...My words fall as snowflakes... you are my paper that they land on...

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Monday

Glorious ruins


I'll walk through the fire...
with my head lifted high...
and my spirit revived in your story...
I'll look to the cross...
as my failure is lost...
in the light of your glorious reign...

Let the ruins come to life...
In the beauty of Your name...
Rising up from the ashes...
God forever You reign...
And my soul will find refuge..
In the shadow of Your wings...
I will love You forever...
And forever I'll sing...


Sometimes i can get so caught up in the problems of the world..the problems of people and what they go through...where i try to help in a person of the world way..give what i can give, advise on what i can advise and get involved in ways i can to just help others... but it pulls me away from God lately... just drains my spirit because these are all people who don't believe God is the answer to everything..but that is really what i believe... my answer for your problems is to pray for you..pray about it..ask God for help please... but to hide this part of me...to not give praise where its meant to be given...makes me withdraw and become depleted of my spiritual food... i went to my church today... this particular song touched me.. I wish you all knew how much he loves you... 
Snow x

Saturday

note to self

i fail to understand why now....this is the way people are like...its only later when i am more wise...i understand why things happen the way they happened... i told you..i am always right...

Sunday

Remember that essay i almost burst into flames over???

Here it is... I figured i'd share it... because actually... it has made me see the bigger picture now... i actually did ok in this essay... probably didn't deserve a B tho but any feedback is welcomed..good or bad..i don't really care as long as i passed lol! its over 2000 words long so if your are really bothered... go ahead..

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To what extent has capitalism influenced innovation?
The bigger picture has opened me up to explore and have greater knowledge about the issues and state of the world we live in today. Things that i never thought were problems concerning me as a future product designer have now been forwarded to my attention and have magnified my perspective.
Amongst the lectures in this project, the context and issues that were discussed were very broad. What interested me the most were the discussions of economics and capitalism, about authentic and false portrayals, ethical and unethical innovations, privatized and public spaces and the aesthetics vs functionality of the things we innovate today.
In a capitalist society, we focus on money as the fuel to make our world go round. Capitalism tends to put our needs 2nd to making money.

Eliane Glaiser argues that hierarchy uses humility and authenticity to create illusions and that the media and governments uses propaganda and ideology to persuade us to a certain view (Glasier, 2012). In the study of consumer behavior today, we tend to buy products without thinking or caring too much. Evan Davis mentioned that we buy because we like the packaging more, that the thought of the befores and afters of our purchase isn’t considers as important (Davis, 2012). With the use of subliminal messages in our daily surroundings, it is quite easy for us to blindly ‘fall’ for what advertisers and the media is trying to get us to behave. After listening to their very convincing arguments, I do agree because I think a capitalist society uses this method to control us to behave a certain way. Alex Knight describes capitalism as a “Global System of Abuse”(Knight,2012)
In order to see the bigger picture of my position as a product designer, I first had to understand the broad range of issues, contexts and agendas that inform contemporary realities of the world we live in. I want to look into how capitalism affects the way we innovate globally.
To determine this, we first need to understand what capitalism is. An article I found on capitalism, describes it as:-

“an economic system that is based on private ownership and profit, needs to always be in motion.  Corporation X needs to invest money into some productive process, create some kind of commodity, put it on the market and sell it for a profit.  Corporation X can’t just be reimbursed for the initial investment with no profit and damn sure cannot lose money.   It is the foundation of the economic system that it realizes a profit. This is a cycle that must be in continuous motion day in and day out, constantly.  If this process stops or even slows down to a certain point, Capitalism will begin to go into crisis mode.This has made our society become more and more detached. What appears to be authentic in our society usually has a hidden agenda behind it such as the government campaigns.” (theunionthug :2011 http://nebraskaworker.wordpress.com)

It is a structure that has dominated our world and there are many pros and cons to it. I am going to look into three key areas of capitalism and try to show examples that could address my question. These areas will be about intellectual property, the separation of the hands and brain and ethics. I feel as a product designer, we need to address these issues to find solutions that can change the way we live and design in the future.
Intellectual property is the work or invention that is the result of creativity (Davis, 2012).As a designer, these are essentially our ideas we sell onto to clients. It can be protected by law when one applies for a patent, copyright or trademark. As mentioned before, capitalism focuses on money and profits, it’s a system where value is added to ideas that are more driven by how to make people spend more money, rather than how to improve peoples lives and focus on the ethical impacts itself. It a system where you can get rich very quickly because patenting an idea means other need to pay to incorporate your idea into their design, however protecting an idea can be quite inefficient.
One example to demonstrate this issue is the Samsung and Apple legal battle over patent infringements. As market leaders of electronics, they are constantly innovating in competition with eachother to make more profit. The products somehow end up looking quite similar, having similar functions and similar price tags. (see fig 1)
Fig 1.

The end result of this battle overall was a bit longwinded on both sides. They tried to sue each other for patent infringements and prevent each other from releasing their products and the results were still the same but with a heavy legal bill to pay out to their lawyers. I agree that there is nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition between brands, but I think the more power they receive from being market leaders, the less human and environment centered their designs starts to become. These brands we have built trust with like Samsung and Apple have made a very public battle to have their ideas protected but as Clive Goodwin; senior creative director of Samsung for Europe said, ‘It would seem that it is tarnishing their image of being ‘designed for humans’ because we the consumers see that all they want is more money’(Goodwin, 2012). Ori ginally, the modern French patenting system was created during the industrial revolution to allow corporations to further monopolize as it could stop other from copying their innovations. However it would seem that this can be counter productive because as capitalism demonstrates to us, profit is the main goal, too much power in an industry can shatter the illusions that have been fabricated for consumers to believe. 
Fig 2.

Surprisingly the biggest benefits of innovations have come from intellectual property being shared. By designing for humanity, we can build on this shared knowledge and innovate better. One example of this was when Volvo invented the first 3-point seat belt in 1959 (see fig 2). Volvo decided that by not patenting this innovation and giving it away, the whole world can benefit, they were putting the consumers safety before profit. this has in turn saved millions of lives because of this innovation. I believe that open sourcing creates more benefits for our society because we can bring our ideas together, when did our world become so selfish and profit orientated? 
Capitalism encourages the separation of innovation and manufacturing. As corporations grow larger, they look for cheaper production and mass manufacture. This has lead to offshore manufacturing and very little physical design.
The countries that have adopted the industrial revolution from Britain since the beginning such as America, Japan, Korea, Germany and France; have evolved from manufacturing on to creating intellectual property innovations and services. Whiles developing countries like China adopted mass manufacturing for other countries very cheaply, and now they seem to have now dominated the manufacturing market in the world.

I think there is a problem with this because we are losing sight of unique craftsmanship and quality when we separate manufacturing like this. For some reason we have dropped centuries of tradition in manufacture and design problem solving in favor for the detached cold glow of the computer monitor. Instead of communicating and interacting with the manufacturers, we send electronic files and emails and Skype calls. Has making money become more important than centuries of craftsmanship? Has capitalism influenced us to behave like we are all just one tiny cog in its giant, well-oiled machine? I think so, but fortunately for us not all companies conform to the ways of mass manufacture.
Fig 3.
            Mark Wilkinson is a British product designer and master woodworker. His company focuses on the social aspect of kitchen design rather than the work aspect, insisting that his furniture exhibits the highest possible quality of build with an unprecedented degree of originality and nobility. Everything is handmade and crafted. If a mistake is made in the build, that part will be scraped and remade. With the extent of this much detailing, the consumer is able to fully appreciate the beautiful craftsmanship of the end product (see fig 3). Eliane Glaser said in her lecture that we live in an age of false authenticity, but we have a very strong desire for things to be real, not fake. I would have to agreed with her that we desire things that are more handmade and organic now but as everything ties into money and profits, not everyone who desires this can afford to make those kinds of choices of living, in the end, capitalism determines the way we live.

            As a product designer, we now have to consider more attention towards designing ethically and sustainable because of capitalism. Every stage of design contributes to bettering or worsening our world. The product outcome might fit the need of the consumer at present, but what about from the method of manufacture to the landfills it will eventually end up in? Companies like Coca-Cola are one example that demonstrates the negative impacts of the capitalist structure. They produce fizzy drinks that contain ingredients that are addictive, artificial and bad for our health. Yet when they noticed that people are starting to concern more about their health and turn to hydration naturally, they also went into the bottled water industry. The released a bottled water brand called Dasani which turned out to be filtered tap water, something that is so basic and free n our part of the world, yet they deceiving us that it was natural spring water. They saw profit of our decision to drink water instead of fizzy drinks and decided to just rebrand and package water. Because Coca-Cola is such a corporate giant in our world, they would buy out smaller companies such as Fiji water, which is spring water from the island of Fiji, to market it as a premium product for the western market. Now I don’t think there is anything wrong with buying out companies to make them success even more, as a product design, I also would hope that I design a product that would be successful enough to be promoted on a global scale. But is Coca-Cola considering its carbon footprints in this process? Fiji is roughly 16,000 kilometers from the UK, is it ethically right for us to waste our earths precious fossil fuels to import something as widely available as water just because it has a unique selling point of being from Fiji? As far as capitalism is concerned, it makes good profit so why should they stop? See I think capitalism can be argued as ethically neutral because it depends on human perception. But as our perceptions are distorted and manipulated to thinking it is ok to buy this water by these corporate giants, how can we become more economically responsible if the mass powers are so consumer in making profits? It not only effects our environment but our health too. The increase of consumption of bottled water means more PET plastic bottle factories are made. These factories pump out toxic fumes and gases into the air, and this has affected health of the locals that live around these factories. And even our health by drinking from these plastic bottle, water contained in a PET plastic bottle can leach chemicals such as as arsenic and antimony.

Antimony is a white metallic element that in small doses can cause nausea, dizziness and depression. In large doses, it can be fatal..."Antimony is similar chemically to lead. It is also a potentially toxic trace element," said Shotyk…"If you bottle water in Europe and ship it to Asia, what is the antimony concentration in that water by the time somebody buys that water and drinks it?"(William S, 2006. http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2006/12/21/bottle-study.html)

I think these issues should not be neglected, where these corporate giants are making billions of pounds, they are reducing people’s quality of life and damaging the environment we are living in.
Fortunately these issues can still be a driving force for us as designers to innovate better and more sustainable materials. The inventions of bio plastics made from renewable sources such as cornstarch, potato peel and chicken feathers are being adopted now into our food packaging and daily products as a result of the increase of toxic waste. It is no mystery that ethically aware design creates a closer connection between consumers and the brands because if they are socially and ethically responsible, it builds trust and loyalty. I think being ethically responsible as a designer is especially important now as we try to fix the damages capitalism has pushed us in ethically and financially.

         Overall I think that capitalism has influenced innovation to become more and more slower but has increased our consumption of newer product. Products are designed with a shorter lifespan so that they can be replaced more often. As mentioned by James Woudhuysen, we aren’t inventing the sort of life changing products like we used to in the 1900’s i.e. refrigerators, trains and elevators (Woudhuysen, 2012), how has design been reduced to focus on such minor improvements in innovations instead of advancing like we used to?. Capitalism has grown so much faster in the past 20 years that the cracks are starting to show in the system because we can’t keep up with its demand. If capitalisms main motivation is competition, things like using up all the earths natural resources and threatening the health of mankind are just going to become bigger. Our ability to innovate has not been stumped by capitalism however we have gotten so caught up by power, money and … our quality of life is impacted more negatively. Capitalism places value upon our ideas but neglects our environment at large.

         Matthew Tailors suggestion that in order to make big changes happen, the three main sources of power (individualism, solidarity, hierarchical authority) would have to be vibrant and in play. When they share a goal and we have a national unity, we can gain the biggest social advances. He calls this ‘a plural imagination’. I think that although it seems very unrealistic at present for something like that to happen and actually work, it is a reasonable solution to help us face the global issues at present. If we collaborate the brains and the hands of our world and work closer together, I believe greater innovations can emerge.
         I have found this project very interesting, challenging and overwhelming. I have learnt a great deal and it has definitely made me look at the bigger picture in everything that I do now. In term of my design practice, I no longer see my position in the world as very small contribution to the future, but of one that can really make changes happen for the global and mankind.

2013.. Hi again...


Yo! it's been awhile.... What have i been doinggg all this time?!!! Well... as you can see.. not getting a haircut for one!! I went from hippy hair to just a plain vagabond now...there has to be something done to this hot mess but i'm soooo lazy to go to the hair salon!!! >_< The last time i cut it was january 2012!!! one yr one month ago! someone slap me plz...

Anyhow... hows life? There really hasn't been anything new with me really... oh wait, i turned 25 on 16 january couple of weeks ago... That was a depressing day lol... especially thanks to the people reminding me i'm quarter of a century year old now! :'(

Ermm...my life has 2 focuses... my studies and my God... I have been unbelievably blessed since last year.. according to my chinese zodiac and being double rabbit and dragon...i was suppose to have 2 years of terrible luck... but dispite the challenges i had to face at the beginning of 2012, everything did get better..i was more myself..i settled into who i manifested into...and i like her... i was rejected from a place on my course now and prayed so hard and his miracles changed the deans mind about me and he funded my place...how blessed am i to have met some amazing people since october when i started my studies...and of my first term... i even got an A on my first design project and a B on my first essay... these things just don't happen to me...at ever step of the way...i prayed for help when i struggled...he never left my side...never...even when i did, his arms were wide open...man... That is what real love is... :)

It was vision sunday today at church...they handed out to everyone this bracelet which means in latin " The mission of God" they played an inspirational film made of real peoples lives and struggles in real worlds in new york, london, kiev and melborne... and really...it was so nice...made me remember my purpose again...to be the hands and feet of Christ and love others as he loved me...

So basically... i am working on a project right now that is super challenging but also..because i was called to do this..i know i can do my best in his name... lets have some faith snow!! :p

oh and i know i have new readers now so hi and i hope that in whatever you take away from my words...that can help you just a tiny bit... i'd have done what i was called to do through it.. help you ;)

i'll keep updated!
Love Snow xxx