Prown’s approach to material culture included three things; description, deduction, and speculation. Description means what can be observed in the object itself. To describe something, according to Prown, the steps are substantial analysis, describe the content, and create a formal analysis. The next approach is deduction and this is the relationship between the object itself and the perceiver. The steps to define this relationship include sensory engagement, intellectual engagement, and an emotional response. The final approach is speculation and this is the interaction between the object and the perceiver. The steps to define this relationship are theories and hypothesis, and program of research. My specific artifact is something very simple that I have with my every day; my planner. To describe my planner, I can look at the content of the artifact. It is a vibrantly colored planner inside and out with bright pastel colors and intricate designs throughout the entire book. Each section has its own color scheme and pattern. The front is glossy and smooth and has a thick study feeling. The spiral is white and metal. In describing deduction, the relationship between the object (my planner) and the perceiver (me) is a close relationship because it is something that I carry with me every day and open at least five times a day. It holds my plans and to do lists. Without this object I would feel lost and unorganized. In describing speculation (the interaction) of my planner and me, I would say that I am always interacting with my planner. I open it and flip through the pages and write in it. It is definitely an object that I interact with on a daily basis.
The media portrays office culture in an exaggerated way sometimes. Yes, the four work modes can be seen in media representations of office settings, but they are usually exaggerated. In reality office culture is shown in four modes. The first mode is “focus” and people are in this mode 48% of the time. During this mode, workers are sitting in their desk spaces that are designed so they are off and alone and can literally focus on what they are doing. The furniture is usually designed so that different pieces can be added or removed and can fit the proper work materials. In the focus mode people analyze, write, and reflect. The next mode is “collaborate” and people are in this work mode about a third of the time. In the collaboration mode, people come together to discuss, create, and connect with others on work related topics. People meet in conference rooms that have technology within them and they are cut off from the rest of the office while in the conference rooms. The next mode is “learn”. In this mode people gather in classroom-like rooms and sit a table or desk that has a writing surface and projection in the front of the room. The final stage is “socialize” and this occurs about 6% of the time people are in the office setting. People come together and bond and chat about work or non-work related topics. These bonding talks occur next to water coolers or break rooms or kitchens. People get a chance to take a break and talk with their co-workers. All of these modes have different design elements that create a different experience for the people of the office. These modes are specifically designed to get workers to be in a certain mindset.
After experiencing a service at Christ Church Cathedral and the Winter Dance Concert, I realized that both experiences made me feel completely different. Going inside the church made me feel like I was back in grade school going to the Cathedral with my class. Walking up to the church I noticed that it looked very similar to the old churches I have seen in Louisville. Once inside, your eyes are immediately drawn to the altar because of the main aisle leading your eyes there. The red carpeting makes the main aisle even more grand and visible. The altar is lit by a round chandelier like lighting from directly above the altar table where the priest stands. Stained glass windows are throughout the church, letting natural light in, but not letting the people see the world outside. The interiors of the church made me feel very calm and respectful like they were designed to do. The lighting and the way that you cannot see outside made me feel very focused on the main point of the room; the alter. In general, I would say I had a good experience because I am used to Catholic churches, but I can easily see how someone may have a slightly more uncomfortable experience and feel out of their element. This experience relates to my experience at the Winter Dance Concert because I was also used to being seated and attending plays/concerts in school theaters, so again, it was a familiar setting to me. Before the concert started, I sat in my theater chair at the end of the row. There was upbeat jazz music playing and studio lighting from above with no natural lighting filling the room. The seats were stadium style (rising the more you moved towards the back) and the stage was the focal point of the room. Once the concert started, the lighting changed and the dancers appeared. The lighting was a huge key in the concert. Each different group that came on stage had different lighting and music that created a different emotion each time. For example, one of the dances had violin music and blue lighting on a wall that rippled, creating an ocean-like look. Another dance had about six metallic banners from the ceiling to the floor with a light hitting each one. With the electronic sounds and the shimmering, it gave the feel of a ship beaming light from above on the dancers. Each dance gave me a different emotion. Some made me feel happy and some made me feel sympathetic and even sad. The lighting and music made my experience change each time. In both experiences I heard music that made me feel a certain way, and I saw different forms of lighting that also made me feel a certain way. It is truly amazing how interiors can affect your experiences without even noticing. After visiting these two different places and reflecting on my experiences, I have already started to notice the interiors and how they affect me everywhere I go now. The smallest details of an interior can make the biggest differences in one’s experience.
The designed artifact that I shared is my sorority pin. This came into my possession when I was initiated into the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority here at UK this past fall. After the long day of ceremonies, I was given multiple pins and this one specifically represents our symbol; the kite. I bring it to meetings. It is a symbol of my sorority and sisterhood.
photo taken by Megan McDermott
The reclining chair is an example of the “comfort seeking” side of the American national character. This chair represents the idea of a typical American lounging in their home.
The American flag is an example of the characteristic “democratic”. This is the true symbol that was designed to show that we live in a democratic country.
The football is an example of the “athletic” characteristic. It symbolizes the sport that many Americans love to gather around and watch in their homes.
The development and use of the plastic water bottle is meant for people to be able to easily dispose (or recycle). The plastic water bottle is designed to be portable and easy to hold with its many different bumps and rig ids. There are many different forms a plastic water bottle and mine specifically is a reusable one that is made of a hard plastic. Mine was designed with an idea of being eco-friendly because of its ability to be used over and over again instead of ending up in a landfill. Every little thing about my water bottle was designed to make me, the consumer, like my water bottle. I love the green and blue colors and how it is very easy to drink from the straw. Even the colors reflect that ec0-friendly idea. The water bottle is also insulated and doesn’t sweat, so that is a huge design plus for me. Another way the design reflects water and nature is how the bottle is clear and you can see the contents of the inside. Also, the blue color makes the water look blue which is what we think of when hear the word “water”. The lid has a a hook that you can use to attach to a backpack which makes it very portable. Design plays a huge roll in all products. I can think about design when it comes to any object, especially a water bottle.