Reflection

I can’t believe the mini is over. I enjoyed the past eight weeks so much, and I can’t imagine switching gears to a new discipline. The final project really inspired me and motivated me to keep learning and to push my ideas further. I feel very passionate about the work that Gilly and I did, and I think the project overall was a success.

The last time we had a critique, we had just come to the idea of Shuffle. We were really excited about this development because our previous idea of sustainability felt too disconnected from all the work that we did concerning the studio layout. We got a lot of feedback and we felt a little overwhelmed with the amount of ways we could go and the amount of time that we had. If we had had more time, I would have loved to continue to iterate and expand on the collaboration aspect. I would have also loved to refine the interfaces a bit more. It also would have been nice to have had the opportunity to change the studio layout a couple more times. We didn’t really get to experiment with desk sharing or removing all the dividers.

I learned so much from this project. I saw how  real-time feedback from your peers is extremely informative. I also experienced how hard it is to please everyone. Besides the differences between how everyone works, other students had their own ideas about what would be the best studio environment. We realized that usually people express a very idealistic idea of what they want. It was up to Gilly and I to evaluate what was practical and within scope. However, we got a lot of good feedback from our peers and a lot of aspects that people enjoy about the new space are things that were mentioned to us by one of our peers. Listening to your users is integral in the design process.

I am really glad that we got to work with an environment that we had access to 24/7 because it allowed for a greater understanding of all the environments in studio.  It became more than a place to work; studio became a place where we had a heightened sense of what was happening and what everything meant. We could experience and react and build off of that learning. I am so grateful for that experience. I have never been so immersed and aware of where I was before.

I think we had a really successful concept. It got a lot of people’s attention and solved a problem that everyone in studio was experiencing. We really wondered why software like Shuffle doesn’t already exist; it would have pushed our layout redesign so much further. Even though we can’t actually use shuffle, I think it opened up my eyes to how important the layering of information is. You can miss a lot of connections by not looking at your data and notes and observations and paying attention to where they overlap or disagree.

Our usage of the velcro was also very successful. Gilly and I immediately noticed the difference in our work habits; we started prototyping much more rapidly and quickly started to understand what wasn’t working in any of our layouts and what we hadn’t fully explored yet. I really saw the value in physical prototyping through this project. It was so much more informative to me on an intuitive and subtle level.

Using the software was extremely challenging. SketchUp and Depthmap gave us so many headaches. We spent a lot of time trying to get around the obstacles we encountered. Even after this frustration inspired us to create Shuffle, we still had to deal with it in order to fully communicate our final deliverable. We struggled with hardware too like the projector and getting the right level of brightness that would show up in our video. One thing I would definitely do differently is experiment more with the different projectors we were given because I think the one we used seemed to have a bad lightbulb when you compare it to the quality of the SketchUp animation in the video which was significantly brighter and was projected from a separate device.  However, time got in the way of us further exploring this issue. We started on the Shuffle idea and video late in the game since we spent so much time rearranging the space which turned into two or three weeks of research that led to the creation of Shuffle. There definitely wouldn’t be Shuffle without our own physical studio exploration.

Next time for our presentation I think I would have liked to plan a little bit more for the presentation. I needed more practice concisely explaining the concepts and our process work.

I am really excited to submit our project to a design competition.  I am very passionate about our work and the concept, so I am confident that it will show through our documentation and process.

This semester has been an unbelievably fast paced and intense eight weeks, but I have learned so much. This last assignment especially was an incredible growing experience for me and I am so grateful to have completed it.

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