Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Soley Design? I Think Not!

Intro to the Notebook!
Matt Jadud helped us kick off the Vital Ideation course last week with an introduction to design notebooks. What a great way to start the class! We got to examine many aspects of design simply by inspecting the work that Matt has done over previous years. And not only were we introduced to the many design aspects he implements, but were told to adopt a style that works for you and to stick to it. "Remember your design notebook is written for you in the future, not for anyone else." Design notebooks do not have to be always neat and perfect but can be sloppy (okay maybe only a little) and contain confusions or maybe even entirely unrelated things, but as long as it aids in your design process than the notebook is fulfilling its purpose. With my notebook I plan to have designs, but also lots of doodles, ideas, random writing, notes from discussions, flowcharts, and anything else that will get my ideas out of me and onto its pages. Here's some pictures of what it is like...

Here's a doodle.And the layout of one of our meetings. Sometimes having location and quotes help me remember the meeting better.
And sometimes my notebook gets really messy. But that's okay because it's only for me (just in the future).

Design Dilemma!
Immediately after Matt's talk I started writing down notes, scribbling, drawing...just getting my ideas onto paper. But slowly, keeping a design notebook started to slip off of my priority list. Why did this happen? Matt had explained in his talk that there was more to design than notebooks, more than just ideas on paper--it was about scheduling, staying organized, and having low stress so that the ideas flow more easily, and it was on these points that I was failing. Lately I have way too over committed with classes, clubs, and activities and this has lead to an tremendous increase in my stress level. So whenever I sat down to try to think about design, my mind was in 1000 other places--when is my next appointment? have i finished all of my homework? what happens if the world blows up?. It is really hard to think of anything to design when your mind is not remotely focused. Matt really emphasized this in his talk, but I didn't believe him until I experienced it first hand! To help cope with this design difficulty, I have been trying to schedule in time just for design and though it has been hard, I really like having a time devoted solely to design and I want to do it more often! When something is important to you, you find time to do it no matter how busy you are because you can make it a priority. This is what I am doing with this course and with designing in general.

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