Reflection on design and human condition 1

The lecture started out with us doing a collaborative exercise using the Miro board. Working together to create the affinity diagram made me acquire a more perspicacious cognizance in respect to the significance of affinity diagramming in terms of design research. Right of the bat when we started to place our post-its under different categories and started to have a conversation around it. It made me realize that the honest and unbottled environment created through collaborative affinity diagramming could help build trust and confidence among team members and would be perfect for situations where they had to work as a team on any project whether it be in a professional setting or otherwise. It would also allow everyone to participate and come-up with solutions to demanding problems as a team. As a result, minor problems and even the much larger bottlenecks of the project would become much easier to detect, creating an all-inclusive ambience of continuous refinement and amelioration for the project, as well as the team. I find myself stuck in a predicament quite often when working with my peers, sometimes it feels like everyone is functioning at a completely different pace, other times it feels like only a few members of the team are actually making an effort, whatever it may be I think collaborative affinity diagramming could help solve or at least reduce such problems within a team/group and it is something the use of which I will assuredly be incorporating in my life moving forward.

Following the exercise using the Miro Board the topic of internet revolution and smart phone revolution surfaced. In today’s age, the internet is just something that we co-exist with as it has become an integral part of our daily life’s, we don’t stop to think about how life was before the internet. It is truly perplexing to think about how the internet and smart phones have completely flipped the way we live our lives. Our communication has been restructured and revolutionized in a way that using internet on our phones is now the most desirable and inexpensive way of daily communication. Today when we need to do something as quotidian as ordering food, conveying something to family and friends, sharing a picture or moment with someone particular or thousands of followers, checking the news and even something like buying electronics or furniture etc. we prefer to do it with a few clicks on our phone using the internet. As designers looking at this, we need to understand that inventions like these can change or revolutionize our design practices drastically or even entirely. So before learning a particular set of skills on the software we might use today. It is much more important for us to understand design, its practices, patterns, the substantial thoughts and concepts behind every design we analyze. If as designers we began to understand the importance of this and bring it into practice, we will be able to adapt to any drastic revolutionary changes that might emerge rather if we follow the right steps, we might even be the ones to bring about the next revolutionary change.

One particular topic that was fleetingly mentioned but stayed with me in my thoughts for the longest time after the lecture was our global and local impact as designers. As I see it, being designers and having the potentiality to influence thousands or even millions of people through something that we create is a very powerful capability that we develop. And as of now it can have both positive and negative impacts, something that is not as often talked about in design schools as it should be is that, once we turn into these powerful influential designers, what is stopping us from creating something that might have a negative impact on the community rather than a positive one? What is there to stop us from running mindlessly after a paycheck, without thinking about who we are working for and what their impact on the world might be? I think it is the responsibility of our lecturers/teachers/instructors to at least try to embed within us a sense of morality, maybe we need something like the Hippocratic oath taken by physicians, that will at the minimum make us reflect upon whatever we decide to do as designers. In my opinion even exiguous attempts towards creating mindful designers that would bring about change for the better is a great step and if this course even touches the surface of such controversial discussions, I’m assuredly looking forward to all the future lectures. One last thing I would like to suggest is to have more questions incorporated into the lecture, since the classes are remote it might help students feel more involved. And it would also give the teachers a better understanding of the student’s mindsets and behaviorism.

-Mustafa Hasan


Student 🍁🎨

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