Going into the DHM 2003 – Problem Solving class, I had a small idea of what was going to be taught. What I was expecting was to learn about the best ways to go about different types of problems and finding the correct and best way to solve the problem. My expectations for this class were to be thrown different scenarios and problems and use different tools to solve the problem in the most efficient way. What I was not expecting this class to teach me about would be how to solve and find different solutions to problems specific to my major. Throughout this class, we were assigned a group with students who had the same major. We were given problems or scenarios related to our major where we would have to come up with innovative ideas to solve them. Needing to use either critical or creative thinking to come up with a solution to best fit the problem as a team was very beneficial in my opinion. This not only allowed us all to practice teamwork but gave us the opportunity to see how others see the problem and hear how they would handle it.
What really stood out to me would be the different graphs that we were taught throughout this course. The fishbone diagram and the GRANT chart are the two sources that I know I will be using often moving forward. The fishbone diagram is the one tool that I have already started using in many of my other classes. Writing down what I need to be fixed and finding different attribute to it allows me to see the full picture and make the best choice on what to do next. The GRANT chart allows me to plan and schedule exactly what I would need to do and helps by staying on track and seeing the full schedule. Both of these tools I have already started using in my other classes, like my Research Methods and Textile courses. Going into the future, I know I will be taking these tools with me. I also enjoyed learning about the difference between empathy and empathetic.
The CPS activities were assignments where we were teamed up in a group of five student. Here we were given different problems or tasks to perform and use the different tools that we had learned in class. Every two weeks, we would have a new problem where we would have to use different forms of thinking to come up with an innovative solution to solve the problem. The CPS activities allowed our group to work and improve our creative and critical thinking skills. Depending on the problem, we would choose which style of thinking would be the best to find the better outcome. I believe this made me a better problem solver because we were able to work as a team to come up with many different ways to solve the problem and then as a group find the best way to find the best outcome we could.
For me, watching these TED talks really inspired me throughout this class. Hearing how different types of people come up with innovative ideas to solve a problem. Some of my favorite TED talks that we watched throughout this course would be Neri Oxman, Janet Echelman and Ron Finley. These people inspirer me with their incredible and innovative designs. Neri Oxman is a brilliant woman who speaks about the design at the intersection of technology and biology. Here she talks about changing architects and builders’ mindsets when building and converting their mindset back to nature. Instead of using metal bars to create something, she believes we can use natural elements to grow it with organisms. Her ideas are amazing and creative. Janet Echelman is an artistic woman who went from trying to get into art school to an inventor and artist who creative a sustainable moving sculpture. She found the idea to use old fishermen nets to make a light weight moving sculpture. Later on, she teamed up with a group to find an even lighter way to make big moving sculptures. She managed to make these magnificent pieces of art in an environmentally safe way. Lastly, Ron Finley is a man who plants gardens around southern central LA. Ron Finley talks on a TED talk called “A Guerrilla Gardener in Southern Central LA”. He talks about his idea behind this was to help feed the low income and homeless that live around this area. It is known that this area eats fast food more since it is easily accessed around the city. Ron Finley and volunteers plant fruit and vegetables all over Southern Central LA. Planting on the sidewalks, in parks, anywhere that is on public property so that the people can have easy access. I find this act completely incredible and environmentally helpful. This way not only the community will be able to get healthy foods but also grow the environment. All three of these people created innovative designs to find a sustainable solution for a problem.
I have already started integrating the tools that I learned while being in this course into my other classes. Tools like the fishbone diagram, the GRANT chart is something that not only I have already been using but will also use while going into the future. This allows me to solve problems in a more organized and thought-out way, allowing me to be sure that the solution I will choose will help in more ways than one. The problem-solving tools, I know, will be used for many different classes and even further when I move into the real world.
I already know that there are going to be many problems that I am going to need to fix in the future, I am only human after all. Not only will I have everyday problems but the industry I am going into has many wicked problems that stem from it. In my opinion, I am now able to find solutions to problems in a more efficient and innovative way now. Throughout this course we were taught how to use certain tools in different scenarios. We were shown how other people used critical and creative thinking to find the best solution to a problem. We also practiced how to solve solutions not only by ourselves but in a group setting, allowing us to see how other think of the situation. I believe I am now fully capable to look at a problem, rationalize it, choose the best course of action, use the correct tools to find the solution and find the best outcome for the problem.
The left side of the brain and Right side of the brain are very different. It is said that the left side of the brain is known to deal with the mathematics, critical thinking and logic, whereas the right side is known to be more creative, emotional and imaginative. I have always believed that I lean more towards the right side of the brain. Being a design major and liking the arts made me believe that. Even though I may lean more towards that side of the brain, I realize the I the left side of the brain just as much, especially when it comes to problem solving. I also believe that being the way I am, I can bring my own opinions and innovative ideas into a group with different opinions to give them a different outlook. I will embrace using both creative and critical thinking moving forward in being a creative human scientist.
I have always believed that I am a person someone could come for advice on how to solve a problem. Now, have I always been able to give good, solid advice that always goes right? No, no I have not. But hey, I am only human after all. Though, after taking this course I do believe I am someone who anyone can come to about a problem and I can help review and find the best solution for it. I now have helpful tools that can help me help other people. Because who doesn’t need a little help sometimes? Overall, I hope people not only feel comfortable to come to me and ask for help but know that I will do my best to help solve the problem in the best and innovative way.