What is the most profound thing you have learned about yourself and your creative practices through this course?
Throughout GRDS 702, I have learned that of the intuitive qualities that make me a good designer, the one that is truly my “self-discovery” within the past ten weeks is that I have brave, quite lovely design ideas. Through the two rounds of struggle that I endured within the quarter in turning my concepts into working designs, I developed a new way to appreciate myself and to run the course without giving up on an idea too early. A personal weakness within my design habits, whether working alone or within a group, has been a sense of design agnosticism. I get into these ruts where I do not have self-commitment to my work to develop it into something strong. Influences of other ideas or criticism that is taken the wrong way by me instigates a sense of detachment and I plead guilty for dropping the ball too early on for many potentially great designs. What Exploration A and B have done for me more than anything else is teach me endurance and a sense of faith in my own work. My ideas evolved through each exploration into something strong, but they had plenty of hiccups in the beginning. I had to almost take a third person perspective of my own work to be able to see how I could foster it into the best communication possible. Hopefully I will be able to maintain this self-check through future courses and create a flexible ideation process that holds me accountable for my design relationships.
Have you experienced moments of disruptive wonder?
I may have experienced disruptive wonder in my life through momentary epiphanies, but it wasn’t until this quarter that I truly experienced the phenomenon within my design process. I have worked almost exclusively in a first and second order production-style of design until now, and it has been the sense of disruptive wonder (taking an idea and turning it over and over in your mind to reinvent it) that allowed me to make Exploration A and B successful. I feel very happy about my process and end result in both and am noticing a change in my approach in other types of design work even without the provocation of a design problem placed before me in a classroom setting. At work, I am working on alternative ways to imagine the user experience on a website and the way that imagery shapes the story of a membership organization. In my personal work, I am thinking of my research in the future at SCAD and this disruptive wonder applying to the process of writing a thesis. Though I have had many moments within my life that were disruptive wonders, this sense within design is quite new and exciting still for me.
In what ways has your perspective on graphic design practice changed?
I am capable of seeing a lot more design possibilities now than I could before. Rather than having only creative executions, I am thinking with a greater deal of innovation in conception and in process. The design practice feels much more whole to me now as I am beginning to consciously map out each step and consider why I do things rather than merely producing. My outlook for what I can do with this profession has altered a great deal. The thought of design changing the world has seemed possible to me for quite some time, but now I am seeing ways in which it can be done and am beginning to exercise these capabilities rather than just acknowledging their existence. The proactivity that is inspired within me has caused me to pursue different types of design problems and do so more effectively. No matter the size of the problem that is before me, I feel comfortable in accepting the challenge and allowing a fluid design process of exploration, educated approaches and prototyping to take place. My design process has grown much more flexible as a result of my renewed faith (through better understanding) in the essence of graphic design. I am also motivated to continue to pursue learning as much as I can from fellow designers by observing and reading as much as I can take in. The feeling of this design-as-life exploration is addictive and deeply enriches my purpose as a designer.