UCA students work with BBC Radio 4 on stripes experiment
Fashion Design students at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Rochester have been working with Radio 4 to settle the age old question of whether stripes really can make you look thinner.
Val Watham, a finalist on BBC Radio 4's 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' devised an experiment to test whether stripes affect people's perception of size. She then turned to UCA for help.
A team of volunteers from UCA's Fashion Design course made up a range of shirts and dresses with the stripes positioned horizontally and vertically. Students were then filmed wearing each of the dresses and shirts, plus a plain black alternative. Visitors to the BBC Science tent at Edinburgh Science Festival in April will be asked to watch the videos and estimate what size the model is in each of the clips.
To make sure the study is scientifically valid; Val has also been working with psychologist Dr Peter Thompson from the University of York. He is an expert in visual perception and has helped to design the test that will be carried out at Edinburgh Science Festival.
Val said: "Working with UCA has been a great experience – the students have been fantastic. Not only have they made up the garments, but they also volunteered to act as models.
"I hope that the data we gather from this experiment will shed more light on the way different patterns affect our perception of size."
Thomas Williams, one of the first year Fashion Design students who volunteered to make the garments, said: "I was really excited at having the opportunity to work with the BBC. It's been a great experience."
Fellow student Luq Ali added: "I own loads of stripy clothes and I definitely do think they have an impact on perception of size. I can't wait until the findings are revealed."
The results of Val's experiment will be revealed at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June. For further information visit Val's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/BBC.stripes.experiment
Four amateur scientists have been shortlisted on 'So you Want to Be a Scientist'. They will each present their findings at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June when a winner will be selected.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939