GDE740 - Week 8

Week 8 – Research

This week we’re looking into methodologies for thinking and design processes – one thing I’ve realised this week after talking to Ben, is that we are all so different in our processes and, for sure, I’ve come to really recognise the stages of mine – from lightbulb, through panic, through calm desperation and right back to the beginning… It’s something, after this year, I’ve really noticed in myself and I recognise that I need a big push to get me out of my “Imposter Syndrome” fuzz and into clarity and confidence.

I spent the past few weeks talking to a number of people I know about this project and how they would feel about a seed subscription and will be collating the responses.


Torsten: As mentioned above, ideas change and it’s ok to acknowledge that. It’s working on a strategy to plan out the project carefully – more often than that we’re so focused on the final outcome we forget the individual steps of the project. Also start laying out your ideas – get them all out on the table and start analysing / taking apart the ideas to really focus the project. IT’S OK TO FAIL!!!!! Test things out along the way and if it doesn’t work, acknowledge that, work with it and analyse what went wrong. Take care of the small steps and don’t totally focus on the end result. I need to bear this in mind as I have a tendancy to take a final outcome and just force my way forwards with it. Prototype, prototype, prototype and don’t think too much.

Matthew: Very focused on looking at the different points of view – the clients, theirs and the audience. I think it’s so important to have these three sectors in your head constantly and keep rotating round them whilst considering the final outcome.

Wouter: Very client based – they work with the client along the process and find visual connections with their strategy – they then take feedback and create two concepts for the client. Of course this doesn’t necessarily apply to our context as mine is an industry set open brief and very much more audience focussed.

Stjin: On the other hand, I really connected with what Stjin was saying – I’m a huge researcher and utilise the time spent researching to start pencilling down ideas I think will work. From there, I write down as much as I can and note down as many ideas as I come up with. Just keep writing and something will happen! Brainstorming is vital for me, otherwise I end up with a head full of ideas and no sense. He’s puts the emphasis on making and then critiquing, not at the same time, it makes total sense to do it this way and then use the notes and drawings as a springboard for the designing.

Luke: Again, focussing on going beyond what the client wants as often this is quite a blinkered idea, it can be a good way of creating enthusiasm for a project by going beyond the thoughts of the client and running with their idea. Idea generation, as Luke states, is not a one person job, this resonated with Richards comments about the Ideas Wall and utilising the people on this course, talk to others, get feedback and use others to help your ideas progress.

I think, if I’m ever stuck on an idea of project and can’t seem to communicate effectively, I will watch and rewatch Carson’s presentation – it’s about noticing the little things, that’s what people love. Slipping in some small witty change or design flaw and people notice it and it makes them laugh. I think his comment about experimenting made me sit up and think the most, I need to do this more and I need to really pay more attention to my ideas and the generation of my ideas. Again, as mentioned by Alan Fletcher, Ideas come from anywhere, so just always be open and considerate of any ideas that pop into your mind. They could be crap but how do you know until you’ve acknowledged them?

Project research:

I’ve spent so much time rethinking and redesigning the way this project should go – interestingly this idea was something I thought about a few weeks ago doing the self-initiated project because I’d been speaking to some students in my friend’s class (he’s the teacher) at College about gardening during lockdown – one of them (aged 18) even built his mums decking in the garden and created small pots out of the wood to plant seasonal plants. I decided to utilise this age group of 18-19 year olds as they are predominantley students who have failed their studies and are either resitting or relearning a new subject at York College. I also spoke to a number of people whilst at York Design Week – these were volunteers who were graduates or students (21-24 year olds), again covering quite a decent section of my age range and audience.

I’ve sent off a Google Forms survey to as many of them as I could and hopefully I’ll get some good responses to help form my project and develop it in the right direction.

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