This semester I stood still with the principle of design and its function in our world today.
At the information days of the University I was a volunteer and helped by explaining kids about life as a student. The TU/e uses a slogan for these days: ‘I dream…’ Someone walked by with a tablet and asked me if I wanted to complete this sentence and he would make it appear on a big screen. I did not have an answer that day, but it got me to start thinking.
About finding the problem...
In my first semester at the TU/e a designer showed me a picture. On the picture I could see a woman struggling to open a jar. ‘Is there a problem?’ he asked. Before I spoke about my thoughts he pointed out the face of the woman. The fact that this woman has a frown on her face means there is a problem and designing possibility. Design can solve problems.
That has been a challenge forever...
Design can solve problems, but also cause them. For an assignment I dove into a research on Karim Rachid, a well-known Industrial Designer. In an interview he said something I had not ever thought of before. ‘Woman have been wearing heals for centuries and after so much time, still no one has succeeded in making a comfortable one.’ Maybe some problems don’t seem problems in the way that they can be solved or improved. Perhaps some problems are almost accepted even though the negative impact they have.
And solve it as a designer...
One of the biggest problems of this moment is the environment. We got aware of what we do to our planet. Even after this discovery it took us some time to adjust. When some people finally took action, we could only make some preventive measures like the electric car. One Dutch designer made a remarkable change with a very innovative system. Daan Rosengaarde changes exhaust into diamonds. Could we reverse environment pollution?
All these situations bring me back to my dream. In this world we deal with problems we do not try to solve because they have been a part of our lives for a long time. I want to challenge myself to make the world a better place and change what most can only accept. My main focus on the worst, most devastating, tragically event that surprises us every once too often: Natural disasters.
I dream about a system that reduces the force of any earhquake.
As a person I have my talents and my flaws, my interests and my disinterest. These characteristics also have their influence on me as a designer.
I am a realist and an analyst, fascinated by all the good and bad that live around me. As a designer, these characteristics can work in my advantage. In the design process I have a clear image on where I stand and where I want to go. However sometimes it does makes me a little inpatient and I forget to give others the time they need to see the same thing as I do.
I am also very curious for different perspectives and use my energy to try new things. I am always looking for understanding and also show this in my need for social contact. This adds to my ability to use someone else’s perspective in a design process, like the perspective of a user or culture. This constant curiosity and energy sometimes do get in my own way. I do not always sense me getting near an overload on information. This is the chaotic and somehow naïve part of my identity. In evenings I always watch movies to get my head to stop thinking for a while and Thursdays I spend in the pub.
I am also very independent and dependent at the same time. I was raised as an independent woman with confidents and the ability to express herself. This is a lucky start for presenting in public and adding her part to a conversation and discussion. The dependent part of my identity is more concealed. As a person and as a designer I am very dependent on the approval and appreciation of others to feel good about myself or my decisions. This is unnecessary behaviour and not practical for a designer that has to stand for her own products. Something I am working on and will keep working on.
I have a heart for art as well, especially art that tells a story like the statues from ancient Rome. This and the curiosity for other perspectives make me most interested in the Form and Sense and User perspective of a design. Other characteristics make me a designer with my natural focus on the processes of designing.