This assignment involved the creation of a zine that showcased our personal perspective on the design mind. The project’s purpose was a reflection of the design principles studied during the Design Minds seminar, and a representation of the design mind in an accessible and easily understood form.
In order to depict my design mind, I made use of the Tetrahedral model of synergy generation developed by Professor Jonathan Chapman. The model helps generate synergies between various seemingly unrelated topics. These topics, referred to as nodes are stable and resistant to change. However, the connections or synergies that develop between these nodes are dynamic and ever evolving. The four nodes listed below make up the bedrock of my design practice. The synergies and interaction between these nodes are my design mind.
The design mind is inquisitive. Seeking to understand the world and its internal makeup. Questioning the purpose of the items that surround us. Observing the interactions that occur between things and people. Why do we behave the way we do? Why do the objects we interact with look the way they do? People watching at its best.
The design mind is iterative. It thrives in a state of process. Each new idea takes the design mind on a journey. That journey can take days or months, it happens over time. Craft plays an integral role in the design process. The process is formed, transformed, illustrated, prototyped, and iterated. Iterative design is a circular continuous journey.
The design mind is targeted. It strives to have small local interventions that have a wide reaching impact. It prioritizes objectives and filters out distractions. The design mind is focused on that “one thing”, a specific problem space. The mind attempts to grasp the particulars of a specific situation leading to the emergence of a deeper understanding.
The design mind is conscious. Aware of its surroundings, and of one’s impact on their environment. The decisions of the design mind can have far reaching consequences. A conscious mind retains a sustainable mindset, and a drive towards social innovation. The design mind strives to bring about agency to individuals to help drive meaningful change.
The design mind is a state of synergy that is formed from the connection and interaction of the four prior elements. A design mind synergy is adaptive, dynamic, and ever changing in the face of new challenges. However, that synergy is rooted in and supported by the principles of a conscious, targeted, iterative, and inquisitive design.
Reflecting on this assignment, I am quite happy with the outcome of the zine that I created. The process of creating this zine helped organize my thoughts about what design means for myself. Using the constrains of this medium to discuss the design mind distills the meaning of design. This zine highlights the themes that I find apply best to my practice.