Curious About Gloves?

Education Researcher David Beswick defines curiosity as a “process of creating, maintaining and resolving conceptual conflicts.” It is considered the foundation of learning, and for designers “curiosity is the emotion of engagement that binds people to an environment”.

Let’s take the example of when I was cleaning at home last week and came across a Mickey Mouse light I had received as a present at a young age. It sparked a sense of curiosity within me as I began to question why the cartoon character was wearing gloves. I began researching Mickey Mouse and found that the characters Pinocchio, Bugs Bunny and Sonic the Hedgehog all appeared in these white gloves but still didn’t have the answer as to why.


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With you reading this have I now sparked your curiosity? Are you thinking of any characters that wear gloves and why these characters are wearing them? Personally, I always thought the designers in a sense became lazy as hands can be difficult to draw due to the intricate details involved.

However, an interview with Vox explains the exact reasons for this. I discovered that the design of characters were created with gloves rather than hands as they involve less detail and saved animators time and effort, but this is not the only reason. Secondly, gloves stand out more especially when considering the origin of cartoons in black and white film and ultimately provide colour contrast. The third reason was explained as Walt Disney stated “We didn’t want him (Mickey Mouse) to have mouse hands, because he was supposed to be more human. So, we gave him gloves”.

EBD reflects on how in design perspectives novelty stimulates curiosity. By using Mickey Mouse as a chance to express an aspect of curiosity that I have experience in my life recently it has provided excellent insight into how curiosity influences the way individuals create, maintain and resolve conceptual conflicts.

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