The Famous Durian Smell

The durian fruit’s astonishing smell has been described in hundreds of ways – none of them pleasant. Rotten onions, roadkill, dirty feet, vomit, sewage – people associate the unique smell to previous olfactory experiences. Love it or hate it, durian fruit is surprisingly pungent. Animals, particularly orangutans, are lured by the smell of durian fruit from over half a mile away. The smell of durian fruit is distinctive, lingering, and persistent; the odor penetrates into fabric and remains on your hands after eating. Many hotels, subways, and public spaces in Southeast Asia advertise a no-durian-fruit policy with signs of the spiky fruit crossed out in red.


In circles two is a crowd

In circles two is a crowd

this article isn’t new, it’s from November 2006. However it covers a lot of things I have noticed about human behavior in public spaces. How people instinctively act in every day situations:

In this photo at Aberdeen train station (looking at the people using the seats)

I can instantly tell from the photo that there are 4 people alone and 1 couple. There is only 4 seats on each bench and the people alone are sitting on a seat which gives them a greater personal space. And they look pretty at ease. On the other hand to the far right of the picture, a couple are sitting next to each other even touching jackets. This is because they know each other and are comfortable with being in each others personal space. I wonder how the individual people would act if someone sat next to them as appose to 2 seats away from them. Filming the reactions could answer how peoples behavior changes when their personal space is invaded.

The bubble that surrounds you

This is really interesting. The bubble that surrounds people marking their personal space can be violated in so many ways that are not thought of by others because they are more bothered about their own personal space. Not meant obviously, just naturally and in someones subconscious.

virtual environments may be another platform to study physical social interaction. It specifically found that the unwritten rules of personal space are so powerful, people even impose them on their cyber selves.

this shows that peoples personal space is important to them. You can have a website or a Facebook profile knowing that you are sharing yourself with others virtually. You can control who can come into your personal space. Therefore this statement emphasises  how people are protective about the bubble that surrounds them both physically and mentally.

According to scientists, personal space involves not only the invisible bubble around the body, but all the senses. People may feel their space is being violated when they experience an unwelcome sound, scent or stare: the woman on the bus squawking into her cellphone, the co-worker in the adjacent cubicle dabbing on cologne, or the man in the sandwich shop leering at you over his panini.

Personally, I have been in situations as the ones above.

1.working with somebody with body odour.

Having a great day at work and everything is smooth. Suddenly someone comes into a close proximity of yours and doesn’t smell fresh. Instantly I turn defensive and don’t want to be in that persons area and don’t want them to come into my personal space. My personal space would increase/decrease depending on how close/far away from me the person was.

2.someone staring at you.

Standing outside at a bus stop and people stand opposite. Someone stares at you for whatever reason and there is nothing you can do but notice that they are still staring. Instantly your personal space is becoming suffocated because you cannot leave because you are waiting for your bus. However this may be uncomfortable but it is something you can learn to overcome perhaps using a magazine or mobile phone.

3.eating in public.

I have noticed a few friends will buy a packet of sandwiches and eat them. I like to eat my sandwich whole but others break it up inside he box and eat it in small pieces. This is because eating smaller bites may seem more accepted so you are not seen as greedy or so hungry. Again if someone stares at you eating however way you eat they are coming into your comfort zone making you aware.

just a thought…

I swear I should have done psychology at university instead but I have this thought and it’s recently became very clear…and I’m glad it has because it will help me in life…

So we have lots of people, some people are unique and individual and relatively happy and confident with their lives etc and other people who are a bit bored, not overly enthusiastic about getting up most mornings and just easy to agree to whatever is easiest.

I’ve come to the conclusion that in lots of situations you can get a whole bunch of insecure? people who know they are insecure and need to do something about it so they will join forces with lots of other people like them and when they are altogether, they have a stronger group because there is a big number. But that number really counts for nothing. However when you take individual people from the group and put them with the genuine happy people they are no longer part of that big number and they start acting very differently. Being part of a group isn’t bad… as long as it is genuine and not a mash up.

The Bystander effect.

I’m not homeless so I hate the thought of other people living in the streets. This video really does make you think. Always treat someone how you would want to be treated. It shows the person you are. Imagine you had fallen in the street and everyone was too busy, or because others were ignoring you, everyone who even noticed you ignored you. This video shows that people act due to their surroundings and due to what the ‘other’ people do. I know what I would do but I wonder if I was put in the situation, I would do then what I say I would do now…I’m sure I would but I can’t be sure.

love Bristol

On my way home from the summer in Cornwall I went skating in Bristol and walked around a lot since it was a nice day. It felt so friendly but there was nothing special about it at first apart from it being a huge city with lots of nationalities. Then I started notice some graffiti but I thought they were just here and there like in every city but the more I walked around! It was everywhere and tonight I’ve just read up that Banksy started his work in Bristol. Awesome! I also walked through a market full of lots of little things like bags, photos, paintings and jewelry: some artists selling there work and for really cheap. Didn’t realise it was so lovely, just spending on day there makes me want to go back as soon as I can and go on a graffiti hunt!Image



proposal: How big does our personal space have to be?

I will be taking a deeper insight into how people use their personal space on a day to day basis. It’s interesting how we respond to out surroundings, how we feel comfortable in some situations more than others. How we perceive each other and how our mood can quickly change if someone comes to close. A few sub topics I will cover are emotive design and changes in behavior initially through the research and development stages.


Is ‘our’ personal space always as we would want it?

Primary research: most if not all of this research will be based around public areas whether it be as small as a coridoor, a room to bigger places such as streets, the supermarket, shops and stations. Observing these areas will give an insight into how people work in their every day lives in spaces they are provided or not provided with.

Secondary research will allow me to collect statistics through the internet. Looking further into emotive design and psychology, websites such as TED Talks, Word press, Youtube, Vimeo and Slide share provide a wider scale of information from previous observations by other designers and professionals and allow me to develop the findings I have from my initial research.

A few professionals I will follow include Dan Gilbert(psychologist), Don Norman(cognitive scientist), Stefan Sagmeister(graphic designer/typographer), Joseph Pier(IT consultant,business), Marin Seligman(Director of positive psychology centre) and others.

From the information collected I will have a firm base of data which I will use to help the needs within the problem area I am looking at, an insight into user experience, a deeper insight into the life styles of people around us every day and I will know exactly where the room for personal space should be explored. Using illustrator and spider grams the information I find and ideas I have can be seen clearly.


I will be constantly updating observations and further research onto Word press where I will upload:

Photos/Videos: People, places, public, peoples attitudes, emotions, attitudes of people, demographics (age, size, occupation), what people have, what they carry etc,

I want to capture short interviews/of approaching various groups of people from young to old and find out how their personal space effects them in different scenarios and how they use their space.


As a result of this project I would like to work within the product design industry potentially with a company that is pro-active and open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. My strong point is the observations I make as I am greatly inspired by people in the public sector. I like to design for people who ‘need’ rather than ‘want’.





Designing for people.

I’m just going to write this because I have been thinking about it:

I really enjoy designing.It surrounds us constantly and is definitely taken for granted in this day and age. People want and they don’t need most of the time. Things can be improved and we can have better lives through product design and other disciplines of course! Architecture: making our surroundings more usable/ comfortable, and web design allowing us to get the best from the internet in the simplest, easiest quickest way.

This website is so simple easy to use and gives a sense of confidence in the company because everything is organised, tight and simple. It’s nice.



I think emotive design is a great way to make people care, realise, interact, sense, and change the attitudes or moods of the people involved. 

One thing I dislike is gadgets, cluster and little novelty products like laughing dogs at Christmas time which will be thrown in a corner sooner or later. As much as it sounds silly, it seems like a global problem, people don’t care about what they are buying. Just because it’s good at the time…

Anyway I was in town today walking around and taking some video shots of people walking around. I was looking at what age they were, how they walked (1’s,2’s, groups), what they were carrying, and how they looked (happy/sad/excited) I have captured some of this which i’m just about to edit with my lovely recovered laptop! YEP!