Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My design philosophy

As a young, student designer, I have to say my design philosophy is like an amoeba. Every time it starts to settle, I learn about something new and want to apply it to my philosophy. That said, here are some things that are important to me when designing (in no particular order):

Cultural influence: This is where the user, global, environment... research and consideration for everything happens. One of my favorite parts of the design process. I have a personal passion for learning about different cultures. This is partly because I was raised in a multicultural environment. (whoo!)

Green: This is a no brainer. How can we make the design more sustainable? Is this harmful or helpful? These questions must be considered. Hopefully as I grow as a designer I will learn more about good green design and why it rocks.

Innovation: Making design unique, setting it apart from others in a positive way. All other aspects of design can roll into this category. I like how material choice has the ability to drastically change the feel of a design. Mechanical innovation is also interesting to me, however, I really need to work on this!

Emotion: What to say? Emotion adds value to everything. Especially when applying it to an electronic, a "machine." Lately, this has been a real interest to me. It is really important to an innovative design.

Here are a couple of strong mp3 player designs (Korean..):

Both these designs do not look like mp3 players. They are treated more as an accessory.. something that can add to the user's lifestyle. They are also iconic, use technology in a new way, and "lovable."

Validity and usefulness: Another no-brainer. Don't create another piece of junk. Also, don't design something that is so out-of-the-box that it is conceived as ridiculous.

To help me grow more this quarter as a designer, I want to...
1. develop my refinement skills. Luckily this quarter in my design communications course we will have some focus on that. In my co-op experience, I have not had many chances to work on refinement.
2. create a thoughtful, and thorough portfolio. I am actually content with my portfolio, but from my experience last quarter at Continuum, I can really add a lot of value to my portfolio.
3. work on my interviewing skills. One of my interviews last winter, someone gave me feedback telling me that I did not sound enthusiastic about my designs. This was a disappointment to hear because I am enthusiastic, so I have been trying to work on it since.

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