History and Futures
This weeks lecture gave us an insight into publishing with Andrew Sanigar at Thames & Hudson and understanding the methodology of using Ethnographic research. Ethnographic research is a form of general observation of real-life environment finding out what really is happening in the social and cultural groups of your surroundings. This is an opportunity to define the objective of your research and identify a new perspective in the topic, subject or story of your direction. You can use audio, video, photography and sketches to note down your research in this method to document your research and content for your project that you will be using it for from a written book to a branding project.
The talk by Andrew Sanigar, from Thames & Hudson on the process and the world of publishing was a great interview on how we should approach this week challenge. Clearly, the main objective in researching a subject/topic area for a written book is a clear audience and hook that is important for an idea to work for a creation that can be shared with the world. So doing your general research either, primary, secondary or ethnographic methods you clearly need to put the concept in front of your audience to test if it something of importance to them as much it is to you. This is the relationship you need to build for you then to show in your work if you progress forward with the project you wish to complete. Another point I took away from this was the process of putting a proposal together and a timeline to completion for editorial books. This has helped to understand the structure of how these are put together and how collaborative the process is with the proposal being put through its paces for the publishing company to accept and proceed with the completion of any project.
Richard Mosse: Infra
Richard Mosse photography work on the conflict occurring in the Democratic Republic of Congo shows marvellous shots of imagery using Kodak Aerochrome infrared colour film, an outdated technology once used for military surveillance. The film can detect a spectrum of light that the human eye alone is not capable of discerning. It creates this surrealistic photographic depiction of the ongoing conflict that’s happening in the country at the time. Every image is capturing shades of bright pink, crimson and lavender colour that reflects the issue at hand in a perspective that softens the mood of every photo that in reality, the story is a tragedy.
Cold War Steve Presents…
I really enjoy the work by social media sensation McFadden’s Cold War as before this lecture I’ve been following for years now with this extraordinary work that brings humour to your day. These books look like a great example of how social and cultural observation really shows in his work through this printed visual culture. The collages really speak volumes and narrate the situation with hardly any words to descript the situation. I really enjoy this and nearly every day I look out for a Cold War Steve tweet about popular culture today.
Ethnographic research is a qualitative method where researchers observe and/or interact with a study’s participants in their real-life environment. The aim of an ethnographic study within a usability project is to get under the skin of a design problem. This method will be able to truly understand the problem where you will achieve better results for your solution. The advantage of using this process is that you will identify and analyse unexpected problems that can lead to outcomes you would never think of at the beginning. Some people suggest the disadvantage of this is the time it takes to collect the data and interpret it into the solution you need, but this can be considered at an early stage where you can consult about the effectiveness that it can bring on a project.
I’ve really gone around in circles with my research looking for a subject matter that relates to my location. Doing my research with historical context became a too mundane and easy target for people to know what Bexhill already has to offer. So it was the cultural and social aspects I started to look more in the fine detail and pretty much came to a conclusion on what topics that I found interesting and what others would find quite so.
So working up some notes and putting ideas down onto paper helped me filter the good, the bad and the ugly thoughts that I felt was the best direction in this task.
The two topics I felt would be great for me to pick from my list of ideas are based upon the social and culture of the town and in my research, I came across ‘The Bexhill Football Heritage Committee’ and ‘Rother District’ is known for the highest percentage of people are ‘Proud to be English’ compared to the national average. These topics I feel I can really enjoy investigating and writing my piece on these areas of interest that is current and personally something I will enjoy.
One Town, One Club
Heritage is abundant to Bexhill United Football Club whilst I was looking in the 90 years history that was celebrated last year. It would be a great opportunity to unearth some of this great heritage that brings to life the history of this club to its current day that identifies this non-league football team for ‘The Bexhill Football Heritage’ achieve. During the lockdown, there’s been suspension on the non-league clubs throughout the country and very little help for financial support that has been hard to come by, so it would be great to get an understanding of the impact of the club and the future it holds.
Proud to be English
This subject tells me different things and truly it can give mixed connotations when you hear the words ‘Proud to be English’. Is this a power of nationalism in its glory that have radical views or can we spin this to send a positive image and identify a nation that has more good and strong diverse culture than we truly are when we look at the St Georges flag? Rother District has a higher percentage than the national average of being proud to be English and it would be interesting to find out from people, why are they so proud?
What a load of shelters
Along the East Parade, Bexhill-On-Sea seafront most recently funding has been put in place to restore four shelters that have been neglected over many years. The town people have come together to restore these historical landmarks of the town that are dated over a hundred years old. The Bexhill Heritage society have helped to restore these unique shelters with the help of the local council funds to get a project underway for the wellbeing of the community. I truly feel there’s a huge project in this still to unearth interesting conversation that can help create book these historical assets that will play a part in reinventing the East Parade seafront for the people.
During the course of this week, it was very tricky to work on ideas that I felt wasn’t very interesting to me and also what else already known to Bexhill as I want to create something for the people to be aware of these social and cultural stories. I was trying too hard at the beginning looking for something to really pop out about Bexhill that many people don’t already know. The thing is people are aware of the many archaeological sites and unique architecture in this ancient town that has to offer. So it was more about finding the social and cultural aspect of the town to show the true identity and meaning to the people that grew up and lived in this area. So my topics sit together well with defining the research through either interviews or surveys on the content the people can share in this written piece and make something that can narrate stories within the community. I really like both topics and not sueded massively by one or the other as they both give unique approaches in their findings. Proud to be English really opens a can of worms of investigating strong connotations on radical views to creating something more positive and stigma free when we look at the St George’s cross. One Town, One Club I’m excited about because my interest in football and little do I know about the Bexhill United football team which I can really enjoy the history and design behind emblems, kits and the tudor grandstand. So overall still a little bit more thinking of what direction to take, but overall they both have great potential in creating something unique.