Though it’s effect on me didn’t rub off fully until we were settled into quarantine, some of our discussions and virtually every assignment we did in the class was to make us more comfortable with embracing ambiguity. At the beginning, I was very skeptical and frankly was bewildered when I wasn’t being given specific instructions for assignments. I felt like maybe I wasn’t understanding the material, or MIDE just wasn’t for me. Then I realized, the whole point of the ambiguity wasn’t to confuse us but to make us more comfortable with thinking outside the box and interpreting assignments and events in our own way. The quarantine we’re experiencing right now uses the work we did in class and takes it to another level. From when I wake up in the morning to when I go to sleep, virtually none of the things I do now are set specifically on a schedule for me to follow (aside from the obvious like showering, brushing teeth and feeding the cat, etc.) While a lot of my peers went the route of trying to set their schedules and attempted to follow it to a T, the one I created for one of my models was an ambiguous representation of my day. It’s supposed to serve as a guide for how I could spend my day. The lack of structure that exists from day to day is a lot like the work we did in class, in that we get to interpret the instructions (or in my case the schedule) in a way we see fit while adhering to simple guidelines (which in this case are the specifically listed things I have to do every day.)
Of the habits we learned and practiced, honing my child’s eye is definitely what I want to improve next. That exercise where we walked all around campus and reconvened at the 7th St Cafe to report on what aspects of campus we noticed for the first time made me notice just how little I’m taking in when I’m mobile. When making an effort to see things through an inquisitive lens, it becomes possible to not only realize things for the first time but learn and make new deductions about things we’ve seen before as well. I’m of the belief that getting into the habit of using child’s eye is what allows us to see the very first step of the design process (defining the problem). By questioning everything I see like I’m seeing it for the first time, I might come to understand how I can innovate on some design to improve it, or even design something new. At home, I’ve been trying to improve it by doing the same exercise we did in school. Because I don’t spend much time at my dad’s house, a lot of the things both inside and outside are unfamiliar to me. To further improve this skill, I’m making it a point to hang on every word my dad says to see if he subtly mentions something about the house. As of now, the one thing I’ve gathered from him is that he hates how he’s always bending over to get new pots and pans. Though it was a remark made in passing, my child’s eye tells me it’s very possible for me to make him a rack for all his things, or if I’m feeling particularly audacious, even try to hang said rack from the ceiling.
I’ll go out on a limb and admit failing forward is what I excel at. I have no shame in it, and what I’ve learned is that it gets easier to accept failure the more times you mess up. I don’t necessarily believe it’s a good thing to be amazing at it since when one mess up in grand fashion (we all do it), the person will just move on without any introspection about what they could have done differently leading to the same mistakes over and over. On the other end of the spectrum, one who has one small mess up might dwell on it instead of learning and moving forward. This creates a mentally unhealthy state where the person will have no confidence since their creativity, they feel, was said to not be good enough. To find a happy medium where I can learn from my mistakes without dwelling on my failure, I found it helps to have a conversation with whoever was on the other end. I implemented that strategy with the friend I talked about in class who got in trouble because I wasn’t being observant. Needless to say, we spoke for over an hour and what happened doesn’t weigh nearly as heavy on my conscience now. Because I embraced my failure and instead of shelling up, we were able to hash out strategies to effectively prevent the incident from happening to anyone else in the future.