Assignment 1: Are you what you wear/what does your room say about you?

This assignment has fitted in so well with our main project for this year, as it focused considerably on Identity.

Over the hollydays we collected images of either ourselves growing up or our bedrooms. I chose to document my room, which I wrote a previous blog about asking What does my room say about me? but only one person commented on it :(

As well as collecting our images we were advised to read Snoop by Sam Gosling, which goes into the “science of snooping”. Snoop is all about what you can learn about people from their “stuff”, ie. they way their bedroom is arranged, what photos they have in their workspace, the clothing they wear, etc. Reading this gave me an idea about what this assignment would consist of. It has also lead me to being a lot more nosy when I visit new people’s houses/work stations/and any other place they may leave their mark on! I just noticed the quote on the front cover “will transform every reader into a super snooper” <— so true!

The first part of this assignment asked us to (in our groups of 4/5) look at another groups images and deduce what kind of people they were from these images of their bedrooms or childhood,without knowing anything about the person beforehand (as the images were uploaded anonymously).

Student 1

From these images we deduced that the owner was female due to the clothing, the decorative items and plants, as well as the feminine items on the desk. We assumed she was a textiles student because of the vintage sewing machine on top of the drawers. We thought she may be in her room quite a lot, and treated it as more of a living space than just a bedroom because of all the shopping bags, and the mess. The shopping bags also led us to believe that she may not like to cook and maybe didn’t get on with her flatmates, ie. ate in her room. We assumed she would have a disorganized mind, due to the clutter and disarray of the room but at the same time was intelligent due to the vast amount of intellectual books arranged on the floor and artsy images on the walls. We suggested that although she was disorganized that she may also possess some degree of responsibility due the living plants, that looked well cared for.We assumed it was a home away from home, ie. student accommodation due the white walls and standard blue carpet which is typical of student flats and has little room for personality. She is obviously influenced by vintage and old-fashioned styles due the typewriter, vintage lamp and old sewing machine as well as the vintage colours of her clothes and bedspread. We guessed she was smoker from the ashtray and wore contact lenses from the contact lens solution.

We discovered this room belonged to Rosie Kimber. When we told Rosie what we thought of her, she took it quite calmly, she didn’t seem suprised by what we said but she was quick to correct anything we had gotten wrong, e.g. she is a jeweller, she gets on well with her flatmates and doesn’t stay in her room much; the bags are used more as shopping bags and she is just a bit messy, she cares for the plants because she is a florist. Everything else we had assumed seemed to be quite accurate.

Student 2

From these images we assumed the subject was male, due to the colour pattern and items in the room. Although the white block walls and generic carpet told us he was living in student accommodation, we thought he might be older, again due to the cold colour pattern, lack of posters and tidiness of the room. From the  vast amount of DVD’s we inferred that they were a passion of his, especially as they were shelved, most likely alphabetically and looks cared for which told us he values them. Unfortunately the image was too small to see the titles of the films. From the macbook, printer, and a few other tech items we considered that he most likely doing graphic or product design. There are a few deodorant cans lying around (so he smells nice…. or not?!) and a full length mirror which led us to believe he cared for his appearance. The lack of images on the wall and the drawn blinds led us to assume he was quite closed off and didn’t want to reveal too much about himself, the painted chair seemed to be the only indicator of a creative personality.

We discovered this room belonged to Brian Davidson. Brian seemed very shocked about what we had said about him. Apparently his room is not a very good representation of his personality; he isn’t older, he is quite free, fun and has a large personality, not the reserved, well-groomed older male we had assumed he was.

Student 3

From these images we deduced the subject was obviously male. It was really hard to find any real sense of him, as these images were taken such a long time ago and there were only three of them, also as they are outdoors and there is no objects or home to identify him with, and the photos are posed with no indicators of real personality. From the image quality and fashion we guessed he was 18-20. The first two images were taken outdoors on what appeared to be a typical British family camp holiday, from this we surmised he was British and that he was close with his family. The dress-up photo led us to visualize him with a good imagination and was therefore creative but we couldn’t say what specialism he was doing. With a laugh we suggested that he is happy!

We discovered these photos belonged to Craig Gilroy. When we told Craig that we didn’t really know what to make of him from these images he just laughed. We told him the small amount that we had guessed at and he seemed to agree with all that was said. His reaction was calm and smiley, so what we presumed must have sat right with him.

Student 4

As with Craig’s photos it was hard to determine the current personality from these images, especially as they are all posed, with little details of the background image. We obviously assumed the subject was female. The quality of photographs and fashions helped us guess her age was about 18-20. From the styles of clothing, and appearance of the family members we guessed she was British, most likely Scottish. The image of her in, what we thought, was a communion dress and with Santa suggested she or her family was relatively religious.

We discovered these photos belonged to Kirstie Snowdon. When we told Kirstie what we thought about her she seemed a little nervous, and agreed with most of what we had said. She giggled when we said we thought she was religious due to the communion dress, because it was just her dressing as a Barbie princess!

Student 5

From these images we obviously guessed that the subject was female. From the childhood photos we speculated that she is a 90s kid due to the furniture in the rooms and the toys on the floor, from the style of furniture we also assumed she was British.  From the amount of toys on the floor we assumed she had either quite a large family, a family with children who were similar in age, or family who were eager to spoil her. Again we have kids dressing up, maybe this early imaginative fun is an indicator of a creative personality. We made a quick assumption that her parents were well-educated or at least cultured due the art on the wall. We moved quite quickly onto the image of her bedroom as these were clearer clues to her personality. We were inclined to think from the furnishings and wallpaper that she was quite classy and elegant as the room has an English-countryside feel to it. We guessed, from the mannequin that she studied textiles but then realized the items hanging on it were more like jewellery, so thought she could be a jeweller but the printed wallpaper led us back to textiles. The vanity mirror and cosmetic items led us to believe that she cared for her appearance and the tidiness of the room also indicated that she was tidy and well-cared for. We thought the electric guitar in the corner seemed a little out of place in the room as it was very modern and edgy in contrast to the sophisticated, traditional room. There is nothing on the walls, so we deduced that this girl was quite private about her inspirations, but it was also suggested that she might not want to damage the fancy wallpaper with tacked images. The only images on the wall were four framed photos of different dogs. From these images one fo the girls in our group immediately new that this room belonged to Amy, due to her apparently quite obsessive fondness of dogs.

So, we discovered these images belonged to Amy Malcolmson. Amy seemed a little nervous when we came to tell her what we thought of her room. She laughed when we told her we knew she was the owner of the room, and seemed a little embarrassed when we told her the reason why; she didn’t think she went on about her dogs so much.

I was a little anxious waiting for my turn in the firing line, and apparently I came across that way when their reactions to my room were being said. They assumed I was a jeweller due to the equipment on my desk, and the ornamentation that I decorated with (e.g. the faeries, and crystally things); which is obviously correct, but it didn’t occur to me that my decorative items would scream “she’s a jeweller”, I’m more drawn to jewellery items than I had thought. They assumed I was quite girly (as did the commenter on my previous blog post), due to the girly colours, teddy bears and “the general feel of the room”. I don’t think  I come across as girly. I would never have assumed that about myself. My room is purple because I like purple. I don’t know why this point is getting to me so much I AM NOT GIRLY!!! Rosie redeemed herself slightly by referring to it as “girly goth”. I like that better, but I don’t really see myself as goth either… They also rightly assumed that I’m really into music, due to all the posters, keyboard and CD’s (I realize now when I look at these pictures how much my music taste has altered (all the posters are stuck up as they come, and none have ever been removed) I’ve gone from My Chemical Romance fangirl to more of an Amanda Palmer obsessee, more PJ Harvey, Regina Spektor and Belle and Sebastian than Distillers, Mindless Self Indulgence or Evanescence now…) as well as being into films and reading, or “easily occupied”. It was also mentioned that this was my room at home (in my parents house) as apposed to a student room; which led them to believe that I either lived at home or I didn’t feel my student room was really mine, the latter is true.

If you have any comments about what you think of me from these images of my room, please please drop me a comment on this blog (don’t worry I wont take offense… not really anyway! Just don’t call me girly again!! haha), or check out the larger and more varied images on my previous blog post:

What does my room say about me?

Thanks :)

I found the whole experience quite exciting. Profiling people from their items, their environments and they things they do is a topic that really interests me and it was really entertaining to be a part of that. Of course I am a nosy person and drawn to snooping, but I was a little apprehensive about what people would say about me; but I think the curiosity outweighed that.

Chloe out.

Afterthoughts:

I’ve just been reading the blogs from the group we were with, to see their reactions. Thought I would quote what they have said about me (it seems a little more informative than the meeting as writing this blog post has given them individual time to react to my personality). I’ve also included links to the their blogs if you want to read more about their experience (which I totally recommend because they are pretty insightful).

“My initial reactions were that it was clearly a females room and possibly quite a “girly” girl. I also felt that this wasn’t a student bedroom but the one they lived in with their parents, meaning they either lived with their parents at uni or that the place they felt was truly “theirs” wasn’t their student digs at all. There seemed to be far too much stuff and the images on the wall looked like the ones you put up and carefully arrange and add to over along period of time. On closer inspection of the photos on the wall, I did question my “girly” assumption: they were all photos from bands such as My Chemical Romance, and the kind of teenage rock music that inspires dedicated fandom. Maybe the pinks and purple items were gifts from relatives who wanted to keep someone being a girly girl whilst they rebel and want to go out to rock concerts. The big white french style bed showed someone who likes comfort. I did however question this assumption when I saw that the television mounted on the wall was not placed within easy viewing of the bed, but above a desk with an office chair. This made me thing that either a) they don’t really watch the television….maybe it was a gift but this lady has far too many other important things to be doing..or b) they spend more time watching television in a family setting. Maybe it’s placed there as something to watch when the parents (or flatmate) want to watch something else. In discussion after however it transpired that neither of these were true, it was there for more practical reasons. Simply, the cable didn’t reach far enough.” Rosie Kimber

“We thought this person was female, does jewllery, hard worker, likes music. She was a little nervous when we told her our reaction but we were right in our results.” Craig Gilroy

“Modern, french bed, white room, female, some pink, punky edge, rock poster, butterfly light, My Chemical Romance, teenage room, teddies. keyboard in corner – musical, items on top show it may not be regularly used? tv not in actual bedroom – not facing bed, modern desk and matching chair, tidy, art papers on the floor, fairy poster, fantasy element, wine on top – age range 18+, home….. the girl in photos 1, when we asked why her telveion wasnt facing her bed? (this was strange to us) she said if the cable was long enough it would be, we thought she might not watch tv all that much.” Amy Malcolmson

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