Thursday, 14 April 2011

Assignment5(B): My Top 5s!

Throughout the school year I always find I’m struggling for time to do the extra things I want to do. The books stack up by my bed, I don’t manage to do any maintenance on my blog apart from writing the occasional post and the people I planed to write to have still not been contacted. This is why below I have written three top five must do lists for over the summer holidays.

Books I will read:

  • ‘Blink’ – Malcolm Gladwell.

Gladwell is the author of ‘The Tipping Point’ a book we were encouraged to read as part of our design studies module. I really enjoyed the book and found the way he discussed human behaviour very interesting. ‘Blink’ is about why trusting your instincts may be more effective than thinking a decision through. Hopefully this book will be just as good as ‘The Tipping Point’.

  • ‘Why we Buy: The Science of Shopping’ – Paco Underhill.

I like books about human behaviour and I’m interested in commercial interior design. This book explains how a store layout affects what and how much people buy. Doing a bit of reading on this may help if I ever have to design a store in the future and if I don’t I’m sure I’ll find it interesting to see whether I fall for any of the traps a retailer lays out to make a customer spend.

  • ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’ – William McDonough and Michael Braungart.

William McDonough is an architect who takes the environment into consideration when designing a building. I recently watched a ‘Ted Talks’ video where he was discussing his work and designing with the environment in mind, he recommended this book. I really feel that taking the environment into consideration is the way forward and would love to see what I can learn from this book.

  • ‘I Miss My Pencil’- Martin Bone and Kara Johnson.

A book from workers at ‘IDEO’ a company I hadn’t heard about before design studies. This book looks quite fun, its style and layout is eye catching I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover but… The authors write about different experiments they have undertaken and show that by looking at people’s thoughts and senses you can create a more innovative design.

  • Change by Design’ – Tim Brown.

Another book by someone at ‘IDEO’. I didn’t get around to finishing this book so I need to finish it over the holidays while I have time.

People I will connect with:

  • Last year I carried out some work shadowing at Nicoll Russell Studios in Broughty Ferry. I haven’t been in touch with Andy Baxter since then. I would like to call him to chat as he was very approachable and shared with me some stories and tips about working in the industry. He is someone I would like to keep in contact with as I really enjoyed my time at Nicoll Russell last summer.


  • Twitter is an excellent way of finding out about people and organisations. Since joining I’ve found some great magazines which I am following that are inspirational. I want to search for and find more designers and companies to follow.


  • My Aunt in Chicago. This is not directly related with my course but I would love to get in touch with her. I’ve not seen her since I was about 10 years old and would really like to contact her possibly taking a visit out to see her in the future. She is an artistic person and works for a chocolate factory designing the packaging, so we might have design and art in common.


  • A girl I used to work with is amazing at photography. I was thinking of getting in touch with her over the summer to see if she would explain a little about photography and show me how to work a camera properly! She’s a lovely girl and it would be nice to see her again anyway.


  • The DCA in Dundee offers classes such as book binding, print making or etching. I’ve always wanted to go to the etching class but have never gotten around to it. I’d like to contact someone at the DCA to tell me a little about it and perhaps book myself in.


Changes I will make to my Blog:

  • The design of my blog needs seriously updated. As a designer I feel I should add my own touch to personalise it. I’ve already got a few ideas and sketches in my sketch book for a title and just need to tidy it up, scan it in and upload.


  • My portfolio page where I want to show my work is currently showing a lack of work. I need to update it with my completed projects.

  • I also need to create a contact page and a page that tells the viewer a little about me.

  • I want to set up links to my twitter page and my delicious account.

  • In general it needs to be tidied up and made to look more professional. Next year we will be encouraged to set up a website. I would like to get started on this and link my blog to it.

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