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PROJECT ONE:

SENSORY ETHNOGRAPHY

Aimee Lander 300190402


APPEARANCE When undergoing my auto-ethnographies, I used an appearance theme. When getting ready in the morning I was consciously aware of the sight influence of choosing an outfit or applying makeup, but was subconscious to the other senses. Other senses included feeling the clothes to think about warmth, and texture in regards of comfort, I could smell the foundation as I applied it to my skin, which I found interesting because the smell was familiar, but would not consciously notice it. I chose to continue using appearance for my multi-sensory research. I used 3 subjects twice for my testing, once for everyday appearance and once for evening. My aim was to compare the different unnoticed senses involved between different times of day or different occasions. I asked the participants to think about all the senses involved in getting ready and to be aware of what they were doing. I also asked them to think about the different senses they might experience at separate times of day. Because I knew sight was the main sense used when getting ready, I didn’t want my participants to focus on the aesthetic appearance. That’s why I chose my photos to be in black and white, because the overall look was not my aim. I wanted my participants to concentrate on all the other senses that go unnoticed. What was interesting was that overall more senses were involved in the activity of getting ready in the day then there was at night.


STEFFAN First thing Steffan noticed was smell. Upon rummaging through his singlets, he decides on which one to wear based on the cleanliest smell. After a quick glance out the window in the day, he feels for the thickest feeling shirt as it looks cold outside. This is contrasted with his choice at night, as weather doesn’t really influence his decisions; it was based purely on the visual appearance. Steffan’s choice of jeans in the daytime were chosen based on comfort. He knew he was going to do a bit of walking. He chose his suede shoes in the day because it wasn’t raining. The weather (at day and night) has a huge influence on his shoes because of the texture of certain materials. Before leaving the house in the day he used deodorant as he didn’t want to smell bad. But at night he would use cologne as he wanted to noticeably smell good. Although I wasn’t focusing on sight, it was interesting to note for Steffan because during the day he always wore his glasses, but at night he would SOMETHING his eyesight, for his overall aesthetic appeal.


GABRIELLE Gabrielle couldn’t get past only using sight at first. Then she realised she uses touch for her day to day outfits. The feel of her clothes for warmth was a major deciding factor in her outfits. She chose her cream sweater because she liked the way it felt as she wrapped it around herself in the cold wind. An interesting factor in why she didn’t choose a certain jacket was because she didn’t like the way the material sounded as she walked, although she liked the way it looked. She chose her stretch jeans for comfort and movement for walking to university, and big boots for warmth. All this is juxtaposed with how she chooses her night outfits, usually she has already picked out what she is wearing in her head, regardless of weather or trying it on. Nothing is about comfort with the night time outfit. Smell was a big thing for her. She couldn’t leave the house, whether it was day or night without her perfume.


JOSHUA Sight was not a huge influence for Josh on a daily basis. Comfort was his main influencing factor. He would base his outfits on how comfortable they felt, for spending a day at university. He chose his shorts as he doesn’t feel the cold, therefore weather doesn’t influence him either. He chose his favourite sweater because of the way it feels. He likes the way the hood hides his face. Also smell would also persuade his decisions, like Steffan he would smell his tee shirts for the one that smelt neutral. Like Steffan and Gabrielle, Josh changes the way he chooses his outfits for night. He no longer thinks about the comfort of the outfit, but rather he would overall appearance. As he doesn’t feel the cold, he would rather wear shorts, but it is more acceptable to wear pants, therefore the choice in jeans.


Sensory Ethnography  

CCDN 231, project one

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