Interactive Design

In addition, several design implications for software related to social interaction and cultural inheritance are offered. It is concluded that the cultural characteristics of a society should be a key issue in developing interaction designs. In today’s society technology has probably become the most important aspect in day to day life for many people. The …


Under the Knife

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Louis Theroux: Under the Knife (2007) is a BBC documentary investigating the cosmetic surgery ‘hype’ in Beverly Hills.

“They claim by changing our outer appearance we can also change our inner most feelings” – Louis Theroux

This episode followed three different surgeons who all specialised in different things as well as a variety of patients who were having/had surgery for a number of different reasons.

A running theme throughout the documentary was that surgeons seem to preach that by having various procedures it fixes self-esteem, insecurities and inner feelings. The patients appear to believe this also, but then they return time and time again to ‘fix’ something else, now when watching the documentary there was no mention by the practitioner of any dangers or bodge jobs that can occur, all just said that they are the best at what they do and get it perfect every time.

The program followed one woman who was in her late 20′s. She had just been through a break up after 8 years and had hired a stylist who just completely slated her. This poor girl hung on every word this woman said and went through with a number of treatments including breast enhancement, face life and lipo. There is no doubt at that time in her life she would have had low self-esteem but when Louis re-visited her after the surgery he asked her a number of questions about how she felt and it was evident that she was happy with the surgery but she also seemed upset, as if she was just saying what she was saying.

The patients in this all seemed to be making rash decisions, leaving no time to think about it but the surgeons


Dolls are some of the freakiest things ever, but they’re often considered to be youthful, maybe that because they’re children’s toys. The weird thing is that Barbie dolls, one of the most popular toys for young girls is one of the most sexualised images of today. There are so many girls who model themselves on an unrealistic version of the ‘perfect woman’. People trust things that they grew up with and the fact that they are childs toys made me think of some ways that I could use this in my final outcome.

As previously discussed (briefly) in a past post I bought some Barbie dolls from eBay. They arrived in rapid time but sat in a draw where I hid them because they freak me out. Anyway, yesterday I decided that I was going to manipulate the dolls/change their look somehow in a way that could perhaps represent the dangers of plastic surgery.

Below is an image that I took of one of the dolls. As you can see I melted one of it’s breasts. The thoughts behind this was that ‘boob jobs’ are one of the most popular kinds of aesthetic surgery, I know very few women who haven’t considered it (from my generation anyhow) and so I thought that damaging this part of the doll could perhaps represent a rupture of the implant after surgery or a severe infection. I did this in my back yard which was particularly awkward when my neighbour came out and watched me taking photographs of them in all sorts of positions, admittedly I felt like a huge creep.

However, I like the results from this, I think that this could be a possible direction in which I could take when developing my final outcome for the campaign. Once put into context with a number of other materials this could be a disturbing and rememberable design.

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Looking at this is making me think about perhaps playing on the Transform advertisements that I recently looked at. I could maybe use the dolls/people/illustrations/collage as a case study, either using the ‘story’ idea but using a horror story as the basis, this way I am directly attacking a brand/company that is known nationally. The other option is to use the first adverts idea, having people hold their stories on cards, this means that I could use a variety of figures. By directly attacking existing commercials it will provoke feelings and reactions from viewers, hopefully they would understand what I am trying to achieve and the reasons behind the designs. Like the Ad Busters campaigns against Mac Donalds and Absolut I will use a brand as my target instead of randomly creating something, this will give my campaign direction and overall purpose.

The effect that this has on young people and children is just a small part of the problem but it is the part that I am most interested in but I need to think about how I could convey my message in a clear but clever way. However, targeting the horror side of cosmetic surgery is also still an option, like what I tried to do in the Barbie image above.

The outcome essentially is to educate people about the facts but the overall target is to have this type of advertising regulated or even banned altogether.

What’s next?

I’m going to look back at some articles that have been released by The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons that talk about advertising and how they feel about it. Previously it appears that they have the same views as myself along with many huge companies, however they are being ignored by government. By looking at these articles again it will enforce my topic, my direction and my outcome, it will hopefully inspire me with new ideas and possibilities.

Not only do I intend to carry out some more research but I want to have a good knowledge of how exhibition space can be utilised to it’s full potential. I will visit galleries and use the internet to do so. Hopefully by doing this I will have a greater understanding into what I could try out.

Once I have done this I intend to have some idea in what it is I am wanting to create. By the end of this week I aim to have a final outcome idea and begin designing my space confidently.


Next Steps

One thing that I have learnt from past projects is that I need to manage my time better, so I need to plan what I need to do next and where I need to go.

  • Look at exhibition spaces
  • Explore the subject more
  • Find more academic articles to fortify my angle
  • Being working on different outcomes
  • Try new techniques
  • Think about how to use the space in a fun and unique way

Surgery in Sheffield

I thought I good way to try and find practitioners to speak to me would be to Google ‘cosmetic surgeons in Sheffield. This instantly brought up a number of websites. Whilst clicking through them it was obvious that there was a clear theme throughout most, they had pictures of beautiful women, very little information and a glorified representation of the surgeons.

This brought me to finding the ‘Claremont Private Hospital’ site where on the home page I saw this;

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As you can see, there is that beautiful woman that has been air brushed within an inch of her life. I proceeded by clicking the ‘find out more’ option where it invited me to come to an kind of open evening to talk to two of the surgeons that are bases there. It’s not very informative in the slightest.

This is what it says;

Come along and hear all about our wide range of cosmetic surgery procedures available ranging from facial peels to breast augmentations to tummy tucks (abdominoplasty).  Men and women are most welcome.

Two of our highly experienced Consultant Plastic Surgeons Mr David Lam and Mr David Dujon will give brief talks which are informative and interesting.  Light refreshments will also be provided.

You’ll also get the chance to meet Claremont staff and talk through your journey at Claremont Private Hospital.

Places are limited and these events are popular, so to book your place, just call 0114 263 2114.  Thank you. “

I intend to call tomorrow (Monday 17th March) to see if there are still available spaces so that I can attend.

Information Graphics

Existing info-graphics on climate change

The example below is from it focuses on the effects and contribution the U.S has to climate change. The design has a clear hierarchy which leads the eye across the page with little confusion. There is small amounts of text and a lot of simple imagery which I like, it makes the image more fun and understandable, the reader is not over faced with information. Each piece of data is surrounded by empty space isolating it from other bits of information. The colours are simple greys but by adding bursts of colour for the flag it grabs your eye and immediately makes the reader want to know more. I find this design affective.



Below is a simple graphic from It’s a simple interactive map for educational purposes, when you click on each of the images a small amount of information appears. It’s not exactly well designed and unique but it does the job.


Here there is a lot more text than in the previous designs but like the U.S Climate Change image it has a clear hierarchy, bursts of colour, simple images and space.



Animals Information Graphics

‘How we’re endangering animals’ is an info-graphic showing how animal populations are declining due to various factors such as poaching and habitat loss but also looks at climate change and how it’s affecting animals. It states that penguin populations have declined by 60% since 1960, so I now know that climate change has negatively impacted the birds I can be sure to gather the data that I want.

The design of the poster is very digital, I like the use of colour but find it hard to follow in some places. There is a lot going on and everything is everywhere. The viewer is bombarded with a lot of images, text and data along with colour and patterns. However, it is affective. The type is easy to read and uniform throughout, the images are simple and the colours are muted.