Stepping into class that first day, I didn’t know what to expect. WIthin minutes it was clear that even if i had expected something, this wasn’t it. I quickly learned that Soumitri didn’t want us to try and guess what he wanted us to say, but to actually develop opinions and thoughts of our own. However, this didn’t mean that I was instantly able to do so.
We spent the first few weeks quietly listening to Soumitri, barely contributing to the discussion. I was no exception.
There were a number of things I didn’t connect with immediately (and a few I still don’t). The use of Twitter felt burdensome at first, I was treating it as an assignment. Retweeting and posting links that I thought would appease the Twitter gods. But that’s not what it was about. Eventually I began to comprehend the role Twitter can have in linking you with the world. I filtered through the general nonsense and focused on the nonsense that interested me. Then I shared that with #changeaaa.
It felt good when someone ‘favourited’ my content. I’m important and so are the things I say.
That’s not a joke. Well it sort of is, but in all seriousness, what I took most from the time with Soumitri is that it’s important to care. I’m finding it difficult to say this without sounding like I’m just trying to tell you what you want to hear. But I can see why being ’empathetic not pathetic’ is important.
So did I connect with Twitter and blogging? Not really. Did those activities open my eyes to a reality outside my own? I think it did.
Moving onto later in the semester, when we started getting a bit deeper into the assignments. I began to feel a bit lost as to what was expected and when. In the end I think it all turned out okay, but only because no one else knew what they were doing either.
I liked the group I worked with. Our journey wasn’t without some turbulence, and I think it boiled down to a lack of communication. Maybe not even that, but a lack of understanding of what others wanted. I’m being super ambiguous right now, but everyone who needs to understand what I mean, will understand. Whoever is reading this right now can take solace in the fact that in the end we pulled through and completed a well-thought-out, yet slightly unrefined and grossly oversized poster on maintaining a comfortable living situation.
What did I get out of the last semester? The ability to develop and articulate my own understanding and opinion of a matter. I’m still soft-spoken and prefer to listen than talk, but I’m not brain-dead.
In terms of Industrial Design, my perspective when approaching problems has changed and I will be able to pursue solutions with a wider point-of-view. There is still an attraction to design that some may call superfluous (chairs and tables) but I’ll always have an eye open bigger and better opportunities.