“I Keep Six Honest Serving Men …”

We were shown this cute little poem in class today. It introduces, in a very humorous way, the 6 questions we all should ask ourselves whenever we start to ask questions and analyse things.

I Keep Six Honest Serving Men …

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!

She sends’em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!

The Elephant’s Child

These 6 questions we use to start off any form of research or writing are useful because they help us to consider and explore many aspects of a certain object or topic.

We approached this method of analysis in class today by bringing in, talking about and then answering questions about an object of significance and importance to us.

The weekend reading about material culture, the culture of things as part of a network of people and objects that are inter-dependant, and the value and purpose of design criticism helped give some context to today’s discussion. We were asked to remove our personal interpretations and meanings from the objects we brought in, and analyse it without any personal attachments to it. That way, we can talk about the object with as little bias as possible. I suppose that allows for more effective and constructive criticism?

The value you put into an object can be as reasonable or ridiculous as you deem fit, but once that clouds your judgement of it as an object under analysis, you cannot give an effective and constructive critique, one that others might find useful.


Above is the worksheet I worked on with the object that I brought in, a Fujifilm Natura Classica Autofocus 35mm Film P/S Camera. The below 2 images are of the article of Graphic Design and my analysis of it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much information about the cover design, Brian Mayers.



Andrew brought in many articles of Graphic Design for us to select and write about. Here are some I took photos of, they were really gorgeous! And I also was especially fascinated with how the Tube handouts still look almost the same as they do now; the type treatment and sensibility of the handouts still look very similar today—a winning formula I must say!



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