Friday, 30 April 2010


As there are several orientations to learning I've decided to look more into the learning as product and learning as process - cognitivist .


View of learning process:
Internal mental process (including insight, information processing, memory and perception)

Locus (particular position) of learning:
Internal cognitive (mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses) structuring.

Purpose in education:
Develop the capacity and skills to learn better

Educator's role:
Structures content of learning activity

Manifestations in adult learning:
Cognitive development, intelligence, learning and memory as function of age.
Learning how to learn

In contrast to LEARNING AS A PRODUCT where it is approached as an outcome - the end product of some process.

Thursday, 29 April 2010


Is it a change in behaviour or understanding?

Is it a process?

So I've decided to have a bit more insight into learning theories.


In 1960s and 1970s mostly learning was defined as a change in behaviour, learning was approached as an outcome - the end product of some process. This approach has a crucial aspect of learning - change.

·Does a person need to perform in order for learning to have happened?

·Are there other factors that may have caused behaviour to change?

Questions such as these have lead to to qualification. Some have looked to identifying relatively permanent changes in behaviour (or potential for change) as a result of experiences (behaviourism).

However, not all changes in behaviour resulting from experience involve learning.

Many theorists have been concerned with changes in the ways in which people 'understand, or experience, or conceptualise the world around them' (cognitivism)

The focus is gaining knowledge or ability through the use of experience.

Some years ago Säljö (1979) carried out a simple, but very useful piece of research. He asked a number of adult students what they understood by learning. Their responses fell into five main categories:

  1. Learning as a quantitative increase in knowledge. Learning is acquiring information or ‘knowing a lot’.
  2. Learning as memorising. Learning is storing information that can be reproduced.
  3. Learning as acquiring facts, skills, and methods that can be retained and used as necessary.
  4. Learning as making sense or abstracting meaning. Learning involves relating parts of the subject matter to each other and to the real world.
  5. Learning as interpreting and understanding reality in a different way. Learning involves comprehending the world by reinterpreting knowledge. (quoted in Ramsden 1992: 26)

LEARNING AS A PROCESS - task-conscious or acquisition learning and learning-conscious or formalised learning

In the five categories that Säljö identified learning is appearing as a process - there is a concern with what happens when the learning takes place. In this way, learning could be thought of as a process by which behaviour changes as a result of experience. One of the significant questions that arises is the extent to which people are conscious of what is going on. Are they aware that they are engaged in learning - and what significance does it have if they are?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


This week I had a Swap Tutorial and I had arranged mine with tutor David Preston.
After a discussion about the work I've done so far, I could finally summarise that my further project development would be about the LEARNING PROCESS. I was finding it difficult to give my work a theme, but I feel I have finally done it. As it is already what I've been doing so far.

I have already been documenting the Puzuri making process, and even though at the end I will have my final 3 Dimensional artefact I want to put emphasis on the making process.

This Temple Grandin talk on Ted is about types of thinking and mainly thinking visually - in pictures.
Thinking and learning are the aspect I've always been interested in and wanted to discover more.
· How do we learn?
· How does the teaching affect the learning?
· How different is my educational experience in Latvia and UK?

Friday, 23 April 2010


It is taking a lot longer than I thought to make puzuri as cutting the reeds is a very long and painstaking process and more than half needs to get binned as it cracks in the cutting process and are not useable.
I'm still working on creating one with the tradition material -reeds and reflecting on latvian ornaments.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


We had our first group meeting after the Easter break, and after my small presentation we were discussing the aspects about making the cards about Graphic Design they I had discussed earlier. So now I've decided to stop working with this idea, as I feel it wouldn't really gain much from it, and I didn't want to do them just for the sake of doing it. As It wasn't complementing in my process based project.

I decided to concentrate on the aspects we discussed at the tutorial:

· What other purposes could it have? (Except the traditional historical aspects)
· What alternative materials could I use? ( After seeing the one I tried to make from plastic straws before I got hold of reeds)
· How could I make it more personal/subjective? (So it wouldn't be just general latvian)

Monday, 19 April 2010


I'm now planning to explore 2-Dimesional traditional Latvian graphic ornaments I could translate them into 3-Dimensional straw construction.


I finally had reeds so I need to prepare them for making my first reed octahedron.
My next step was to cut the reeds identical in length, which didn't seem such a hard job, but I was wrong. I had read that reeds can break in the process of cutting, but I wasn't quite ready that it would be so difficult to cut them in equal pieces. I tried out all knives and scissors I had, but making them perfect without a single breaking was a mission. If the straw is broken the thread may break it even more as it holds the structure.
After a slow process of sowing I had finally made it.


After talking to several people about my next places to visit in search of reeds I was advised to check some shops. Even though it seemed like quite a strange approach, I was ready to try my luck. My first stop was Wheelhouse, but my search failed again. Next I went on to Wilkinson where I was quite surprised to finally find reeds in the garden section sold as Reed Screening! It seemed the way to go forward, considering that one of my final options was to ask my parents to post some from Latvia as my search so far failed badly. But even that would have taken a few weeks as the Iceland ash cloud was abstracting the air traffic. So I decided to buy the screen and was hoping I could undo the wire woven sections and use the reeds.

Once I had opened the packaging I realised that I have to be quite careful with the way I'm going to undo the wire, as cutting with pliers could break the reeds and I wouldn't be able to use them. So I had to twist each wired section by hand that ended up being a very time consuming process.
I finally had reeds to move on to the next stage.

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Looking through the straws I collected in Radnor Gardens I decided that it's not quite what I need to make 'puzuri'. So my next destination was Osterley Park where there are two lakes and I was hoping to finally find some reeds.
Even this time the long walk around the lakes wasn't successful as I only found straw type that were not hollow.


Having no luck to find reeds I decided to practice the actual making of puzuris main part octahedron from alternative material - plastic straws.
Plastic straws are quite wide in comparison to normally used straws, so it made threading quite easy, although joining up the corners seemed more complicated.

Saturday, 17 April 2010


My first destination was Radnor Gardens. I was very pleased when I saw some old straws on the river banks, after cutting some I discovered they were hollow in the middle. I wasn't sure if it will be good enough to use as the hole was quite small and they were not reeds, what I was after. Still decided to cut some of the straws and headed to my next destination Syon Park. In this case I wasn't very successful as the pond and the surrounding area were kept very clean and even if there would have been some reeds there was no sign of them left.


The smallest unit of puzurs is octahedron which is constructed of 12 pieces of straw, all identical in length. The straws are joined together with a linen or cotton thread and there are few ways how to do it. Once several octahedron are made you can join them together and create various mobiles. There are large amount of possibilities and several styles of puzuri that vary. But I'm planning to start with the most traditional one which I have described above.

Friday, 16 April 2010


First I've decided to explore my possibilities in getting straws in London area. All types of straws are suitable, as long as they are hollow. But the most commonly used are reeds so I have decided to find them. Making puzuri was a winter activity so the straws were collected in late autumn when they had dried before the start of the snow period. In my case I will see if there are any old reeds left from the last year.
I'm going to visit Twickenham - Radnor Gardens where I can access River Thames and my other destination is Isleworth - Syon Park where there is a pond. If my searches won't succeed I will have to consider some further destinations.


Traditionally in older times puzuri were made by grandmothers and grandchildren and the skills and knowledge were passed down from one generation to the next one.
It was considered as a great skill as it is teaching accuracy, develops imagination, teaches to count and you can learn about geometric relationships.
All latvian activities were associated with rituals and they were cyclic, recurring periodically. Historical relics approve that latvians have always liked to adorn and embellish clothes, tools and their environment.
The smallest unit of puzurs is octahedron which is constructed of 12 pieces of straw, all identical in length. It might have reflected on 12 month of the year as well as the 4 edges as 4 cordial points or 4 seasons.
There is not much Puzuri left from older days as the tradition is to burn it on the next solstice from making it.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


I was thinking about graphic design in a relationship with my cultural background and thought what would be Latvia's graphic language? It wasn't hard to realise that all the old traditional ornaments were the most crucial part of visual communication for centuries and were around in all applications. Starting from clothes to ceramic and even on the buildings. In the past decades it's all sort of disappearing and only gets seen very rarely on special national festivals when the traditional costumes are worn or when you visit an open air museum, where the old living 'style' has been reflected.
So I have decided to use 2dimensional ornaments and translate them into 3dimensional straw mobiles - PUZURI.
This is going to help me to explore making process of something specific.
As I have never done it before I will have to learn everything from scratch and by myself as I could only get advise on this from somebody in Latvia.
So I'm going to research and try to find things online and get my family to send me some information, through post or email.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Back to the beginning- GRAPHIC DESIGN

the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.

The term graphic design can refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines which focus on visual communication and presentation.

Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.

Various methods are used to create and combine symbols, images and/or words to create a visual representation of ideas and messages.

Over and over I've been thinking what really Graphic Design is and what do people think about it?
So I've decided to create a little investigation and design postcards and send them out to various people to see their thoughts about graphic design.
I have also published an advert on gumtree to ask people what they think about graphic design and see what responses I could get.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010



Knowledge is not creativity but within any particular field it is difficult to come up with new ideas unless you have some ideas to play around with in the first place.

Too much knowledge sometimes means that you are unlikely to make mistakes by accident and unable to make them on purpose.

Being wrong is often an essential part of creativity.

1. The new idea does not fit in with previous ideas and is therefore judged as 'wrong' (i.e. misfit mistake).

2. The wrong idea may continue to be wrong but may act as a stepping-stone to an idea which is perfectly valid.

3. A mistake allows one to escape or to get some 'distance' away from the established idea.

A mistake may ask a question that could not otherwise have been asked.

Design is just as important as analysis. Analysis helps us to understand things. Design helps us to deliver value. Design is putting together what we have to deliver the values we want. Without design we just have routines. Some of these are very good and were set up by design in the first place. But routines have no way of changing by themselves. There is a major role for routine but also a place for design.

Sunday, 4 April 2010


Thinking is that waste of time between seeing something and knowing what we do about it.
The change from unknown to known is understanding, and the way this change comes about is thinking.

To regard thinking as a skill rather than a gift is the first step towards doing something to improve that skill.

Skill in thinking will determine your happiness and your succes in life.
Make plans
Take initiatives
Solve problems
Open up opportunities
Design your way forward

Feelings and values the most important things in life.

The ingredients of thinking are provided by perception.
Perception is the way we look at the world.
Perception is the way we carve up the world into chunks that we can handle.
Perception is the choice of matters to consider at any one time.
Perception chooses weather regard a glass as half empty or half full.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Some time ago I saw this inspiring Elizabeth GIlbert's talk on TED which made me more focus on the aspects the way our mind works and how we think.!?

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity | Video on

I wasn't planning to post this link but I came across some article that linked back to this one and decided to point it out.

I felt a bit stuck again and flipped through my note book and came across some notes about LATERAL THINKING.

To summarise what lateral thinking is
- the ability to think creatively
- to use the inspiration and imagination to solve problem by looking at them from unexpected perspectives

It involves
- discarding the obvious
- leaving behind traditional modes of thought
- throwing away preconceptions

It surprisingly summarises all the topics I have been thinking about and the creator of this term LATERAL THINKING Edward de Bono has inspired my further thoughts about my project.