At first I very much struggled with this assignment. After doing the readings, going over Module 1, scanning the media and reading about a historical event I begun trying to draft a constraint map but hit a road block in adapting the book template to this specific case. I had trouble understanding the book’s model as I found it extremely vague and not tailored towards an example or event like we were suppose to create. I understood that the map begins with three different areas in the design process where constraints pop up: the end-user, production, and the fabricator. But from there, I was lost in how to continue, in congruence to the template provided. Ultimately, with Professor Smith and Professor Allen’s voice in the back of my head and remembering the attitude that this course teaches towards following a prompt related to design, I decided to veer away from trying to duplicate the book template onto this specific challenge.
In creating my constraint map, I adapted my own process, similar to constructing mind maps, but with more focus on constraints and with using the three headers of end-user, production, and designer as a base. I decided the end-user of this crisis is society, although I found it difficult to distinguish between what sub-topics of this crisis should fall under society. I decided the production process really had to do with the large industries affected by the crisis as it unfolded such as hospitals, big businesses, and schools. I also decided the designer of this whole situation had to be the government and CDC as they are the decision-makers. Looking back the designer could’ve been the disease itself and the constraints of its own spread. I’m now seeing how there are really many different ways of doing this activity. Given how I associated the production and the designer, I decided the end-user (society) really had to do with the constraints and opportunities of the people.
The opportunities I highlighted related to social distancing and quarantining really had implications towards all three areas of this crisis’s constraints. Social distancing was initially introduced in my end-user section but ending up branching out through different dimensions, crossing over into the other sections. For me, social distancing requires staying home which has led me to spend more time with my family. My sister decided to come live at home in the suburbs instead of being bottled up in her apartment in NYC, so I’ve spent a lot more time with her. I’ve been able to begin reading books and working on music production. I think the world being under quarantine has forced people outdoors, whether it be walking, running, riding bikes, or sports. Friends of mine who I’d never think would go on leisurely walks have been doing so and the aqueduct trail is mobbed on a nice day. I think this newfound appreciation for the outdoors as well as the decrease in industrial activity has given the world a glimpse into a more environmentally friendly and sustainable future.
Other opportunity areas I’ve highlighted help convey how this situation historically relates to effects of war-time on society. With many industries and establishments that are dependent upon in-person attendance being put on-hold or being severely altered, there is an opportunity for new services to thrive. This aspect of the natural development of new innovations and technologies parallels the urgency in war-time. Another opportunity of this international emergency is collaboration amongst countries to help one another. Hopefully, political leaders of different nations can realize that this problem is bigger than simply their country or region; it is a conflict that encompasses the entire human race. Social media helps promote the idea that people around the world are going through similar constraints right now, and hopefully this gives rise for positive globalization. Although it seems as though fragmentation is also occurring the xenophobia and the choice of words of certain “designers” of this crisis.