Module 1 reflection:
The reading was very interesting to me in that I never really considered constraints to be a source of creativity in design, and I read about many ideas that I had never really thought about before or heard, such as this concept that “A project’s needs and limits are its constraints, and by identifying them, we understand what we need to engage with to create an effective design. We can then tap into our sources of inspiration and apply them to our projects, ” and Murphy’s Law (“The odds are always stacked against you, so stop being surprised about ii. Work with ii. Murphy’s law is not a defeatist principle, ii is a call for vigilance!”). I had heard that before, but it was never explained to me so I had always dismissed it as words from a pessimist. But, they clearly have so much value, especially with all the examples in the reading. The design for Princess Diana’s memorial was clearly flawed (explained in the readings the roots and contributors to how this came to be), and I can actually relate that to designs I have seen, such as the brand new (and expensive) elementary school they just built in my town. Inside the school on the second floors are lots of balconies and railings, but because the students are elementary-aged, the school has those all roped off and do not allow students to be within 6 feet. That 6 feet range away from the edges blocks off and waste SO much floor space, adding to hallway congestion. It can also be dangerous and downright tempting (I’ve heard students like to drop things down to see how they land on the first floor and get in trouble, all of which wastes people’s time). It seems that a better design for a younger-aged school would be to omit those balconies/ledges where you look down onto the first floor.
Looking at sources of news that have been circulating on the media, I found lots of positivity and inspiring posts, such as: A group of activists in the disabled community reported that they are “all too familiar with the feeling of being isolated and surviving in crisis mode” (kqued.com) so they are taking part in what they named the “Disability Justice Culture club” to band together and support the community. While encouraging others to take action and do the same, they are making kits of resources to send out to vulnerable people (such as homemade effective hand sanitizer and other supplies).
There are also articles from the LGBTQ community, such as one I read called “surviving a plague”, referring to the HIV/AIDS pandemic that affected their community. They offer stories and support from what they experienced that we can apply today during this pandemic. I also read an article from Astronauts who are sharing tips on “how to stay sane in isolation” which was really interesting.
One media outlet in particular that I looked at was twitter. A lot of people have been making light of the situation and are coping through humor and making funny content. There was a tweet I saw that referenced how Mozart (or another famous artist/writer) created (something really important, I forget what) during a quarantine in his day, and the poster compared that with a stick figure they created during this current quarantine. In general, lots of humor going around, and many memes.
On facebook and twitter, people are also sharing stories and interesting things. One I saw just now was a facebook group someone shared called “Cats of the Quarantine”. There’s lots of interesting things to consume and take part in to make quarantine life more enjoyable for all of us.
There are also people posting tips for self-care, guides for people who struggle with mental illness and are worried about getting worse if they are stuck at home, and daily quarantine routines that people post that people can follow or find inspiration from. Along with these are parodies of those routines and other parodies (again with the humor all over social media). Overall, people are still quarreling and fighting over things on platforms (ex. Arguments that people shouldn’t have taken tests because they should have saved those tests for more vulnerable people, even though that person tested positive and people replying saying not the blame the person but the overall lack of tests available, and then there are criticisms over the lack of tests and supplies, etc). But, there is also so much positivity, humor, and help that people are offering and spreading. Many companies are also doing donations and fundraisers, such as the clothing company Everlane who is donating 100% of proceeds from their Human’s collection to help support people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
I also read up on the 5 deadliest pandemics the world has experienced, and read up on the Swine flu and the Spanish flu to compare and contrast how the government and agencies reacted and recovered. The Spanish and Swine flu seemed awful and seemed especially relevant since those were more recent than past ones (ex. Bubonic plague). One note I made that stood out to me was that this is our first pandemic in the age of digital media, and false information and mass panic can spread faster than the virus online. This makes a difference because of how we get our information from a variety of sources, and how people communicate and produce content during this pandemic. I also read an article that directly contrasted how the government and agencies reacted (and how long it took) to react between Covid-19 and the swine flu. The US Government declared the threat only 2 days after versus a much longer time with Covid-19. There are also differences because of the virus itself and the long incubation period (4-14 days) before showing symptoms. But, there are many similarities between this pandemic and the past flu pandemics because of the qualities of the virus and how it affects us.