I have heard of the concept of flow before taking this course. It’s something that we all tried to achieve when in Undergrad. Our best designs came when we finally found a ‘flow’ and a work setting that enabled us to create in a way that we lost all other concerns and were completely focused on the design we were working on.
I experience flow when working on more intricate design projects. I like work that can sometimes be monotonous. I can turn off the world and the worries that are going through my head. I am completely focused on the tasks at hand. I feel most confident when I have achieved a design work flow. This usually happens in my design process when I am brainstorming and starting to break into the digital form. I will say that my design flow is something that needs to be achieved with the right mind set… if I am not completely focused on my design I will never achieve it. I also have to be comfortable in my work setting – a comfortable and clean area helps me achieve this.
My own creative process consists of a few steps and A LOT of note taking. Please see the attached diagram to view my current design process.
I am an organizer and a prioritizer. I tend to create endless to-do lists and lists that I follow to a point to create order and make sure I keep myself oriented towards a goal. I often see a solution to a problem that I then have trouble executing to the highest level of workman ship. At work I am told that my boss is the “big idea” and I am the “big execution.” I am new to the graphic design setting so my skill set is not as advanced as many of the students that I know. I was hired out of Undergrad to work for a builder/developer as a sales and marketing assistant. I was really hired to complete interior selections with new home buyers and work as the in-house designer for model merchandising. I began noticing that our advertisement team was doing a pretty crappy job of achieving designs that were cost effective and reflected the quality of work that the builder was looking to achieve. I decided to take on the role and become a larger support to the company which cut out the middle man. When working on a major design project I have to collaborate with different businesses to achieve our goal, I tend to be the ring leader and work on keeping everyone on a tight deadline. My biggest weakness is that to complete a certain project I have to do a lot of research and follow a few tutorials so that I can achieve the goal. Someone may already have that knowledge. I however find that it is sometimes works in my benefit because I am constantly learning something new and benefitting from every design project I take on. I am one who will never stop learning and will always look for more opportunities.
I really enjoyed creating this Project A, Part 2 Presentation. This is the first time I have ever created an audio visual presentation with the hopes of demonstrating my knowledge to date on the Limited Literature Review on Design Collaboration and Multidisciplinary Design Studios.
Introduction: I think my introduction was succinct and to the point. I have studied Design Collaboration and it has led me to further studies of Multidisciplinary Design Studios and the ways in which they use collaboration as a tool to innovate and create design opportunities.
Tone: I tried through out the presentation to pace myself and create a dialogue that would keep the viewer engaged. I asked questions and tried to create a Q&A feel so that they could tell where my though processes had taken me. I tried to remain unbiased but I am certain that I come across as one who is intrigued and likely to try collaboration within my own profession.
Visuals: With each slide I tried to create a connection with the material that I was presenting leaving it a little light and airy and not so visually boring with just text flashing across a screen. I wanted the image to create a connection with the voice and overall concept of the presentation.
Flow: I recorded this presentation using Keynote. It’s the first time I have used the software and I am certain that I will keep practicing so that I may use Keynote to my own advantage. I wrote out a script that helped me keep a constant dialogue with out too many Ums, Uh and pauses. There were a few parts where I did lose my spot which caused a pause a little bit longer than I would have liked.
Timing: I went over my time by 2 minutes. I didn’t realize the presentation was nearly as long as it was as I didn’t feel like I really talked nearly that long. I think if I were to redo it I would remove a few examples of the Multidisciplinary studios and not lose my place half way through the quote I was reading.
This was surely a learning experience. I hope to improve upon this presentation as I find it quite fun to do. If I teach in the future, I hope to be able to create engaging presentation for future courses and classes to support class texts and assignments.
So far in the course, I feel like my idea of Graphic Design is still similar to what I first posted. However, after doing a bit of research, required for the Limited Literature Review, I’ve noticed that they way I design is changing. It’s not just a problem – solving technique but something that is evolving to concept maps, research, and now trying to include the idea of design thinking.
I’m asking myself more often: If I do this now, what will happen later? What is the next step in this design? Where am I going to go from here? I am actually trying to stay one step a head at work. (at least, I am trying too.) My manager will ask for an HTML e-mail blast to be designed and I then say… well if we send this out on Friday, let’s send another one out on this date with this message and the appropriate links to the website. Instead of stopping the design process at the single thing they have asked me to create, I am taking that opportunity to offer my expertise or my skill set to inquire about another option they could implement to keep their marketing strategies current and up to date!
A few design thinking methods I thought were interesting concepts were Story Share & Capture and the use of an Empathy Map. An overview of both methods is below:
Story Share and Capture – Allows members to get on the same page about what people saw or heard in the field. This allows for multiple observations to be heard and brought into the ‘light’. With this meeting, all team members can draw meanings from the experiences that may not have been realized at first glance, which creates synthesis and saturation.
Empathy Map – Helps generate a deep understanding of the person(s) you are design for. An empathy map helps you synthesis and draw out insights that may be unexpected. When using an empathy map one can populate different traits that a user may have as well as a place to review notes, audio and video from fieldwork studies. With an empathy map – identify needs that will help your design and identify insights that will create leverage to better respond to design challenges.
Many of the design-thinking methods presented by the Stanford d.school help designers think about what is next. The next step, the missing puzzle piece, the ability to push their design one step further by designing better and more innovative. By using more than one of the design methods, designers can not only answer or solve the design problem but focus on the character, and disposition of who they are designing for, asking What, How and Why throughout the design process.
I would like to think that I ask myself questions and use some of the methods that are listed throughout my design process. However, I feel that much of the time the main goal is to solve a problem based on the goals of the client and not looking beyond their goals but bettering the design for future uses. The research in this Bootcamp will be something that I turn to often when I am having difficulty and need a different approach to design thinking.
An article that I have been reading makes a wonderful introduction into the subject matter that I will be researching for my Literature Review – What is Collaboration and how does it better design thinking?
Collaboration and Community, Scott London.
As per Scott’s article these are the generic definitions of Collaboration:
simply put – “to work together”
a process of joint decision making among key stakeholders of a problem domain about the future of the domain
an interactive process having a shared transmutational purpose
Barbara Gray’s Collaborating: Finding Common Ground seems to be the most cited and well used definition of collaboration – “a process thought which parties who see different aspects of a problem can constructively explore their differences and search for solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible.”
The most exciting thing about collaboration from my perspective is bouncing ideas around and communicating with equally talented individuals towards the goal of solving/resolving a problem. A example of collaboration in the Graphic Design profession could be viewed as creating a website, working with an SEO company to optimize performance and creating imagery for said website, all resolving a common goal of helping a company create an internet presence.
I have an interest in multi-disciplinary design where companies work together to achieve a common goal, problem solve or create new products that will change design and better the design community.
I am very new to the Graphic Design world. Infact, sometimes I feel like the amount of resources available like blogs, websites, books, etc… is slightly overwhelming. I literally wish my brain was a design sponge and would absorb more design knowledge, facts and just all together great stuff. But I can only read and remember so much. I’m trying to make it a point to read a few blogs a day or every other day so I stay current.
I’m not one for watching the news. I know it may seem crazy, but the more I watch it… the more depressed and down I get. I check in every so often and try to stay current on topics that generate a lot of buzz…
So for this post I browsed the AIGA for a while and just absorbed article after article. I was looking at actually obtaining a membership and creating a profile with in my area so that I can stay more in-tuned to what possibilities are surrounding me. I stumbled across this article Beyond Craft and Tools: The Skills Design Students Must Master. As some one who hopes to teach as well as work in other design studios/offices I thought this list was a nice stepping stone to expand on as well as concentrate on some skills that I know are lacking.
I had the pleasure of stumbling across Cheryl Heller’s essay Where Design is Going, and How to be There on the AIGA.org website.
Heller writes a beautiful article about the noticeably prominent shifts with in the design world. Most importantly she references a topic that was new to me before I started taking this course – design thinking – siting an example of TED fellow, Juliette LaMontagne project where she recruits college aged students of various professions, gives them a few courses in design thinking and “turns them loose to design products for developing communities.”
The process of designing for good has been around for quite a while, but the motion of design thinking and the reality that most designers (not all will follow) will start to think of this as a forefront of ideology for their design careers. Heller quotes very elegantly that designers have an identity crisis. “To be a professional designer in this enabled world, we must reinvent what it means to be a professional designer. Changes present opportunities. Disruptions create openings that are potentially better, bigger and more relevant.”
Designers in today’s age must be able to adapt, move on with the current technologies and use it for the better part of design, not to get lazy and use programs to slap text, font, color and bad filters in an effort to create cheap design. Designers must not only know how to create and communicate, but must be problem solvers, strategists, know their client’s audience better than the client and prove that they are worth the money and energy spent. Designers must be creators not just executors.
Heller’s list of “How To Do It” what very nice to read and gives a nice set of fundamentals to re-read from time to time to help remind us that “Design has the potential to be the single most powerful, relevant and restorative process for change know to humankind.”
(All Quotations are from Heller’s article attached above.)
So far many of the articles that have been posted for the course are new to me. I particularly enjoyed reading Hugh Dubberly’s essay, “Design in the age of biology: Shifting from a mechanincal-object ethos to an organic-systems ethos.”
My undergraduate degree is in Environmental Design, a program that had recently changed from the Interior Design program at the Maryland Institute College of Art to a program that was designed to help challenge designers in thinking more about sustainable systems and life-cycles of design.
Dubberly mentions Principles of Organization and a comparison of the Mechanical-Object and the Organic System. (Figure below) The ideology behind an organic-system is interesting to think about in terms of the design process and how hard it is to fully achieve. As a consumer driven country, we tend to think about the end result rather than the system in which the result took place and the “aftermath” of the design. Organic systems instill a conversation based relationship where the so called client and designer work together to embrace challenges and work through difficulties to create a product that will make both the designer and client happy, with the ability to improve as time and products change and evolve.
I reflected throughout this article based on the role I play as an in-house designer within the company I work for. I work with a programer, SEO company, print ad and marketing managers as well as social media outlets. When I first came to the company I was the person who just ‘did’ things. They told me to create it and I did, not second guessing the longevity or evolution of a project. Now I find myself asking all of my other resources for suggestions, design collaboration and creating conversations to not only better my company and marketing plan but the overall product and user friendly ability.
I feel as a designer we constantly have to ask the ‘What if…”, “If not, then what…”, “What could be…”, “What else…” and create goals through conversations and not rely so heavily on the end product but the result that will follow from the work that is to be done. I also think we need to keep thinking sustainably and strive for design that will not just be thrown away but up-cycled. As a graphic designer, I don’t just create products and end goals, I create a service that is evolving as I grow as a designer and learn new technology and techniques to create.