|Constellation Overview|




At the beginning of the year I didn’t realise that constellation was part of the circular and found the idea of learning something new and different quite daughnting, however when we sat in the lecture hall and we were introduced to the concept and the idea behind it i felt immediately put at ease. I began to become interested with the idea of learning link on subjects and exploring my degree further through different ways of thinking and new concept and ideas in which work is produced.

The key note lectures not only helped broaden our views on design at the moment but also made us think about our future and where design is going. At first I found the lecturers to be quite difficult to understand and they began at a slow pace which i found hard to really grasp, however as they moved on i found them to become more interesting and I enjoyed attending them. they also allowed us to create new relationships outside of our courses and use those relationships to help us through our own work. However I found when it came to the lecture hall we were in the space that was quite big which meant we were spaced out around the area, and it was difficult to hear the tutor that gave the lecture. I feel that if the key note lectures should be held within a smaller study room so that we can hear properly and have no other distractions.

The constellation fair I feel could have been held in a better location, underneath the stairs within the graphics block. I felt with the amount of students within a small space we weren’t able to see the different options available to us and this became difficult when making the decision to choose which topic would be most interesting to ourselves. I myself couldn’t get around to every stall as the room was too cramped and I couldn’t get in to the front in order to speak to a lecturer. Also a few of the lecturers were missing and therefore we had to make our decision using a powerpoint, this gave us a faded opinion as we couldn’t see first hand what the topic would entail. After speaking to members on my course this was deemed to be quite an issue throughout the constellation process and many didn’t enjoy the topic in which they had chosen. I myself did this within the first term. the choices I decided to make were After Modernism and Smells like Teen Spirit

For my first terms constellation I decided to choose After Modernism, reading up n this subject  found the course interesting and I liked the idea of finding images and creating meaning within abstract art. However when it came to the actual lecturers I found the subject quite difficult to relate to my own course, as the art used within after modernism is quite selective and mainly fine-art related I found that the link with graphics was hard to see. I also found that the terminology used to describe elements of the art wasn’t explained and I found this difficult to then use within my own work and further into my essay. this caused me to loose interest within this subject matter as i couldn’t make detailed enough notes throughout subject 1 to deleve in deeper with an argument and explain my essay further within the subject.

Although I didn’t quite understand throughly the subject 1 matter, I found that my lecturer Jonathan Clarkson, was helpful and concise the entire way through term 1, explaining and going through the constellation process with a form of detail used to help us further.

For my second term constellation I decided to choose Smells like Teen Spirit with Cath Davies. I found this class especially interesting and I enjoyed the early morning lectures. I found that cath really helped me break down the analysis theory within the constellation process and linked each part of the subject with our own subjects. This helped me retain information and also use within my own work when designing.  I especially found the use of the column theory has really helped me. I find essays and writing quite difficult and find the process of deeply analysing an image on paper extremely difficult however when it came to using the columns this has helped me gain confidence within my writing and has helped me break don how to structure an essay without the  unnecessary information that I tend to include without realising.

I found that Teen Spirit was one of the best subjects within the choices of the constellation process, I felt that the subject was relatable to every subject and can be used throughout life in general. Ever since learning the different elements that are combined to create the different subcultural looks for example: Goths are easily identifiable by the use of back used within the look, this is normally used within a corset structure victorian mourning dress, this look was symbolic to the victorian era and was normally accompanied by petticoats and lace. This was give off a more elegant and womanly shape, I have been able to identify the different looks within my course or even when I’m in the town centre. This has allowed me to use my knowledge within the subject and be able to transfer it to real life concepts.

When it came to planning out my essay cath gave me many ideas in which I could centre my essay around and concentrate on. However I have decided to focus on the different ways that female japanese subcultures explore the lolita styles. I found that this was my best idea to write about allowing me to have the most information and I was mostly interested in. I find the different styles used throughout society is mainly used throughout the lolita style due to bricolage and combining the different styes of subcultures together.

Although I found the constellation process originally quite difficult to understand and get my head around I found that I really started to understand within the second term and managed to link this within my own work. This process has not only helped me within my work but has allowed me to create new friendship and gain knowledge within the different topics that surround the arts.



Goth Subcultures


The goth subculture is a contemporary subculture found in many different countries, it began in the England in the 1980s during the gothic rock scene. These is a slight desire to create historical accuracy within the gothic stye. They tend to incorporate different elements from history into the modern look to create an all new style called Victorianna.

Victorianna is a style adopted by the gothic culture which consists of the long dresses down to the ankle, corsets and added elements of ribbons and lace. However the gothic style tend to take a different approach of the style by choosing to have these garments made or bought in dark colours like red, black, and purple. They tend to also take objects from the victorian period too such as hats, lace gloves and sun umbrellas.

The attire isn’t the only element in which you can distinguish a goth, the makeup that both the men and women wear is very specific. The makeup isn’t from the traditional victorian era but to create a look of decay and death, to create a death look they have white face makeup with dark circles/ makeup around the eyes and the lips. Also the average goth would typically has dyed black hair or an out loutishly bright hair.

The accessories used within subculture consist of abnormal looking elements such as the Victorian broach, the religious cross and the umbrella used from hot days within the era. However the gothic subculture are taking these elements and adding a sense of decay and death to show their own emotions and interpretations of the style in order to fit into the subculture itself.

I found this lesson particularly interesting as it gave me a deeper insight to what a goth is and even now walking around in town I am starting to pick up the different elements to this particular style incorporated into others.

Smells Like Teen Spirt (cats columns)


I particularly struggle when it comes to essays. Verbally I am able to argue my point and explain in detail by then backing up with factual references. However when it comes to writing it down I find the process quite difficult and I don’t know how to process this on to paper.

During my first constellation lesson Cath explained to us about her column structure in order to help analyse images and advertisements in more detail. Within the first column Cath explains that you have to describe everything within the image and write down the different elements within. In the second column you then dive in to further detail explaining each aspect in more detail including a more cultural meaning associating with the element itself. In the third column you then back up your statement with factual response and findings from textbooks, journals, websites and other sources.

I enjoyed putting this method to the test during the lesson today as I feel that this allowed myself to apply the method and create better analysis and description of images, this made myself think in more detail and understand the different elements within subcultures and pop cultures.


An example of Cath’s columns would be this:

  • trouser suit
  • pinstripe navy
  • conical bra corset (visible through tares in suit)
  • pink satin (juxtaposition and contrast)


  • business suit/ masculine/strong exterior
  • women are just as powerful as men
  • corset= sexual, desirable, pleasure
  • feminine and soft
  • power suit= authority/ formal wear
  • breaking through stereotypes


  • corsetry = victorian wear/ function and style
  • Gaultier designs feminine textiles and reworking historical associations
  • the client = madonna and femininity
  • gender theory: feminist / post feminine


I found this particularly helpful and this has currently helped me other pieces of work as well as my cv and work placement emails.