Assignment four – How people accumulate stuff

I accumulate stuff both without realising and on purpose. I’m one of those people who has a good old tidy up and if you visit me that day you’d think I was incredibly well organised and ‘sorted’ but by the end of the week the spoils of my work would be scattered over the  dining room, creeping into the kitchen and as for the sitting area – get the picture? A lot of this is due to me being an artist and the need to be surrounded by the tools of my craft and just the need to create like breathing and eating. So most of my stuff is related to my life, I accumulate paper, new and recycled,  but I especially love brown paper/envelopes, graph paper, music scores and general paper ephemera. However fabric has been an obsession from a child, I’ll see a beautiful fabric design and have to have some, even if its only a small amount, I love to go to charity shops not looking for clothes but at the fabric – but I am particular – it has to be cotton linen or wool, a fabric snob perhaps.  The thing is I then find it really hard to use the fabric and I feel there must be something psychological to this!

my fabric stash photographed in 2006!  its no longer like this

For my next  assignment I’ve collected information on “How people accumulate stuff” by questioning through interviews.  To help direct me in in my questioning I did a mind map, and decided to keep it quite simple so I could use it when questioning and not be so rigid with the questions, this is called a semi-structured interview.

My first opportunity to ask questions came about quite by chance last Saturday when I met up with a group of ladies I’d not met before, I  started the conversation by talking about how I accumulate stuff and  the conversation got going really well and at this point I asked if anyone would mind if I took notes  as this was an area that really interested me.

To record their thoughts I used mind maps as they help my brain to see things easily and I can then follow on from a line of thought with another branch. I have looked at other service design tools but for this process I needed to make notes quickly and am comfortable using this tool. Once started I let the conversation flow and didn’t stick rigidly to a set of questions.

Women – Over 30’s

Moira – Designer and Crafter

Accumulating is done through collecting and her love for blue and white pottery, which she was first introduced to in the late 70’s as a young girl when visiting a gallery.  There was something about a plate she saw and she had to buy it.  She returned a year later and had to buy another piece.  From then the love of blue and white pottery and china has grown and if she is out and about will look out for more.  Charity shops are always a good source and regardless of chips and cracks if she loves it, she’ll buy it. It makes it more appealing if items can be bought cheaply and the collection is not seen as an investment but one to be looked at and give pleasure.  They are displayed on a dresser and the extra pottery/china is stored in the loft and occasionally changed.  She feels no guilt at all from having accumulated these items and would never part with them. As a final question I asked what she would save if there was a fire, not including people and pets, her immediate response were her photographs.

Dawn – Teacher

My second interviewee showed  lots of  accumulating – the first being the love of all things African which started by seeing books, magazines and fabrics from Africa, particularly the Masai people and more generally the dress and jewellery of the tribes  – this prompted a holiday to South Africa and all the items are treasured and the books looked at often.  The holiday memories hold lots of emotion too.  Dawn also accumulates childrens’ books and at this point it was quite difficult for her to talk  as it bought back memories of her childhood.  Her Mum didn’t save anything and she mentioned things which I wont talk about here as they were quite personal, I did ask if she was willing to continue talking and she was. As a child the library was the only source of books available to her and now collects them as she loves the illustrations and pictures.  Beach detritus is something which is continually being collected especially driftwood and metal as she loves the textures and has it on display through out her house.  I asked what her husband thought of her accumulating things all she said was that he trips up over it! She mentioned that she sometimes feels weighed down by all the things she has, as her home is small and does feel a certain amount of guilt that it takes up space and it has to be looked after but I could see that her collecting gives her pleasure.  Her sister also collects. As a final question I asked what she would save if her house was on fire, after a few seconds her response was her Dads bonnet, jacket and ring and any photos she could get her hands on.

Late teens early 20’s

Maria – Nutrition student

Doesn’t accumulate at all, the only exception are things which hold extreme emotional ties, things that her dad gave her before he died and special gifts from her mum.  Most of her belongings are items she has chosen and will easily get rid through throwing away or through selling on Ebay.  She had thought of donating to charity but gives the majority of items to her friends.  She impulse buys but the majority of her money is spent on good quality food.  She feels no obligation to keep gifts and gives presents she doesn’t like as presents to other people and she doesn’t feel people should keep her gifts unless she has spent time creating them.  She only keeps what she knows she’ll use.

Jemma – Speech and language student

Jemma accumulates clothes! She has wardrobes full.  She buys them in high street shops e.g. Topshop, M and S and New Look or they are given as gifts.  She buys clothes if she wants them but never because she needs something and she never impulse buys. She thinks its good to accumulate clothes because fashion comes round again and she might need them in the future and she doesn’t want to be wasteful, however if she has totally finished with something she will give the item to a charity shop, she would never think of having a car boot sale or selling on Ebay. If an item is ripped she will throw it away, however she has started a dress making course and is now recycling fabric and cloth to make something else.  She doesn’t feel the need to keep something some one has given her although it depends on who gave it – if her granny had given the item she couldn’t give this away but if it was one of her aunties she wouldn’t feel obligated to keep it.  She doesn’t think someone should keep something she gave them but it does depend what it was – if it was hand made and something she had spent time making then she would be upset if they didn’t keep it.  If it was something she had bought then she wouldn’t be offended.  General ephemera, cinema, train tickets etc are easy for her to throw away.

Alison – Psychology student

Alison also accumulates clothes,  which she buys from charity shops if they are vintage, from high street shops e.g. Urban Outfitters and  Topshop and also keeps clothes that have been given to her which are also vintage. She keeps the clothes because she doesn’t like throwing things away, she likes to look at them and she just likes having them.  She has more than enough clothes but still feels a need to keep them all and buy more and often feels she doesn’t have anything to wear. Alison is emotionally attached to quite a few of the items as they were given as gifts, they are vintage clothes a  “Going Away outfit” from the 60’s and scarfs.  Alison is an impulse buyer and gets a huge rush when buying and often regrets buying.  She thinks that she’ll keep all these clothes whilst a student but once she has her own home and job will buy more classic items which will last.  If she does want to get rid of anything she will give them to friends or charity and has thought about selling at car boot sales and Ebay but has never got around to it.  Other items which she has accumulated over the years are items associated with good memories e.g. T in the Park tickets, cinema tickets, restaurant cards etc.  Stationary is something she goes out in search of and loves buying notebooks which she fills like a journal, she has a notebook for money spent, a notebook for things to do, a notebook of a wish list and two diaries one for Uni things and one for personal things – here she says she thinks she is quite obsessive! She admits (through laughter) that in the last year she has bought four kingsize duvet covers and has also been given some from her mum. She wont part with these until they look shabby.  Her ambition is to collect vintage china.

Male over 20

John – Store manager

John does not accumulate as he “doesn’t see the point of having stuff which keeps you tied down as its a hassle if you have to move home”.  His only possessions are the clothes he wears from day to day, his car, computer and X Box. He prefers people to things and the only nice things he buys he gives to his girlfriend.  However he has realised that he does collect digital media in the form of film and music.

below are some of the mind maps I created


From pottery to clothes, notebooks to driftwood its seems that accumulating stuff has more to it than it would seem  than simply storing items in a drawer out of sight where no one can see them.  From interviews I carried out over a week I realised that emotional attachment to items has a huge effect on us.  Its what stops us from living in a minimalistic way.  Speaking to a variety of people – age, background and gender there was a distinct difference between the women. The students all accumulated clothes whether through their own buying needs, gifts or from friends.  The late teens early 20’s is an important age, having left home and a time for making their mark on the world, a lot of this is done through the image they portray through hair styles, makeup and clothing and in this throw away society it could be easy to discard things however my younger interviewees all had an emotional attachment to items that had come from those they were close to.  Only one of my students collected something other than and as well as clothes and admitted herself that she was bordering upon obsessive however keeping and using the items gave her pleasure, kept her organised (which was very important in her day to day life) and had lovely memories attached.

There was a huge similarity with my over 30’s women interviewees, neither mentioned clothes but both mentioned items they loved to collect, even though space was an issue.  Neither collected for monetary gain only for the pleasure this collecting gave.  It was interesting that the collecting was associated with childhood/late teens, the pottery had a huge effect on Moira as a teenager and with Dawn the lack of collecting as a child almost encouraged her to collect as an adult because she could, as it does her sister. Guilt was a mixed thing and the only way it was attached to the accumulation of stuff was because of the space it takes up.

I only interviewed one male aged 27 and his response was quite different, he sees no need at all to collect and accumulate stuff – feeling it would weigh him down.  He doesn’t have anything with which he is emotionally attached too either. Whilst we were chatting though he realised that he did accumulate films and music both digitally and these are all contained on his computer which he can easily lift and take with him where ever he moves to.  He has enough clothing to see him through different occasions but not so much that the stuff is built into an accumulation. If he has finished with something he would throw it away. Stuff just isn’t important to him.

Although not mentioned in the interviews my husband is the same, he doesn’t see the need to accumulate stuff either.  The most important thing to him are the memories he has collected over the years. Doing things is more important to him, when the children were little he always made a point of spending time with them, reading, playing, talking and day trips at weekends. He has what he needs and never impulse buys.  He too has clothes for any occasion he needs to attend and has his collection of vinyl albums from his teens and twenties, his golf clubs and his history reference books  – he says the only thing he would save in a fire would be me!

Whilst researching this subject I became aware of the psychology surrounding collecting and hoarding and having had experience of someone with OCD this was of interest to me.  According to Elliot (2009) there are 5 features to the nature of excessive (compulsive) hoarding and accumulating stuff ‘excessive acquisition of large numbers of unnecessary and often worthless objects or items; apparently irrational, emotional attachments to the objects; vigilant protection of the collection; cluttered living conditions; emotional and behavioural resistance to discarding the objects/items’.  These in turn have a knock on effect, creating day to day problems either with those in the home or for neighbours. The hoarders realise what they are doing and are willing to have counselling but cannot give up their collection or see the need for medication. So where is the line between hoarding and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD often includes repetitive behaviour which causes distress ( Rachman and de Silva, 2009) and along with excessive hoarders they feel the need to carry out these actions. Those with OCD often know the distress they are causing to both others and themselves whereas hoarders are not aware of distress they may cause, for them hoarding gives them a positive or neutral feeling.  Differences can be seen in the table below taken from Behaviour research and therapy 47(6), 520 -522. Separating hoarding from OCD, by Elliott 2009

Table 1. Differentiating excessive hoarding from OCD.

Treatment response Excessive hoarding unresponsive to traditional CBT or medication for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Demographic distribution Excessive hoarding far more common than OCD ([Kessler et al., 2005][Samuels et al., 2008] and [Tolin et al., 2008]).
Insight/complaints Excessive hoarders seldom complain about their ‘problem’, rarely seek treatment and have limited ‘insight.’
Age at which seek treatment People with OCD appear earlier for treatment.
Distress OCD causes primary distress; the distress associated with excessive hoarding is secondary and arises from complaints made by others.
Purpose The purpose of OCD compulsions is to reduce threat and/or anxiety; multiple reasons for excessive hoarding including taking advantage of opportunities to add to one’s collection.
Emotions OCD compulsions are emotionally negative; excessive hoarding is emotionally positive or neutral.
Stability of problem Hoarding is extraordinarily stable; OCD problems show variability over time.
Cognitive analyses Cognitive analysis of OCD centres on appraisals of intrusive thoughts. No similar conceptualization for excessive hoarding.
Over-inclusiveness Verbal reports of people with excessive hoarding tend to be over-inclusive.
Attachment/sentimentality People with excessive hoarding often have overgeneral and overdeveloped ideas regarding attachment to their possessions.

I believe the majority of people do accumulate to some extent, whether we realise it or not. Thankfully none of those I interviewed are in either of the above categories and their accumulation of stuff was for total pleasure and enjoyment not impacting on anyone to any great extent and don’t we all have that kitchen drawer where the old batteries, the double glazing window keys, case padlocks and charity brooches are stored along with receipts we keep just incase.

Elliott., 2009. Separating hoarding from OCD.  Behaviour research and therapy 47(6), 520 -522

Rachman, S.,  and de Silva, P., (2009). Obsessive-compulsive disorder: The facts (Revised 4th ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press ).


The subject of my assignment fascinated me but interviewing strangers has not be my favourite thing to do, Kirtsy Walk you’re job is safe.  I was nervous although it did break the ice and most people do love to talk.  I do believe that if I had been allowed to interview people I know, family, friends and friends of Jim  I wouldn’t have been so hesitant in getting started. I also think that being more relaxed I could have taken more time and used the service design tools which are new to me.



Design Safari – Football

I’ve now reached the finale of this assignment, the football match. Eventually I chose to attend McDiarmid Park, home to St Johnstone Football Team. The match was on Wednesday evening and as the day went on I started to get a little nervous. As I had no idea about anything I decided to take advantage of my communication skills and use the telephone! I phoned the football ground and was greeted by a lovely friendly voice, which put me at ease immediately. I explained I was going to the match that night and that this was my first time, this didn’t seem to surprise her as I thought it would and she asked which team I was supporting! Didn’t expect that, so said I was supporting St Johnstone (as they are closer to my home and I thought they would have a greater amount of fans to observe being the home team). I was told to get there early 7pm for a 7.45 kick off and that I could park on the site but there would be a charge of £2.00, that I should head to the East Stand and it would be £12.00. So off I set not realising there were road works on the motorway up to Perth, arriving at the ground but then wasn’t sure which entrance to go in with my car! Not sign posted at all. I decided to go to the one where there were police/security! It was a bit daunting seeing such a police presence and so many people on foot walking at speed, full of determination. After talking to a man with a walkie talkie and fluorescent jacket I was directed where to take my car then a lady with a walkie talkie and fluorescent jacket asked me for £3.00 – the price had gone up in less that 2 hours.

As I walked to the ground I felt a rush of anticipation I wasn’t sure where the East Stand was so had to ask again then came upon a barrier of walkie talkies and fluorescent jackets – MY bag would then be searched by another walkie talkie fluorescent jacket man! Such security and how naive am I, I obviously looked really dodgy and suspicious, of course they didn’t realise I was a Design Student only there to observe! I got in a queue to find out it was for season ticket holders only – arghhh! so then had to go to the next entrance and pay £20.00! In front of me was a huge steel barrier – floor to ceiling, at this stage I really wanted to turn round and go home, I had to ask how to get through and realised it was a turnstile. Once through this steel monstrosity I was faced with a concrete wall and not sure which way to go – people were just standing and talking so decided to go and explore and pretend I knew what I was doing.  I found an opening in the concrete and was faced with the flood lights and green – it was actually quite amazing to go from such hard and cold surroundings to this vast expanse of green and light.  Then the fun began where do I sit?   I had to ask another fluorescent jacket where I sit and was told anywhere there wasn’t a sticker and a number – hunt the seat began.

so this is where I sat and my worry and fear of crowds and being crushed started to vanish as the rest of the supporters started to arrive – it was a real eye opener, families, couples, children and groups of men/ women and both.  There were all ages of men and women and I would say there were as many women as men and certainly a lot of children who all felt quite at home and were running about. Grannies and Grandpas with daughters and their children.  Every one seemed to know where they were going and even though they weren’t all in numbered labelled seats they all headed for particular seats.  The seats were pull down plastic and very cold to sit on, I noticed two older ladies had bought cushions (wish I’d thought of that).  Children climbed over the seats to save disturbing those in the row and at one point a girl in front slipped as she was climbing and spilled her juice all over herself and her brother, their granddad was oblivious to what was happening! One couple who caught my eye were  late 20’s early 30’s they were wearing designer clothes very stylish with 3 young children all dressed immaculately.  Perhaps he had been a footballer, his wife had perfect makeup and hair and big jewels, they disappeared from view so I couldn’t watch them through the match but at half time he collected enough refreshments for a party!

Younger children continued to play and run about throughout the match and even though it was late they seemed really happy.

I was becoming to realise this wasn’t just a match but an occasion and more than that – it was very normal for those who continued to arrive, friends were greeted and the barrier in the photo above was the meeting point where groups came chatted amicably and then went to their seats.  Juice, huge bags of sweets, pies, the biggest pink coloured hot dogs in creation with bright orange mustard (Lucys’ project came to mind) and cups of tea etc were being consumed in vast quantities.  Music was played very loudly at the beginning which enhanced the party/occasion atmosphere and although it was far from Disney land I imagined some sort of mascot running around the pitch.  The football ground has to some degree been disneyized  – there’s a restaurant, Super J’s childrens’ club, conferencing and events, lotto and a business club.

Below on the mind map are some of the observations I noted from the fans ….

We discussed in a semester one lecture Simmels thoughts of  how those who mix together dress the same to fit in and be accepted, with the football match it was inevitable that the majority of the home fans would have the colours of the team and they certainly wouldn’t wear the colours of the opposition, “fashion on the one hand signifies union with those in the same class, …… and the exclusion of all other groups”, Simmel 1957 could easily have been talking about football fans here.

What was also interesting whilst observing, was the reaction of the young fans, if something happened on the pitch they immediately looked to the older middle aged fans for their response and then they followed by doing exactly the same, social anthropologists would have been fascinated  I’ve never seen such a response before and got quite excited as this happened throughout the match.  The middle aged fans behind me were ordinary guys who when they first arrived were chatting easily with each other and were obviously friends who meet often and were talking about their families and children.  However they became animalistic when their team were fouled and constantly booed the no.11 Aberdeen player when he kicked the ball when I asked why I was told he had previously fallen down in the penalty box to try and get a penalty, I found this really awful and seems like a form of group bullying but was told this happens all the time and in some cases makes the player improve his game!   They were very abusive against the referee who apparently earns £800/ game and many times I ‘jumped out of my skin’  as they were shouting and booing and telling him how to do his job.  In January we discussed the Canon, a list of Art works which was said to be the best in the world but each person has their own thoughts on what should be in this list, or any list of favourites.  The fans at the match were also doing this, discussing players and tactics, saying who they thought should have been played, each with their own personal view.  As the match progressed the atmosphere also got exciting as the home team had missed 3 attempts on goal and play had moved to the park in front of me I found that I had started ooing and aahing with every goal attempt missed and had to laugh at myself for getting carried away with the crowds enthusiasm.

There wasn’t much singing at all and again was told that the crowd wasn’t big enough for them to sing however at one point the Aberdeen fans did sing.

Just before half time a lot of the crowd disappeared to get more refreshments probably to beat the queues and I decided I too would have a Bovril as by now I was freezing cold and shivering and I’d heard it was tradition to have a Bovril at half time.  This was a very social 15 minutes with lots of chat between the crowd I chatted to a young boy behind me and asked if he was enjoying the match he said “no he wasn’t that he wanted a goal!” Then to my surprise I met someone I knew and started chatting and he was saying he’d been given the job of encouraging and looking after family membership.  It seems that St Johnstone is one of the most family oriented clubs and I feel that you would soon be accepted if you were a regular there and obviously supported The Saints.

Initially my fear of going to the football match was of crowds, bad behaviour and getting swamped by the crowd etc but Im wondering how much of my preconceptions were influenced by what is reported in the press and seen on the TV, bad behaviour is always reported and when you think that sometimes at a football match there are 30,000 + supporters its always the 6% of bad behaviour not the 94% of great behaving fans that we hear about.

The fact remains that this was my first time, had I been excluding myself for 50 years from this obviously huge occasion? Where does this fit with Bourdieus’ theory in “The Love of Art” that having a taste for art is learned rather than naturally inbuilt with in us – his argument that working class people don’t go to museums because they exclude themselves thinking they’re not sure how they would fit in or how they would behave once there , could it be that they don’t go because they haven’t, like me been brought up with football so don’t actually think about going, I don’t suppose I would ever have attended this or any other match had this assignment not been set . The short time in the ground made me realise its not even about class but tradition into which you’re born.  It was obvious by the different generations that were there, that this was something that crossed all ages, abilities and social classes. I had been bought up to go to museums and art galleries, libraries and church but not football, my dad loved motorbike scrambling and that was where, as little children we would go with a flask of coffee and luncheon meat sandwiches smothered with Daddies brown sauce, that was our tradition!  What would Bourdieu think of todays museums and galleries which have been made far more interactive and family friendly through disneyization even Historic Scotland make adverts to appeal to the young and make historic buildings more exciting to draw in the crowds.

Here is the link to the highlights of the match 🙂 enjoy

One of my daughters also went to a football match for the first time that night – hers was a very different experience to mine though, it was the Rangers v’s Celtic match, need I say more?

Simmel, G., 1957. Fashion. The American Journal of Sociology 62(5), 541 – 558.

speak to me

here is what we feel might be our final piece in our image assignment, has the text set the picture?  Any takers on this one – just leave a comment stating what you think we might be trying to say – thank you all for your time so far and the response we’ve had has been brilliant – Judy


so the text did, Roland Barthes was correct!

Save the trees – Save the Rain forest!

Part of me did want to prove him wrong however I think it shows what amazing imaginations we have as human beings.  I think this exercise could have gone on for a while but once that one little word SAVE was added to the image that was it.

During our seminar on Tuesday with Lesley we talked about the assignment. We were shown some advertisements with the text removed and they worked brilliantly I’ve added them in for you with out the text can you guess the ad?

Are our designs safe online? Research into Intellectual Property, Copyright and the Internet

I’ve been researching the subject of Intellectual Property to help me in my understanding of intellectual property theft, using cross search an online tool offered by the University of Dundee. It enables students to research a specific subject and the results show books, journals and online journals on the subject.  This hasn’t been an easy subject to understand but I wanted to keep going with it as so many artists and designers including myself are putting artwork on line now whether on blogs, Facebook or websites.  Listed below are a number of journals and books who look at the subject and I have tried to summarise the content and whether they will help in the future should I take this further.

Brown, A., Laurie, G. T., MacQueen,H., Walde, C., 2010.  Contemporary intellectual property : law and policy. Oxford  : Oxford University Press

New edition and with the latest in intellectual property law for UK, Europe and internationally. This is more a study book to help students studying law and it has examples, exercises and visual aids.  This is probably a good place to start to help me understand the complexities of the whole subject.

Lane-Rowley, Ulla, V., 1997. Using design protection in the fashion and textile industry. Chichester: John Wiley.

This book looks at design ownership and protection, answers questions about copyright, patents and  trademarks.  It also looks at how efficient the law is and if its worthwhile for a businesses to use it and finally what are the costs in terms of time money and registering designs.
This is quite old in terms of the law but would still be interesting to look at the answers with regard to  copyright etc especially as its aimed at the textile industry.

Lovett, G., 2007. A rocky road to market. Design Week, 22 (18), 9.

This item looks at how designers can manage the costs, complications and legalities around intellectual property to see their ideas through to development. There is also some imput from the design industry.

As this is a journal article Im not expecting too much information here and once again a lot can change in 3 years. The information from the designers would be interesting though to see it from their perspective.

Relph-Knight, L., ed., 2010. Acid Test. Design Week,  25 ( 7),  17.

Introduces a basic history on copyright and with information from ACID and Dare Studio, this article offers advice to designers on how to protect their intellectual property.

This interests me as ACID (Anti Copying In Design) are an organisation who want to educate, prevent, deter and  support, through raising awareness and with its strength of membership are a big deterrent.

Relph-Knight, L., ed.,2010. Creative Barcode software unveiled to protect designers from intellectual property theft. Design Week,  25 (37), 4.

This article from September this year informs about a new piece of software

This is an software application which can be purchased for a small fee, you receive 5 barcodes, file transfer space and the use of the Registered at Barcode logo.  The barcodes are unique to you and once attached to your art work give protection to your work on the internet and from what I understand your images can only be downloaded with your permission.

For students they offer a 50% discount!

Stoke, S., 2003. Art and Copyright. Oxford: Hart Publishing

For the everyday person this book looks in detail at the intellectual property rights for artists and their work.  It looks at the internet and the associated problems arising with copyright, trade marks etc. Comes with recommendations from intellectual property journalists.

From what I’ve read about copyright Stokes is an expert.  This book appeals as its aimed at artists, and copyright regarding the internet.

Stokes, S., 2009. Can the law protect works of art and exactly what does it protect? Art Newspaper, 18 (201), 35.

This article looks at how artists are using the law when copyright has been infringed and at which types of work are protected in both Britain and America.  There are examples of artists whose work has been illegally used and the author puts the case forward for both parties.

This article could be interesting in terms of a real life case, but also to read the arguments for both the artists and the advertiser who wrongly used images.

This is a huge subject and a little daunting but now I’ve started I’m really exited to see if I’m capable of at least understanding the maze of intellectual property.

Informative Links

Below are some of the sites I use when researching they are full of information and can help when you’re stuck for ideas;

The Design Museum in London also has  an online archive of modern and contemporary design which  I’ve used over the last 3 years for researching designers, it’s full of so much information including podcasts of talks from a variety of designers, from Architects to Communication Designers.

One talk which is worth listening to is Sophie Thomas founder of  Thomas Matthews Communication who are designers who want to change the way we think about things.  A lot of what Sophie says echos what we’ve heard in our Design Studies lectures.  One of the things she talks about is the client brief, how its not just about designing a product but researching where the product materials will come from, where the product will end up once  its finished with and then suggesting to the client different sustainable ideas. The companies sustainability booklet is worth looking at;  thomas matthews sustainability booklet.

The Design Museum also lists all of its previous exhibitions and from 2006 each exhibition has a text with bibliography, photographs and further suggested reading and websites. There are videos to watch and conversations to listen too.


Icon is a magazine dedicated to design and architecture.  iconeye is the online version of the magazine and has links to information about many designers.  There’s a gallery showing different designers work and sketchbooks and then further links to their web pages, the architect pages are also an inspiration.


yshlondon is an online magazine aimed at  student, designer or business interested in textiles, fashion and or interiors and offers news, trends and amazing interviews. They feature a designer of the month, look at street fashion, look at what’s hidden away in London shops ( great if you’re heading down to London and don’t know where to start).  They visit trade shows and have images of whats on offer there, inform about exhibitions and visit graduate shows. Its now free to register with yshlondon  too so a great way to keep up to date with current news and information in your chosen topic.


Nuno is a Japanese company founded by Reiko Sudo – worth a visit to see fabric with a big difference. Chemical lace embroidery, origami pleats, woven fabric with glow in the dark thread, they bring something different to everyday fabrics and then have a look at nunoworks where you can see the screen printed and stitched fabrics and pick up great ideas for mixed media.


The Design Council has a great deal of history behind them and have been helping designers since 1944 then known as the Council of Industrial Design.  It offers publications, podcasts, design archives with links to other articles and access to other design blogs which in turn have numerous links again.


The online Tate is one site I cant miss out, go to the tate channel where you can watch videos of exhibitions and artists talking about their work.


The Guardian offers reports on so many subjects e.g. when searching for anthropology it gave me links to their reports all listed by date reported. On the same page are other links relating to your chosen subject some are useful but all will relate in some way to your subject, you  have to be mindful that you don’t get too carried away reading everything!


The Science Society picture library is a great resource when looking for historical images information relating to Britain, it has images from the Science Museum, the National Railway Museum and the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television.


When doing my summer project I came across the following site. Again choosing anthropology as my subject the anthropologie web site offers a wealth of information, I chose Pacific /Australia as a link and came to a list of online resources, then clicking Aboriginal Studies was taken to a another site, again I chose Aboriginal History this took me to list of University web sites, voluntary organisations, Australian Government Archives, Library sites etc. At the anthropologie site you can chose any to look at news, University Courses, Research Institutions, Anthropology by regions, documentations, web directories and museums.


The Texas A & M University Department of Anthropology has a great resource offering a link to all the latest world news on anthropology from the mainstream media.My final link for now is also one I’ve used before and I found this through Joprints its called talk2myShirt, its main purpose is to inform on the latest development in wearable electronics, it looks at new design concepts, developments in technology and research in the subject.



Enjoy the links and hope they help you too