Week 9 Reflection
This week, hearing from Troy Hammond and Alan Chochinov and reading the work of Tony Fry, I was prompted to really look at the impact of design and how it shapes the society in which we live. I felt that all of these people, really emphasized how design has drastic effects on the communities they interact with, whether that be a singular person, a campus, or the entire world. I was really inspired by all the simple yet perfect designs shown by Chochinov. I felt that the designers in these situations were almost designing problems, rather than trying to solve already existing ones. They were able to locate new problems that allowed them to create simple solutions as they had never been addressed before.
This leads me to rethink how I looked at my own work and professional practice as well. I feel like so often engineers look at problems that are already existent, and try to continue to perfect and perfect existing solutions to this problem. I feel like now, I should think more like a designer, in trying to find problems in the real world that can be solved with simple engineering.
I’ve had this idea of starting a business when I gain enough experience in my field. However, I have always been stumped about how I will be able to do this when so many problems have complex and iterated solutions already. By watching that talk, I began to see that I need to find problems that have not been addressed yet. I think the most important thing in finding a product to design is to find a really good problem, rather than a really good solution.
The work of Fry and the video of Hammond, then got me thinking about the impact of the product I hope to design one day. I realize if my dream becomes a reality, I will have a large part to play in transforming the society we have today. So often, products serve as a habitual practice for humans. and, as Fry states, these practices end up being absorbed into us as people. I will need to analyze how this product affects the mindset and habits of its consumers, in order to be a conscious and beneficial designer.