Friday, April 25, 2008

Continuation- Designer Values

On My Design Notebook:

I never made a blog entry on keeping design notebooks. I just couldn't think of anything to say at the time, as I hadn't kept a notebook yet. I've gotten into the swing of the notebook thing, and I have to say, I'm pretty fond of it. Good for passing notes, good for organizing thoughts, good for writing things down. I have learned I'm much better at thinking of ideas for things I want to do- and not so great at just randomly "desining." So my design notebook isn't like a professional designers would be. Or even like my one from Design Nature was. It's much more just a record of ideas, thoughts, and inspirations.

On Why this entry:

However, that wasn't what I intended to talk about in this blog. This blog is actually just for fun since I have 8+Lecture Credit.

It actually boils down to more- I really like this blog. I end up learning a lot more while writing in it, because it gives me time to think about different concepts and ideas, research what I'm interested in, and get a better idea of what is going on around me.

I like the structure that classes, even indpendent ones, provide for learning in. As such, I'm going to be taking two classes this summer. I also took one last summer. I don't take these classes for any particular reason- though AHS credits so I can worry less about my schedule don't hurt.

I take them for the same reason I take any class- to learn. (This could be a topic for an entire additional entry...)

I think we should all keep learning and keep this blog to make us think and reflect more- and have good documentation of that reflection.

How this relates to design:

I think that part of being a designer is being very open minded. Being open minded isn't always easy. It can acutally be pretty difficult. It's simple to get set in a mindset of what you do, and why you do it, and keep going in the same direction. It's easy to assume you're right and not question what life is about, or assume that you've covered all of the important factors before making decisions.

So, I'd like to make a heuristic (woo UOCD!) that "Every designer should make sure to take the time to learn something completely different, so they don't forget how to learn." Getting out of your comfort sphere helps you remember what it's like to be someone else- possibly who you're designing for. I'd say that this isn't just a design philosophy for me- it's also a life philosophy. It's adapted out of what my mom told me about what she does in order to keep being a good professor, so that she won't forget that it isn't easy for her students.

What I'll be doing:

I'm going to be taking a clear cut class: Occupational Health. I'm very excited about this class because I think it will be different than what I've covered before. I'm usually of the philosophy that people "aren't working hard enough" or "those factors don't really matter, they should fix them themselves". I hope that this class will give me into health issues related to real people (not unhelpful in my eventual goal of going to medical school).

Secondly, I'm going to be taking an Intro to Women's Studies class. Any of you who have met me know that I'm not really a fan of things like this usually. On the whole I'm much more of the philosophy that extensively discussing gender differences hinders things more than it helps them. However, I do acknowledge that there are real societal gaps between the genders that need to be repaired. In an ideal universe we could remove all bias, values, and indoctrination that people start with in order to have a clean playing field in a generation. Since this will not happen, perhaps I should start thinking more practically about how to limit differences between gender (more specifically I tend to focus on women in math, science, and technology, because that's the field I'm in).

I'm hoping that these classes will also help to shape my views as a designer and refocus how I view the world to be as flexible and adaptive as possible.

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