Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nuclear Arms

The had an article by The New York Times ( called "U.N. Security Council Adopts Measure on Nuclear Arms".

The article was a straightforward report of the U.N. coucil meet lead by Barack Obama. I think that it is all well and fine that these people can sit around a desk and say they are going to stop nuclear polifieration. They are concerned about private groups developeing nuclear warheads. I honestly think it is very hypocritical for a group of countries where 90% of them have nuclear weapons to say that others cannot make them. I think that countries need to practice what they preach.

If nuclear weapons are bad then why have them? The argument is that "well, the bad guys have them". Basically, in the event of a nuclear attack we want to be able to fire back. I ask what good does that do? Have they never seen the movie War Games? Nuclear War ends in devastation for all. So, why does it matter if they have them? If they use theirs, we will use ours. It is a common fact. Why have them in the first place then?

I know a decent amount of physics, and the process of nuclear fission and atom splitting which is used to create nuclear weapons is an exact science; however, in order for this to work there have to be EXACT conditions. How do they expect private citizens to be capable of having the faclities to create these weapons without their government knowing? For that matter without the rest of the governments of the world knowing?

I think this whole nuclear arms debate and laws goes back to merchantilism. Basically, if someone else has the wealth then you DON'T HAVE IT. Therefore, you must bully them out of it. If you have nuclear weapons and they don't and you say "give me or we blow you up" you give it to them. That's why a world without weapons would not work. There will always be bullies in the world.

Guerilla in Action!

Just some of the images from my Guerilla Project in action. This is only from one of the sites, I did it in 3 different bathrooms.
So for my project, I launched it as an educational campaign; however, it quickly took on two forms. I like to analyize society most of the time and figure out what a specific audience is thinking. When I set up my different locations I went through and I set it up so that there was the exact same conditions in each bathroom. I put the same stickers in the realitivly same positions across the mirrors and I placed the main sticker either on a mirror or papertowel dispenser. From there throughout the day I periodically checked all three locations to see which stickers were taken down first.
What I found was in all three bathrooms the more direct statement stickers were removed first. The sticker that said "Are You doing this to 'fit in'" was the first sticker every single time to dissappear. The ones that said "Are You doing this for your Boyfriend/Best friend" stickers were always removed second followed by the large stickers over the mirrors. The ones that said "roommate" or "mom" were always removed towards the end.
I also tracked during the day which buildings stickers were the first to be removed. The Arts Building was the first to have all their stickers entirely removed on Wednesday evening, the Union 2nd floor bathroom still had stickers remaing (though not many) towards Thursday morning and the CLA building 3rd floor bathroom (and yes this is the busiest bathroom in that entire building to make it fair to the other two locations) were still in place when I checked on Thursday Morning. I don't know what to make from this because it seems to be relatively different audiences. The CLA building has many sociological and historical classes. The Arts building is obviously classes revolving around the arts and the Union in my opinion is a general sample of the student population/administration. The fact that the Arts building stickers were removed first actually surprised me. I half expected them to last the longest. The CLA stickers lasted as long as I thought they would. I have noticed that not as many women wear make-up in that building.
This has me thinking that for future projects that different buildings of the school have different audiences. I did not have enough supplies to do Smith building but its my assumption that it would have followed much the same path as the CLA building. Smith is predominantly science classes which I think has a similar audience to the historical classes.
In summary, I think the project was quite successful. The blog I set up for this project had 102 hits as of 1:02 pm, on Thursday ( The sticker set I put up for download had been downloaded 13 times (there is currently a problem with downloading the sticker set that I was notified about which I am trying to correct). I think in the future I should have put pamphlets with them as well which would have given people a tangible item to take with them after the make-up sets had run out. In total only 30 people left with stickered cosmetics which I think I could have done better there.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Problem with Prototypes

edit: I fixed the prints, it was a problem with the ppi. They are printed and are now being hand cut and put through the sticker maker. The next step is the interactive blog that goes along with them.

I worked all weekend on the stickers trying to get them to print. I got a really nice glossy cardstock and that sticker machine Anita and Elise talked about last class. It worked really well. I ran into the problem when I went to print them. It seems that I need a higher resolution of lipstick marks in order to print them out;however, I'm not entirely convinced its not my printer doing this. They are very pixelated and I tried to reduce the size and they still came out very pixelated. The thing was EVEN THE TEXT was pixelated. Which I have never had that problem.

So, its back to the drawning board a bit. I am going to make scans of actual lipstick marks instead of recoloring and fixing up a stock image. I am hoping I still get the same effect I had with the other ones.

More to come as I fix this -tiny- problem.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just some More Research for Project 1 Just an interesting article about a self image project where they altered barbie dolls to make them more realistic to acutal life.

So, I think I have my project into its final stages. I want to basically put out a basket of cosmetics (I am keeping a budget of $50 for the entire project so this won't be anything very expensive probably makeup from the dollar store). Then I will sticker them with different "who are you doing this for" messages and place pamphlets with them and package them in little gift bags. I will leave this baskets of gift bags in ladies rooms. The cosmetics will all be sealed in their original packaging. There will be a little sign on the basket that says "Free". Basically I am hoping to make a few of these baskets with like 5 or 10 of the cosmetic products each. Then I will sticker bathroom stalls and maybe mirrors of resturants and public places. They will have a link to a blog/webpage im setting up with just some basic information about self image and links to self image research and clinics.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some Sticker Design Ideas

I have decided to go away from the idea of window clings because they are quite expensive to print and there are not many good ways to print them at home. Instead I think I am going to use stickers with a low adhesion rate for the same purpose. Stickers are still easily removed and will not harm bathroom stalls or mirrors if they are not super sticky. I can also do smaller versions that could be placed on makeup boxes at retail stores.

So here are some of the "sketches" or prototypes of my ideas:

This is my first idea, It is a small rectangular sticker with the single kiss mark.

This is the second version of that one a little larger with multiple kiss marks.

Small product sticker that could be placed at the corner of a mirror or on a make-up box.

just another design for a larger sticker

So this is a really basic oval sticker.

These are just a bunch of small stickers of product boxes or mirrors

New Idea?

* Put the stickers on packaged cosmetics that are in a basket that say "free".

Make it a two part project, with the free make up in the basket, the stickers on the mirrors

The History of Cosmetics (a summary)

"A Women without Paint, is like a food without salt." Roman Philosopher, Plautus

Make-up began as a form of ornamentation in early cultures. It was predominantly seen in the Egyptians in Eye Make-up, used to keep dust and flies out of the eyes. From, there it became a symbol of your status in society. Women would put leeches on their skin in order to make themselves pale and use arsenic (a main ingredient in rat poison) to stain their lips a dark orange. In the early days, it was quite dangerous to wear makeup and was reserved for the elite and for actors and preformers as a symbol of status.

Cosmetics evolved over the course of history from practicality to the idea that make "enhances beauty". There is an obsession in our current culture with cosmetics. There is a general feeling that cosmetics enhance your confidence and make you look and feel better. Many women even link their daily successes to use of make-up.

In 2007, a graduate student at Hanover College named Sarah Scott, researched the influence of comestics on every day anxiety. She proved there was a link between the anxiety you feel at any given situation and type of make-up you are wearing. Her thesis report can be found here:

In todays cosmetics, there are many harmful chemicals lurking as well. It is important when buying cosmetics to look at the contents. Many lipstains or skin stains have arsenic or other harmful poisons that exposure over a long time can cause serious health concerns. To this day many cosmetics are not regulated by the goverment so it is important to know what you are putting on your face.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cosmetics and Self-Image

After yesterdays conversation about my Design Project 1 and what I really wanted to protray I went and researched Cosmetics and their link to self-perception and self image. I would really like to be able to link my window clings to an organization that promotes positive self-image in women but, I have yet to find the right one. I did however find a paper written by Sarah Scott a psychology major at Hanover College that did a social experiment to link anxiety to makeup. It was an amazing study. She had participants wear different types of makeups in different situations and measured their anxiety levels. The full research can be found here: I also checked into a few of the books she had on her bibliography. There seems to be a link between self-image in females and the confidence they derive from wearing makeup in different situations.

I did find the Step Up Women's Network promoting positive self-esteem in women. They are national organization, while they don't have an office in Baltimore they do have programs in D.C. and N.Y.C.

I also found The National Association of Self Esteem an organization that wants to promote self esteem into the fabric of American Society.

Obama and Racism

I was reading an article at from the BBC (, it was an interesting article mostly quoting other publications about the current issues with the Healthcare reform. I am one of the people that belives that some of the opposition is because of racism. I know a family that is against Obama, they say for political reasons, but whenever we talk about his policies and reforms they contridict themselves and seem to only be arguing because they dislike him. I think that while they whitehouse is playing it safe and trying to stay in the middle of this arguement, I do think there is an undercurrent of racism in older Americans that is keeping the healthcare issue at bay.

While I agree with some of the statements in article they seem very bias as well. The quote by Maureen Dowd about the congressman who heckled the president:

"Surrounded by middle-aged white guys... Joe Wilson yelled 'You lie!' at a president who didn't. Fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!... But Wilson's shocking disrespect for the office of the president - no Democrat ever shouted 'liar' at W when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq - convinced me: Some people just can't believe a black man is president and will never accept it",

which was quoted in the article, I think takes the situation too far. I don't think the congressman is outwardly racist and I think stating that way created a racial divide. I do; however, believe that in some way the remark was not about the politics but about the man. They did not want to listen so they cast it off as lies.

I am of the opinion that if there was not the word "racism" or the idea of the term of it then it would have died out long ago. In order to have the term, you have to have the ideas and those ideas lead to gaurding conversations and tentions between relations. I think political correctness breeds racism in some form or another. I don't think we should view Barack Obama as just the first black president (note: I do think he should be credited for this because it shows the progress of this nation), but I think he should be known for that he has done. He is a president that speaks his mind and isn't afraid to cause a stir. He is also the president and people should respect that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Design Skills

Some Definitions for Social Design Class:

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is taking an idea and thinking of a creative and sustainable way to solve it. Design thinking is "thinking outside the box". You aren't trying to invent the wheel, your just trying to make it better with design thinking. Its a way of taking an exisiting problem and solving it with a solution that will improve the conditions the problem came from.

Sources: <--Great Site

What is "Design Skills"?
Design skills is a broad term. I can be tecnical skills with 2D or 3D modelling or it can be abstract skills like inventiveness and imagination. From it is the "mingling of medium and message".

What is "creativity"?

Creativity is thinking of something in a new way. It is being uique, and a mix of social flair and design skill.


Retirement Elusive even in South Korea

I was reading the Monday, September 14th, New York Times today and I came across the article "In South Korea, Retirement Can Be Elusive". We were talking in last social design class how in Asian cultures it is more prevelant for Adult children to take care of their parents. This article says that tradition is changing. In this new modern world, there seems to be just no place for the elderly. The government of South Korea is holding silver job fairs, basically job fairs for the 70+ year olds living there. In a recent survey there, they found in 2009 only 48% of elderly South Koreans were living with their children. That is down from 72% in 1990. It seems to be drastically in decline as financial stressors and lack of room in urban cities increases.

It is really sad to see this tradition changing. I have always respected that in the Asian cultures and wished that the U.S. Cultures would adopt some of the time principles. At the same time, I personally do not like my grandparents much and would not like to live with them. I guess in that resepct I am a hypocrite.

The New Ipod

(delayed article post from Thursday, September 10th due to no internet)

I was reading the New York Times and flipping through the 50 million articles on the healthcare debate and the flood in Turkey when I found an article that was seemingly small in comparision to the rest but struck a cord I guess.

It was about Steve Job's speech about announcing the new Ipod and talking about his Transplant which I might add was a bit off topic. The article centers not on the new electronics but about the man. I think honestly they should have covered something about this new contraption I am selling to hundreds of kids a week at work.

This "new" ipod, is a revamped version of the old ipod; however, they had added a camera and a video recorder (but no microphone to pick up sound, sorry kiddo you gotta buy that seperate). I want to know why EVERYTHING today has to have a camera. Isn't it enough to hold an entire collected of DVDs in the palm of your hand? Now you have to have a digital camera too? How long until someone hacks the wifi in the ipod touch and uses it as a digital stalking device? I remember the days of the good old fashioned CD player. They were big and clunky and you couldn't hide them in class so you were actually forced to listen to the teacher and you could only hold a cd at a time so you were forced to listen to the same band preform a few times and you would stop. Today kids are so plugged into their ipods it will be a miracle if they can hear in 20 years.

Ideas for Social Design Project 1

I was thinking about this for a while and I decided to center around a few of the more important issues from my Creative Caffeine assignment (that can be found here:

I am a youth cheerleading coach and my girls are between the ages of 7 and 9 years old. They act and look much older then they are. I personally think they are trying to be little Hannah Montana's. But, the more disturbing part is a lot of them wear short skirts and makeup. Due to privacy issues with me being a coach I can't show the faces of these girls but you can see just from what they are wearing the problems.

This got me to thinking what really was the problem and how I would work it into a guerilla/DIY project that would work on a larger scale. I think the problem is not with the youth of America alone. I think all women find this unconscience need to wear make-up and paint themselves up like clowns to fit societies idea of beauty.

More research of the history of make-up to come; however, I have some ideas about what I might do:
1. Window clings to the bathroom mirrors of the women's room with informational facts about the history of make-up.
a. clings with a slogan like "think before you ink" or "save it for the clowns"
b. "Why?" typography cling that is asking "why are you doing that" with a researhed quote about media influence or about man being attracted to women due to appearance alone.
2. Informational Brochure, would probably be linked to the window clings maybe taped to the inside of bathroom stalls talking about the history of make-up and the history of female oppression and how they are linked
3. Stickers that just say "why" stuck to boxes of make-up.

---------------> Creative Caffiene for this Project
I walked around and took notes about what I saw for an entire day. Every time I would go to the bathroom I would have to wait in line to wash my hands for the large line of girls fixing their makeup and hair.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Recession Not Just a US Problem

In the last couple of days, there has been a lot of talks about schools and economy in the United States news. I know that Towson Catholic was being forced to shut its doors today due to a lot of fund and a few schools throughout the US couldn't show Obama's speech due to a lack of technology to show it. The lack of technology was due to recent budget cuts throughout the school system making it impossible for the schools to replace broken a/v equiptment.

I was reading the New York Times today and I was surprised to read an article called Recession Batters Britain's Smaller Private Schools. It told a similar story to the Towson Catholic saga that is playing out right now. St. David's School for Girls was recently forced to shut its doors due to a lack of funding. This displaced 240 girls some of them seniors in high school. The school could just not afford the upkeep of the building and the increasing technological demands of today's educational system.

So if this is a global problem of schools not being able to keep up finances in today's world, then what kind of education do we expect our children to be able to recieve? If there is no money to buy the things needed to keep the school running how long will it be until it effects our public school system? I know for years they have threatened to cancel programs like music and arts but finding doing so would only negatively effect the children. How long until they find something new to cut? Like gym? I mean there has to be a way for the school system to be more cost-effective.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This is EXACTLY what we were talking about today!

This article ( is a perfect example of what we were talking about in today's social design class. Frankly, it really pissed me off to read this. HOW can people think a speech will "brainwash" their children and why would they want to? Plus, what he is talking about (staying in school, doing well, ect.) should be something that is indoctrinated into our children! What is so wrong with convincing a child to pursue their education! I am wondering if it boils down to the fact we said today, "no one can ever be happy" with the government. I think they are taking offense in this speech just to take offense to something. I personally want to applaud Obama for the courage of making a speech to such a broad audience with such different levels of maturity.

What IS Social Design?

I was asked for my Design class to define "Social Design". So, I began my research like any college student would-- wikipedia. To my dismay, I found wikipedia to be as clueless as I was on the subject: (and I quote wiki here) "Social design has many definitions and the term is put to very different uses across the globe. Some definitions exist within the design world and refers to design in its traditional sense, meaning the shaping of products and services. Other definitions refer to social design as the creation of social reality; design of the social world" (

The last statement got me to thinking. When I think of "creation of social reality" I can't help but get images of Adolfus Huxley-esque Utopian societies. How can one engineer society? I also realized, that my original perception of social design being a "community- centered" principle might have been short sighted. If social design is defined culturally, or even the definition of culture itself, it seems hard to pinpoint what social design truly is. I think in order to determine a definition for social design one must determine what definition they are looking for: personal, regional, or global.

From there I continued my search and I found a site called which linked me to a youtube video called "We Cannot NOT Change the World!" ( ) This was actually quite helpful. It interviewed various social designers and have them define what social design meant to them. This video is very informative in almost a scholarly way about the principles of their definition of social design; however, I still felt it was very ambiguous as to what "social design" was. So, I decided to look at the social designers featured in the video in more depth.

Illegal Beauty (

Illegal Beauty is an organization that follows the stories of "people without papers". Basically, they have set up an awareness campaign about the life illegal immigrants face when they come to a new country. Illegal Beauty works in many different mediums from songs and fashion to full installations.

Retired Weapons (
Retired Weapons is an art project dedicated to ending violence and sadness. They publish images of silhouetted weapons with flowers growing out of them to spread there word of peace.

From those two sites alone and the video I have started to come to a conclusion about the definition of "social design". To me, social design is about caring--caring about anything really. Social Design is art, ideas, or actions devoted to social betterment and change. Social Design seeks to right wrongs at home and globally. Anyone can be a social designer, they just need passion and drive towards fixing something in there daily lives. I still feel that I am lacking some information about the true meaning of social design but, I feel I am approaching a definition. I will update as I find out more.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

For my Jewelry Majors

Last year I was surfing around the web looking for inspiration for a sculpture project in my 3D design class and I stumbled upon the work of Jennifer Miller. She runs a small business called "Featherdust Studios". I am usually not very interested in jewelry, but, her work has such a whimsical feel to it. I honestly recommend everyone to check out her work. I prefer her jewelry over her illustrations but, both are quite nice.

Right: Tidal Swirls © Jennifer Miller
Below: Checkerboard Smokey Quartz © Jennifer Miller
I really like the way she twists the metal around the stones to incorporate them into the peice. All her works are handmade and she sells each peice she makes. Also, you can find short videos on her website about how she makes them and how they reflect in the light.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jury Duty for the Digital World

I got to reading an article today in the New York Times about how jury duty is becoming a hardship to those serving (article can be found here This is a fact that I have never spent much time looking into, but it does make sense. For me myself going to school and working on the weekends part-time in retail, a month or so away from work would pretty much leave me broke. How do they expect people working from day to day to make a living to take a month away from their job to serve on a jury. If I am not at work I am not getting paid, which is true for most of the people in society in today's world.

This got me thinking about the way we handle jury duty in this country. It is a digital world, why are we still expecting people to show up for jury duty? With all the technology we have, it seems so primative to expect people to drive downtown to a courthouse. While I realize court is not supposed to be "fun", why have we not brought these courts up the the 21st century!

That's when I got the idea! We have digital conferences for large businesses were people all over the country meet to swap ideas. So, why can't we do the same for courts? If they set up trials over the internet, like in the form of a streaming video for the jury it would eliminate a lot of the hassles associated with this article. It would be like CourtTV but for the jury members. To me it seems so simplistic an idea, that is seems almost idiotic we have not set up a system like this already.

I have thought about the more practical aspects of how you would monitor these jury members to make sure they were actively involved in the trial. There would have to be some kind of system involved; however, I think there is an easy solution to this. If there was a device made like a net book for jury members to use during the trials I think it would solve this. This "eCourt" as I have named it, would basically be very limited. It cannot access any web browser or allow any personal information to be entered onto it. Basically it would be little more then a small portable dvd player that would stream the trail live to the jury members home. The jury box would still exist but in a different way. Instead of 12 chairs it would have a neat row of monitors. The monitors would display the jury members webcam located on the top of their "eCourt" laptop. These laptops would be distributed to the jury members prior to the trail and collected at the end.

I know this all seems very far out there, but these are tough economic times. Everything else is going digital and it is only a matter of time before something will have to change in the court systems. Why not make them digital now? It will save time and resources later and make the jury duty process more streamlined and convinent for all those involved.