Design advocacy and change, I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into the class or how to interpret it but when I think “ADVOCACY AND CHANGE” I always imagined myself saving whales and running riots through the streets for equal rights but I realized my expectations for myself were too high. I hadn’t realized how ignorant I was to the idea of change and how it intertwined with the idea I had of myself as a designer. The complexity of the integration of change stunned me because it wasn’t just about making change in design it was about implementing change in our daily lives and in ourselves. It was about opening your eyes to a universe of ever-present change and the adaptive nature of design.
The extensive knowledge I gained in class helped me increase an understanding of how to become a designer with a purpose. With each exercise I grew to understand the expectations of me as a designer if I want to make a change and to become an influence for others to make change. Exploring change on a number of levels was hard for me to adapt to and accepting the idea of advocating it was hard to approach. Using technological as a basis to communicate our ideas for change was hard, just trying to reach to people not knowing what their opinions are or whether your opinion is even valued is a frustrating process. I slowly learnt change is adaptable and so are we so this integration of technology is an amazing way of getting your opinion heard and a tool for expanding your knowledge and is an extension of ourselves that should be utilized. Our first exercise involved giving something up, something that made an impact in our everyday life and our environment, this exercise gave me a larger outlook into what it takes in order to implement change and how the nature of change works.
In relation to industrial design, this class was an expansion of how we make change through design and the development of our ideas. Our class is diverse in nature, an amalgamation of ideas and imagination that is the definition of who we are designers. My reluctance towards the acceptance of change was fed by a fear of rejection but I came to the conclusion that there are no barriers in design and if you constrict yourself from the expansion of your ideas and imagination then the implementation of change through design is inoperable. The first few weeks Soumitri asked the most intense question it seemed we had ever been asked “Who are you?” we all seemed to struggle with an answer but I felt we all understood but we feared our own answers thinking of who we are as people, as designers scared us. The complexity of such a simple question had left me thinking for weeks “Who am I?” over the next few weeks I began to unravel an answer, who am I Soumitri? I am simple, I am easily influenced and flawed, I am small, I am loud, I ask for little and give a lot, I am scared of change, and my mind is infinite truth is I don’t know who I am yet, this is the nature of design it is indefinable and simple, the truth is we are all elements of a universal design and all our experiences that we encounter in everyday life and the decisions we make are what define us and influence who we become.
As weeks passed I got to know many people in class, I studied them, I learned from them and I came to the conclusion that although we are diverse we all share a very important commonality, intrigue. We are all intrigued and inspired by the elements that surround us and we absorb these things from our environment, I think that’s apart of the meaningful nature of design advocacy and change we need goals in order to achieve something the idea of change provokes us to encourage it in our environment and therefore make a contribution in the surroundings that inspire and intrigue us.
I must admit I did struggle a lot with the concept of change and advocacy through technology like Twitter and Worpress, although they are a good platform to reach out to a large audience I personally would rather make an implication of change through more expressive platforms. This class has changed my view on how I go about design and the impact I want to make, I came into the class without a goal, without a means of understanding or wanting to understand but it has broaden the aspects of my personality to be more accepting and to indulge in the complexity of change and to become an advocate of it.
To conclude, these past few weeks in Design Advocacy and Change have been something I will remember and impalement in my life as a designer or as anything I chose to become in my future. I have given myself goals in the future to be someone that someone else looks to for inspiration to define who I am and to be open everything and everything that crosses my path. Thank you for a great semester Soumtri and Liam.