Thursday, June 29, 2006

Self Assessment

I was quite pleased with my initial review, but could see areas where it could be improved after reading Narae and Emily’s comments. These were very helpful, as they provided an ‘outsiders’ opinion, because as the writer, you often become so involved in the piece that is difficult to objectively reflect on it.

Narae and Emily both found the original tone (self narrated by a Bonds Chesty singlet) amusing, but too unprofessional and biased towards Bonds. I kept the introduction narrated by the Chesty, as a novel way to entice the reader, but changed the tone of the rest of my review to be more objective, by not having it narrated by the Chesty. I also added some more points of criticism, so that the review is not strongly biased. In changing the tone to be more informative and objective, I hope to have allowed the reader to make their own judgments. This was an aspect that my original review lacked, so I also added some rhetoric to the revised review, to give the reader time to think for themselves.

I would grade my revised review as a D. This is because it has been well researched (as evidenced by the hyperlinks and reference list), and because it shows flexibility in writing. I changed the tone of the review dramatically, by altering the point of view of the narrator, which in turn improved the review. I did however, retain the Chesty’s point of view in the introduction and other aspects of the original review because I felt they were well written and needed no improvement.

Revised Design Review


My grandad got all the fame – even his own “Chesty” comic strip in the 1940s. Then my dad got his fifteen minutes of fame in the 1990s when he was worn by Paul Mercurio and then by the Oarsome Foursome. Now though, my brother’s competing with me for the limelight. He thinks Pat Rafter’s pretty great, but when you’re being worn by Sarah O’Hare, everyone takes notice. I’ve had to wait over sixty years, but now it’s my time! It all started when a friend of the family, George Bond, moved from America to Australia in the early 1900s. In 1915 he started a company that imported hosiery and gloves, and two years later he began manufacturing women’s underwear in Sydney.”


It is only in recent years that Bonds Chesty singlets have been available for women, unlike their menswear predecessors, which have been on the market since 1938. Men’s Chestys quickly became a staple in Aussie wardrobes because they were designed to be worn by ‘typical hardworking Aussies’. The women’s Chesty has continued this persona, which has proved popular. Although many other women’s singlets are available, ranging from ‘homebrand’ to designer labels, Chestys are popular because they’re comfortable, cheap, Aussie icons. Being made in Australia, from the natural resource of cotton is also to their advantage, as consumers like to support the Australian economy. Chestys can be pulled on easily because of their single rib knit structure, and because they’re 100% cotton, they allow the wearer’s skin to breathe. The unique wide ‘racer’ straps allow easy arm movement, as the Chesty was originally designed to be worn by labourers and farmhands. Usually worn in a casual environment, women’s Chestys say “our wearer is a ‘down-to-earth’ girl who loves the Aussie lifestyle.”


The cooling cotton content and sleeveless stretch structure of Chestys make them ideal for the hot Aussie climate. Their simple design also makes them inexpensive and thus a great staple wardrobe item. Chestys are also popular overseas because they embody the fun, casual lifestyle of Australians and they’re still comfy in other climates, especially because they’re seamless. Their versatility is another aspect of their universal appeal, because they can be worn to work with a blazer, out partying at night, down to the beach or even as PJs. They also come in many different colours and sizes, with novelty variations such as the printed or ‘hot spot’ Chesty.


However, Chestys can be difficult to wash and dry due to their 100% cotton content, which can cause shrinking and creases. The lack of side seams can also cause the singlet to become out of shape during laundering. Although their knitted structure and range of sizes allow Chestys to be worn by many, they are not flattering for all body types. This is due to their very form fitting structure and exposure of the wearer’s arms and shoulders. This restricts the types of bras that can be worn under the Chesty, which limits their use by large busted women, unless the wearer wants to expose their bra straps. The thin knitted structure of a Chesty, although great for the Aussie climate, can also be quite transparent, which restricts how these singlets can be worn. A further criticism of the Chesty is its mass produced nature, which increases the wearer’s chances of looking just like everyone else. This may be the exact reason it is bought by some consumers, despite its ability to disguise the wearer’s individuality. The Chesty is also easily recognised, which may be looked down upon by some because it is known as an inexpensive, simple design.


The vivid colours, practical design and inexpensive price of Chestys is also recognised as an embodiment of Australia’s casual, down-to-earth lifestyle. With 400 million Chestys having been sold since their invention, this indicates a worldwide love of the Australian attitude. Consumers worldwide appreciate simple, practical designs of any kind (not just fashion designs) because they recognise that there are times when ‘added frills’ are not necessary. The inexpensive price of a Chesty is one of the key reasons behind their success, because they are accessible to nearly every consumer. This indicates that although a large percentage of the world’s population are becoming wealthier, they are still sensible about their finances. People are thinking about the future, instead of just acting spontaneously – being conscious of their spending, and buying practical designs that will outlast the fad. However, of all the women’s Chestys bought in the last few years, many would have been bought for their trend status, while many others would have been bought for their practicality, versatility and inexpensive price. Which consumer are you?

Reference list –
About Bonds [Online] n.d. Available:
http://www.bonds-asia.com/About-Us/BONDS/
Bonds New Womens Chesty [Online] n.d. Available: (photo from here)
http://www.bondsaustralia.co.uk/About-Us/MediaWomensChesty.asp
Bonds Underwear [Online] 2003. Available:
http://www.heavenlybodice.com/info/bonds.htm
Chesty Bonds [Online] n.d. Available:
http://www.bondsaustralia.co.uk/About-Us/MediaChestyIcon.asp
Dores, W. 2005 Hypercolour is Back! [Online]. Available:
http://www.ohgizmo.com/2005/08/26/hypercolour-is-back/
Huntington, P. 29 March 2005, ‘Emerging Diva’, Sydney Morning Herald [Online]. Available:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Fashion-Police/Emerging-Diva/2005/03/28/1111862289092.html
The Australians are Coming [Online] July 2004. Available:
http://www.bondsaustralia.co.uk/About-Us/MediaSelfridges.asp
[All accessed 26/6/06]

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Blogs Review

Crit blog (2006) offers posts of design criticisms, information about new designs and design related questions that ask readers to leave their comments. Mostly written in first person, the criticisms are highly personal and want the reader to have the same view. ‘I also enjoyed the video for its clever editing, production…’ (Saturday, June 10, 2006 post). Attoe (Methods… n.d.) describes these as characteristics of (impressionistic) interpretive criticism.

The blog sits around Stage 4 of King and Kitchener’s Reflective Judgment Model (Summary of Reflective… n.d.). In this stage of quasi-reflective thinking, evidence is seen as important, but ‘knowledge claims are idiosyncratic to the individual’ (Summary of Reflective… n.d., table 2). The blogger states ‘I thought the overall production (editing and music…) was well done’ (Saturday, June 10, 2006 post). Evidence (editing and music..) is considered, but certainty is mostly justified with the blogger’s idiosyncratic reason of ‘I thought’.

Architectures of Control in Design (ACD) blog criticises many ‘architectures of control’ – designs that ‘intentionally restrict the way the user can behave, or enforce certain modes of behaviour’ (Lockton 2005/06). Within the Reflective Judgment Model (Summary of Reflective... n.d.), this blog sits around Stage 5/slightly Stage 6. Stage 5 recognises the evaluation of evidence and that knowledge is contextual and subjective. In Stage 6, 'interpretations are subject to critique' Summary of Reflective… n.d., table 3), which the blogger acknowledges with 'if I'm wrong, please let me know' (19/6/06 post). But their judgment is also backed with evidence (examples of ‘Beauty spots’, ‘Events’ and ‘Citizen journalists/photobloggers’).

Both blogs’ different stages on the Reflective Judgment Model are higlighted when comparing them. While both make judgments based on evidence and idiosyncratic reasons, only ACD blog constructs their judgments by evaluating the evidence and recognising that it is open to questioning. However, both blogs can be categorised as interpretive criticism (according to Attoe). This is due to their subjective stance, where they are the sole ‘interpreter for the viewer’ (Methods… n.d., p1).

ACD blog’s subjectivity also contains ‘autobiographical turns’, as described by Baker (‘Flying…’ 1997). The ‘personal criticisms’, such as ‘No, it is not permitted to photograph the carnival’ (19/6/06 post) persuade the reader because it could easily happen to them. This blog has an unrestricted style of writing, coined ‘fabulation’ by Baker (‘Flying…’ 1997, p68), with a mix of facts, personal reflections and fictive reflections. The blogger has worked against the ‘proper’ and is not scared by censorship - ‘am I allowed to shine a laser into them (CCTV cameras)?’ (19/6/06 post). In fact, this blog almost meets Baker’s definition of design criticism at its best – ‘fictive, vindictive, and improper’ (‘Flying…’ 1997, p76).

Reference list –
Attoe, W. n.d. Methods of Criticism and Response to Criticism [Online], pp1-2. Available:
http://www.jstor.org/view/01492993/ap05005/05a00090/0
Baker, S. 1997, ‘Flying, Stealing: Design’s Improper Criticism’, Design Issues [Online], Volume 13, Number 2, Summer 1997, pp 65-76. Available:
http://www.jstor.org/view/07479360/ap050027/05a00100/0
Crit – The Graduate Student Design Blog [Online] 2006. Available:
http://mfad.typepad.com/crit/
Lockton, D. 2005/06 Architectures of Control in Design [Online]. Available:
http://architectures.danlockton.co.uk/
Summary of Reflective Judgment Levels [Online], n.d., tables 1-3. Available:
http://www.missouri.edu/~wood/rjstages/rjstages.html
[All accessed 24/6/06]

Monday, June 26, 2006

Design Review


My grandad got all the fame – even his own “Chesty” comic strip in the 1940s. Then my dad got his fifteen minutes of fame in the 1990s when he was worn by Paul Mercurio and then by the Oarsome Foursome. Now though, my brother’s competing with me for the limelight. He thinks Pat Rafter’s pretty great, but when you’re being worn by Sarah O’Hare, everyone takes notice. I’ve had to wait over sixty years, but now it’s my time! It all started when a friend of the family, George Bond, moved from America to Australia in the early 1900s. In 1915 he started a company that imported hosiery and gloves, and two years later he began manufacturing women’s underwear in Sydney.


Everyone loved my grandad because he was a typical hardworking Aussie, just like everyone in my family. I know a few other designer label singlets, but most people choose us, because we’re comfortable, cheap, Aussie icons. Being made in Australia, from the natural resource of cotton, people choose us because they know they’re supporting Australia’s economy. We can also be pulled on easily because of our single rib knit structure, and because we’re 100% cotton, our wearers’ skin can breathe and be comfy. Our unique wide ‘racer’ shoulder straps don’t restrict the movement of our hard working wearers, which is reminiscent of the days when my grandad was worn by labourers and farmhands. We’re usually worn in a casual environment, telling everyone else that our wearer is a ‘down-to-earth’ girl who loves the Aussie lifestyle.


Everyone loves us because our cooling cotton content and sleeveless stretch structure are ideal for the hot Aussie climate and we’re great value for money. Our wearers overseas love us because we embody the fun, casual lifestyle of Australians, and we’re still comfy in other climates, especially because we’re seamless. Another aspect of our universal appeal is our versatility – I’ve been worn to work with a blazer, out partying at night, down to the beach and even been worn to bed. We come in so many different colours and sizes as well, and some of my sisters are ‘hot spot’ or embellished with prints.


But we do have our critics – I’ve heard people complain that we’re difficult to wash and dry due to our 100% cotton content, which can cause us to shrink and wrinkle. Also, our lack of side seams can cause us to become out of shape during laundering. Although our knitted structure and range of sizes allow us to be worn by many, I’ve heard rumours that we’re not flattering for all body types. People say this because we’re very form fitting, and because we expose the top of our wearers’ arms and shoulders. This restricts the types of bras that can be worn under us, which limits our use by large busted women, unless our wearer wants to expose their bra straps. Others say that our thin knitted structure, although great for the Aussie climate, can also be quite transparent, which restricts how we can be worn.


Our popularity overseas, and nationally (400 million of us have been sold since our invention) indicates that everyone loves Australia’s casual, down-to-earth lifestyle, which is embodied through our vivid colours, practical design and inexpensive price. People worldwide appreciate simple, practical designs of any kind (not just fashion designs) because they recognise that there are times when ‘added frills’ are not necessary. Our inexpensive price is one of the key reasons behind our success, because we are accessible to nearly every consumer. This indicates that although a large percentage of the world’s population are becoming wealthier, they are still sensible about their finances. People are thinking about the future, instead of just acting spontaneously – being conscious of their spending, and buying practical designs that will outlast fads.

Reference list –
About Bonds [Online] n.d. Available:
http://www.bonds-asia.com/About-Us/BONDS/
Bonds New Womens Chesty [Online] n.d. Available: (photo from here)
http://www.bondsaustralia.co.uk/About-Us/MediaWomensChesty.asp
Bonds Underwear [Online] 2003. Available:
http://www.heavenlybodice.com/info/bonds.htm
Chesty Bonds [Online] n.d. Available:
http://www.bondsaustralia.co.uk/About-Us/MediaChestyIcon.asp
Dores, W. 2005 Hypercolour is Back! [Online]. Available:
http://www.ohgizmo.com/2005/08/26/hypercolour-is-back/
Huntington, P. 29 March 2005, ‘Emerging Diva’, Sydney Morning Herald [Online]. Available:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Fashion-Police/Emerging-Diva/2005/03/28/1111862289092.html
The Australians are Coming [Online] July 2004. Available:
http://www.bondsaustralia.co.uk/About-Us/MediaSelfridges.asp
[All accessed 26/6/06]

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Review 2

Asian Field, Antony Gormley (English), 2003, clay from Guangdong Province, China.

The audience is immediately made the subject as each figure returns our gaze. The vastness and initial ‘wow’ factor of the work’s aesthetic effect draws us in, making us want to learn the artwork’s meaning. Each viewer intreprets the work’s meaning based on their experiences, making the work accessible to all. But just as we want to delve deeper, we are rudely stopped by the doorway’s laser beam and denied further involvement, which could be achieved with a central path. We can only assume the figures fill the unseen corners, but this mystery also acts to further intrigue us.

We are asked to walk around and become involved with the makers, who each receive a tightly cropped photo of recognition. Gormley has duly acknowledged that the work is not purely a form of self expression, but rather a collective work. The photos act to compensate for the majority of the figures, which are unappreciated due to the lack of audience interaction beyond the doorway. The photos also indicate that Gormley is not the sole creator of the work, yet he has taken final credit.

Gormley’s industrial site choice places the figures in the context of a mechanised world, enforcing the work’s question of how each individual’s existence relates to the world. However, the Pier’s structure and machinery also distracts from the figures, breaking their vast mass. Beauty is seen and appreciated in the vast number of figures, as we derive pleasure from the assumed extensive labour behind the work. However, do the 180, 000 figures involve us in the work or do they make us feel as insignificant as each of the figures who have lost their individuality?


Reference list -
Antony Gormley 2006. Available:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Gormley
Antony Gormley: Field (Liverpool Tate) 2004. Available:
http://www.tate.org.uk/liverpool/exhibitions/gormley/
Asian Field (British Council of Arts) n.d. Available:
http://www.britishcouncil.org/arts-art-sculpture-antony-gormley-asian-field.htm
Birmingham Fujii, L. 2005 Children’s Field. Available:
http://www.acejapan.or.jp/acl/reviews/52artgallery.htm
Gleeson, D. 2002 Review - Field for the British Isles (The British Museum). Available:
http://www.contemporary-magazine.com/reviews48&47_3.htm
[All accessed 23/6/06]

Review 1

Asian Field, Antony Gormley (English), 2003, clay from Guangdong Province, China.

180, 000 figures peer up at the audience, reminding us that we are the active makers of the world. The makers of this ‘world’ are villlagers in China, each with their photo displayed, who have traditionally crafted each terracotta figure in an unautomated form of mass production. But each individual figure is lost in their vast ‘world’, making us question how our existence relates to the world. Each of Gormley’s Field works are a self portrait of a continent, but ‘Asian’ Field ’s similarity to the other Field works also questions each country’s individual existence in today’s globalised world.

The site and layout are as considered as each figure. We walk around the villager’s photos but then stop and peer beyond the doorway, no longer in control of how we view the work, but still actively reflecting on its commentary of the world. The Pier’s machinery mingles with the figures, reminding us of the increasing mechanisation and automation of the world and how easily individuals can become lost amongst this. This sense of displacement is heightened by the juxtaposition of the short figures within the high ceilings of the Pier.

Gormley has successfully intrigued the audience, making us question why and how individuals are becoming lost in today’s world.


Reference list -
Antony Gormley 2006. Available:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Gormley
Antony Gormley: Field (Liverpool Tate) 2004. Available: http://www.tate.org.uk/liverpool/exhibitions/gormley/
Asian Field (British Council of Arts) n.d. Available:
http://www.britishcouncil.org/arts-art-sculpture-antony-gormley-asian-field.htm
Birmingham Fujii, L. 2005 Children’s Field. Available: http://www.acejapan.or.jp/acl/reviews/52artgallery.htm
Gleeson, D. 2002 Review - Field for the British Isles (The British Museum). Available:
http://www.contemporary-magazine.com/reviews48&47_3.htm
[All accessed 23/6/06]

Friday, June 23, 2006

My Reflective Response

It was interesting to see that many of the guesses made by different people were similar (although not necessarily correct). Two people (correctly) thought I liked popular music, but also some less mainstream music, which they guessed from my choices of movies and car. This may have influenced Narae’s guess, although she thought my dancing was more influential. This makes me think that she appreciates dance/arts, rather than movies or possessions like cars.

Kat characterised me as organised/informed, and she seems to associate such people with being actively concerned about world events. This led to her (incorrect) guess of me travelling to Africa/Vietnam/India. She may have this association based on people she knows, which would validate her belief, or she may fit the characterisation herself, which she then projected onto me. Two people (correctly) guessed I am organised/self sufficient, but did not associate this with Japan. This is where I’d most like to travel, because I like the Japanese ordered way of life.

Two people (correctly) guessed that I feel connected to Australia. Using this guess, Narae then (correctly) assumed that I would not like to live elsewhere permanently. However, although Emily acknowledged that I ‘call Australia home’, she did not think it significant enough to stop me living elsewhere. This probably reflects her personal thoughts on her homeland/permanent residence, with her dispositions unconsciously influencing her decision concerning my dispositions.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Taste Regime

1. Favourite TV show is Scrubs. I watch about 8 hours of TV a week.

2. Digital camera, I mainly take photos of uni work, for assessments, and photos of friends when we're out together or at parties.

3. I would like to drive a car that is easy to maintain and fairly cheap to run. But i also like the look of VW Beetles, both the old and new types.
At the moment I would only get under the bonnet if something went wrong, but when I get my own car I would probably go under the bonnet for occassion maintenance.

4. I currently do not play a musical instrument. However, I did play the piano when I was younger, so I remember the basics.

5. ...

6. I would visit public libraries at least twice a year.

7. Films I have seen in the last year, from favourite to least favourite are - Russian Dolls (cinema), Brokeback Mountain (cinema), Dirty Dancing (DVD rental) and 40 Year Old Virgin (DVD rental).

8. Favourite sport/game to do is dancing (modern ballet etc). Favourite sport/game to watch at the moment is soccer - I have been caught up in the patriotic hype. Otherwise if the World Cup wasnt on, I wouldnt really watch any sports.

9. ...

10. Primary source of news is the radio in the morning while I am getting ready, and then news updates that are on while I'm watching TV.
I like to be up-to-date about national and international news, but only to the extent of the brief news updates that are on the radio/TV.

11. I have never really considered whether the government should spend more or less funding on tax relief, but seeing as I am employed and therefore taxed, I would say that the government should spend more funding on tax relief!
Less funding on sports, because the amount of money poured into sports in Australia is ridiculous - some of that money could be spent better elsewhere.
I am undecided about whether more or less funding should be put into the arts - I have no strong opinion either way.
More funding should be spent on the environment because the natural world needs to be maintained and protected, before it is destroyed by our manmade world.

12. ...

13. I most often meet my friends at each other's houses.