First Reflection: What’s this about?

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I know I already have a tumblr showing some of my in-progress work professionally, so why do I need an entirely separate website to document my process? I wanted to start this to get more specific—to show a lot of more of the details of what I’m doing—as I’m doing it. Besides, I consider tumblr a more visual experience that’s more difficult to organize. Now that I’m starting graduate program at Carnegie Mellon, there is a lot more of the process that isn’t visual and that requires more text, reflection, and maybe even boring stuff that most people don’t want to read.

I hope for this to be a personal catalog of not just my work, but my thoughts. I love keeping memories and notes about my life and I think this would be a great way to catalog all the new things I’m being bombarded by (in a good way) in class.

I think it only makes sense to start this off with a little reflection at the beginning and end of my experience at CMU and see how things change. I know I missed the pre-classes review, but I’m still pretty new to the program.

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Shall we?

How do you define yourself now?

I still think of myself very much in terms of my previous education and consider the two years of designing after work as a way to hone in on my skills. I love my English major and my professional writing minor and I can’t help but think about how much they have shaped the way I think about design and helped me understand the topics we’re going over in class now. I’m a graphic designer who always wishes I could bring more conceptual thinking into the work I do for my clients. I do a lot of print and digital work but find the complexity of designing websites intriguing. 

What are you interested in?

I’m interested in becoming more of a maker, or someone who is better at it. I understand that things are a multi-step process and you have to build out the idea first before you can work on the visual translation, but its important to make that I am  good at the practise of design as well as the construction of it. I am also extremely interested in design philosophy that we’re digging into in Cameron’s Design Seminar class. I love to think about things on the macro/micro scale when I usually only approach the problem at one or the other. I am also filled with despair that I know its not humanly possible for me to read all the books and articles that my professors have been recommending. I think it would take 10 years to read all the things they’ve suggested so far and it’s only been four weeks. I’m interested in everything. I don’t know how anyone finds the world boring.

How do you want to change? What do you want to learn?

This was something I reflected on recently. It’s easy to get swept up the in confusion of being in grad school and thinking about what your peers are doing and what’s required for class…but step back and think: Why did I come here and what do I want to take away when I leave? I was doing ok as a designer before I came, in fact I was really happy—so why leave it?

At the end of the “day,” I don’t always want to be a practicing designer, even if I really enjoy it. I want the opportunity to think about what I have been calling “design strategy.” The role of design in a company, product, brand, etc etc. I wanted to think about design different and work at design different. Gain a new perspective and challenge myself in a way that I couldn’t assign to myself. I put my career on hold to shift directions. To be honest, I don’t know what job I want to get when I leave here (how it exists in the world now). I want to just learn everything I can about design, because—as I’m discovering in design seminar—design is the world and how we move in it. It’s so much more and I love it! When and where else would you get the freedom to think. It’s a luxury, let me tell you.

What is interaction design? What is the role of an interaction designer?

Directing the experience of a being in the its environment (?). It’s not limited to the computer screens. I think it delves into helping helping people have more positive experiences than not. In this instance, i think it’s better for me to say less than more because I feel like I can’t say something meaningful about it.What is encompassed by “making things user friendly?” What is “simplifying”? What is “good/bad”? So many philosophical questions :)

What do you want to do?

I want to work with complex problems, make them simple, design them to make them beautiful, and then give them to people and it helps them. What job does that?

Thoughts? Discussion? I'd love to hear 'em!

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