In the first weeks, it is all about figuring out which direction to take the project to. “It has to be something you are passionate about”, is the actually only guideline which were given to us. Thinking over and over what exactly I am passionate about is quite a humbling experience. I have set myself a few personal goals, and amongst others, it is important to me to look into environmental problems. So, the question is, what am I actually passionate about which is also connected to an environmental problem and in can be solved with a design solution (hopefully digital)? My hobbies are travelling, reading books, skiing, exploring, simply things everyone likes to do. Nothing so extraordinary it is connected to a worldwide problem. Next step, think about my surrounding area: the way we live, the way we conduct our daily habits and the problems with it, which we already accepted as standard. Shall I create a device which helps to reduce light pollution at night (quite a problem in Dundee)? Shall I investigate in creating a shoe which does not give blisters, so no one has to buy new shoes anymore? Or is the reinvigoration of the eBook the way to go, like I thought I would the previous years? In this instance, I can already say, that it won’t be the eBook idea, since I am missing the environmental/ hippie part in this concept. Yes, eBooks are lacking user centred design, and there is quite plenty of possibilities with portable books, which have been mostly disregarded, but to be very honest, it is nothing I am seriously passionate about any more. Consequently, the search for THE concept goes on.
How lucky I was to postpone this decision because this week it is all about our London /Liverpool/ Manchester trip. Organised by Dr. Chris Lim, we could visit companies which are also following the Design / Human / Technology mindset as our course does. Amongst others we visited the Research and Development Department of BBC as well as a small design company in London, Method. The diversity of companies showed once again, how different working in the design area can be. Working for the BBC has definitely the possibility of a great impact, while there are also many regulations to follow. Method on the other hand convinced with very spontaneous and refreshing ideas, while staying on one level with the person they want to design for. The excursion has been complemented with visiting the London Design Festival and the V&A Museum (always worth a visit).
There have been many positive impressions which will hopefully last and inspire my further progression. It was a great start into the year, bringing me not only into an inspired mindset but also bring me closer to my course mates.