We will begin by watching the first part of a specially commissioned Open University/Channel 4 television programme about our homes which features The Times architecture critic Tom Dyckhoff. The programme, The Secret Life of Buildings, looks at many different aspects of architecture and design in exploring our relationship with the buildings around us. It also shows a number of experiments to illustrate how buildings can affect our behaviour.
How to watch a programme
You will probably be used to watching television programmes for entertainment, but watching programmes for study requires different skills. To watch effectively you need to have a pen and paper handy to make notes. It is also recommended that you watch the programme more than once to become really familiar with the ideas and examples that are presented.
As you watch the first time, try to summarise quickly each little segment that forms the structure of the programme. What is the main point that is being made for each one?
Before you watch a second time, note down what you didn’t understand when you watched the first time. Were there any explanations that didn’t quite make sense to you? Did you forget any examples that were mentioned? Look through the questions that follow the programme and note down what you need to focus on to answer them.
As you watch a second time, you will find that, knowing broadly what is coming, you can be freer to concentrate on the details that you might have missed the first time. You can also try to clear up any misunderstandings you had from your first viewing, and note down the answers to any questions you are asked. Remember you can always press ‘pause’ to collect your thoughts and write more detailed notes before continuing.