Semiotics and Semantics

Today Clara gave a presentation on Semiotics and Semantics and how they link into product design in a key way. I found this presentation very interesting in the fact that these two main elements in a product go mostly unnoticed in the day to day use of items when they are part of the key information when using a product. From this presentation I took note of key points which I will need to consider when designing any product to interact with humans:   – Semiotics: The use of signs and symbols – Denotation: The translation of a sign to its meaning – Connotation: How you do/use it – Signifier: The form – Semantics: The study of meaning – Identification – Characteristics – Affordance – Operations   semiotics-copy

Student Rep Training

This morning I attended a session at Llandaff along with all the other student reps within Cardiff Metropolitan schools. I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoons team building activities, meeting new people from the university share the same interest in being a student rep and generally having a fun time. This also gave me the vital skills in being a student rep and being able to deal with other students issues and how to resolve them with the correct procedures. Overall this was a very exciting day and well worth giving up a Saturday for!

Creativity – Dr. Gareth Louden –

This morning Dr. Gareth Louden gave a lecture on creativity and spoke about some very interesting and inspiring points which I feel will be greatly important to success in product design. Gareth defined creativity as:

“the ability to come up with ideas or artefacts that are novel, valuable and substantive.”                                                              New Ideas (innovation) + Value = Creativity

He then explained that creativity is about Exploring, Experimenting, Imagination and Expression and often just thinking outside the box, which he demonstrated with two tasks. The first being the Mobius strip, a single strip of paper which we needed to create only one edge and one face from. The second, a square of 9 dots which had to all be joined with four straight lines but without removing the pencil from the paper. Both of these tasks turned out to be rather simple and obvious when demonstrated, which proves Gareth’s point of how we often over think and complicate things when really simple solutions are often the most effective. The final task was to make a structure from 20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 yard of string, 1 yard of masking tape and 1 marshmallow and the team with the highest marshmallow wins. Our team won this as we had the only structure left standing at the end because we focused on making the most solid structure rather than the biggest. I found this lecture most useful and something which I will return back to for reference in the future.

Gareth finished with a few points and tips for thought in the future:

The 4 “P’s” of creativity:

– Process

– Product

– Person

– Place (Environment)

Creativity Process

– Preparation

– Incubation

– Illumination

– Verification

Factors  Affecting Creativity

– State of being

– Play (Experimenting)

– Environment

– Motivation

Everyone is Different

– What makes you stressed/relaxed?

– When/where do you have your best ideas?

– How do you process information?

– What is your preference for exploration?

– How do you problem solve?

– What motivates you?

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