This project is about observing an environment, identifying design opportunities, and capitalizing to create a better space.
A3 has been the best of three very fun and stimulating projects so far this year. Having the opportunity to leave campus and explore a new environment, then collect data and learn the problems of that area in order to solve them, adds a level of importance that fueled me in this process.
One thing I learned about quite a bit was how to go into a space and observe it. First using a space as it was intended to be done, then experimenting with other ways to use the space, watching how others interact with the space, and even asking the regular users of the space what they like and dislike is a tactic I’m surprised it took me so long to appreciate. It seems awfully simple, and yet this is the first project where I’ve understood the value of that process.
Another valuable aspect of this project was the open-endedness of the prompt. Go to a place, and find a part of that experience you’d like to fix, and fix it. What began as intimidation by ambiguity has developed into confidence and freedom, and I think that’s mostly because of the entertainment and excitement that comes with a “do whatever you want” project.
There were many challenges in this project. The first and easiest to fix, of course, would be software limitations. I found myself learning Adobe Premier the night before the critique because when showing friends my would-have-been final, the iMovie demo couldn’t express my ideas effectively enough. Also, as I mentioned above, the freedom of this project began as more intimidating than exciting.
I’m proud of my final in this project, not as much because of total quality, but more because of how much it shows I learned. I think making the effort to learn the programs that best displayed my idea was worthwhile, and I look forward to improving my skills in these high fidelity modes of communication in the coming years. Also, from a logistical perspective, I enjoyed how long we had to work on this project in the background. To visit the library at my leisure over the course of a month allowed me plenty of time to enjoy observation and learn the space.