CRITICAL SELF REFLECTION
This first year change class has certainly felt like the odd subject out in terms of the workload given. But for me the class was a good way to look outside the basic perspective of design and actually delve into why we actually do design things for society rather than just for the sake of it. Tasks such as joining twitter to becoming an activist, giving up something and working with a group to devise change making all played different roles behind the idea of understanding the concept.
The act of twitter, requiring us to tweet on beneficial information and progress on our ‘giving up’ task was a very interesting requirement. I found it only started to work well however once everybody worked together and exchanged information frequently through the online social network. Initially I wasn’t the most optimistic about the task but gradually as I started researching more into my coffee sacrifice I started to have more interest in sharing the issues behind it. For me by the time the ‘giving up’ had ended I felt the idea behind it had been for us to see how change in our lives can develop to become change for our society. Our ‘giving up’ was a solution to a social problem that we contributed with. The use of twitter was then a way for us to explain to the public all the facts and ideas as to why giving this certain aspect up would be a beneficial change to society.
The other thing I also found through the twitter task was the information I was gathering from my fellow classmates. Since we were all connected with the particular hash tag, we basically got to follow each other’s journeys through our chosen areas of ‘giving up’. What I enjoyed most about this was how I got educated through their tweets regarding’s facts and benefits, which was telling me why I should support their area of change. I found this also relatable to the basic idea of design. How a company wants to bring a new product in to the market, but must explain to the consumers how they would benefit from this new change and whether or not it’s required.
During the tweeting task we were then asked to work as a group on the topic of Motor Neuron Disease. We researched what the disease was, the current options available to people affected by it, and then included our ideas we had on what could be added or improved. This activity definitely helped us towards the next change-making task that followed 6 posters being created regarding the concern of health, particularly obesity. When we were doing this task, with the mind map, the various scenarios, the manifesto and bibliography, it really linked towards what someone would normally have to look at when wanting change. You have to look at what’s currently set out, all the factors that play a role in it, what are the major issues that can be resolved, how can we do that, and whether or not your sources are accurate. All these points had to be researched through this assignment and I found it a good way to connect to our future careers if we were wanting to create products for people.
The end result for our group definitely could have turned out a lot better. I think people were too focused on other work given to them instead of working together to create our change making posters.
Working the way we did had a lot of negative impacts, the worst would definitely have been the fact that whilst everybody was doing their own thing, no one could see how the other one was doing, they didn’t share notes or any feedback at all. What this did what not let our posters connect to one another. They were all required to link in some way. An example would be the manifesto and the scenarios. The manifesto was set to describe the issue, the need for change, and how we can do so. The scenarios on the other hand were set to show situations of the topic that were current and then add our change making into it by altering the scenario.
Besides the final assignment however, I also watched a lot of the RSA animated videos on the different topics they discussed about. I found it interesting getting a brief history on the topics then getting the current situation and what people are doing to get involved more into it. ‘Education Paradigms’ was a really interesting one aswell the way they discussed the troubles of ADHD and how its level has increased along with the amount of standardised testing.
Throughout the weeks I also found a good example of how change can significantly impact design and its need to develop. A sounds system dock, one that can play music and act as an alarm clock has developed so much over the past few years. From cd compatibility to now iPhone/iPod connectors, the music docks have definitely grown. But my thought was, because of the iPhones significant influence to our modern day, would the design of the dock be altered now that the iPhone 5 connector has been re-designed? Surely companies will conform to this and begin to develop their products with the new connector. But just the idea behind it is how change in any part of our society has the potential of altering design to create change in a specific way.
Overall, I really enjoyed working through all these ideas that will benefit me throughout the next few years and possibly my future career. Change has shown to be the centre point of design and that so many aspects need to be under consideration and researched on before progress can be made.