Week 3 | Andrew Qu

This week’s session took the form of a workshop led by Design for America (DFA). DFA is a student organization that focuses on creating local and social impact through interdisciplinary design. We began the workshop with a broad overview of what constitutes good design and the individual steps one could take to improve their own design process. It was quite fascinating to see how through a couple steps that were individually very simplistic, a comprehensive design process could be constructed, ending in a novel product.
The main activity during this workshop was an accelerated design simulation where we started with identifying a common problem where there would be a need for a solution. The problems stemmed from “Brian” a blind entrepreneur who recently moved to a new city and situations similar to his. Specifically, he found difficulty in engaging with investors in a normal manner because his disability would prompt different treatment from third-parties. We felt the core problem thus far then laid in normalizing spontaneous and planned encounters, while simultaneously tackling difficulties arising from a new and unfamiliar environment. We ended up with a wearable- digital glasses. We designed a subtle accessory that could tap into social networks and personal storage to aid Brian in recognizing faces and navigating full rooms of people.
This workshop was a learning experience that helped his expand my maker-mindset. In creation, there needs to be a balance of perspective, imagination, and objectivity. While design may seem like a simple concept, it can actually be an extremely convoluted process full of twists and switchbacks. Going forward, I now have a greater appreciation for user-perspectives and delimiting imagination in design, thus keeping objectivity and rationalism from limiting initial mockups and ideas.

3 thoughts on “Week 3 | Andrew Qu

  1. Hi Andrew,

    This was one of my greatest takeaways as well. I think we both have the problem of being quick to judge– it is easy to stifle creativity during the ideation stage when you should be promoting objectivity and imagination. I think that is a really great way to help guide that 3rd stage: objectivity, imagination, and perspective. These three guidelines will help with the best solutions.

  2. I agree with you, Andrew, 100%. Going into this workshop this week, I had not realized how difficult coming up with a solution would be. I think many people approach the concept of creating something of their own and begin to find that it may be difficult at the start thus they are not compelled to continue with it. Tim Brown, the author of the Digital Thinking article this week, also claimed that many americans are now redesigning products as opposed to creating them themselves. This class is giving me a much greater appreciation for creation as well, hopefully others will continue taking it in the future!

  3. Hi Andrew,

    You point on design being a seemingly easy concept but in actuality a convoluted process is intriguing. I feel that design can both be simple and convoluted, depending on the situation. But this workshop has definitely been great fun!

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