CTS Signs – 10th November Thursday

We started of the lesson with a game of Pictionary, trying to communicate across a word via a simplified version of it.

This led us to looking into the history of Semiotics and Semiology which in fact what we were doing were creating a “Icon”. Another example we looked at was a poster made for IBM.


‘Think’ Poster for IBM

Signs is one of the most important ways to communicate. For example the poster above, its a simplified version of an eye, a bee and the letter ‘M’. Firstly, you would have to know the English Alphabet and would require you to know that there is a company called ‘IBM’. Which in fact a lot of thinking is involved for this simple process as its reliant on certain knowledge of language.

We looked at Charles Sanders Peirce idea of Semiotics. An Icon, Index and a Symbol, for example words can be treated as a symbol and a language can be intended to be symbolic. Language is arbitrary but it does have a convention, its conventional but not fixed.

We then looked at Semiology by Ferdinand de Saussure. He in particular looked at the ‘Signifier’ and the ‘Signified’, the idea that the signifier is signified. He was interested in the structure of the sign, the relationship between the sound image and the signified.

Looking at Denotation and Connotation e.g. the word eagle denotes a bird but connotes to America.

Finally we looked at Myth by Roland Barthes – looking at myth as a meta-language. How do we in society produce myth. How do things that have meaning how did it come to mean other things.


CTS – ‘BEDLAM the asylum & beyond’ Review. 3rd November Thursday

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Bedlam was the common slang term used to name asylum’s the exhibition focus on the history behind them. As we look into the history of mental asylum’s, the practices and methods used from the 1600s to present day uses. Furthermore, it shows the extremities patients with mental illness were treated from being locked up and labelled incurable to centuries on being able to return to normal society.

Floor Plan

The first section gives a brief context on the asylums their history and early views and practices on mental illness. In addition, focusing on early examples of how patients were treated in the 1600s and the inhumane conditions they were kept it which earned them the title of Bedlam through various displays. A text by Robert Burton (1628) ‘Anatomy of Melancholy’ shows some of the recommended treatment for patients with mental illness such as from drugs to bloodletting, meditation, music, prayer etc.

As we move on to the next section ‘Scene 2’ this looking at further development in scientific discoveries and finding better solutions to treat patients. The violet-ray apparatus (1920–55) was based on a coil designed by Nikola Tesla. Which was used for treating pain relief and also for mental conditions. Moving further forward into present day, patient art starting being encourages as a from of mental treatment. The final section comparing modern day examples of mental care and its influences from the ‘haunting’ asylums of past and the implications they had on todays society.

Overall the look and way the exhibition is presented I found is oddly disturbing, and you really take a look into these ‘mad houses’ from the start, and gradually moves back to present day. Although the display had sound audios, I found it was lacking for other people who are impaired such as brail for those with blindness.


CTS Cultural Objects – 27th October Thursday

What is a Cultural Object?

It can be a movie, book, games etc. Anything that’s been influenced culturally. They carry meaning express ideas.

How do you pull apart a cultural object and analyse it in a analytical way, reflecting on the meaning behind things. when thinking about analysis likes and opinion – do go further and explain why.

How you are actually encountering a cultural object – for example the exhibition in itself can be treated that way.

We then looked at a video called ‘Ten Minutes Older – Addicted to the Stars by Michael Radford’. Discussing the video on its concepts and analysing the story and structure behind it.

After as a class discussing the video, we then put into groups to look at a book which can treated as a cultural object as it has its influences. The Book we had to analyse and get information from was a graphic novel made by Karrie Fransman called ‘Death of the Artist’. From looking through the book we as a group managed to get from it is that its a collection of stories stylised in different formats – with the occurring theme of ‘destruction and death’.

After we went through each groups object discussing what we could find out from just the graphic novel itself. We found out that when we analysed our cultural object there was only so much we could find out and talk about just from the object alone. We found out that we perhaps miss-interpreted the idea behind the book and instead it was trying to convey something entirely different or we had only scratched its surface, if we had more time to read into the graphic novel we would have a better understanding of the context.

From this we found out, know your limits, and make them clear.


CTS Commercial Catalogues & Shopping Spaces – 20th October Thursday

During our session, we briefly looked at examples of how language is used and differs between different markets to present information.

We were then asked with the simple question of;

How do you buy something in a shop.

A person from our course, explained the common process that you go a store, go to a isle pick a item, go to the till and then purchase you’re item. We then found out that the process wasn’t actually the original process of buying a food, and that it was in fact a “constructed culturally agreed upon thing”.

The way to buy at a shop was invented and that a shop called ‘Piggly Wiggly’ introduced the method. Before you would go to a counter and look through a catalogue to buy an item then they would collect the item for you.

Argos still uses this system.

We discussed that the current method of shopping is not rational and that in fact the method Argos uses is more efficient and that it processes information fast. We then went on to add some of the problems with Argos’s system that you can’t see the product before making a purchase and that you’re relying on the image. One of the other issues is this is that you can’t browse and that it needs to be functioning.

Ian then discussed the now common concept of showrooming which is browsing a physical store comparing the prices then buying it online. Which is a large problem for market stores in recent years.

In pairs we were given the task to look through Argos’s magazine and find a various list of productions that we were given to find for a reward. Which we as a class some found difficult in comparison to those who knew more how to navigate but generally we found it hard looking through the various information.

We then looked at Argos’s older catalogues, for example a 1986 page on music, the layout still looked the same as it does currently however in the corner of the page it had a table comparing between the different speakers. This was a example of them “taking existing information and redeploying it in a different way” which is tool as designers we have to communicate. To be able to look at and decided what types of information are relevant to the information you want to display.

CTS Voices and Authorship – Thursday 13th October 2016

In CTS we discussed Authorship and Voices, in particular at the start of the session what is an Author? We came up with the resolution that a author can be a individual or a group, and that due to social media, blogging, twitter etc. that its easier to become your own author.

We discussed analysing and thinking critically about work. Ask yourself the context, the time, age of the author, and gender to be able to understand the context – what exactly their influences were and their perspective they had and the audience that they were writing for.

We were then asked in pairs to arrange a list of slides in order of importance our pair arranged it out in this order;

  • Academic Journal Article
  • Book
  • Newspaper Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Wikipedia
  • Blog Post
  • Tweet

Going back to the starting activity we then were given the same set of slides, this time we then had to organise them into two lists. One list for Currency/Format and the second for Authority/Voice.


Our Lists for the Task


After the re-visiting the starting activity, we then were given in groups a text of the group ‘Pussy Riot’, and each given it in different formats and asked to take the information and notes and then to explain to the rest of the group what they found out about the group from their format for example a Magazine Article.

After the library Induction, we then discussed how we research for example learning how to asses the market etc. the best way to do so was start with a question. We then looked through different types of questions for a questionnaire and what is Qualitative and Quantitative Data.

The 5 types of Questions (Questionnaire Format)

  • Open ended question
  • Multiple Choice
  • Ordinal Choice
  • Interval Scale
  • Ratio Scale.

Using these 5 types of questions we were asked to collect data on a chosen question. For my group our research question was ‘What Determines One Platform Against the Other?’.



CTS Introduction -Thursday 6th Of October 2016

Contextual and Theoretical Studies

In our first contextual study we discussed what CTS is and what it does and aims to inform. We as a class came up with the conclusion that it aims to helps inform the practice, the context and history of the industry that we are studying.

A few points we made is that should give you good practice into researching into client, soo through that you can tailor to their needs. Furthermore, that it should help you look at things that you may or might not know and helps to engage with other people and through that gain possibly new ideas.

We were then given the task of creating a mind-map on what our course aims to do and what skills and benefits we might get out of it.


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Our Initial thoughts on IID, and what each of the initials mean.