Author Archive

Sensory Experience-nature pillows

September 21, 2009

I find myself to be extremely sensitive to sounds. Normal day-to-day noises which most people tend to tune out, I find rather bothersome and I can’t help but focus my attention on them. Ticks, pings, coughs, sniffs, taps, clicks, etc; they all disturb my precious silence. I sleep with earplugs and or a sound machine to block out random unnecessary noises from disturbing my sleep. The sound I enjoy the most is rain; I absolutely love falling asleep to this sound. The real thing is obviously much preferred over my sound machine, but considering Texas weather, it’s quite the rarity. It does baffle me why some noises bother me so much more than others; I can fall asleep with the television on which many others cannot, but the sound of crickets outside my window drives me insane while others adore it. The funny thing is, even my sound machine has started to become an issue. As I lay in bed listening to the rain, I find myself tuning in so closely that I can point out the patterns; I know exactly when the track repeats itself. Also, depending on what position I am in, my hearing can be somewhat obscured.

I chose to create a product that not only comforts me with sound, but with touch as well. Instead of having a sound machine beside my bed, how about having tiny, thin speakers within a pillow? Two comforts are much better than one. I can fall asleep with my head softly against the sounds of a babbling brook, for example. Unlike the pillow speakers currently on the market, there wouldn’t be external hookups, everything would be internal. To escape the problem of the repeating tracks, the recording should be long enough so that repetition cannot be distinguished. In addition, the electronics inside shall be waterproof so it can be used in the tub as well. I’ve always wanted a terry cloth pillow for when I take bubble baths; resting my neck and head against a porcelain tub is not comfortable at all. I chose terry cloth because of its versatility; it works well either wet or dry. Being submerged in water while listening to the sounds of a stream mate to create an incredibly relaxing experience. Our senses have a way of transporting us somewhere other than reality, and with this pillow I can escape from my annoying apartment noises and frat boys across the street, to nature. Sound regulates our emotions and soundscaping with natural sounds clams us quickly.


Living Room

September 15, 2009

I exercised environmental cognition on my living room. My spatial and non-spatial memories of my living room were fairly accurate to the reality of the space. Initially, I commented that I enjoy the space because I decorated it in its entirety; everything was picked out by me. When in the space, I feel calm and relaxed. My roommate and I spend most of our time in this space; it’s the social room of the house. I’m also proud of the space because it’s beginning to look more sophisticated and less college-like. Also, obviously, because it is within my home, I behave just as I want to; I’m free to be myself.

From my memory of the living room, I documented that the room was average size with a good rectangular shape and typical height and width; nothing specific. There are exposed cinder block walls, ceiling beams and stained concrete floors. The walls are a pale avocado with one plum accent wall. My original artwork is showcased on the walls. The furniture is a mixture of browns, whites and neutrals with a few burgundy accents. Natural light comes in from the window, track lighting on the ceiling, and soft lighting from a table lamp behind the couch.

After returning to my living room and documenting the space in greater detail, I determined the approximate size; 14’4”x9’10”. The measurement of the light level is 15 foot-candles. This equates to approximately 150 lux, which is considered private and intimate. Also, the type of lighting used in the space in indirect; it is bounced off of other surfaces and illuminates the perimeter of the room, which in turn creates the illusion that the room is larger than it really is. The sound in the living room comes from the television, which is much louder than normal to overpower the noisy fan of the air conditioning, as well as the occasional noises from the sink, washing machine and dishwasher in the adjoining kitchen. Conversational sound is also present in the living room. The temperature of the space is at 75 degrees. The layout of the furnishings is very appropriate for the function of the living room. Seating is arranged in a somewhat circular manner to include multiple people in conversation as well as for easy maneuvering. The formation also creates a sense of openness.

My memory of the space compares almost exactly to the characteristics of the actual space. Since I was the one to decorate the space, I can recall it’s details and layout easily. The only really notable difference was that I was not aware of the actual size of the room; my initial perspective pictured a larger space than there actual is. Overall, my factual documentation supports my memory of my living room.


September 8, 2009

Motives are the underlying reason behind human behavior. Reiss defines the romance motive as the desire for sex and beauty; at the animal level, reproduction essential for species survival, and the intrinsic feeling of lust. Any mutually acceptable space provides the opportunity for romance. Romance is associated with passionate love and a committed relationship. Women are more likely to go through life with this motive as a top priority. A woman with romance as a top priority would surround herself with beautiful things and place herself in environments common to men and women. She would also make her home, especially her bedroom, inviting.

While romance is a more common priority among women, it does not equate to florals, pastels and frills. Romantic rooms must be mutually appealing, a mix of masculine and feminine. A romantic room is luxurious, clean and sophisticated. To mix masculine and feminine décor, light colors for the bedding and dark colors for walls and accents and or furniture are best. Also, softening “masculine” furniture, such as a leather chair, with a fur or cashmere blanket, or hardwood floors with a rug, adds comfort; comfort is extremely important in a romantic space. Lighting is also important to create a romantic mood, such as ambient and natural light. The bed, of course, should be the showpiece of the room; Include nice linens, throw pillows and and accent color for emphasis. One who takes great pride in their bed and/or bedroom is most likely a passionate person.

This design method can be applied to any other physical space as well. Any room can be a mix of masculine and feminine décor and ambiance, following the same basic guidelines. Restaurants and resorts often follow this mutually agreeable design. Living and dining rooms, too, can be romantic. As long as both men and women feel comfortable within a certain space, they are free to feel comfortable with each other.

I consider myself a fairly romantically motivated person, and up until researching it, I was not aware that my apartment follows the same mix of masculine and feminine items; brown accent wall(behind my bed) and floors, white linens, brown accents, wood furniture, dark walls in the living room and a off-white couch with and mix of dark and light pillows. I’ve always been concerned with whether or not other people, men and women, appreciate my decorating; apparently, my romantic personality was the driving force.


September 1, 2009

The comic, Spiderman, was created in the early 1960s about an ordinary teenager struggling with rejection, loneliness and inadequacy in addition to fighting crime. Peter Parker aka Spiderman is an orphan raised by his aunt and uncle. Peter’s uncle’s last words to him before he was killed were “with great power comes great responsibility.” Peter’s depressing and overwhelming life is mirrored in the Spiderman movies with muted and dull atmospheres. Although, scenes featuring Spiderman and his villains appear in bright, vibrant colors. Not only are bright colors present, but buildings and objects are manipulated to look somewhat cartoon-like; this creates a comic resemblance. The two differences in scenery distinguish the split personality of Peter and Spiderman.

In the chosen screen-shots, the office of the Daily Bugle editor is completely gray; the walls, the chairs, the desk, even the clothing is gray. Peter sells pictures of himself, Spiderman, to the Daily Bugle just to make ends meat, when in turn the editor slanders Spiderman’s name, representing him as a villain rather than a hero. The gray building represents Peter’s bitterness towards the paper based on his forced suffering of these accusations all for a few measly dollars. The only source of color in the room is the framed article about Spiderman. Spiderman embodies great power and basically the antithesis of Peter Parker, thus explaining its focus in the room. While the view from outside the editor’s office is dull, the backdrops during the action scenes are flashy and detailed; there is a presence of light. The scene pictured with the Green Goblin during the parade is obviously computer generated to look almost drawn, like a page in a comic book. Buildings are shades of red, orange and purple, and the scene is much brighter. The transitions between realistic and comic scenes are obvious, but are vital to the ambiance of the movie. Not only do they define the differences between the two personalities, but add an excellent entertainment quality. Most superheroes are incapable of being related to nor do they have troubled lives, thus the “average” life of Peter Parker adds drama and intrigue to the film, rather than just being yet another typical action movie.