Three 500 word mini essays (How I think about…)

May 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Gerardas Kupciunas, 1368058019

TFD1065 Design Practice in Context

6th of March


How I think about Mind Maps

There are many ways of dealing with information, brainstorming and sharing ideas. Most people are used to taking linear notes, but usually end up with a bunch of papers with no clear view on the subject. Mind mapping is a method of visually mapping out information, thought processes or ideas. This technique was popularized by author and consultant, Tony Buzan. Mind maps use a two-dimensional structure, instead of the list format we are used to when taking notes. This is why I think that mind mapping is the best method for dealing with information.

Mind maps can be used to greatly reduce the complexity of any subject. With the idea of visually connecting thoughts with one another, not only does it help us approach aspects from different angles, but also clearly indicates our thought processes in a way that could be understood by a wider range of people. In 2005, Jamie Cunningham conducted a user study, which showed that mind mapping helped 80% of the students understand concepts and ideas in science. That is why mind mapping could be a very useful technique either working in a group or on your own.

It’s known for a fact that mind maps have a way of improving people’s memory. Unlike traditional note taking, mind mapping works in a format that is similar to the way your mind stores and recalls information. In 2002, a study showed that mind mapping improved the long-term memory of factual information for medical students by 10%. Also, the research by Farrand et al illustrated that mind maps provide an effective study technique when applied to written material and more likely to encourage a deeper level of processing memory formation. In other words, mind maps help us keep our thoughts organised on paper and in our minds as well.

 Mind mapping is also a brilliant tool for encouraging creativity and unleashing potential. Many artists use this method to inspire themselves in approaching different subjects from a more creative perspective. The most common example would be the usage of colour and imagery. Nancy Margulies explained in ‘Mapping Inner Space: Learning and Teaching Visual Mapping’ that children visualize pictures in their minds before learning a language, and if they are trained only to write words in one colour, on lined paper – the creative channels and mental flexibility diminishes. This is why using other methods, like mind mapping, keeps our creativity fired up.

To sum up, whatever the reason for using mind maps would be, it will always be better than linear note taking and other similar methods. Not only does it reduce the complexity of the subject, but can also have a huge impact on improving a person’s memory or help him reveal some unexplored creative potential. This is why I think that mind mapping is the best technique to deal with information, brainstorm and idea sharing.



How I think about Banksy

Banksy is a British street artist, political activist and film director. He is famous for his specific combinations of dark humour and graffiti, usually commenting on political, social activity and dedication to his art. Thought some people consider Banksy as a vandal, his work is admired by the majority. He usually co-operates with musicians and other artists in order to present his work and his message, yet his identity still remains unknown. Being admired by the general public, Banksy can be stated as one of the most iconic and influential artists of the modern era.

Banksy was one of those artists who brought art to people who don’t go to art galleries. Most of his work could be seen from public places, because of the fact that he painted on bus stops, fences, building walls and the street. Despite graffiti being considered as vandalism and illegal by the government, more and more people began to admire Banksys work. It was not long before the population of street artists started growing rapidly behind this artist’s popularity and success. It was called ‘The Banksy Effect’ by the media. That being said, Banksy is an incredible artist, who lured more people to admire art by simply producing work on the street and I find that really amazing.

Another iconic aspect of Banksy is that the purpose of his work is to tell something to the general public. This is why his artwork is so often bold, simple and could be easily understood and admired at a glance. It is this obvious and straightforward message that attracted most of the Banksys admirers. For example, Banksy wrote ‘I don’t believe in global warming’ on a wall just above a river. That sentence is always half-way covered in water, but you can still read the sentence. It a clear message for people to start thinking more about preventing this global catastrophe. Banksy has made much more artwork similar to this and that is one of the reasons I find him an amazing and inspiring artist.

Despite all the straightforward messages in his work, Banksy is also famous for his overtly mischievous and humorous style. These types of artwork usually cover political themes, hypocrisy and greed. Banksy is not afraid to mock the flaws in our society and reveal them throughout his artwork. Once, he snuck into the London Zoo and spray painted the message ‘I want out. This place is too cold. Keeper smells. Boring, boring, boring.’ in the elephant pen. When Paris Hilton released her debut music CD, he created around 500 fake copies with a mockingly re-edited cover design and phrases like ‘Why Am I Famous?’ and ‘What Am I For?’. Although being a lot less playful and more serious nowadays, Banksy has really done some hilarious artwork throughout the years.

To sum up, the British street artist created a new style of media interpretation by using graffiti, made people laugh with his humoristic work and think about topics like global warming through his straightforward messages in art. This is more than enough to prove that Banksy is truly one of the most iconic and influential artists of the modern era.



How I think about Pop Art

Pop art was the art movement of popular culture. It emerged in the 1950’s in Britain and by 1960 – the United States as well. Most famous artists of that time included Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Blek le Rat, Banksy and many more. Despite being an international movement, involving different styles of painting and sculpture, it employed aspects in mass culture, mass media and mass production, thus considering it as one of the most successful and well received art movement of the modern era.

Some pop culture art inspired people to view everyday objects in a new perspective. For example, Andy Warhol produced a wide range of artworks depicting Campbell’s Soup cans, which are considered as one of the most iconic pieces of work dedicated to pop art. It had a unique visual style and design – the painting layout divided into 6-8 pieces, which were presented with a different colour spectrum. This method of design is still being used in modern art and advertising nowadays.

Pop artists usually used images or portraits of famous celebrities, cartoon characters (i.e. Andy Warhol ‘Mickey Mouse’, 1982) and adverts, which led their artwork gain more appreciation and success. For example, the well-known 1950’s actress Marilyn Monroe was presented in one of the famous Warhol paintings (i.e. Andy Warhol ‘Marilyn Diptych’ 1962). It was not only recognized for the image itself, but for the use of colour and design as well. These aspects also reflected a specific mood that spoke to the audience also.

Most pop artists commonly used up to 3-4 high contrast colours on their prints. Not only was it considered original back in the 1960’s, but also caught the attention of many people and it was easier for them to understand the artwork. It was not long before the media started using the art as a way of enhancing advertisements. Companies like Coca Cola, DKNY and others applied layout designs, mono-printing and even the actual work of pop for their own brands (i.e. Limited edition Pop Art for DKNY ‘Be Delicious’ fragrance). That being said, this movement implemented some core elements to the advertisement industry that are crucial aspects till this day.

To sum up, pop art was indeed one of the most influential movements of the postmodern era. It introduced the world to new and creative perspectives of object viewing. Legendary artists presented different and bold artwork, which led people appreciate more minimal concepts of the paintings (i.e. minimal color usage). It was also well understood and received by the general public and that was one of the most important factors why pop art was so successful.






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