"Young," "New," and International Designers
with Diverse Spring/Summer 2015 Casts

The tendency of fresh designers is to forge into unexplored territory. Generally, the least diverse casts walk in the most challenging clothes. When I say diverse I speak mostly in terms of race, but also in terms of size, gender identity, ability, and beyond.

I think it’s safe to say that there is a lot of fear and pressure at hand for “new” and/or “young” designers. They want to sell, to break through, to push only enough to be considered “innovative,” but never “radical.” It’s important to commend “new” and/or “young” designers that take risks with diverse casting even though they lie outside of the establishment. These casts offer new options and ideals long overdue for widespread visibility. Inclusion, compassion, and confidence is what’s contemporary—not bland acquiescence.

The tough guy that has just bought the latest angry rap CD, takes it home and plays it loud, may be thinking ‘Yeah! [Screw] you, consumer society!’, but as far as Adorno is concerned, he might as well say ‘Thank you, consumer society for giving me a new product to buy. This is a good product. I would like to make further purchases of similar products in the near future.’
—  Gauntlett

The Craftsman was a magazine founded in 1901 by designer, furniture maker, and pioneer in the American Arts & Crafts movement, Gustav Stickley. Could he also be considered an open source pioneer? David Gauntlett, in Making is Connecting (2011), writes, “Stickley’s belief in ‘a simple, democratic art’…was such that he included his designs and working plans for furniture, metalwork, and needlework in the magazine—even though this, to some extent, undermined his own business…” (p.49)

*digital versions of The Craftsman (public domain) are available at


"Making is Connecting" - David Gauntlett

For once the summary is provided and presented by the author himself…

Central issue:
Making is connecting. I mean this in three principle ways: (1) Making is connecting because you have to connect things together (materials, ideas, or both) to make something new; (2) Making is connecting because acts of creativity usually involve, at some point, a social dimension and connect us with other people; (3) And making is connecting because through making things and sharing them in the world, we increase our engagement and connection with our social and physical environments." (DG, p.2)
   > Everything is … a remix … an experiment…
      “Typically, people mess around with materials, select things, experimentally put parts together, rearrange, play, throw bits away, and generally manipulate the thing in question until it approaches something that seems to communicate meanings in a satisfying manner." (DG, p.4)

Thankfully, the World Wide Web soared in popularity, becoming mainstream in itself, and opened up a world of diversity and imagination where the content itself is created by everyday users (as well as a growing number of professionals [1]). This opportunity to make media and, in particular, share it easily, making connections with others, was unprecedented in both character and scale, and therefore a much more exciting thing to study." (DG, p.3)
   > “Instead of individuals tending their own gardens, they come together to work collaboratively in a shared space. This is actually what Tim Berners-Lee had meant his World Wide Web to be like, when he invented it in 1990. He imagined that browsing the Web would be matter of writing and editing, not just searching and reading." (DG, p.5-6)
          > Social Media…
             “Sites such as YouTube, eBay, Facebook, Flickr, Craigslist, and Wikipedia only exist and have value because people use and contribute to them (…)." (DG, p.7)

Since the historical point at which education became institutionalized in a system of schools, learning has become a process directed by a teacher, whose task is to transfer nuggets of knowledge into young people’s minds. (…) school education has tended to settle around a model where a body of knowledge is input into students, who are tested on their grasp of it at a later point." (DG, p.8-9)

On creativity:
(Csikszentmihalyi) “Rather than being a lightning-bolt of unexpected inspiration, he argues, creative ouputs appear from individuals who have worked hard over many years to master a particular ‘symbolic domain’ (…) and are encouraged by other supportive individuals, groups, and organizations." (DG, p.14)
    (DEF) “Creativity, (…) is a process by which a symbolic domain in the culture is changed. (…) creativity results from the interaction of a system composed of three elements: a culture that contains symbolic rules, a person who brings novelty into the symbolic domain, and a field of experts who recognise and validate the innovation. (…) so creative ideas vanish unless there is a receptive audience to record and implement them." (DG, p.14-15)

… Amongst other things, Gauntlett continues to talk about the benefits for citizenship, social cohesion and social capital.

[1] Remark: Perhaps it is the other way around, first the uploaders were mainly professionals or semi-professionals… and now with the rise of social media we see more ‘everyday users’ that are becoming uploaders.

Watch on

Late Night Mix by FrankD198X on Mixcloud


Berger, John (1972), Waysof Seeing, Penguin, London

Butler,Judith (1999), Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Routledge, New York

Gauntlett, David (2002), Media, Gender and Identity: An Introduction, Routledge, London and New York

Makufka, Brittany. Cindy Sherman – Feminist Artist

[Accessed 3 March 2015]

Mulvey, Laura (1975), Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, Screen (Film Theory Journal) 16.3 Autumn

Sherman, Cindy (2003), The Complete Untitled Film Stills, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Sontag, Susan (1978), On Photography, Allen Lane, London

Effects of the Internet

The internet and World Wide Web bring even more information and ideas into our lives; the material we see online is more likely to be material we have requested quite specifically, but as online magazines and general entertainment sites become increasingly popular, and these merge with digital television, electronic media becomes yet another source of gender

Gauntlett, David. Media, Gender and Identity : An Introduction (2nd Edition). Florence, KY, USA: Routledge, 2008. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 23 March 2015.
Copyright © 2008. Routledge. All rights reserved.

Cindy Sherman - Complete Untitled Film Stills

Mulvey, Laura (1975), Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,Screen (Film Theory Journal) 16.3 Autumn

My cultural text is the photographic series ‘untitled film series’ by Cindy Sherman. I want to explore how she has represented women -  an interesting dynamic as Sherman was photographing her self as different characters. I will use a variety of theorists, to discuss this, for example Laura Mulvey and her male gaze idea, along with John Berger and his ideas in his Ways of seeing book. In addition David Gauntlett on his ideas of representation. a feminist approach will me most prominent, I will bring in a postmodern perspective on to how Sherman challenges the image of women - if she does at all.


‘I didn’t think of what I was doing as political, to me it was a way to make thebest out of what I liked to do privately’ (Sherman 2003: 12)

‘working with as raised “awareness” but did feel that the characters were questioning something, perhaps being forced into a certain role. At the same time, those roles are in a film; the women aren’t being lifelike, they are acting,’ (Sherman, 2003: 9)

‘wrestling with some sort of turmoil of my own about understanding women. The characters weren’t dummies; they weren’t just airhead actresses. They were women struggling with something I don’t know what, ’(Sherman 2003: 9) 

‘We all know about men, I don’t need to research men roles in the movies, were already inundated with them.”(Sherman 2003: 10)