights to the topics and scenarios Gladwell will introduce and link into this strapline 'the power of thinking without thinking' all sounds really good. The fact that again it is something we are unaware of, our subconscious train of thought seems to be where our best ideas and thought patterns come from but sometimes we don't always know how to reach them. Perhaps Gladwell will shed light on this?
5. Digital Photography Book - Scott Kelby
- Away from the psychological/personality side of things I plan to take up photography over the summer as a hobby. It has always appealed to me, and another side that has opened up to me was after one of the previous assignments about reading into photographs in a way I never thought of. Photos can tell a whole story and ones of multiple meanings. Creating photographs that can be analysed to decifer the true meaning is something I'd love to do. So this book, along with a number of other Kelby has wrote, has many tips on photography and lighting etc. My dad being a keen photographer aswell has a few of these books so should be easy to get my hands on for a wee read over the summer!
Five things I plan to do to my blog -
1. I plan to set up twitter account, it has been opened up to me over this past year as not just another social network like the others that have taken off, but one that fellow students, designers, employers, lecturers, celebrities, everyone seems to use and use daily! Which i think is why I have been so dubious and anxious to set up, so I have put it off till the summer when I can set it up professionally.
2. Delicious account - This is something I have thought about a lot recently certainly throughout this last project, i have bookmarked many, many pages but so many I have stumbled on that I feel I could use another time but I have labelled them under this project and finding them another time may not be so easy! So over the summer when hopefully I have the time I would like to organise all my bookmarks so they are all in the one place for ease of access next time I look.
3. New layout - when first starting out my blog I spent wee while getting a layout and colour scheme I was happy with but I do feel that I ended up spending more time on that than project work so for the last wee while I have stuck with it. However over the summer is the perfect time for a new look and update!
4. Flickr/Photography - I plan to take up photography more over the summer, so hopefully learning more about this I will keep my blog updated and also post some photos! If I could organise my photos and pictures and keep them in folders all in the one place as well would be useful for future reference - and allows others to benefit also.
5. I would also like to add my previous projects into a digital portfolio on my blog, so not only will this allow me to organise my work but it makes it available for others to see on my blog who may be interested.
Five people I would like to connect with -
1. Susan Stewart - second cousin of mine, who studied the same course as I'm doing now about 12 years ago. She has worked with interior design companies since and has also set up her own business. I would like to speak to her about what she's been up to lately and perhaps show her my projects. She is based in Northern Ireland, but I think she still has a few connections over here so it may be good to get names/companies off her that I could visit or contact, even if it's just for a chat.
2. Andi Ross - a friend who studied the same course more recently, she just graduated a few years back. I have a feeling she moved on from the interior design pathway as I seem to recall her final project being more animation based. But I know not so long ago she was down in Bristol for a while, perhaps teaching? I would like to give her a wee email/text to see what she is up to and to see if she has any advice for me.
3. Vanessa/Rania - fourth year students last year who i helped out for their joint final project and help set up their degree show so I still have their numbers if they still have the same one. I would like to contact them to see where they are at, one year on.
4. Lauren Currie - a former product design student at DJCAD and graduated from the MDes course not so long ago. She inspired me greatly with her lecture, she showed real enthusiasm and drive for what she wanted and where she needed to be, and did everything she could to get there. If you don't try and throw yourself out there, you won't get. She was one of the main reasons I am converted from an i-will-not-join-twitter club, as I now see the benefits it could bring even if it is just to keep in the loop of the modern world!
5. I would like to browse on my twitter account and stumble upon a few design related people, I will try and connect with one complete random to perhaps email them about their experiences on twitter, finding jobs after uni etc.