Reflection / How did I change in two years

In the theory module “Sweet Dreams are Made of This” in the Interaction Design course, we had the assignment to reflect on the last two years on our life. We had a few minutes in class to think about this and I will write it down a bit more in detail.

Gaining Independence

The main thing that changed a lot is that in the last years I made big progress in being more independent. I actually rather name it as taking on responsibility because that’s what I really do now. I moved out for the first time which changed a lot in my perspective. It’s now fully on me to get something done and that also affects me in my study life.

Learning Things

First of all, I learned most of things from my work experience by teaching it myself. So, it’s not quite new for me to know how to learn things. But now I think I have more patience, more endurance to fail many times until I learn something. I’m much more comfortable with not being good at something which removes the initial fear of learning something in the beginning while being very bad.

This helped me to gain a lot of programing skills but also a big variety of tools, digitally but also offline I learned. Nevertheless, I lost a little the visual part I was strong at because I’m not practicing it a lot during my work in school. But I’m not that worried, that’s a skill I can relearn since I learned it in the first place. Mainly it’s also just the speed which decreased or the number of trials that increased until I come to a good result.

Communicating is also a big part. To not offend people while still being direct with a bold, constructive feedback is something I learned. Is it co-workers or clients.

See Design as Part of a System

This started right at the first theory lesson in my study in Interaction Design. But the course that probably had the most influence was the one of Björn Franke we had. It enabled me to see different aspects of design as part of society. How it shapes it and especially how it was shaped by society. It’s hard to explain but the main thing is, that I gained this perspective which I can apply in my everyday life now and that’s a very valuable lesson.

Being alone

I moved out and I split up with some people. Sometimes on purpose sometimes unintentionally. Without my family around, I did not have a natural bubble of people around me, I was alone. Also some friends I spend a lot of time finished their exchange in Zurich and went back to their home places. And this was new to me. I learned to be more alone but also to take on responsibility to not take relationships as granted but to see it as something to work on and keep alive.

How Did I Contribute

Frontend Skills

It’s a small thing but with my little frontend skills, I often help people in our class with their coding. And I hope I inspire them to like what they do.

Giving a Different Perspective

This applies a lot in our courses where I like to give feedback and work together with other people in groups. I hope I can help there.

But also in my personal life I tried to give people different perspectives in their life, especially if they struggle with sometimes. I learned that I don’t want to and shouldn’t give advices on what people should do. That’s something they should decide on their own. But I maybe can provoke some thoughts in their mind from a different view and still giving them the chance to decide. This way I influence people but not manipulate them.

22.10.18 – Paradigm

This theory lesson the topic was “paradigm” by our lecturer Verena Ziegler. In the context of academic writing, this was a new term for me.

Basically, a paradigm is the way we perceive the world from view of the particular field we’re coming from. An example is the fictional story of blind men and the elephant. The story tells about blind men which are touching just a part of an elephant but each of them guesses a different animal depending which part they touch. Although, blind people probably would perform much better in real life, as a metaphor of our restricted perception it works. A designer for example sees something from a designer perspective, the engineer from his perspective, a finance guy/woman from another and the scientist from his scientific way. But according to Verena this can be an advantage which was surprising me a little bit. But the key might be that we are aware of it. And by aware, Verena meant that we should base our whole thesis on a paradigm we thought of in the beginning.

Design vs. Science

This led her to the question what is the difference of design research and science research which I conclude in these bullets:

  • Design is more future oriented whereas science is based on a perspective on the past or the present. I need to be careful with this and of course scientists work for the future. But design has the “freedom” to think for the future and be speculative.
  • Design research includes things in the context whereas science mostly looks at a topic very isolated. Again, both of ways empower each field and the isolation is crucial for science.
  • Design research tries to improve the real world, existing situations to preferred situations. I’m most critical about this point to be honest but some bits are might true although it isn’t always the case.

Research Method vs. Method and Methodology

This was super confusing for the whole class because it was so obvious. Verena tried to explain us the difference of regular methods and research methods. Of course, research methods are for research purposes only and methods are an overall term. But a methodology is an overall approach on a meta level where a paradigm and a reason for the work is included.

Design Paradigms

Verena showed us a great list of design paradigms which I wasn’t able to fully write down into my notebook. But hopefully soon she will send us a copy of her presentation.

  • Practice Based, Design Led
  • User Centered, Human Centered
  • Historical Based, Ethnographic Based
  • Participatory Based
  • Design Science, Material Science
  • Semantics, Semiotics
  • Sustainable Design, System Thinking
  • Hermeneutical, Phenomenological, Ontological (needs more research from my side)

    22.10.18 – Paradigm