Wednesday, August 26

va: reading responses

Design Thinking: A Useful Myth by Don Norman 

I really enjoyed this article. It was humbling and brought me to something I can relate with. Constantly surrounded by designers, sometimes I felt like "am I missing something?" No. I just don't have a superpower: "design thinking." This is why our department exists on an art campus and why we designers go through the same Foundations program that all the other artists on our campus. We all are creative thinkers, constantly creating new strategies. Although I do understand the importance of radiating this idea of "design thinking." As we are also taught in this department, design isn't just making something look pretty. So that's a great term to use when describing how essential design really is to an outsider. So no one else needs to know that I don't have a superpower.

What does designing for "good" mean? 

Design for "good" means to design with a meaningful or greater purpose. Designing for good, essentially means to question what we do and who we do it for. Overall I'm really excited about the experience to use my 'superpowers' for a real life good cause.

Good Citizenship: Design as a Social & Political Force 
Designing for Social Change 

-Immersing yourself can mean many different things. Sometimes you may need to fade into the background and observe, while at other times you might need to work side by side with members of the community.
-Designers need to give up a certain amount of control.
-Different levels of getting to know a community can lead to different results.

(Build Trust)
-Requires full authenticity and relationship, otherwise they will feel used
-Prove that you are serious about partnering with them to improve their lives.
-Earning trust will help you connect emotionally with the community members and their problems / take pride in your design solution
-Being invested will cause your designs to reflect the personality and ethos of community members

(A Book by its Cover: Reading Stereotypes)
Masri’s project dealt with the uncomfortable topic of racism and discrimination, so teachers were a little weary for him to come in and discuss with their (8-10 yr old) students. But once he clearly provided his good intentions it become an extension of anti-bullying already being taught in the schools. I liked that he didn’t just visit one school or a few schools in the same area. Instead he went to schools so that these kids from all different backgrounds. By having the kids pair up with a student from another school, he started to create relationships with people they may not have ever had the chance to be around. Racism roots from the unknown and little interaction with people outside of another race, so this project broke down those barriers.

(Promise Only What You Can Deliver)
-Once emotionally involved in the community, you may become vulnerable, making it difficult to say no to their requests.
-Social problems deserve realistic design solutions.
-The community will not benefit from idealistic promises.

(Prioritize Process)
Prototype and get feedback from the community before tackling final ideas / designs

(Confront Controversy)
With taste and playfulness

(Stories of the City)
Social media allows us to connect with people from all over the world but few of us actually know our next-door neighbors.
Without creditability and trust, Allen’s neighbors were very reluctant to be apart of her project. I like that Tyler suggests that he will talk to parts of the community about the project before sending his students out.

(Identify the Community’s Strengths)
-Do not have the tendency to place heavy emphasis on the problems. Instead make a list of strengths and challenges.
-Represent them with dignity.

(Utilize Local Resources)
Locate skills and talents within the community you are helping.
This will empower them to deal with similar issues in the future.

(Design With the Community’s Voice)
-Get feedback from the community throughout the design process.
-It’s not important what it looks like as much as how it changes behavior or how it can give a voice to a community.
-As long as the community engages with it and feels a sense of ownership- most important

(Give Communities Ownership)
-“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”
-Show steps of design process—such as setting goals, researching, prototyping, testing, and implementing
-Look for ways to give your final design a form that can be easily duplicated or implemented so the community can add or modify the design on their own.

(Sustained Engagement)
-This relationship should feel like a friendship
-discover another way to stay in frequent contact with community leaders
-it will take time to get to this stage and it may be difficult to sustain that close connection

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