The amount of potential in the application of design in change studies is extremely broad, the information you learn, most of the time isn’t directly related to design, and instead it focuses on real world applications that can be applied over a range of professions. The information thrown at you when being introduced into this subject, in a way, attacks your senses and puts you into a state of remorse. The amount influences you have on the planet start to pile up when entering this class therefore, your mind is kick started into sustainable mode – your eyes are opened and intentions purified. Before being exposed to this class and its practices design to me, was a product; a slick designed product with a sexy finish. Once you see past the aesthetics of design, you kind of have to look into the design of everything, not just physical products. As fun as it is, and that many of us will go down that path, we are blinded from many other potentials of design.
As this is the second time I have undergone change studies, some of the information we discussed in class I have already learnt. This included the readings from Liam’s half of the semester. Although I had read them I was still a bit hazy on some of the information as the texts are quite a lot to handle in one sitting. I have still not fully grasped either one of the texts as my strength does not lie in comprehension. I did however enjoy blogging and tweeting. There is something about blogging and tweeting which takes away from the worry and the fact of the work being a task, instead it’s more casually and easier to write as you are writing about something you are empathetic about. Sharing information and socializing in a way that can benefit my education was incorporating outer uni-life and applying to my course, this technique worked well for me.
For me I am rather grateful on the teams that were allocated for both Soumitri’s and Liam’s sessions. I was lucky enough to have hard working students that had separate skills which made submitting work a breeze when combining all your knowledge. Only on occasion would one of my pupils not do any work that others had to pick up on. For me, personally I got quite annoyed as the rest of the team was working rather hard to complete the assignment and one other person was letting us down. However, those troubles subsided and we all eventually completed the work.
Change design is one of those subjects that can really help improve your knowledge in the system of design in real world applications. Other studies subjects I have undertaken have kind of felt like they are just there for the sake of being there. Change design studies forces students to combine research and problem solving in order to improve design as a whole; the bigger picture.
In order for myself to be fully indulged and concentrated in a studies subject, I need to have some sort of empathy revolving around a core element of the course outline. Not everything about change design studies intrigues me; however, in getting to choose where I get to focus my attention, studying and researching becomes a lot easier. If you have an empathy or interest towards something, it’s a lot easier to write about or work on.
I like to think of the change design practice as a butterfly effect. The actor network theory works in a similar way, and in thinking of it like a butterfly effect, made it easier for me to understand. An active network system can be implemented in almost all areas of design; each actor in this system has a role to play, their role maintains a certain balance within the whole of the system. If you knock a domino in a row of dominoes, it is bound to fall on top of one that then causes a reaction to another domino; a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.
So, when being optimistic in applying your skills and knowledge in design, why couldn’t you have the same effect? Potentially, you could and make a large difference to an existing system or altering a system. However, not all outcomes are as sweet as candy, you may knock the wrong domino and that then sets of a large pile of dynamite.
I think when broken down, basically means your actions can make a difference, that of course being a very broad and optimistic view. More to the point we must think more about how we will make a decision and how we formulate a system or design a product.
I would like to be as optimistic as all the younger designers out there, especially the first years. However, my point of view takes a very melancholy turn down the road of sustainable design. I believe I have the potential to design a great product/system, however, if that design will ever hit the larger scale of things to actually make a substantial difference, is what I doubt.
Design is not a pencil on paper, nor is a flashy new product to hit the shelves; design is everything and I’m an advocate for design.