Thursday, August 27, 2015

Response to Readings

Designer Thinking

This article struck me just a bit, it started out pretty negative towards designers and even in the end it still sort of said that designer thinking was still a myth. I agree though that people are not limited to thought and that designers are not the only people that can "design" or think outside the box. Everyone is just born different though right? Maybe we are born a certain way or can see things other people don't. Maybe it is just the way we were raised or the classes we've taken through our lives or that we are in the graphic design program. But there are great scientists, engineers, doctors, etc who have done way better things than designers, there is no denying that.

My one problem though is that just because it is not anchored to designers does not mean that it does not exist! I think we are forgetting that design does not apply to one thing, and as said in the article it can be applied to everything and come up with solutions for almost all problems. So why can't it be applied to thinking and that this breaking outside the box and breaking the rules way of thinking is the "Designerly way of thinking"? You don't have to be a designer to have a designer's way of thinking. 

The type of thought that is required to solve life's biggest problems is special. It is unique and powerful and cannot be tied down. Everyone has it to some degree, some just don't act on it. But as designers and innovators in other fields, we choose to think this way and take things one step further.

So I think designer thinking is not a myth, it just has been thought to only apply to designers. It doesn't. But that does not mean it doesn't exist in all of us.

What does designing for good mean?

I think that designing for social good is important, of course. Has the word "good" been generalized more than it used to, of course. Are people more focused on how money than social good, of course. What does that all mean though? I'd say that it has nothing to do with how we want to say it. but that designing for good is an idea, no matter what you call it. It is important and advances our race forward. 

Designing for good means helping others with nothing expected in return. I am kind of confused on why there is discussion on what we need to call it. Good can mean lots of things, in this context it just means the common good, social good, do good because it is good basically. Let other people use good in their own way, who cares.

Designing for Social Change

Immerse Yourself
The importance of immersing yourself in a project, especially for social good, is that in order to solve the problem you must fully involve (immerse) yourself. Sounds pretty obvious but it is true and the best way to get to know what you are dealing with. There is no better way to experience the problem then putting yourself in the middle of it, and trying to grasp what it feels like to be affected. How do we do this? Get to know the people you are working with, communicate, take notes, think outside the box, find new problems within the problem that can be solved one at a time, break it down, take a step back maybe, research and experience. Not particularly all in that order but those are all good first steps in immersing yourself in the situation.

Build Trust
Piggybacking off of immersing yourself is building trust. It is quite simple if you immerse yourself and be open and honest. Tell them what you can realistically do, follow through with your work, and start to build that relationship from the ground up.

A Book By its Covers
Stereotypes can be true, let's start there. But this doesn't mean all are true and that all are good. Some stereotypes are just true and that doesn't make them bad in any sense, it is how we react to those stereotypes and also how others apply them. We can rude about it or we can be normal and not judge others. I think it is wrong that there is still so much segregation throughout communities and ethnicities. How do we fix this problem? We must do what the first two sections talked about! Immerse yourself in their situation, would you like it if you were in it? Build trust between yourself and others as well. It will break down social barriers and I'm sure you will find there is nothing wrong with any other person, race, or community. Others just carry different burdens and we need to understand that, but even in 2015 we do not. The first step is being more open.

Promise Only What You Can Deliver
This pretty much speaks for itself. Just do what you can, no one can do it all. And work with what you have to work with. As long as you are trying and following through and giving it your best, then the project or result should be just fine.

Prioritize Process
Get your shit together basically and stick to it.

Confront Controversy
Controversy is everywhere, and it does need to be confronted. I can see this being one of the hardest things to do when doing a project. It can hard and uncomfortable I'm sure but it needs to be done. Especially with a social good project.

Utilize Local Resources
Do it....interact with the community and what it has to offer.

Design With the Voice of the Community
It is important that what ever problem you are trying to solve is done in a conceptual manner. Like the article says, take in your surrounds. Styles, time periods, history, color, sound, smell, typography, the people themselves. This will make your design stronger and more true to the solution. Design for social good should be honest and true or else nothing will change.

Give Communities Ownership
A community that wants to be fixed should not feel like it is being taken over. Make sure they are involved in the process so you can build that trust. Ask opinions, polls, research, and all that. 

Sustained Engagement
Keep in contact, offer more help, stay involved with what you have done! Watch it grown and develop. Keep it safe and strong, care for it. If you did it right then it should change the community in time and it is important to keep it on the right path.

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