Why I chose this field option.
I spoke about the reasoning behind me choosing this project back in the post where I originally reflected, to be honest, the main attraction was to learn something new, a way for me to potentially earn some money through the project, why? well being a student means Man is poor. Like I always do with projects I am a part of, I wanted to make something I would be proud of, something I could tell my parents about, that still sticks with me.
What I originally thought the project would entail
I believed this would be relatively calm and straight forward, the main goal for me was to have a stress free experience. Point to point deliverables were anticipated, the end goal being success. I had hoped that I could spend eight weeks with this project, learn a few things about business and the way things are run then go back to product design to continue and use some of the things learnt to hopefully inform my practise.
What did I learn? Was there anything else that I would have liked to learn that I did not?
I learnt a lot about myself from this project. Who I was as a student. The stereotype that I hear is that students are lazy with their work, they leave it to the last minute to do things. I learnt what limits I have as a person, stress levels that I can work with and levels that I just cannot. From looking at other groups I found that the success comes from the idea. As a group we found it difficult to just run with an idea, it was clear that the ideas we had did not match the set of skills that we had in the group. We overreached.
What positives? How did they affect you and your learning? Have these positives stuck with you?
I have found that self-discovery has been probably the most important thing realised through this project, for me anyways. I was pushed to the limits during this project and I know now what I am capable of and what I am not. This is extremely important for future projects because I will be able to know when I am about to crash. The business side was very useful to know, especially as a product design student, the future may see me making a company and it is important to know at least the basics to get started if that is what I choose to do.
What negatives? How did they affect you and your learning? Have these negatives stuck with you?
Perhaps I am looking at this all wrong? Maybe I was to blame for the failure of the team Should I have taken charge sooner? Gotten into the leadership role and come up with a plan sooner than I did? The last minute idea to try and save the group was my idea after all, trying to save the sinking ship with a final idea did I unknowingly throw the water back into another area of the ship? It is entirely possible.
Overall how has this affected your university experience?
Overall I believe that this project was the first hiccup I experienced. Following this project I felt so relieved about the work I had done with the BBC Project, that seemed like child’s play compared to the ‘nightmare’ of the field. I find it sad that the project was not a success for me or my team, I would have liked the project to kick start the field projects with success.
Now I have already written a reflective blog discussing my time with the project but for the remaining 400ish words I shall summarise and discuss.
If you are interesting in what I had said follow this link and enjoy the read: (https://perditionblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/back-to-the-futures-part-v/)
Now I have been somewhat obsessed with critical design and design that challenges the norm, you may have noticed. I now try my hardest to take a backseat and look at the bigger picture with everything I do within my subject, my field and now with my dissertation. Following on from the first years project I was hooked, I wanted to know more, I wanted to do more. Futures allowed for me to have space to walk around in my mind…I had the freedom to discuss the most outrageous of ideas and somehow managed to ground them completely with fact. Prior to this field project I did not take an interest in reading, perhaps I just did it for essays but nothing that was actually interesting to me but throughout the short five weeks I found myself taking an actual interest in what was being said within the recommended reading list and once I had gone through those I began to branch out.
I find it quite concerning writing this reflection after going back to the briefs, the restrictions, the lack of imagination and…I am finding it incredibly difficult to put into words how this field project changed my thinking. Has it? It feels like it was an incredible five weeks of freedom and now I am back into the prison that is briefs and deliverables. How can I get out? I want to go back!
I have to say that overall Futures gave me a fresh look at the potential design has. I was able to work with hardworking individuals who all contributed greatly to the presentations that were given at the end of the project. The level of freedom allowed me and a few other product designers to form a second group where we presented the idea known as ‘Amazon Pulse’. I have been able to connect the Futures field project with the thesis that I am currently writing, a goal of mine was to be able to fully connect Subject, Field and the Thesis…its disappointing to not be able to connect Subject fully, it is difficult when having a drill project but I can say that the idea of questioning has fully been adopted for that briefing and the drill I have designed certainly does question the idea of sustainability and the need for constant consuming.
This years field projects have been a contrast of subjects and experiences for me. I found that the first term field ‘Mind Your Own Business’ was very enjoyable in theory but extremely difficult to work through. I had learnt a lot through the time on the project, many things that I keep with me today. I have more of an appreciation and understanding towards making a business as now I have had the experience of working with individuals from many different backgrounds to make that happen. Going back to what I have said within the specific overview of the project, the most important things learnt from this project is more to do with myself and how I can move forward within product design with the new-found knowledge of what is possible and what limitations I have.
In theory Field is the perfect project that can allow students to experience things that they would be limited to or not shown within their chosen subjects. I have found that there are some flaws but that they come from the student population and not the creation of said project.
The second term field project ‘Futures’ was a real step up for me this year. Prior to being involved with the project I only had an idea of what I wanted to achieve following on from the degree, I believe that after being involved I know exactly what I need to do so that I am happy. Futures was the complete opposite to Mind Your Own Business, I did not intentionally choose this but I am glad that it was the case.
Taking what is learnt from Field and applying it into Subject is very important to me and I believe this is done from Futures. I have started to really begin to question the field that I am studying and I believe that it is a good thing for if we do not question, we do not change.
I believe that because of the Field projects I have moved further away from what is seen to be ‘normal’ product design, essentially design for mass manufacture. From what I have read and continue to read I begin to form a more rounded, unbiased view of the state of things and I believe that conceptual design is where I feel more at home.
For me, this year has been the turning point for me as a student of product design.
I believe that I have found the form of design that best suits my style and way of looking at things. I do not believe that I could have come to this conclusion without experiencing a contrast in projects, they both allowed for me to experience a highly intense environment and I think that I have come out knowing what I am good and what I am not particularly good at.
My only wish would be for Futures and relating design forms to have a larger voice within product design.