Love and Equality.

IrishHarpimage I’m sure you are all aware that yesterday 23rd of may 2015 a referendum was passed in Ireland legalizing gay marriage….

I have never been more proud of the Irish people in all my life for finally allowing marriage equality only 22 years after decriminalizing homosexuality in 1993. But personally I feel that there is still an issue at hand when it comes to sexual orientation globally and I’ll go into that in more detail soon, but first consider this…

I don’t believe in terms like “homosexual” “heterosexual” or “bisexual” but I do however, strongly believe in love! So what do I mean by that exactly? Well, for me it all boils down to the fact that we don’t choose who we fall in love with, it just happens. I’m a 20 year old “heterosexual” man who has never been attracted to another man in any way, but who is to say that in 10 years time I don’t meet another man and fall head over heels in love, just because I haven’t been attracted to a man so far in my life doesn’t mean that I never will be. Have you ever met someone who in the beginning who you had no initial attraction to, but then after you got to know them developed an attraction for? I have and I like to think I’m not the only one who has.

Honestly I’m open to the idea that I might fall in love with a man in the future, because does the gender of a person really matter when you’re in love. At the end of the day its the person we fall in love with not the gender. We have all heard stories, whether its real life or on t.v, of a person being “straight” for years before ever entering into a same sex relationship, some even go as far as to get married, have kids and raise a family before ever even having relations with someone of the same gender. So if this can happen to someone else whats to say it doesn’t happen to me in the future. We cant define love, it just happens and when it does we should embrace it. kiss

I said at the beginning that I feel there is still an issue when it comes to sexual orientation and that issue is the labeling of it. That’s why I said that I didn’t believe in terms like “homosexual” “heterosexual” or “bisexual”. We are all human beings, we are all made up of the same stuff, skin, bones, flesh, and blood. So why label ourselves anything other than humans. Whether you love a man or a woman it doesn’t matter you’re in love a human being.

Love is love. It can’t be explained and it can take us by surprise sometimes and that is why it’s such a beautiful thing. It really doesn’t need a label because finding love is already special.

But hey, this is just my opinion and we are all entitled to one, just like we are all entitled to fall love.

If you made it this far thanks for reading!!



the design fiction paper

Our latest project in Directed Studies was to write a paper that contained a design fiction idea and analysed research paper that is related to it. A “design fiction” is an idea or concept that a person comes up with that serves a purpose to improve everyday life. It is something that does not already exist but could possibly, in the future.

I focused my studies and design fiction around the topic of urban space and augmented reality. Our project was directed at enhancing and improving an urban setting and so I believed that by designing a space within the city that would incorporate augmented reality would really enhance a feel within a city.

Firstly I researched a number of papers. Some on the effects urban gardens on the people who frequent the these gardens mental and physical health and some on augmented reality, this gave me the information I would need to develop realistic uses for augmented reality within urban gardens. An example of these is a paper named “Augmented reality:an overview and five directions for AR in education. Journal of educational Technology Development and exchange”. This paper outlined future/ possible uses for augmented reality, clearly differentiated augmented reality from virtual reality and explained how it can be used to enhance every day experiences. After reading the papers I felt I had gathered sufficient information to be incorporated into my design fiction.

My design fiction was an idea which allowed users within an urban park to download augmented reality clips to be viewed from a hand held device, this would turn a person’s walk through the park into a magical adventure. Users would be able to escape reality by scanning QR bar codes on their phone to see the park come alive through the display screen on their device.

Creating this design fiction was very beneficial and interesting my topic has really encouraged me to look further into it.

Directed Studies – The Annotated Bibliography

Before i started this module i really had very little idea what it entailed and what i would be doing. I had done a directed studies module before but i was not sure how similar they would be. I believe that directed studies is a research based modules in which we research and critically analyse certain articles and papers. Through doing this i have learned certain skills which allow me to do this at a higher standard, such as, key point identification, awareness of relative information, the ability to stay on topic without losing the main point and the ability to build descriptive synopsises.

We write annotated bibliographies because it is important that one keeps a record of the thoughts and opinions they had while reading the paper that is available to be revised by the reader. By using Annotated bibliographies I can take a number of papers on a certain topic and develop a detailed view on the topic linking the papers.

The topic is Interaction Design within cities and towns. This basically combines the busy urban environment with interactive thought processes that allow users to interact and engage within these locations or scenarios in a new way. Each paper covered different aspects of this topic with different levels of detail. In doing this analysis I feel like I really got a better sense for the topic at hand and that I understand it a lot clearer.

I personally enjoyed the DigiGraff paper as it connected urban Graffiti with interactive design in a very direct manner. It was an app that allowed a user to create their “graffiti” on any surface imaginable DIGITALLY and give them the chance to share it with friends rather than spray painting it on a wall. The app was used to examine the difference location played to what the image would be, “A two week field study showed how users incorporated both utilitarian and playful aspects of location into their social media creation”

paper review for directed studies in digital media design

For my directed studies class we were required to critically review a paper we read in relation to our chosen topic “online forums and communities relating to health issues” I was responsible for researching the sub-topic of “the promotion and awareness of online communities” unfortunately I could find no paper relating directly to this subtopic but I felt it would be irresponsible of me to do a project without the necessary research done, so i decided I would study the overall topic and do my review in relation to that, this gave me a better understanding of what needed to be done for my subtopic as I understood exactly what it was we were studying.

The paper I read was..

Health related virtual communities and electronic support groups: systematic review of the effects of online peer to peer interactions

this paper in my opinion was extremely informative, it was also a very reliable source of information of the topic as it has taken its information and results from reliable studies of different kinds in great detail.they combined and compared the results and evaluated them in order to achieve better samples. they screened 12288 abstracts and examined 76 full texts but only 45 met the criteria to be included in the study. this gave me confidence in the quality of information they included in the paper as the standard to be included was kept as such a demanding level, the final draft of papers were then divided into three groups for examination. this graph was given to show the selection process



each group was then studied individually for eventual comparison. This paper stated that the doubts people have about online health communities and acknowledges them but it also reports that in the studies chosen for the article that there are no negative effects or harm caused. This made me wonder if the studies chosen were biased towards the online communities as i had always believed that there is risk involved with online health forums as incorrect information may be taken in by the reader. 

The paper was broken down in a way that made it easily read but it also gave a lot of information in a wide array  of subjects which made it a little hard to take in at times, it also showed a lot statistics and results which backed up information given. i felt that this paper was written well using language which could be understood by the majority and also gave detailed information, it was a great source of information in relation to online health information vs offline sources.

this gave me a specific understanding of the overall topic which in turn also helped me in my subtopic.


digital media design directed study group assignment “Teamwork and communication”

Working with Tara and Kloe was a pleasant and enjoyable experience they are both very hard workers but also like to share a joke or two as long as the work gets done this really helped to take the pressure off and allowed us to work real well together  without any additional stress of conflict within the group. 

We are all part of the same social group which made communication easy to say the least we saw each other regularly and were able to keep updated on how each person was progressing with their share of the work and help each other out if one person was having difficulty or was confused at any one time, this really helped the group dynamic as we became comfortable talking about our work whenever we felt we needed to be filled in on progress or anything like that. Kloe fitted in as the group leader very naturally as she decided to divide the work evenly and she also set up a group facebook chat allowing us to easily contact the group online over weekends and when we weren’t around…. this also allowed us to show the group our work and get other opinions and also allow mistakes to be spotted by a fresh set of eyes.

The role I played in the group was to study the aspect of promotion and awareness of online health communities, this was my sub-topic within the assignment which i researched and prepared for the presentation. Another role I had was gathering all the slides from the sub-topics and put them together in a way which flowed nice and smooth into each other and make them presentable in the most efficient order, this is what turned our three sub-topics into one overall topic. After the three subtopics were merged we met up as a group and worked on putting an introduction and conclusion to our work.

I feel that as a group we worked very well together and I would happily work with Tara and Kloe in future group work

digital media design directed study group assignment “my perspective”

For our directed study group assignment we chose the topic “Online forums and communities relating to health issues” We chose this because we felt it was a very relevant topic in this digital age and also because it is a very broad topic which we could look into in great detail. Kloe, Tara and I split this topic up and decided we would each cover a separate sub-topic.

The sub-topic I chose was “the Promotion and Awareness of Online Health Communities” I chose this because I felt it was an aspect that could be easily overlooked in relation to the overall topic and as I researched this I was proven right, I found it extremely difficult to find papers to read up on concerning this topic and most of my research was conducted through finding these communities myself and through experience of locating these establish an opinion on how these communities were made available, once I had located the online communities I could then examine the effectiveness of how they were promoted and how popular each was, the popularity and size of each communities I was studying gave me an idea of how aware the public were of the communities. doing all of this gave me a clear insight of the promotion and awareness of online health communities.

I think this was a great topic as it allowed me to see a new side and use of the internet that I hadn’t considered before, it was not a topic I would usually see myself studying but I put myself outside my comfort zone and embraced the experience and enjoyed it as I did so. 

putting our wiki together as a group.

for me seeing our finished wiki was the icing on the cake after our “tweasure hunt” and trip to the city. Doing our wiki was easy after all the work we had put in. Billy and Catherine decided it would be more efficient if we delegated the work amongst us all each of us taking a section of the wiki page.

A group chat was set up between us on facebook this made communication very easy and meant we always had somewhere we could ask questions and talk through anything that confused us.

teamwork really wasn’t an issue for this group because we all pulled our weight and contributed to the work and produced, in my opinion, a quality wiki page (

I couldn’t have picked a better group to undergo this group assignment with,