The most profound thing I’ve learned about myself in this class is to be more aware of my unhealthy design habits: whether that means jumping to the computer before sketching, not taking time to fully engage my design process, or being overly hard on myself due to my perfectionist disposition. I’ve learned that in order to create a sense of disruptive wonder, you often have to think about things in a totally new way, challenging not only cliches and stereotypes but the very method you have of working. I’ve learned to try to foster a way of “thinking wrong” as we talked about, and I’ve started to approach my design problems from many different angles. Perhaps most of all, I’ve learned to be less afraid of brainstorming; to get as many ideas out and on paper as I can so that I can start seeing patterns and sifting through the “ugly.” My perspective on the practice of design has changed in that I view it now more, now than ever, as a journey. This journey is filled with winding roads and dead ends and beautiful, unexpected waterfalls along the way. One thing I’ve also really enjoyed is the amount of time that we spend on each project. Working over a project over the course of a few weeks not only challenges you to stay on task, but helps you to appreciate every stage of development, not just the finished product.
I really enjoyed how in Project A, we had to find commonalities between totally unrelated words. This was helpful to me in that I was able to think about words through not only their literal meaning, but in historical context, in puns, and in relationship to larger cultural issues. I never thought I’d see a connection between coffee and drones, but alas, there was! That project also opened my eyes to social issues I wasn’t as educated on. Starting my own twitter profile and gaining followers was challenging, but very rewarding. I’ve been amazed that as the weeks have progressed, I’ve continued to acquire more interest in the project. The immediacy and relevance of social media is definitely something I want to explore more in the future as it relates to design. Lastly, the interaction online among my classmates has been, as always, really engaging and rewarding. Before I started the eLearning program, I feared that the online platform would not foster the kind of camaraderie that you get when you see people face to face. I’m happy to report that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality and amount of feedback we get from each other and the professor. All of our busy lives coupled with the time differences between us sometimes make it difficult to connect quickly, but there are still usually plenty of opportunities to have great critiques. I look forward to growing in my creative process even further, as I know this is a lifelong journey.